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 for Hearing God’s Voice by Stephen M. Harris
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

We remember that prayer is a dialogue between the believer and God. It’s a two-way communication that involves both talking and listening. Prayer is not complete if we do all the talking and expect God to do all the listening. True prayer requires both. Let’s pray to hear God’s voice. Hearing God also means a readiness to obey. God does not speak to just give people a chance to decide if they want to obey. God speaks to those who take Him seriously and who stand ready to respond to whatever He says. Let’s learn to listen to the Shepherd’s voice.

Pray the following:
    Lord, I praise You as my Shepherd for You are the one who speaks so that I may hear Your voice and follow You where you lead.
    Lord, I Thank You O God for telling us the truth about Yourself and also about ourselves.  
    Lord, I confess any lack of desire or any personal failure in hearing Your voice. Help me to have ears to hear what Your Spirit is speaking today.
    Lord, give me listening ears to hear Your voice and discern Your voice from the many voices that are speaking.
    Lord, open my heart to Your impressions and please help me close my ears to the whispering of the evil one.
    Lord, today I stand as an intercessor for those who are not listening to Your Word or Your Spirit and are straying from truth.

Stephen M. Harris
Campus Pastor
Christian Life Church
Port Washington, Wisconsin
(From: World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci.org)

*************************************

" Friends or Frenemies? "
(Debbie Sanders, director of Today's Christian Girl, discusses the important role parents play in helping their children develop and maintain healthy friendships.)

One of the greatest gifts we are afforded in life is friendships. Children, pre-teens, and teens often need guidance from adults—parents, pastors, and student leaders—when making true friends. As adults, we have been down the road a few years and have learned, sometimes the hard way, that our choice of friends is important.

Your Role
It is important that you spend time getting to know your child’s friends. Invite them over for dinner, give them a ride home after a church activity, or talk with their parents. Pray about your child’s friendships. Don’t be paranoid or overbearing, but if you feel a check in your spirit, watch and guide cautiously.

Don't forget that they are watching how you treat your friends, as well as the importance you put on investing in and growing friendships. They will follow your example. Teenage and pre-teen years are when children struggle with self-esteem and are trying to discover and establish their own identity. This can often give way to drama. It is the responsibility of parents and youth leaders to address these friendship issues in a helpful way. Consider the following:

1. Do not overreact in a way that encourages drama; avoid being critical.

2. Remember that there are two sides to every story. Don't assume that someone has intentionally hurt your child or youth.

3. Try to help the child see past the action to the motive. Did the other person react due to embarrassment? Was it just an oversight and not deliberate?
4. While encouraging them to share their heart with you, teach them not to discuss their hurt with others. Proverbs 17:9 tells us that he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Initiate talks about friendships. Important issues to discuss are:

1. No friendship is perfect. Friendship issues are a normal part of life and all friendships have their challenges.
2. Learn to accept and overlook quirks in others. Accept people for who they are. Others will have different views than us, but a good relationship does not hinge on two people agreeing on everything.
3. On-off friendships are not healthy. If someone is your friend only when it is convenient or when no one else is around, they are not a true friend.
4. Spending all your time with one friend is not healthy. Be consistent and friendly to everyone, not just your closest friends. Encourage them not to form cliques that exclude others.

Toxic Friendships
Sometimes we find that people are not what we initially thought they were. They might talk bad about others, are unkind and dishonest, or do not display the characteristics of a Christian.

Teach that when someone’s influence causes you to lose your identity, it is time to exit the friendship. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” We become like our friends whether we want to or not. Our friendships influence who we are and how we act. Don’t sacrifice your own individuality or change who you are just so you can be granted the privilege of belonging to a certain group. Learn to appreciate the unique things about yourself.

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (I Corinthians 15:33, NIV). Teach your children to use wisdom and to have the courage to sever relationships that become toxic or unhealthy, thus frenemies.

Establishing Friendships
Teach your child that their attitude and the way they present themselves will either attract people or turn them away. Are they approachable? Do they smile and greet others when they first see them? Do they respect others’ talents and gifts or resent them for having abilities that they do not? Negative people do not attract friendships.

If others are made to feel comfortable in their presence, people will seek it again, thus forging a friendship. The wise King Solomon taught us in Proverbs 18:24 that if one wishes to make friends, they must first be friendly.

Maintaining Friendships
Friendships are two-way streets. If one friend shares their heart and the other does not, the friendship is left wanting and can only grow to a certain degree. One study showed the more authentic—meaning the more open and honest—a child is about their true feelings the more likely they are to have closer connections with their friends.

Friendships require a certain amount of vulnerability to grow. It is a task that requires time and energy, and can sometimes even get messy, but the result is something beautiful that truly makes life sweeter.

FROM: UPCI Family Ministries family@upci.org

****************************************
The God of Miracles
By Kiersten Paul
    
“Mothers are appointed to teach their children. However, some important lessons are best taught us by our children. The lesson of childlike faith is one of these.
 
"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3-4).
 
A child's faith is without suspicion, cynicism, or fear. It is innocent and has a confident trust in God and His Word. The faith of a child is pure and sincere. A child doesn't reason why God doesn't do something. There is a simple trust in God's ability to perform what the Word of God says.
 
When it comes to faith for miracles and healing, children do not hesitate to believe. Our then four-year-old daughter, Caroline, on her own accord asked to pray for my mother's damaged feet. She got on the floor, laid her tiny hands on my mother's aching feet, and prayed a simple prayer of faith. Is it any surprise that my mother's feet were healed?
 
In our grown up walk with God, it is easy to become calloused by the unanswered prayers for healing and adopt faithless concepts in order to shield our selves from disappointment. Some of those ideas can include "It is not God's will" or "God has a plan for this sickness."
When we read the Bible, it produces the faith to believe what we have read. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17, NKJV).We can believe He has already paid for healing and it is His will to heal. Isaiah 53:5 says," But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed" (ESV).
 
Recently, I was healed from an eighteen-year-old shoulder problem that had been prayed over many times, with no healing. During an outpouring of miracles in an altar call, I realized that I needed to simply believe and accept Him for what His Word says. Jesus had taken stripes for my healing and healing was mine; I needed to believe and receive it. That day I was healed. Not only was my shoulder healed, but also an eye disease I was suffering with. God wanted to do it, but I was missing childlike faith.
 
Just like my daughter, who knew Jesus would heal my mother, let us also be found saying as in Luke 1:38, "Be it unto me according to thy word."

AND


He's a God of Miracles
By Francisca Kear
    
It was in a season of deep pain where I started fervently seeking the presence of Lord. I found myself alone; and without even speaking the language of the land, I cried out to God for a miracle. He answered me in such a manner that I felt something change. I had no idea that God was shaping me, making me whole from the inside out. "Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people" (Psalm 77:14).

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (John 16:13).

As I cried out to Him, He set me free from pain and depression. But I needed something more. Many times, I felt empty and hopeless - until one day I obeyed the voice of God. In the darkest hour of my life, He performed a miracle. He brought me back, and I said yes, Lord, thy will be done.
 
Being the oldest of twelve children, I learned to trust the Miracle Worker from my mother. We prayed as a family, and she told us to always to be obedient and do His will. As a child, I saw how my mother's faith brought food to our table. Many times, we had no food and no way to buy any. My mom prayed to the Miracle Worker during the night, and the next day food was delivered to our doorstep. I learned to trust Him in the small things and give Him the glory. He is the God of miracles and is never late.

God has revealed His supernatural power in many ways in my lifetime. He works beyond human understanding. We serve a faithful God who desires our faithfulness. He is the healer of all diseases. He is our provider, our deliverer, our peace, our joy. The author and finisher of our faith, He is the one who has chosen us and is calling us. Are we willing? I am; are you?

If you are feeling unsure, empty, lost amid all you see or hear, get back to the Word of God. Repent. Forgive. Cry out to Jesus. Build an altar in prayer. Do what the Lord is calling you to do now before it is too late.

"He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen" (Deuteronomy 10:21, NKJV).
 
This is the God of miracles, signs, and wonders. Nothing is impossible with Him. Today I am here because He performed a miracle in my soul. He made me whole, and clearly showed me He was giving me a hope and a future. Someone interceded, the Lord heard, and came to save me. I believe every tear is a prayer waiting for a miracle to happen. The answer is on the way.

PLUS


He's Still the God of Miracles
By Maci Pedigo
    
    
Some would say miracles don't happen today. I am convinced otherwise.
 
The sun was shining brightly March 28, 2011. Heading to Chicago for spring break, my brother, Georgeon, was driving with Dad riding shotgun and Mom and I in the back. We had been on the road for a little while when I heard Mom shout, "JESUS!" In slow motion, I saw the ground tilting at an odd angle through the windshield. I closed my eyes, joining Mom in crying out, "Jesus!" I thought, "We're rolling! People die when they roll!"
 
While traveling at highway speed, the axel had broken causing our van to roll over twice, sliding through the median toward the oncoming traffic. Fortunately, the front wheels caught a steel cable, crashing us down in the median. The van had landed on the driver side, dangling Dad and me from our seatbelts. After making sure no one was injured, we heard footsteps of men on the side, now the top, of the van. They pulled Dad out first and then the rest of us through the trunk.
 
Our family stood together, unharmed, looking at the wreckage. As we took a moment to thank God for His protection, someone shouted my Dad's name. The musical group known as Royal Tailor Band stopped. They loaded our belongings in their van and took us to our cousin's house which was only a few miles away.
 
After posting pictures of the accident on Facebook, one of the ladies of our church sent Mom an email explaining a dream that she had six weeks earlier. She had seen our van clearly wrecked. She saw Dad hanging in the seatbelt of the passenger seat, dead. The driver, whom she did not recognize, turned to her and said, "Pray for the Pedigo family." She immediately prayed and recruited two other ladies to pray was well. On the day of our accident, she was driving when the Lord prompted her to pray for us. She pulled to the shoulder of the road, called her prayer partners, and began interceding for us. The time stamp of Mom's Facebook post was the exact moment she was prompted to pull over and pray.
 
Six weeks before the moment of our greatest peril, God used a dream to urge prayers as a covering, to shield us from death. He had everything under control. He even provided transportation to shelter after the accident.
 
God is still working miracles. He hears our prayers and whether the need be big or small, it is all the same to Him. As He says in Jeremiah 32:27, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"

(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl April 2021 - UPCI Ladies - Ministries ladies@upci.org)


****************************************


"Led by His Spirit."
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

Let us do a bit of time traveling today. Imagine that you are an Israelite woman camped in the wilderness. For a few days you have been in one spot, and you have gone about your daily routine.
Each morning as you awake, the first thing you do is go to your tent door and look towards the Tabernacle. Is the cloud still hovering over the Tabernacle, or has it started to rise? Depending on the answer, you will either wake the rest of the family and start packing up your belongings, or you will just settle down for another day in camp. Of course, the first thing you will have to do is gather the daily manna so there will be food for your family, whether you are staying or traveling.
 
Numbers 9:15-23 tells us how God led His people by a pillar of cloud by night and a pillar of fire by day. When the cloud stayed upon the Tabernacle, the people rested in their tents, and when the cloud began to move, they packed up their belongings and started to march.

His Indwelling Presence
 
When I read this, I realized this had great meaning for us. Jesus leads us by His Spirit, by His presence that dwells within us. Each morning when we wake up, our first thought should be to thank the Lord for watching over us for another night, and for another day that He has given us. We should whisper a prayer to Him, asking that He will guide us and keep us through the day.
 
We do not know what the day holds, but the Lord does. When we commit the day to Him, He will lead us and guide us. As we read our Bible and pray, we are gathering the spiritual manna that we will need for whatever the day brings. Maybe today, He will just want us to rest and spend some extra time with Him. Or maybe, He has something that He wants us to do, someone He wants us to bless.
 
I was praying one morning last week, when I got a text from my neighbor asking me to pray for her. Instead of answering the text, I knocked on her door and asked her what was wrong. She was facing some difficult circumstances in her life. Since we can’t go into each other’s apartment, I prayed for her there in the hallway and felt God’s presence in a special way. As we prayed together, God ministered comfort and strength to her.

He Guides Us Each Day
 
Romans 8:14 tells us that as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God. Just as the Israelites looked for the cloud over the Tabernacle to direct their day, so we rely on the presence of the Lord that dwells within us, to guide us and direct us. Every morning, and all through the day, let us be mindful of that presence and have our ears open to hear His call.

(Information from: Anne Johnston - UPCI Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org - Preserving . Understanding . Renewing . Embracing)

**********************************


"Anointed for Service" by Mary Loudermilk.
“I shall be anointed with fresh oil” (Psalm 92:10).

Do you feel weary in your walk with God? Excitement and joy are missing; and when you do pause to meet the Lord, your time together feels superficial and empty. If so, it’s time to ask God to anoint you with fresh oil.
    
In the Old Testament special sacred oil was used to anoint and consecrated the holy articles of Tabernacle worship. God gave exact instructions for mixing the perfumed oil, and it could only be used for that purpose. Aaron and his sons were also anointed with oil to serve as priests (Exodus 30:30). The anointed one became a chosen vessel, set apart to fulfill God’s purpose.

Oil Symbolizes the Spirit

In the New Testament oil symbolize the Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the Spirit, we are consecrated, set apart from the world for a holy purpose. The anointing of the Spirit brings the power and presence of God into our lives. It also brings victory. “It shall come to pass in that day that his burden shall be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil” (Isaiah 10:27 NKJV).

