Wednesday, June 15

Exciting season coming in September. We are still looking to add a few more interns for September. If you know of someone that wants to grow in worship leading, prayer and leadership development; let them know about Consecrate Internship!

Monday, March 21

Awakening the Dawn Part 5/5

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
This verse in Lamentations is a constant encouragement to start my day in the House of Prayer singing to Him about His mercy. I meditated on this verse and came to the conclusion that if His mercy is new every morning, it would require singing of His mercy every morning.
For instance, sometimes my wife does the cooking, and sometimes she does it several days in a row. When she cooks a meal I say, “Thank you,” but tomorrow she may cook a new meal and I will once again say, “Thank you.” Showing gratitude for a future occurrence is not as impacting as looking at the immediacy of a situation and responding in thankfulness. I don’t say thank you extra times today so I don’t have to do it tomorrow. And if I were to heat up leftovers from the meal she made the previous day, I wouldn’t normally say thank you for the meal (although I could).

When it comes to the Lord’s mercy, He doesn’t give us leftovers from the previous day; it’s new mercies every single day. This requires a daily response of thankfulness and gratefulness.

This is why David talks about singing of the mercies of the Lord forever—because His mercies are forever new. Yet, David remembers the previous mercies and wants future generations to know all the stories and times God has proven His mercy new every day. Going back to my analogy, it would be like telling my friends and family about what an amazing meal my wife made a few days ago and going on to tell them what was in it, how it made me feel, what made it delicious, how they should try it, and how much I look forward to the next time I get to taste it.
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;
With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 89:1a NKJV
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 59:16 NIV
There is a chorus that is often sung in the House of Prayer, “You’ve got to sing your way into the truth.” This has proven to be a reality in my own life, especially looking back on these past ten years in the House of Prayer. So, David charges us to sing about His love in the morning. He did not know what his day ahead would hold, so he sang about God being his fortress and refuge.

When we sing to the Lord it suppresses unbelief that is in our hearts and reinforces truth.

There is nothing we need more in the mornings than to sing about His love and how He feels about us, how He is protecting and keeping us in times of trouble (before they come), and to sing about His goodness, His kindness. Also, we lay our requests before Him and just sing, knowing that we don’t have to carry the daily burden of what we asked of the Lord. It will give us confidence in who we are and how He feels toward us before we go about our day.
The Kingdom needs people who go to their place of work or about their day after spending time in the presence of the Lord. We talk about being Jesus to those in our workplace or wherever we walk and spend our day, but the only way to be like Jesus is to actually get before Him and behold Him. Beholding is becoming. Behold His beauty, His emotions, His attributes, His love, and His mercy toward us. Let Him transform us into His likeness by awakening the dawn and singing of who He is and singing of His mercy, that we may proclaim His mercy to those we encounter daily. Prayer is not something we just tag onto our day; it is where we find our identity and where we are transformed and changed into His likeness. Without exaggeration, there is no better way to start our day: before the Lord, singing and bringing delight to His heart!

Monday, March 14

Awakening the Dawn Part 4

Therefore glorify the Lord in the dawning light, The name of the Lord God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. Is. 24:15 (NKJV)
It is common to wake up in the morning and feel the sting of leaving the comforts of our warm beds and restful sleep. We remedy our morning’s moods by taking a shower and having a nice hot cup of coffee. Some of us want little interaction with our families and those around us until these remedies are accomplished. Although I consider myself a morning person, I don’t dislike the comfort of my warm bed in the morning, and I still need my cup of coffee before heading off to open up the church and start our prayer meeting. Also, most Christians know that it is just a good idea to have a morning devotional; this is evidenced by the thousands of devotional books out there, including the monthly Our Daily Bread publication, which I grew up remembering my grandfather reading at the kitchen table when I sat down to eat breakfast.

What I am talking about in this series is not sitting at home reading Our Daily Bread (don’t get me wrong, I love daily devotionals and they have great value). What I’m talking about is daily corporate prayer: having two or more gathered in His name and meeting in a specified location to awaken the morning with songs of praise, thanksgiving, and supplication on behalf of our city and region.
I believe the Lord is calling some people to put aside the morning comforts and to go put incense on the morning altar.

This is no small undertaking; morning prayer is not easy. In order to do prayer together rather than alone, there has to be a measure of sacrifice in the laying down of our freedoms, desires, and rights. The very fact that you come into a room to pray together rather than staying in your home…that’s laying down a personal freedom in order to accomplish corporate prayer.

If you are going to pray for an hour by yourself at home, how much preparation does that take? Hardly any at all. To get to the House of Prayer in the morning, you need to actually set your alarm to get up earlier (because you have travel time), then you have to get up, get your coffee, and shower (if you’re into that), get dressed, go out in the freezing cold, pay for gas to get to the church, and you need to compromise on a schedule because you are following a corporate time frame. You can’t even talk to God about whatever you want for a good portion of the time because when you meet together you are not just serving yourself but serving others in the room. In our society, people have a tendency not to do hard and difficult things, and morning prayer is one of them. But God has a tendency to go against cultural norms.

My journey in this has not always been me getting up early in the morning to pray. It was the Lord slowly, step by step, revealing how much He values the morning devotion of song and prayer arising to Him. He is SO worthy of the laying down of our rights for the sake of His name. And there is nothing that could be better for us than starting our day before the only One who matters.

My point in writing this whole series is that I want people to know that there is great value in awakening the morning by being before the Lord corporately. If people understand the value in it, they will not be willing to lay aside those personal freedoms to do it. Conversely, if someone comes to the morning prayer meeting, they obviously at some point thought it would be valuable to do so. I am often astonished because I know what it took to get there. Do you feel the call to awaken the dawn?

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised. Psalm 113:3 (NIV)

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