Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"My Soul Sings Jesus" ©


My Soul Sings Jesus ©




My Soul Sings Jesus is a devotional of intimate celebrations of our oneness with God. My Soul Sings Jesus is and outward expression of an inner song of worship and reverence for the Lord. There are days when my song is sung from my heart to his and other days when he sings to my soul.

“So what should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind” (I Corinthians 14:15).

We are created in the likeness and image of God and he desires that we have fellowship with him. We are his highest creation and God desires intimate relationship with us. We often times seek God in our time of trouble and despair and in those times we find him because he is gracious and merciful towards us. Through his loving-kindness he listens and answers our desperate cries and even our inaudible groans. However, our heavenly Father longs to hold us near throughout every day, and this kind of relationship is developed through daily prayer.

Our ultimate destination is to reside in his Presence forever, to bask in the light of glory and to suffer “no more”. Our deepest desire is to be free of the weight of life, its fear, pain, and diseases. Although prayer is the mechanism through which we can experience this freedom too often we fail to give enough time to answer his call and embrace. God is always available waiting for the awakening of our souls.

Once this awakening takes place we become acutely aware of the existence of the empty place inside of us hungry for fulfillment. This craving and longing can only be satisfied by the One true source, our Creator Father God. The longing we experience is actually the call of God saying to us come to me and rest. Rest with me, I will give to you everything you truly need; I will fill you with more love, more power, wisdom, and strength. It is God alone who will give you peace that surpasses understanding, comfort and shelter from the storms of life.

Our devotion to God must come from within. The heart that seeks after God will find him and the benefits of that search is boundless. Through prayer we can find the resting place of the all-knowing all-powerful God. This all-knowingness provides a kind of melodic vibration soothing and healing to the seeming ills of the soul. The music of the soul changes our focus from the chaos of the outer and begins to seek after Jesus. The cry of the soul becomes music to the ear of God and thus we find all we need to sustain us, heal us, protect us and keep us from falling into utter despair.

The song of the soul is a means by which we can experience God’s embrace and comfort. Our souls actually seek to find and sing the melody that is not of this world but rather the joyous, perfect, precious sound of Jesus. It has the perfect pitch, and its vibrations overshadow every other song. The song of our soul is the joy of Jesus and the power of His presence that satisfies completely. The song of Jesus can be described in the words of Jeremiah; 'it’s like fire shut up in my bones!'

Whatever you stand in need of you can find it as you pray, praise and glorify God from within. You were created for Him and He delights in your company; He is always waiting, wanting to hear your personal song of praise and whispers of prayer. If we will turn within and recognize the Source and draw from this Source, we will find a gift of grace in those moments when life burdensome trails invade our senses, we will find a place of refuge and mercy in a most glorious way. Prayer provides the soul a cocoon to surrounds us with an undeniable, unexplainable peace; a complete joy and indescribable melodies love.

This forty day prayer journal contains prayers that flowed from my soul’s prayers during a forty day prayer journey. I pray they will open your heart and mind to focus on the power and presence of God. I pray your soul will begin to sing its own song and you will record your soul song on the prayer journal pages.

According to scripture the number forty signifies completion. As your soul begins to sing its own song and you will find complete joy in his presence. I pray you will have a new experience in your personal quiet time even in the middle of your days. I pray God will reveal himself to you in a profound new way. God is always waiting to fill you with the assurance of his love for you; his desire to have an intimate, and a personal relationship with you. I have prayed for all whom God has directed to read this book; as you spend forty days of prayer, writing and meditating on His Word each of will experience His presence, peace and power within their souls. May your heart and his heart become one.

