Ministry (16)



I remember my father saying the blessing at every meal as I was growing up. That memory continues to bless me everyday of my life. It was not unlike the blessing of Jesus over the loaves and fish.

"And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd."

Luke 9:16

This is a beautiful picture that is worth considering separate from the rest of the event of which it is a crucial part. The One who created all things made the bread and fish nourishing. He had already put His blessing on it. But it would only have fed one boy. Jesus looked toward His Heavenly Father, and by His power He blessed the meal so it would feed a multitude. Luke said there were about five thousand men there. How many women and children might have been there? That could easily have been a multitude of twenty or thirty thousand souls.

I would like to do something like that with my writing. As I write, I pray with all my heart that God will put more of His grace in my words than I know to write. And I also pray for a blessing like Jesus prayed for, that God will multiply it to touch the lives of multitudes of people.



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Do you long to hear from God better?
Would you like to be mentored in your prophetic gift? 

Join Deborah online for the
E3 Prophetic Training Course!

Picture: E3 Prophetic Mentoring Course

"E3" is an online training course in prophetic ministry and the art of hearing God. E3 is short for "Encourage, Exhort, and Edify," the prophetic mandate given to believers in 1 Corinthians 14. This 6-session course can be taken anywhere in the world via the "Zoom" app, and includes teaching on:

*Pursuing God:           How to Hear from God and Receive Prophetic Insight

*Dreams & Visions:   Receiving, Sharing, & Interpreting Dreams & Visions

*Process & Protocol: Prophesying & 5-Fold Ministry in the Local NT Church

*Prophetic Pitfalls:    Avoiding Typical Traps & Temptations  

*Authenticity in Ministry:  How Character Impacts Your Anointing

*Activation and Release:     Session includes Personal Prophecies

Testimonies from Previous Graduates: 

~"I was surprised that I was able to discern more clearly the Lord speaking to me, not just about myself but getting pictures or words for others as I prayed. I am more confident in what to do when I have them. I feel less confusion about the prophetic."

~"I feel free to not have to fit into some box but just to allow the Lord to use me how He made me. I don't have to try to hear like someone else!"

~"I feel less concern now about having to figure everything out like a frustrating puzzle. It's like a wonderful treasure hunt searching Him out!"


​Courses are offered twice a year in the Spring and Fall.

FALL COURSE DATES ARE NOVEMBER 4, 11, & 18th and DECEMBER 2, 9, & 16, 2019 (MONDAY NIGHTS) from 7:30-9 pm. 

Cost is $30 per person; you will need to download the Zoom app (free) to participate.

Replays are available to registered participants.

Class size is kept small to allow for additional personal mentoring from Deborah. 

Course includes outside access to Deborah for personal questions or ongoing mentoring.

​Interested? Register here or contact Deborah for more information on upcoming course dates and times. 
© Deborah Perkins /
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Please pray for the salvation of Dr. D's summer course student, Andy (pseudonym). Although from the Gulf, Andy once lived in Los Angeles, where he became involved with a gang. Thankfully, Andy was able to leave that situation left that situation, and he has shared some of his life with Dr. D. They have, in fact, become confident friends. Pray for meaningful conversations about the gospel in the next few weeks, and for the Spirit of God to convince Andy of the Truth.

There was a group in one AP country that specifically did campus ministry at a local university. The girls of that group started to find that many of the local female students had questions about who Jesus is. So, they started having Bible studies with these students, and in the end, about 13 female students began to meet regularly and read through the Bible together. They continued to disciple the students for some time, but the group ended up leaving altogether. They did, however, hand the girls off to other believers. Please pray for spiritual fruit among these university students. Pray that the seeds of the gospel sown in them will grow into full salvation in Jesus Christ. Pray that they would continue to be hungry for the Word and find Jesus to be sufficient and satisfying.

Pray for a local man who has been hospitalized for a year since last Ramadan. He is wasting away and cannot communicate but is conscious and can hear. A member of his Muslim family happened to sit next to a Christian on a bench. Although they were total strangers to each other, the Muslim struck up a conversation and directly invited the Christian to pray specifically for a divine healing for the man. Such an invitation was certainly seen as a divine appointment by the believer! Pray for God to be glorified in healing and salvation of the man, his family, and those who hear the testimony! Pray for the fame of the Lord to spread and draw multitudes to Him through the Son.