It is interesting that in the Bible oil was considered a symbol of abundance (Deuteronomy 8:8) and a lack symbolized want (Joel 1:10). The Lord showed us this in Matthew 25:1-13 when He told the parable of the ten virgins. Five were wise and five foolish. Why were they foolish? Because they did not bring enough oil to keep their lamps burning as they waited for the bridegroom. While gone to seek oil, they missed the bridegroom and were shut out of the celebration. This parable reminds us to keep full of the oil of the Spirit so we do not find ourselves empty and shut out from the presence of our Bridegroom.

The apostles understood the importance of renewing the Spirit (anointing) in their lives. Following their initial Upper Room experience on the Day of Pentecost, they continued to be refilled—receive a fresh anointing—again and again. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). Stephen was “full of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:55). The Spirit baptism was not a one-time experience but a constant renewal process.

Keep the Oil Fresh

In our walk with God, it is important to seek His fresh oil each day. Otherwise, the oil of our anointing may become rancid, causing us to lose the preserving power of the God’s Spirit in our lives. We will also lose the wonder of knowing God’s purpose and plan.

We find that fresh oil in the same way we first received it—on our knees in prayer. We receive renewed power as God enables and equips us. The anointing brings a fresh understanding and enjoyment of God’s Word. We achieve victory over Satan and his desires for us.

Fresh oil brings abundance to our walk with God.
(Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org - Preserving . Understanding . Renewing . Embracing)


*************************************
Prayer and "The Divine Burden of the Intercessor" from Pastor Don Rogers.
Romans 8:26 says,"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Let there be a unison cry of earth's intercessors for the prayers below in this article. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You choose and cause to come near, that he may dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. Would you join intercessors throughout our country for these prayers?

    Pray for the great falling away of the apostasy of the Church of America. Pray for people who have quit coming to church on a permanent basis because of COVID-19. Pray also for people who have put their faith in the hands of health departments or the government, instead of God.
    Pray for people who have become more enraged with their political parties' injustices than they are about the fading holiness of God's sacred presence in America. Whereas the focus by discerning of the Spirit should be shifted to the Book of Revelation and The Lamb sitting on the throne Who will execute His sovereignty despite any government corruption or man-made interferences.
    Pray for the silent screaming of psychological, emotional trauma of children throughout America who are caged within their homes and given no voice to receive help.
    Pray for the front-line responders who risk their lives every day treating COVID-19 cases in corporate America and abroad (i.e, retail business, hospitals, etc.).
    Pray for families who have suffered greatly by sickness and death due to COVOID-19.
    Pray for local church pastors, their families, and their staff who are desperately searching for new direction and methods to keep their church alive, surviving, and growing.
    Pray for God to illuminate the power of the weaponry in the seven spirits of God in the hands of the five-fold ministry. Intercede for His corporate body to operate with overcoming authority in the thick, gross darkness of the earth. The seven spirits of God Himself manifested as the Book of Revelation Lamb specifically for end-time operation.

Let the intercessors cry before the mercy seat of the resurrected Christ so that His sovereign hand may reveal more of Himself to His Church and to the lost and the wicked. Let them cry that the holiness of His glory and the power of His name be elevated and exalted in the earth in the time of gross darkness. Perhaps your church would fast and pray, offering God the first fruits of your inheritance of consecration, that He would give a little reviving in the bondage of present-day pandemic conditions.

Pastor Don Rogers
WNOP North Central Regional Prayer Coordinator
Wisconsin District Prayer Coordinator
(Information from: World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

***************************************

"The Mission of Submission" from Kathy Brewster.
Reflecting upon the way God orchestrates the affairs of our life is beyond my scope of comprehension. Submission was always the key. It was my mission.

When the army said go, I was right by my husband’s side. I chose to disrupt the completion of my bachelor’s degree to accompany my husband to Chun, Chung South Korea. A new country, a new language, and a surprise beyond my wildest dreams.
    
Upon arrival I sought for ways to make a difference. I learned that teachers were much in demand, so I began teaching Search for Truth Bible studies. I could teach English and the Bible at the same time while my husband was serving as the Post Chaplain at Camp Page.

Doors began to swing open for a variety of teaching opportunities even though I had not yet obtained my degree. Private lessons turned into teaching at a women’s center with a private chauffeur and then a special winter course taught at a local college. My gift has always been in my voice and I was told that Koreans could understand me when I talked.

Obedience and submission take us to dimensions of impossibilities made possible.

Kang Wang University notified me with a contract to read their English training manuals. I spent hours in the studio. The experience was surreal. I had no credentials, only a gift with the Holy Ghost anointing.

Not long afterwards, I was notified by Hallym University in Chuncheon. They needed a professor to teach conversational English. They explained to me during my interview that because I did not have a PhD, I could not obtain the same salary. They did offer me a beautiful office and the ability to create my own curriculum, teaching ten classes of conversational English a week. Look at God!  Yes, the salary was inviting (all tax free), but the experiences were life-changing and invaluable.

It was in Korea that I found my niche and greatest joy as an audiobook reader.

In later years when my husband had unaccompanied tours and my children took up much of my time, I learned to be content in the state that I was in, spiritually and literally.

Submission provides a safe place for us, knowing that our safest place is in the will of God. It unlocks doors and is laced with jaw-dropping wonders!

Who could ask for a greater mission?

(Information from: SISTERS Military Newsletter - March 2021 - UPCI Ladies Ministries - sisters@upci.org)

***************************************


"Praying Beyond Our Needs" by Pastor Jerry Holt.
In our quest for revival and desire to impact our city, there is another aspect of prayer that I want to share with you and that is praying with intention to impact others. We may pray every day about the needs in our own lives, our families, and friends, yet never go beyond that into the realm of praying “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done” unless we choose to do that intentionally. We cannot  depend  on  chance  encounters  and  accidental  contact  with  others  to  bring  about  the harvest God wants to give. We must be intentional in our prayers, efforts,and actions.
READ more and the details online at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/c30ea8b3-6760-48b0-bd6b-b3ceb1283f4b.pdf

********************************************


"Three Stages of a Personal Prayer Life" by Pastor Don Rogers.
1.Bringing all thoughts under the captivity of Christ (II Corinthians 10:4)
2.Pursue (Song of Solomon) God’s love (Galatians 5:6, Song of Solomon 4:9)
3.Lay, linger and listen
READ more and the details online at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/3cca6ef2-235d-46d9-9ab0-a32607fd097c.pdf

********************************************


" Praying the Word is the Most Powerful Way to Pray! "
The Word pulsates with life, and has supremacy over every situation. In Judges 6, when the angel of the Lord told Gideon that he was chosen to be the leader who would lead the Israelites to victory against the enemy [the Midianites], there was at first disbelief on the part of Gideon. When it was all said and done, Gideon went forth with three hundred men, who had no weapons except that which God had given them. They were to hold a pitcher in one hand that housed a light, and a trumpet in the other hand. God instructed Gideon that when he blew his trumpet, that every man was then to blow his trumpet also, and cry, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” Then they were to break the pitcher and let the light shine. This speaks to me of the power of the Word in spiritual warfare. The Word is a light and shines into the darkness with penetrating force of power. (Psalm 119:105) The voice was likened to a trumpet in Isaiah 58:1, and the voice was crying forth the Word of God. The Word of God is likened to a sword in Ephesians 6:17, and also in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Nothing can stand against the intense power of the Word of God. It will subdue any enemy and bring peace where chaos reigns.
 
The Word of God is a creative force, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3). It still has the power today to create a miracle. The Word has the final authority in all things, and the Word shall not return void. While my husband was pastor in Stockton, California, there was a young lady who became very ill. She lay in the hospital depressed and the doctors had not given her much hope. Our son, Nathaniel, who was full of the Holy Ghost and faith, took his Bible and went into that room which permeated with the darkness of hopelessness. As he began to read the Word of God and as the words from the Bible filled the room there was a shift in the atmosphere. Even the nurses noticed it. The once lifeless patient began to focus on her surroundings and hope came back into her eyes. He stayed there several hours relentless in his pursuit of a miracle. Then others from the church would come and do the same: reading the Bible and letting the words penetrate the darkness. The day came when she finally was released from the hospital, not a dead woman but alive and well. The result of praying the Word was evident to all that knew what had taken place in a darkened corner of a hospital ward at the County hospital.
 
The Word of God is life. It is a fire that burns off the ropes of those who are bound. It is a joy to those who are apprehensive. It brings peace to those who are afraid. It brings light to the darkness of the mind. Like a mighty ocean, confidence rolls in with a thunderous clap of applause, acknowledging to the soul that all is well, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! To pray the Word of God is to pray the mind and will of God. The Word will last; for it shall never pass away, but shall stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8)
 
There is an anointing that comes when the Word of God goes forth into the atmosphere. The power of the Word of God causes kingdoms to crumble, devils to tremble, and diseases to disappear. To pray the Word of God is the most powerful way to pray for it is already written in heaven and God cannot lie. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Number 23:19) He shall perform, and He shall do miracles as His children pray the Word in faith over every situation, for the entrance of His Word gives light and the Light dispels the darkness! (Psalm 119:130)
 
Joy Haney
Apostolic Author
Christian Life Center
Stockton, California
(Info from: World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org)

*******************************************


"Prayer for Drawing from the Living Water" by Pastor Don Rogers.
(Isaiah 12:3)
 
If we want to activate the power of the Spirit of God, we must use the motivation of “faith in the drawing love of God.” All power, all miracles, and all healing forces operate through the abiding love we draw from because faith worketh by love. We must operate under the love motives of God or we are not drawing from the wells of salvation. For the word “salvation” in Hebrew means “Yashua,” or as Apostolics refer to as “Jesus.” Therefore, with joy or with faith in His love we draw power, strength and miracles from the wells of Jesus.
 
If we practice consistent faith in this kind of drawing, we release the kingdom of Jesus to others. Too often believers draw from many other motivations to perform Apostolic ministries. For example:

    Some are faithful in ministry out of duty and obligation. They are workaholics not doing what they do from an abiding attitude with the Spirit of God.
    Others are driven by a perfectionist attitude…striving for perfection with an obsession to not fail at any cost. On the outside they are impressive, but on the inside they are not drawing from the wells of Jesus. This leads to a controlling mentality. God always judges motives.
    Others are driven by the need to be accepted as the main motive of ministry service.
 
GOD SEEKS INTERCESSORS AND SAINTS WHO WITH JOY AND LOVE DRAW THE HOLY GHOST OUT FOR KINGDOM MANIFESTATION!
 
Now the desire of obedience is from the motive and drawing of the love for Jesus in prayer. Jesus asserts Himself as this, drawing living water to the woman at the well in John 4:6-14. This drawing love will release this woman’s bondage and strongholds if she draws from Jesus.
 
As a top priority…
     Fasting, sacrifice and giving are motivated by the drawing of joy and love from the wells of Jesus.
    This purifies our inner man. We experience transformation with this kind of motive.
    We mortify the deeds of the flesh by this kind of drawing.
    For perfect love casts out all fear.
    We follow holiness and we uphold doctrine because with joy and love we draw water out of the wells of Jesus, for He is our salvation.
 
Pray for:
    Preachers to preach truth and doctrine with conviction and with the great love of Calvary for the healing of the people.
    God to heal wounded intercessors with this love so they can return to the battlefield.
    God to unite churches and preachers with greater unity from such intercessory love.
    An outpouring of miracles to spring forth with this overwhelming love in our youth groups.
    Preachers’ wives to find cleansing and healing from the battlefield they are facing.
    End-time prophesy to be released in the five-fold ministry from this well drawing the love of Jesus.
    A revelation of drawing love to produce the spirit of judgment and conviction in our evangelistic preaching.

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

***********************************************


" Praise! " by Marjorie Kinnee.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).

The tabernacle in the wilderness had both gates and an outer courtyard. To enter, one had to first pass through the gates. The courtyard was just beyond the gates and served as the starting point for everything else that went on, whether it was sacrifices, offerings, consecrations, anointings, or corporate worship.

Being thankful is key in our approach to God. How can we expect to receive anything more if we're not thankful for what we've already been given?

But the same verse that tells us to enter His gates with thanksgiving also says to enter His courts with praise. (See Psalm 100:1-4.) Praise is an outward expression. It enumerates and evaluates the things we're thankful for, and then emancipates us, setting us free to give our good God the recognition He deserves. In so doing, we magnify Him and His goodness. By our praise-filled testimony we lift Him up so others can see how good He really is.

Praise is His due. All of nature praises Him from the birds that sing and squawk to the trees that wave in the breeze and the waves that beat against the shore. The heavenly host praises and worships Him. All these were created for that very purpose. Yet His heart yearned for praise given on a deeper level. Praise from beings created for that purpose is not the same as praise coming from a thankful heart that chooses to do so just because.

That's where we come in. When we praise God out of a heart filled with love for Him, He responds to our praise. It draws Him like a magnet and opens His eyes and ears to our situations. This kind of praise is not out of a desire to push Him into doing something for us, or to gain credit in the eyes of our peers. It springs up and out of an overflowing heart. No wonder the psalmist connects thanksgiving and praise; they belong together like salt and pepper!

Early in the day, before its challenges, before its daily-ness, before its highs and lows, we need to approach Him with His goodness in mind. Just remembering His mercies is enough to keep us thinking and moving in the right direction.

