Lessons I’m Learning From My Sabbatical – Part 2
Let us PRAY NOW: “Oh Lord please may I hear, obey, and act on changes You would have me make in my life. Speak to me, as I read about the lessons You have given Colin on sabbatical. In Jesus name, amen.”
STEPS TOWARD A NEW LEVEL AND DEPTH OF INTERCESSION
I love praying with, into, and over people’s lives individually. In addition, I enjoy praying in a wide variety of corporate places and spaces. Most recently, a new discovery was “Prayer Tubing!” LOL! Yes, I was praying with people while tubing down the San Marcos river with our family. The intercession I’ve found most difficult is praying with much or even any effectiveness on my own, alone with God.
Most often, within a minute or two at max, I find my “thinking” has drowned out completely. And any form of communication I was having with my Father is gone! In those moments, I end up giving up after two or three attempts, and go back to worship or reading God’s Word. Then I’ll have early morning prayer time with my Darling Bride.
On the sabbatical, besides the Bible, I only had two other books with me that I also strongly encourage you to get and read regularly. Get “Reese Howells Intercessor” by Norman Grubb, and Andrew Murray’s “The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer.”
• God used Andrew Murray’s Chapter on “IS PRAYERLESSNESS SIN?” to shatter the lie in my mind and spirit.
I was holding the lie that I could not pray on my own alone with God. Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrr! And I quote: “What we need is a revelation from God that our lack of prayer is an indication of unfaithfulness. (Ouch the truth hurts!) Unfaithfulness to our vow of consecration that gave God all our heart and life.
Our prayerlessness means that we have little taste or desire for fellowship with God. It shows that our faith rests more on our own work and efforts than on the power of God.” Just pause and consider this possibility in your own life and I know it has been in my life. I need regular refreshers to rescue me from prayerlessness. And I gently remind you that there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. His grace is sufficient for you to grow significantly in your prayer life. Your growth in prayer is our under-girding purpose of Igniting Prayer Action, including this written instrument we call IGNITE.
• In my 3rd week on sabbatical in Wales…
I was gradually coming out of my fog of exhaustion. And after having been on a Daniel fast, the Lord continued to nudge me toward a 21-day mainly water fast, with a little tea and coffee. Also, I was completely unplugged electronically, except for Sunday evenings with family.
• Together with these factors and the pictures described God led me in a 2-3 hour labor of daily intercession.
I was praying two different scriptures each day of the 21-day fast. As I was interceding in and over the lives of family members, neighbors, and ministry partners, I realized I had names of about 170 people in all.
• God birthed in my heart an even deeper love for each of these names.
I would meet you (them) before the throne of grace in prayer. I’ve just reignited this particular work of intercession on one day a week as a part of my early morning time with God! And as I pray out loud softly, God is giving me hours of intercession. THANK YOU JESUS!!
LIVING AND WORKING IN A RHYTHM OF REST
We all know, too sadly, what it means to live a crazy paced, decision making and activity driven life style. I know that is how I landed up in such a state of exhaustion. One of the listening to God exercises that helped grow a slower paced and a greater intentionality toward REST mentality was playing chess with God!
I say what? Yes when I shared this with Christopher, Ashley, and Caleb on a Facetime session one Sunday, we landed up in hysterical laughter. Christopher said: “Dad I think you’ve really lost it and that Mum’s actually sent you to a “funny farm.” YOu’re using your sabbatical as a cover up!!” LOL! Although we laughed, I think there was a bit of seriousness to his statement.
Anyway all jokes aside one of the revelations I received in the middle of our second game, I’d just moved and then spoke out loud to the Lord saying: “Lord how do You want to move through me?” It hit me what a wonderful way to ask God this question instead of what I have pretty much always done and probably you too, we say: “OK Lord what do You want me to do here, which way do You want me to go and these questions leave a lot of US in the way whereas by asking God how HE wants to move through us it is ALL OF HIM going to move THROUGH me pushing aside pretty much all of ourselves.
God gave me three beautiful days at Ffald y Brenin.
It’s a beautiful award-winning Christian Retreat Centre in the Preseli hills near the sea in southwest Wales. In fact, it’s become internationally renowned through the hundreds of remarkable encounters our visitors have experienced with the Lord. The books The Grace Outpouring and The Way of Blessing, by Roy Godwin, recount some of those stories.
I had the joy to meet with Roy Godwin the director and highly recommend both his books as instruments to grow your faith and prayer life. Recently, I participated in the rhythm of daily prayer consisting of 4 short 15 -30 minute simple prayer services that are filled with the presence of the Lord in clear and beautiful ways. The prayer services are splashed throughout the day and late evening.
Ffald y Brenin has grown as a Christian ministry that reaches out across the world with a message of hope, life and liberty because of the Father’s amazing saving gift of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s the home of the global phenomena called Local Houses of Prayer. And this simple HOP Challenge is what I would love for you to ask God about making a part of your daily prayer life. We regularly welcome a mix of guests from many nations who visit, stay, or attend our Conferences or monthly Prayer Day.
Also, “REFINE YOUR FOCUS” was a continuous ringing in my heart and mind in all aspects of my life.
The Lord gave me three “Heart Focus Filters” standing upon this bedrock of my life. To love the Lord my God with all my heart soul and mind and to love with a refreshed intentionality my Darling Bride and family.
• START SLOWLY with God every day
• BUILD STEADILY in prayer
• LOVE DEEPLY like Jesus
I’ve been finding if I’m not living a day in a rhythm of rest I run my situation/circumstances through these filters and quite quickly the Lord brings me back into His REST, peace and joy. It is out of these sabbatical experiences and particularly my days at Ffald-y-Brenin and the reading of Roy’s two books that the Lord birthed this simple PRAY FOR 5:5:5 challenge I give to you.
Assess the risk of “not doing something” God might be calling you to do?
Who might not be saved, healed, provided for, trained to be a disciple maker, if you do not accept this challenge? If you are already doing something similar then I encourage you to share that challenge to pray and share your love for Jesus to others in your life.
PLEASE ACCEPT THIS IGNITING PRAYER ACTION CHALLENGE?
Pray for 5:5:5
• Five lost family, neighbors or friends
• Five minutes of scripture-based prayer/day
• 5 days/week
Unite with 3 or 4 others once a week and ignite your home/office as a house of prayer. Be sure to ask God how He wants you to reach/love on and serve the lost ones you’re praying for. The site, www.zumeproject.com, is an excellent online in life discipleship training tool. And God can use it to turn your HOP into a church planting movement of disciples worth multiplying.