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In November, we asked for prayer for a local brother whose wife has been very ill.  She is doing much better and so thank you for your prayers!
Here are his words:  "Thank you so much for your prayers.  Over the last two weeks, we have seen tremendous improvement in my wife's health.  Her bleeding has almost stopped completely and her red bloodcell count is going up and up!  The doctors have no explanation for this (they were recommending surgery, but now it may not be needed).  But we know who our Great Physician is and we are so grateful for the prayers of all the saints all over the world who have partnered with us in intercession.  May God bless you as you continue to labor for our King and his Kingdom."
Pray for a local brother whose wife we have been praying for.  Praise God for the progress she has made in her health.  Let's continue to pray for him.  Nowadays, he has much more time and flexibility to meet with local people and to share at many places during the week.  He is very encouraged by how the Spirit has been working in the lives of locals and believers from around the world.

He asks for prayers for discernment in their ministry towards locals, so that they invest their resources strategically for the Kingdom according to Christ's leadership and not their own understanding. He also asks for prayer for the salvation of his family, especially his siblings, both brothers and sisters.
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Be A Spiritual Lifeguard!


Leaders in the Body of Christ are called, among other things, to be lifeguards. Watching is the key function of a prophet or intercessor. Rescuing is a priority for the evangelist. Guarding is elementary for the pastor.Warning is a main component of teaching. Vision is essential for the apostle. Believers in the Kingdom of God are expected to be on guard, or more specifically: to keep watch.

My pastor runs a waterskiing ministry at the lake near his church in the summertime. On days when he is alone, the kids know that if he is out on the water training someone, no one swims until he gets back to the dock. 

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Can You Judge a Book by its Cover?

9651023091?profile=originalWe’ve all heard that well worn cliché, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” While most people tacitly assume the wisdom of this statement, we must ask ourselves whether this is universally true. While the saying may apply well to interpersonal relationships, I would argue that in this age of instant communication and sophisticated design, it does not.

Imagine yourself in a in a store. You find yourself considering the purchase of only one of two different brands of shampoo: one is artfully designed and the other looks rather like a junior high school art project. Market research indicates that you will choose the well-designed product, even if it happens to be more expensive.

The undeniable fact is that consumers judge the quality of a product, in large measure, by the quality of that brand’s design. A well designed product reflects an image that the manufacturer wishes to project with regard to the kind of care and attention that went into the development of the product itself.

It is no different for any other type of organization such as a ministry, church or company. One of the main criteria employed to judge all organizations, at least in part, is the quality of their brand. When we speak of “branding,” it involves more than simply graphic appeal. Your brand is a clear, iconic representation of what makes you, you. A brand is your reputation. It tells people how to feel when they think about you. To build a brand for your organization, you must begin by clearly articulating your vision and the outcomes you seek. Practically, your brand ought to be marked by a well-designed logo and overall look. It's important to seek out a design professional for this task because they are specifically trained in design and color theory and understand the affect different design schemes have on various demographic groups. Done right, your brand will clearly communicate what your organization is about — to visitors, donors, members, and the local/national community. How people feel about your organization has everything to do with its success.

The following are some questions to consider as part of your branding strategy:

  1. What is your vision?
  2. Who are you are trying to reach?
  3. What do you want people to feel about your organization/product?
  4. How does your organization define success? Or, what are the results you are looking for?

A well designed brand will give your constituents or consumer base an instant understanding of what is really important to your organization. If your base were to judge your organization by its “cover,” what do you think it would tell them?


9651023479?profile=originalKATHRYN MCBRIDE, a Colson Center Fellow, is the founder/principal of Letcetera, Ltd., a graphic design and publishing firm in suburban Chicago. While a visual artist by profession, she also enjoys a variety of creative pursuits. In all that she does, she endeavors to make things beautiful. Kathryn founded and led a ministry for Christian artists and also maintains the website She is deeply affected by stories of sacrifice, nobility and courage and seeks to honor those who have given their lives for something greater than themselves. Kathryn was raised in a large family with a rich heritage of Christian missionaries who lived by faith and modeled powerful prayer lives. She resides in the western suburbs of Chicago where she seeks to live out her “life verse”— There is only Christ, He is everything. (Col. 3:11)

It would be such a pleasure to work with you!  I work for a variety of ministries, organizations and corporations. Please visit my website at to see my design portfolio, a partial client list, publishing information and bookstore. If you know someone who has been faithful to the call of God, please visit and let us know about them. We would love to tell their story.