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

*************************************


" Love, Marriage—Now What? "
Getting married is a huge and exciting milestone! Many details are involved in the planning phase, but working together on a shared financial vision and keeping open communication will go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary stress in your relationship.

The following are a few financial points engaged couples and newlyweds should review.
 
Financial Goals and Budget
Start smart and converse about what you both hope to accomplish financially. This will help you structure your spending and savings habits. Keep it simple and set a monthly spending cap somewhere below your monthly income and apply the extra cash toward your financial goals.
 
Assets and Liabilities
List out the financial assets and liabilities you each bring into the marriage. Be honest with each other about your existing financial situation, especially relating to any debt that needs to be paid off.   
 
Share Account Information
How you divvy up financial responsibilities is your choice, but if one spouse takes the lead then ensure the other spouse knows what accounts you have and how to access them if needed.
 
Estate Planning
Once you know where you stand with assets and liabilities, it is important to get your basic estate planning documents in place. These include:

1. Will
2. Durable power of attorney (all powers of attorney expire upon death of principal)
3. Advance medical directives (e.g., durable health care power of attorney, living will, etc.)
4. Living trust (not always necessary—it depends on your situation)

Life Insurance Coverage
Review your current life insurance policies to ensure that you have enough insurance on each spouse and the right type of insurance for your needs and goals. Update the beneficiary on any existing policies (if necessary).
 
Health and Other Insurance
Look at whose employer offers the best health care plan. Consider coverage as well as cost. For other insurance, check on possible discounts for married couples.
 
Account Titling and Beneficiaries
When you get married, review all financial accounts for proper account titling and beneficiaries. Depending on how you plan to manage household finances, you may want to change accounts to a joint registration, and depending on the intent of the accounts, you may also want to make sure your spouse is listed as the primary beneficiary. Remember to notify your employer of any beneficiary changes for your workplace retirement plan based on your new marital status.
 
Tax Withholdings
Review tax withholdings from your paychecks. Whether you decide to have a little extra withheld or not, be mindful of your options and agree on your tax withholding approach.
 
Contributions
Your spouse’s income and whether they are covered by an employer retirement plan could impact contributions to certain types of retirement plans, so it is important to understand the tax rules and ensure you get a successful start to your joint retirement savings.
 
When couples work together to put their household finances in order, it can relieve a major source of marital stress. Following the guidelines listed here can help eliminate future financial troubles in your marriage.
(Info from: UPCI Family Ministries - family@upci.org)

************************************


"Seeking the Face of God" by Pastor Don Rogers.   

We  are  given  the  privilege and  summons  to  boldly  come  before  God’s  throne  in  personal intimacy with Jesus Christ! (Ezekiel 1:10, Hebrews 4:16)

The invitation by God for you is based on two principles.

The  first principle  is to  come  and  seek  His face - His  intimate  character, and  the  second  is  to come and seek His mercy - His kingdom power and authority:

Ezekiel  describes  the  face  of  God  in  four  manifestations  that  reveal  how  to  boldly come before His throne to seek intimacy and answers:1) The face of a man; 2) The face of a lion; 3) The face of an eagle; 4) and the face of an ox.   

This illustration reveals the seeking of the face of Jesus Christ through consecration. Many theologians teach a historic and Hebraic text concerning the four faces of God.

For the sake of prayer I want to share what these four faces also represent when it comes to boldly seeking the face and character of Christ with intimacy.

READ more online at:
https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/84b88a74-9136-4c92-ba13-8da0cca97c95.pdf

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


**********************************

"JUST PUSH"
A  man  was  sleeping  at  night  in  his  cabin  when  suddenly  his  room  filledwith  lightand  God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do andshowed him a large rock in front of his cabin.

The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this is what the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun-up to sun-down; his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with allhis might.

Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by  placing  thoughts  into hisweary mind: “You  have  been  pushing  against  that  rock  for  a  long time, and it hasn’t moved.”

Thus,  giving  the  man  the  impression  that  the  task  was  impossible  and  thathe  was  a  failure,these thoughts discouraged  and  disheartened him. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.”

READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/fc3efe1e-af6e-4361-80fc-e2668798a614.pdf

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


************************************


"Wait on the Lord" by Erin Rodrigues.
Waiting is often one of the hardest things to do in life, but it seems that the world around us is having to do just that at this very moment. Because of COVID-19, everyone is beginning to learn the art of waiting, even if they don´t want to. No one is exempt.

Some are weary of waiting, some are anxious, some may even be fearful; but if you will wait upon the Lord, He will renew your strength. He will give you a supernatural peace to carry you through these uncertain times.

When Isaiah said, “But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint¨ (Isaiah 40:31), he knew what it was to warn and instruct God’s people. But at that moment, God also wanted His people to receive His comfort and encouragement.

For many, waiting is to just sit patiently or passively and do nothing, but to wait on God simply means we are completely dependent upon Him. Waiting on the LORD is not sitting around passively until He does something for us. Yes, God does give us strength and peace, but He doesn’t just pour strength and peace into us as we sit around passively doing nothing with our hands open.
 
Waiting on the Lord involves the actions of serving Him in prayer, trust, and faith. His strength, renewal, courage, and peace come as we seek His face, as we serve Him, as we rely completely on Him, and not upon our own understanding and strengths. As we all look to God and wait on Him, His word promises He will strengthen our hearts and revive our spirits.
 
God desires to give us strength and peace during these uncertain times – all He asks is that we wait on Him!
 
Erin Rodrigues along with her husband, Oscar, and two children, Levy and Lily, are UPCI missionaries to the nation of Portugal. This article was originally published by Ladies Prayer International.

9 Information from: Sisters Newsletter - UPCI Ladies Ministries - sisters@upci.org )

***********************************

Home from the Land of the Enemy
By Wanda Chavis

I still have a copy of Cortt's military orders to Iraq in my old Bible. One glance at that tearstained paper reminds me:

            God doesn't always say yes.
            I had trust issues.
 
I had FAITH God was going to delete those orders. He was going to keep my son at home. My faith ended there. I did not TRUST that Cortt would come home safely if he went to war during the invasion of Iraq. Yet, he was gone.
 
For days on end I could not pray. I was afraid and worried. But let me be honest; I was also angry. Why talk to God now? He had obviously ignored me the last four months while I prayed and fasted.
 
Finally, I sobbed out my frustrations and repented when God showed me my trust issues. He assured me He would bring Cortt home safely; He had a plan and purpose for Cortt in this time of war.
 
I prayed the weirdest prayer for the next year. Can I share this prayer with you who are praying for prodigals? In reality, your child is away at war - in a foreign land. Perhaps missing in action; even a prisoner of war. You feel it is a place far from God. But is there such a place? If God is omnipresent, how can you get far away from Him?
 
God assured me Cortt would come home safely, so my prayers were not for His physical safety. My prayer was always for his morale and mental health. I would intercede desperately for this and didn't understand why. I finally looked up the definition of morale: "moral or mental condition with respect to courage, discipline, willingness to endure hardship; capacity to maintain belief in oneself and others."
 
I remembered Luke 12: 28, which says, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." I wanted my son to return home "whole." I rebuked and threatened the enemy from damaging Cortt's mind or causing him to question his worth or value. I prayed against feelings of isolation, depression, and loneliness. I prayed for his spirit to be encouraged.
 
As you pray for your prodigal, pray for these same things. Cover their mind with the blood of Jesus. Even in the story of the prodigal in Matthew 18, when he came to himself, he remembered how good it was at his father's house. He had left home, disappointed everyone; but through it all, his morale wasn't destroyed. Re-direct your prayers. Your child will return home from this war, safe and sound.
 
"Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy" (Jeremiah 31:16).
 
Note: Wanda Chavis and her husband, Jeff, have served in pastoral ministry at the United Pentecostal Church of Spring Lake, North Carolina, since 1981. Wanda serves as the District Ladies Ministries president and owns Picture of Health & Thermography, LLC.

(Info from: Ladies Prayer Intl March 2021 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

************************************

Praise!
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).

The tabernacle in the wilderness had both gates and an outer courtyard. To enter, one had to first pass through the gates. The courtyard was just beyond the gates and served as the starting point for everything else that went on, whether it was sacrifices, offerings, consecrations, anointings, or corporate worship.

Being thankful is key in our approach to God. How can we expect to receive anything more if we're not thankful for what we've already been given?

But the same verse that tells us to enter His gates with thanksgiving also says to enter His courts with praise. (See Psalm 100:1-4.) Praise is an outward expression. It enumerates and evaluates the things we're thankful for, and then emancipates us, setting us free to give our good God the recognition He deserves. In so doing, we magnify Him and His goodness. By our praise-filled testimony we lift Him up so others can see how good He really is.

Praise is His due. All of nature praises Him from the birds that sing and squawk to the trees that wave in the breeze and the waves that beat against the shore. The heavenly host praises and worships Him. All these were created for that very purpose. Yet His heart yearned for praise given on a deeper level. Praise from beings created for that purpose is not the same as praise coming from a thankful heart that chooses to do so just because.

That's where we come in. When we praise God out of a heart filled with love for Him, He responds to our praise. It draws Him like a magnet and opens His eyes and ears to our situations. This kind of praise is not out of a desire to push Him into doing something for us, or to gain credit in the eyes of our peers. It springs up and out of an overflowing heart. No wonder the psalmist connects thanksgiving and praise; they belong together like salt and pepper!

Early in the day, before its challenges, before its daily-ness, before its highs and lows, we need to approach Him with His goodness in mind. Just remembering His mercies is enough to keep us thinking and moving in the right direction.

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


**********************************

How the Loser Wins
By Cindy Meadows

No one likes to lose; it just feels so bad. But life is full of losses. We will really never get away from the losing.

I’ve come to understand in perhaps a fresher, keener way that losers really aren’t losers. They are “winners in process.” Losers really do win and become greater successes — if their vision allows them to see with God’s greater depth and clarity.

In Genesis, Jacob wrestled with an angel and lost the wrestling match. He walked away with a limp and his perceived defeat. But if we look more intently, Jacob really won in his own loss. He obtained what he desperately wanted in the belly of his soul; he captured his deepest longing. His new name (and nature) meant “a prince that has power with God.” The truest of trophies — the loser won!
.
Maria Woodworth-Etter, a great woman of faith who lived in the late 1800s, endured debilitating of losses. She suffered the death of five children. Yes, five. Year after year, loss after loss, God seemingly did not hear or heal. A woman of great prayer, her prayers went without the victories she longed to see, just agonizing defeats. In those extreme losses, in the breaking of her heart over and over again, God birthed an unquenchable passion and burden. She became violently desperate to see His power manifested in the lives of hurting people. Those losses fed her hunger; and in the process, her hunger prevailed with God. She had one of the most powerful healing ministries in church history. Books were written telling of God’s healings and miracles performed through her life. The loser won!

Breaking Free
 
The caterpillar struggles inside its cocoon, scratching and clawing to break free of the prison of its birth. I’m sure at times it thinks it will never break free or move forward. It doesn’t understand that through its struggles, wrestlings, and frustrations it becomes a different creature in the process. Its scrapping, effort, and energy literally knead something necessary into it. The struggle develops muscles that will make the caterpillar strong enough to fly when it breaks free as a butterfly. Interfering with the process will prevent it from developing the muscles needed for survival.
 
And so it is with us. When we lose and agonize, weep in frustration, give up and start over again, over time we become a different creation – changed. It is largely because of the process of working through our heart-wrenching losses — accepting them, digesting them, and leaving their ashes at the altar. The new creature we become is purer, more refined. The loser becomes the winner.

God's Holy Purpose
 
Difficulties should be viewed through eyes that comprehend God has us all in processes, with His ultimate intentions worked in. He can discern the battles and the multi-faceted purposes of those battles - losses allowed with holy purposes in mind. (And perhaps with no intervention.)
 
I recently read of twin sisters who were beaten and assaulted in a foreign country. It was beyond horrific, and one sister died from her wounds. The surviving sister explained how she was left with anger, fear, and great insecurities. Her bereavement left holes and emptiness. As she wrote, she explained that she had worked through much of her pain and sorrow. But her closing thoughts revealed that after all of it, she was no longer the same person. Life’s brutalities, and the processing of them, had shaped her into someone softer and kinder. How could we ever explain or comprehend her ordeal? Only God!
 
John 23:10 says, “He knows the way that I take.” Every road, every victory, and every loss. Are there really losses along our way (oh, yes), but the losers are the winners on His path if we let Him mold us into strategic vessels of power.

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

***************************


"Praying Over Our Finances and Resources" from Juli Jasinski.
What if God would match the number of souls with the number of dollars we sacrificed? Let’s pray over our finances and resources. We serve a great big God, for there is nothing too hard for Him!
 
Pray over our finances and resources for the glory of God and declare in Jesus’ name:
     the Lord will make me the head and not the tail, and I will only be above, and I will not be underneath, especially in financial debt. (Deuteronomy 28:13)
    I shall bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat [food] in Your house oh Lord…and you open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for me to receive it. (Malachi 3:10)
    I will honor the Lord with my substance [wealth], and with the firstfruits of all my increase: So shall my barns [financial endeavors] be filled with plenty, and my presses burst out with new wine (i.e., abundance and not just barely getting by). (Proverbs 3:9-10)
    I thank You Lord that You brought us out into a wealthy place. (Psalms 66:12)
    I thank You Lord for Your wisdom that leads me in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice: That Your wisdom may cause those that love it to inherit wealth; and it will fill their treasuries.

