Apostolic Revival Church (ARC) - Pastor John A Edwards - 3700 Kensington Avenue, PA 19124.
Phone - 215 941 6029 - Email Pastor Edwards - j.edwards82@comcast.net - Website - ARCofPhiladelphia.org
ARC Sunday Service @ 11:30 AM - Tuesday Prayer Meeting @ 7 PM - Thursday Bible Study with Prayer @ 7 PM.
Give to ARC. Click here for Details.

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From the Newsletters page.

Here we will post to share some of the Newsletters information from the different UPCI Organizations such as the Men's and Ladies Ministries.

"The  United  Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) is a Oneness Pentecostal organization with churches, ministers, and members across the globe. With roots anchored firmly in the Bible and a vision for ministering to communities around the world, the UPCI embraces its mission to carry the whole gospel to the whole world by the whole church." Information from https://www.upci.org/about/about-the-upci online.

See and share the posted Newsletters Information for Everyone.

Prayer & Fasting for the 2020 UPCI General Conference
The UPCI World Day of Prayer!
 
The 2020 Virtual UPCI General Conference is scheduled to occur September 22 - 25, 2020. The annual event theme is “VISION,” as the UPCI celebrates its 75th year anniversary! Please join with us and many people worldwide in a time of prayer and fasting for this grand event!
 
For the upcoming General Conference, a special day of prayer has been designated for Wednesday, September 16 (UPCI World Day of Prayer) and special fasting has been designated for Tuesday, September 15 through Thursday, September 17.
 
Please participate in this three-day fast in whatever way you are led to by the Spirit. Remember, that during this time of consecration, your prayers are more effective if your heart and mind are clean, clear, and ready to receive from God. Therefore, it is important to incorporate repentance, to be focused, and to get dressed spiritually. Ephesians 6:10-18 says to put on the whole armor of God, and to pray.

Your fervent prayers and sacrificial fast will make a difference! We are expecting great things to manifest worldwide. Please pray for the great success of this major event as we continue to go forth with 2020 spiritual vision, so that we can see clearly that through God, anything is possible!
 
Pray for:
     David Bernard, General Superintendent, and Scott Graham, General Secretary, and for all Assistant General Superintendents, Division Leaders, Ministry Directors and Coordinators, District Superintendents and Secretaries, administration, staff, leadership and the entire UPCI ministerial body and all churches. Pray for God’s purpose to be fulfilled.
    the success of all business meetings, services, and events. Pray God’s will be done in all decisions and voting. Pray that God guides and uses the Ministry.
    God to continue to bless our entire organization with faithful laborers and with the finances and resources necessary to continue to further advance His kingdom.
    the entire Body of Christ and for God’s divine plan to be wrought.
    ALL to go well with every aspect of General Conference, both in a virtual and an actual setting. Pray for all speakers, musicians, singers, altar workers, greeters, conference workers, etc., and for everyone involved in the conference agenda. Pray that God would greatly anoint and use all.
    the Word of God to go forth with power and authority and to be confirmed with signs following. Pray that God would perform healing, miracles, signs, and wonders.
    God's people worldwide to greater advocate and demonstrate in the name of Jesus.
    people to be filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in the name of Jesus.
    an ultimate outcome of great revival, restoration, and harvest worldwide.
    Pray Spirit-led prayers and that the Church, both leadership and laity, would have great vision and obtain kingdom success, for the glory of God!

Flo Shaw
Director
World Network of Prayer
(Info from Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci)


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"Wisdom and Discernment."
Wisdom, according to Webster’s online Dictionary, is: “the exercise of sound judgement, either in avoiding evils, or attempting good.” We are warned against earthly wisdom, which opposes truth. “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:15 KJV). “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17 KJV ). Wisdom is the first thing we should pray for. Not worldly wisdom, but the wisdom to make sound judgments. This wisdom comes from God alone. King Solomon did not ask for riches, he asked God for wisdom. God answered, and gave Solomon wisdom. He also gave him discernment, which enabled him to obtain favor and riches. Therefore, Solomon could say, with confidence, that wisdom is the principle thing. God wants us to have wisdom (see James 1:5). He does not withhold wisdom from anyone who asks. The enemy deceived Eve with the promise of worldly wisdom. If Eve and Adam sought the voice of God, instead of listening to Satan’s false information, things would have ended differently. Instead of asking God, regarding what Satan said, they listened to the wrong voice, and took matters into their own hands. It is possible that the enemy had been speaking for a while. And possible that Eve was deceived into believing the thoughts were her own.

Could it be that the desire for “worldly wisdom” caused them to act foolishly? It seemed they wanted more than what God had already given them. Perhaps one of the factors that motivated them was ungratefulness. Romans 1:21 says, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened”. Unthankfulness always leads to sin. While scripture does not say the result of Adam and Eve’s sin was caused by unthankfulness, it was a quest to know more than what God had shown them at that time that caused them to sin. The enemy wanted to trap them into the same iniquity that caused him to fall. We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived in any way. Not by our emotions, or by the battles that come our way. God’s wisdom must be the principle (first) thing we seek each day.

Abigail was a woman with discernment, who acted wisely on behalf of her husband Nabal, who spoke rudely to David’s men when they requested provisions. David’s men had been keeping guard over Nabal’s shepherds and their flocks. David was angry, and about to take matters into his own hands. But Abigail brought provisions, and interceded on behalf of her husband and David, saying, “Please do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal (fool) is his name and foolishness (stupidity) is with him; but I your maidservant did not see my lord’s young men whom you sent” (I Samuel 25:25 AMP). Abigail’s intercession prevented David from taking matters into his own hands, and sinning against God. In the end, God dealt with Nabal. If we take our battles to God in prayer, He will fight for us, deal with our enemies, and give us the victory. Let’s pray daily during these perilous times that God will give us His wisdom and discernment.

Beth Marie Evans
Apostolic Author/Associate Minister
International Christian Fellowship
(Info from Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci)

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"Never Give Up" by Cheryl Craft.

"Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart." (Luke 18:1, NKJV)
 
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus taught us how to pray to receive answers. He told the story of the unjust judge and the widow who persistently came to him requesting justice against an adversary.
 
When Jesus told this parable, women were looked down upon by the culture of the times. They could only speak to men in their immediate family circle or relatives. Only a man could speak for her. This woman had no man to speak for her, so she was on her own and had to fight her own battles. It was easy for men in authority to ignore her and in this case to discount her plea. But this did not keep the widow from coming to the judge to plead her case. She persisted in appealing to him for help until he grew weary of her coming. He said to himself, this woman is bothering me. I will take up her case to remove her from being a nuisance to me. I will pass judgment on her adversary.
 
Remember, Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer when He told this parable to them and to us. He shows us through this story that we must not give up but to continue in prayer for our needs and for those for whom we pray.
 
I recall the story told by Verbal Bean about a mother who prayed for son to be saved. God gave her a promise that her son would be saved. In the meantime, he went to war still without God in his life. He was listed as missing in action. The mother kept praying. She wouldn't give up. She said, "God gave me a promise and I am going to pray until God saves my son." Time went by, the war was over, and still no word from her son. One day there came a knock on her door. When she opened the door, there stood her son. He had been held as a prisoner of war and had just returned home. It wasn't long before he gave his heart to the Lord, and the mother received her promise from God. She prayed many years but never gave up on God's promise that her son would be saved.

As women and mothers of prayer today, let us never give up praying for our children. Even as the widow persistently appealed to the judge for intervention on her behalf, let us persistently appeal to God for the salvation of our children. Every prayer counts.

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl September 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)


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"A Dusty Hem" by Pamela Smoak.
Sermons have been preached, lessons written and theological arguments expounded about the woman with "the issue of blood" (Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48). What was the problem? What made Jesus know that "virtue had gone out of Him"? What did that mean? What was different about her touch versus the touch of the throng that pressed against Him? She did not even touch Him, but only the hem of His robe. So, what stopped Jesus in His tracks? When all the debating of these questions is over, all that is left is a desperate woman, with a grave need, destitute of resources, without hope. The years of affliction, constantly seeking help, left her with nowhere to go but to Jesus.
 
She did not have a high self-esteem. She didn't want to touch His sleeve. She didn't expect to be embraced by Him. Her lowly goal was to touch the hem of His garment, the dusty, ragged edge that brushed the tops of His shoes. Her confidence was not great. She did not say, "when" but only "if" I can but touch the hem. She did not approach from the front but "came in the press behind." The woman was tenacious. She had subjected herself to numerous treatments by many physicians for twelve years. The crowd between her and Jesus was another obstacle, like her years of fruitless efforts, to obtain healing.
 
When her hand touched His hem, she felt instant healing. Seeing that Jesus was seeking the one who had touched Him, she fell at His feet and confessed the truth of her healing. Jesus said it was her faith that made her whole. No obstacles, lack of resources, or personal finances kept her from exercising her faith. Just faith in a God who put on sandals and walked dusty paths. Faith in a saving, miracle-working God spurred her to reach out and touch a worn, dusty hem and receive her miracle.
 
Does low self-esteem, lack of confidence and overwhelming obstacles keep us from praying for our miracle, our salvation, our deliverance? As we kneel in supplication, do we speak lofty prayers to reach heaven when the very presence of Jesus Christ is near us in the lowly, dusty lives we live? Our faith can break barriers. It can overcome any lack we have because there is no lack in Him.
 
Luke 6:19 says the "whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all." The touching, the virtue, and the healing is for us all. Reach out to Him through your insufficiencies. Your faith will touch His "dusty hem."

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl September 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

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The Sweet Fruit of Summer by Mary Loudermilk.
“Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).

I may be one of those rare people who actually enjoys grocery shopping. I like wandering the aisles, reading labels, looking for new items. I wander the produce area with its array of fresh fruits and vegetables. I like the neat rows of apples and peaches, the deep color of the grape clusters. Being a bargain hunter, I also pause before buying high priced, out of season fruit that doesn’t have that wonderful flavor of summertime. Winter fruit does not compare with the succulent sweetness of sun-ripened summer fruit.
Our lives also produce fruit. It can be the sweet summer fruit of the Spirit or the tart, out of season flavor of winter when we do not allow the sunshine of the Spirit to sweeten our attitudes. Winter fruit, tart and bitter attitudes, affects those around us—our family, our friends and coworkers, our fellow believers.

When the Old Testament speaks of bitterness, it speaks more of despair, the anguish felt when overwhelmed by circumstances. However, in the New Testament the literal translation has to do with sharp or bitter taste. It speaks more of the angry resentfulness we can develop when we go through troubles. Bitterness burrows deep inside to the heart. “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” (Matthew 15:18).

Hebrews 12:15 refers to a root of bitterness. This is more than thoughts passing through our mind. When troubles strike, it is not unusual to question why, even to the point of questioning God. When hurts come, it is only natural to feel pain. These feelings do not grow into bitterness unless we dwell on them and allow them to push deep in our lives. When we do, they become like a poisonous plant ready to spread and overtake the good growth. To control bitterness, we need to not just prune it back but dig it up, roots and all. This is accomplished by prayer.

Bitterness has some disagreeable friends. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). These friends stick together, so when one enters your life you may find the others tagging along.

It is difficult for us to know the hidden things of our heart. Proverbs 16:2 says that “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes.” That is why prayer and the Word are essential to keep our fruit sweet. “For the word of God…is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). His chastening “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11)

You may have faced many hard things in your life: betrayal, abuse, desertion, hatred, backbiting. Perhaps you feel the one who should protect and love you most has betrayed your trust. Offenses such as these are what Satan uses to plant bitterness in our heart. Only diligence on our part, being controlled by the Spirit instead of our carnal nature, will keep it from taking root. We do not deny that wrongs have been done, but we do not allow them to become the controlling factor in our lives. God’s antidote for bitterness is His grace. When we accept His grace in our lives and are released from bitterness, the inner hurts begin to heal. Bitterness cannot coexist with forgiveness.

