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Better Than Wine

I didn’t sleep very well last night, and found myself tired all day today - but I’m at a prayer gathering tonight (hosted and led by teenagers and young adults - woo hoo) and found myself thinking over and over, “Your Love, Oh Lord, is really better than wine.”  Okay, really what I was thinking was, “I could be at home vegging to a television, or I can be here, agreeing with these folks in prayer, and worshiping with them, and allowing the Lord to really convince me that ‘Prayer Actually Works’ and be able to look back in 5 years and see the change in our region because of this persistence in prayer.”  Your love is better than vegging out.

I love that these young’uns are PRAYING SCRIPTURE.  Every prayer starts out and follows through a prayer actually found in the Bible, or is inspired out of actual prayers prayed or things spoken in scripture.  Not only are we praying, we’re learning the Word, and getting the heart and mind of the Lord by doing it.  It would be impossible for me to express how excited I am about what the Lord is raising up in the river valley.

Here are just a small sample of some of the scriptures used tonight.  Each of which was used to pray over “the church” in the river valley and/or specifically for churches in Alma or Crawford County (Arkansas) - that the church would grow hungry for the Lord, begin to cry out for Him, and that he would break in with power.

Haggai 1:13-14 (NKJV)
13 Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people,
saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.”
14 So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah,
and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the
remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God

The Lord desires to build His house, His house of prayer in the Fort Smith River Valley, and is “stirring up the spirit” of His people to accomplish it.  I like the New Living Translation’s way of putting it, “So the LORD sparked their enthusiasm.”

Jeremiah 2:5-9 (KJV)
5 Thus saith the LORD, “What iniquity have your fathers found in me,
that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? 
6 Neither said they, ‘Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt…?’ 
8 The priests said not, ‘Where is the LORD?’ and they that handle the law knew me not:
the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked
after things that do not profit. 
9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD,
and with your children’s children will I plead. 

Wow.  Are we walking after vanity in our lives - dare say, in our church congregations?  The Lord’s charge is so weighty but yet so liberating:  He WANTS us to ask where He is, not just in some theological sense, but in His manifest power like He demonstrated in leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.  It is okay to ask “Where is the Lord?”  And as we see in that passage, it is NOT okay to NOT ask.

Habakkuk 3:1-2 (NIV)
1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
2 Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

Here we see the prophet Habakkuk praying a prayer like the one the Lord was ASKING His people to pray in the passage in Jeremiah seen above.  This is a great example of the kind of prayers we should be praying, and is wonderful validation that it is okay for us to pray and ask the Lord for demonstrations like were seen in the past.

Jeremiah 2:12-13 (KJV)
12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate,
saith the LORD. 
13 For my people have committed two evils;
they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns,
broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

For too long I have drank from wells that did not satisfy, and tried to fill myself with things that only indulged but gave me no life.  For too long we have tried to create for ourselves programs and structures and doctrines to contain our thoughts about the Lord and from which we could try and distribute Him to others.  We have to tap back into that great fountain of living waters, that well deep within our souls, within our bellies that springs up.  Fast, Pray - in The Spirit and with understanding… uncap the well.  Ask for the manifest power of God to be demonstrated through His Bride.  Not because we “require a sign”; we will press-on and press-in whether we see many in our lifetimes or not - but, because of His loving kindness, and because He has used His manifest power so many times in the past to “add thousands to their number daily”.  We ask because we have the heart of the Father, “that none should perish, but have everlasting life.”

He is wondering why we are not asking, “Where is the Lord?”

So, “Ask and He will give the nations to you for your inheritance.”

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