“After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you!”
(I Thessalonians 2:19). NT



"My Soul Sings Jesus" Prayer Journal can be purchased at:







Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Perfect Prayer

Too often I hear saints say "she/he is a powerful prayer warrior", as if to say that some prayers are stronger or better prayed than others. The fact is the power of prayer is not found in the one who prays the prayer but the One who hears it. Charles Spurgeon addresses this in a wonderful book "The Power of Prayer in the Life of the Believer". I paraphrase:
'Our prayers are like flowers that would be gathered by a child to give to his father; when he brings what he has gathered to his mother for approval she examines it and sees that the child has picked as many weeds as flowers. The mother does not scoll the child but quietly removes all of the weeds and replaces them with sweet smelling, beautiful flowers and also adds sweeter flowers to the bunch. She presents perfection to the father on behalf of the child.'
Jesus and the Holy Spirit stand  in the gap to intercede to replace (the weeds) for us (Hebrew 7:25 and Romans 8:26), translating  our weeded words into a perfect prose to our God. If we could hear the prayers we (all saints) have prayed after they have put it into perfect God language, we would not recognize our own prayer! Jesus and the Holy Spirit insure that God hears even the groaning from our hearts is transformed into a perfect prayer language and precisely stated.
So, we should pray as only we can pray. The words and phrases we use in the language we speak is interpreted by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God has instructed us so many times to just call to him, come to him, commune with him, to just knock and the door will be opened for us, Matthew 7:7.
Know also that it is ok not to say anything in your time and place of prayer. Let your heart and mind speak for you. In other words pray with your spirit; from the depths of your being. God knows your heart and  tells us that the Holy Spirit interprets even our moans and groans, "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26). This an incredible blessing because there a times in our dispair groans are all we can manage to communicate! Note, that praying with your spirit is different than praying in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit is when you allow the Holy Spirit to lead your prayers; He impresses or convicts your heart and mind with what to pray for. We often go to God with a prayer but there are times when we should be still and listen to receive the prayer to pray. 
Finally, don't let what you percieve as a limitation (not knowing the right words or format or time) stop you or cause you not to communicate with your Heavenly Father. Jesus has taken all excuses away. When he hung his head and gave up his spirit on the cross, the very next thing to happen was the veil of the temple was torn open from top to bottom, which gave us direct acess into the holy of holies, the very thrown room of God!  "Let us therefore come boldly into the throne room of grace, where we will obtain mercy and find grace to help us in time of need"(Hebrews 4:16).
God sent his son to insure that we can come to him not with the perfect prayer but we can come in the most excellent way - through his Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, remember that you can pray the perfect prayer in fact all your prayers are strong and perfect!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Prayer Life of an Intercessor

The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer is a Christian duty for every believer. Ephesians 6:18 tells us that we are to pray for one another and all the saints in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication. These instructions come from Paul to each of us. We are also instructed in Thessalonians to ‘pray without ceasing’ – Jesus said to us, when not if you pray. However, there are saints who have a specific propensity to cry out to God on the behalf of others needs and concerns other than their own. These saints are most commonly known in the Christian community as “prayer warriors”. In my experience they seem to be comfortable standing in the gap with Jesus and the Holy Spirit; not because they feel worthy of such a position (quite the opposite) but rather they feel compelled to do so. Usually they find themselves in this position without fanfare but rather instantaneously, an almost knee jerk reaction to the to the appearance of a need. Something like this – most people seeing a person who appears to be or is homeless and/or on drugs walking down the street are not convicted to pray for that person or listening to the news convicted to pray for the woman who had her person snatched most would empathize but not pray. Intercessors will begin to pray without thinking about it. This is another sure sign – they wake up usually at 3:00 a.m. or by 4:00 a.m. out of a sound sleep; some knowing to pray but many don't. So is the life of an intercessor whether they would recognize themselves as such or not.


There are characteristics unique to those who regularly have a conviction to prayer for others (intercede). The call to labor in prayer is very distinct; some are obvious and others seem obscure. I believe most know recognize this calling but are reluctant to own it for a number of reasons, however I have descovered most simply feel unworthy, not equipped.  Believe me these are leaving blessings by the wayside, not experiencing the reward God has called them to.