The fruit we need to develop in our lives is the sweet summer fruit of the Spirit. James 3:17 states, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

(From: UPCI Ladies Ministries Newsletter - ladiesconnections@upci.org)

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Hope for Today and Eternity by Anne Johnston.

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible  for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil. (Hebrews 6:17-19)

As we travel this Highway to Heaven, there are two things that we should keep our focus on:
 
1.    When Jesus heard our cry for mercy and forgave us our sins, He instilled a hope down within us that we could come to Him with every need, and that He would always be there to hear our prayers. To keep this hope alive in our hearts, we must practice a continual presence of the Lord in our lives.

We have learned in the last few months, that we cannot depend on a weekly service in our churches to seek God and enter His presence. We have learned that we must take time every day to read the Word of God, and spend time with Him in prayer, to keep His presence with us. We cannot depend on the prayers of others; we must seek His presence every day.
 
2.    We must focus on the goal that lies at the end of this highway. I am sure that you realize as much as I do, that things are shaping up quickly for the soon return of the Lord. I am so thankful for the hope he has given us, that if we will serve Him with all our heart that He is coming back to take His people home. No matter what is happening in this world, we have a future and a hope in Christ. Even though things may not be going our way right now, we can lift our perspective from our weary feet to the glorious view ahead.
 
There was a time when Moses was leading the children of Israel on their way to the promised land, that God had reached the point where He was tired of their murmurings and complaints. He told Moses He was not going to go before them any longer, that they were on their own. Moses told God, “if your presence goes not with us, send us not.” He realized that their only hope lay in having the presence of God in their midst, guiding them, and directing them. May we always realize that our only hope of making it through to the end, is having His presence with us every day.

(From: UPCI Ladies Ministries Newsletter - sisters@upci.org)


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"A Mother's Prayer."
How many of us can trace our walk with God back to the prayers of a loved one? I can hear her now . . . "Lord, give my children a determination to serve You!" I began hearing my mother pray this before I even understood what she was saying. All my life, to the very end of hers, this was her constant petition.
 
What difference did it make? What is determination anyway? Why is it needed in our walk with God? According to Miriam-Webster (via Mr. Google), determination is defined as: "The act of deciding definitely and firmly; the result of such an act or decision; firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end; a fixing or finding of the position, magnitude, value, or character of something."
 
This could be as simple as realizing the importance of putting God FIRST in every part of my life. Today, this is the missing element in so many lives torn by hesitation, indecision, irresolution, and vacillation (all antonyms of determination). These lives are in and out, back and forth, almost persuaded by but not wholly convinced that serving God is the most valuable, profitable, and wonderful way to live.
 
I like one synonym given for determination by Mr. Webster, one my mother used often - "stick-to-itiveness." Psalm 57:7 says it well: "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise."
 
That word fixed means be prepared. No matter what the enemy throws my way, I am ready to fight him with the weapons of God's warfare, and a "stick-to-itiveness" of serving God and living His way.
 
Thank you, Mom, and bless you for such a treasure to pass to my own children too, a prayer for determination to serve God, come what may!

Linda Poitras, Guest Writer
UPCI Global Missions

AND

The Bride Hath Made Herself Ready!
"For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7).
 
I think we can all agree that we are clearly in the last of the last days before the coming of our Lord and King. The Lord reminded me today of a word He gave me several years ago. I was deep in the Spirit that day and He very clearly spoke these words to me:

    My Bride has made herself ready
    My Bride looks to me as her chief joy
    My Bride does not rejoice in the calamity of others, but she rejoices in the truth
    She looks for ways to better serve me
    She is not idle, nor is she looking for pleasure
    My Bride solely looks to please me

I have read these words many times over the years. They have helped me correct my course and get back on track. Those words have been bittersweet, in that they bring conviction ...but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. (Proverbs 27:7)
 
Let's pray for ourselves and the Body of Christ to:

    Have the spirit of the wise virgins
    To live in a repented state of carefulness and readiness to meet the Lord
    Not be consumed by the pleasure-seeking spirit that has engulfed our generation
    Fall in love with the Lord afresh
    See a sovereign move of God sweep hungry souls into His arms
    Remind Jesus that He said "He would pour out His Spirit upon ALL flesh"
    Pray that He would give us the former and the latter rain together

Let us give our "All for One, and One for ALL"!
 
Kathie Wellman
Pastor's Assistant to Mark Hattabaugh
The Pentecostals of Cooper City
Cooper City, Florida

( Information from: Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )

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"Prayer grows through engagement" by Jeremiah Dirnberger.

“...I have heard many sermons preached on the subject of prayer, with special emphasis placed on you ought to.  Unfortunately, I have heard little instruction on how to pray.  Furthermore, I have seen fewer who lived a life of prayer.”-Dr. Eugene T. Wilson in Seventy: Everyone Needs a Team.

If you have ever lived in an area that was about to be impacted by a hurricane, you probably know the answer to this question.  What are the first two items that every store runs out of in terms of groceries when a hurricane warning is issued?  Bread and bottled water!  People instinctively rush to the store and stock up on bread and bottled water and in a matter of hours, those shelves are completely empty.  A shipment of bread or water that arrives barely makes it to the shelves as people mob the pallets before they can be unloaded.  We don’t clear the shelves of meat, milk, fruit, or cookies.  Innately, we are all programmed to get bread and water when a storm is coming.

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/fc7859c7-0df8-401a-aea7-e4dd9291def5.pdf


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" Trials: Will They Define or Refine You? " by Rebecca Johnson.
One of the greatest challenges of my life came when I was only thirty-two years old. I’ll never forget the day the surgeon looked at me and said, “Mrs. Johnson, we found cancer.”
 
Those words took the breath out of me. My mind raced. Would I make it through this? Who was going to raise my kids? I didn’t want my husband to have to be alone. He tried his best to be strong, but I could see a look of shock in his eyes. The fear was so real.
 
The following weeks were a blur of doctor and hospital visits. I heard words I didn’t understand, got poked more times than I could count, and felt exhausted by it all. The fact that I had lost my mother to cancer many years prior made the fear even more difficult to face. It was easy to see myself as yet another casualty of the dreaded disease.
 
The word cancer can control your life. However, I decided that neither cancer nor fear were going to control me. I was going to live by faith. I knew my two young children were watching how I reacted to this trial, and I wanted to be an example they could follow. I decided to speak life into my situation. I started each day by playing worship music in my home and thanking God for another day to be alive. I quoted Scripture about God’s goodness and mercy as I dropped my kids off at school. I was determined to focus on thanksgiving instead of doom and gloom.
 
When we went to church, I sat on the second row with my children, and we worshipped together as a family. As we trusted God, our faith grew. I also learned that trust is one step further than faith. God was asking me to trust Him completely.
 
I endured eight separate surgeries and procedures during the course of a year. My body was exhausted by the stress of back-to-back operations. Although I would not wish my battle with cancer on anyone, it made me realize how blessed I really was, and it taught me to have complete confidence in God. The decision to trust Him during that season helped define who I am today.
 
If you are dealing with adversity, God will see you through. What God wants more than anything else is for you to put complete trust in Him. If you make the decision to trust Him, your trial will not define you, but rather refine you.
 
If you have children, they will learn to react to problems based on the way you react to yours. I wanted my kids to respond to tough situations by trusting God and staying faithful. Consequently, I was intentional about worshipping God and speaking words of life to my children. I repeatedly quoted Psalm 118:24 to them: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
 
In the end, my cancer journey helped deepen my walk with God and taught me to lead with grace, even through adversity. My situation didn’t define me; rather, thanks to God’s strength and help, it refined me. And through it all, my children learned as much as I did.
 
Eleven years later, I am happy to report that I am cancer-free!
 
Rebecca Johnson serves in ministry with her husband, Matthew, at The Sanctuary in Columbus, Indiana. “Becca,” as she is usually known, is the proud mother of two children, Abriah and Jace. Two goldendoodles, Ginger Lou and Opie Taylor, round out the Johnson household. Becca’s mottoes are “Be comfortable in your own skin” and “Use the gifts God has given you to bless the Kingdom!”
( Information from: UPCI Family Ministries Newsletter - family@upci.org )


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"Teaching a Child to Pray by Carla Brett."
Last year one of my children came home from school and was heartbroken because of something that had happened. During recess, the kids in Kindergarten class had attempted to lift a very large object together but had been unable to do so. My son told his classmates if they would all pray together, then they would be able to lift whatever it was. All the children had joined in, with the exception of one child who "thought it was stupid," and so - he reasoned - for that reason they couldn't lift this huge item.

Although I thanked God the children couldn't lift this very unsafe object, I was also thankful in that moment that my son found it natural to turn to God to pray. For him it has not always been easy to relate to these things we cannot see or touch.

Our prayer life reflects the depth of our walk with God, and that is true for our children as well. In their earliest years, they learn about prayer like they learn about everything else, from watching those around them. I therefore encourage all our parents, to not only have their prayer time when the children are sleeping, but let it be natural for the kids to see their parents in prayer throughout the day.

As the children grow, questions arise; and that is where we consistently must be available for teaching, talking, and sharing. Proverbs 1:8-9 says for a child to "hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother." They can only do so if we, their parents, consistently instruct and teach them. I personally believe it is important to speak intentionally, openly, and often about the prayers we see God answering in our own lives or in the lives of others. Share testimonies of what God has done in the past as well as the present, to both give thanks and help build faith. As we teach our children about who God is, it becomes easier for them to worship and relate.

As a Sunday school teacher, I also try to use different prayer prompts (objects, colors, pictures, etc.) so the students do not fall too much into a routine of just repeating the same words. I want them to learn new ways to pray and connect with God.

Finally, we encourage our children that God really has a plan for them right now. Their prayers are important and make a genuine difference. "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (I Timothy 4:12, NKJV).

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl. August 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

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"Bless Your Children: Teach Them to Pray" by Jana Allard.
Holding my four-pound granddaughter in my arms, I was overcome with emotion and began to give thanks unto God. Due to difficulties during the pregnancy, it was a miracle that my daughter-in-law's life was spared and her tiny baby was alive and well. The prayers of many people had been answered. It is a blessing to have prayer support, but what about daily, personal devotions and how can one teach the importance of prayer to a child?

Proverbs 22:6, a frequently quoted scripture, tells us to train our children but leaves us with the question of how. The answer can be found in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 which states, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Simply stated, teaching a child requires a tenacious persistence whether sitting, walking, resting, or waking. This is best done by example and through repetition.

From birth, children are ever learning. A mother holding her newborn in her arms while praying is already teaching prayer. As your child grows, include the toddler when you pray. Encourage communication with God. By the time a child reaches kindergarten, he or she should be able to independently pray simple prayers such as for their food and, with minimal guidance, when they rise in the morning and before bed in the evening. Repentance can be taught through prayer in a timeout. A child can learn to give thanks for any good thing, ask for protection while riding in the car, rebuke fear after a nightmare, or request healing when sick. When the child can write, encourage the child to journal simple prayers or write scriptures.

 "We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done" (Psalm 78:4). For what purpose? Psalm 78:7 answers with, "That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments."

Mother, you teach your child manners, respect, love, and more to develop your child into an upstanding person; but you bless your child when you teach your child to pray.

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl. August 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

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"Raising a Child to Pray" by Cassie Huslage.
The date was March 31, 2020. Covid-19 was sweeping across our nation, and families were asked to "shelter at home." Christopher and Debra Huslage (our oldest child) with his family were sheltering on their sailboat in Galveston, Texas. A few days prior, they had made the decision to sail to a favorite spot in the Texas gulf for Debra's upcoming birthday.

Bright and early on the beautiful morning of March 31, off they sailed. Everything was perfect. The beautiful Texas sunrise hinted of the most delightful of days. Hours off the gulf coast, an unpredictable wind whipped up. It was too late to turn back, so they would have to weather out the storm. As they continued west, winds of over forty-five miles per hour began to toss their sailboat in an unpredictable manner. The children were down in the belly of the vessel. One child slept, as the others nervously "rode out" the tossing of the waves.

