The Prayer of St Patrick

shamrockThis morning on St Paddy’s day, my family and I gathered for communion and then reflected on a portion of his famously penned prayer…

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Then, we did a little reflection together…

What follows is a reflection based on the second half of St Patrick’s Breastplate (Prayer). We may not wear combat gear in our daily lives but this prayer/reflection on St. Patrick’s Breastplate may function as divine armour to protect against the difficulties we may face in life.

Silently, become aware of what is going on around you. Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable upright position in their chair. Become aware of your breathing. Once you are in a prayerful state, keep your eyes closed and listen openly to the reflection.

Christ with me – Invite Christ quietly into your heart.

Christ before me – Think about events or things coming up over the next few days/weeks that you may be worried about. Ask Christ to help you face these challenges that lie ahead.

Christ behind me – Consider moments in your past that you may have found difficult. Spend a few minutes thinking about how Christ was present in these moments.

Christ in me – Do you spend quiet time in the day deepening your relationship with Christ? Make a commitment to set aside some time each day to talk and listen to God who is always with you.

Christ beneath me – All of us need help at points in our lives. It is at the lowest points that Christ is there carrying us through. Ask God now if there is anything you need help with.

Christ above me- Just as an umbrella protects us from the rain, Christ protects all of us. Think about somebodyclose to you that needs God’s protective care at thismoment. Ask God to help them.

Christ on my right hand – Christ uses your hands to helpand comfort others in today’s world. How can you use your hands to further God’s kingdom here on earth?

Christ on my left hand – God is always by your side even though you might not realise it. Thank God for never giving up on you even during those moments when you have turned away from him.

Christ when I lie down – Even when we sleep God is there watching over us and protecting us. Thank God quietly for his loving protective presence in your life.

Christ when I arise – When you wake up in the morning do you notice the beauty of the world around you? Thank God for his beautiful gift of creation.

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me –

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me – If someone who knows you really well were to give an honest answer to the question – What is the best thing about your friend? What do you think their answer would be? Would others say the same about you?

Christ in every eye that sees me – Imagine that somebody took a photograph of you this morning interacting with your family/friends without you realising it. Do you think you would be happy with what the image captured? Did you speak kind or harsh words to a loved one? Did you help your family member/friend or were you angry with them?

Christ in every ear that hears me – Think back over the conversations you have had with others this week. Have you been kind and thoughtful in what you have said or have your words been hurtful or damaging to others?

Dear God,

St. Patrick came to Ireland to help people discover your loving presence. May I take comfort from the fact that whatever challenges I may face in life you will always be there at my side to help and guide me through. Help me to be your witness in the world, showing others your loving presence through my words and actions.

Amen

 

 

Source: https://decandsusan.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/st-patricks-breastplate.pdf

Locating God’s presence this past year.

reflection
image source: Biblicalleadership.com

Locating God’s presence this past year.
(The Grand Prayer of Examen)

  1. Look Back
    – Look over the past 6 – 12 months.
    – Where has the Lord been present and at work in my life?
    – What significant changes have come my way?
    – When have I been the most stressed? the most blessed, and full of joy?
    – What can I give thanks to God for?
    – Where have I been?
    – Where am I now?
  2. Look through
    – Identify any patterns, connections or themes that have characterized the past 6-12 months.
    – If you can, summarize the past year in a sentence or two.
    – Do you notice anything or patterns? specific thought patterns or emotions?
    – Ask the Lord about these patterns. How do they line up with the fruit of Holy Spirit?
  3. Look forward
    – Where do you sense God leading you forward?
    – What do you sense your spirit needs in this season?
    – What are your hopes and dreams for this coming year? Ask the Lord what His hopes and dream are for you!
    – Paint a picture of what you envision over the next six months.
    – What are you asking the Lord for in the new year? for your community, your family?
  4. Look around
    – What does your community need? How can you pray for them, help them?
    – Consider a prayer walk through your neighbourhood to help you see.
    – Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
    – What community support do you need in this season of your life?
    – Who are the people you need to invite to walk alongside you?
    – Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
    – How can others best support you?

