Fasting for America – Day 3 of 3 – Praying for the Election

It has now been 50 hours since I began fasting for America before the elections. I was so encouraged late yesterday upon hearing more people are fasting. The prayer warriors from a local church prayer ministry, and another dear friend will all be fasting Sunday through Tuesday. Isn’t that exciting?

It is not too late to fast before the election, if your health allows. Even one meal will certainly make an impact in heaven and on earth!

As I enter my 3rd day, I notice my prayers are becoming more and more specific. Allow me to share them with you, and please join me in these requests as you feel led. Remember, Jesus told the disciples that whatever we loose on earth will already have been loosed in Heaven, and whatever we bind on earth will already have been bound in Heaven. He stays one step ahead of us, guiding us in His will!

Prayers – in the name of Jesus and with the strength of His whole kingdom:

Holy Father, please loose the Holy Spirit in every polling place between now and Tuesday, November 8th! Bind every deception and lie… Don’t allow them to prosper! Loose the Holy Spirit all over this country, your country, that He may take over this process, and that we may be freed from the workings of evil.

Bring every untruth to light, and make the people aware of those lies while there is still time to impact their decisions.

Lord, wake up Your people everywhere, but especially in the battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Turn those states to wisdom and away from false beliefs that hurt the people.

Pour out wisdom upon those who know You, and even on those who do not, if they have ears to hear. Lord, please do not allow Your people to buy into false stories.

Father, prevent voter fraud, and if it does happen, let it come to light quickly and be corrected before it highjacks any election data! Let the voice of the people be heard clearly and reflected with all honest ballots reported!

Holy Spirit, speak truth and provide guidance to everyone voting, to all who can hear. Open the ears of those who cannot. Let wisdom make a comeback in our people and in our land!

Over and above all, Father, let your will be done on Tuesday. Let your will be done!

Prayer warriors, I hope you will share this with others while we still have time to make a difference. When God’s people rise up and fight ‘on their knees’ and through fasting (those who are able), what mountains might He move on our behalf? I believe we can still see revival and renewal all over this great country that has been a beacon of hope and refuge for so many all over the world for so long.

Thank you for your every effort to make America God’s nation again. That is the true need of the day.

May God bless you, and may God bless America!

Fasting for America – Day 2 of 3 – Prayers that Break Curses

Well, I don’t know about you, but Day 1 went well for me overall. I did struggle with a headache in the evening, but went to bed early and woke up refreshed and renewed this morning.

In my experience, fasting reveals areas we were out of balance in our diets. If we eat too much sugar, or drink too much caffeine, cutting it back has repercussions. Fasting is a good restart towards bringing things back in balance. As a reminder, if you have specific health concerns that make it unsafe to fast, then don’t do it. If you aren’t sure, consult with a doctor before proceeding.

Now, on to more important things. This morning the Lord led me to a passage in Matthew in which Christ reveals the power of the believer, if only we will use it! Listen carefully to Matthew 16:18-19:

“…upon this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever you bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever you loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens.” Young’s Literal Translation (slightly modified for modern English)

I find it incredibly curious the mixed tenses used by Jesus in this statement. Did you catch that He said, ‘whatever you bind/loose upon earth shall be having been bound/loosed in the heavens’?

Shall be having been? What does that mean? Is it present or past? Or both?

One idea: perhaps Jesus was revealing a deeper truth, that the idea of binding or loosing something was God’s idea first. And that if and when we bind or loose something in the supernatural through prayer, He will already be in the process of doing it in the heavenly, always one step ahead of us.

With that in mind, let me share something He led me to this morning. I have a wonderful book in my library, recommended by a dear friend, mentor and prayer warrior, called Prayers that Rout Demons & Break Curses, by John Eckhardt. I recommend it highly to all who want to see their prayers become more specific and effective in all areas of life.

Glancing through the contents, I found a section dealing with prayers for the nation, and came upon this specific prayer to share with you today. Using Eckhardt’s words, quoting King David from Psalm 140, slightly adapted here, please join me in praying this together for our nation!

“Father, strengthen our hearts with these words from David:

Psalm 140: ‘Rescue us from cruel and violent enemies, Lord! They think up evil plans and always cause trouble. Their words bite deep like the poisonous fangs of a snake. Protect us, Lord, from cruel and brutal enemies who want to destroy us. 

…proud people have hidden traps and nets to catch us as we walk. You, Lord, are our God! Please listen to my prayer. You have the power to save us, and you keep us safe in battle.

