THE PRAYER JOTTER: A WORD OF WISDOM FOR MINISTERS AND SAINTS

This is a transcription of one of our prayer times when divinely inspired utterances were brought forth by the Spirit of God. This has been a pattern now since 2013 when Carolyn and I began praying and traveling together more frequently. The purpose of this special anointing and operation of the Holy Spirit is to bring forth provision of the wisdom of God for the body of Christ. I believe it would fall under the heading of the revelation gifts of the Holy Spirit with prophecy—a spirit of seeing and knowing. 

Here now is one sample of this operation:

Just like in a natural family the mothers and fathers learn what their children respond to and the children learn what the parents respond to because they learn their love language in a healthy family.

And they’re always reaching to meet (fulfill) that love language because they love the response that they receive.

So it is in His body – I see it.

Every believer and every son and daughter of God has a love gift that they respond to and it’s important to find it and recognize the gift that they respond to and then they will respond to Me.

For some like words of affirmation and some like pretty things and pretty gifts like diamond rings (laughter)…

For some it’s just an act of kindness, an act of service, a helping hand…

A loving shepherd learns the love language of every sheep and every lamb.

And this will be a key, not just to open up individual hearts but congregations of people, too.

For you see, I am the author and the finisher of their faith and I am the one who gives utterance and moves through you in gifts that releases them to receive from Me.

So we pray that now Father…

I see where many hearts have been hardened and have sifted themselves and even resisted because they’re not receiving that love language.

There’s been nothing to cause their hearts to respond.

We pray wisdom now in your ministers to release that love language on your body that would turn them from the things of this world and cause them to look intently and strongly on Jesus again.

We understand Father…

That’s why the 5 fold ministry gifts are so imperative and to be used in the body of Christ because they all carry something different and they move in the different gifts, and some are stronger than others in things.

So right now we agree as touching that in prayer that there would be a release of the 5 fold ministry gifts into your body worldwide.

Your body does not deserve to be hungry and lacking in the equipping they need to do the work of the ministry and respond to you.

Your body is diverse – one gift can’t reach everyone…

And that’s the reason many leave their churches because they only hear the one gift and they get tired of the one voice always talking to them.

Thank you Lord for your diversity and your manifold wisdom.

Acts 16 – And the Lord opened the heart of Lydia so that she heeded the things spoken by Paul.

You are the one who opens hearts and knows what each heart needs and what each heart connects to.

Your Holy Spirit is the equalizer.

He’s the one that does it and that’s why we must point people to Him, and not to us.

Too many are trying to get people to follow them, but they need to teach them to follow Him.

And then there’s grace, for the grace is in Him, and it’s released when you point people to Him.

Did He not say when He’s lifted up He would draw all men unto Him.

You’ve made it so simple that we’ve missed it.

We must be like John the Baptist who said he must decrease so Christ could increase – he got out of the way so You could be seen and heard and followed.

Oh, may we as your ministers learn to move out of the way!

Yes, lead them in a way we’re called to lead but lead them to You…

After all, that is the ministry of the Holy Spirit who said that He would not even speak of Himself, but whatsoever He would (pause and laughter)… but whatsoever He would hear that He would speak.

He doesn’t even speak of Himself and He’s the Holy Spirit.

He speaks only the Father’s will, he speaks the mind of Jesus Christ, but not of Himself.

Oh, this is a revelation that we need.

This is important!

This is the meekness of the Lord, even as Paul came in the meekness of Christ, not to point others to himself but to the Lord.

We’re nothing without Him, but we have God’s heart by the Holy Spirit.

Understand this, get this … for except the Holy Spirit reveal it to you, you will not know it (1 Cor 2).

The Holy Spirit reveals the deep things of God’s heart.

So we draw on those deep things this morning…

For as we go our way and minister throughout the days and this year that we would be keen to remember that it’s the Holy Spirit that brings up the heart of God and that speaks the need of that love language to your people, and even to those outside of Christ.

For there are some now that are ready to come into His kingdom and to believe.

For them we pray, those outside…

Jesus always knew what to say (tears) – He knew how to minister to the harlot, He knew how to minister to the blind man. He knew how to love the broken-hearted mother who just lost her son.