Prayer prompts:

God, still my heart and mind. 

I am silent in your presence. 

You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are fully here with me. 

Father, I look back on my year. 

Thank you for… (list off people, provision…)

God, help me to see where you were present and working in and around me… 

 …I bend my heart to you. Show me where I need to ask for your forgiveness and receive your grace. (If He brings things to mind, take time to do so.)

In humility, and renewed vision, faith and courage, I look toward the new year coming. I commit what I know and not know to you Lord. I ask for your discernment. Help me through your Holy Spirit to know you more deeply, to better love, serve, and lead others with your guidance and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

Scriptures for Reflection:

Psalm 103:2-5 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

 

Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!

 

Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit[a] from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.

 

I bless you with a new year of greater intimacy with your loving Heavenly Father, rich in Holy Spirit fruit, in the name of Christ Jesus! Amen!

Sources:

The Prayer Of Examen, Ignatian Spirituality

The Psalms, NLT

The Grand Examen – Locating God’s Presence in 2017 : New Life Fellowship Church – New York

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZAauF3laXQ

 

How to Walk in Freedom!

Last night, I had the honour of leading someone to freedom from addiction and depression. (I am a Life Coach and Spiritual Director which often entails an inner healing session.) Then, we talked about what abundant life really is. (It doesn’t start when you die and go to heaven. It starts now when you die to self, and live in Christ.) This video from Graham Cooke below is TOTALLY what we discussed. My client will be doing this exercise which he describes in the video….!!

(There are 2 battles. One to get free. One to stay free!)

The summer of 70 healings.

Campfire.jpgThis summer I returned to camp speaking after taking a couple years off to rest. I remember telling God that I was ready for whatever He had planned. I was ready for Him to blow out any boxes I had put Him in.

I had no idea what would happen next…

This summer I spoke at two camps for teens.

Here’s the first story of the week at a camp for age 11-13 (130 campers). On Monday, I noticed a junior staff on crutches. He had pain and swelling and didn’t know exactly what happened. The doctors were confused too. He was discouraged. My heart went out to him. I prayed for his ankle while we waited in the food line. The pain diminished but not all the way.

On Tuesday evening, I had planned to speak on something totally different. I kept sensing that Jesus wanted to heal the junior staff on crutches and that I was to speak on how Jesus healed and then sent out the 12 disciples to heal. So I did. I shared a few stories from the Gospels of Jesus healing the sick. Then, I shared a few personal stories of when I have gone out doing street ministry in my city and seeing Jesus do some incredible things after we prayed in His name.

I asked the campers who had physical pain and I was shocked how many hands went up in a crowd of young people.

Then, I saw a bolt of lighting behind the campers as they looked at me. The main staff said I could keep going. I prayed aloud that Jesus would put angels around the camp.

Then, I instructed the campers around those with physical pain to ask for permission if it was appropriate to lay their hands on the injured area. I led them through simple instructions how to pray over those with physical pain or illnesses.  

Oh man… what happened next was mind blowing!!! We had some significant injuries healed. Torn ligaments healed, sprained ankles healed, no more crutches or pain for the junior staff member!! Plus, a staff member who had an infected tooth with a clenched jaw who had been finding it difficult to chew her food, became elated with tears rolling down her cheek realizing she had been healed… and on on and on… There were a few people still with pain and so we prayed one more time for them. On ‘Amen’, they were healed!

Almost on cue, the wind started blowing loudly, we heard a crack of thunder closer to us, along with lighting. We had to shut down the campfire, so I said, “Let’s holler – thank you Jesus on 3!” Oh man, the excitement and tears of joy and celebration!!! I felt like we were at a Hockey game and our team won Gold.