Don’t let the wicked succeed in doing what they want, or else they might never stop planning evil… Make them the victims of their own vicious lies… Chase those cruel liars away! 

Our Lord, we know that you defend the homeless and see that the poor are given justice. Your people will praise you and will live with you because they do right’.”

Amen! Friends, our prayers and fasting efforts are powerful! We have the opportunity to be part of God’s plan to bring renewal and revival to our land at a pivotal time in history. Stay strong in Him, trust the Lord to see you through, and especially for His will to be accomplished through us.

May God pour out His blessings upon all praying (and fasting) for America today!

Fasting for America – Day 1 of 3

As announced a couple of days ago, I began a 3-day fast Wednesday at 6:00 PM (last night) for the election in America. So, this is the first full day.

I woke up happy, joyful. That sounds odd, I know. It is not that I love avoiding food, but I dearly adore the closeness I feel to the Lord when I am fasting. Giving up the pleasure of eating is truly a small thing, isn’t it, to seek Him and show Him we are serious about something?

Looking back at what Jesus did for us, it seems giving up pleasure for a day or two is a very, very minute sacrifice. I remind myself of that when hunger pain becomes distracting. And I tell Him, ‘You suffered for me, in this small way today I am privileged to share the fellowship of your suffering.’

As you may have gathered in other posts, the most common method of fasting I use is abstaining from food. However, I still drink coffee (without sweetener) to avoid a caffeine headache, have maybe one cup of plain green tea during the day, and occasionally a little coconut water or a few sips of milk or almond milk if I am feeling weak. I still have work to get done, so preventing myself from weakening to a place of non-functioning is important.

A passage in Matthew I read recently just came to mind. It was in chapter 15, where Jesus had been preaching to a large gathering of people. The people were so wrapped in His message, they would not leave, and they were hungry. He stopped and told His disciples (verse 32) something to the effect, “I have compassion on these people, they’ve not eaten in 3 days. I cannot send them on the road home fasting lest they faint along the way.”

Of course, then we all know the story about the few loaves of bread and fishes that ended up feeding 20,000 people. But my focus this moment is on the heart of Christ, feeling compassion for the hungry and indicating His awareness of such a practical need. These people needed to walk home, perhaps long distances. He didn’t want them to faint.

The point is, be aware of the needs of your life. You may need to work, run errands, care for the needs of your family, even cook for them. Do it. You may have health issues. Don’t let yourself become so weak as to render yourself useless! Jesus was practical. So should we be.

Before we go any further, isn’t He wonderful? He was kind, loving, and full of wisdom. On top of being God, doing miracles, sacrificing Himself for us, setting people free from the grip of evil, etc… He cared about our human needs. What an adorable Savior.

So, back to being practical… As I type, there is a mug of hot water sitting beside me, with a little lime juice squeezed into it. We have a lime tree in our backyard heavy with beautiful limes, so fresh juice is in ample supply. As a side note, did you know that water with either lemon or lime juice first thing in the morning is a wonderful toxin cleanser for your liver? So, I decided to begin the 3-day fast with this soothing and healing cup.

Thinking about it, it might be accurate to call this, ‘fasting in grace’. And this fast, with a little bit of liquid nourishment included, I’ve seen powerfully effect the spiritual realm in my life and others many times over.

After starting a load of laundry, I turned on my favorite inspirational playlist. Music so often helps me set the tone and connect with the Lord.

Soon, I found myself pacing and weeping, crying out to God on behalf of our country. Words poured out asking Him for truth to be renewed from the highest to the lowest places, for destructiveness to be weeded out, for His Spirit to be poured upon every inch of our land… that we may remain a blessing to those in need and to the rest of the world. For His enemies to be prevented from tightening their grip on this nation. For His people to awaken and take serious the condition of our home on every level, and to take up the cross to fight in prayer and through fasting, if physically able.

If only this would become a movement and spread to every pulpit, church and precious individual who knows Him, whose health allows fasting. We haven’t done all we can yet. Until in some way we have sacrificed our own pleasure to see Him pour revival and renewal upon America, we aren’t desperate enough yet. Wake up, American church!

After praying, my ears tuned in again to the music gently playing in the background. An old hymn, one of my favorites, was being sung beautifully by Fernando Ortega, Jesus Paid It All. Words of His mercy and sufficiency flowed out, and relief settled into my soul. I will close this post by reprinting the words of that hymn.

Be blessed, friends. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the election, but more, for the great spiritual need of this land and its people.

Jesus Paid It All 

I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim. I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb. 

