2 Words in 1
Pray – simply PRAY!
Wherever you are, whatever time it is, regardless of what may or may not be going on in your life, pray with me this morning.
Pray for the people of this world that are lost and dying.
Pray for sons and daughters that have gone astray that they may return safely.
Pray that blind eyes be opened and deaf ears hear clearly.
Pray that broken hearts will mend and those which are dead will be brought back to life.
Pray as the Lord would lead you to pray but no matter what you do pray… PRAY!
Intercession is needed at every level and because you have seen this message, you have been called to help answer that need. Don’t ignore this message. If you are not sure if it is meant for you PRAY about it!
God bless you in this day as you seek His face and pray.
The LORD’s Firm Foundation
Before I share the word that the LORD gave me this morning, I need to preface what I am about to say. Please bear with me. This year I have been coming into a new place with Jesus and in my prayer life. I confess that while God has used me over these past 6 years, I have not always had a healthy prayer life. Yet my hunger has driven me towards a deeper desire for relationship with the Father.
Every night after dinner my wife and I would go to our bedroom, close the door, put on worship or soaking music and pray. Night after night I came to that place and night after night I came away feeling unfulfilled. It seemed that in all of my prayer I was unable to come into that place I longed to be… in the presence of the LORD.
Then in early July after a very frustrating and unfulfilling time of prayer, I came in Thursday morning for part of my normal routine of 6:00 a.m. prayer with my pastor and a handful of others. I am always the first to arrive, open the doors, make the coffee and open the sanctuary. Usually there is a gap, where no one is there.
After making the necessary preparations for our prayer meeting on this Thursday morning I sat down in one of the chairs and began praying. I was immediately in the presence of the LORD and remained there for the 30 or so minutes that were available before the first of our prayer group arrived. I noted just how fulfilling this time was and began thanking the LORD for His presence in my prayers. He spoke back a few short words that are still transforming my life. “Seek Me early in the morning.”
(I should not that I am not necessarily prescribing this for you, I am only sharing what God has spoken to me)
Since this time I have shifted my entire prayer schedule. I arise at 3:00 a.m. and head to the church. Originally it was just for our normally scheduled prayer days (Tuesday – Thursday) but now, as I crave these times with the LORD all the more, it has grown to a Monday – Friday schedule. Yes, I am getting a lot less sleep but I will tell you it is absolutely worth it!
I do not just pray in spoken words. Every morning I bring a notebook and write what I can only describe as a two way prayer journal. I speak my prayers in the journal but more importantly I write down the words that the LORD speaks in response. This sustained time in Jesus’ presence is deeply intimate and personal and although I have shared some of the words He has spoken in our private conversations here within this public forum, most I have withheld as private material.
I mention this for multiple reasons. One reason is that you need to establish a daily routine of prayer… I am not talking about mere dutiful prayer that you bear your way through so that you will feel better about your religious routine. I am talking about the kind of prayer that places you in His presence. In the times that come the voice of the LORD will be more precious than any other commodity. The other reason I mention this is because the LORD has instructed me to deviate from my normal routine so as to expose not just His words for the church in this nation but the work He is doing in my life. This is not transparency merely for transparency’s sake. I was given the impression from Him that there are many who will benefit from this word.
That was a rather long preface. Thank you for bearing with me!
First for the words spoken from my heart this morning…
If someone had told me that 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning would be one of my favorite times I would have laughed! Yet it is so. Here I am and I am filled with thanksgiving for this time with You. With all the things on my heart this morning I realize that I could write through this entire time without giving pause to listen to Your voice.
This time is the most intimate and meaningful to me. I long to hear Your voice in the way I did in those early days. My consciousness was always drawn to You because in every thought You were there. You began to open up before me the kinds of treasures that I never even knew existed. The wisdom, knowledge and insight that were suddenly mine to draw from only brought me to praise You all that much more. Your felt presence is of such value that no man could assign to it a worth.
You have grown me and matured me since those early days. Yet I have pursued a windy path that was not necessary. I want for my story with You after April of 2009 to be a fairy tale but it is anything but. What it is is a love story where the Bridegroom passionately pursues His bride. Through it all You have not let go. You have proven Your love continuously. You have given me a glimpse of its depths. You have shown me that it is not weak or faint. It is not easily overcome and it is never forsaken.