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Many are saying America and possibly most of the world is under the imminent judgment of God in these days. I am reminded of God's judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah. God said the outcry against Sodom was great. People were crying out to him in oppression and suffering. God could not be a God of compassion and not judge the selfishness, wickedness, prejudice and violence we have turned to today. And yet as He was preparing to rain fire down upon Sodom the Lord invited Abraham to intercede for the city. If God is making you aware of imminent judgment, He is inviting you to intercede in prayer. Do you sense the urgency to intercede in prayer even if you are not sure how to do that? Interestingly enough Abraham came to some principles that will help us pray in these days.

First, Abraham appealed to God's love for righteousness. "Will not the judge of all the earth do what is right?" We need to pray for churches and believers and people who seek righteousness in high places in our society. They may be our only hope against immediate judgment. This week one of the most prominent pastors in America stepped down from his pulpit because of moral failure. I saw several Face Book posts on it. I made a comment on one of them. "If you were our enemy, who would you attack?" But while I had respected this man, I had never prayed for him. God forgive me.

Another principal that Abraham discovered was the intercession of the gospel. Some of you are skeptical of Abraham's understanding of the gospel. But he grasped a core principle in his interaction with the LORD over Sodom. The Lord loves righteousness so much that He was willing to spare the wicked because of the righteousness of the righteous. How does that relate to the gospel? That is its very heart. The only reason any of us are spared from immediate and final judgment is that God has imputed to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He alone is truly righteous. He is our only righteousness. He is our only hope. Interceding in the face of judgment must be based upon the spread of the gospel. Many of us in these days sense an urgency to pray for unreached and unengaged people groups in the world. That is intercession for the gospel. Are you praying and giving and going and sending so the gospel will be available to all who Jesus died to save?

Today, I believe there is another facet of interceding in the face of judgment. That is crying out to God for His supernatural hand in our ministry to hurting people. The first major judgment of God was a mercy on the world because of what we had become. God saw that the thoughts and intents of the heart of man were only evil continually. (Gen. 6:5) I do not know what kind of judgment God is preparing to send. We may well be preparing to taste the 7 bowls of God’s wrath upon the earth. But the Bible speaks of another kind of judgment that is in many ways worse. This is the judgment of what we become. In Romans 1 Paul says that God gives men over to the perversions and corruption of our hearts. 2 Timothy 3 says that in the last days people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud arrogant, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. These are days in which we need to pray for God to use us to heal in the face of incredible wickedness all around and within us.

Father, we cry out for Your mighty hand upon us as we seek to be righteous, as we spread the gospel and as we show compassion to a hurting world.

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The Test of Love


Despite all of our divisions and denominations, the great test for every Christian is the test of love. Can we love without judging, when our brother believes differently than we do? Can we rejoice in the preaching of the gospel by those "less qualified" than ourselves? Can we allow for differences of opinion and interpretation while still agreeing on the essentials of the faith? 

This is the great test for every Christian: not simply to preach the gospel ourself, but to allow others to preach Christ in the knowledge they have attained, however limited. Paul recognized this in his letter to the Philippians. Instead of being upset by those who preached Christ out of "selfish ambition" or even contention, he rejoiced that the gospel was being preached at all! (SeePhilippians 1:15-18). Sometimes, even those who attack our faith end up drawing more attention to it, instead of causing its demise.

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10 Consequences of Failing to Pray in Ministry


Jesus is the greatest example of a leader and every godly leader should strive to emulate His example of consistent and committed prayer. Unfortunately, Christ-likeness, in this regard, eludes so many leaders today. In addition to missing out on being like Jesus, these leaders miss out on many of the other benefits of a fervent prayer life. Here are ten things leaders who fail to pray always miss out on.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on the joy of co-laboring with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). Instead of the exhilaration of answered prayer, they experience the monotony of ministry routine.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on what God could have done in and through them (James 4:2). God can sovereignly choose not to do what His followers selfishly choose not to pray for.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on God’s unparalleled power (Ephesians 3:20-21). Ministry quickly becomes an exercise of the flesh rather than a powerful work produced by faith (1 Thessalonians 1:3, James 5:16).