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat:

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

(by Elvina M. Hall, 1865)

Three-Day Fast for America

This week, the Lord convicted me to put my faith to work before the election next Tuesday. He inspired me to fast three days this week, Thursday to Saturday, November 3-5, 2016. 

The only direction and goal for this fast: His Will Be Done. That is it. His Will Be Done.

Why fast before the election? Because I want to know, no matter what happens, that I did everything possible toward releasing God’s best plan for His nation. When a land of God is in rebellion as I believe America is, His blessings do not flow as before. I want to see God bring revival and renewal to our country and for all of His blessings to flow again, in and through us.

Child of God, if your health permits, will you join me?

If you cannot fast November 3-5, but feel led to participate, choose any three days leading up to the election and make your plans accordingly. Or fast one day, or one meal. Do what you are able to do. Every effort made by God’s people will have an impact! If you cannot fast (and please do not if your health does not allow), please join us by focusing your prayers for the election and our nation those three days.

We need the Lord to renew His protection upon this great country that gives so much around the world. As His blessings flow freely, we can continue to bless those in need at home and abroad!

If you agree this is important for the renewal of His people and our country, please share far and wide! 

For more information and tips on fasting, please see previous posts.

Notes:

If you are not trained in fasting, you do not have to cut out all food and beverages except water. You can take some tea, juice, if needed, even broth. Do not let yourself grow faint and weak, unable to meet the needs of your family or work. A solid food fast – i.e., taking liquids only – is better than no fast at all. The Lord will honor every effort. 

For a three-day fast, I recommend starting at 6:00 PM the night before, and ending the fast with a light meal after 6:00 PM on the 3rd day. This is a precise three-day fast.

 

 

Reexamining a Presidential Debate Quote

Hillary Clinton invoked a famous quote in at least two of her speeches now, and it occurred to me to put it into perspective for those who did not recognize the quote or know its true author. The quote is this: “America is great because America is good.”

She was quoting Alexis de Tocqueville, famous 19th century French historian, philosopher, and statesman. The way Hillary used the quote indicated she (or her speech writers) believed it to stand on its own, but I hope she and those who endeavor to lead this country will study more of de Tocqueville’s work, for he clearly and strongly identified his belief as to the source of American goodness. Let me explain.

Alexis de Tocqueville travelled to America in the mid-1800s to learn for himself the reasons for the amazing success of this young nation. Afterward, he wrote a work entitled, Democracy in America, and he went to great lengths to explain why he concluded America was good. Here are some excerpts:

Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention… 

In America I found (the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom) were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country. 

I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion — for who can search the human heart? But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society. 

…there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth. 

In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people… 

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors… her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her… institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. 

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. 

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. 

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts — the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.

To Alexis de Tocqueville’s words, I say, “Amen!”

Hillary was right in repeating his statement, ‘America is great because America is good’. But, American goodness has been connected to something. It came out of unchanging, bedrock, Judeo-Christian values. And, according to de Toqueville, that was the true heart of our greatness.

Final thoughts: within de Tocqueville’s work is a very sober warning. American goodness and greatness are directly linked to Biblical values. Divorce the culture from those values, and we break ourselves away from all that made us great. How long will we stand detached from our foundation? It is something to think about.

Resources:One Nation Under God: Alexis de Tocqueville, pulled June 10, 2016 from http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/cdf/onug/detocq.html

Challenge to the People of God

For anyone who knows Christ, this is a quick, personal challenge burning in my heart today:

Do you find yourself despairing over the atmosphere of our country and the direction she is headed, the division, violence, etc? I know you are praying about it. But, have you fasted yet? Fasting is the ultimate spiritual weapon.

According to Christ, ‘some things are broken only by prayer and fasting.’ So, until we have fasted, the truth is we have not yet even begun to fight.

I wonder what would happen these next few weeks in our nation if all of us fasted for her one meal a week, or more?

Pass it on…

[Do not fast if you know you have a physical ailment that makes it unsafe! See a doctor, if you need to be sure!]

Finger of God Documentary

Spoiler alert: this is going to be a strange post about peculiar events in modern day Christian churches. It is just one possible interpretation of those events. No, this really doesn’t have anything to do with fasting. In fact, it is more about eating – at God’s banquet table.

Recently, we watched an intriguing and powerful documentary called, Finger of God, released in 2007 by Darren Wilson. It is available for instant watch on Netflix, along with several other documentaries by the same filmmaker.

Within the first few minutes, the viewer sees footage from several congregations, where members were miraculously given gold teeth during worship! Okay, I told you this would be strange. He showed clip after clip of the inside of the mouths of these congregants, and there they were: gold teeth! One, sometimes two gold teeth inside each recipient’s mouth.