A loud crack drew the attention of everyone aboard. The winds were too strong, and one of the gusts had broken a chain plate. This break caused the sail of the boat to come loose, and the boat began to list 40-45 degrees. At this point Matthew, eight years old, screamed to the others, "Hey, you pray! Wake up! Don't sleep! Get on your knees and PRAY!" And pray they did.

You may wonder why this eight-year-old child knew what to do in an emergency. He knew because he had witnessed his parents, grandparents, and others praying in times of emergency. He had heard stories of dire situations being taken to God in prayer in a confident manner. He knew firsthand that Scripture tells us to pray, asking God for help in times of need.

Here are a few ways to raise up a child to pray:

    Take children to the altar during church. When the pastor/minister calls for people to come to the altar and pray, take your children with you.
    
    When the church has family prayer, take your children (all ages). Children observe your priorities. Make prayer important. Attend times of corporate prayer.
    
    Let your children (or grandchildren) hear you when you pray. Include them in prayer times and encourage each child to pray. Assure them God hears them and will answer their prayers.
    
    Pray with them for their needs (sick friend, teacher with cancer, unsaved parent, sick pet). Let the child know their need is important to God. Help the child bring their need to God.
    
    Pray at home. Let the children pray for their food, their concerns, their pastor, their teacher. Create moments when you model "prayer time" for your child to see. I will never forget waking up early in the morning and hearing my mom pray. I knew what prayer sounded like. I grew comfortable with the sounds of prayer. I knew how to imitate prayer. I then knew how to pray and reach the throne of God.
    
Thankfully, the sailing adventure was saved by the hand of God. Christopher, Debra, and God were able to get the situation under control. The children had a prayer meeting in the hull of the ship as the winds calmed down. Once again, God rescued my children. Prayer works. The children will never forget that calling on Jesus in times of need is the right thing to do. The children will always remember that God is faithful!

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl. August 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

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"It Matters What You Say to Yourself" by Angela Overton.

There have been times in my life when I think my best days have already happened. Have you ever felt like that? The Coronavirus pandemic has put a hold on a lot of dreams and goals and has caused grief and disappointment in many of our lives.
If you feel stunted by the effects of Covid-19, you’re not alone. Just remember: There is no future in your past. Your past, good or bad, is subordinate to the future God has for you. We need to continue to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

It is important to take a personal assessment from time to time to see how we react to stress and to also take notice of the things we say to ourselves because it will help us grow, not only spiritually, but also emotionally.

It matters what you say to yourself.

When you hear yourself speak a negative thought such as: I’m fat — I’m stupid — I did a terrible job — I will never amount to anything — I’m a terrible mother, then you need to bind those thoughts in Jesus name. Speak life, not destruction. Your worth is not attributed to your accomplishments or physique; your worth is established in God’s ardent love toward you.

Ask yourself:
 
What does my peace say?
If you do not feel peace in the midst of the situation that is turning your life upside down, it’s time to learn where true peace comes from—in the presence of God. God’s way will lead to life, even when things get difficult.

How do I respond to tribulation?
If the answer is, “I feel hopeless, despondent, and cast away,” then that is an indication you are relying on an emotional response rather than on the power of God.

None of what I’m encouraging you to do comes easy. Trust me, I have days when tears stream down my face without warning, when pain fills my heart, when anxiety overwhelms me. But, I can honestly say that I have grown so much, not in myself, but in my reliance on the Lord in the most difficult moments of my life.

A few months ago in prayer I was weeping before the Lord. To be honest, I wasn’t even saying anything out loud, just rocking myself back and forth, crying out to God. A familiar voice spoke to my spirit and God gently encouraged me to “yield to the process.” It’s hard to yield to the process when the process is causing pain.

You will never know how much strength you have until your weaknesses are put to the test.

Today, try to take note of your reactions to disappointments, people’s attitudes, trials, and failures. When we speak life, we attract the presence of the Lord. So, speak life today, not only in the lives of others, but in your own, too.

(Information from: SISTERS Military Newsletter - July 2020 - UPCI Ladies Ministries - sisters@upci.org)

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"When God Has Another Plan" by Vicki Warren.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty capable of planning out exactly how life should happen. I am especially good at doing this for my kids. I know who their friends should be, what schools they should attend, who they should marry, where they should live, where they should work, and how many grandchildren I should have.
The easy part is planning it all out. The hard part is handling the chaos, the mess, and the heartache I create when things don’t go as planned.

Proverbs 3:5 instructs, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” We know the Scriptures say we should trust God and put our confidence in Him. We know God plans good things for our lives and our children’s lives, but that doesn’t mean we don’t do our God-given motherly duty and try to help Him out.

But what do we do when God has another plan?

Joseph is a good example of a person’s life not turning out as he envisioned it. He had dreams that his family would bow to him - which was true - but the journey to fulfill that dream was a far different road than Joseph ever thought he would have to travel. But despite being sold as a slave by his brothers, being falsely accused, thrown in prison, and seemingly forgotten, Joseph was still able to see the hand of God at work in his life.

"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5).

God had another plan.

Mary and Martha’s brother was dying. They knew that Jesus could heal so they sent for Him. But He came too late; Lazarus was dead. When Jesus finally got there, Martha told Him, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

But God had another plan.

It’s hard for me when God’s plan deviates from my plan. It’s a constant battle of flesh and Spirit that is only won at an altar, totally submitted. Man says, “Show me and I’ll trust you.” God says, “Trust me and I’ll show you.”

So, when God has another plan, I’ve learned to shut up, put my seat belt on, and enjoy the ride.

Vicki Warren and husband Craig pastor Renaissance Apostolic Church in Renton, Washington. She serves as Washington District ladies president.
( Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries Newsletter - ladiesconnections@upci.org )


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"Cycle of Life" by Gayla Foster.
The writer of Ecclesiastes made it perfectly clear: there is a time, a season, and a purpose for everything—the good, the bad, the ugly. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1–8.) Just as the earth experiences spring, summer, fall, and winter, our life cycle has its seasons. Much like spring, we emerge into existence out of the darkness, and just as easily as we emerge, we eventually fall back into the cold of winter. It’s called “life cycle.”

From seasons of stretching, where God seems to shape something new in our heart, to times love is tested, to visits by the cruel hand of death, life happens in seasons. There will be those winters when we simply cannot figure it all out; we are cracked and brokenhearted. We endure long nights and our prayers seem to go nowhere. We yearn for the glory of spring, the warmth of summer, the beauty of fall. However, every step and every stumble make us who we are. All the smiles, all the tears, all the big moments, and all the little ones tell our story. We cannot change the seasons, but we can change ourselves. That’s how life gets better: not by chance but by change.

We’ve all lost loved ones we miss dearly, but we must push forward. We look forward to the day we are going to be reunited with those we have lost! That season will come but, until it does, we can’t remain captive to the past. We must let go, move on so we can be productive. It’s impossible to encourage and help anyone in my present if I can’t let go of the past. Embrace and enjoy the current season of life. Don’t live in the future or the past—enjoy the present, the season you are in. It’s the perfect time to reflect on where we find ourselves in life and take necessary actions to correct our course.

Learn how to handle the winters of life; they come immediately after fall. Some are short, others are long; some are difficult, some easy; but they keep coming. We must learn to handle the night: it follows the day. We must learn how to handle difficulty; it comes right after opportunity. We must learn to handle recessions followed by progressions. Reestablish, rebalance, and set course. Don’t wish it easier; search and learn more skills during that time. Take the challenge; gain the wisdom.

Learn how to take advantage of the springs of life. We must get busy planting in the spring or we will be begging in the fall. One of Aesop’s most widely known fables tells the story of the grasshopper that spends all summer dancing and singing. The ant works feverishly, storing food for the winter while the grasshopper merrily sings the day away. When winter arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and begs the ant for food. However, the ant rebukes its idleness and tells it to, “Sing and dance now.” The moral of the story: There is a time to play and a time to work. Life is short. Use your seasons wisely. Take advantage and learn from them.

The cycle of life is the best reminder that nothing stands still. Life is always in constant flux, and change is normal. Sure, spring is the perfect symbolic time to “clean out” the old, but anytime of the year is the perfect starting place. From birth, growth, maturity, death, to our final home, it’s all part of the cycle of life.

( Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries Newsletter - ladiesconnections@upci.org )
   

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IF MY PEOPLE…
“Withstanding the Fire”

“IF my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”  (II Chronicles 7:14)

The picture above displays a WNOP miracle sign that withstood a past wildfire that swept through Creek County, OK.  I would like to illustrate an allegory, that in the midst of the symbolic fires of ungodly conditions causing degradation and destruction in society, God’s people can stand firmly grounded to “withstand the fire” that attempts to sweep over us and burn away the principles and laws established in His Word among us. This can be accomplished in part as we, the Church, implement the words recorded in II Chronicles 7:14, and also stand in the gap for a lost and dying humanity.

A principal key to revival is found in this scriptural passage. Notice that the verse includes a conditional phrase. In logic, a conditional (implication) phrase is a compound statement formed by combining two sentences (or facts) using the words "IF...THEN."  The conditional links two statements in the following way: If the first statement is true, then the second statement is true as well. Applicably, the focal scripture is expressed in a basic format of the “IF…THEN” statement, and IF “my people” meet the outlined conditions, THEN God will…bless them!

II Chronicles 7:14 is an address to God’s people (those called by His name, proclaiming Him as the true God, and accepting the invitation). Historically, it is recorded as a spiritual revelation given to King Solomon after God appeared to him, relaying that He heard his prayer and chose the dedicated temple as a place for Himself as a house of sacrifice. Biblically, at that time the nation of Israel was destined towards a divided kingdom that would enter into rebellion and idolatry, finding them in a place where this scripture would have a definite application. As a general application, this scripture contains a remedy that can be used by God’s people to avert God’s anger and judgment and usher in a time of God’s blessing. Pray that God’s people obey:

    A Call to Preparation (Humble Themselves)
    A Call to Prayer (Pray)
    A Call to Pursuit (Seek My Face)
    A Call to Purity (Turn From Their Wicked Ways)


Though genuine revival is often sovereign in its origin, IF the contingent requirements are met, THEN God’s people can help to create an atmosphere in which spiritual rewards will be reaped:

    God will Hear Us (Hear From Heaven)
    God will Help Us (Forgive Their Sin )
    God will Heal Us (Heal Their Land)


In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, civil and political unrest, and uncertainty in overall crises, it is essential that we fervently intercede for the nations of our world. For, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12). God can raise up a standard in every nation and “revive His work in the midst of us.” God desires to heal our land, as well as to give us land upon the earth and claim territory for Him, as Abraham did, wherever he laid the soles of his feet (Genesis 13:17). Surely, “IF We will…THEN God will!" Let’s activate the three key words to help launch revival. “IF MY PEOPLE…” THEN, the rest…is history!

Flo Shaw
Director
World Network of Prayer
( Information from: Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )


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" Wonderful Peace! "
How often in the first half of this year have you found yourself in a constant state of worry? We worry if we are making the right decisions when it comes to going out or staying in, sending our kids back to school or keeping them at home, attending church or joining online, wearing a mask or not wearing a mask... I could go on and on! I found myself right in this very spot last week. I was so concerned about whether or not I was doing what was right and I found myself completely overwhelmed! I sat down in my living room and just started venting all of these feelings to the Lord. While in this place of prayer, an old song we seldom hear sung anymore came to my mind:

"Peace, peace, wonderful peace, Coming down from the Father above! Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray! In fathomless billows of love!"

Isn't it amazing to know we have access to such wonderful peace! Even in the midst of the ever-changing nature of our society we can rest in the sure foundation of God's peace.

This week as you begin to feel the unease of this season creep in, begin to pray:

    God, remove all feelings of unrest from my spirit. Help me to lean not to my own understanding but to trust You in all things.
    Lord, I need Your wisdom and guidance as I face the unknowns of this season. Help me make right choices for me and my family.
    Lord, let Your peace surround my family in our coming and going this week. Keep us in Your perfect peace as we continue to do Your will.