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on God’s peace (Philippians 4:6-7). Instead of casting their anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7), they struggle to fabricate ministry on their own, resulting in frustration, burnout and pride.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on victory in spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20). Instead of wrestling in prayer (Colossians 4:12) they resort to passivity and lethargy.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on God’s blessing (2 Chronicles 7:14). Content with the status quo, they arrogantly get stuck with it.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on God’s heart. Praying in line with God’s will (Matthew 6:10, John 14:13-14), unites a believer with His heart for His world, His people and His ministry; leaders who fail to pray fail to acquire His heart for those they serve.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on God’s vision and direction. Instead of prayerfully acquiring God’s wisdom (James 1:5), they negligently rely on their own.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on partnership with other believers. Prayer is an instrumental component of authentic fellowship (Acts 2:42) and leaders who fail to pray for other believers alienate themselves from them.

Leaders who fail to pray miss out on intimacy with God. Instead of uninterrupted intimacy with their Savior (John 15:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:17) they experience only a fraction of the fellowship they could be having with Him. This is undoubtedly the worst consequence of failing to pray. 

Samuel understood that leaders who fail to pray for those they lead sin against God (1 Samuel 12:23). Unfortunately, I often do just that, following the example of Jesus’ disciples in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46). If you feel the same way, I hope you’ll join me in confessing that failure as sin and recommitting to a vibrant prayer life. Andrew Murray encourages us writing, “Let us not make the feeble experiences of our unbelief the measure of what our faith may expect.” I hope and pray your greatest years of prayerful leadership are still ahead of you. 

Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer (Valley Forge, Pa: Trinity Press, 2012), 31.

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A 'Platform' on Our Knees

When I recently I hit 20,000 Twitter followers @BestBibleTweets, I started having eerie flashbacks of a conversation last year with a pastor friend named Steve. He had spent a considerable amount of time trying to build a social media “platform” to promote a book he had written. Some marketing guru apparently had told him that if he could gain 20,000 followers on Twitter, it would be a breeze to sell his book.


      It took several years, but finally Steve achieved his Twitter goal and was ready to launch the book. He was so excited. Steve was convinced his book would sweep the country, if not the world.


      Unfortunately, things didn’t work out so well. He had invested most of his life savings to design and print 10,000 books, figuring he could easily recoup his investment when the books sold.


      But within four or five months of launching the book, reality was beginning to set in. Instead of selling thousands of books, he had sold only hundreds. And he found himself giving away many copies of the book for free to friends and relatives.


      Steve was bewildered. He thought he had built a pretty impressive platform. But somehow the response from his Twitter followers and Facebook friends was lukewarm, at best.


      Meanwhile, Steve had withdrawn from most of his pastoral responsibilities so he could go on the road and promote the book. He spoke at some churches, did some book signings, and even was interviewed on a few local radio programs. But despite these noble efforts, he still had over 9,000 books stored in his garage.


      If you are looking for an easy moral to this story, I’m not sure I have one.


      I’ve seen lots of disillusionment over the years from those who sought a higher platform. Some of these people seemed very well-intentioned, with a sincere passion to impact the world with their message. But in other cases, the message seemed to get buried amid narcissism and self-promotion.


      I’m not against platforms. I’m glad to have an ever-growing tribe of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I want to get my messages to an ever-wider audience.


      But I’m still wary of all of the social media hoopla. The Bible is clear that true promotion must come from the Lord, and nowhere else (Psalm 75:6-7). If you are trusting in something else or someone else to give you a platform, you’re likely to be greatly disappointed.


      The more I walk with the Lord, the more it seems like the safest “platform” is the one closest to the ground—where we humble ourselves before others to serve them and wash their feet (John 13). And doesn’t this kind of face-to-face, hands-on, behind-the-scenes ministry bear greater fruit in the long run than any lofty type of platform?


      When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, will He really ask us how big our platform was? Or will He simply want to know whether we faithfully loved and served people with whatever platform we were given?


      Despite the clear words of Jesus, it seems we’re still prone to seek the place of honor at the banqueting table instead of the place of service (Luke 14:7-11). Meanwhile, Jesus’ model of leadership was to build a platform to lift others higher, not ourselves.