Pray for churches, pastors, and ministries who need the finances to accomplish what God has put in their hearts to do for His Kingdom:      
 
    Lord, just like You sent the king of Persia to Ezra and Nehemiah to finance the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem, do it again for your people today!
    Lord, Your Word says, the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. (Proverbs 13:22)
    Lord, send businessmen in our communities who will give to our pastors, for they are willing to write out a check for the balance of the mortgage owed on the church/land.
    Lord, You have raised up wealthy people in the past to write checks to ministers for Your kingdom for $10,000, $50,000, and more. God’s Word declares…”To the person who pleases Him, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.” (Ecclesiastes 2:26, NIV). Lord, let us be the ones who please You!
    “My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22).

Juli Jasinski
WNOP District Prayer Coordinator
Massachusetts/Rhode Island District
( From the Newsletter - World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci.org )

***********************************

"INTERCESSION IN UNCERTAIN TIMES" from Pastor Denzil Holman.
It was uncertain times and the men of Virginia met to discuss the serious problems between the Colonies and Great Britain. The notables included Patrick Henry, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson who met in Williamsburg and listened to the fiery impassionate speeches of Patrick Henry. The War of Independence had in essence already begun in other colonies and Virginia wrestled with the decision to enter the war for independence. Before they met to officially vote, time was set aside for fasting and prayer and they attended church at Bruton Parish church in Williamsburg.
 
Those were decisions that would have serious consequences that would affect them personally. Men would invest monies, time, energy, and for many their own blood. When they made their decision, there was no retreat for a line had been crossed in the sands of time. They recognized their need for the help of God in the endeavor. They would turn to God for mercy and divine direction through fasting and prayer before casting their votes. The mighty armed forces of Great Britain were no match for a group of patriots who sought the favor of God in prayer.
 
Reading history and looking back at their decisions, we are grateful for those statesmen who were instrumental in forging a great nation that we are still enjoying the benefits of living in a nation unlike any other in world history. We have survived over two hundred years by the grace and mercy of God because our nation has a history of religious freedom and reverence for God.
 
Again we are living in uncertain times such as never before and need the mercy and help of God. We have taken God out of our schools, atheists are trying to remove God from many places and respect for God has reached a critical low in our society. Abortions are rampant and the blood of innocents cries from the ground. The institution of marriage is being distorted, our economy is in desperate straits, violence in society is widespread and the looming threats of war in numerous places fill the daily news. The coming of the Lord is drawing nigh and multitudes are perishing without hope of eternal life. Earthquakes in many places and with greater frequency remind us that these are the last days. The Church is still the light of the world and salt of the earth. Where sin abounds, the grace of God much more abounds. The Church and the gospel is the solution to the ills of this sin sick world. Jesus Christ is still the same yesterday, today and forever.
 
Our nation needs a revival of righteousness by humbling ourselves, repentance of our iniquities and asking God to heal our land. God told the prophet to go through the city and mark those on their foreheads who did sigh and cry for the sins of the people. Intercessors can alter history. We can intercede for our nation and God will hear our cries.
 
This is where the role of the intercessors will make a difference. Just as the patriots took up arms to fight for independence in the days of our nation’s founding fathers, we need intercessors to stand in the gap and plead for God to help us. We need divine intervention to change the course of this nation because many have forsaken God. We understand that as good citizens we must do what we can by voting properly, but we also need to earnestly pray for God to spare our nation. We need the soldiers of the cross to fight this war and conflict on their knees in travailing prayer. We need modern day Jeremiahs who will lament and repent for a nation that has turned away from God. There is still time and hope if we will stand in the gap for them and plead for mercy. There is no Goliath that is a match for people who know their God and reach out to Him in focused intercession.
 
God has used the vast resources of this nation for the cause of world evangelism by sending missionaries to many nations with the only saving message of truth. Let us pray that God will grant us more time to thrust in the sickle and reap an eternal harvest and still grant us religious freedom and liberty to spread the gospel. Intercessors can help change the world. There is a vast army of intercessors in the United Pentecostal Church and we must not fail to pray in this crucial hour.
 
Pastor Denzil Holman
River of Life Fellowship
Bakersfield, California
( From the Newsletter - World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci.org )

*****************************************

"Reins of the Heart"
David said in Psalm26:2,“Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”As a  horse  is  governed  by  its  reins,  so  our  hearts  are  controlled  by  whoever  holds  our  reins.    In John  14:30  in  the  Amplified version Jesus stated,“I  will  not  talk  with  you  much  more,  for  the prince (evil genius, ruler) of the world is coming.  And he has no claim on Me.[He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over me.]”

If we have something in common with Satan, he can pull on our reins and control us. If we have disdain  in  our  hearts  towards  authority, Satan  can  ride  in  on  that  spirit,  because  he  is  chief among those who disdain authority. He can cause you to talk about your husband, pastor, boss or government official without any remorse or contrition.

READ more online at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/694ec61c-5747-46f1-a55e-66ddf277bf2e.pdf

**************************************

"The Miracle of All Miracles"
Our Hearts Yearn..

Miracles.When  the  word“miracles”is  mentioned,most  of  us think  of  healing  for  the  sick,  an unexpected financial blessing, an answer to difficult prayer, or a person coming back to life. Our hearts  yearn...to  see  these  things  and  our  prayers  are  full  of  pleas  for  our omnipotent  God  to show Himself strong to a world that is trying to convince itself that He does not exist. We need miracles. We need signs. We need wonders.

The truth is,we already have them all around us;we are just not seeing them.

Every  creature  that  exists  is  a  testament  to  the  awesome,  creative  ability  of  a  holy  God  that chooses  to  create  us while knowing  our  faults  in  advance.Every  prayer  answered,  no  matter how  small,  proves  that  God  cares  about  even  the  mundane  things  of  our  life.Every  time  God  says “no” it proves His love because He knows our future and what is best for us.

READ more online at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/62152405-7a56-49ec-b899-4a6a7f316468.pdf

******************************************

"With My Whole Heart" by Pastor Don Rogers.
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee” (Psalm 138:1).

Whole  heart  praise  chooses  to  exalt  Jesus  higher  than  your  problems  or  daily  issues.  Whole heart  praise  faces impossibilities  with  violent  passion  from  God’s  love.  It  is  faith  casting  down imaginations that exalts itself against the will and mind of God.

So,I  choose  to  cast  down  discouragement  and unbelief to  give Jesus  whole  heart praise and worship  today.  Whole  heart  praise  requires  faith  in  God’s  care  and  protection  for  your  life.  He knows the number of hairs on my head. He knows what I need before I ask.

o,as I face the enemy today,I declare my God is a provider. He is my horn and my buckler, my shield and fortress. He’s my friend when I’m lonely. He’s my doctor when I’m sick. He’s my banker when I have no money. He’s my military when I’m under attack. He’s my counselor when I’m confused. So,with my whole heart I will praise the Lord!

This  means  submitting  your  will  and  attitude  to  exalting  and  magnifying  the  goodness  of  God when you don’t feel like it. It means to focus your faith on His unchangeable promises and not on our limitations.

READ more online at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/91a4131a-81e3-42bb-a715-b51d9c745460.pdf

*******************************************


A Change of Heart
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you..." (Ezekiel 36:26).
 
Although the exact origins of the celebration of Valentine's Day are somewhat unclear, the holiday continued to gain popularity through the centuries. It wasn't until the 1840s that Valentine's Day cards began to be produced with expressions focusing on the heart. However, way even before then, in the Old Testament, God relayed His expressions regarding the heart!
 
The first medical heart transplant was performed in modern times within the century, however, God's promise of a spiritual heart transplant was made more than two-and-a-half thousand years ago, as written in Ezekiel 36:26.
 
The word "heart" does not just mean the organ in your body that keeps blood flowing and performs other functions, but Biblically speaking, the heart is your core being or the seat of your emotional and intellectual state. Sometimes the words “heart” and “spirit” even are used interchangeably. The heart also associates to the whole "inner man." Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
 
Unlike ever before, we need a heart for "prayer." We need a spiritual heart transplant. With a new heart and God's Spirit within, we will be able to have a deeper and genuine relationship with Him. Jesus died for us so that He could be our heart donor, so that we might have life.
 
I am reminded of a story about Michael Brady who was a stuntman for Universal Studios and specialized in skydiving. Michael attempted to parachute onto the top of a moving train. Climbing up the ladder on the side of the train to check some rigging, he accidentally fell, hitting his head and dying instantly. Michael's heart was placed inside the body of Bill Wohl, who had been kept alive for the previous 159 days by a temporary artificial heart. Six months and one day after getting a new heart, Bill received a letter from Michael's family with a picture of Michael enclosed. Bill was surprised to find that he had the heart of a 36-year-old Hollywood stuntman.
 
"I looked at this picture," Bill said, "at this incredibly good-looking, super-fit, super athletic guy, and I thought, 'Are you kidding me? That's whose heart I've got?'" Before his heart transplant, Bill had been a Type-A, overweight, money-obsessed businessman pursuing a jet-setter lifestyle. Today, he works part-time, spending most of his new-found energy winning speed and performance medals in swimming, cycling and track.
 
Bill had a change of heart. Truly, a new heart changed him! Do you need a change of heart today?  Don't be cold-hearted or even half-hearted. Have a heart from God! Have a heart for God! By doing so, you will want to pray more and have a closer relationship with Him. God has a heart (change) for you...so you can have a heart (passion) for Him! For this is..."the heart of the matter!" So, have “A Change of Heart.” Ultimately, you’ll be glad that you did!
 
Flo Shaw
Director
World Network of Prayer
(From: World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci.org)

*******************************************


"Making Disciples at Home" by Jonathan Mohr.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America last spring, the cancellations came in rapid succession. Our district youth convention, the main event on our family’s spring calendar, was called off. Summer youth camps were quickly deemed too much of a liability as the virus worked its way through the population. Closer to home, Sunday school and youth classes were put on hold as our local church struggled to figure out how to minister effectively in the face of government restrictions and public fears.
 
I am not second-guessing any decision to cancel worship gatherings. I believe our leaders acted with prudence and wisdom. My children, ages nine and eleven at the time, were disappointed they didn’t get to spend part of the summer with friends on the district campground, but they seemed to understand.
 
As a parent, I too was disappointed—disappointed that my children were missing out on life-changing preaching, prayer, and worship. I know the positive spiritual impact camps, conventions, and classes have made on my children, and I remember how important those events were in my formative years. I hated that my children were missing out on these experiences, if only for a single summer.
 
Without these big events to help shape their spiritual well-being, I was reminded again that my children’s spiritual instruction is my responsibility, not the Sunday school teacher’s, the youth pastor’s, or the district youth president’s. Helping my children become disciples of Jesus Christ is one of my primary duties as a parent, and it’s a responsibility that can’t be delegated.
 
Effective spiritual instruction can’t be relegated to one hour on Sunday, a youth convention in the spring, or even a week-long summer camp. With th0se events cancelled due to COVID, Moses’ instructions to Israelite parents are more pertinent than ever. Moses told the people that teaching spiritual precepts to their sons and daughters was a daily effort. “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 11:19, NKJV). At home, on the road, early in the morning, and late at night—anywhere and everywhere is a classroom where children can learn God’s Word and ways.
 
We do not yet know everything 2021 will bring. Hopefully relief from the pandemic will soon come, and our families will be gathering on the district campground this summer. But considering the lessons of the past year, we can’t take that for granted. Until then, we must seize daily opportunities to teach our children the importance of faith and faithfulness.
 
The best way to accomplish this is to heed Moses’ command in Deuteronomy 11:18. He told the people, “You shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul.” When God’s Word is hidden in my own heart and soul, it will come out when I interact with my children. I won’t have to force teaching opportunities: they will naturally occur as we walk the road of life together. I just need to be sensitive to God’s Spirit and be prepared at every opportunity.
 
Whatever happens in 2021, we already have what it takes to help our children grow and mature spiritually. My son and daughter’s childhood may not look exactly like mine, but the same God who kept me will keep them. And He’s helping me and you as we do our best to teach our children His ways.
(Info from: UPCI Family Ministries - family@upci.org)

*************************************

"No Coincidences" by Kathy Brewster.
I spent twenty-five marvelous years as an army chaplain’s wife. Every relocation was an adventure. Not necessarily because it was in a favored destination but because I learned it was never accidentally arranged.

No coincidences with God. No remarkable occurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.
    
My husband, the late Wilfred Brewster Jr., became the UPCI’s third army chaplain. There was a certain angst about impending assignments. I must confess that secretly I entertained thoughts that having the Holy Ghost would give me an edge in requesting specific duty stations. My concept was flawed. I vividly remember my petition for exactly what I desired and where I wanted to be stationed. I felt like the Lord was listening. First John 5:14 assured me that If we know the Lord hears us then we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him . . . right?
 
Deep in my spirit I heard the words of a familiar song:
 
“Not as I wish to be, nor where I wish to go, for who am I that I should choose my way. The Lord will choose for me, tis better, for I know. So let him bid me go or stay.”
 
My desire was to stay in a great church close to family and friends. God had other plans.
 
That experience enlightened me, and I realized that no assignment would be happenstance and with God there could be no coincidences. Each new location and experience was a gift that God had carefully chosen and divinely orchestrated. I carried this comfort throughout our twenty-five-year journey.

Coincidence is a word not found in the Hebrew language. I now know that nothing just happens and that there is always a specific plan.
 
