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Expectant Prayers 

Jennifer Jo Weiss

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The prayer list at Expectant Prayers is getting longer and longer.  Everywhere we look we see the battles raging.  Does anyone else see that we are living in the end times - the period of time right before the return of Christ?  The devil knows his time is short so he is seeking out whomever he can destroy.  He targets weak, defenseless, wounded - but he is also going after those who are making an impact for the Kingdom of God.  We as Christians should not even be starting our day without praying, putting on the full armor of God, clothing ourselves with righteousness, and relying on the Holy Spirit to guide, empower, discern, impart wisdom, and encourage.  God is also our peace in the midst of the storm.   For the body of Christ, we must assume positions like Aaron and Hur when they held up Moses' arms to win the battle against the Amalakites.  Intercession is very needed!  We must stand in the battle together.  We also need to encourage one another more and more!

 We must pray, pray, PRAY! 

PS - If you have a prayer request, feel free to leave it in the comments!  Blessings!

Let GO!

Do you remember this old Spiritual? 

 LET MY PEOPLE GO:

When Israel was in Egypt’s land,
Let My people go!
Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let My people go!

Refrain:
Go down, Moses,
Way down in Egypt’s land;
Tell old Pharaoh
To let My people go!

No more shall they in bondage toil,
Let My people go!
Let them come out with Egypt’s spoil,
Let My people go!

Oh, let us all from bondage flee,
Let My people go!
And let us all in Christ be free,
Let My people go!

You need not always weep and mourn,
Let My people go!
And wear these slav’ry chains forlorn,
Let My people go!

Your foes shall not before you stand,
Let My people go!
And you’ll possess fair Canaan’s land,
Let My people go!

Back at the end of 2009, I heard the Lord saying, “Only take into 2010 what you absolutely need.  Leave everything else behind.”   It was so significant to me that I wrote it on my calendar and reminded myself of it every month.  This word came in very handy as we were moving and having to sort through almost 20 years of stuff we’d accumulated over our married years.   I kept reminding myself to let go of the things I really didn’t need.  Eventually we “let go” of two large trailers full of items, plus several lawn and leaf bags full of clothing, toys, etc.    We also put everything else that wasn’t essential (but we wanted to keep for our new house) in a storage unit.  It’s funny that after we moved, we ended up getting rid of even more things that we had stored!  

Allowing the Holy Spirit to move in our lives in such a way that He refines and purifies is a good thing.  He can bring radical change – even re-prioritizing our relationships and attachments.  This is not only true for possessions, but of matters of the heart and spirit as well.

We also must be careful that things we feel like we just have to hold onto may in the end have a hold on us!  Think about that statement for a minute.   


I am not alone in the Spiritual Spring Cleaning concept.  This theme also seems to
running through my circle of prayer friends for 2011... "Let things go!"   

I also find that in God's numbers 11 is the number for destruction.  What does that mean for the church?

Be Prepared for a challenging year....

There are so many people that say, “Ah, I wouldn’t want to repeat 2010”, but I think in many ways people are going to be affected even worse than in 2010 in various ways.  Not only do we need to learn to let go, but I feel like the oppression of the enemy is going to be very great and God’s people will cry out once again, “Let my people go!” We must declare in authority to the devil, “Let GO!”

 But, I also feel the Lord saying that when the enemy comes in like a flood, He will raise up a standard against it.  Even in the darkest of nights, His light still shines and we will be like the children of Israel in Goshen.  Darkness fell across Egypt, but there was still light in Goshen and it poured forth from their homes.  Those in the darkness marveled at the light and asked “How can this be?”  

Even if circumstances around us seem to crumble, God will be the sustaining force in our lives.  Now will be the proof of the work he has done in our hearts – as we shine for Him.   I also feel like this destruction will boomerang on the devil as far as the righteous believers he tries to overcome.  The foot of the righteous will hold firm, but the works of the enemy are going to be destroyed!

For the church, the true remnant will be revived...