Another older gentleman, for over 36 years at the time, was finding manna in his palm out of thin air, or inside His Bible by Revelation 2:17 (“to him who is overcoming, I will give to Him hidden manna”). Over and over. Can you imagine standing there, preoccupied and suddenly you feel something in your palm, only to look down and see you are holding a handful of manna? It was so odd, to be honest I found it hard to swallow at first. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

After pondering these peculiar phenomena for a couple of weeks, I finally took the time to do a little research, searching the Bible online for all references to teeth. Many verses came up, but nothing that jumped out. So I tried ‘tooth’. Again, nothing.

Next, I decided to do a general search for gold, since I was pretty sure a reference for ‘gold teeth’ would not come up. Hundreds of verses came up for ‘gold’, so I set out to scan through them as quickly as possible. I didn’t have much expectation of finding anything, truthfully.

However, it was when I came to Exodus 25 that my spirit went on high alert. In this passage, we find God telling Moses how to build the Ark of the Covenant and the covering for the ark, what we call the mercy seat. Immediately after this, He tells Moses how to build a table to hold the showbread, the symbol of God’s invitation to His table and fellowship.

As God is giving instructions for building the showbread table, His orders include adorning the top of the table in such a way that it appears surrounded with “crowns of gold” (Ex 25:24-25). The table would then hold 12 loaves of bread at all times to represent the 12 tribes of Israel.

Did you hear that? A table with the appearance of  “gold crowns”, to hold the bread that represented fellowship between God and His people! At this point, I was thinking, would God literally bring a pun to life for a purpose?

Reading up a little on the showbread table, I found the following:

“Showbread” also was called “bread of the presence” because it was to be always in the Lord’s presence. The table and the bread were a picture of God’s willingness to fellowship and communion (literally, sharing something in common) with man. It was like an invitation to a meal, an extension of friendship. God was willing for man to enter into His presence to fellowship with Him, and this invitation was always open. 

Jesus came to call sinners to Him, make them right with God, so that they could enjoy everlasting fellowship with God. 

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. … Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.” (John 6:35, 49-50) 

God so desires our fellowship that He was willing to come to earth from heaven as our “bread of life” to give eternal life to all those who would partake in it. At Jesus’ last Passover meal with His disciples, Jesus described Himself as bread again: 

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’” (Matthew 26:26) 

Jesus’ broken body is our only access to fellowship with God. Today, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, or communion, to remember this important truth. And today, as in the day of Moses’ tabernacle, God still desires to have fellowship and sit down for a feast with His people. 

“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)

[From: http://the-tabernacle-place.com/articles/what_is_the_tabernacle/tabernacle_table_showbread]

Another snippet lends further insight:

The table symbolizes fellowship. It shows a gesture of friendship, as inviting a friend to share a meal. The table in the tabernacle shows God’s desire for fellowship with us. Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners because He sat and ate with them at the table. God wishes to satisfy our hunger

[From: http://bibletruth.net/florlane/tabernacle/BREAD~1.HTM]

Now, let’s bring all of this back to the strange phenomena of gold teeth and manna bread on God’s living children. And again, please understand, this is just one possible interpretation.

The New Testament tells us we in Christ are His living temple! God may have been using those peculiar happenings to demonstrate this truth. Perhaps these modern day believers in Christ became His living showbread table, complete with ‘gold crowns’, to hold His manna, His showbread!

If this was His intent, then He revealed us as connected directly to Old Testament Israel, through the symbolic representation of the temple’s showbread table and bread of His people. After all, as the Apostle Paul said, we are the ‘Israel of God’.

Maybe in addition to letting us know we are His people and His living temple, He is gently hinting that through us the world should always feel invited, loved and welcomed into His presence. More specifically, and because I believe filmmaker Darren Wilson has beautifully woven stories of God’s people loving the lost sheep back to Him, this phenomena may have been the perfect opening to the filmmaker’s documentary work. For his work itself is an invitation to fellowship with God, a living symbol of the showbread table.

In summary, without teeth one cannot eat bread. Perhaps God, placing crowns of gold on Christian believers’ teeth and manna in their hands, is reminding us in an incredibly personal and humorously creative way:

1) Christ is the bread of life, 2) He is able to satisfy spiritual hunger, 3) He welcomes all people into His fellowship, and 4) followers of Christ become His living temple beckoning all to His banquet invitation!

Well, regardless if you agree with this interpretation of the phenomena revealed in the documentary, the above summary statements are still true. So, let’s be about our Father’s business, shall we?