Tag Archives: Prayer

Thank You!

Many thanks to all of you who purchased our books during our sale a couple of weeks ago (or at any other time)!  If you liked our books, would you be so kind as to give them a star rating and say a few words of recommendation?  I would be so grateful!

Here are a few places you can choose from to do that:
Amazon 
Barnes & Noble
Kobo 
Smashwords 
Apple iBooks 

I appreciate you taking the time and helping to spread the word!

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Character Building Bible Study for Adults

River Life Student EditionToday, I’d like to talk about one of the books I have written.  I’ve been authoring and publishing for thirteen years now, under the name Full Gospel Family Publications.  We started with one book, a family devotional Bible study for parents and children, called Character Building for Families, Volume 1.  The book really caught on, especially among home school families, and we published a Volume 2 as well.  The  Character Building for Families web site is still our main site today. I’ve since written eight more books and booklets, mostly on the subjects of character and prayer, with a ninth currently in production.

A few years ago, our pastor suggested that I write a character building Bible study geared toward adults.  River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus is the result of that suggestion.  It is an outline-based study covering nine main units, spread over 36 weeks:

  1. Obedience to the King
2. The Law of Kindness
3. Truthful Living
4. Unswerving Loyalty
5. The Servant Lifestyle
6. The Might of Mercy
7. The Humble Heart
8. Patience — Mark of Maturity
9. Joyful Generosity

There is a Teacher’s Guide, scripted with everything needed to teach and bring about group discussion, and also a Student Workbook, with an answer key in the back.

I like Bible studies that are simple to follow, easy for a group leader to use without gobs of prep time, that speak to where the newer believer is, and yet are meaty enough to provoke thought in the seasoned Christian.  Because that is what I want for myself, that is what I have put together in River Life.

I like to build a great deal of flexibility into how my books can be used.  River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus works well within the adult Sunday School or Christian education class, or as a home Bible study.  The student workbook is also a complete, stand-alone manual, so that those who cannot attend a group gathering can still use the book for individual study.  River Life is written with the intent to allow about one hour, once a week, for each lesson.  Besides covering nine major topics, the 36 weeks are further divided into twelve week sections (which works well for many adult education courses).

Probably the best part of the River Life study is that it hits Christians where they live.  The goal is to transform each of us into the image of Jesus.  It is not just head knowledge. It teaches solid biblical principles, but goes beyond that to bringing deep heart conviction and real-life application.  I had to live through each of the character topics personally while writing about them — either through God working on my own attitudes or through having to deal with other people’s attitude issues pastorally.  (My husband and I are elders in our local church, which amounts to being lay pastors.)  I tell people that writing this book took the “stuffin’s” out of me!

If you need a character study, whether for your personal life, your church’s Christian ed. program, or for home Bible study use, please take a look at River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus.  There are sample pages on the web site to give you a good feel for what the book is like.  There are also discounts available for multiple copy purchases.

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus

Mighty Prevailing Prayer

DuewelI am reading Wesley Duewel’s Mighty Prevailing Prayer again.  This is my fourth time through it in about six years.  If you are an intercessor, in my opinion, this is THE book on prayer.  Every time I read it, I underline more things.  It’s always fresh, always inspiring, always encouraging.

My first encounter with Mighty Prevailing Prayer was when it was required reading for the intercessor group at our church.  I must admit, I had a bad attitude about it at the time.  “Why,” I thought, “must I read about prayer?  Why don’t we just do it, and stop talking about it?”  I was wrong.  God used Wesley Duewel to change my life.  I was shocked to find out that Mr. Duewel knew all the innermost secrets of what had been happening to me in prayer — the deep emotional involvement, the physical exhaustion, the obsession and preoccupation with getting my answers so great at times that eating and sleeping became temporarily inconsequential.   I had thought I was off the deep end. (So did my family.)  Mr. Duewel assured me I was normal!  I found out I was doing what I was supposed to.  I found freedom to move into the calling God had for me, without thinking I was a blooming nut!

There are days when I get really tired of being an intercessor.  It is hard labor, and results aren’t always immediate or visible.  Sometimes it would be easier to toss prayer out the window and go jellify my brain watching Gilligan’s Island or F Troop. But when I get a little discouraged, I refire by reading Mighty Prevailing Prayer.  It isn’t the kind of book you read thirty pages of at a time.  Every word counts, so a few pages at one sitting are enough to chew on.

