Refresh with Prayer — Session 1

Enjoy the music, thoughts and images in this video and meditate on what Christian leaders have to say about prayer.

Join us for the Peace Region Prayer Summit 13-14 October 2017. Click here for the Prayer Summit registration.

Music on this video is “Song For Canada” by Lianna Klassen and is used in this video with the artist’s permission.

The song is from her album “Love in the Ruins, Hope in the Wasteland,” an impressive collection of proclamations, prayers, and testimonies that is musically and lyrically enrapturing.

© 2001 Lianna Klassen, Stone Table Publishing Dawntreader Productions. Listed with SOCAN and CCLI. Used with permission / All Rights Reserved

Lianna’s website: https://www.liannaklassen.com/

Album available on:

iTunes 

GooglePlay

Amazon 

Pulling Weeds

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“ ‘No,’ he answered.” Matthew 13:27-29 (NIV)

One of Satan’s great strategies is to distract the workers of God.  He gets us pulling weeds.  Jesus told this parable to let people know that not only is God sowing seeds in the soil of human kind, the Evil One is also.  This is such a helpful story for those who are diligently working to build the Kingdom of God, let me tell you why.

First, it is important to note the surprise of the servants when they discover the weeds the enemy has planted.  That same surprise echoes through the halls of our churches and in the back rooms of our ministries today.  We are continually surprised that the weeds of the Evil One keep popping up where we are working in the fields of God.  We somehow expect that our ministries will be weed free.  Comments such as “And they call themselves Christians…” or “Can you believe he did that?” or “That was so hurtful and mean!” can be heard passing the lips of the most positive minded pastor or Christian worker.   We are continually surprised that evil keeps growing in the garden of God.  Jesus is telling us not to be surprised and does so for good reason.  Many a Christian worker has become embittered or disheartened by the weeds of disappointing people and sinful behaviours they have found in God’s work.  In some cases the “weeds” have caused workers to leave their calling or to be unduly wounded because they never expected to find these weeds in God’s field.

A second reason Jesus’ words are so important is because of distraction.  It is very easy for the servants of God to become distracted from their calling and spend all their time pulling the weeds.  No doubt there are acts of evil and people that need to be dealt with, but Christ cautions the workers to let God sort things out at the end of the age.  It seems he encourages a certain comfort level with weeds being side by side and interspersed with the work we are doing.

In addition, Jesus gives a comfort to his workers — a day is coming when the weeds will be you-call-them-weedsdealt with.  At the end of the age there will be a sorting of the wheat and the weeds.  The angels of God will take care of the weeds.

So in this time as we work until the end of the age, let us take care to not be unduly surprised about weeds in the fields of God.  Let us not lose heart because of them or be distracted from our callings.  Furthermore, let us move forward with the assurance that a day is coming when the weeds will be dealt with.

Refresh Day 28: Mind Food

  “My soul is downcast within me;

therefore I will remember you…”

Psalm 42:6

Even in our dark hours, God has given us the ability to choose. The psalmist was enduring a time of isolation from God and the places he loved. He was far from Jerusalem and the tabernacle, which was God’s dwelling place. He was in the North of Israel at Mount Hermon, which was as far north in Israel as you could go. He was longing for God. “Where can I go to meet with God?” he asked. He was oppressed by people: “Men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” He endured the questions of the unbelieving, yet he couldn’t really answer their accusations, for God at this point did not seem active in his interests. The psalmist was isolated from his people. He had once led the joyful procession of worshippers, but now he was alone.

The experience of isolation brings deep grief to one’s heart. The writer was isolated from God, from the things he loved, from the favor of his people, and from his home. He became very discouraged. Yet in his time of a downcast heart, he realized that his discouragement had not eliminated his power to set the agenda for his thoughts. He chose to remember the Lord in his time of discouragement and isolation.

Is there a sense of discouragement clouding your soul? Remember you have not lost your ability to choose what dominates your thinking. You are the gatekeeper of your mind. Remember the Lord from your place of isolation and hope in him.

I will remember you Psalm 42-6

1.   What factors in your life are causing you a sense of discouragement?

2.   How has this affected your mindset about your life?

3.   What is one aspect of God that can give you a sense of comfort?

Prayer starter: Lord, help me apply the medicine of memory to my downcast heart. 

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LyndonAbout the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.”  Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

refresh-devotionals-front-coverThis excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book Refresh. Lyndon wrote Refresh specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.

Refresh: A Distant Promise

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink,

he who believes in me, as the scripture has said,

out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 7:37-38 (NKJV)

This is one of the most enticing promises of scripture. Perhaps, like me, you long to be refreshed in your inner being. I crave the ongoing refreshment of the Holy Spirit washing over my own soul with peace, contentment, and joy. Not only do I desire that myself, I thirst for an overflow in my heart that would spill into the lives of others so they too could taste refreshing waters of the promised Spirit.

Yet for too many years this promise has been like a mirage in the desert, and I have been like a desperate traveler never quite reaching the promised oasis. I found myself wondering, “Is the promise just a mirage? Or is a refresh of heart a real experience for those who have received the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus?” My training in the Scripture told me it was real. The experiences of others I read about told me that God did mean what he said in the Bible.

This conviction about the truth of the promise set me on a quest. I had to find my way to the oasis. My own survival depended on it. My soul was burdened and weary. I was coming to the end of my resolve to keep up the appearance of a happy Christian when in reality my heart was parched with a desperate thirst. I was serving as a pastor of a church, yet I was burned out. I needed answers.

I was heartened in my quest by reading of others who had been lost in the desert, yet had found their way to a joyful refreshed heart. They had found a heart out of which rivers of living water flowed.

Join me as I share with you lessons from my journey to the oasis of the soul—the place where hearts are refreshed and thirst quenched.

My hope is that the upcoming excerpts from my book you will receive through the Community of Christian Service Workers will spur you to encounter Jesus, the Great Refresher.

The first section of the book opens our minds to the great invitation we have to find refreshment. The second section reminds of what we must surrender to enjoy a refreshed heart. The third section reveals refreshing truths about our Lord that build our trust in him. The fourth part calls us to make choices that lead to refreshment.

With each devotional I have provided a prayer starter that will be a catalyst for you to linger in the presence of the Great Refresher.

Refresh Ministries John 7 37 38 T1

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LyndonAbout the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.”  Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

refresh-devotionals-front-coverThis excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book Refresh. Lyndon wrote Refresh specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.