The next morning we saw evidence of how God kept the camp completely dry! Outside the boundaries of the camp were flooded but inside were completely dry. I remembered I had prayed for Jesus to put His angels all around the camp. We heard the stories of all the kids that experienced healing. Kids were in awe of God! All week there was such a buzz! Campers who previously weren’t into prayer or even God, were eager to pray for others for anything. One girl had lost her retainer and for days the cabin had all searched for it. After the healings happened, they were motivated to pray to find the retainer and went to bed. When they woke up, it was in the middle of the cabin. Jesus even cares about a retainer. 🙂

The junior staff who had been on crutches was running the rest of the week doing camp games with the campers with the biggest smile on his face. He was no longer discouraged. Thank you Jesus!

We prayed again in Thursday morning chapel after some more people had sprained ankles, since Tuesday night. In total, God chose to heal about 50 people throughout the week- both campers and staff of physical pain or injuries!

Early that week, I had also sensed a ton of attack and discouragement around the staff. I took 7 female staff through deliverance/freedom prayers and trained 3 others to take several more staff through deliverance. I trained the camp director to take all the male staff through cutting off lies from the enemy, while I took all the female staff through cutting off lies. There was significant breakthrough. And you could see it in their faces!

Unreal week.
Never have I experienced such a week of camp.

When the parents showed up, there was such a buzz of the stories! Kids who didn’t believe in God were in awe! At the Last campfire, kids shared over and over of how they never knew God was so real and powerful! 

Hallelujah!!! God was on the move… I LOVED how the faith of children brought such powerful healing and experience of God’s presence!

One male staff, son of a pastor, even rededicated his life. God is sooo good! He said, for the first time God became real to Him. His faith became now not just ‘cause of his pastor dad. Oh God so blessed my heart.

Honestly, it was 32 degree heat on average but I kept having goose bumps all week. I went to bed on Tuesday night giggling with Jesus and woke up Wednesday morning giggling with Jesus! I still get goose bumps thinking about the week!

Jesus gives full life. I think He is hungry to pour more of Himself out…

Here’s the 2nd week of camp…

I went to another teen camp (10-13 year olds) for 80 campers, this time for a great deal of kids who are not apart of a church. I said to God: “If you want to heal like you did and show how real you are to these campers, I’m game!” I read again of a few stories of Jesus loving the sick and healing them. I gave the invite for campers to raise their hands if they had any kind of pain. I taught kids to pray for other kids. And then… eyes were wide open. One boy healed of pain due to scoliosis. One girl had 6 years of neck pain – gone! One boy’s ulcer pain diminished and he received Christ! Crying and weeping everywhere. We had about 20 healings! Several campers received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We kept singing for Jesus for another hour after and we missed the evening game time! Campers were in awe once again of a loving God with healing power. One camper who had been complaining of chapel times was reading her Bible intently the next day.

Hallelujah!
Jesus was amazing!

Jesus, thank you for revealing how powerful and loving you are to teens this summer. I’m ready for more adventures with you…! 🙂

What Changed for Me? (Ashes to Beauty)

images-2Friends recently asked me what changed in my life this past year that brought on so much blessing, healing, and crazy adventures of delight and joy in Jesus.

I’ve been pondering this…

“God, why have you shown such grace and mercy?”

I have seen God do some INCREDIBLE things.

(This summer, I watched God bring on 70 physical healings (from torn ligaments, clenched jaws, scoliosis, injured necks, sprained ankles…) in teenagers I was sent to lead, along with hearts surrendered to a new full life in Jesus!)

…On top of this, I have the joy of leading people through inner healing sessions with Jesus and getting a front row seat to Him doing mighty things! Adults and teens in depression, anxiety, and addiction are experiencing deep healing by hearing God’s voice.

Every day I come home from work, I feel like I just saw Jesus perform another miracle.

How did this all begin to happen?

I look back…

Less than a year ago, I had the unfortunate job of confronting a man who’s behaviours negatively impacted multiple families including his own. Jesus helped me realize that his patterns of behaviour towards me and others were out of fear (which leads to manipulation and control, and in this case emotional and spiritual abuse). Yet, in order to break this cycle of fear, I chose to confront him in love.  Jesus strongly put it on my heart that I was to pray over the man for him to know that God’s love is greater than our fear. (Yes, this sounds humanly impossible to pray over a such a person. Only by the power of God can you do such a thing for someone who hurt others. I take no credit.)