It was no coincidence that just prior to my husband‘s reentry back into the army we sought help from a fertility clinic while living as UPCI AIMers (Associates in Missions) in Germany. Frustration for my inability to complete that program later led to thankfulness that I was not given those fertility shots. I didn’t realize that I had a brain tumor, and those shots would have caused the tumor to grow rapidly.
 
No coincidence.

Shortly after my tumor diagnosis my husband was commissioned and assigned to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. It was no coincidence that the top US brain surgeon lived in Augusta and he performed my surgery.

No coincidence.

Victories, even defeats carve grooves forming a key designed to unlock the door to a closed or desperate heart. We go as missionaries and the government funds all of the expenses!
 
I went with a willing heart and a positive attitude realizing that my steps were ordered. I would always be in the right place at the right time and there could never be any coincidences.
(FROM: UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org)

****************************************


" Shaken Up! " by Kristi Moore.
Early one morning in 1993 my family was yanked from a deep sleep to a roaring noise and the feeling that the house was rattling apart. We met in the dark hallway in our pajamas. I think I yelled, “What’s happening?” A 5.6 earthquake was unthinkable, yet there we were in the middle of one.
Years later, I felt another earthquake that was only a few tiny clinking noises across the room. For years I was jumpy at the smallest sounds, hoping it wasn’t the start of another big one.

I think doubts can be like earthquakes. Some are shattering and we fall on our face before God begging for mercy. Others are more subtle, like the nagging questions we can’t answer, the worries that won’t subside, or the threads of our future we want to control so badly. Although the quieter doubts seem less damaging, they can become a disaster if we don’t stay alert to them.

As we grapple with our circumstances, we might even confess, “God I didn’t want to have to trust you with this.” I imagine Him saying, “Yes, Child, the ground below you is slipping. Yes, the walls around you are shifting and leaning. Yes, everything that’s loose is moving and the noise of it all is terrifying. This is why you need me.”
 
The world around us seems to be all earthquakes, quicksand, and unstable shorelines. The foolish build their houses there, and like the song says, CRASH! It’s all going to break down. In the shadows of our hearts, we hide our uncertainties and our fears. But God! God is a rock unchanging, our only sure footing, and our only safe, solid, stable place -- intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Even when we wrestle with doubt and we feel shaken, God is not shaken. He calls us to trust anyway, to praise anyway, and to keep walking by faith. When we feel shaken, He is ready and waiting to hold us, and to help our unbelief.  

FROM: UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org

*************************************


"Prayer Changes Hearts" by Bre Uzzell.
"Change me, Lord. Change me, Lord. Don't let me stay the same. I want to be more like You. Take my life. Make my life just what You want it to be. Oh Lord, please change me. Change me, dear Lord."
 
The words of this song rang through my head as I was putting together my thoughts for this article. Prayer changes hearts, but sometimes the most important change is within our own heart. In Psalm 51:10 David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" It is particularly important to continue in our prayer and to not give up.
 
When we were first married, my husband went through a spiritual struggle and backslid for many years. Our sons were very young then. I worried that they would also feel the spiritual battle. During that time, I prayed two scriptures daily, Psalm 23 and II Chronicles 7:14. I remain convinced that my prayers not only helped change my husband's heart, but also my own. The Lord is my shepherd, and He leads me by the still waters every day. If I hadn't prayed daily for God to change my husband's heart, I would have never been able to allow the Lord to soften my heart. Thankfully, my husband listened to the Lord calling to him and humbled himself to return to church. He is not only serving God now, but he has also become a licensed minister who teaches and preaches with anointing. Both of our sons serve God as well; both were bible quizzers and both serve in whatever ministry they are able to help in. I am thankful that God helped me see the blessings in my valley.
 
Sometimes we can feel as though life is stacked against us. As wives and mothers, we take many extra burdens on our shoulders - we task ourselves with scheduling, keeping order in our house, taking care of our family. When something doesn't go right, it can seem overwhelming. This year, especially, has been overwhelming for many families. Many of our church families are struggling with job loss or the loss of a paycheck here or there because they've had to quarantine. Just like David, we need to pour ourselves in prayer. Prayer can change how we perceive our circumstances. It may be tight this month. Bills may be more difficult to pay, but look at our blessings - the Lord is keeping us safe with a roof over our heads. We have our family around us. Our children are serving the Lord. We are blessed.
 
Change my heart, O Lord. Help me see the blessings in the struggle.

FROM: UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org

******************************


"Prayer from Home" by Darla Brochu.

I remember how excited we were when we realized I was expecting our first child. We could not wait to meet our baby boy - to hold him, to shower him with affection, to take care of him. We were young, inexperienced, and yes, a bit naïve. It didn't take long before we realized that we were responsible to teach this child everything. As parents, we needed to give our child the skills he would need to survive and to succeed in life.

As parents, it is our responsibility to introduce our children to Jesus and to teach them how to pray. Praying is simply speaking to God. Teaching them begins early, before they even learn to speak. How? By letting them see and hear you praying for them.

As they grow and are able to communicate better, you can begin by having them "repeat" what you say. We did this especially at bedtime. We asked God to bless mommy, bless daddy, bless Bootsie (our cat). As they got older, I let them lead the prayer themselves as I listened. It is important to include your child in the ritual of prayer on a daily basis.

Later, we had times of family prayer. We would put Christian music on quietly to set the mood. They often had a "prayer request." They were expected to pray with us; no toys or storybooks were allowed. If they grew tired, they could lay down quietly on the floor and go to sleep. They saw us praying, and by including them, we showed them that praying is something important that adults do.

If your children are older, this does not mean it is too late to teach them to pray. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is never too late to begin learning the importance of prayer.

How do I pray - what do I say?? We used the prayer "sandwich" illustration.

Top bun: Praise - give God praise and honor for who He is
Lettuce: Forgiveness - ask him to forgive you for all of your sins
Cheese: Needs - you may hear some cute things on this one - a puppy was a priority with our daughter. (Yes, she got one.)
Meat: God's Will - God, Your will be done in everything
Bottom bun: Praise - again!

"I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer" (Psalm 17: 6).
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
 
FROM: UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org

******************************


"Raising Children to Love God" by Raina Hinton.
I have been raised as a pastor's kid all my life. I have three siblings, all whom are married with kids, and all are faithful in so many aspects of our church. So, through the years I've had people ask me "How are all of you kids so involved in the church? What's your parent's secret?".
 
I am not writing this article boastfully. We have many faults, and believe me we've had our share of conflict; but we have never been separated because of the foundation on Christ that my parents helped us build.
 
Proverbs 22:6 states, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." So today I would like to share a few guidelines my parents used to keep us on that path.
 
1. Bring your kids to the church at every opportunity you have. Sunday school, youth class, workdays, outreach, prayer nights, etc. My mom worked full time, on top of being a pastor's wife it wasn't easy, but they made church a priority. They were consistent about it. In addition, my parents had a mutual rule that they would NEVER ground their kids from church or church activities. "Well, you're in trouble so you can't go to the youth outing." Church outings are not luxuries, they are necessities! This past year has reinforced just how important time is with the family of God.
 
2. "Because I said so" was not used when answering questions regarding biblical principles or convictions. Some may feel a child asking a question as to "why?" means they are thinking about backsliding. No, this is a beautiful moment to have a spontaneous Bible study. "Because I said so" is not a foundation to build upon. Show them scriptures where this biblical moral/conviction comes from.
 
3. Let love and forgiveness be present every day. I never once doubted that my parents loved me. Even if there was an argument ten minutes before, love would always prevail. To teach forgiveness, you need to show that it's a two-way street. A parent can ask for forgiveness just as a child can.
 
4. Ask for help. If you need help getting them to church, if you need advice, if you feel like the weight is too heavy this week . . . ask for help. We are the body of Christ.! The Bible states in I Corinthians 12:12 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."
 
Parents, you make sacrifices for your children every day and this is a reminder that none of them go unnoticed. I stand today giving honor to my parents for the sacrifices they made for me and my siblings. Be encouraged. God has entrusted your children to you; He believes in you.

FROM: UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org

******************************


SPECIAL CALL TO PRAYER!
Prayer Points for America

    Declare Jesus is as the eternal King and Lord of the USA according to Psalm 24 and cry for Him to battle on our behalf. This is too big for us to handle. Pray, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. For He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord Strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty-He is the King of glory.

    Pray for America to continue to stand with Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.”
    Pray prayers of identification repentance from sinful thoughts, words and deeds in ourselves, the church and the nation. II Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
    Daniel 9:19-20 says, “Lord listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name. While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill.”

    Receive Forgiveness for yourself, the church, the nation I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
    Pray for the Church in America to be aligned to God’s Word. His promises and the finished work of the cross and His ways. Ephesians 1:3 says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. II Peter 1:2-4 says, “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

    Pray for the love and honor of God to completely demolish and destroy strongholds of hate (including hate and dishonor shown towards the unborn, races, authority etc.). I Corinthians 13:8 says, “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
    Pray for righteousness and justice, the foundation of the Lord’s throne to be reestablished in America. Pray for Supreme Court, Law enforcement. etc. Psalm 89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” Psalm 97:2 says, “Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.”
    Pray for all government leaders to be filled with righteousness and wise motives and for every decision to be pleasing to God. I Timothy 2:2 says, “For kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
    Pray and speak this in faith, that all in the nation to respect and honor the Lord and His word according to Psalm 119:57, “You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words.”

    Pray for a wall of protective Holy Ghost fire to surround America against invasion of any and every ungodly agenda according to Zechariah 2:5, “And I myself will be a wall of fire around it, declares the Lord, and I will be its glory within”
    Pray for God’s glory to fill the nation according to Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

    Pray for the health and prosperity of all Americans and for God to show His healing might healing those with COVID-19, according to 3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy health and that all my go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”
    Pray for a great harvest of souls in America and for laborers to be thrust into the harvest fields according to John 4:35, “Don’t you have a saying, “It’s till four months until harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Luke 10:2 “He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest fields.”

 
Fire Wall Intercessors on Behalf of America
Remember, above all, pray for God's perfect will to be done in America!
(Information from: World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci.org)

*****************************************

FORWARD…MARCH!
“I AM A SOLDIER”
(by Pastor Jimmy Toney)

I AM A SOLDIER in the army of my God. The Lord is my Commanding Officer. The Bible is my code of conduct. Praise, prayer, and the Word are my weapons of warfare. I have been taught by the Spirit. I have been trained by experience, tried by adversity, tested by fire. I am a volunteer in this army. I am enlisted for eternity. I will either retire at the rapture or die in the battle. But, I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or let anybody push me out. I am faithful. I am reliable. I am capable. I am dependable. If God needs me, I am there. He can use me because I will be there.

I AM A SOLDIER. I am not a baby. I don’t need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or propped up. I AM A SOLDIER. Nobody has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me or hire me. I AM A SOLDIER. No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, candy, or give me handouts. I don’t need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for or catered to. I AM A SOLDIER. I am not a wimp. I am in my place. I am saluting my King. I am obeying His orders. I am praising His Name. I am building His kingdom. I AM A SOLDIER. I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around. I cannot be discouraged enough to push me aside. I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit. When Jesus called me into this army, I had nothing. So, if I end up with nothing, I win either way.

I AM A SOLDIER in the army of the Lord. My God will and has supplied all of my needs. I am more than a conqueror. I will triumph. I can do all things through Christ. Devils cannot defeat me. People cannot pervert me. Weather cannot weary me. Sickness cannot stop me. Battles cannot beat me. Money cannot manipulate me. Governments cannot silence me. Hell cannot handle me. I AM A SOLDIER in the army and I am marching, claiming victory. I will not give up. I will not turn around. I AM A SOLDIER.

Pastor Jimmy Toney
The Pentecostals of Gainesville
Gainesville, Florida
 
(Excerpts taken from a message by Pastor Jimmy Toney entitled “Forward…MARCH,” preached on December 31, 2020 during Watch Night Service)
Infomation from: World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci.org

*******************************************


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
 "Declaring your Battle Position in Prayer"
 
Unknown, and yet well -. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represents soldiers who have died fighting for America. Their remains were never identified. Unknown, and yet well-known. Since 1935 for 365 days a year and 24 hours a day, a soldier walks and guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Each guard takes 5 to 8 hours to prepare their uniform for this duty.
 
Brett Hyde, a tomb sentinel of the 3rd U.S. infantry regiment kept guard over the tomb during Hurricane Sandy. He refused to leave his post. Even with inclement weather, there has never been a time one soldier disrupted the chain for guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier since 1935!
 
Paul said unknown, yet well-known in II Corinthians 6:9. Will you declare your battle position today like the soldier at the tomb during Hurricane Sandy?
 
Pray:
    that no matter what storm you face, you will declare Jesus reigns in all of your battles.
     that you will maintain your position of intercession and faith with the resistance of the enemy in your trials.
    that you will man your post against evil for your home and family.
    that you, like Brett Hyde, will be vigilant in your warfare worship against the enemy of compromise and apathy.
    that you make up your mind that in the middle of a spiritual hurricane you choose to honor Jesus Christ as the one who will see you through victory.
    that though the storm is raging in your finances and with souls, that you will not leave your post until Jesus relieves you.
    that when the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord shall raise up a standard against him.
     that you will release the warfare of your worship in the middle of this perfect storm that you are facing.
    that you defend the honor and the glory of Jesus the unknown, but yet a well-known soldier at Calvary for our sins.
    that with dignity and honor, you will fight the good fight of faith. Intercede that you will be faithful to the things of God, and to the kingdom business of heaven. No matter how the storm rages, determine that you will not leave your post for Jesus Christ.