For those who allow it, God will revive and they will be infused with power from on high!  Even in the midst of turmoil, His glory shining through their lives will be bright - as the sun.   The trials of life will bring out the best in the body of Christ.  Pressures will cause purity to arise.   Out of the abundance of their hearts their mouth will speak - praise, glory, honor, and power to God!

 More shaking....

I would not be surprised if we see more and more events unfolding that are going to shake this world.  Just think of what the Word warns us about in the last days... wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, earthquakes, famine, etc. etc.  The Word also declares that everything that can be shaken will be shaken.  That's not just referring to the physical world, but the Spiritual one as well.  But, He also promises us that He will never let the righteous be shaken.  When these things happen, we will stand unmoved because we are fixed to the foundation – the solid rock, Jesus Christ.   In all this shaking, God wants to get man’s attention so that all may come to Him.  He may allow things in this country that we haven’t seen before or at least in a long time.   

 God never wants us to be in the dark or informed about what is occurring individually or in the world around us.   Therefore, I believe He is giving us a "heads up" on the current conditions.

Concerning the current conditions of the world, I believe God is using something very familiar to all of us to warn us of the days ahead...  9/11. 

I was also reminded that every month this year, there will be a 9/11 (12 total):

  1/9/11, 2/9/11, 3/9/11, 4/9/11, 5/9/11, 6/9/11, 7/9/11, 8/9/11, 9/9/11, 10/9/11, 11/9/11, 12/9/11

 We can already see how January brought the tragedy in Tucson – and so close to 1/9/11.  In fact, most people were hearing about it on Sunday the 9th.  Then the connection with the little girl’s death and she was born on 9/11/01.  Incidentally, we have a son – Leviticus  - that was born on the morning of 9/11/01!  My heart breaks for these families affected by this tragedy and they are in my heart and prayers.  I can only wonder, however, what might be next….  

 The devil is seeking our destruction.  He is going to reap havoc this year!

God has his plans for "destruction" as well....

 BUT again, when the devil comes in like a flood, God will raise up a standard for His children.  God is seeking to destroy the works of the devil this year.  He will display His power in many ways. He will show Himself mighty and His name will be glorified.  Watch for God to manifest Himself in wonderful ways, but we must also watch and beware because the false is going to flow.  Only those close to the Lord will be able to tell the difference and guard themselves!

I do not share these things to inflict fear or doubt... but to share with you what God has placed on my heart so we can watch and be in prayer.  These things are to protect us, not wound.

Conclusion:

We should only take into the New Year what we absolutely need and nothing else.  Life has enough baggage without us adding to the weight. De-clutter the closets of your life.  Learn to let go.  The time is here to leave the past in the past and move forward.  You cannot put your hand to the plow and turn back.   Turn your eyes toward Jesus and fix them upon Him.  Release those things you do not need in 2011.

What is this message saying to you today?

 

Opinions of Cleanliness

Different people have different opinions of what cleanliness is!   For my little boys -  they think if they have the dirty underwear and clothes off the floor and most of their things put away, then the room is clean.   Never mind the waded up used tissues lying beside the trashcan, the matchbox cars on top of the night stand, the fact that their beds are half-way made - and perhaps half the mattress hanging off one side, the dust a quarter of an inch thick on the dressers, mountains of items shoved into the closet, and fingerprints all up and down the wall mirror!    To me, that is NOT clean!  I've had to tell them on numerous occasions now, "Boys, that is just not acceptable!"

Now that we are trying to move, I guess I am even more obsessive about how clean the house stays.  Knowing that other people are going to come in and look at the house; it adds an element of pressure and somewhat fear that our house will be judged according to what's on the inside.   I usually am a reasonably neat housekeeper (so I have been told), but feeling the weight of the accountability makes me even more determined to keep the eight people and dog who live in this house under a watchful eye!  

Isn't it funny how we think our lives are all clean, but in reality they may not be?  None of us are perfect, but are continually being perfected by a perfect and awesome God! 