Power – with that revelation comes power; with those keys comes power for those outside.

That waitress must have needed something yesterday at that restaurant, and we pray for her now that she would not rest until she comes to Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord.

We spoke Your name to her, Lord and may Your name resonate in her heart and mind.

May she never forget the words, “He changed my life”, but may those words come back to her again and again.

And may that gift we left her speak of the love of the Father…

As I said, this operation has manifested frequently in our prayer times since 2013. It is most prolific through Carolyn’s vessel. We have well over 500 documented pages of these utterances. The file is called, The Prayer Jotter, and we hope to make a unique book or journal from these some day soon. But for now we will just be blogging some of them. I hope this one was a blessing to you. 

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Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.

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THE IGNORANCE ON THE SUBJECT OF TONGUES IS MIND-BOGGLING

I’ve included a few of the many public comments from my last blog, which was also published by Charisma, to expose the blatant ignorance there still exists in the Church and among professing believers on the subject of tongues. Here are some remarks from that article:

I mentioned three pioneers of the faith who said that tongues was the making of their ministries, and that mention was met was great irreverence by one individual.

“John G Lake was a known fake healer who was also a financial huckster. His inability to heal led to death of a girl named Hannah Anderson, and almost crippled another girl who had a fractured thigh.

Oral Roberts: His shameful attempts to get rich off of his “ministry” are well known. Anyone remember him saying God would kill him if people didn’t send him 8 million dollars?

Kenneth Hagin: Spread the Word of Faith heresy and plagiarized Kenyon.

If these people are examples of what comes from speaking in tongues, I think I’ll stick with regular English, thanks.”

What can I say? Such disregard and disdain for some of God’s choice servants will utterly corrupt any life. It is difficult for me to understand such professing Christians. This is eerily equivalent to the Pharisees and religious leaders calling Jesus a devil and attributing His works to demons (Mt. 12:24).

#2

“Tongues? You think it is the be all and end all. But really, it’s just laziness. God doesn’t want mindless drones – otherwise he wouldn’t have given us free will. I mean really – do you honestly believe that God (Who knows everything) would require some random person to babble things they don’t understand in order to save someone? Next time you pray – don’t take the easy way out. Actually talk to your Father.”

Wow! Just half a scripture refutes this person’s stupid statements. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God…” (1 Cor. 14:2a). The apostle Paul also travailed (this includes praying in other tongues), which is the very opposite of laziness and requires intense labor in the Spirit to bring forth birth (Gal. 4:19) and spiritual growth.

#3

“Paul said in the Bible that tongues was one of the least of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I believe some have that gift, but does one have to have it to be more spiritual than those that do have it, or does one have to have that gift to be saved? No, the Bible does not say that.”

This person missed the entire point of the article. He chose to fixate his thoughts and words on traditions he had been brainwashed with instead of rightly dividing the word of God.

This person makes three errors in his brief statements. First of all, the devotional exercise of praying privately in other tongues is never called a gift in Scripture. The gift is the Holy Spirit, also called the promise of the Father, or the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which is available to every person in every generation (Acts 2:39). The word gift is never associated with tongues until 1 Cor. 12 when it is called divers kinds of tongues. It is the public ministry gift of tongues that needs to be interpreted for the edification of the hearers.

Secondly, the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues is for personal edification which should add to our spirituality in the sense that it makes us more effective witnesses. How many Christians can you name who do not speak in tongues but move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Not many. Why? Because they’ve not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent.

Thirdly, the gift of the Holy Spirit with tongues is separate from salvation. They are two distinct experiences so we should not confuse the two. Jesus spoke of salvation as a “well of water” (Jn. 4:14), and the baptism in the Holy Spirit as “rivers of living water” (Jn. 7:38). Simple. If these individuals would stop trying to interpret Scripture through their traditionally colored glasses and listen instead of speak they would learn something. The problem with many of them is they’ve been religiously brain-washed instead of New Testament taught.

#4

This next person makes the same mistake while adding another statement that increases his confusion.

“Speaking in tongues is not the only gift of the Holy Spirit. There are many others that are just as important if not more. I would think there would be a practical application of speaking in another language for guests who may not understand the local language quite as well.”

