Searching for Spring: How God Makes All Things Beautiful in Time (Book Review)

I recently read the book, Searching for Spring by Christine Hoover. The book is centered around the truth that God will make all things beautiful in time. The writings within turn encounters with God’s beauty into inspiration for our life with Christ, encouraging us to seek out His beauty in all things, from the joyous to the grievous.

Christ’s provisions for us on the Cross are presented with colorful illustrations that reveal His beauty to even the newly seeking heart. In presenting key aspects of our Christian spiritual journey, the book could serve as a helpful enjoyment on one’s journey through discipleship. Continue reading

Prayer Is Our Foundation

Earlier this month I was given the opportunity to teach at our house of prayer. I shared on the importance of prayer as our foundation.

Below are a few excerpts from this teaching. I know these will bless and benefit you as well. Also, you can download my full teaching notes here.

1. God has specifically called His house a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7).

The Lord has not primarily named His house a house of evangelism, service, missions or healing. He called us His house of prayer first and foremost because prayer must under gird all we do for God’s Kingdom.

2. Each believer has a part to play both individually and in community gatherings.

If each individual pursues an intimate relationship with Christ, our gatherings of prayer, worship and ministry will flourish and be far more effective. If we come to a corporate gathering hoping to instantly connect with God without seeking Him in secret, it will be difficult for us to be in unity with God and others in the Body.

3. If individuals grow in unity with God personally (through an active relationship with Him), we will also grow in unity together as the Body of Christ.

I firmly believe this is a crucial requirement for us to be unified as a Body as Jesus prayed for us to be: That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me(John 17:21 AMPC).

4. All we do for God flows from the quality of relationship we cultivate with Him.

Our effectiveness as a Body in intercessory prayer, community outreach and all other Kingdom endeavors is directly related to whether we are growing in intimacy with Jesus.

We must reach in to God to have something of eternal value to pour out to others.

A great example is the Moravians, led by Count Zinzendorf in Herrnhut, Germany in 1727. Two people were appointed to pray during every hour, covering 24 hours, seven days a week. Most believe the start of the modern missions movement is linked to their faithfulness in prayer.

5. The Word of God is must be our go-to for truly effective intercession.

His words are spirit and are truly life-giving (John 6:63.) His words never return void (Isaiah 55:11). We must rely on His Word and Spirit because we do not always know how to pray for people or situations. We want to be careful not to pray with our own understanding, opinions or emotions, instead seeking God’s will with a humble and teachable heart.

For example, say a friend is facing a trial. We often want to pray for the trial to be over right then and there, but God may be working something else in your friend’s heart to reap an even greater reward than rapid breakthrough. If you take time to seek His will for her, you may find God actually leading you to pray for her faith to trust He is working things in her favor even through these trying circumstances.

I pray you benefit from these insights. Remember, you can download the full teaching notes here.

Read this article from FHOP’s web site to learn more about praying God’s Word as well as engaging in corporate prayer gatherings.

Building the House of Prayer (Update)

In less than two weeks, the Father’s House of Prayer will hold our first regional Worship and Prayer Gathering of 2018. Our vision is to unify believers in our region to pray and to encourage one another in the Lord.

Throughout the year, we will rotate gatherings between Sylva, Waynesville and Franklin, joining with the Fig Tree of Waynesville (where I also lead worship weekly) and MyHOP WNC in Franklin. We are grateful to join in intercession with these like-hearted ministries in our region. That said, this first gathering will be March 24 (see this page for details if you’re interested.)

New Meeting Space

I have yet to share about our new meeting location in the midst of our transition. FHOP began meeting in a new space in our town last month. It is actually in a store–and the store is still being used as well! It’s quite the different arrangement from most churches and ministries, but we are a house of prayer after all. Continue reading