 He is the plumb line - the definition of what is clean, right, honest, just, pure, lovely, etc.    We may think we've cleaned up an area of our hearts only to find out that according to God, it is not pleasing or acceptable to Him.   Is it really our heart cry to let the words of our mouths and the thoughts of our hearts be pleasing and acceptable to Him?   (Psalm 19:14)  Unfortunately, many have lost the conviction (and perhaps definition) of what sin is.  We don't realize that the mess we have going on inside is exactly how God judges us.  Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart!   (1 Samuel 16:7).     Do we even really grasp that we are accountable to God and each other for our spiritual house?  His watchful eye sees all and knows all.  There isn't any crack or crevasse that goes unnoticed.

Relativism is of no consequence.  We tend to judge how well we are doing spiritually by comparing ourselves to what is going on in an ever increasing evil world.  

Take this as an example.  We had new carpet installed just a few years ago all over our house.  We've noticed that there was some wear and dirt, so over time we've cleaned the carpets a few times.  They looked clean, but nothing is like removing a piece of furniture from the room to reveal how clean the unaffected carpet was and how dingy the exposed carpet had become.   Once you see how different the comparison is based upon the unaltered truth - it's eye opening.    The same is for the Word of God - His truth unaltered and revealed to man.  We will not be judged against anything except the pure Word of God. 

One helpful hint is that we should allow God to examine our hearts daily - to remove the unneeded clutter and trash and show us what clean really is!   As with cleaning a physical house, daily maintenance is better than trying to fix or clean months or years worth of messes!

My prayer for us today as the body of Christ is that we will allow the Holy Spirit to show us what clean really is and to not justify, accept, defend, or hold onto anything that is unclean.   May He wash us with the power of Jesus blood, the water of the Word, and the cleansing purifying fire of His Spirit!   We want our lives to shine with His light, not through dirty windows, cracks in the foundation, or anything else.   May we be pleasing and acceptable to Him today  - as a bride getting ready for her wedding.   After all, He desires to come for a church that is without spot or wrinkle!



 


The "Go To"

I caught a few minutes of a television show the other night where a Hollywood star was being interviewed.  He was in the middle of discussing the long battle he and his wife had with infertility and how the long journey toward parenthood changed him and his wife.  After realizing there was a problem, they sought help.  They consulted many doctors to see what their options were in trying to conceive.  Some were leaning toward invasive medical procedures and others a more holistic approach.   He said of his wife that she didn't like all the medicines, needles, and other methods that traditional medicine offers.   He said, "They weren't her go to."    Eventually they ended up consulting a psychic that led them to a specific doctor.  They went to him for treatment and just like a snap of the fingers - they were expecting.  

 Of course, some things he said didn't ring well in my spirit (such as consulting the psychic), but I kept muddling the words "GO TO" over and over in my mind.   I guess it hit home that we all have a "go to".  Our go to is what we naturally rely on and have a tendency to fall back on - especially when a need or problem arises.   It just depends on who or what that go to is!

You see, people are creatures of habit.  And if we find something that seems to work, we tend to put more faith and trust in that thing that it will work again.   For example, if I have a headache, I go to the cupboard and take some acetaminophen.  Usually within 20 minutes or so, I feel better.  It's my headache go to.   That's a simple example, but it stretches over the scope of life's decisions.   If something seems to work for us, then we don't easily want to change it.  Our reaction becomes: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  How often do we rely on things other than what we should!  Thinking about the Hollywood star, I thought they may have had the end results that they wanted, but their "GO TO" was a deceptive substitute for the REAL DEAL!

I hope as Christians we can all say:  "God is my go to" and really live out what we believe!  Too often, however, I see Christians who make God their last resort instead of bringing Him initially into the situation!  If  we have a problem, He should be our first line of defense.  If we have a decision to make, He should be there from the beginning as we pray for wisdom and direction.   We must trust Him with our lives completely; confident that He knows and wants the best for us at all times.   That doesn't mean we're always going to like it when He says, "NO" or "NOT NOW - WAIT".  But either you plan to walk in His will or you don't.   If He is not our go to, then the question is - what or who is your go to?