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Here are just a few quotes:

[The prayer of faith] is a prayer willing to believe and prevail for God’s answer in a situation that is utterly impossible. Regardless of the difficulty of the situation, you require no external confirmation but believe God in spite of appearance. Your eyes are on God, not on the situation.

The Spirit does not lead you to pray for useless goals.

God delights in your holy boldness that will not take no for an answer.  God counts it “great faith,” and He then counts you His friend, for you understand His heart.

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.  (This is from  his  earlier book,  Touch the World through Prayer.)

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I appreciated Mr. Duewel’s balanced biblical approach, his detailed explanations of how prayer works and why, and his down-to-earth tips for a better prayer life. The stories of miracles that have taken place in his own and other people’s lives through answered prayer aren’t half bad either!  (How would you like to pray for thirteen hours for an unsaved dead person, and have him rise up, totally healed, and give his heart to Jesus — all because you had a promise from God for the man’s salvation that you wouldn’t let go of?  So he died — so what?)

If you have an intercessor calling on your life, don’t deprive yourself of Mighty Prevailing Prayer.  It will give you keys to greater prayer effectiveness, and it will spur you on to deeper levels of knowing the Lord than you have yet attained to.

I love this book.  Thank you, Mr. Duewel.  I will meet you in heaven and tell you how much you’ve done for me.

To purchase from Amazon: Mighty Prevailing Prayer

Full Gospel Family Publications                      Character Building for Families

The LORD God … Before Whom I Stand (Part 2)

Yesterday I talked a little about Elijah’s intimate relationship with God being a “throne room experience.”  It was in the throne room, where he stood before the Lord, that Elijah received how to pray, what to decree, and the powerful answers to those prayers and decrees.  Today, we’ll take a closer look at what it means to “stand before the Lord.”

What is standing before the Lord like? In detail, what is involved? I have pondered these questions a great deal, and I believe the Lord has given me some understanding on the subject:

1.)
  It is standing at attention before Him in His throne room as His servant,
a.) watching for the least gesture of His hand or the least eye contact,
b.) knowing what He wants and moving to do it.

This requires an acute sensitivity to Him. Psalm 123:2Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a  maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God ….

2.) It means having face-to-face relationship with God (intimacy).

3.)  It means to be one who is invited into His war council room, to take counsel with Him for His strategies.

4.)  It is a place of honor, and is not to be taken casually. Although it is every believer’s potential privilege, not everyone achieves this kind of intimacy with the Lord.  It is not an easy place to come into. It requires a total abandon of all self into the Lord’s hands. It involves painful refining at His hand.

I began to wonder just how close to God Elijah stood. Was he standing at a distance in a massive palace, just one attendant among thousands and thousands, waiting his turn and hoping to be noticed and called upon? At first glance this may seem like a foolish question, but since I desired to stand before the Lord like Elijah did, I desperately wanted to know how close I could get! As I pondered my question, God simply spoke to me, “Put your hand in Mine.” Mentally I obeyed, putting my hand in the hand of the King on the throne. And then He quietly said, “This is how it is.” I suddenly understood what Elijah had experienced. He did not receive his revelation in an impersonal manner from the Lord. He took the hand of the King, gazed intently into His eyes, and they communed over the plans of God. Awesome! It was an entirely new idea for me. It has revolutionized my intercessory prayer life.

Notice that Elijah never said, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I have stood.” His words were, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand.” It is always a present tense expression of his relationship with his God. I believe that Elijah not only phrased it in the present tense; he lived a present tense experience of continually being in the throne room. That is where God wants to take modern-day believers as well. It is possible to come to the place of being so continually in the Lord’s Presence, that it is as though we never step out of the throne room. We commune constantly with the King of Kings. I’m not there yet, but I’m convinced that that’s what God desires – here on earth, not just after we die. It’s a goal to reach for, to hunger after, to get as near to as we possibly can.

So, where do we start? Once again, it is the way of the Diligent Seeker — “… he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) I’m on my way. Would you like to come along?

Previous: The LORD God … Before Whom I Stand (Part 1)

Lee Ann’s book, Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God

BeforeWhomWeStandsm

  Full Gospel Family Publications

Character Building for Families

The LORD God … Before Whom I Stand (Part 1)

For many years now, my heart’s cry has been to see and hear in the Spirit as accurately as Elijah and Elisha did.  Elisha seems to have been more of the seer, while Elijah was the one who knew the voice of the Lord.  I love His voice — more than just about anything.

