This overview follows on from our recent article (To Russia with love, and further dimensions to the cyber-threat) on the risk posed by Russian to global internet cables. You may well find some of the details here disturbing. I have quoted historical precedents for showing why it is important to pray for western politicians and defence chiefs to respond appropriately and to make adequate preparations. What I am sharing is very much at an earthly level: our real warfare of course is at a spiritual level against those mighty beings without bodies – and, to a very great extent, on what the Lord Himself decrees. Continue reading
What can I answer to thee, I who have spoken so freely, that is, so indiscreetly, and so foolishly? I shall put mine hand upon my mouth.
(Job 40:4 WYC)
Think of times when you have ‘sounded off’ and been too insistent about something – only to regret later what you have said. It’s not so easy to withdraw words once we have spoken them – in fact it can be altogether too much like trying to gather up confetti that has scattered to the wind. There are definitely times when it is best to say less – or even nothing at all. Continue reading
Why little things matter
The people I admire most are those whose hearts are constant in their desire to bless the Lord and to honour others, no matter what is going on in their life outwardly. As a result, I am not on edge, worrying about how they will react because I know they will not take things amiss. Nevertheless, it is right to weigh carefully the seemingly “little things” we say and do: they really do have enormous power for either good or harm. Continue reading
Year after year, I have noticed that my thoughts seem turn to Russia during this season. Back in the 1980s, at a time when the Cold War was raging and we were praying for Russian Christians to know freedom to worship in their land, the thought that we would be able one day to feast on Russian worship at the click of a button, was beyond anything we could have imagined. Continue reading
Elisha was a great prophet and example to the nation. As I was praying for a friend yesterday to be thus, the Lord gave me three key qualities he would stand in particular need of in the year ahead:
- flexibility (adapting to unexpected or enforced changes)
- lowliness (humility)
- and timeliness (that is, not putting things off!)
Although these words were specifically for one person, I think they will be helpful for us all. To some extent, they overlap, too, with another theme I have been pondering, Continue reading
This is a prayer for those who are going through times of near intolerable pressure.
If the Lord is moving the stage sets of our lives around, it is only because He is changing the scenery – and by His mercy the new scenarios will be good. By His grace may we let Him do whatever it takes to keep us moving forward.
To those who are feeling overwrought and pummelled,
and only just keeping going,
the Lord would say:
Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’
says the LORD Almighty.
“What are you, O mighty mountain? You will become level ground.
Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of `God bless it! Grace to it!’
“Don’t despise the day of small beginnings!” (Zech. 4:6-7,10)
My children, many have come
and many have gone
without finding the place of inner release.
There are reasons for the blocks
that keep them from standing on the Rock.
Some plans miscarry through
insufficient tarrying in My presence
and failing to seek My purposes.
So come, My child,
over the shards, through the narrow places
and across the broad slow plains
until you find some quickening ray
as you pray;
for I too am paying a heavy cost
to keep you in the fray.
Lord, with joy I receive Your love,
for nothing else can satisfy my heart,
and nothing less shall fill my day.
I receive Your love;
deep within my soul.
You do not give us a spirit of timidity,
but of power and love and self control.
Rally our defences when the devil intrudes;
challenge our complacency
when we are tempted to go our own way.
You want us to seek You,
even in the most ordinary of events.
Therefore as you go,
may you know His power in your life;
as you live, may you yield up more of your heart
and so receive His love –
which nurtures like a mother
and teaches like a father.
The amazing sights we marvel at in nature documentaries such as Blue Planet are revealing glories and phenomena that have remained completely unknown until modern technology enabled photographic pioneers to plumb the depths of the ocean. What is true in the natural sphere is true on a spiritual plane too. Were such a thing possible, a spiritual weather chart would show more clearly than any savvy news analyst the competing spiritual ‘currents’ that are at work behind national and international issues. As surely as currents power through the depths of the oceans so the Holy Spirit is at one with the Father in directing world events, not only up to, but also beyond the climax of Jesus’ return. Continue reading
Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
for you know not what disaster may happen on earth . . .
He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Ecc. 11:1-4)
The opening phrase is an attractive thought but what on earth does it actually mean? Continue reading
An Advent Offering
In the midst of what is, for all too many people, an intensely busy season, let’s make it our aim to celebrate the coming of Christ this Advent, and to prepare our hearts for Him to come to us in fresh ways. Advent starts on December 3rd and finishes on Christmas Eve.
May the words that the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary resonate deeply in our hearts: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. (Luke 1:35) Continue reading
Praying for a nation rather than just hearing or reading facts about them takes a country much more deeply into our heart. May this prayer, that we have set to poignant music, focus our prayers on Zimbabwe, and from there extend across the whole of the African continent.
Lord, Zimbabwe is a country whose beauty radiates and reflects something so precious back to You. Thank you that it truly is ‘Africa’s Paradise’; but Continue reading