Danielle Lee
Administrative Aide
World Network of Prayer
( Information from: Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )

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"...WAKE UP THE MIGHTY MEN..." by Pastor Don Rogers.
PRAYER TO WAKE UP THE MIGHTY MEN TO WAR IN THE SPIRIT!
“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up” (Joel 3:9).

God has declared His Church as entering a season of war! This is a warring season for the advancement of His kingdom resources. It is for the exercising of faith over long-term demonic forces and strongholds that will withdraw from the people of God. This is a warring season to bring back backsliders. It is for the advancement of church resources. God is teaching us to war with faith and action together.
 
God has called mighty men to war in the Spirit, in faith! “Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26).  The definition of “hazard,” as referred to in this verse, means imminent peril; unavoidable trouble; dangerous situations that could lead to disaster; the absence or lack of predictability. This is how warring in faith works; it becomes aggressive and non-negotiable; it becomes explosive and reckless.
 
Warring faith starts with brokenness and surrendering your will to the kingdom business of God! God has to break us like the fishes and the loaves in order to share us with others, because selfishness dominates the will of man if it is not broken. Brokenness can sometimes leave scars.

Gideon lived in false security in a cave all because of brokenness. He was called to war and God healed him. God says you’ve been healed of old war scars and wounds. It’s time to take risks again, for we hazard our lives for the name of Jesus Christ. Be healed of self-inflicted wounds and the wounds of others.
 
The warring Spirit of Jesus is confronting. We must confront and pray against opposing spirits.
 
Pray against:
     A sleeping dormant spirit. Pray that God will wake up mighty men to war in the Spirit
    The spirit of discouragement—deferred hope—wounded from others
    Impatient restlessness
    Discontentment
    Unbelief
    The spirit of fear
    Unclean tormenting spirits

Prepare for war. It’s time for the warring season! “The Rock, his work is perfect; For all his ways are justice: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, Just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Pastor Don Rogers
The Pentecostals of Wisconsin
Wisconsin District Prayer Coordinator
(Information from: Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)


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"God is Calling Us to Pray" by Carla Burton.
I don't like to compare ourselves with others; the Bible even teaches us this is a foolish thing to do. However, I do believe we can learn from others. I have personally learned leadership principles from those with whom I don't agree doctrinally. With that said, I want to take a moment to talk to you about the call to prayer for the Christian.
 
....I wondered how many Christians take time to hear God's call to prayer. You see, we are without excuse. We don't need to wait to hear someone call us to prayer - God is calling us each moment of each day. First Peter 3:12 tells us, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers." You see, God doesn't have times when the prayer department is open or closed. He is always open to the prayers of the righteous. He is always calling us to prayer, every moment of every day.
 
Revelation 3:20 says God is always standing and knocking at the door. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Unlike the Muslims who wait to hear the call of the muadhan to kneel and pray, God is always calling to us to spend time in prayer with Him. He is standing right outside the door waiting on us to open it and invite Him in.

The problem is not in the call going forth to pray, but in the deafness of the hearers. Our carnality, our laziness, our distractions have blocked our ears from hearing the call and responding to it. We have become deaf to the voice of our Savior calling us to rise and pray. We must be careful not to become like the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ called them to watch and pray with Him three times. He even called them out on the reason why they couldn't in Mark 14:38, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." Finally, Jesus came back to them and told them to "sleep on." Jesus had the prayer meeting without them. It wasn't because the call to prayer wasn't going forth; it was because the hearer didn't listen.
 
I encourage you to open your ears today and hear the call of prayer going forth. But don't stop there. Respond to the call and pray today. The power is released when we respond to the call. Our burdens are lifted when we listen to the call. Our hearts are changed when we hear His voice. Today, the call is going forth. The only question is, "Will you respond?"

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl July 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)


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" Perilous Times and Prayer " by Thetus Tenney.
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come" (II Timothy 3:1).
As I sit safely and comfortably in my home, I am fully aware that the situation could change at any moment. Danger lurks in our schools, our streets, office buildings, airplanes—even in  the  air  we  breathe.  Reading  the  daily newspaper  proves  the  point. The old  song, No Hiding Place Down Here, could well be a theme song for our time.

In a past conversation, Brother Tom Barnes said, “If ever we needed to tune into prayer, it is now. Terrorism could make the sanctification through prayer of our food a necessity. The operation of the gifts of the Spirit may become a necessity to even know where to go and when to go,because of the danger of terrorism around us. God revealed the position of the enemy to the prophet. Prayer will become a necessity as we face what the future will bring.Even if our need becomes personally great, God is able to multiply bread by the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Even if we are scattered and alone, God will work through us. Prayer is the access into the super natural power of God and we need it now more than ever before.” (Scriptural references: I Timothy 4:5; II Kings 2:14; II Kings 4:38-44; II Kings 6:8-12; Romans 1:11-12.)

We are instructed not to be terrified when we hear of wars and commotions, but to take heed  to  ourselves,  be  alert  not  unaware  of  pending  dangers  that  stealthily come  as  a hidden snare.

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass”(Luke 21:9, 34-36).

Living in times of high alert can have negative and positive effects. Too long on high alert can  numb  us  to  surrounding  danger.  It  can  also  dull  our  senses  to  the  awesome possibilities of  spiritual  intervention. High alert can  be a  time  of bringing people  to  their spiritual senses, causing them to go to God in prayer.

These are stressful times with a lot of uncertainty, but II Chronicles 7:14-15 is still true:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.”

Danger intervened by prayer—who knows how many times.
Watch, therefore, and pray alway.

Thetus Tenney
The Pentecostals of Alexandria
Alexandria, Louisiana
(Information from: The Praying Life Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Your Joy Shows."
A life of joy is marked by an outward expression of what bubbles up from within. Isaiah said, "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3). This entire chapter is saturated with the overflowing joy of a heart thrilled with its salvation and desiring to exalt the God who gave it.
The Feast of Tabernacles (see Leviticus 23:33-36) was a joyful celebration to commemorate the wondrous ways God kept the children of Israel and led them through the wilderness. Although their hearts were rebellious, fearful, and full of unbelief throughout their wanderings, that was not where God wanted them to focus their attention.

Instead, God reminded them of all the good things: their miraculous deliverance at the Red Sea, the pillar of cloud to shade them by day, the pillar of fire to give them light by night, bitter water made sweet, manna, quail, the rock that followed them providing water, clothing and shoes that didn't wear out, defeated enemies, deliverance from fiery serpents, and more.

The Feast of Tabernacles was eight days set aside for reflection, remembering, rejoicing, and recommitment. It was a time for joy. It was on the last (eighth) day of this feast that Jesus, overcome with the way in which they celebrated ritualistically (talking about joy without being joyful), cried with a loud voice,

    "'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing on Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39, NKJV).

Every day for eight days they carried pots of water up the hill into Herod's Temple with great pomp, singing psalms, professing joy, and quoting Isaiah 12:3. But, again, it was another case of lips saying one thing, while hearts were fully occupied elsewhere.

God's heart was frustrated, vexed, and weary of their dividedness. They could not serve two masters. They needed to make a choice. Lukewarm, half-hearted, lip service was repugnant to God. Like He warned Laodicea, lukewarm things would be spewed out. Only earnest, honest, hungry hearts were ready to be filled, and He actively sought such to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

The joy these hungry hearts would find would be "unspeakable and full of glory" (I Peter 1:8). So much so, that the world would take note, and would grow hungry and thirsty to find it for themselves. The whole Book of Acts is replete with joy-seeking, spiritually thirsty souls who longed to be filled to overflowing. That's how the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6).

Our God is the author of joy, and that true joy is found in Jesus through the infilling of His Spirit.
(Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries Newsletter - ladiesconnections@upci.org)

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"Doing Normal Better."

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, ESV)
We have all just gone through, and perhaps are still going through, unusual never-before-experienced times. For weeks it seems as though someone hit the pause button and life as we knew it came to a halt. Now things are slowly returning to normal—whatever that means. Just this morning I picked up a magazine with “The New Normal” splashed across the front. When I opened my inbox, the subject line on an email from a local business questioned, “Back to Normal—Or Can We Do Better?”
   
All of this talk about normal makes we wonder: what is normal and do I really want return to normal?

    If normal means I take God’s everyday blessings for granted, then I don’t want to be normal.

    If normal means returning to a fast-paced, stressful schedule, I don’t want that normal either.

    If normal means feeling distracted as I sit in church making a mental to-do list, help me not be normal.

    If normal means not taking time to tune in to the concerns and needs of my friends, then normal is not good.

If there is indeed a better way to do normal, what would that be? The answer may differ for each of us, but hopefully the question will cause us all to stop and consider changes we would make in our lives. What lessons have we learned in the past weeks? Allow me to suggest a few things that will help our new normal be a better normal.

    A better normal means being more intentional about keeping in touch with family and friends. If I can’t meet with them in person, I can call, text, do a video chat, or even use snail mail to stay connected. If I am feeling isolated, they probably are also.

    A better normal means covering my pastor and other church leaders with prayer each day. They faced many new challenges as they worked to keep us spiritually strong while physically separated from the church body.

    A better normal means offering mercy to those I encounter, even if they are rude and impatient. I have no way of understanding the stresses and worries others face. Even if I am wearing a protective mask, I will put a smile in my eyes to cheer them.

    A better normal means making God the absolute center of my existence. Each day I will dedicate time to my relationship with Him and will allow myself to relax and recharge in His presence.

John 10:10 tells us the Lord came to give us life and wants us to live that life abundantly. That abundant life is available to each of us. Even when life takes a sudden detour, even when my life looks starkly different, I can still avail myself of His abundance. He is there to guide my steps, provide strength, and give me joy to replace my stress and worries.

This devotion by Mary Loudermilk was originally posted on the More to Life website. Subscribe today to receive fresh inspiration in your inbox each morning. What better way to start your day than with the Word of God!
(Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries Newsletter - ladiesconnections@upci.org)

EXPECTANCY: "The Master's Touch"
 "If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole" (Mark 5:28).
 
Expectancy is defined as the state of thinking or hoping that something (usually pleasant) will happen. It is the anticipatory belief or desire of something that is expected.
 
"Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles." A lady that is expecting in the natural indicates that a birth is forthcoming. Truly, childbirth is a miracle...a new creation. The woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:28 expected a miracle. If she touched Jesus, with expectancy, then surely she knew that He would touch her with a miracle.
 
Humans possess five natural senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. "Touch" places us in direct contact with our world. When we touch something, we become closely involved with it. We touch thousands of things every day in our lives without even thinking about it. We touch objects. We even affect change in the objects, or even the people, we touch. But there is nothing more powerful than the touch of God!
 
Jesus touched a leper, and he was healed. His touch changed "Jacob" (deceiver) into "Israel" (a prince having power with God). His touch changed Moses from a murderer to a leader. His touch can remove sicknesses. His touch can raise the dead. His touch can open blind eyes. His touch can unstop deaf ears. His touch can lift up the down and out. His touch can change us on the inside. His touch can make all things well on the outside! If you are expecting, then God desires to birth something great in this season...a new beginning!
 
Are you seeking God with EXPECTANCY? Touch God with your prayer, and He will touch you with His power!
 
Flo Shaw
Director
World Network of Prayer

AND

United in Christ.
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience...what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them... All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (II Timothy, Chapter 3).

In the chapter above, the Apostle Paul shared with us behaviors we witness in these present times we are living in and warns us to keep clear of those who deny the true power of God by saying, "from such turn away," because we are fully aware of the true power of Jesus. Therefore, it is important that we fervently continue to press forward in faith as one Body and Church of Jesus towards the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation and eternal life.
 
Pray:

    For God's Spirit to bind, strengthen and keep us physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
    That we are UNITED, according to His Word, to be victorious over all persecutions, trials, tribulations and temptations that may come our way.
    For God to show Himself strong for His church to continue growing as stated in the book of Acts and to pour out wisdom, knowledge and understanding to every individual and organization that has a hunger and thirst to receive the true gospel of Jesus, our only omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent heavenly God.
    Steadfastly, for we know as the end of this world draws near, the love for violence and vulgarity will continue to go viral like a virus because there is no vision to view beyond the visible.
    Continually, for it is vital for us to be vigilant because the enemy of our soul is like a vicious viper seeking victims in various places.