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

******************************************

New Beginning and Higher Heights Through the Power of Prayer.
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).

God desires to take His people into a “new beginning,” a “higher dimension,” and into “higher heights” through the power of prayer. What miracles and wonders God will do if “His people which are called by His name” desire and reach for a “higher level” through the power of prayer! Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are still to be done, but it all begins with “prayer.”

    Pray the Word of God. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”  (Isaiah 55:11).
    Pray for a “new level of faith.” “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).
    Pray for power and authority that God has given to His Church. “ . . . This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
    Bind the spirit of infirmity and loose the spirit of life and the gifts of healing. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
    Pray that God’s children hunger, thirst, and desire a greater relationship with Him. Pray that they will seek and submit to the “will of God.” The will of God establishes a divine relationship with Him. “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50).
    Pray for complete unity within the hearts of God’s people. Pray that God’s people will be in “alignment” with Him. “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
    Pray for intercession to grip the hearts of God’s people. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

 
Esther Hunt
District Prayer Coordinator
South Central Texas District
(Info from: World Network of Prayer wnopadmins@upci.org)

******************************************

"God Sees You" by Tanya Lewis.

"It wasn't supposed to end like this," she thought as she made a place for her dying son to rest before the inevitable happened. Her mind wandered to the first time she'd visited this wilderness. Afraid and alone, she'd been carrying the child of another woman's husband. Life wasn't what she'd dreamed but slaves didn't have the luxury of dreaming about their futures.
 
It was in this wilderness, however, that Hagar met God. He had called her by name and promised that her offspring would be multiplied innumerably. No one had ever really noticed her before, much less offered her hope. She was only a servant after all. Nevertheless, she sat and conversed with the God of all creation in this inhospitable place. Hagar was so moved by His attention that, "she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou, God seest me" (Genesis 16:13). Knowing she was important to God gave her enough courage to return to and serve her mistress, Sarah.
 
Little is known of her life after returning to Abraham's household; but her son, Ishmael, was raised in the shelter of his father's tent, free and lacking nothing. It wasn't until Isaac, the son of promise, was born that an angry Sarah once again landed Hagar back in the wilderness. This time with a heartbroken teenager and insufficient provisions, Hagar wept and waited for death to come. But God could still see her.
 
"God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is." (Genesis 21:16-17).
 
It's interesting to note that God didn't come to her because she sought Him, but because He heard the voice of her son. A son who was raised in a household that taught him how to serve the one true God. It was His cries for help and her obedience years before that ultimately saved them from certain death. Though they had been cast out and her promise seemed dead, the 'God who sees' recognized their dilemma and delivered them in time. They were not alone in the wilderness and neither are you!
 
Whether you are a single parent doing your best but feeling like it's not enough, or perhaps co-parenting with an unsaved spouse, remember THE GOD WHO SEES is looking out for you. Even when you're afraid and you feel things can't get any worse, stay faithful and obedient. Continue in the faith and teach your children to trust God. Rest assured, He'll be there on time!
 
He's the God who sees-YOU.
 
Note: Tanya Lewis is currently serving in missions in Heidelberg, Germany. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and training future generations of worship leaders.
(Info from: Ladies Prayer Intl January 2021 - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

********************************************

"Influencing Our Children" by Jodie Marcantoni.

When we read the story of Moses' mother, Jochebed, the lesson we often take away is trusting God's plan for our children. Knowing the whole story, we can surmise how differently history would have been written had she chosen another way. While simultaneously reading chapters in Exodus, folding my children's laundry, and reviewing an upcoming lecture on child development, the Lord revealed something about the story I had not previously considered.
 
While it has long been observed, advances in science and technology give proof that the brain develops most rapidly in the first three years of life. While specific events may not be remembered, the experiences and brain connections from these early years affect decision making, relationships, self-esteem, and emotions throughout life. The Bible tells us that Moses was raised by his birth mother during his nursing years, which likely included at least his first few years. I would have loved to see how she interacted with her son, knowing she would only be able to directly influence him for a short while. Knowing that he would inevitably be turned over to a culture that did not know God. While she completed daily tasks, she may have sang songs, prayed with him, and shared stories about God.
 
How do I spend my time and energy with my own young children? Does their screen time outweigh their church time? Will I look back someday and regret an over-scheduled life that left little time and energy for modeling a deep and personal relationship with God? Are my reactions to spills and squabbles examples of compassion and patience? Am I teaching them to pray when things get tough, or am I teaching them to complain, wallow, and withdraw?
 
Lord, help me be like Jochebed. Let me never waste a moment with my precious children, knowing they will one day be released into a culture that does not know You. Help me lead by example by consistently praying, worshiping, and honoring You in all that I do. I trust Your plan for my children. I pray you use them to show Your love to the world, and lead others to Your truth. Amen.
 
Note: Jodie Marcantoni, DNP, FNP-BC, RN, has a Doctorate in Nursing and is a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a full-time mom and an adjunct professor at Simmons University. She attends the Sanctuary in Hazelwood, Missouri, with her husband, Jared, and sons Jacob (4) and Joseph (2).

(Info from: Ladies Prayer Intl January 2021 - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

****************************************


"30 DAYS..."
30 Days...to live? 30 Days...to break a habit? 30 Days...to vacate the premises (eviction notice)? 30 Days...to lose 30 pounds? 30 Days...to try (free-trial period)? 30 Days…to a new you? 30 Days...to success? These are just a few popular phrases that have been expressed in today's society and experienced by some individuals in association with "30 Days." Hopefully, in regards to prayer and the church arena, when 30 Days...is presented, one of the first things that should come to mind during this time (before the phrase is even completed) is "30 Days...of Prayer," as this has become a rewarding challenge each year!

What an opportune way to start off the new year by entering into a time of prayer and consecration. In doing so, surely you will find "30 Days to Success"...and more! God answers prayer! According to His will and divine intervention, prayer can help the dying...to live; the addicted....to break a habit; the impossible...to be possible, and more! Can you imagine as the masses unite in prayer in one mind and one accord, the life-changing and phenomenal impact that it will have in the kingdom of God?

Biblically, the number 30 denotes a higher level of perfection of Divine order of precise chosen time. Jesus was 30 years of age as His ministry commenced. John the Baptist followed. Joseph, a type of Jesus, was the same age. King David also was 30 years old, when he began to reign over Israel. The number 30 also signifies dedication. Aaronic priests were dedicated to serve at age 30. Thirty also portrays the blood of Christ. What meaningful symbolism!

Surely, God's got your number...and even the hairs on our heads are numbered (Luke 12:7). “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). Churches and individuals worldwide are encouraged to participate in the "UPCI 30 Days...of Prayer" from January 2 - 31, 2021. The theme is "BEYOND." The prayer agenda will be listed weekly in WNOP’s newsletter, Prayer Connect. As we unite as one Body, let’s go above and beyond to new dimensions in Christ, to see His Spirit greater manifest among us through the dynamic power of prayer!

Let's advance God’s kingdom! Determine to develop a greater relationship with Him in your personal life and in the work of God. Allow Him to continue to perfect and complete you, as you greater dedicate to Him (Philippians 1:6). Leave behind the woes of the old year (2020), and look unto Jesus in the new year (2021), and receive "Double for Your Trouble!" So, join with us in corporate prayer these "30 Days..." this year and watch the miraculous also unfold in the other "335 Days"...and BEYOND!

Flo Shaw
Director
World Network of Prayer

WEEK ONE (January 2 - 9)
Pray that we live a life of repentance and allow God to take away our stony heart and give us a heart of flesh. Pray that we go beyond the quarries (rough rocky places) of this life and overcome any challenges or crises in our world.“And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries...” (Judges 3:26).
( Information from: World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )

*********************************************************

New Beginning and Higher Heights Through the Power of Prayer
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).

God desires to take His people into a “new beginning,” a “higher dimension,” and into “higher heights” through the power of prayer. What miracles and wonders God will do if “His people which are called by His name” desire and reach for a “higher level” through the power of prayer! Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are still to be done, but it all begins with “prayer.”

    Pray the Word of God. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”  (Isaiah 55:11).
    Pray for a “new level of faith.” “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).
    Pray for power and authority that God has given to His Church. “ . . . This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
    Bind the spirit of infirmity and loose the spirit of life and the gifts of healing. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
    Pray that God’s children hunger, thirst, and desire a greater relationship with Him. Pray that they will seek and submit to the “will of God.” The will of God establishes a divine relationship with Him. “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50).
    Pray for complete unity within the hearts of God’s people. Pray that God’s people will be in “alignment” with Him. “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
    Pray for intercession to grip the hearts of God’s people. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

 
Esther Hunt
District Prayer Coordinator
South Central Texas District
( Information from: World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )

***************************************


" A WORD FROM THE LORD! "
This is the Word that the Lord gave to me Sunday, November 29,2020 [This Word from the Lord is not only for our local church but also is a universal Word for the Body of Christ overall].
 
“My precious children, I would say unto you today that I understand that you do NOT understand. I feel your confusion. I feel your heaviness. You have cried out to me but many of the things that you have asked of Me I have denied. I understand that this is difficult for you. My call unto you today, My children, is to TRUST ME. I am asking you to trust Me.
 
I have you in a spiritual gym. I am adding weights to the barbell each day. This is not because I am an uncaring Father but because I am a LOVING FATHER. I know how strong your spiritual muscles must be to endure these last days, so I add more weights to the barbell. Your faith muscles must exert and become stronger to fight and to stand in this day when the spirit of Antichrist is exponentially increasing every day. The war is raging, My children, and I am preparing you to become VICTORS!!
 
Do not despise the process that I am putting you through. I am causing you to lift heavy weights. Every time that you lift the weight and declare My Word IN SPITE OF HOW YOU FEEL, your faith in Me grows. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of the Lord. So, I urge you to bathe yourself every day in My Word. CLING TO MY WORD!
 
Speak My Word IN SPITE OF WHAT YOU SEE, and your faith will grow. You will not only make it through these last days, but you will BE STRONG AND WILL DO EXPLOITS.
 
I must not pamper you. I must not coddle you. But I MUST TRAIN YOU. My coming is nigh, even at the door. Yet before I come, there will be a great outpouring of My Spirit. I am preparing you to bear the weight of My glory. Stand against these evil spirits that come against you, My children. Although I allow heaviness upon the inhabitants of the earth, this day I am RAISING YOU UP, for I am training you.
 
Now I ask you, when I come will I find faith on the earth? The enemy is trying to sever your faith, for that is your lifeline to Me. Whatever you must do, do not allow that to happen. Cling to My Word! Cling to Me like never before! I am requiring blind faith from you. When you walk in darkness still trust in the light of My Promises.
 
Be patient, My children. I love you with an everlasting love. I love you so much that I am training you to stand and to trust in the process of My plan."
 
Claudette Walker
Faith Apostolic Church of Troy
Troy, Michigan

AND

" PRAYING THE WORD ACCORDING TO ISAIAH 11:2-5 "
“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins” (Isaiah 11:2-5).
 
In praying the Word according to Isaiah 11:2-5 we are asking to be endued with the very attributes of Jesus Christ, that we may walk as He did in this world and that He may be revealed through us.
 
Pray for Every Minister and Saint:
    For the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon us, empowering, anointing, and strengthening us to minister as of the ability which God gives.
    That the spirit of wisdom would enable us to know how to handle every situation we encounter and to know how to speak as we ought.
    For the spirit of understanding that we have clear understanding of the times and of the people that we are endeavoring to help.
    For the spirit of counsel, that we may give sound advice and prudently lead those we influence.
    That the spirit of might may cause us to triumph victoriously in every battle and to demonstrate miracles, signs, and wonders to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    For the spirit of knowledge: that we may study to be approved of God and to the saving of ourselves and to them that hear us so that we may be "the people that do know their God," enabling us to be strong and to do exploits.
    For the fear of the Lord to permeate our hearts, cleansing, bringing forth praise, uniting us, causing the Lord to be near to us and to bless us.
    That the Lord will help us to make decisions with uprightness
    For righteousness to be what we reproduce in those we influence.
    For faithfulness to guide our every decision and direction.

JulieAnn Reynolds
WNOP Communications Coordinator
New Life Austin
Austin, Texas
( Information from: World Network of Prayer - wnopadmins@upci.org )

Keep Digging
By Anne E. Johnston

In Genesis 26 we read the story of Isaac seeking water for his vast flocks and herds. The Philistines envied him and had filled in the wells which his father Abraham had dug. In verse 19, we read that he dug and found a well of springing water, but the shepherds in that area claimed it as theirs.

Isaac moved on and dug another well, but once again was opposed, and he had to move on. Then in verse 22, he dug another well and there was no dispute over it. He called it Rehoboth – “The Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

Water was so important to Isaac and his family to support their household and their animals. Digging wells was hard work in those days as they did not have the equipment we have today. It probably took many hours, and no doubt they became very tired and wanted to quit. But I can hear Isaac encouraging them to just work a little longer, dig a little deeper, because the next shovelful could be the one that hit water.
 
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
 
Prayer can be hard work. Often when we are praying for a child who is not serving the Lord, it seems there is opposition on every side. The enemy would like to convince us it is no use, they will never find their way back to the Lord. As parents we sometimes tend to blame ourselves for our children not serving the Lord. What could we have done differently? We cannot change the past, and we must realize that we did the best we could as we were raising them. They came to a place where they decided not to live for the Lord. Sometimes it seems that the more we pray, the deeper in sin they go.
 