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Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody

9651007487?profile=originalFor two years, a handful of members at my church have gathered for prayer in our Lighthouse Prayer Chapel during at least one weekend service. Every weekend, we lay down our own agenda and life’s general busyness, and pursue one thing. We ask God to be increasingly present and powerful in Kentwood Community Church (KCC). ministries and services. We ask Him to reveal Himself, and lead the services to a deeper experience of his purpose, presence and power.  (see Jer. 29.11-13)  Without God, our efforts at ministry fall flat. There’s not one heart we can change, one life that can be lifted, or one program that will be successful without the Power of God through is Holy Spirit, and the Word of God guiding us in truth.


Most KCC’ers, and many believers haven’t experienced an extended prayer time. The idea of praying together in a group for 70 - 90 minutes is intimidating and unknown. At the same time, we mentally agree that praying together for the church ministries is a good thing. Prayer is something that ‘somebody’ should do. This reminds me of a poem I heard somewhere long ago.


The Parable of Responsibility  


Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody came to church one Sunday.

There was an important job to do and Everybody was asked to do it.

Everybody was sure that Somebody would take up the challenge.

Anybody would have done it, but in the end Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that Anybody wouldn’t do it.

In the end, Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.


We started the Outlet Prayer Ministry to end Everybody’s, Somebody’s Nobody’s and Anybody’s dilemma when it comes to prayer. Jesus encourages us all to pray.


  • He set the example for us to follow.
  • He chided his followers when they couldn’t minister to others because of their lack of prayer.
  • He longed for their support in the Garden, asked them to come along with Him.
  • He lamented when they couldn’t pray just an hour with Him.


Jesus promised power, and positive results when we follow his example, accept his invitation, and then follow through by laying down our agenda, and spending time in prayer. Maybe your church could establish the same kind of prayer group. I would love to know what you think about this idea.


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Am I Praying for my Agenda or His?

9651007487?profile=originalAs a Christ-follower, I have a laundry list of things, important things on my prayer list. Children, finances, job issues, friends going through tough times – I can go on. God I need this. God, I want you do that. I don't know about you, but when I pray this way, focusing on my laundry list, my prayers seem like they bounce off a brass ceiling, and fall to the ground around me. I'm not saying that we shouldn't pray for situations like these, Yet if all I do is ask for stuff, it's not long before I sense something in my prayer life is missing. I wind up spiritually dry and unexcited about the eternal.

There are no rules when we pray, yet God's Word gives gentle instructions. We can't manufacture God's power. Yet when we pray, and follow his pattern, He promises He WILL show up. The purpose of a prayer ministry, any prayer ministry, is to find and follow God’s pattern in order to find God’s promised response. Based in God's Word, we know when we pray and wait expectantly, our Heavenly Father does what we can't. The acronym ACTS is a great way to focus on his pattern as a guide.

Adoration (Praise): Psalm 100 says: “Enter into God's gates with thanksgiving, and come into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him, and bless his Holy name. (Ps 100.4) When we gather together, intercessors should resist the temptation to start with our laundry list. Instead we take time to praise, and worship God for who He is. We take time to recognize we are coming into the courts of the Creator of the Universe, and He is worthy of our praise.

Confession: Psalm 66.18 says: “If I regard, (or hold onto) iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Jesus encourages us to take this idea seriously. He says that when we come to worship, if we remember that we have something against someone, that we should leave our sacrifice, and reconcile or make the situation right before we come to worship. Does this mean I have to be perfect before God will hear my prayers? No. It means that God expects that we live what we say we believe, and do what we can to live in right relationships with others.

Thanksgiving: Phil 4.6 says: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Thanksgiving naturally flows from a heart that is filled with worship, and that has been cleansed of sins. We are naturally thankful when we can see God's greatness, our humanness, and how Jesus has bridged the gap. Thanksgiving differs from praise and worship in that worship lifts up who God is, thanksgiving focuses on what God's done.

Supplication (Intercession) : 1 Thess 5.16-18 says: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Finally we get to our laundry list, but when we start by focusing on God, and his requests of us, theirs is a change in my attitude. After focusing on God's glory, dealing with our sins, and spending time thanking Him for all the things He's done in our lives, my laundry list isn't all about me anymore. It's about God, His glory and how we can be a part of His plans.

If you’re involved in a prayer ministry or prayer group at your church, I challenge you to change your focus for the next few times you gather. Put your laundry list in the pocket of your bible case until you spend time in God’s presence, longing for him instead of stuff. In Jeremiah 29.11-13, God says that when we seek him, we will find him, when we search for him with all our hearts. The condition resides with us. We have to lay down our agenda, our to do list, our expectations and wait on him before we will see clearly to pray according to his priorities.