No value of vanity can fill any void except the love of Jesus our God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last, the Author and Finisher of our faith who provides vegetation for His sheep in the valleys. Therefore, as virtuous vessels in God's vineyard, we must stay "united for the kingdom of Jesus" and obey His voice to be victorious over the enemy by the power of Jesus vested in us!
 
Parvesh Bhola
Intercessory Prayer Team
Georgetown, Guyana UPCI

(Information from WNOP Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"What to Do While Waiting on the Lord" by Liane R. Grant.
Not too many of us enjoy waiting, especially if we are on time and someone else is late. The longer we wait, the more frustrated we get, because we are not doing anything except waiting.
 
Have you ever been tired of waiting on the Lord? He's promised an answer, but you think He's late in providing it. Maybe it's time to activate faith AND works. Continue believing that the answer is coming, but don't stop doing the good things you know to do while you are waiting.
 
"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me" (Acts 1:4).
 
When I envision the scene in the upper room before the Day of Pentecost, I don't see the disciples sitting around yawning and getting frustrated, even though Jesus hadn't told them how long they would have to wait. I envision instead a group of people full of faith who were praying, studying the Scriptures, and encouraging each other. They were completely prepared when the Holy Ghost fell!
 
So, it seems when we have to wait on the Lord, we should consider it as a time of preparation and faith-filled works, not a period of inactivity.
 
"A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come." (Luke 19:12-13) As a translator, I feel that this verse could easily be misinterpreted. "Occupy" can mean to take up space, or to distract yourself. The New King James version of this verse makes it clearer: "Do business till I come".
 
While we wait on God for something, are we making the most of what He has already given us? Here's another verse where the word wait could be misinterpreted. "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether . . . ministry, let us wait on our ministering" (Romans 12:6-7). This scripture is not telling us to delay ministering. Again, the NKJV says it more clearly: "let us use it in our ministering".
 
It seems the biblical way of waiting is an active waiting, quite different from the typical idea of "waiting around." We have so many opportunities to learn, grow, and develop by using what God has already blessed us with. If we are waiting for more, let's wait actively, combining faith and works!
 
Note: Liane is a certified English/French translator and author of Order My Steps and the "Schedule Solutions" series on Amazon. She and her husband Scott are missionaries in Quebec, Canada. Liane serves as the Quebec Ladies Ministries President and is the founder and project manager of The King's Translators, a group of volunteers dedicated to providing apostolic resources in French.

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"Waiting in the Obscured Path" by Von de Leigh Hatcher.
In January of 2018, I was offered a temporary job assignment in another town which would advance my career but take me away from my church, family, and friends. As I prayed and sought God's direction, God spoke to me. The words he said were from Isaiah 48:17.
 
"I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go" (NKJV).
 
Instantly, I felt peace. The fears of the unknown had clouded my faith in the all-knowing God. So, I determined to trust Him with my path forward.
 
I moved to the new town, worked, and began to serve in multiple capacities in the church I began to attend. However, I always remembered that my assignment was temporary.
 
The next year, in July, my best friend and her husband were severely burned in an explosion. A few weeks later, my supervisor told me that my assignment would end within a month. I was told to move out of the apartment that my company provided. My life seemed to stop.
 
I questioned God. Had God led me here only to take away everything He had provided? My path forward was obscure once again, and I had no idea where God planned to lead me. I filled out job applications and looked for another place to live. I listened to James Wilson's song "Wait on the Lord" repeatedly. For weeks, I had job interviews without job offers.
 
I reminded myself: "But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV).
 
Finally, I sat at work and looked at my calendar. It was a Tuesday. My last day of work was that Friday. I had to leave my apartment that Saturday. I bowed my head and prayed, "God, I know that Your time is not my time. But, Lord, You once walked this earth as a man. I have four days before I am supposed to move, and I do not know where I'm moving. Please remember that four days, for me, is not a lot of time."
 
Two hours later, I received a job offer! Within that same hour, arrangements were made for me to move into a newly renovated house that my church owns and now rents to me. God continues to provide my every need!
 
Has your world stopped? Is your path hidden from your eyes?
 
"Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27: 14, NKJV).
 
Note: Von de Leigh Hatcher attends The First Pentecostal Church of Westlake, Louisiana. She is an LSU alumna and works for a local engineering firm.

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl June 2020 Newsletter  - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)
 


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"The Reset."
What is the rest we are told to enter into? Scripture bears out that in our day “the rest” is the Holy Ghost.But how do we apply rest to our stressful lives, and walk in the peace God has intended for us? How do we walk in the Spirit, and not follow the unproductive ways the flesh? Have you ever watched an eagle soar effortlessly on the wings of the wind? We cannot help but be a little envious of this ability, while at the same time watching in admiration. Even though we cannot physically achieve these heights, we can go there in the Spirit when we consistently position ourselves to enter into His rest. First, we must practice consistent,daily prayer. We must make the time to connect with His Spirit at the start of our day, in spite of any resistance we may face. We must have a mind to persevere, positioning ourselves to soar above the situation(s) we are currently in.Then,we will be able to rise above the storms of life,until we are sitting in heavenly places with the Lord Jesus Christ. Positioning may not sound like rest, but in reality we are taking on His light yoke. God is not limited by time or space. He is one who enables the eagle to soar.

READ more at; https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/17d49daa-be91-4802-a008-4cf1564bea63.pdf

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"The Discipline of Fasting."
Excerpts from Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

What is Fasting?
Throughout Scripture, fasting refers to abstaining from foodfor spiritual purposes. It stands in contrast to the hunger strike, or for health reasons such as dieting. Biblical fasting always centers on spiritual purposes.

Scripture Describes Different Types of Fasts

The Normal Fast
This involved abstaining from all food, solid or liquid, but not from water. In the forty-day fast of Jesus, we are told that “He ate nothing” and toward the end of the fast that “He was hungry” and Satan tempted Him to eat, indicating that the abstaining was from food, but not from water(Luke 4:2).

The Partial Fast
The Bible describes what could be considered a partial fast: that is, there is a restriction of diet, but not total abstention. Although the normal fast seemed to be the custom with the prophet Daniel, there was an occasion where for three weeks he “ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over” (Daniel 10:3).

The Absolute Fast.

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/a99b4511-05cf-4c1b-89e3-2a4f949782fa.pdf

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Prayer Walking Basics
Adapted from PRAYER WALKING by Steve Hawthorne.

Prayer walking is praying on-site so we can pray with greater insight.There are three ways this is accomplished. First, as we observe things around us with our natural eyes, we see things we can pray about. This is called responsive insight. Second, we pray for the Spirit to open our understanding and spiritual senses so we can “see”what God sees and “hear” what God hears. As God shares this information,He can also speak to us about specific things to pray for. This is called revealed insight. Lastly, we can research the demographics and history of the area we will be praying in. History affects the future and can give us understanding of why things are the way they are in a specific area. This is called researched insight.

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/61f24bfe-9ce7-458d-873f-e75f1b41e700.pdf

(Information from The Praying Life Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Lessons Learned from Hezekiah on Prayer."

The Assyrian king was busy subduing nation after nation when he sent a letter to Hezekiah.  The gist of the letter was this; "Hezekiah, don't think for one minute that your little God is going to save you from me. I will remind you that Assyria has dominated every other nation in this part of the world. None of their gods saved them and your God won't save you."  So Hezekiah went to prayer.
 
What can we learn from Hezekiah?
    In his time of need, his prayer was immediate, not an afterthought.
    He got alone with God. 
    He was transparent and open with the Lord.
    His prayer was humble and respectful.
    His prayer showed dependence on God.
    His prayer was bold.
    His prayer was based on personal faith and trust in God.

What situations are you dealing with today? Are you feeling helpless on your own and you desperately need God to answer?  Get alone with God, spread your needs out before Him honestly, humbly and boldly and then allow Him to work in your situation, as you wait for His response.
Have a blessed week.
WNOP
(Info from: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Prayer for Feeling Overwhelmed."
 
Feeling overwhelmed? If you are having feelings of being overwhelmed, whether it is from family, job, circumstances or you have no idea why, you are not alone! We are living in a season of chaos and disturbances. It is affecting our nation, our world and our daily lives. Whether it is gas prices fluctuating, earthquakes or a new threat of terrorism, it seems we all are living on the edge.  So how do we equate that with, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace...." (Isaiah. 26:3a)?  I think it is because we need to take to heart the rest of that verse! "...whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." We can't let our situations and distresses become bigger than our God! Let me show you an example of His vastness, because if you can be reminded of how big He is, you can rest and be in perfect peace in the midst of all turmoil.
 
In Psalm 147, there are two back-to-back verses that show how intimate He is with you to take care of your personal needs, yet how infinite He is to prove you can trust Him with EVERYTHING! Verse 3 says, "He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds."  How much more personal and intimate can you possibly get? Trusting someone to heal your heart, which harbors our fears and anxieties, and to bind your wounds, which may be self inflicted or from others. Then at the same time the next verse says, "He appointeth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names." We don't have a number large enough to number all the stars, yet this tells us He put them there and named everyone of them!
 
If He is vast enough to handle our universe and close enough to care about our heartaches, then the problem with feeling overwhelmed must be our problem. I think He is big enough to take care of any feelings of lack or insecurity on our part. We just need to shift our focus off the problems and onto Him! We must get our eyes off of what surrounds us and get them on the One who is in control.
 
Meditate on and pray the following scriptures. You will leave negativity behind when you realize you are not defeated!

    I Peter 2:24-By His stripes you are healed!
    Ephesians 1:7-Through His blood your sins are forgiven!
    II Corinthians 12:9-His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness!
    I John 5:4-5-We are overcomers of this world!
    Galatians 1:4-He will deliver us from this present evil world!
    John 14:27-He will give us peace!
    Ephesians 4:23-He will renew the spirit of our minds!
    Matthew 10:1-He healed all manner of sickness and disease!
    Mark 3:15-Power to cast out demons!
    Philippians 4:19-He will supply all your need according to His riches in glory!
    III John 2-That you will prosper and be in health!

Terri Spears
First Lady/Prayer Coordinator
First United Pentecostal Church
Blytheville, Arkansas
(Info from: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Prayer for Missionaries" from Wendy Gerky.
As I was praying for specific needs of missionaries for financial blessings, wisdom for ministry, and protection, the Lord quickened the account of Ruth and Boaz to me to use as a guide. 

Just as missionaries are called to leave their homelands to GO, Ruth left her home and all that she knew as "normal" in order to follow the Lord.  Her life changed significantly in the moment of her decision to GO.  When Naomi charged Ruth to return to Moab, Ruth's response was: "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me" (Ruth 1:16-17). Ruth committed her entire life to follow the Lord.

It is said of Naomi and Ruth, "...and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest" (Ruth 1:22). Ruth found herself in the midst of Harvest season! 

"Therefore, said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2). Missionaries have answered the call into the Harvest! 

As Ruth labored in the Harvest, Boaz an Old Testament type of Jesus, makes extraordinary provision for her.  Follow along in prayer for missionaries as inspired from the Book of Ruth.
PRAY:

    Pray that missionaries will trust in the Lord's promise to never to leave them nor forsake them.  As Boaz blessed the reapers, pray that missionaries will be blessed with a constant anointing of the Lord. (Ruth 2:4) Jesus intercedes for His people today. (Romans 8:26-27)
    Pray for endurance for missionaries to continue from morning until.... (Ruth 2:7)
    Pray for the Lord's direction to be revealed to the missionaries to GO into the field chosen by the Lord. (Ruth 2:8)
    Pray for protection of missionaries from harmful influences. (Ruth 2:9)
    Pray for missionaries to drink deeply from the vessels of water drawn especially for them. (Ruth 2:9) Lord, provide rivers of living water. 

