The Prayer Has A Life: What Happened Next

One of the stops this week in my journey was the weekly breakfast of a county Chamber of Commerce in Texas.  Community Transformation Initiative is active in the area doing Life Skills and Parenting and 1-1 counseling.  Each person gets 2 minutes to speak.  Lawyers, doctors, mechanics, marketers, resorts, bankers, the county attorney, and this  community transformation/business/minister person share.  I usually give a quick story and a smile and sit down.  Something different happened this week.

Here’s the story I shared and what happened next:

In 2004, our Information Technology team was designated as number one best place to work in IT by Computerworld magazine.  That is a Super Bowl moment.  We out ranked Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and hundreds of thousands of other businesses.

As one of a handful of directors on that team, it was moment of personal pride and accomplishment.  I keep telling myself I’m going to have a ring made.  Every day and every year is not the same.

During an annual review with our CIO one year I felt defeated.  That year was okay, but nothing outstanding.  As I discussed my feelings of struggle with John, the number one CIO of the number one team, he looked at me and said, “Phil, you will find during your toughest times, you grow the most.”  He was less concerned about  the areas I directed and managed than he was about me.  That attitude is part of what made us number one.

After the story was shared, the prayer was shared.

As I finished the prayer, the Chamber of Commerce breakfast group spontaneously and loudly said “Amen.”

More people on social media are responding to this prayer than anything I’ve every posted. I pray it over you. I pray it “Amens” in your life.

 May the gentle breath of God’s Spirit lift you, friend, beyond your problems.

May the forceful shaking of His power break barriers that hinder.

May the excitement of His love impassion you, friend, with joy.

May you find Him waiting in your path with answers.
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Meet Jesus: The Walk of Persecution Matthew 5:10

meetjesushealerMatthew 5: 1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, … 10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Walk: To walk with Jesus links us with persecution and suffering.  His walk on earth was full of many sorrows.  Some of those were the normal sorrows all of us endure such as loss of family members, friends being sick and just normal stuff.  Some of those sorrows were persecutions from friends and trusted people and strangers.  One of His greatest persecutors was the religious leaders of the day.  These were men dedicated to God.  These were men, whom the Father worked with daily to grow understanding.  These should have been friends of Jesus and the message He brought.  His message was a fulfillment of thousands of years of promises.  These very people turned on the God they worshipped and persecuted Him.  We are joined to that persecution when we are joined to Him.

Brian’s Exchange: The exchange was painful.  Brian had worked for this company for four years.  He had put in countless weekends and nights.  Calls came at all hours of the day.  Last year, his direct reporting structure had changed.  This new vice president was different.  During his annual review, Brian had gotten two messages.  1. Prayer has no place at work.  2.  You need to be less involved outside of work.  The company doesn’t like it.

Why a Problem Now?  This had never been a problem before.  For years he had been active in the faith community as a volunteer.  Now, his personal life was being attacked by his work management.  There was nothing active at the work place other than visiting with folks over break and lunch.  The attack was devastating.  He really had no experience to compare with this.  The hardest part was that the organization purported to the public to be linked to a large Southern denomination.  To the employees behind the scenes it was something different.

ACT!  How do you return blessing for cursing when you are persecuted?  Scripture tells us to bless those that persecute us.  Have you ever been in the situation of real persecution for your faith?  Think of a way to bless those that persecute you for your faith.

PRAY!   Father, persecution from anyone is hard.  Persecution from those from whom we expect blessing is super hard.  How do we survive?  How do we handle it?  How do we continue in good works even in the middle of the mess?  Teach us, Father.  Show us the path of Christ.  Show us how to reach out and continue to spread the gospel when the environment is hard.  Teach us to pray and bless over those that persecute that they might get connected with Christ themselves.  Help those that persecute us to have the eyes of their understanding enlightened.  Help them to see.  Help them to engage love in all they do.  Bless them abundantly.

 

Meet Jesus: Blessor Matthew 5:1

meetjesusblessorMatthew 5: 1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 When you meet Jesus, you meet blessing.  Pure and simple, He is a blessor, especially of the underdog.

I remember my 50th birthday.  Hey, it wasn’t that long ago, give me a break.  So many blessings were received.   A business trip to a great site coincided the week before.  A group at work attended an NBA game.  My youngest son and I attended a hockey game.  Family celebrated at home.  My oldest son was able to be here, though for another reason.  My pastor and others called and encouraged, “Disfutas cumpleaños.”  (Enjoy your birthday.)

All of this was in the middle of a horrible and tragic sickness and rapid death of a family member living in my home.  While my home was grieving it was celebrating.  Daily the situation of the family member became worse.  Daily, my Father pulled out another blessing to make sure his son had a good birthday week.  While that grief sat heavy, the blessings were rich.  In the middle of our mourning, God is faithful to bless us unrelentingly.  These verses hold daily and moment by moment meaning.

It is an honor to attend a loved one in the process of death.  Yet, it is tough.  Receiving special touches from the heart of Jesus give life and strength and blessing for the moments.  Appreciate those blessings no matter the struggle.

¡Bendiciones!  (Blessings!)

 ACT!  Find somebody who needs a blessing today and give them one.  You may be holding the exact blessing from the Father that can turn the tide of pain for them.  Release it.

PRAY! Father, I receive Your blessing from Jesus to me.