Andrew Murray states it this way:

You are called to intercession. You are called to stand as a minister at my altar. “Harp and Bowl”, saith the Lord, praise, worship, prayer. You are called to stand in-between Heaven and earth saith the Lord – as any man who stands in the pulpit – you are called to full-time intercession in my House. Come saith God. Take your calling seriously. Prepare yourself. Study to show yourself approved. Study the great intercessors in the Scriptures: Study those who knelt before me. Study Daniel. Study Job. He offered sacrifices for his friends for perhaps they had sinned; he interceded. Daniel interceded for his people and confessed their sins. Moses interceded. Jesus interceded. Do not say that I am just little and no one will notice. For I tell you, heaven will take notice of you. You are important, saith the Lord.

‘Study to show yourself approved’

Join me as I present a Seminar:

“The Prayer Life of an Intercessor”

Saturday June 22, 2013
Lone Star Library
9191 Barker Cypress
Houston TX 77084 
 10:00-12 noon
Admission is free.

Perhaps you will find the answers you have been searching for, perhaps you will find the “Intercessor” that you are.

For more information, email me at oasisofprayer@sbcglobal.net

Friday, May 17, 2013

Take a God Look!

Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!


What are you paying attention to? Is your vision focused on television programming or social networking? Or perhaps news reports of America’s struggling economy as wages decline and prices escalate? Maybe you’re looking primarily at your own situation or family circumstances? Are you asking God for direction or to reveal his will to you? If you will pay close attention you will discover that God has already present opportunities for you to work in His vineyard and accomplish great things for the Kingdom. Henry Blackaby wrote - 'Look where God is working and go there'. There in that space and time you will find a  harvest of peace, joy, confidence, and the comfort you seek as you work where he is working. Your blessing lies in 'seeking first the kingdom of God' this is how all things are added to you.

"Lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest"  John 4:35.

The challenge from Jesus is to lift your eyes – lift them from your focus on your own needs; lift them from your preoccupation with life’s myriad details; lift them from what distracts you. There is a harvest for you to see, the Lord said. If you walk through a peach orchard looking at the ground, you won’t spot many ripe peaches ready for gathering. But look up!

When God looks at your family or your neighborhood, what does He see that you don’t? Pray that you would be able to raise your view and see who it is the Lord wants you to witness to today. Let the Spirit of God be so bright in your life that when doors of opportunity open for you, you’ll rush through without hesitation and share with excited boldness. Show His love and grace. Be aware. Be a harvester. Nothing will make a greater difference in your life than your God-focused work and wittness .

 
It's Harvest Time!
 
(VP)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Singing a New Song!

 

A few days ago I was attempting to program my Pandora station for my desk top at work. As I searched for gospel stations I took note of all the categories of gospel music to choose from - Contemporary Gospel, Traditional Gospel, Country Gospel, Instrumental Hymns, etc. I paused to privately chuckle and asked myself the question "What will we sing when we all get to heaven?" "When We All Get to Heaven" is a gospel song I remember singing as a child:


“When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus we will shout and sing the victory!” The chorus: “Everybody will be happy, will be happy over there, we will shout and sing God's praises, everybody will be happy over there!


The church would really begin to “SHOUT” and praise after singing the chorus a few times! You know old time church when the chairs were knocked over and the nurse’s board would come to check your pulse to make sure you were in the Spirit and not cardiac arrest! All of these memories caused me to ask the question - in what gospel music genre will we sing praises to God when we all get to heaven? What language? Will we rap or chant? Not that God would have a preference since he receives our many varied praise and worship every day. It is man who promotes his cultural and domination’s way is best. The scripture simply instructs us to “Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a New Song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people” (Psalm 149:1). (Emphasis added).