Once again, tongues, as in divers kinds of tongues, is a gift, but he is confusing this gift with the simple gift of the baptism in the Spirit with tongues for personal edification. This is the most common error among those who do not believe this experience is for every Christian.

Secondly, he confuses the sign at Pentecost when the tongues they spoke were actual languages the nations at Jerusalem understood, with the private use of tongues for personal edification. There are different purposes and uses of tongues. Actually, there are at least four uses/purposes of tongues.

1. They are for personal edification (1 Cor. 14:4).
2. They are a gift for public use with interpretation (1 Cor. 14:27).
3. They are a means of prayer and intercession (Rom 8:26-28).
4. They are a sign to the unbeliever when understood in their own language (Acts 2:7-12).

The sooner we understand these different uses and purposes of tongues the quicker we will understand spiritual things.

#5

“Paul said tongues was the least, not the first, yet some people think tongues is the first and a must-have to be holy. I don’t agree, but it is one of the gifts not a have to have to be right with God and holy.”

This individual is another who confuses the simple gift of tongues for edification with the public gift that needs an interpretation. But he goes a step further and confuses tongues with holiness. Tongues is not a prerequisite for holiness. The fruit of holiness is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and every born again believer has the Spirit within them so that they can produce the fruit of holiness in their lives. The Corinthians were enriched in the gifts (1 Cor. 1:4-7), but Paul said they were yet carnal because there were strife and divisions among them (1 Cor. 3:1-3). This proves that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is not primarily to produce holiness in our lives but power (Acts 1:8).

#6

“Tongues are not to be turned on and off by people but given utterance by the Holy Spirit.”

This next individual seems to imply that speaking in tongues is controlled by the Holy Spirit. This may be true for the public gift of divers tongues that requires an interpretation, but it is not true for the private use of tongues, which a believer receives when he is baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Paul said he could pray or even sing in tongues at will (1 Cor. 14:15).

#7

This next person seems to be quite sure of his position and even acts as the expert teacher who wants to give me a Bible lesson.

“Bert, your article on tongues is based on cheerleading without a shred of authentication. You rely on stories instead of the Word. I pray in tongues. I have for 40 years. When it wants to come up, I go with I.”

We’ve already covered this. He believes you need to wait for a spirit of ecstasy before you can speak in tongues.

But I do not ascribe miracles to tongues that are not found in Scripture. When you make tongues a cure-all, you are way out of bounds, encouraging us to live in la-la land.

A thorough study of Romans 8:26-28 in the Greek will shed much light on how praying with groanings, which includes tongues, is indeed connected to miracles of healing and salvation and even spiritual growth and gives birth to such.

Consider this: for all the praying in tongues that Pentecostals and Charismatics (PCs) have done over the eons, it has not stopped America from sliding into the muck of immorality and godlessness. America as a nation has gone to hell in a hand-basket while PCs prayed in tongues, believing it is a cure-all for all of our problems. The Church has seen a great falling away from the Word while we prayed in tongues. You must stick with Scripture, Bert, when you speak of the benefits of tongues, or you’re teaching error.

I concur with the reverse of what this person is stating – that the very reason America is in bad shape is because the Church has done too much mental praying in English and not enough spiritual praying in other tongues.

Please consider this: when you make tongues the answer for everything, you become part of why so many leave tongues alone. Tongues were given to spread the Gospel to those speaking foreign languages. They were meant to awe those who heard it, as they knew those speaking didn’t know their language. It was a sign given by God to them to persuade them to believe in Jesus, but PCs have made getting people healed. That’s nonsense.

The nonsense here is that this Christian takes the preposterous position that tongues is for preaching in other languages, but we have already seen that this is only one use or purpose of tongues and is subject to the will of the Spirit. It is only a sign to the unbelievers. The main use of tongues is for personal edification and prayer.

You have no scripture for that. You’re teaching us to live by what we think, not by the Word. The only reason I pray in tongues is because it sometimes wants to come up, if I don’t know how to pray, so I let it fly, but since I cannot know what I am saying, I cannot put faith in my tongues to fix the problems at hand. It is the prayer of faith in Jesus that saves the sick, and tongues cannot be prayed in faith, believing for healing, as you know not what you say. Stick with scripture, Bert, so those who read you will not live by illusions and fantasies.”

