What You Pray Smells Really Good!

This month Holy Spirit has been speaking to me steadily about our role as intercessors living in the “evil laden” atmosphere that we find ourselves in the USA and all over the world. More than ever intercession and standing for righteousness as a unified body of believers in Christ Jesus is needed! While I was praying in response to His words to me, I felt led to reread a portion of James Goll’s book The Lost Art of Intercession. Here’s what he says that really inspired me to take courage and press in even more persistently to the heart of the Father through Christ Jesus:

Oh, what a blessed gift and privilege is the holy thing call prayer! More than anything else, prayer is man’s invitation sent heavenward for God’s response to be cast earthward – the human in exchange for the heavenly!
(2 Chronicles 7:1-3) … We want to see God’s glory fill the earth. It will happen through exchange. Prayer ascends. Incense arises. Man’s smoke signal to his Highest Chief arises declaring, “Send forth the fire!” Heavenly fire from the altar comes crashing down and the glory of the Lord fills His house once again. What goes up must come down!

Yes! Indeed! What wonderful picture of our prayers going up to the throne of grace as a cloud of incense. In the Old Testament that incense is a fragrant mixture of fresh pine-like and cinnamon-like spices. A sweet smelling savor to our God. None the less, the phrases that really hit my heart weren’t that beautiful image but: “Oh, what a blessed gift and privilege is the holy thing called prayer” and “The human in exchange for the Heavenly” and “What goes up must come down”

Our prayers don’t stay on earth. They are a holy thing and they travel to heaven. And, they don’t stay in heaven forever. They get exchanged for heavenly answers! They are returned to earth mixed with fire from God’s altar. They crash through the barriers of sin and evil with thunders and lightning and loud noises in the spirit realms and WHAM! Our prayers are answered supernaturally. We never know when or how the answer will come. That is up to our God. But, the answer will come down! We get a heavenly exchange with interest!

So, keep praying for your family and sphere of influence,for your city, state and nation, and for each other. It is a blessed gift and privilege to pray and talk to God. It is a privilege to stand as light in the darkness interceding for folks in need, whatever that need may be. Know that what you pray smells really really really good to God and suddenly it will smell so good to Him that the answers will come crashing to earth at just the right moment in time to fulfill His perfect will and plans.

As I was reading Romans 11 and 12 and meditating on the amazing picture of our intercession crashing back to earth, I was inspired to record another blessing prayer for the body of Christ. You can find the recording on my Semon.net station by clicking HERE.

Know that you, the Body of Christ, are all always in my prayers!
With love, joy and peace to you,
Rev. Cheryl

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NEVER Give Up!

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Beloved of the Lord,

Seems that the enemy is working overtime right now to discourage the body of Christ. Especially those who pray. This seems to be on the increase here in the USA. Because of that increased pressure to give up, I felt led today to share with you this simple statement that I have posted in my office and on a plaque in my entryway: Never, Never, Never Give Up! When I feel like life is too much or situations have drained the heart of prayer right out of me, I look to heaven and declare those 5 words starting with “Lord, I will.” Yup, like Winston Churchill who admonished a nation with that phrase, I admonish myself with “Lord, I will never, never, never give up!”  It’s amazing the flood of strength and resolve that always pours out from the heart of God when I make that simple declaration. 

Why is it so powerful? I believe it hits the very center of the Father’s plan to bless us with answers to our prayers. If we refuse to give up we WILL receive those answers, more than that, the people we are praying for WILL receive the answers.

Pastor Mark Batterson in his book “Draw the Circle – The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” wrote this: Our prayers never die! When we pray, our prayers exit our four dimensions of space time. Our prayers have no space or time limitations because the God who answers them exists outside of the four dimensions He created. You never know when His timeless answer will reenter the atmosphere of our lives, and that should fill us with holy anticipation.  Never underestimate His ability to answer anytime, anyplace, anyhow. He has infinite answers to our finite prayers. He can answer them more than once. And He answers them forever. And, later in that chapter he writes: Every prayer we utter is like the marble stones used in the building of the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial. When we pray, we are building a monument to God, a memorial to Him. And those prayers are not perishable. They aren’t wood, hay, or straw. They are a foundation of gold, silver and costly stones. They will not be forgotten. They will not go unanswered.

