Eternal Prayer Investments

treasure chestWe often talk about the time we “spend” in prayer.  A number of years ago, one of our pastors said that he liked to look at prayer as an investment, rather than as something we spend our time doing.  I think maybe he was onto something. Spending tends to bear more of the idea of  a giving-out action which depletes us, while the connotation of investment is more positive: we are putting something in, which will be stored up and will bring a multiplied harvest.

So, how is prayer an investment? In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus talks about how to accumulate treasure in heaven:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves neither break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

We usually apply this Scripture to how we use our finances, and rightfully so; the correlating Scripture in Luke 12:42-34 specifically addresses what we do with our money. But a broader principle in these verses is to make whatever we give, including our time, count for eternity. Time invested in prayer is of eternal value, which should not be underestimated.

It goes with the territory of prayer that we do not always see immediate answers. Sometimes we put a lot of effort into intercession without seeming to see a commensurate amount of results in the short-term scheme. We are not always sure exactly how to intercede, so the prayer process can include some floundering to find the way, along with overcoming our own naturalistic thinking in order to come to a place of believing that God will act. It often takes time to come up into God’s higher perspective, so that we can pray rightly. In addition, we experience unseen opposition in the spirit realm, which requires persistent effort to overcome. All of this can be exhausting and daunting to our faith. We may wonder if it is really worth the effort.

However, the Lord sees our intercessory labor differently than we do. We are laying up treasures in heaven which can never be lost — for those for whom we pray, and as rewards for ourselves, too. Our prayer effort is never wasted, even when we do not receive the full answers we had hoped for or expected. (Let’s be honest: no matter how good we are at hearing the Lord and praying out His will, none of us has a 100% prayer answer track record.)

The Lord knows that our faith is not always perfect, and that our understanding has limitations. Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 13:9, 11, 12: “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. … When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child …. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

The Lord delights in and even rewards imperfect prayers, as long as they come from sincere, trusting hearts. Psalm 103:13, 14 tells us, “Like a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”

I would like to leave you with a quote which encourages me when the praying is long and the answers are not forthcoming in the way, or as soon as, I would like. Wesley Duewel, one of my heroes, comments in his book, Touch the World Through Prayer,

Prayers prayed in the Spirit never die until they accomplish God’s intended purpose. His answer may not be what we expected, or when we expected it, but God often provides much more abundantly than we could think or ask. He interprets our intent and either answers or stores up our prayers. Sincere prayers are never lost. Energy, time, love, and longing can be endowments that will never be wasted or go unrewarded.

So keep praying — even when you don’t yet see the fruit. Some fruit will become visible here on earth, and some will only be visible from eternity’s perspective. In either case, your intercessions matter. Entrust them to the Lord, and do not grow weary in your well-doing of prayer. They are investments which will come back to you.

Intercessor Seminar Free Download

YesYouCanCD

I’m pleased to offer the 1st session of our Yes, You CAN Be an Intercessor! seminar as a FREE download. Yes, You CAN Be an Intercessor! is a seminar / workshop which we present live, but since many of you may not have the opportunity to attend in person, we’ve created the next best thing — an audio version, which is available as an mp3 download or CD set.

The entire seminar covers the topics:

  • Why intercession is important and how you can impact your world through prayer
  • Various ways to hear God’s voice and how to recognize that He is indeed speaking to you
  • What a “prayer language” is, and how it will help you be a more effective prayer warrior
  • How to tap into the flow of praying what the Holy Spirit reveals to you — so that you can hit the bull’s eye in prayer
  • Tips for getting the breakthrough answers to prayer which you desire

As I said, Session 1 of Yes, You CAN Be an Intercessor! is free (and the rest of the seminar is very reasonably priced too!).

To get Session 1, simply e-mail me at leeann@leeannrubsam.com with the subject line “Free Yes You Can” and I will send you the link to the mp3 download.

Thanks! Happy listening!  ~ Lee Ann

What Christians Can Do to Stop Ebola

newprayerA few weeks ago, I wrote about a dream I had that Ebola was coming to the U. S. and that we could stop its spread through prayer.

Now that Ebola in the U. S. has become a reality, I would like to follow up with a few more thoughts about how to go about stopping this plague from spreading — through prayer. Here are some specific steps that all praying Christians can take:

  1. Know that, biblically, God has given us authority to receive answers to prayer. That is what prayer is for. I have for you two links to specific Scripture verses which promise that He will answer us: Our God Is a Listening God and The LORD Answers My Prayers (both at my website).
  2. Understand that we have biblical precedence to intercede  for plagues to be stopped and to receive God’s intervention.  Moses and Aaron did this in Numbers 16:42-50, when plague had entered the Israelite camp.
  3. Have faith, not fear. This is a time to watch over our words carefully, and to speak what is in alignment with the desires of God. For me personally, I understand from the Ebola dream I had that it is God’s will to stop this disease from spreading if His people will partner with Him by taking authority against it in prayer. So I will speak in oneness with the revelation I believe He has given to me, and not wring my hands in fear.
  4. Begin now to pray and fast — and stay at it. The sooner we get started, the sooner we may see an answer. Ideally, we want to see this nipped in the bud, but even if things would grow worse for a time, we should persist in prayer until we see results.
  5. Spread the word to other intercessors. The more people who pray, the more we can expect a speedy answer. Leviticus 26: 8 tells us, “And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.”
  6. Encourage your prayer group to pray together on this issue. There is power in the prayer gathering. Jesus promised us, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father Who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them.”
  7. Pray for our government and health care leaders to take preventative steps to protect our nation from further inroads/spread of Ebola.
  8. Pray for a breakthrough in treatment for prevention and cure of this disease. Pray for divine inspiration/ideas for researchers.
  9. Pray for those who are already suffering so greatly in Africa. We can’t only be concerned for ourselves. Stand in supportive prayer with the intercessors in those afflicted nations, that they will see the waning of Ebola there.
  10. Pray Psalm 91 over your loved ones. This is a great idea at any time, but particularly when it comes to sickness. There are verses in this Psalm which particularly apply:
  • V. 3 — Surely He will deliver you … from the noisome pestilence (noxious disease).
  • Vs. 5-7You shall not be afraid for the … pestilence which walks in darkness …. A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
  • V. 10There shall no evil befall you; neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
  • V. 16With long life will I satisfy you, and show you My salvation.

Let’s get the word out and encourage many to be praying. I believe we will see God’s intervention, if we will pray.

Dining on Prison Swill

ball and chainRecently, I had a short dream in which I saw prison keepers in a dungeon-like setting, who were eating “the prison diet.” This meant that they were eating the same poor-quality food as the prisoners whom they were guarding.

After pondering the dream and praying into it, I understood that the prison keepers represented any of us who, in our minds, hold other people under lock and key.  We do this by having attitudes of unforgiveness, offense, jealousy, envy, and criticalness. We may feel justified in doing so, because in many cases those whom we mentally hold in prison really did something that was wrong.

But by holding such grudges, prison keepers end up in the same bondage as the prisoners. They become like them, not enjoying the goodness which God meant for them to enjoy — hence, the picture of them eating the prison diet.

If we want to live in the freedom which God intends for us, we have to let those whom we have “locked up” in our minds go free. In giving freedom, we receive it.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Jesus told us, in Matthew 5:44, to bless those who curse us and pray for them who despitefully use us. What we dish out to others is what we end up eating ourselves.

New Stuff and Cool Discounts

BeforeWhomWeStandbigBefore Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God

Now available as an audiobook. Choose from an mp3 download or a 3-CD set.

(Also available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications (free shipping, 30% discount on 5 or more) or Amazon, or as an e-book from your favorite e-book outlet.)

IntCompCDMedPretty close to a new release:

The Intercessor’s Companion audiobook

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Listening to these wonderful verses arranged topically to meet your intercessory need is sure to build your faith and lift your heart closer to the Lord. I felt like heaven descended around me while recording this audiobook for you.

  Also available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications (see our closeout special!) or Amazon, or as an e-book from your favorite e-book outlet.

Closeout Special!

IntercessorManualWe have a limited number of the comb-bound versions of The Intercessor Manual and The Intercessor’s Companion at discount prices (U. S. only).

No, they are not quite as elegant as their Amazon counterparts, but it’s the same material inside, and you can’t beat the prices.  (Free shipping too!)

Go to Closeout Sale

Prayer Strategies and Ebola

prayerWe are living in most interesting times. World events resemble an out-of-control ride down a steep mountain road with the brakes gone.  For those of us who are intercessors, it is time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work in prayer — but it all seems so overwhelming sometimes, doesn’t it?

Now more than ever, we must pray by revelation. The good news is, God desires to tell us ahead of time what is about to happen, so that we can prepare and pray accordingly. Amos 3:7 declares, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.” I don’t think that verse is limited only to those who have an “official” prophet ministry. God is in the business of releasing both revelation and prayer strategies to those who will  listen and respond with intercession. We just have to make ourselves available to Him, as Isaiah did in Chapter 6:8: “Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am; send me.'”

Are you willing to hear from the Lord and then pray into whatever He shows you?

In the rest of this post, I will share with you a dream I had. My purpose is twofold –
1.  to demonstrate how God can speak to us on what to pray about, and
2.  to ask you to join me in intercession on a critical issue.

About three weeks ago, I dreamed I saw a huge bug scurrying around my living room, hiding here and there. It looked sort of like a cross between a Tarantula spider and a centipede, with feathery legs, but it was moving so fast all the time that I couldn’t get a good look at it.  The span from the legs on one side of its body to the other was about 5 inches (13 cm). In the dream, I realized I had brought the monster bug back with me from Africa.

In the next scene, I was in my mother’s living room. I placed a bowl of water on the floor, and then poured bleach into it. A little later on, I looked at the bowl, and what appeared to be one of the legs of the monster bug was now floating in it.