The man wept, but only in sorrow. (Read: “5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman to learn the difference between sorrow and repentance) I left in peace with a strong boundary, and I moved on… ‘dusting off my feet’.

I had no idea what would come next…

God is SO good.

For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit gives you mighty power, love, and sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7  

There are basically 2 motives in our lives for why we do what we do…

Fear.

Or love.

Since that day, my health (in all aspects) improved like crazy. LIKE CRAZY. Could it be that walking in boldness brought on more of God’s power? …and more of His love and sound mind (and authority).

It appears the act of confronting someone in love and peace, seemed to immediately cut off the word curses once spoken over me and released healing and power flowing out to others like a bottle uncorked. (Confronting an abuser took lots of guided help. Do not try this on your own.)

Would you like God’s power, love and self-control to become ‘uncorked’?

Questions for you:

Is there someone in your life who has hurt you?

Invite Holy Spirit to come… and then…

Ask Jesus: “How do you see this person? How do you feel about this person?”

What He will show you will blow your mind! God wants to loan us His perspective on people and situations in our lives.

Ask Jesus: “What are you calling me to do, if anything for this situation/person?”

What Jesus shows you can transform the place you are in.

Share it with trusted advisors to pray with you.

Whether you are called to confront someone, or simply pray a release over them…,

Jesus waits for us to be ready to step into His resting place in order to blow us away with what He wants to do next…

Like I said to the teens I was ministering to this summer… “Are you ready to get wrecked by God’s mind blowing love?!” 😀

Check this out…

Paul Prays for Love to Overflow

14 …I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.

17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.

18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.

Ephesians 3:14-20  (TPT)

Jesus invites you to lay down your burdens at Jesus’ feet for Him to handle.

Then, walk forward in freedom and get ready to watch God do some mighty things!

(And if you have burdens that won’t go… and you need a life coach/spiritual director, and you know how to contact me, feel free to contact me directly. I would delight in walking with you to Jesus’ freedom gift for you too.)

Blessings! 🙂

Recommended Reading: 
“5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman

Think Outside the Box to Reach the World

1-1I love that Randy Friesen wrote this article below… giving thought that in order to fulfill the Great Commission, we need to think differently…

I love the story he uses of Alex Honnold who broke a mountain climbing record (a climb that once took 47 days, he did in less than 4 hours)… a man on a mountain with less baggage and tools and more faith than ever before…

The Great Commission may seem like a huge mountain… and yes it is… and it requires new listening, new wine skins…

“New vision requires new wineskins… God is doing a new thing…. Wherever the Church is calling out to the Father in prayer, he is present with them and transforming lives. Citywide prayer for a citywide harvest is still God’s mission plan.”

“He (Jesus) has strategies to reach every nation, people group and city. He is calling us to radical surrender, to concerted prayer, and to risk-taking obedience. Rather than asking Jesus to fund our strategies and structures, will we listen for his voice and embrace his ways? Will we humble ourselves as leaders and think differently about strategic planning?”

Enjoy the full article…

http://mbmission.org/witness/summer-2018/think-differently 

And here’s Alex climbing the mountain without rope…

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How do you enter God’s presence?

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This question… “How do you enter God’s presence?”,  is so beautiful and has been asked of me many times lately. The answer from God’s Word is so refreshing…

1. Be still. Get quiet to allow Him to lead you.

Ps 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Ps 23
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life…
You are with me…
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever
in your house, Lord.

2. Enter His gates by giving thanks, giving praise to Him, singing for joy!

Psalm 100:1,2,4

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs…
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

(Helpful hint: Try this… Get alone somewhere quiet. Start by listing 3 things you are thankful for. Say ‘thank you’ to God. “Thank you God for…”)

Do Leaders Need to Repent?

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Do leaders need to repent …or can they sweep things under the carpet?

When leaders fail to repent for idolatry and do not make heart change, not only do they cut off blessing in their own lives, but also in the lives of the people that they lead.