I have a friend that I pray with regularly.  Often when she is praying for someone who has a need, the Holy Spirit prompts her to speak the phrase, "Go to God".     I believe when we go through things sometimes, we need reminded that it's as simple as going to Him and expecting Him to take care of it.  Focus on God, not the problem - turn your eyes toward Jesus and watch what He can do!   God wants us to know that there is nothing in our lives that is too big or too small for Him to handle.   I don't know if you've come here today bearing a burden or uplifting a need - but His grace and power are sufficient.   Let me encourage you.... go to God today.   Allow Him to be your go to!

  

Going for the Gold

With all the talk of the Olympics lately, one can't help but think of this verse: 

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:14

My question today is, "Are we (Christians) living like champions?" 

I was totally impressed with the half pipe Olympian, Shaun White, last night.  He not only smoked the competition with his first run, but he did not disappoint with the second run either – one he didn’t even have to make in order to win gold.   After knowing that the victory was already won after the first round, he stood at the top of the pipe discussing what he should do for the second run.  Briefly he made the comment, “Should I just ride down the middle?”   But, true to the champion he is, he took that opportunity to do his very best – even throwing in a difficult maneuver at the very end.  It not only delighted the crowd, but it was also scored higher than the first run!   

Similarly, knowing that Christ has already given us the victory should not be a reason to lazy our way into the Kingdom.  It should be a freeing factor, however, removing all the stress and pressure – enabling us to do our best to shine for Him!    Our confidence in Christ gives way to confidence in our purpose and potential.  We have nothing that we have to “prove”.   We just have to identify with who we already are – winners – and live it out!  

How are champions made?  Are they born winners or do they gain their skill over time?
Champions of the faith may not be "born", but they are "born again"!  We realize that we are saved by grace and we live, move, and have our being in Him.  He is the power behind every action. 

Anyone who competes would tell you that you may have some raw talent, but champion-type-skills are perfected through discipline, practice, and dedication.   There are a lot of failures along the way too - but these setbacks do not distract from giving their all - doing their best - and reaching for the gold.  Several of the Olympic gold medalists didn’t even medal their first time at the games.  Disappointment lingered for four years until they had their chance again.  That’s determination, stamina, and dedication!  Are we willing to put in the time, energy, and effort as we press toward the goal?   When we fall, we are not utterly destroyed.  We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and learn from our mistakes.  Each experience, good and bad, lead us toward our destination.    God is gracious and merciful.  For an amazing race, you need amazing grace.

Also, part of the journey toward going for the gold is a mind set.  To be a champion - you have to think like a champion.  Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."    You have to go for it with all your heart, your entire mind, and all your strength.   Keep the faith.  Do it well with all your might!   Keep your mind set on things above.  I’ve often heard Olympians talk about keeping their mind engaged in every action.  You complete one move and immediately begin to think about the next one you’ll have to perform.  Not only that, but training takes discipline of the mind and determining to not anything stop you from reaching your goal.  Staying engaged in the event is like the verse that compels us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Now that’s FOCUS!

For the Christian, it’s not really pressing for the “what”, but rather the “whom”.  You cannot get the GOLD without GOD.  The motivation is not in receiving the reward, but for living and doing your very best as you are empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Even when we receive eternal rewards such as crowns of gold encrusted with jewels – they will not be idolized – we will place them at Jesus feet!   We do all we do for Him.

Gold medal winners are a representation of what they do - the reward is a testament of a job well done.  Think of the Olympians – when you are a medal winner in your sport, your name is synonymous with the sport you perform.    In essence, we are ambassadors of Christ.  Do others look at us and see Christ and the spiritual gifts he’s given to us? 

Be a champion for Christ today and press on toward the goal!

 





David Wilkerson Talking About Anguish

The Sabbatical is Over

For my dear readers, thank you for your patience as we have been away for some time on what I would like to classify as a sabbatical.  Hopefully now we can return to some normal blogs rather than ONLY our mini devotions that I have been posting, which can also be found on Facebook.  If you have not signed up to be a fan with us, we would love it if you would join our Expectant Prayers movement!   I do my best to post something fresh and new five days a week.  The postings on Facebook are whatever the Lord placed on my heart during daily prayer.  It’s not just for expectant mothers… it’s for the body of Christ who lives with expectant hearts!  We only have 37 or so fans currently and would love to see the impact of Expectant Prayers grow!