I believe we will worship and praise in a most Excellent Way. In my 'sanctified' imagination the angels will call a rehearsal and teach us new songs of praise and worship.The language will not be Chinese, Italian, German, or English but we will sing the new songs in a new key,with new rhythms in a heavenly language to the One God Father and Creator of us all! I imagine it will be music our ears have not heard before, but rather heavenly compositions of music perfectly suited to give God the highest praise, glory and honor. The style, rhythms, or beat won’t matter because we will be happy to sing a New Song in the New Jerusalem. We will make ‘a joyful noise unto the Lord, and come before his presence with singing’ where everyday will be Sunday and the Sabbath will have no end!!


I don’t know about you but I can’t wait!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A View of the Last Days

There have been many writings and predictions about "The Last Days" however, Jesus left us very specific information about what we can expect and how we are to respond to what we wittness. Let's turn away from the chatter that man makes about being "left behind" and pay close attention to the Truth God has given to us freely in his Word.

Luke 21:20-38


=============

[20] “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that

its desolation is near.[21] Then let those who are in Judea flee to the

mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not

enter the city.[22] For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all

that has been written.[23] How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant

women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath

against this people.[24] They will fall by the sword and will be taken as

prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles

until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

[25] “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations

will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.[26]

People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world,

for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.[27] At that time they will see the Son

of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.[28] When these things

begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption

is drawing near.”

[29] He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees.[30]

When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is

near.[31] Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the

kingdom of God is near.

[32] “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all

these things have happened.[33] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words

will never pass away.

[34] “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing,

drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly

like a trap.[35] For it will come on all those who live on the face of the

whole earth.[36] Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to

escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before

the Son of Man.” That's pretty clear and very wonderful! Jesus said "Surely I am coming quickly". The final prayer of the bible are these words - "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" Rev. 22:20.

About the Founder of Oasis of Prayer Ministries

Reverend Mattie B. Thornton Criddell Reverend Mattie Criddell believes that a viable prayer life is absolutely essential for spiritual development and Christian living; and thus she is dedicated to using her spiritual gifts of teaching and preaching to facilitate the development of an effectual prayer life for all who desire it. She has served God’s people through the Ministry of Prayer for over fourteen years. As the Staff Pastor of Prayer Ministry for The Church Without Walls, she was responsible for every aspect of prayer for the church-body of fourteen thousand active members. She also shared in leading and preaching for the worship experience each Sunday for three of five church services. Oasis of Prayer Ministries is a new call on her life. Reverend Mattie believes that every answer of “yes” to God’s call requires another “yes”, and thus she has answered God’s call to establish Oasis of Prayer Ministries. She has been called by God to help men, women and children everywhere to develop a meaningful prayer life and to maintain a relationship with Him. She anticipates that this ministry of prayer will give her greater opportunities teach the biblical message and methods of prayer, and to lift up the Name of Jesus to a lost world.

Oasis Of Prayer Ministries

Oasis of Prayer Ministries VISION The Oasis of Prayer Ministries seeks to provide a time to rest in God, reflect, reconcile and renew one’s awareness of the presence and power of God in our lives. The Oasis of Prayer provides a space of hospitality devoted to prayer, silence and simplicity. In this environment, the body, mind and spirit are welcomed to be strengthened and purified in response to God’s invitation for divine union and intimacy. MISSION The Oasis of Prayer is committed to advancing the principles, practice and productivity of prayer to expedite the power of prayer and to enhance the development of an intimate relationship with God. What we are about: • The Oasis of Prayer is an ecumenical organization that is open to all who desire to develop and/or advance an intimate relationship with a loving and compassionate God. • The Oasis of Prayer’s primary function is to provide instruction that will assist men and women in how to still away and experience the presence of God. • A Ministry of Prayer that provides instruction to assist individuals and churches to develop an effective prayer life as it has been taught to us by Jesus Christ, Matt. 6:7. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to providing a refuge and solitude through an environment that is conducive to prayer and meditation. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to interceding for those who are hurting and longing to experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to providing a time to retreat from the pressures of life and provide a time of guided prayer, reflection and discernment of a loving God. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to providing the information and tools necessary to develop a meaningful prayer life.