When a person walks in idolatry (bowing down to money, to other people out of fear, intimidation, lust, etc), they can expect the opposite of a blessing – a curse onto their children to the third and fourth generations. Idolatry in the lives of parents, grandparents, great, and great-great grandparents opens the door for this.

Sweeping sin under the carpet only makes your kids and grandkids pay more for it later. Is that really the inheritance you want to leave behind? The reason why your children, your flock are suffering, or walking away from you, cutting off all ties with you, etc…could be …you. And you could be a parent, a church leader, a business leader, a city leader…

And if you are calling your people to repent first, this is not love. This is control and manipulation. Leaders must repent first. (Otherwise, they are not leading. Leadership requires example, not hiding.)

Thankfully, repentance breaks this.

Jesus’ shed blood covers our sin when we repent.

God is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands.

Ask the Lord:

What is blocking me from receiving blessing for me and my children, my church, my business, my city etc? Whatever He brings to mind, repent of, and be set free! 🙂 This in turn will set your family line, your church, your city …free! 🙂 

Read: Exodus 20:5,6; Deuteronomy 7:9,10; Romans 8
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From Religion to Relationship :)

From religion to relationship. Yes, yes, yes…

This was the journey of Saul of Tarsus to become the Apostle Paul. It took a paradigm shift, a transformation of mind to heart. Jesus got his attention, blinded him for days and then gave him new eyes to see! Jesus showed him that it wasn’t about rules, but about relationship!

I read this recently…

“If you believe the wrong thing, it will take away the power of the right thing. For example, if you’re legalistic and think that you have to earn your way to God, the importance of grace diminishes. I think of how before Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul the persecutor operated in pure legalism. When the scales fell off his eyes, his religious mindset was not just broken, but God created a new nature in him. In this new nature, Saul turned Paul was not only freed from the religious pressure nagging him in his inner thoughts, but also his mind was renewed.” (Shawn Bolz, God Secrets.)

Legalism prevents us from intimately knowing the Father in the greatest relationship we could ever have.

Legalism also keeps us from loving others, and stuck in just knowing about others and easily slipping into judgement.

Does learning the truth about others always set one free? Maybe not. I can think of learning a few things that did not bring me peace.

BUT, seeing God’s Truth about others is another thing…

Seeing how God loves someone stuck in legalism/religion, whatever… (and instead seeing HIS Truth available to them), helps to set me free to love them as God loves them, and pray for them.

I’m still learning this.

Yes… there IS the call to wipe the dust off our feet when our gift of peace is not received… When peaceful relationship is not welcomed, keep walking… Freedom is elsewhere. Submitting to religion (or someone’s legalism) is not freedom. I don’t want to be Saul of Tarsus or friends with that guy! I want to journey with Paul and see God do mighty things!! God’s kingdom is about freedom!

Ask God:

Where am I trapped in my thinking?

What do you want to set me free from?

Who do you want to set me free from?

(Friendship is related to the word ‘freedom’. If you are trapped, constantly torn apart, that is not a friendship, that is abusive. One of the hardest things to do is walk away from someone you love who has continued to abuse you, manipulate you, control you… Tough love is no longer enabling someone’s pattern of abuse, legalism, religion, etc. Loving them is showing them that behaviour is not okay.)

God, what promise do you have for me?

What gift do you have for me?

Enjoy a 2-way relationship with Father God who made a way through His son Jesus.

Read and Meditate on His Word.
Ask Him questions.
Listen and Write.
Pray it all back to Him!

Christianity is not a religion (earning our way to God’s love), it’s a relationship (He is love and extends His love to us through His son Jesus who opened the doorway).

 

31 Days of Prayer for the Church in Canada

Hey, Canada! 🙂

Are you ready for God to move in and through you to share His love in your family, your city, your country of Canada?

Join your fellow Canadians in a hunger and thirst for God to move across our land.

Help yourself below to the… 31 Days of Prayer Guide for the Church in Canada

Recognize God’s Power in the Church:
We, the church, are called and equipped to be the fullness of Christ
who fills everything in every way! (Ephesians 1:18-25)

31 Days of Prayer for the Church in Canada