Keep lifting up what God puts on your hearts and keep praying for one another! Suddenly those prayers will reenter earth’s atmosphere as powerful answered prayer and we will be amazed at what our Glorious God has done!!

In closing, check out the strengthening and blessing prayer from 1 Peter that I recorded for you and the body of Christ this month: Strengthening Prayer.  Return to this link any time you need a prayer boost! And, it can be shared with others if you wish.

With JOY

Rev. Cheryl

Stand Fast Against Witchcraft – Part 1

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Been concerned in prayer over an increase in the spirit realms of witchcraft opposition especially toward those who pray and intercede. Just a reminder, Intercessors, that between the vernal equinox and October 31st there is always a surge in witchcraft. While we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and head for Reformation Day, the enemy becomes intensely active. He hates Reformation Day and he hates it when we celebrate with JOY our Lord’s indwelling presence in the tabernacle of our heart.

This year the stirring of resistance to the body of Christ is more than ever. Opposition is stronger in part because too many in the body of Christ have entered into agreement with the enemy. The negativity, cursing, complaining and hatred that is dividing our nation has sadly invaded the church. While we are to recognize issues of injustice and evil and PRAY – it is NOT to be with negativity. We should be releasing the love of God, blessing and not cursing, speaking the solutions not the problems, speaking words of life and not death.

The GOOD NEWS is that our Lord and King is far more powerful than anything the enemy can release. If we will repent of negativity and agree with God, we will see victory! Join me in blessing prayer… It power packed! Let’s declare GOD’s WORD, allow Holy Spirit to pray through us the plans of the Father for our nation and what Jesus is interceding for at the throne of grace.

Let’s Fight evil with good!! We can and will see magnificent changes, if we stay the course set by our Lord and Savior… that is a course of loving even our enemies. Yes,do pray with mercy for those releasing witchcraft. Ask for their salvations and bless them with healing and deliverance.

Choose LOVE’s way and Keep up the GOOD fight God’s way!

With JOY in our Lord,
Rev. Cheryl

Rejoicing in Christ Jesus

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Today the Lord poured out a powerful reminder to  refocus! There is a tendency for us to get caught up in the negative things going on in our lives and the world and forget that we  have a constant place of JOY and REFRESHING available to us.  His word to me was REJOICE! Laugh! BE GLAD! Holy Spirit directed me to Romans 8:31-39.  He wants to strengthen us and help us to walk through everything that comes our way!

After reading those verses in Romans here is what I recorded. I pray that it blesses you!
http://revcherylbirch.sermon.net/main/main/21223574

He also gave this precious spontaneous song during a worship service awhile back. It goes so well with His word to me today that I believe it will be an additional blessing to you: http://revcherylbirch.sermon.net/main/main/21224312

With love to you,
Rev. Cheryl

When God Dismantles your Kingdom

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Today I write because a great metamorphosis is taking place. A Call has gone out from our Father in Heaven to hundreds in the body of Christ and the call is: Give Me your kingdom.

As I was listening to God about this call, I saw a great tug o’war. A castle and all it’s surrounding lands were the “rope.” The hand of God held on to one end. He ever so gently tugged at the rope. The other end was held by His kids. Unaware Father God was doing the tugging, they interpreted the disruption as attack. They used every bit of their strength to hold onto the rope and protect their castle and its lands. Father God let that go on for awhile lovingly watching. Then He pulled a little harder. The castle and the lands shook under the pressure of His loving grip and He spoke to them softly: Let Go. On the other end, His kids shook too. They were alarmed at the perceived intensity of attack hitting their kingdom. They armored up and went to war. They called reinforcements. They cried out to God for help to defeat the enemy destroying their land and what they had built for Him. Father God smiled so lovingly and let them go on like that for awhile listening carefully to their cries. And, then with great mercy He pulled even harder.  This time louder, He said with loving firmness: Let go.  At His voice part of the buildings around the castle collapsed. Part of the land fell away. On the other end, His kids collapsed with fear, confusion and grief over the losses. They fell on their faces and finally said the words Father had been waiting for: We repent. Show us Your will, Your plan, Your ways. We humble ourselves before You. We give you all. Help us in our weakness. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. With that, Father God took hold of the rope with power and the tug o’ war was over. The castle crashed to the ground. The castle was demolished.  But, the land was perfectly preserved, in fact better than before! He restored what had fallen away then He placed it back in their hands. It had turned ever so green and and lush. His love poured out to heal, strengthen and renew His kids. He swept away the castle ruins as His kids willingly gave Him each bit of the rubble. In exchange for the rubble, He gave them new dreams, new vision, new materials to build with, new plans, new ways and the land got more and more green. They flourished in His abundance and favor.