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9651006296?profile=originalEver traveled through a major city, and had the opportunity to see a one of the nations' “Grand Central Stations”? Chicago's is called Union Station, as is the transportation center in Kansas City, St. Louis and Los Angeles and Washington DC. Each of these are modeled after the architectural wonder in New York, the majestic Grand Central Station. Built in 1871, Grand Central Station rivaled the Eiffel Tower for its architectural grandeur. At the beginning of the 20th century, cities with extensive public transportation systems built these hubs to link bus, rail train and local metro trains to simplify the process of getting from point A to point B. 

I've traveled though Chicago's Union Station often, and recently rode the Subway in and out of Manhattan. I marvel at the number of people processed across the ticket counters and through the turnstiles daily. Standing in the station during rush hour is another life changing experience. The vaulted ceilings and marble pillars amplify every conversation. It's not the kind of place where you can have a quiet private conversation. During rush hour, you can barely hear yourself think above the din of travelers and public announcements.

I can only imagine how at times, Jesus' life must have been like standing in the middle of Grand Central Station at rush hour. After gaining popularity, Jesus was often met by throngs of people who wanted to hear the itinerant rabbi teach, or press Him for a miracle. Yet Jesus was always on task, focused, and never lost sight of his Father's purpose for his life.

This was His secret. 

And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. Mark 1:34-36

Jesus was focused on his calling and ministry, the things that were important to his Father because he regularly made time away from the crowds, clamor and tumult of public life and career to talk with his Father. Prayer was His priority. Prayer was his vital breath.

I can look over my Christian life, and see that during the times I made a daily prayer time a priority, I was much more focused, stable and centered on my life in Christ. When I let the crowd push into my life and push prayer out, hearing God was like trying to talk to a friend while standing in Grand Central Station during rush hour.

If you want to your prayer life to continue to grow, I want to invite you to join me and commit to daily prayer, away from the crowds, centered on God and his word. we eat every day, get to work, spend time talking to our family, etc. We make time for what is important. Maybe it's time we stop submitting to the Devils schemes, and make time for the most important task of the say. Whether you pray alone or in a group, you will experience God's power and presence in a new way. Nothing turns up the temperature of your spiritual life than standing in God's presence, knowing you're heard and sensing His presence and personal reply.

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Shouting at God

Today, I am going to write the first of a series of devotional thoughts about Psalm 13. In this psalm there can be found a desperate man, David, calling out to God with all that he had.
First, a little background. It is likely that David wrote this psalm/song/prayer while being pursued by Saul in the mountains. This prayer was used by the Israelite's (and us) to ask for help in the face of long term struggles, illness, persecution, poverty, etc.
One of the keys to this psalm is found in the first two verses where David asks the same question four times. "How long?" I know for sure that we have all asked that question many times. In this prayer David is weeping in grief. These four questions form the basis for the devotional today.

1. How long will you forget me, Lord? Will it be forever?! This is a question that people of all eras of history have asked. But just like us they expected God to give them a microwave answer. They wanted an instant solution. Sometimes God says wait awhile because He wants us to learn something.

2. How long will you hide from me? In the heat of the battle we all wonder where God is. He is not absent as we suppose. He is busy working out all things for our good. 

3. How long must I worry and feel sad in my heart all day long? This is another ageless question. Every person has asked this question. The answer is not an easy one, but a clue is found at the end of Matthew 6. Jesus says each day has enough trouble of it's own. He says to concentrate on today and to do all you can to make things right and then trust Him for the rest. In other words the worries for tomorrow should be left to Him.

4. How long will my enemy win over me? Yikes, that is close isn't it? It seems that everybody has had someone taunt, bully, discourage us by attacking us physically, verbally or emotionally. 

These four questions come from the depths of our souls and deserve an answer. In the next day or two you can read here what has been learned.

But for today, know this: It is alright to ask God these tough questions. He is not bothered by honest and brutal questions. He doesn't remove His love from us because we question Him. In fact, He uses these times of questioning to build us up for His purposes. Because He works all things together for His purposes.

A simple prayer: Oh Lord, I need relief. I trust in You for that relief. I am waiting patiently (sort of) for Your answer and teaching.

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