But we must not give up. We must keep praying. God has heard all the prayers we prayed yesterday, last month, last year, or even for many years. They are stored up, waiting for the right time that He will reach out and draw that loved one to Himself. Who knows? Maybe the next prayer we pray will be the one that will be answered.
 
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
 
Isaac and his servants had to keep digging until they found the right well that would provide all the water they needed to meet their needs.
 
Keep digging! Keep praying! Never give up. God’s timing is always perfect, and we can trust Him completely.
 
 
Anne Johnston is a graduate of UPBI (now Northeast Christian College) in New Brunswick, 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. Anne also works for her daughter, Liane Grant, with The King’s Translators

(From UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org)

*******************************************


Yet I Will Rejoice
By Jen English
Happiness is fleeting. As much as we’d all like to say we’re happy every single moment, that’s simply not the truth. So many things in life can toy with our emotions. Situations we face, people we encounter, news we hear about — all of these can uplift, discourage or frustrate us in a matter of moments. No matter how resilient or hardened you might be, the world will play — or has already played — with your emotions.
That’s why it’s so important to anchor ourselves in something other than fleeting emotions. Obviously, emotions are good things God created within us, and we use all of them to process life’s ups and downs. But if we rely on emotions to keep us stable during those hills and valleys, we’ll find ourselves on a chaotic roller coaster.

Stability comes from being grounded in something that doesn’t move; it comes from being anchored. Yes, a ship that is anchored will experience the rolling waves, but it won’t be displaced by them.

If we’re anchored in low self-value or inadequacy, then the moment hard times come, we’ll see ourselves as inadequate, unable to overcome the obstacle. If we’re anchored in arrogance or pride, then we’ll likely rely too much on our own abilities and fail or fall short. Instead, we need to anchor ourselves to the One who is constant: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

He is our anchor, our hope, who keeps us grounded when the world tries to turn us over. He draws us closer into His presence where we experience His love, peace and safety.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” (Hebrews 6:19 NLT)

When we are in God’s presence, we are dwelling in the source of all joy, because “in His presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11) This isn’t fleeting happiness that depends on our emotions. This is joy that comes directly from God and that is available no matter how you feel.

This is how we are able to rejoice through the ups and downs of life. When we anchor ourselves to God, choosing to dwell in His presence, He saturates our souls with His limitless joy. The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he wrote the verses in Habakkuk 3:17-18.

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.”

Yet I will rejoice. Even when Coronavirus worries are rampant; even when tornadoes destroy and disrupt; even when the political sphere is in turmoil and uncertainty; even when my life doesn’t go as planned; even when it seems like there’s nothing to rejoice about. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.

You can find this and other inspiring articles on the More to Life website. You will also find a daily devotion, downloadable Bible studies, and other resources to help you grow in your walk with the Lord. You can also read more of Jen's thoughts on her personal blog.

(From UPCI Ladies Ministries sisters@upci.org)

*****************************************


"A Passion to Pray" from 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.With God, everything revolves around relationship.

God desires you to know Him, to love Him, andto make Him the number one priority in 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 at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/8391d865-c383-438f-a1ef-0a90487955cd.pdf

AND

"How to Pray For The Lost."
We hope this tool helps you as you work in your local church prayer ministry.
Visit: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/5d29e5eb-3161-4e86-8bc1-502399a95752.pdf

**********************************************


"Promises of God" by Debbie Sanders.
My attention has been greatly piqued having read several articles of late, both in secular as well as spiritual circles, discussing rhythm.  One season follows another, and life events fall in succession, bringing about an unrealized sense of symmetry.  The constant rhythmic flow of life, when interrupted, leaves us feeling off, sometimes confused and perhaps even fearful.  
 
At present, looking forward to our future can bring about such uncertainty.  Making plans for events seems an effort in futility.  However, one thing we know for certain is that we are absolutely uncertain about what tomorrow holds.  And yet, what a remarkable difference, when we look to Jesus.
Our uncertainty causes us to look to His certainty. He never changes or waivers. He is always the same. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever Hebrews 13:8. Our questions require us to seek answers from a God that knows all.  Our insecurities melt into sweet security when we remember that our God knows the beginning from the end. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty Rev. 1:8.
We look at the clock and calendar and wonder how long our situation will last, but
Psalms 31:15 says "my times are in Thy hand."
 
Our chaotic world, lends the perfect opportunity to rely on Him who said, come unto me and I will give You rest. Matt. 11:28  
Let not your heart be troubled, He instructed us in John 14:1.
 
And so, we have a choice:
* Wonder, worry, wring our hands and wax faint
Or we can
* Relax, rest, renew our minds, remind ourselves that we are safe under His wings and that underneath are the everlasting arms. Deut. 33:27
 
And so, if you look at it this way, viewing our current situation through the "glasses" of the promises of the Word of God, then really, nothing has changed.  We have:
* always been safe Pro.18:10
* always been promised protection under his wings Ps. 91:4
* always had hope and a future Jer 29:11 NKJV
 
In your TCG meetings, discuss the things that we can always count on, regardless of what is going on in our world today.  Help our girls realize the safety that is found in living for and walking with Jesus. Look back on this year with them and share ways that each has grown and what they've learned about life, along with the promises given in the Word of God.
 
Some things just never change ....

Debbie Sanders - TCG Director
(TCG Parents and Leaders Newsletter - Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org)

************************************************


"Look for the Well" by Anne Johnston.
And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink” (Genesis 21:19).
 
Just a servant girl, forced into circumstances beyond her control, Hagar had experienced a lot of things in her life, but this was the final straw. Rejected by her mistress, forced to take her son and head into an unknown wilderness, she felt that the end had come. She had no family with which to seek refuge, there was no one to whom she could turn. She had exhausted the provisions that Abraham had given her, the water bottle was empty, and it looked like death was near for her and her son. Not willing to watch her son die, she placed him in a shady spot and moved far enough away that she could not hear or see him. sat down and wept.
God heard the cries of the boy and spoke to Hagar, asking her why she was weeping. He told her to fear not, but to go and pick up Ishmael for He had plans to make a great nation of him. The well had been nearby all the time, but God had to open Hagar’s eyes to see it, and then she was able to fill the water bottle. We don’t know how God provided a place for them to live, but we do know that there in the wilderness, Ishmael grew to be a man. God kept His promise to make him a great nation.
 
Perhaps today you find yourself going through a time of testing and trial. Some of it may be the result of wrong choices you have made in the past. It may be that you have been rejected by people you looked up to, and it seems so hard to rise above the despair and hurt you are carrying. You may have had a bad report from your doctor for yourself or a loved one. It seems like all hope is gone, that life is not worth living. The future looks dark. You just want to shut yourself away and weep.
 
The Father in Heaven is watching. He sees your tears. He hears the cry for help that rises from your heart. Remember, the well is already there. If you will lift your eyes to Him, you will hear His gentle voice: “Daughter, fear not. I have heard your cry, I have plans for your future. Get up, and trust Me. You cannot change the past, but I can change your future.” Like Hagar filled the bottle and gave water to her child, let the Holy Spirit fill your soul and give you new life.
(FROM: Pure Ministry Newsletter - UPCI Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org)


AND


"You Are a Work of Art" by Angela Overton.
The value of something is the price you are willing to pay for it. In the case of Impressionist art, an anonymous bidder at an NYC auction last year was willing to pay 110.7 million dollars for Claude Monet’s ‘Meules’ painting. If Monet only knew the impact his paintings would have in the 21st century.

You may think the talent you possess is insignificant. Maybe you are hesitant to fully pursue your calling because you fear failing or you dread people rejecting your heart.

It makes me think—how many famous works of art were thrown away because their creator felt insignificant in comparison to other artists? How many men and women have manuscripts saved on their computers that will never grace bookstores because they are too afraid of how people will react to their words? How many songs have been penned that we will never hear?

What are you hiding? I’m not talking about a secret sin, I’m talking about your talent, your passion—your calling! You can make a difference. Your gifting can have a global impact.

Not everyone loves Impressionist art. To some, it looks childish—to others, it is worth over 100 million dollars. To Monet, however, it was his passion. He found beauty in haystacks, water lilies, and bridges.

Where do you find beauty?
What is your passion?

For Jesus, it was souls. He dedicated His life to you and me, regardless of the multitude that scorned Him.

Sometimes we fear rejection, while at other times we crave popularity; both can be destructive and debilitating. When you mold your passion in a way to please everyone, you will be met with harsh judgment and dismissive opinions. Not even Jesus, who is God in flesh, could sway every heart to love Him and accept everlasting life. The main thing Jesus did was make His love and salvation available to anyone, at any time.

You are a priceless work-of-art and more valuable than any painting for sale at an auction. God is waiting for you to step out and share your gift with the world. Trust me, there are so many people who will be blessed by your story, your song, your ministry—your whatever it is.
(FROM: Pure Ministry Newsletter - UPCI Ladies Ministries - ladiesconnections@upci.org)

*******************************************************


"The Puzzle of Life" by Renee Brainos.
I love jigsaw puzzles. Finding the edge pieces to make the frame. Looking at the colors and shapes to find the exact fit. I love separating the pieces, so the actual assembling of the puzzle goes quickly. I refer often to the box lid, to be sure everything is going according to plan. If I can't see the big picture, frustration sets in.
 
I am so glad to have a God who doesn't need a box lid to put the pieces together. Even when I don't see it, He's working. He takes my prayers and answers them in ways beyond imagination. In Isaiah 55:9, we read, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
 
When our children were young, I had big ideas and plans for their futures. But the biggest prayer I prayed was that they be faithful Christians. As adults, all three of them are actively involved in ministry.
 
To this point in my life, the pieces of my jigsaw puzzle have straight edges and a clear color scheme.
 
In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is placed in front of an impossible puzzle. In a valley of dry bones, God asks, "Can these bones live?" In verse 2, Ezekiel answers "Lord God, thou knowest." What a response! What a relief to know that impossible puzzles are God's specialty.
 
Perhaps your puzzle has wavy edges. Maybe the colors are not distinct. You can't seem to put the pieces into place. No matter how you try to manipulate them, they just won't fit. It can be tempting to give up. But the good news is, you don't have to assemble the puzzle. When you can't see the big picture, He is working. When you can't find the right connections, He is working.
 
Don't get discouraged when you can't see the final picture. Don't get frustrated when the pieces of the puzzle do not go together. Don't feel alone or abandoned. When you can't see it, He is working.
 
In II Kings 6, the servant of Elisha was frightened because of the armies surrounding them. Elisha responded: "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (II Kings 6:16).
 
In the puzzle of your life, remember you are not assembling it alone. When you can't see it, He is working!
(Information from: Ladies Prayer Intl November 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com)

************************************************************


Filling Our Home with Prayer and Praise
By Connie Bernard

The first "church" buildings were homes. The apostles went from house to house. I am sure they sang hymns, and they did take up offerings. They shared testimonies, prayed for one another, and prayed the gospel would spread throughout all of their territories.

We must be intentional in our daily lives and how we view our homes. Our homes will be filled with something. I want our home to be filled with His presence. I want our home to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit. I want our home to be filled with His peace.
 
When our children were young, we were very busy starting a home missions church. Our children were six and three. And I like to say that Lindsey, New Life Church, our dog Sugar and our cat Fluffy were all born at the same time. I was very intentional that our children knew they were our priority.
 
In that intentionality, I also purposed in my heart that our children would know we lived for Jesus, not just because we were apostolics but because we were Christians. We strived to be like Jesus, and I wanted our children to model that principle in their lives. From their early ages, every week we had Monday night family devotion in our home. Yes, we were in church at least three times a week but our Monday night devotions were in-home training for our children to understand that we lived as Christians every day of our lives inside our home and out in that big world.

On those special nights, as we all came together, each person shared a testimony, something they were thankful for, something God had done for them, or a prayer request. We had a short devotion and ended with prayer together.
 
Once, when Brother Bernard was out of town, the kids were all at "war" with each other. Finally, I'd had enough and yelled for all of them to stop. The look on their three faces was pure terror. They had never heard their mother yell at them. (Side lesson here, we should never raise our voice to our family. We should love them and honor them the most.) I immediately felt such remorse. As a mom handling three kids by myself I was weary, but I quickly knew who was at work. The enemy of our soul himself wanted to create contention in our home, especially with Daddy gone.
 
I gathered them close and told them I was sorry for raising my voice. Then I said that the enemy wanted to cause us to fight but we were not going to allow that, were we? They all looked at me with big eyes. I them gave them ownership of the situation. I told them we needed to be praying for Daddy and we were going to pray right then. I started and then had each one pray, from the oldest to the youngest. By the time we got to Lindsey, we were all crying and felt something in that home. We felt God's presence and knew He had visited us.
 
Ladies, there is power in prayer and power in giving your family members ownership of prayer and praise in your home, Do not miss the opportunity to continually fill your home with God's peace. Make it something as natural as breathing and eating.

( FROM: Ladies Prayer Intl November 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com )

AND

The Puzzle of Life
By  Renee Brainos

I love jigsaw puzzles. Finding the edge pieces to make the frame. Looking at the colors and shapes to find the exact fit. I love separating the pieces, so the actual assembling of the puzzle goes quickly. I refer often to the box lid, to be sure everything is going according to plan. If I can't see the big picture, frustration sets in.
 