Our God requires a lot of those whom He loves. He requires absolutely everything!

Change and sacrifice is an ever constant process in the Kingdom of God that produces wonderful new things that glorify our King.  Or, perhaps more precisely,  it is the result of the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the earth. Wherever His breath blows, wherever He is working, there is change.    And, since the whole earth is His and the fullness thereof, that means our world is experiencing constant changes.

Who doesn’t get excited over the prospect of all things becoming NEW? The part we forget is that we have to let go of the old in order to receive the new. Sacrifice is always required if there is to be transformation.  If you are like me, I am very excited over prospect of all things becoming new in Christ Jesus.  I can pray and ask for that of God with enthusiasm and truly desire the change… that is until I am one of the souls in the middle of His mighty work of transformation.  My response and maybe yours too is WHOA, what’s going on here.  More than one time I dug in my heels, just like the vision He gave me, and fought for what is mine, not discerning the huge change was an answer to my prayers and a gift from my God.

Mercifully, He works soul by soul with slow, steady, deeply profound internal changes, perhaps over many years.  As we yield to those small steps, we become more like Him and step out doing His work.  We build our lives and ministries are launched.  Then the time comes for His new plans and seemingly overnight the ministries, the works, the thing we do for Him, what we thought was rock solid and even our highest call in Him,  He closes. The season is finished. The training is over.  Something new is on the way. When we don’t discern that He is requiring change and stubbornly hang on, suddenly those castles we have built  get shaken and eventually they collapse so that He can build up something better, something more reflective of Him. Something He has prepared for us and us for it. Yes, something that gives Him more glory and benefits humankind in ways we could never have imagined if He did not take this action. Continue reading

The Deadly Duo

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The Deadly Duo? From a recent movie?

No, I’m not speaking of a Marvel Comic Book team of evil characters! This team is far more insidious than that and real, not make believe. The deadly duo that I see destroying lives, visions, dreams, ministries, and people themselves is FEAR and PRIDE. These two are experts at hiding behind facades while eloquently manipulating situations and people. Fear is spirit, a really evil one, and Pride is a condition of the heart that allows the evil to do its nasty stuff.

They work in concert to keep an individual in a prison of what is familiar and easy, creating a life that requires little change and no risk-taking. In order to maintain that kind of environment, everyone around the person under the influence of the Duo is expected to remain the same. When the boat of life gets rocked, as it always does, Continue reading

Hope

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I was reading news stories today about Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, two well-know, admired and financially well-to-do people, that became so very distraught they ended their lives by their own hand. My first thought was for their family and loved ones that God would comfort them. Then, I was overcome with the simple truth that money and success, though touted as the goal that will make a person happy and content, actually has nothing to do with happiness and contentment.  Pondering that with the Lord in prayer, I came away with renewed realization that what actually brings joy, a sense of well-being and peace or contentment to a person’s life is HOPE. Without hope we are lost in place of darkness slaved to depression and despair even in the midst the most opulent of life’s circumstances.

No doubt in the darkest moments of the trials of life, even the most generally hopeful of us have entertained the thought that death would bring relief from the suffering, stress, pain and challenges.  Why do some succumb to the darkness of those thoughts and end up miserable and bitter at best or kill themselves at worst while others are touched by a spark of saving hope and they endure Continue reading