    Pray for missionaries to maintain a spirit of humility to receive the necessary grace provided by the Lord. (Ruth 2:10) Your grace is sufficient! (II Corinthians 12:9)
    Pray for constant integrity of missionaries as they represent Jesus. (Ruth 2:11)
    Pray for missionaries to have a vision of a full recompense and full reward.  Pray for constant encouragement to keep their eyes on the prize. (Ruth 2:12; Phil 3:14)

    Pray for missionaries to find favor with the Lord in all they do. (Ruth 2:13)
    Pray for comfort for missionaries.  Pray they would enjoy a committed, intimate relationship of friendship with the Lord. (Ruth 2:13)
    Pray that the Lord will provide physical and spiritual bread for missionaries. (Ruth 2:14)
    Pray that the Lord allows missionaries to not only glean the edges of the field but the sheaves as well. (Ruth 2:15) (He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:6)
    Thank Jesus for laborers that GO into the Harvest and for His abundant blessings.

Wendy Gerky
District Prayer Coordinator
Rocky Mountain District
(Info from: WNOP Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Nine Steps of Intercession" from WNOP.
Nine Steps of Intercession Most Christians have a desire to impact the kingdom through their prayers. Often, we jump in and start praying for everything that we can think of that needs prayer. While this may have some impact, Spirit-led prayers are more effective. The following are proven steps that help prepare us to be effectively used in intercessory prayer.

REPENT:
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord won’t hear me.”(Psalm 66:18)
Before we go before the throne of God on behalf of others, we must have clean hands and a pure heart.
RELATIONSHIP CHECK: (first with God, then with others)

With God
Am I putting Him first in my life?
Am I trusting Him fully?
Am I spending time in His Word?
Am I obedient to the leading of His Spirit?

With Others
Is there anyone I need to askfor forgiveness?
Is there anyone I need to forgive?

READ more info at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/fa59efba-f9b6-4d85-85a6-8a369d22d9cf.pdf
(Information from: The Praying Life Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Confronting Goliaths Through Prayer."
Jesus instructed us to pray for the harvest. He also told us that we would be witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth. Surely, then our prayer influence extends to these regions as well. Besides praying for world missionaries and tangible needs in many nations, we shouldn't shrink back from, but instead wage spiritual battles against spiritual foes active in regions around the globe. Beyond praying daily for a powerful end-time awakening, we can pray against spiritual forces of the enemy at work on the earth.

If this is done by a few, that's good. But how much more powerful would it be if millions of people were praying regularly against specific strongholds of the enemy that oppose end-time revival? Suicide and the heroin/opioid addiction epidemic seem to be some of the "Goliaths" of our day. I believe we're soon to have such a massive move of God that we'll see these spirits dealt severe blows. Before the end of this age, I believe we'll see people powerfully delivered, and the world will look to God for healing, salvation, and deliverance.  

Jesus is soon to return and is counting on us to reach the broken, spiritually-diseased people in the world who desperately need His help. Now is the time to pour our hearts into God's work as never before. God will use us in supernatural ways as we totally surrender to Him and stay continually full of His Spirit. We have powerful influence in the spirit realm through prayer and spiritual warfare. I've prayed against the spirit of suicide for some time that has waged war on our veterans and military personnel, but now it's becoming a greater problem in the population at large. There are many strongholds we can pray against to help dismantle the work being constructed by the enemy. There are others you may add to the list, but with God's help we can pray to bind the spirit and the strongman of the following:

    Suicide and euthanasia
    Mental illness
    Islam and Catholicism
    Atheism
    Cancer/COVID-19
    Heroin /Opioid addiction
    Abortion
    Human trafficking

Allison Gaff
Alexandria, Louisiana
(From: WNOP Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"The Paradox of Prayer."
In chapter two of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon seemed to be expressing frustration at the futility of life. This may cause us to take pause since we would expect this King, who was endowed with wisdom and riches, to have only positive things to say about life. But when we look closely at what he was trying to convey, we see what appears to be a paradox. A paradox, according to an initial Google search, "is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement in logic that, superficially, cannot be true but also cannot be false." We understand that the Word of God is true, and that Solomon's words present us with what could be a conflicting view of God's goodness and provision. But what he was saying is that all things are vanity unless we enjoy what we have worked for, and what God has blessed us with. A day void of prayer robs us of that ability.
 
As the cross is foolishness to those who perish, so may prayer seem absurd and a waste of time to those who don't believe. Faith is hoping for those things we cannot see as if they were already there. And prayers must be prayed with expectation based on our knowledge of God's goodness. Our prayers must be prayed as more than spoken words, but as actual words of life. All things hoped for must be realized in the spiritual realm before they can exist in the physical realm. If we choose to worry, instead of focusing on the good things God has given us, we will be robbed of our joy and our prayers will be in vain. Thanksgiving is an integral part of productive prayer. We are admonished to "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2).
 
Prayer is more than paradoxical, it is a reality where dreams live and flourish; where hope is found and given; and where the love of God is demonstrated through the everyday miracles of life, which are so often taken for granted. Prayer goes beyond logic or human understanding, and is a force to be reckoned with. Consistent, daily, unceasing prayer is the most powerful activity believers can participate in. Praying without ceasing is "God consciousness". A continual awareness of God may also seem paradoxical, but has eternal results, and is necessary to be what God has called us to be. Walking that narrow path that leads to life requires us to have the ability to hear God's voice, to know His ways, and to walk in the Spirit. To really appreciate all God's goodness, and live an abundant life, we must know Him. Consistency is the key to have all we need, and an eternal foundation to build on. The true paradox of prayer is that even though God may seem far away, He is in reality very close to those that call on His Name.
 
Beth Marie Evans
International Christian Fellowship
Brookfield, Illinois
(From: WNOP Prayer Connect Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Shedding Light on the Dark Things."

From the beginning of creation, God has made a distinction between light and darkness. He is the Great Emancipator, but also the Great Separator. God is not willing to let anyone perish, but scripture also makes it clear that God does not force His will on anyone. There is a perfect will of God for His creation, whether mankind wants to embrace it or not. It is God’s will for light to overcome darkness, and righteousness to overcome wickedness.

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/930e3230-e75a-43a1-b5ea-6530f8742af4.pdf




"Praying the Word: Why and How."

Have you ever wanted or needed to pray for someone, and you had no idea how to pray or what words to use? Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This tells us that reading and obeying God’s Word will help keep us from sin. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God’s Word can help us build our faith. Did you know there is another powerful use of the Word of God? Did you know you can use His Word as a prayer? As a matter of fact, it is the most powerful way you can pray. Praying the Word is like super-charged praying.

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/0311fc8c-d2f5-4617-a280-f8d94e2cfd25.pdf



"Set to Seek the Lord."

So often we fall into a rut of praying for me and mine. If all is well in our world, we tend to think this is the case globally. Unfortunately, that is not so. There are many things that desperately need our prayers. Make time this week to seek the Lord on behalf of needs bigger than your small world. Ask Him to guide you to the global causes that need your prayers.

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/2442c9c3-a0c6-45c0-8068-badc90fbe3dc.pdf

( All information above from: The Praying Life Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )


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Return Unto Rest, Oh My Soul! - from Danielle Lee.
Just like everyone else these days my world is looking vastly different than it did even a month ago. With no onsite church services, restaurants, stores, or places of entertainment open, I find myself with more quiet time than I am used to. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but am I using this time to my benefit spiritually, or am I just filling it with more distractions and worry? I have to admit that in the past few weeks, I have dealt with more anxiety than I ever have before. In short, I have been struggling to find the rest my soul needs. I know I am not alone in feeling this,  and it's a really heavy burden to bear. However, God's Word shows us just how to conquer this!
 
This morning while reading the Word I read one of my very favorite passages, Psalm 116. It's a perfect picture of how God wants to give us rest. This is a trying time, many have lost their jobs or they may have a family member or friend who is sick with the virus. There is just so much that is unknown, but in His word He gives us perfect hope! We have access to a God that wants to give us the peace we need to get through this storm. The psalmist wrote it all perfectly. If we follow this method, we will find rest and walk in the land of the living when this trial is over!
 
I hope this Word gives you hope as it has given me this morning. I pray that you believe that God is in control and He really does know exactly where you are. Call on Him when you are feeling overwhelmed and He will answer. He is the Master of the wind, and He will speak peace to your storm.
 
"I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 116:1-9). 
 
Danielle Lee
WNOP Administrative Aide
( Info from: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )


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BE THE CHURCH! - from Claudette Walker.
I had been with the Lord for several hours last Monday morning. At 7:40 am I was standing in my kitchen when He began to dictate this message to me for all of His people.
 
The Lord said, "Oh, that My people were as aware of the virus of sins and weights that can so easily beset them as they are aware of the Coronavirus! The finish line of your race is near!! I need for my people to DISTANCE THEMSELVES from all sin and distractions. FOCUS ON ME as a bride focuses on her groom the days before the wedding. BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY!! Check your lamps to make sure they are full of oil!! Be FULL OF MY SPIRIT! Seek to be LED BY MY SPIRIT in these days of turmoil and uncertainty."
 
Prayer Focus:

    Ask God for a SPIRIT OF PRAYER. Ask the Lord to pray THROUGH YOU according to His will. Pray often in tongues. REPENT!!
    PROTECTION for all of us from the virus. Anoint the windows and doors of your home.
    HEALING for all of those worldwide who have the virus.
    WISDOM for all government and health officials to make wise decisions.
    WISDOM  for ALL Pastors and Missionaries to shepherd their churches via technology.
    Pray for creative ways to witness and teach Bible Studies. Invite people to watch our services online.
    Pray for CONVICTION for those who do not know God. Pray they will be led to Apostolic websites and hear TRUTH preached.
    Pray for PRODIGALS all over the world to be drawn to return to the Lord.
    Ask for FINANCIAL PROVISION for all of those who now have no income. Our evangelists now have no meetings, and thus no income.
     Pray that all saints will be faithful to give their tithes and offerings so the church bills can be paid.
    PROTECTION for all who work in the medical profession and for first-responders.
    PRAY AGAINST THE SPIRIT OF FEAR that is rampant in the earth.

I encourage you to fast as the Lord leads you. We need to be informed, but do not let your spirit be pulled down by a steady diet of the news. Remember to quote and live Philippians 4:8-9. We must THINK ON THINGS OF GOOD REPORT. Watch anointed sermons. Listen to anointed music. Take regular PRAISE BREAKS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. Sing to the Lord. Dance in your homes. Have verbal testimonies of all that God has done for you. Read the Word often.
 
We must more than ever...BE THE CHURCH!!!
 
Claudette Walker
Faith Apostolic Church of Troy
Troy, Michigan
( Info from: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )


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Unto Us the Cross is the Power of God by Pastor Don Rogers
 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:18).

The act of Calvary represents history's most powerful demonstration of love by Jesus Christ. All because it exploded an unparalleled power against evil and a superior love for humanity never seen before. All hope, miracles, strength and sustaining love flows from the finished works of Calvary by Jesus Christ. Every act He performed through Calvary was for redemptive, reconciliatory and relationship purposes (Hebrew 4:15).
 
1.     His trial and court case with the Sanhedrin (Isaiah 53:3-4):
  Was for power to be released to help us when we experience the slander.
  Was for power released to help us when we experience character assassinations.

2.     His scourging and beatings (Isaiah 53:5):
  Was for power to be released for our physical sufferings we would experience.
  Was for power released to give us our physical healing.

3.    The crown of thorns (Philippians 2:5):
  Was for power released for our mental and emotional healing.
  Was for power to be released for strength and endurance for the mind.

4.    The nail piercings of His hands (John 20:27):
Was for power to be released to help us with service ministry and loving others.

5.    The nail piercings for His feet (Romans 10:15):
  Was for power released for our jobs and ministries.
  Was for carrying the Gospel.

6.    The piercing of His side (Ephesians 5:30):
  Was for power released to be His Bride.
  Was for power to learn how to receive his kind of superior love for us.