What else can be said? This individual is all muddled up and tangled up in seeing tongues from only one angle. He is the one who actually is living by illusions and fantasies. I never said that tongues will fix all our problems but it will sure fix many of our problems because you will be dealing with life’s issues from a place of personal edification and revelation. Revelation is another wonderful benefit of the private use of speaking in tongues. Furthermore, speaking in tongues does not give you faith for everything, but it stimulates the faith you already have from the Word (Jude 19-20). My advice to this commentator is that he needs to learn the Scriptures.

#8

“Tongues were given as a ministry tool but we made it a private prayer language and changed it from a true language to praying in English syllables, calling it a language of the heart. Where do we find scripture for that?”

The same error keeps being repeated. Can you see that? Several of these believers are not distinguishing the difference between the private and public use of tongues. It is a ministry tool and it is also a private prayer language.

“For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Cor. 14:2).

Jesus said that “out of your belly (He is referring to the spirit or the heart of man) shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn. 7:38).

These many comments to my last Charisma blog revealed again to me that ministers who are schooled in these things need to teach more on the topic of tongues so that believers can exercise their faith in utilizing their personal use of it. There is too much confusion in this area that needs the light of the Scriptures to bring clarity and understanding.

OPERATION OF THE FLESH OR THE SPIRIT?

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)

“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)

The Lord has given me a holy zeal for the manifestation of the full spectrum of all things pertaining to the Holy Ghost. I see everything a failure without the workings of God’s Spirit. The programs, the projects, the props and all the ministry professionalism is futile without the demonstration of God’s Spirit and power.

There are two ditches. One is hype, sensationalism, and entertainment. The other is formality, deadness, and ritualism. We must find that delicate balance between unwholesome fanaticism and wild fire, and no fire at all.

I see two primary groups that have evolved and emerged in the body of Christ today. I see an older group who came out of dead formalism decades ago. They exited traditional and mainline denominational churches because their needs were not being met, and they were hungry for the deeper things of God. As a result, para-church organizations were raised up and played a key role in the training and discipleship of new converts. Bible schools were established to equip pastors and leaders. Many of those pastors and churches that were raised up during that time, however, have now become as structured, rigid, and set in their own agendas as the former churches they came out of. That’s one group.

I have never seen so many so called full gospel churches and denominations who have left the way of the Spirit and resorted to the methods, machinery, and traditions of men to try and get the job done.

The second group is a new generation of churches and pastors who do not know the real move of the Spirit but utilize substitutes such as contemporary forms of worship and use of the arts, visualization, and imagination in an attempt to demonstrate the Spirit. These substitutes result in a barren church void of the real Spirit and vulnerable to demonstrations of the flesh and even doctrines of devils.

These two large groups do not even include the segment of churches today who are totally ignorant of the operation, administration, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit in His gifts and ministries (1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28) (Eph. 4:11). I thank God for the remnant of those Word and Spirit churches who are still carrying the torch and moving strong in the Word and in the authentic ministry of the Holy Spirit. They are a treasure in this hour.

There are quiet churches who resemble a graveyard, and there are noisy churches who are just as dead. It is not being quiet or being loud  that confirms the presence and power of God. It is that indescribable something called the anointing.

Who can describe, much less produce, the freshness of a morning when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass? Such is the essence of the precious anointing of the Holy Spirit. We may know it and discern it, yet are unable to tell others what it is. It’s counterfeit is worse than worthless for no one can ever manufacture it, though they continue to try. But the true anointing of the Spirit is priceless and such a necessity for edification, impartation, and a true equipping of God’s people.

Honestly, most Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians today cannot tell the difference between the operation of the flesh and the operation of the Spirit. Most can’t tell the difference between prophesying in the flesh and prophesying in the Spirit, giving a message in tongues without the anointing and with the anointing, dancing in the flesh or dancing in the Spirit, running and shouting in the flesh versus doing it in the Spirit, singing with the anointing and singing without it etc.