One of the phrases Elijah used repeatedly was, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand.” Standing before the absolute Potentate of the entire universe — what an awesome privilege! Yet, it is the place God wants every New Testament believer to have.  Throne room access was purchased for us by Jesus’ blood, but very few of us have it as an experiential reality in our lives. Why? It is about relationship. Although Elijah lived under the old covenant of the law, he managed to tap into what God desires for the Spirit-filled believer today. Elijah knew experientially, vividly, what it meant to “stand before the Lord.” What did he have that so many of us – even baptized-in-the-Spirit, tongue-speaking, faith-declaring believers – are lacking?

Elijah was a diligent seeker. Hebrews 11:6 says, “… he [God] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.” Elijah went after his God with his whole heart. He listened to the Lover of his soul with intensity, because he loved God’s voice. What do you think Elijah did during the years of the drought he had prophesied, while he sat by Cherith Brook (1 Kings 17:5, 6)? He didn’t just think, from morning until night, about the next meal of bread and meat that the ravens would bring. He spent time with God, interceding for his beloved people Israel and listening to God’s heart.

God holds up Elijah as an example for the rest of us:

James 5:16The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. He prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth fruit.

Elijah did not begin his life as an intercessor and listener at Cherith. The time spent alone with God there was an extension of what was already Elijah’s way of life. He already clearly understood what it was to stand before the Lord. We know this, because when he first appears in the Bible, a virtually unknown prophet, he tells King Ahab that he comes in the authority of one who stands in the Presence of the Lord. (1 Kings 17:1)

Sometimes people get a wrong idea of what decreeing things is all about. They use Elijah as an example of decreeing and receiving. They say that because we speak, our innate authority as believers makes it happen. I think there might be a little more to it than that.

God did not hold back the rain for three and a half years just because Elijah spoke it. Elijah’s decree was established because he was in intimate communication with God, and he knew that it was God’s directive that it was not to rain until Elijah said so.  He had his decree from the throne room, where he stood and received God’s counsel.  He spoke what he had heard from God.  This is why some folks decree right and left, and nothing happens.  They didn’t get it from the throne room; they just thought it was a good idea.

Jesus Himself said, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things. … for I do always those things that please him.” (John 8:28, 29) Jesus also said, “I speak that which I have seen with my Father….” (John 8:38) I think that is what Elijah also experienced: doing and speaking what he had seen and heard in the very Presence of God.

I am suggesting that when Elijah said, “The LORD God of Israel … before whom I stand,”  what he was talking about was knowing experientially what it was to stand in the actual throne room of heaven, and it was from that experience that he derived his prayers, his strategies, and the amazing decrees that he so boldly pronounced (and which God backed up with thunderous answers).

Elisha also knew what it was to stand before the Lord. He referred to his relationship with God in the same words as Elijah had used before him, which is not surprising, since he received Elijah’s mantle. No doubt during the years that Elisha served as a prophet-in-training, Elijah poured into him all that he knew about having intimacy with God.

I believe Jeremiah and Samuel both “stood before the LORD,” as well.  God promised it conditionally to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 15:19“…and you shall stand before me.” The condition for Jeremiah to get to stand before God was that he needed to repent of questioning God’s faithfulness and truth.  He needed to repent of doubt.  He needed to “take forth the precious from the vile” in order to be God’s mouthpiece — which meant separating out of his life wrong speech and carnal ways of acting and thinking, but especially the speaking part. (See Jeremiah 15:15-19.) Samuel must have “stood before the LORD” also, because “the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19) This involved prophesying and decreeing.

Next time we’ll talk about how “standing before the Lord” applies to blood-bought, New Testament believers of our day.

Next: The LORD God … Before Whom I Stand (Part 2)

Lee Ann’s book, Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God

BeforeWhomWeStandsm

leeannrubsam.com
Full Gospel Family Publications
Character Building for Families

Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 5

Today’s entry will wrap up my thoughts on soaking prayer for awhile.