7.    The robe Jesus wore (Isaiah 61:10):
Was for power to walk in our identity.
Was for power to walk in holiness living.
 
Calvary is FINAL! It is our total source for power and passion when engaging in spiritual warfare and intimacy with Jesus Christ. Regarding this message, let's pray through faith these areas into the natural, based on Calvary's finished Works (Colossians 2:14-15).
 
Pastor Don Rogers
The Pentecostals of Wisconsin
District Prayer Coordinator
Wisconsin District
(From: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)


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"Spring 90 Day Prayer Journey" from Don and Dy Anne Long
It is almost time again for our Spring 90 Day Prayer Journey for our beloved prodigals.  As in the past, we will begin on Wednesday, April 1. Our theme this year is 'Welcome Home.'

We pray and fast for our prodigals to return, but have we thought about the personal responsibility and commitment of loving them home and then loving them to complete restoration?  Loving prodigals requires a cost; a complete trust in Our Heavenly Father and submitting fully to the process within us and them. 

As the rooster crowed the second time on that early morning in Jerusalem, the Apostle Peter realized what he had done.  He had failed Jesus.  We can only imagine how he must have felt.  Jesus knew.  He didn't send a word of reprimand, or "Remember what I said you would do," or "I told you so." He didn't put him through steps of earning back his place with the eleven. 
 
Peter didn't need to be told how wrong he was.  He already knew just as our beloved prodigals know.  Jesus simply had the young man dressed in white by the tomb that day to include Peter by name, when he announced the instructions to the women where they could go to find Jesus.  That was His 'Welcome Home' sign.  He could return and he would be safe.  Just come home.  Your welcome is waiting.  He even trusted him with the message of The Gospel on The Day of Pentecost.
 
Having the heart of Jesus with our prodigals takes time in His presence and The Word.  It takes much intentional preparation and commitment.  It takes spiritual warfare and rest; rest in our minds and bodies.  It takes persistent childlike faith and trust. 

We love them when they do not deserve to be loved just as Jesus loved us and sacrificed His all for us when we were yet in sin and unlovable.  The heart of Jesus says you may not feel you deserve to be loved but, "I want you home.  You are welcome.  I am here until you are healed and whole.  I won't preach to you.  I won't quote or send scriptures in text.  I won't re-preach sermons.  I won't look for opportune times to manipulate your thoughts.  I won't judge or condemn you when you fall.  I won't try to change you.  I'll trust Jesus to do that.  I'm just going to love you.  His Spirit within you will lead and guide you.  We can trust that process.  You and He will do this together.  With healthy boundaries understood by both of us, I commit to love you until..."
 
As we approach the eleventh 90 Days of Prayers For Our Prodigals Prayer Journey, let us think and pray about The Father in Luke 15.  His heart had been in preparation while waiting for his wayward son.  We don't know how long the son was gone.  We just know that 'gone' can mean anything.  Praying and preparing in trust, takes intentional focus; not on just the son but also on The Father.  When the son returned, the Father's heart received (Greek: dechomai...warmly receptive, welcoming) him.  He had no fear of the days ahead or the restoration process.  His heart was perfectly aligned and prepared. 

Lord, prepare our hearts as we pray for Your covenant children's return to You.  There has been no greater or more important time on God's timeline up to this time for bringing home Your Covenant Sons and Daughters!  Let us be mindful of the work You desire first in us.  Help us to align our 'Welcome Home' with Yours.  In Jesus Name, amen. 

With a deep longing for the harvest,
Don and Dy Anne Long
POA HOPE Prayer...for prodigals and those who love them.
Pentecostals of Alexandria
Email: hopejer3117@aol.com
( Info from: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )


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A Corporate Prayer against the Coronavirus: A Temple Dedication by Pastor Don Rogers
In I Kings 8:5-40, the real focus was the dedication of Solomon's temple with an emphasis on bringing the Ark of the Covenant back into the temple. The temple dedication is also about you and I during this time of unprecedented attack of the coronavirus on our country. Therefore, we are asking God to hear our prayers corporately for the rededicating of our values, our ambitions, and our personal lifestyles to reflect a greater honor and reverence for God's laws. This is preceded with the rededication of our personal ark, and pursuing intimacy with the covenant God of Israel in fellowship and obedience.
 
The Ark represented the highest form of prayer intimacy for the people of Israel. Lord help us to examine our personal intimacy with You, Oh Lord, in prayer, that we would desire to know You in a deeper way in the fellowship of suffering and be made conformable to Your death. May this be included in our prayers for ourselves, our families, our churches and our nation.
 
Solomon offered burnt animal sacrifices. This represents our repentance to God for the sins of our nation and our churches. We are appealing to God's sovereign love to forgive His people and heal the land according to His ways and law. We are praying for those who do not recognize the sovereignty of the God of Israel, that they would recognize and give glory to the One true God of Israel who controls all human affairs. 
 
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, the very body that the coronavirus is attacking, is the Body of Christ. We, like Solomon, must rededicate our bodies to the One true God of Israel. To implore his mercies towards our country, our government officials, our medical leaders and our families. To give them wisdom and unity to work together to restore order and civility to our nation, which belongs to you.
 
We ask these things in the Name of Jesus Christ. And we declare King Solomon's words in our corporate prayer together, "Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray..." (I Kings 8:30).
 
Pastor Don Rogers
The Pentecostals of Wisconsin
Wisconsin District Prayer Coordinator
(Information from: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)


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Who is That God?
by Reverend Wilson Hudson
In Daniel chapter 5 there is a phrase that has arrested my attention; it is when the King asked the three Hebrews, Who is "That God" that shall deliver you out of my hand? It would be easy to discuss the call to compromise, to grapple with the difficulty of Daniel's helplessness or the danger of disobeying the Kng's command. But the real focus of our attention should be upon the King who was so sure that His hand was stronger than the one he had never seen in action.

So many in our day have seen what man's hand has been able to accomplish with limited ability and strength. But when faith was placed in the fire, the fire became a platform to reveal the presence of "That God" who was able to deliver His faithful ones in the fire, through the fire, and after the fire.
 
When we take time to ponder how we should pray for those in times of crisis, perhaps these points can be taken from  Daniel chapter 5 to guide us.
 
Pray:

    That what they believe about "That God's" delivering power will become stronger.
    That they will have the courage to stand for "That God," when others fall away.
    That their confidence will not be in the circumstance, or the outcome, but in "That God."
    That they will believe that "That God" was with them in the crowd and in front of the King, and that He will not forsake them in the fire.
    That they will know that when they stand up for "That God," that He will not only stand up for them, but he will stand with them.
    For them to know that it is their unwavering faith in "That God" that sustained them and brought the victory.
    That they will be able to see those who opposed them and that their total trust in "That God," will cause them to confess that "This God" is the only one that can deliver from the hands of men.

Reverend Wilson Hudson
District Prayer Coordinator
West Virginia District
(Information from: WNOP Prayer Connect - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

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"Understanding in the Midst of the Plague" by Beth Marie Evans.

No matter what comes our way, when we are on God’s side. He will make us overcomers. God promised His people that if they walked in His ways that they would be protected from the diseases of Egypt. The world and Egypt are typified in Biblical terms to mean one and the same.

The plague that has recently come upon the earth should be of no surprise to those who know, believe, and therefore, live God’s word. We shouldn’t be surprised because we know God judged Israel for idol worship and sacrificing their children, which are only two current violations of  His word. Today our children are sacrificed in many ways. Two ways our children are being sacrificed are through abortion and not training children up in the way that they should go. We see the evidence of this today in our world.

It is important that the people of God “understand” that our world is in serious trouble, and those of us that have knowledge must also get understanding. It is not enough to know God’s Word; we must understand what God is saying in this hour. We must demonstrate God’s Word and be able to say to a lost and dying world, “This is the way to go.”We must “understand” God sees what is going on and is beginning to shake and divide.

Hebrews 12:27 says,“Now this, ‘Yet once more,’indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.”The word “shaken” as used here means to cast down from one’s (secure and happy) state, to move, to agitate the mind, to disturb. Many will not understand this, but those who know God must have understanding like the children of Issachar who understood the times and become an expert in war like Zebulun.

Pray...
1. We would have understanding of the times, knowing what we should do (I Chronicles 12:32).
2. We would walk in unity, keeping rank in the Body of Christ(I Chronicles 12:33).
3. We would not be double-minded or allow fear to cause us to lose faith (I Chronicles 12:33).
4. For wisdom to know the difference between what is true and false (James1:5).
5. For understanding to know God in the midst of uncertainty (Proverbs 4:7).
6. That God would enable us to know who He is calling at this time (John 15:16).
7. That the Church will draw close to God, and truly know Him (Matthew 27:22-23).

Please add to this list as God inspires you in prayer. “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright” (Psalms 33:1).

Beth Marie Evans
Prison Ministry/Apostolic Author
International Christian Fellowship
Brookfield, Illinois
(Information from: The Praying Life Newsletter - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)


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Passing Faith in the Miricle Worker to the Next Generation by Mariann Starin.

"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children . . . talk of them when thou sittest . . . walkest . . . liest down, and . . . risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
 
"The unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and . . . in thee also . . . stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not . . . ashamed of the testimony of our Lord" (II Timothy 1: 5-8).
 
At my mother's funeral, a pastor who was a product of my parents' pioneering ministry in New York testified of how my mother's extraordinary prayer with simple faith caused an extraordinary shift in how he viewed prayer early in his walk with God.
 
During an already difficult financial situation, his house had been robbed. His neighborhood had many drug addicts who stole cash to immediately turn it into drugs in their veins. He came to church devastated, not knowing how he was going to survive the next week. My mother's advice that "We will just pray to Jesus that the thieves will return the money" seemed simply crazy under the circumstances. With no other options, he half-heartedly joined her in her fearless faith-filled prayer.
 
Upon returning home, to this young man's amazement, the thief had returned the full amount with a note of apology. This forever changed this young man's prayer life and relationship with God. He realized that God truly can do the extraordinary; we just simply have to believe that He can and ask.
 
How did my mother, who was raised during the Great Depression with little resources, come to believe this simple fact that we simply expect (believe) and ask (faith) Jesus, the miracle worker to work miracles? Her father had been used by God to pray for the sick and even experienced the dead miraculously raised back to life. His living model caused the prayers for the miraculous to be understood by her as the normal privilege of any child of God. She herself had been miraculously healed of asthma.
 
Although the financial circumstances of my childhood were much better than that of my parents, their living model taught me also to bring concerns to the feet of Jesus, first - no matter what. Fearless faith-filled prayer is the always-available conversation of life with answers and solutions.
 
When I became a Register Professional Nurse, my life and job experiences just reconfirmed that if people understood how much medical professionals do not know, there would be less trouble trusting God. A patient once singled me out from the medical team to thank me for my silent heart-prayer, which only God could have allowed them to see, as the reason for their restored health in their life and death moment.
 
Your living example overcomes doubt and demonstrates to the next generation a pattern of fearless faith-filled prayer to the miracle worker. Train up a child from birth by simply always including them in the prayer process in all life's situation. Pray for and pray with your children; have your children pray for you. You will both be amazed by Jesus, the miracle worker.
 
Note: Mariann Starin is the daughter of pioneering church planters and a Register Professional Nurse. She and her husband, Mark, have been Global Missions-Representative to The Middle East since 1984. She is mother of Angelica and Alexander and grandmother of two.
(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl April 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)


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Miracles Still Happen Today by Anne Johnston.

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." (Isaiah 65:24)
 
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a miracle as "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs."  A miracle is an event so marvelous that it seems it was sent from above.
 
Sometimes, we may not realize we are receiving a miracle until we look back later and realize just how events have transpired. "God takes circumstances and adds the power of the miraculous."
 
A couple of years ago, I was experiencing a lot of pain in my chest and arms, so the cardiologist sent me for a nuclear heart scan. They found nothing wrong with my heart but advised my family doctor that there was a suspicious lump.
 
