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

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

Who’s Your Daddy?

“Lay down your spiritual warfare weapons,” said the voice of the Lord I have come to know, love and obey. My response: HUH?

The apparent warfare around me and around the body of Christ screamed out in demand of increasing every spiritual warfare technique I had ever learned.  To lay down all of that felt contrary to everything I had learned from my mentors, teachers, and pastors. In six words the Voice I loved had negated every spiritual warfare seminar and conference I had attended as well as every book I read and video series I had watched. Even closer to home, it wiped out what I had taught hundreds of others. Thus, it was hard for me to receive those 6 words.

Then started the conversation with Holy Spirit.  Not sure why I persist with this habit, none-the-less, it always starts out: But, Lord….

I had a lot of “But, Lords” to state and “How can it be” questions to ask. Seemed that He already knew that and He spoke to me in His loving, soft, gentle, yet firm way, “You’re doing it all wrong.”  My answer: HUH?

No doubt, we His kids, can be quite comical to Him at times I am sure.  In this case, I am certain my astonishment must have been amusing because I heard His wonderful laughter wash over me. All I could feel was joy and peace followed by love and acceptance. What could I say to that except, “Yes, Lord”? And, because He apparently knew I was ready to hear Him on this topic, I yielded, albeit a bit begrudgingly, and turned my inner ear toward Him.

It wasn’t what I heard, but what I saw next that impacted me.  I saw a small child (couldn’t tell boy or girl) chased by the enemy (demonic beings) running toward flowing purple fabric. The child ran into the fabric and disappeared. While watching this vision, I realized the child was hiding behind the leg of a man wearing leather sandals. In moments, the child, comforted and strengthened by the encounter with the man, peeked out. The enemy was a great distance away.  The enemy could not approach the man or the child.  The man spoke over the child lovingly and kindly. After awhile the child lifted their hand and repeated the words of the man. As the words were released, power flowed and the enemy disappeared completely.

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Hiding in the robe of the Father

A lesson in an intense way of intercession began that day.  Holy Spirit pointed out the child was not dressed in armor as I had pictured it. The child was not holding a sword or a shield.  The child was not shouting or yelling at the devils. The child was standing strong, at peace, full of joy and lovingly protected in the purple skirts. The child listened, learned and repeated what the man said.  And the man? …. Continue reading

A World gone Crazy

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This morning I felt overwhelmed by prayer needs and the need to pray.  If you are an intercessor, or one who prays, you have probably had those days too. My heart breaks today for the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch TN where 7 were wounded and a 39 year old woman was killed by a masked shooter.  And our eastern seaboard is projected to be pounded once again by a strong hurricane, the 3rd one, 4th if one counts the hurricane that kicked up storms while blowing itself out in the middle of the ocean. Puerto Rico lies in devastation from the same storm and Florida and Texas are still in crisis cleaning up from the previous two. And, my prayer list for personal needs, illnesses, sudden deaths in families and on and on is growing. Seems like every day I get more bad news that needs prayer.

What does a follower of Jesus do when the world has seemingly gone crazy around them? In the language of my first prayer partners who were all 80 something and I was a kid of 41, we PRESS IN.  That phrase when I first heard it back in the 1990’s made little sense to me. I was a new believer and my question at the time was “Press into what?” My mentors smiled a knowing smile and simply said “Jesus, of course.”

Brother John, tall graying black curly hair, with a wonderful base voice came over to my side. My hands completely disappear into his large knuckled chocolate brown hands… Continue reading