You see, when things are done in the Spirit there is something like a sweet smelling fragrance that pervades the atmosphere. Pastors and ministers have got to learn the difference so they can teach their people. We’ve either got too much dead formality or too much fleshly showboating in the church today. And even in some who claim to know the difference they cannot discern between brass and gold. It takes a trained eye and ear to know it. What do I mean by that?

In the Old Testament, Solomon built the temple/house of the Lord and overlaid the oracle, the altar, and the entire house with gold. He also made all the vessels, treasures, and utensils of the temple out of pure gold (1 Kings 6 and 7). Then the king of Egypt came against Jerusalem and removed the treasures from the house of the Lord and  King Rehoboam later replaced them with brass (2 Chron. 12:9-10). This is what Christians have done in the church. They have brought the brass of the world into the church and used it as a substitute for pure gold. They’ve brought the music, the clapping, and the singing and dancing of the world into the church.

God is wanting to help us minister the Spirit. If we will truly sanctify ourselves and just learn to praise and worship the Lord in the Spirit we would experience deeper levels of the presence and power of God in our midst.

To be continued…

 

DRAWING US BACK TO LOVE

No one has ever been as loving and merciful as our heavenly Father. He even makes His sun to rise on the evil, and sends rain on the unjust (Mt. 5:45).

It is only when the heart is softened through the Holy Spirit’s outpouring of God’s love that we are enabled to also move in this love. When our hearts are sensitized to God’s love we are even able to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us (v 44). This supernatural love is purely an operation of the Holy Spirit.

Human love is not capable of loving those who offend them and do them wrong. How one handles offense is the fundamental difference between walking in that love and walking in the human sentimental love which is fickle and changing.

I’ve met many Christians in my lifetime who ooze with niceness and mushiness and appear so sweet until you cross them. Then they turn into vicious wolves who bite and devour.

Here’s an inspired utterance from the Holy Spirit: “One of the big differences between a natural and a supernatural love is that a natural love does not stand up under offense. But a supernatural love does not grow hard through offense, but instead it grows even more tender as it reaches out to the one who offends and says, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do or what they say.’ “

Our love can wax cold if we don’t nurture it. Our heart can grow hard if we don’t guard it. On the other hand, it’s so easy to move, forgive and obey when God’s love is motivating our hearts.

Do you remember the former days of your salvation? How easy it was to walk away from the lifestyle of sin when the Holy Spirit moved on our hearts with the love of God! His love and presence causes grown men to fall to their knees and cry like a baby. The power of this love breaks the hardest heart.

The Gadarene demoniac did not want to leave Jesus after being delivered and touched by His love (Mk. 5).

The heart of the woman at the well was fulfilled at last and she ran out to testify of Jesus to the men of her city (John 4).

The leper when told not to testify of his own miracle went everywhere blazing abroad the matter (Mk. 1).

It was the revelation of love that caused their hearts to change. It was that sense of value and worth that resonated within them that birthed an excitement and a newness of life. This love is the activation of our gospel witness  and of our life’s good works.

It is time for the body of Christ to remember those former days and fall in love with Jesus again – a love that caused those early Christians to share all they had with those in need (Acts 2, 4); a love that caused the disciples to fall on Paul’s neck and kiss him (Acts 21); a love that works and lives to give and not to get (Eph. 4:28).

Love will lead us to a more consecrated lifestyle. The gratitude of a life change is the initiative of this love.

We cannot be filled with the fullness of God without knowing the depth of this love (Eph. 3:14-21). We are not easily deceived or led astray when this love fills every inch of our hearts.

The world will know we are His disciples by the love we have one for another (John 13:35). This emanating love makes us radiant and irresistible.

BIRTHMARKS OF A MOVE OF GOD

As soon as I walked into the building I could sense the presence of God.

We were visiting one of our spiritual sons who has planted a work in the southeast part of our country. We were only passing through. It was just Carolyn, me, and him. The atmosphere in the small building where he was holding services was charged with the presence and power of God. I knew him to be a man of prayer so that did not surprise me.