2009 IN REVIEW:  Living the Unexpected

"And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will."  2 Corinthians 8:5

Last year turned out to be not what we expected at all!  But, as we have learned before and can say with living proof – He is God of ALL ; things expected and unexpected!  The beginnings of the year boasted promises, hopes, and dreams.   January  through March of 2009 was spent planning for a move, writing on several new books, and hoping to see my parents make a move either closer to my sister or to my family.  Unfortunately, mom had her stroke in on March 9th and died ten days later. 

After mom’s passing, it seemed like everything outside of our personal lives and four walls of our home just stopped.  We did not move,  I didn’t complete a single new book, I cancelled speaking engagements and did nothing ministry-wise that wasn’t absolutely necessary!   This was disappointing in some ways, but looking back - I believe what was accomplished was exactly what was supposed to be accomplished.   Taking time to rest is so very important!  But it was more than rest.  It was also a time of God taking us to the depths of anguish.   Trials by fire.  It’s a purifying and cleansing time – painful, yet so profitable.  Some of the best things in life are born of anguish.  It’s a birthing process to new things where we learn of the Spirit of God things that could never be taught by men.

I can’t begin to tell you what her loss has meant to all of us.  With her passing, it feels that a piece of our hearts went with her.  She was an intercessor and best friend.  Her love and support encouraged all of us and we’ve needed time to heal.  Her absence has left my sister, my dad, and me coping with grief and trying our best to adjust to a new normal.   We’re not quite “there” yet and frankly, I’m not sure that there IS a place to arrive.   I think it’ all part of the journey and remembering the past through God’s perspective helps filter and guide our destinations tomorrow.  

I’ve taken the past 10 months to rest and nurture my family and faith. God, in His graciousness, let me know that it was okay to put things aside and simply nuzzle into His presence.  After all, He knew all this was coming anyway.   It was hard for me in some ways because I am so task-oriented.  In other ways, though, I’m not sure what quality of writing/ministering would have emerged as most of the past 10 months seems like a blur/fog.   All of life didn’t cease, however.  The hustle and bustle of the normal Big Weiss Family life has still remained.   We’re still a homeschooling family – which always takes great effort.   We’ve also taken on additional roles to help with my dad.  He’s trying to get his condo in Ohio sold so that he can move out with one of us girls.  There has also been a lot of family business to take care of after mom's passing.  Thankfully, most of the legal issues concluded in December.

 It’s hard to describe to someone looking on with no personal point of reference what loss can do and how grief can so deeply affect your life.    Unfortunately, there are no visible scars and no casts for broken hearts.     But, just like any physical injury, emotional ones need time to repair too. 

So dear readers, the cast if off so to speak and I am ready to gingerly enter my new beginning.   It will probably take a little while to get back into the full swing of things.  I believe God has promised me a mighty, abundant harvest in 2010!  The soil of my life has been at rest for an entire year!  It’s fertile and tilled by trial.  Amid the trial, He has never left or forsaken us!  He has allowed all of this for a reason and it will bring Him honor and glory.

"For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you."  Isaiah 64:3

 

WHAT’S GOING ON THIS YEAR:

Your guess is as good as mine.  We have several projects near completion and many, many more to go.  God is working and expanding our horizons.  I anticipate there are going to be loads of unexpected events this year, so I’m not counting or discounting anything!  We are praying and planning on finally making a move as well as added ministry ventures.    Our hearts are expectant with anticipation that God’s will IS going to be accomplished in and through us.

 

WON’T YOU JOIN US IN PRAYER?

We are asking everyone who reads our blogs or believes in our ministry of living expectantly will become prayer partners with and for us during this year.   We know without a doubt that if we approach God’s will and purpose through prayer and keep ourselves in right relationship with Him that He will do above and beyond all that we can ask or imagine!

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Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

 

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