I wonder sometimes if some of us are just made of a different fabric, and if, perhaps, it is OK to not fit the mold.  For instance, some soaking experts say that we cannot fully get into God’s Presence if we are not absolutely quiet.  But many of the most wonderful times I’ve had with Jesus have been when I was peacefully praying in tongues.  He often talks with me when I’ve been praying in my prayer language at length.  I’m not talking about doing violent warfare in tongues.  Some people do not know how to use their prayer language in any other way than aggressive warfare.  But I spend a lot of time praying in tongues with a listening attitude, and God speaks to me then.  I feel His Presence around me as I tell Him I love Him, and as I ask Him questions.  We often have conversational times together that are very dear to both of us.  These are not times when I am doing the “correct” soaking thing.  But they are better times with the Lord than what I have experienced in soaking.  I prefer to find Him in these ways.

So, I am torn.  On one hand, I have soaking friends that tell me I will never achieve the highest levels of intimacy with God if I don’t soak as they do.  They tell me I will never experience the heavenly visions if I don’t soak in the prescribed manner.  It’s interesting that I’m starting to hear some of the soaking people say that they are learning to ask God questions during their soaking times.  (Isn’t this breaking the absolute quiet rule?)   Could it be that soaking is only a step in the process of finding intimacy with the Lord, and I just missed this step and still got where I needed to be?  Or is soaking prayer perhaps merely a method — one of many means to achieve the desired goal?  I can only hope!

My husband and my best friend (she is a soaking advocate, by the way) have both seen and listened to my frustration over not being able to connect well with God through soaking, and they tell me to do what has been working for me all along.  I’d like to take their advice, but hardly know if I dare to.  The voices that say I am missing something clamor so loudly, but the encouragement to just do what has always worked brings more peace.  My friend that soaks (but says I don’t need to) has a theory that soaking IS just one method of getting into intimate relationship with the Lord.  She thinks I am accomplishing the  same end as she is, but have found a different way to do it.  I hope she is right.  Still, I will try a little longer to do it in the acceptable, prescribed way.

I bought Jim Goll’s book, The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence.  I figure, if anybody can help me sort it all out, he can.  I highly respect Mr. Goll.  He’s a prophet-intercessor with solid Bible grounding and he’s about as balanced as one could be.  When some of the rest of the prophetic world has itself out on a limb over a canyon, Jim Goll isn’t afraid to sound the warning alarm and bring things back to center.  So, I think I’ll find out what he has to say on the matter.

I’ll let you know what happens.

Purchase at Amazon: The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence

 Previous — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 4
 Soaking Prayer Revisited — An update done several months later

 Full Gospel Family Publications                      Character Building for Families

Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 4

We left off yesterday with a promise of an explanation of why worship music works better for me than soaking music in slipping into the Presence of the Lord.  If you don’t like what I have to say, remember that it is just an opinion, not a biblical truth.  You’re entitled to yours, too.

I usually get frustrated when I try to draw near to God with “soaking music” playing.  Some of those women wax screamy as they get excited about what they are singing prophetically.  Some wax silly.  (I quickly flip over the song about God’s Presence enveloping the singer like a marshmallow.)  One track on that same marshmallow CD has a guy grunting throughout: “Ooh! Aah! Ooh! Aah! Ooh! Aah!”  I’m not sure what’s wrong with him.  Perhaps he has digestive problems.  But it sounds coarse.  It is hard to be in God’s Presence and stay there when you want to burst out laughing  at the goofiness of it all.  I must give them credit, though — if an enhanced ability to visualize is the goal, they have succeeded.  Even we nonpictorial types get some pretty funny images floating through our brains when this stuff is going on!

But seriously, I noticed early-on that worship music — Gateway, Hillsong, Third Day, Twila Paris, Rita Springer, Daniel Brymer, etc. — enhances focusing on the Lord, while some soaking music doesn’t do that for me.  And I wondered why.  The focus of the music is the key.  Worship music is about Jesus.  Much of the soaking music is about us.  Worship music extols His greatness, His character.  Soaking music is often filled with prophetic encouragement about the destiny we have ahead of us.  Soaking music may talk about how much we desire the Lord, the longing of our heart for Him, and that is wonderful, but it is still about us more than it is about Him.  This is not true across the board, but it is a general theme I have noticed.  If you like that theme, that’s fine.  If it gets you into God’s Presence, good.  But it leaves a real lack in my heart.  I feel like I’m missing something, when the song is all about me.

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap this series up with some concluding philosophical meanderings.

Previous — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 3
Next — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 5

 Full Gospel Family Publications         Character Building for Families