The fact that I sit here this morning is a testimony to You and Your deep love, not of anything that I have done. My only testimony is, “I can’t live without You.” That’s all I have and it is the greatest lesson I have learned.
As I said in the beginning, I know that I could simply go on and on without giving pause to allow You to speak. Yet I didn’t come here to write my own story. I came here to fellowship with You. I submit my pen and my words to the things You desire to speak. I declare and affirm that I will not seek to curb or restrict Your voice in anyway. “Yes, LORD, I will be Your voice.”
“My child, you come to this place as one who hungers and thirsts and I assure you, you will be satisfied. Through these years since you began walking with Me you have allowed some obstacles to interfere with our relationship. As such I have not been able to do all that I have wanted. For a long time you sacrificed a relationship for service. I understand your background and how you confused the two. Still, your service cannot replace relationship. In the days to come the only effective servants will be those who first seek Me in the secret place. Relationship will be the foundation on which all else is built. That which is built on this foundation will stand but that which is not will crumble.”
(Jesus is speaking of entire ministries that will be built and others that will crumble.)
“I have called you out of your old patterns of religion and relationship established by works. In your heart I have sown the seed of authentic relationship and the kind of love that is not contingent on what you have or have not done. Relationships based on works fail when the works produced do not measure up to the standard. Relationships built on identity are the ones that last. I love you not because of anything you have or have not done. I love you. Notice the period (.). It is placed perfectly because there is nothing you could do that would make Me love you more.
Do you see? This is the bedrock foundation that must be in place before anything else can be built. It is not just in My love declared. It is in My love received. Even now you see the other foundations and how quickly they crumble. Yours is approval. You want My approval and you see the approval of men.
First, you need to know that in my love you have received far more than My approval. You seek what you have already been given. You are trying to earn that which I have already extended freely. The only thing that will profit you is to receive. Receive without reservation or question. Receive freely as I give freely. Only after you receive will you stand on My rock. Remember the question I asked Peter? “Do you love Me?” Peter needed to receive My foundation once again. He needed to affirm his love and he needed to receive forgiveness through the depths of My love.
If My love for him had been based on an expectation of performance he had clearly failed. He denied Me three times. He chose fear ahead of loyalty and love. He failed in performance but he had a deeper relationship with Me. It was out of his love that he was able to “feed My sheep.” On that day he renewed his love and commitment but he also received My love and My forgiveness anew. Remember his name, the name I gave him, “Peter.” (Meaning the rock)
Now, concerning the approval of men, do you not know that their approval is but for a season? Even if it should remain it is an idol you have built in your heart that leads to deception and compromise. Those who seek the approval of men are never secure. The sands shift beneath their feet and they lose their footing. Only those who stand on the rock of My love will remain sure footed. Repent. Tear down the idols of your heart so that in the times that come you will stand fast.
Only that which is built on Me will remain. All else will fall. Build your house on My rock. Receive My love. Let it wrap round about you. That’s right, My love forms a barrier of protection. It is My love that has protected you thus far and it is My love that will give you the strength to stand even as other men bow. (Speaking of bowing before kings and men.)
If My church is to stand in this hour it will only do so by establishing itself in My love. So many that claim to be built on My rock are either lying or they themselves have been deceived. As such, when men speak evil of them because of My name’s sake, they will collapse. Those who attempt to gain footing on shifting sands are headed for a fall. Look from this vantage point. (I am shown a large rock with a small white church building on it. All around it is destruction but the church stands.) Only those things established on My foundation will remain.
Send forth the word. Satan is laying a trap. It is called, “approval of man.” With this trap he will take the effectiveness out of large and seemingly well-established ministries. Only the smoldering ruins will remain following My shaking. Ministers be warned. Only that which passes My test will remain. I AM calling individuals and churches alike to repentance. Now is the time. Tomorrow may be too late. Men who hold on to the old will suffer great loss. They will weep and wail as they look over the rubble but I will not allow them to construct on any other foundation than My own.”
What you do with this word is up to you. You can choose to skim over it quickly and miss what is being said or you can choose to seek the LORD in prayer concerning that which you have been shown. There is a reward for those who seek. From there, if you have been ministered to, you have a chance to minister to others. Share this in your own personal space and anywhere else you feel led so that others too may benefit.
~ Mitch Salmon