Our visit encouraged him and birthed some things in him, but it also left its mark on  my wife and I. I have not been able to shake it. In a day when many churches are toning down on the move of the Spirit, structuring their services in such a way where it leaves no time and space for the Holy Spirit to work, and following the latest Madison Avenue tactics and cultural church trends, it was refreshing to hear the testimony of a brother who is moving in the opposite direction.

There are always certain birthmarks of a real move of God in a church or a city. Here are the ones we witnessed in the testimony of this unnamed brother and the work he is doing.

1. He is not following the money. God has led him to be high intensity on the power and glory of God and low profile on money emphasis. Of course, we are not opposed to receiving offerings, but in his particular case he is not receiving conventional 10-15 minute offerings that are attached to a tithing/offering message. Instead he leaves a basket in a corner where people can give if they choose to.

I used to think this method was a form of shame, that most people wouldn’t give, and it would cheat the people out of a blessing. But because of the day’s extreme emphasis on finances and the diminishing level of trust in Christian leadership, this brother has chosen to allow people to give out of the move of God that is touching them instead of a forced agenda. It is working for him.

Money doesn’t control him. He stays detached from the system of unbelief. Some men recently tried to manipulate him with a large tithe and he sent them on their way, refusing to let them use money as a form of manipulation to control him. How refreshing that is in today’s church culture!

2. He is following the glory. This work is marked by a passion for the glory of God. Many miracles, signs, and wonders are taking place. Instead of the focus being on the wealthy and those who can give, it is on the poor and those who cannot give. The example of this is seen in at least two places in Scripture: the parable of the great supper (Lk. 14:16-24) and the cleansing of the temple (Mt. 21:12-14). Instead of the traditional ministry philosophy where the members of the church serve the pastor and his vision, the pastor and the vision serve the people and empower them to fulfill their calling and destiny. There are rules, boundaries, and protocol but love is the law that prevails.

In January the church did an outreach in the open air for the drug addicts, the prostitutes, the sick and diseased, and the outcasts of society. Miracles were reported and many were saved, healed, and delivered.

They began taking the gospel to the projects on Sunday afternoon after their church service. They would pray and then go out. The power of God started moving in these projects. One day about a dozen gang members and hoodlums came out and this brother talked to them about the Lord. They wanted nothing to do with church or God. In the south, religion, man’s traditions, and hypocrisy have choked the life of God from its churches and embittered many.

This brother challenged them and asked them if God were to come down and touch them, would they serve Him? They answered yes. Then he prayed a short prayer and the fire of God came down on the street and they were all slain in the Spirit. Glory to God!

Every time this unnamed brother goes to the projects some of these men now go with him. Word of mouth advertising is spreading quickly and people keep coming and the Lord keeps adding to the church.

One millionaire businessman who owns the plaza (strip mall) where their facility is located has begun to tithe to the church because since they’ve been there the businesses in this plaza have been revitalized. At one time they were all close to foreclosure. Empty buildings are now being filled. This millionaire is not even a church-goer and is giving to this church and work because God has touched his business.

3. Finally, the work is built on true worship and prayer. There is a love affair going on with the Lord here, and it begins at the leadership level. People are learning through precept and example to seek the face of God more than His hand. The birthing of the glory of God and the movement of Divine activity have come out of that place of true worship and prayer.

Here is something every pastor needs to know in this hour. The glory of God will take care of a thousand concerns that you have. When you satisfy the heart of God and let Him build His house of prayer He perfects everything that concerns you. His glory touches other areas of your life and ministry so you will never have to address them. Take care of His business and He will take care of yours.

I have known for years that there is a move of the Spirit that modern day Charismatics know nothing about, and we’ve got to get it back. He wants to build houses of prayer that are filled with His glory. This alone will satisfy God’s heart and the heart of every man.

The works of God that will stand the test of His holy fire are gold, silver, and precious stones. Conversely, works of wood, hay, and stubble will be burned up.

My fervent admonition to you today is to go for the gold. Go for the glory. For unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain that build it (Ps 127:1).

Oh ministers of the Lord and you who bear His vessels, the Holy Spirit has been sent to help you. Pray, listen, and follow Him. This is the season He wants to make everything new, fresh, and alive again.