I am so glad to have a God who doesn't need a box lid to put the pieces together. Even when I don't see it, He's working. He takes my prayers and answers them in ways beyond imagination. In Isaiah 55:9, we read, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
 
When our children were young, I had big ideas and plans for their futures. But the biggest prayer I prayed was that they be faithful Christians. As adults, all three of them are actively involved in ministry.
 
To this point in my life, the pieces of my jigsaw puzzle have straight edges and a clear color scheme.
 
In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is placed in front of an impossible puzzle. In a valley of dry bones, God asks, "Can these bones live?" In verse 2, Ezekiel answers "Lord God, thou knowest." What a response! What a relief to know that impossible puzzles are God's specialty.
 
Perhaps your puzzle has wavy edges. Maybe the colors are not distinct. You can't seem to put the pieces into place. No matter how you try to manipulate them, they just won't fit. It can be tempting to give up. But the good news is, you don't have to assemble the puzzle. When you can't see the big picture, He is working. When you can't find the right connections, He is working.
 
Don't get discouraged when you can't see the final picture. Don't get frustrated when the pieces of the puzzle do not go together. Don't feel alone or abandoned. When you can't see it, He is working.
 
In II Kings 6, the servant of Elisha was frightened because of the armies surrounding them. Elisha responded: "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (II Kings 6:16).
 
In the puzzle of your life, remember you are not assembling it alone. When you can't see it, He is working!

( FROM: Ladies Prayer Intl November 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com )

PLUS

Psalm for the Day
By Carrie L. Reeves

Since before my daughter Liliana, now six, was able to talk, and even now as my son Isaac, age two, is learning, many of our mornings have started out with "Psalm for the Day," where I read aloud a Psalm, usually followed by a Proverb. I love to fill our home with the reading aloud of the Word of God, with music that glorifies Him, and with prayer. When life gets busy, these things tend to slide out of our daily routine. But when it does, we must re-center on these vital family habits. As Ephesians 6:4 instructs, we should bring up our children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Proverbs 22:6 tells us that if we train up our children in the way that is right, they will not depart from it when they mature.
 
It may be a song sung as Mommy rocks the baby or a bedtime prayer for peaceful sleep. Perhaps it is a midnight prayer for bad dreams or sickness or a quick prayer of just the name of Jesus for protection. Or it's Mommy and Daddy whispering an immediate prayer for some situation or need of their own or Daddy somewhere in the house travails in tongues. When the anointing of a song she's listening to prompts her to worship, Mommy may begin to weep as she's cooking. Whether prayers for big things like future spouses, prayers for small things, long prayers, quiet prayers, loud prayers, mealtime prayers, prayers for the children's salvation, emergency prayers, prayers that are understandable and prayers that are not - these beautiful sounds should fill the home of a Christian family who loves the Lord. Many times, they have comforted my children when I believe nothing else would have worked. They are what help center the kingdom of God in the home.
 
Talking to Jesus and praising Him should not be confined to a church pew. They are an anytime experience, integral parts to a relationship with the Lord, both during the good times and the bad. The home should be the first place children learn of prayer and praise in the personal lives of Mommy and Daddy. Many times, I remember hearing my father crying out to God in prayer in our home, and my mother's precious voice singing I Want to Live the Way He Wants Me To Live, a favorite I have passed on to Liliana and will to Isaac.
 
And now a "Psalm for the Day" for you: Psalm 8. "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger" (verse 2). Jesus even quoted this verse in Matthew 21:16. The songs and prayers of children can silence the enemy.
 
Ladies, let us fill our homes with prayer and praise and see what mighty things will happen.
 
( FROM: Ladies Prayer Intl November 2020 Newsletter - UPCI LM - ladiesprayerintl@aol.com )


"Praying the Attributes of God."
Though God is infinitely far above our ability to fully understand, through Scripture He tells us truths about Himself so that we can know Him and be drawn to worship Him. He is more than just a solution for our needs. He has attributes that make up who He is. These attributes become the foundation then for the things He does. As you pray, take a description of God below and meditate on it. When you see Him for who He is, you will be drawn closer to His heart and build a deeper trust in Him. Everything changes when you come to know Him.
READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/001b1b18-a42e-4598-aa03-682164fb01d9.pdf

AND

"Humble Desperation."
Do the words contradict each other? Maybe not. When we have done everything we know to do and yet have not achieved desired results, we are humbled. But if what we desired is very important to us? We will become desperate. Jacob was not a humble man. He was ingenious, self-reliant, and manipulative. He had a knack for handling things himself. He had learned to make things happen. He knew God, received the promises of inheritance from God, but may have been “too smart for his own good”. His “roots” were right. His attitude was wrong. His desire was for the right thing. He wanted the blessing and received it but receiving the blessing did not bring the ultimate fulfillment. He continued in his self-reliant, manipulative, ingenious ways until, in desperation, he had to recognize he was not in control.
READ more at: https://files.constantcontact.com/aebf4de5001/b509eded-c44d-41ef-9d58-3af087149a2f.pdf

**********************************
"It Is Well."
By Wanda Fielder
While enjoying my daily Bible reading in the book of II Kings, I became fixated on the story of the Shunamite woman.

Upon recognizing that Elisha was a holy man of God, she entreated her husband to build a room for him. Not just a room, but she equipped it with a bed, a table, a stool and a candlestick. It sounds like she put thought into making it a very accommodating room for the traveling preacher. This kindness she extended to him reaped great reward when he declared she would have a son. Having an elderly husband and no children, this came as a great surprise and delight.

You can just imagine how much she loved this late-in-life child! No doubt he was pampered and treasured as we assume he was their only child. When the day came that he went to his father complaining of head pain, he was brought to his mother and sat on her lap until his passing. Oh, the grief she must have felt! The first thing she did was to search for the man of God. When her intention was questioned, she simply answered, “It shall be well.”  

I love that statement of faith. She had just lost her child, but she knew if she could just contact the man of God, it would be well.

When she reached the man of God at Mount Carmel, he sent his servant to meet her with the question, “Is it well with thee?” She answered, “It is well.” Her statement spoke volumes of faith. Her trust in God proved to be the turning point for her deceased son. Through God using Elisha to stretch himself over the young lad, life was restored to him. Can you imagine the joy in that home?

Two valuable lessons can be learned from this intriguing turn of events:

    Cherish and take care of the man of God.
    Trust God with all your heart.

Although it isn’t always easy, by adhering to Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding, we can surely say, “It is well!”  

When the circumstances are not ideal, trouble looms on the horizon, or sickness invades your home; it is well when your complete faith is in God no matter the outcome. Verse six instructs us, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

AND

"Celebrate Life."
By Melody Reever

Of late, I’ve been observing the beauty of nature: the vibrant greens of the trees and grasses; the lovely shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple in the flowers; and the hints of blue in the pools and fountains. Soon fall will bring new shades of color to plant life—and what a beautiful time of year it is. As I take a deep breath of fresh air, I am indeed happy to celebrate the life God has given me. I am glad to be alive!

Life is not perfect—for any of us. Some face illness and loss of a loved one. For others, loss of a job or mounting medical bills have them scrambling to bring in enough income to cover bare necessities. It is easy for our emotions to take over during times of struggle: fear, uncertainty, questions of “why”—Why me? Why now? Why?

A lesson I’ve learned during times of struggle is to simply trust in God. Paul said in Acts 17, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. … He gives to all life, breath, and all things. … He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (24-28, NKJV). A close friend, who is in the struggle of caring for a loved one dealing with disease, recently told me, “It’s tough. I don’t know how people cope without God.”

There are days when trusting God does not come easy. The enemy of our souls would like nothing more than to weigh us down with questions, depression, and defeat. But we are daughters of the King of kings! We are not alone! God is with and in us. Because of His promise to never forsake us, we can draw strength from His presence on the toughest of days
.
In good times and bad, we can praise God for giving us life. Look up! Let’s count our blessings and celebrate His goodness in the life He’s given each of us.

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

****************************************

Even When I Don't See It You're Working
By Vercinia Reed
    
I grew up in Missouri, USA, where our state motto is "Show Me." Often when people tell us something, we Missourians will joke, "Show me!" In other words, we want proof that it's true.

I like proof; I like having an assurance that things are going to be fine.
 
I'd love for God to give me clear evidence that things are going to be alright, wouldn't you? It would be much more comfortable. He doesn't often work that way, though. Even when Jesus lived and walked among us, He spoke to the multitudes in parables "so that 'seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand'" (Mark 4:12).
 
While pursuing my master's degree at university, I had to learn about the brain. There's an interesting condition called "visual field deficit" that can occur when the brain's visual pathway is damaged, causing a person to be unable to see certain areas of their visual field. The person may not even be aware of it. I'll share an example I encountered during my training. One of my clients was an elderly woman who'd had a stroke that resulted in right visual field deficit. Since she was unable to perceive anything on her right side, she was only eating the food on the left side of her plate. In therapy, then, one of our goals was teaching her to slightly turn her plate after every few bites. By learning to change her environment (repeatedly turning her plate) and thus her perspective, she was able to see and eat what was already there.
 
From a spiritual point of view, I am reminded that just because we can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there. Consider Hagar and Ishmael, whom Abraham had sent away with bread and water. Eventually their personal supply of water had been used up. When Hagar realized the gravity of their situation, indeed death was a very real and imminent probability, she put Ishmael under a shrub and walked just far enough away that she wouldn't have to watch her son die.

Then she sat down, lifted her voice, and wept. But the well, with its life-sustaining water, was already there. God heard their cries, opened Hagar's eyes, and she saw it (Genesis 21:19). Life and purpose wouldn't end in the desert. He would make of Ishmael, too, a great nation.
 
So, I pray for us what the disciples asked for themselves in Matthew 20:33, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened." Yes, Lord, open our eyes to see from Your perspective; let us walk confidently in the darkest situations, knowing that even when we don't see it, You're working.
 
Note: Vercinia Bailey Reed and her husband, Brad, serve as AIMers in the United Arab Emirates where they pastor Abundant Life Church in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They have two children, Jaden, age 17, and Elias, age 9. Vercinia has a BHS and MHS in Communication Sciences & Disorders and worked as a speech-language pathologist prior to moving to the UAE in 2003.

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

AND


A Tree Called Friend
By Rachel Coltharp
    
I recently read an MIT Technology Review (published 4/29/16) about anthropologist Robin Dunbar's study of human interaction. Tracking social patterns via cell phone interactions, he found there is a natural limit in friendship patterns. We human beings tend to have a natural limit of five close friends and a meaningful relationship circle of 150.
 
Dunbar found patterns of social interaction layers, and they are five closest, the next layer has ten more, the next layer has an additional thirty-five, and the final layer group has one hundred.
 
This intrigues me, as I see the limits of social groups limited below 150 throughout history, in Roman centurions of eighty, the tithing bands of ten individuals in Medieval English law enforcement, and in the bands of thousands being broken into tens and one hundreds in Moses' division in Exodus.
 
To put it in context, we can consider these numbers in the following way.

    5 nearest relationships.  
    10 close relationships.  
    35 important relationships
    100 meaningful relationships

 
For the believer, friendships are so much more than mere chance. They are God at work. Working in, on, and through us.
 
Friendships come in many forms. Some are root friendships; others are fruit friendships.  
 
Root friendships are the ones that make you strong, hold you in place, nourish your soul, and help you grow.
 
Fruit friendships are the ones where you share your gifts, talents, and experience to make someone else's life richer and sweeter. These are the friendships where seed is shared, seed that will in time become a root friendship in their life.
 
When I look back over my life, I see the different kinds of friendships God allowed me to experience. At the time, they seemed like chance and circumstance. Looking back, I see it was the hand of God directing me toward these relationships. I didn't know at the time, but some of them would become root friendships, helping hold me in place through the years. Nourishing me, feeding me, anchoring me in truth. Others became fruit friendships, opportunities to give and feed the minds, hearts, and souls of others.
 
Looking back, I see the hand of God. He was working, even when I couldn't see it. In the everyday things, in the nice-to-meet you moments that turned into so much more.  

Note: Rachel Coltharp is wife to one, mother to four. She is a writer and public speaker who shares from her real life experiences, mostly mistakes and do-overs. She is also a pastor's wife and staff writer for Reflections Magazine.

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

*************************************************


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)


************************************
"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)

************************************


"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)


********************************************

"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)

******************************************


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)

************************************

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)


********************************************


"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 )

******************************************

"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


********************************************


" 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 )


******************************************


"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)

***********************************

"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)

*********************************

"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)

*********************************************


"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)

**********************************


"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 )


***************************************

"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 )
   

****************************************


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 )


****************************************

" 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 )

************************************


"...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)


*******************************************

"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)


*****************************************

" 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)

****************************************


"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)

********************************

"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)

**********************************

"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.

AND

"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)
 


*******************************************


"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

***********************************
"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

*************************************
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)

***************************************


"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)

***********************************


"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)

***************************************

"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)

*****************************************

"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)

*****************************************

"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)

***********************************


"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)

*********************************


"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 )


*******************************************


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 )


******************************************

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 )


*************************************************

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)


*********************************************

"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 )


****************************************

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)


*************************************

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)

**********************************

"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)


*************************************

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)


***************************************

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)


*******************************
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


*************************************

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


*************************************

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)


********************************

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)


***********************************


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)


********************************

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.