After several mammograms and ultrasounds, a growth was discovered, and surgery was scheduled. Thankfully, they got it all and results were that I would not need chemo or radiation.
Because routine mammograms are not done here in Quebec for someone my age, if the heart scan had not seen a problem, the cancer would probably not have been discovered until it had progressed to something far more serious. Thank the Lord it was small and discovered early.
 
Through prayer, God gave me peace through the whole process and His assurance that whatever happened, He was in complete control.
 
"The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion" (Psalm 20:1-2).
 
It is so wonderful to belong to the great family of God and know that we can depend on their prayers when we are facing situations in our lives. Thank God for my miracle.
I believe in miracles, and I know that the Lord performed one in my life. He was in complete control through the entire process.  I give Him the thanks and the glory for what He has done.
 
Note: Anne Johnston is a graduate of UPBI (now Northeast Christian College) in New Brunswick is a minister's kid who has been involved in various aspects of gospel work most of her life. A mother of three and grandmother of six, she attends West Island United Pentecostal Church in Pointe Claire, QC and is a member of The King's Translators.
(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl April 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)


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Shut and Locked by Mary Loudermilk

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” (John 20:19, ESV)
Life has taken some unusual twists and turns for all of us in recent days. Our minds are filled with questions as we try to understand how things could have changed so rapidly. Our schedules are altered (or canceled) and social interactions are limited. New phrases mix into our conversations as we talk about “sheltering in place” and “social distancing.” Many of us had never heard of coronavirus until it crashed into our comfortable world a few weeks ago. Now uncertainty surrounds us. We are limited in what we can do and where we can go.

This week while thinking of various friends now facing difficult situations, I realized I cannot be there in person for them. One friend lost a family member. Another is currently in a rehab facility with no visitors allowed. Still another is a shut-in with health issues. A fourth is out of the country and alone. Because of current restrictions, I am limited to calls, texts, and email messages. As I prayed for each one, I realized how limited I am in what I can do. But then God reminded me that while I have limitations, He does not.

John 20:19 is part of a passage of scripture relating events following Jesus’ resurrection. Suddenly, life as the disciples knew it no longer existed. For over three years they had walked and talked with Jesus. Their hearts were stirred as they heard His teachings and saw Him perform the miraculous. Now? Now they were hiding, locked in with their fears and uncertainty. Where should they go? What should they do?

Then Jesus stepped into the locked room.

“Peace be with you.” Yes, peace was exactly what His disciples needed. His presence in their midst and the words He spoke allowed them to look to the future. This moment in time was not the end. It was the beginning of something even greater than what they had previously known.

As I meditated and prayed that evening, God reminded me of some things.

    Walls cannot lock Him in or keep Him out.
    Borders do not restrict His movement.
    Viruses do not cause Him to fear.
    Regulations do not limit Him from coming near us.

God has no limitations on what He can do. I may not understand how He will use this current situation for His glory, but I don’t have to understand. All I need to do is trust.

When the children of Israel left Egypt on their journey to the Promised Land, they found themselves in a difficult place. The sea was behind them and a wilderness lay ahead. At that point, they saw very little to encourage them. But God had a plan to draw Pharaoh and his army into position so He could destroy them. God’s reality was very different from the people’s perception.

“For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in’” (Exodus 14:3, NKJV).

It may look like we are bewildered by current circumstances and that we are shut in by a wilderness, but in reality, God will use the things happening in our lives for our good and His glory. I cannot be with my friends during these difficult times, but God will be. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Nothing is impossible when He steps into the room.

Don’t put limitations on God’s power. He has none.

Information from: Pure Ministry - UPCI Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org


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Keep Trusting by Karen Harding
One of my favorite hymns is "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus." I want to encourage someone today to keep trusting. Turn it over to Jesus. It is so hard, when we are going through something, to relinquish control. The thing is, when we let go, He takes over. I'd rather let Jesus work it out. He knows a lot more than I do. He knows what's best for me.
   
Get into His Word. Trust him. Jeremiah 32:27 says, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" The answer is no! Lord, there is nothing too hard for You."

I trust Him. He has never failed me. He will never fail you either. His Word declares, "And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him" (Psalm 37:40). He is waiting for us to let Him help. Psalms 121:1-2 reminds us to do this: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."

We don't have to know how He will do it; we just need to trust that He will. He will give us peace. He will answer our prayers. He still heals. He is still our provider. He is still a way maker. He is everything we need. Don't stay up all night worrying about things. Let Him stay up and handle it. Let Him work it out. Stop fretting and start trusting. God's got this. Can somebody say amen?

Information from: Pure Ministry - UPCI Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org


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Praying During the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic
By Lisa Marshall, Global Missions Prayer Leader

In this time of uncertainty, the church must look to God for our answers, our protection, and our hope. While the needs are great, we must not forget that our God is greater. During these tumultuous times, we may not be able to gather for prayer together, however we can pray confidently knowing when our faith unites with His power, all things are possible.
Prayer Guide
Declare the Sovereignty of God. Praise Him for being:

    our Savior, Lord and King
    the Great Physician who can heal as well as reveal insights for medical treatments
    the Prince of Peace who can calm panic, reduce fear, and bring unity
    the Wonderful Counselor who gives wisdom and brings comfort
    the Almighty, for whom nothing is too hard

    Pray for an end to the virus's spread. The coronavirus did not take God by surprise; He is still governing and sustaining the world. Pray for God's healing mercy and that He would graciously bring this pandemic to an end. Pray for healing for all those affected by the virus.

    Pray for the worldwide Body of Christ. Pray we will rise to the occasion and be a shining light to people and societies that are filled with fear. Pray that in the midst of fear, people will get desperate and turn to God and Truth. Pray for a worldwide harvest of prodigals.

    Pray for government leaders. At all times, Christians are called to pray for those in positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:2). This is especially true during a time of national emergency. Pray for the president, vice president and his team, governors, mayors, and all those making decisions related to public health and safety. Pray for a spirit of bipartisanship as lawmakers work together to protect people. Help them to know what to do, when to do it and the proper steps to take. (Daniel 2:21b-22)

    Pray for healthcare workers and first responders. Pray Psalm 91 protection upon doctors, nurses, emergency responders, and other medical professionals who are doing research on the coronavirus.

     Pray for church leaders. Pastors around the country are making difficult decisions related to public worship and the safety of their members. Pray that pastors will have wisdom to faithfully shepherd the congregations under their care, even if they are unable to physically gather (I Peter 5:2). Pray that Christians will love their neighbors well during this time (Mark 12:31).

    Pray for the vulnerable. Authorities tell us that those immuno-compromised people are especially at risk as the virus spreads. Pray for protection for the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and those facing financial hardship. Pray for students who are being required to vacate university and college housing with very little notice. Over the next few weeks, there will be many opportunities to meet tangible needs. Pray that God's people meet these opportunities with wisdom and grace (Matthew 25:35-40).

    Pray for honest reporting. Christians should pray for those in the news media. Pray that reporters and journalists would accurately report updates about the status of the virus, and not seek to peddle conspiracies, politicize the threat, or stoke fear where it is unwarranted.

    Pray for the economy. Pray the economy will recover quickly from this unexpected pandemic. Pray that the necessary supplies the public needs will be replenished in a timely manner.

    Pray for a spirit of generosity. During this time, churches will face a loss of income at a time when there are many opportunities to meet physical needs. Pray that God's people will manifest a spirit of generosity and sacrificially give of their time and resources to meet needs that will arise (II Corinthians 9:6-8).

    Pray for a posture of trust. Scripture teaches us that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control (II Timothy 1:7). Pray for enduring faith during this season of heightened fear, anxiety, and confusion. Appropriate precautions should be taken, but Christians must continue to rely on God and trust His purposes and plans (Romans 8:28).

     Pray for the spread of the gospel. In this time of great anxiety, pray that God's people would be ready to meet the world with the comfort and hope that only the good news of Jesus Christ can offer.

     Pray for the family and friends who have lost loved ones. To date, thousands of people have died as a result of the coronavirus. Pray for those grieving the loss of these people. Pray for healing and wellness for those who were in close contact with these victims before they passed.

(Information from: Pure Ministry - UPCI Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org)


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Still Raising the Dead by Rhonda Burk.


Without realizing it, we are teaching our children continuously. Through the words we speak, the actions we take and what they hear in the house of God, these will form our children for the rest of their lives. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This scripture is a promise many need to be reminded to hold on to.
 
Brother Erik was raised by a mother who taught him to pray. He not only had witnessed a beautiful life of prayer, but now, with children of his own, it was time to put what he had learned into practice. He, his wife Tara, and their children Meagan, Nolan, and Mason loved living away from it all. One of the benefits of living outside of town was the privilege of owning their own farm animals. Meagan took a strong liking toward chickens, and they began buying her a few. This story is about one of those chickens, who was ironically named "Darkness."
 
As the family prepared to leave home for the day, no one thought anything about the container of water left close to the chickens. Darkness, however, was a little too curious and fell into the water while they were away for the day. Upon returning home, Megan found the horrible site of Darkness floating, stiff as a board, in the water. He had been in the water long enough for it to steal all of the life and light out of Darkness. Sadness gripped the heart of these parents, but the faith that was passed down from grandmother gripped Meagan's heart.
 
"We have to pray, daddy," yelled Meagan. And for a few minutes pray they did, while holding the stiff body of Darkness in their arms. Nothing. No movement. This is when Meagan stood firm upon a belief that had been drilled into her since she could understand English. "But you said God can do ANYTHING, if we pray in Jesus name that ANYTHING is possible. Please, Daddy, let's pray again." By faith, Meagan stretched her uncut hair across Darkness.
 
It was a couple of hours later when the sputtering, choking sounds of life coming back into the body of Darkness, turned the praying into praising. God had once again fulfilled his Word and His promise. Darkness was full of light and Meagan's faith was impacted for life.
 
"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also" (II Timothy 1:5).
 
Note: Rhonda Burk, Illinois District ladies President, is a sinner saved by grace, a student first and then a teacher, a blessed wife, mother of three, grandmother of five, licensed minister with UPCI, and First Lady at Landmark, Bethalto, Illinois.
(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl April 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)


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A Focus on God’s Attributes

I’ve always been able to hold up my end of a conversation without difficulty. Except, that is, when it came to prayer, and particularly when I tried to express my praise to God. Attempting to begin and end my prayer times with praise and adoration, I often found myself flat-out speechless. I wanted to praise God with all that was within me, but I couldn’t think of one sensible thing to say. I recently read a book called Invading the Privacy of Godby Cecil “Cec”Murphey. The book describes how Cec’s prayer life was revolutionized when he settled on the practice of praying God’s attributes as praise. I began  imitating  that  practice  in  my  own  times  of  praise,  and  over  the  course  of  a  few  months,  I developed a “program of praise” that has proven wonderfully helpful. It has opened a door for me, and my praises to God now flow freely from my heart and lips during prayer. I focus on one attribute of my awesome God and Father each day, using the Scripture-based sentencesas “praise starters.” At the end of each month, I start the list over, combining traits when the month is shorter than 31 days.

READ more online at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/6989a7b3-35e2-494b-a648-417332f3e64f.pdf
(From: The Praying Life - World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)


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A Passion To Pray by Tim Massengale.

In  the  opinion  of  many,  of  the  many  spiritual  disciplines nothing  is more  important  than  prayer. Nothing will quite impact our spiritual development like a well-developed prayer life. However, prayer has sadly become one of the most neglected of disciplines in our hurried lives. If you hunger for a closer  walk  with  God,  the  following  six  points  will  help  you  to  develop  your  prayer  life  in  a  more meaningful way.

The importance of prayer. With God, everything revolves around relationship. God desires you to know Him, to love Him, and to make Him the number one priority of your life. While He desires our service, it falls a distant second to relationship.

In Luke 10:38 we read of Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha. Martha was focused on service, taking care of her guests. In contrast, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and drank in the words that Jesus spoke. Martha complained that Mary was not helping. Jesus told her that Mary “hath chosen that good part” and that Martha should not be so “careful and troubled about many things."

READ more of A Passion To Pray just click here.