Here’s the interpretation, as I understand it:

The huge bug scurrying around so rapidly was about Ebola coming to the United States, and that it would crop up in various parts of the country very rapidly. The bowl of water which I placed on the floor reminded me of “the golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints,” found in Revelation 5:8. Pouring bleach into the bowl represents intercession acting as a disinfectant to stop Ebola from becoming an epidemic in America. (Notice also that “a bowl of” and “Ebola” sound a lot alike. God sometimes uses word plays to get a point across in dreams. In this case, He is confirming a second time that the dream really is about Ebola.) The leg floating in the bowl of bleach indicates to me that through prayer  we can “dismember” Ebola so that it cannot travel.

When I saw the bug, it was in my living room (indicating it is revelation I personally received), but when I placed the bowl of water on the floor, it was in my mother’s living room. My mother’s house usually represents the local church in my dreams, so I think this means believers praying together will be required to stop Ebola from becoming a problem in our nation.

I am uncertain about whether intercession can stop Ebola entirely from coming to the U. S. or whether our prayers are meant to keep it from becoming an epidemic once it has come here. The dream does not seem to give those details. Our local prayer group is praying on both points, but we’re shooting for the best — that it would not even be able to start in the U. S.

I want to say to our African brothers and sisters who live in Ebola-afflicted or endangered countries, in the midst of praying for Ebola to not harm people in America, we have not forgotten you. We are also praying diligently for Ebola to stop its rampage in Africa. And, just as we protect our country through prayer, you can intercede and bring an end to this terrible disease where you live. God gives us particular authority in the name of Jesus to receive answers for our home turf. Pray and declare an end to Ebola where you live. We are uniting in prayer with you.

For those of you who have read this post and feel a tug on your heart to intercede about an Ebola threat, please join us in prayer. If you are part of a prayer group, if you could share this with your group and take it together before the throne, that would be wonderful.

I would be so pleased to hear from those of you who are taking up this prayer request along with us. Thank you!

(Special thanks to Theresa Glover and Bill Konow for your assistance in interpreting several points of the dream. I appreciate you both!)

Follow-up Article — What Christians Can Do to Stop Ebola

The Season of Sifting (Part 2)

sifterIn our last post, we talked about a season when God allows us to be sifted, so that our character can be tried and refined. There is another kind of sifting season — a prolonged time in our lives when we are the ones doing the sifting, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

In this season, we examine in detail traditions, beliefs, or teaching which we have accepted, but which may not actually be true. As we’ve traveled through life, all of us have been told things which sounded valid, and we consequently swallowed them without a lot of thought.

Sound-good teaching, which actually is not, regularly goes on within the secular education system. Thus, without thinking twice, many of us have accepted portions of evolutionism without realizing it. For instance, even if we wholeheartedly believe in creation as it is recorded in the Bible, we might find “millions of years ago” suddenly popping out of our mouths — and then we suddenly step back and think, “Wait a minute. That’s not right!”

This goes on just as much with church teaching as it does with secular ideas which blatantly oppose the Bible. The difference is that ingrained, incorrect “Christian” teaching is often a lot more subtle, and therefore not as easily detected — until the Holy Spirit puts His finger on it, and starts to reveal genuine truth. John 16:13 calls Him “the Spirit of truth,” and tells us that one of His functions is to guide us into all truth. He is continually attempting to adjust our theology, and He may do it in a variety of ways, including through the reading of the Word, by whispering questions into our thoughts, or via another believer.

In addition to the gradual adjusting of our beliefs, we might also find ourselves in a prolonged season of examining teaching we have always taken for granted to be true. This is a time when the Lord deliberately slows us down or even puts us on the sidelines, when it comes to whatever ministry function we serve in. He does so to give us time to look long and hard at where we’ve been, what we have come to believe, and to examine bit-by-bit which parts of our thinking need to be preserved and which parts need to be discarded. It is like a spiritual house cleaning.

During this season, genuine truth, after being scrutinized thoroughly, is reinforced, while non-truth is exposed and thrown out. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, dismantles pet theological strongholds which we may have been holding onto for a very long time. I am not speaking of the foundational beliefs to which the Church as a whole adheres. I am referring to ideas which do not line up with the Bible, but because we’ve heard them so often, perhaps from trusted preachers or teachers, we’ve just accepted them. These beliefs usually started out with a kernel of truth, but human if/then logic caused additional assumptions to be tacked on, and after a while we ended up with set-in-stone dogma which is twisted.

The good news is that we will come out of the sifting season stronger and purer in what we believe than we have ever been before. We may also find that the attitude with which we approach serving the Lord and people matures during the process. For these reasons, the season of sifting for the gold of truth is often preparation for what God wants us to be doing next.

So, take courage as you work your way through a sifting season. God won’t leave you in it forever. It may be your launch pad into a new level of fruitful living for the Lord.