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We have undersold the power of prayer—well, I have.

Prayer seems like a great idea for some of those projects that are beyond our control.

Prayer makes me feel like I’m doing something when I’m in a circumstance where I’m limited to only prayer.

Prayer is our last resort.

But the Holy Spirit tells us through Paul:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. - Romans 8:26 ESV

These are great and encouraging words. It’s wonderful to know that even though I don’t know how to pray the Holy Spirit has it.

But there’s a little word in this bit of encouragement that tells me we’re missing it.

The word? Ought.

Oughts have become rather frowned upon in today’s Christian circles, and I’m not trying to popularize guilt and condemnation again. I’m glad the Church is moving away from the use of guilt to make us behave.

And yet, we have an ought. Thankfully it comes couched in the Lord’s great provision for our shortcoming.

What is the solution for our weakness? Prayer. The fact that ought shows up here implies to me that there should come a point in a Christians life when he is able to pray through some of his own weaknesses.

OK - that’s all good, but I’m not there—right? Are you? Maybe so.

Here’s the ah-ha for me.

When I don’t know how to pray to solve my weakness, what does God do?

And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. - Romans 8:27 ESV

He, by the Spirit searches our hearts and minds and finds the weakness and …

fixes it? - No

sends help? - No

makes us strong? - No

The Spirit prays—intercedes on our behalf.

God’s own solution to our weakness is not the taking of some action but to pray.

I’ve always thought that we pray and God acts. Or we pray and God puts in our heart the courage to act and the wisdom to know how.

But I’m thinking that the whole work is done in prayer. Words passed between mortal and immortal, between man and God. Short of that words passed between Spirit and Father.

And the result of this intercession?

All our circumstances work together for the believer's good.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28 ESV

This most famous of verses is the middle of a paragraph about how the Spirit intercedes on our behalf to deal with our weaknesses.

My circumstance shines the spotlight on my weakness, and the Spirit carries me before the Father and stands as my advocate, pleading for me—for you.

Do the circumstances dissolve? Not necessarily. Do the problems fall away? Maybe yes—Maybe no. Is a great outcome promised? You bet -

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. - Romans 8:29 ESV

Through the intercession of the Spirit, I am conformed to the image of Christ.

So what do I do with that little ought?

My prayer must become—Lord, teach me to pray. Help me partner with the Spirit and participate in my own transformation.

Yes Lord!

Teach me to pray as I ought!

BenHeadshotThanks for stopping by.

Have a great 4th of July!

Ben

Hi all,

I wanted to share with you from a friend of mine, Michael Ferris, his monthly newsletter. Michael has a wonderful ministry. He is a potter. But more than that he ministers with his pottery demonstrations in a way that is really astounding. I have seen tremendous ministry take place, from salvation, to deep inner healing of wounds in men in their 60's that go back to childhood. I wanted to share his ministry newsletter with you all here, hoping to encourage you to check out this amazing gift to the body of Christ.

For more information about "A Journey to the Potter's House" you can visit their website at: http://www.ajourneytothepottershouse.com

By the way - in it's original form this newsletter looked much better.

Ben

MFerrisHeadersmall

 

Dear Friend,
On June 11th my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. On June 21st she had a bi-lateral mastectomy. Thank you to so many who saw the prayer request on Facebook and sent prayers and words of encouragement.
As I write this she is home at the beginning of her road to recovery. If you will recall, the first objective of the potter in preparing the clay is to get the clay oriented in the potter's direction and the potter uses pressure to do this. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a diagnosis of cancer to get one oriented in a God direction. My wife has been an inspiration to many, including myself, as she has walked through her fire. Recently she shared a reflection she wrote in her journal with me and I asked if I could share a portion of it with you with the hope that it will encourage your heart and inspire your faith as you go through your own challenges.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me! That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardship, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong!" 2 Cor. 12: 9-10.
Christ's power is made perfect in weakness. That's rather humorous and it is so God. We, in our self-sufficient, inner- strength, "I got this" self-made attitude, block Christ's power in us, or we diminish it to a dull flicker. But when we are undone, when it seems like our situation can't get any worse, when the diagnosis is looking fairly bleak; if and only if we keep our minds on His Word; allowing every vain imagining to be held captive to the knowledge and truth of His word; and if and only if, we keep our availability open to the Holy Spirit's direction and changing our self-sufficiency to a "Your will be done" attitude, then, and only then, is Christ's Power free to flow in me and through me to others. If my words of encouragement, Godly counsel, wisdom, words of knowledge or prophecy were effective at all before this metamorphosis then as I yield my weakness to Him, His Power becomes explosive and exponentially more effective. His will, His grace, His power...all in my weakness. Amen!
 In the Potter's Hands,

  Michael

ASK THE POTTER
 
If you have a question you would like
to ask the potter, please submit your questions to:
and put  "Ask the Potter" in the subject line.
We will publish our prayerful selections followed by your
first name and your state; for example- Mike, CT.

 

My Broken Everything
By Alexandra Ferris
Make me more like you, my failures,
my flaws, my hurting heart,
Take me to the place of forgiveness,
take my life, take every part.
Only you can heal,
and only you can mend,
So keep my strongholds broken
when "no compromise" starts to bend.
Give me the courage to fight,
to stand in the gap, to give of my life,
to never look back.
The power to stand,
but the strength to kneel,
to never quit on what I know to be real.
To make decision through your eyes,
to speak with your lips,
to distinguish the lies.
I am yours, and unworthy I come,
to plead before your thorn.
Show me your power,
cover my past,
I come to you alone.
My mistakes are too great,
my future unsure,
to where else can I run,
I've tried to do it on my own,
but by you, I've been undone.
Keep me in that place of surrender to you alone my King;
And even though my heart is shattered,
I'll give you my broken everything.
JULY  MINISTRY SCHEDULE  
We would love to have your prayer support 
for these ministry dates. 
Mark them on your calendar and 
ask the Lord to show up mightily! 
Also, if you are nearby on any of 
these days and are able to attend, 
please come and bring a friend!
Wednesday, July 17
Noah Retreat
73 Holmes Mill Rd.
Cream Ridge, NJ
Evening service
 
Thursday, July 18
Noah Retreat
73 Holmes Mill Rd.
Cream Ridge, NJ
Morning service
 
Saturday, July 20
Christ Church Methodist
545 Old Town Rd.
Port Jefferson Station, NY
Service, 7pm
Saturday, July 27
Evangelistic Family Gathering
Canaan, New Hampshire
Service, 10am
 
Sunday, July 28
Pulpit Supply
Christian Community Church
Kinderhook, NY
Morning Service
Testimony
 
Praise God! Thank you so much for bringing "A Journey to the Potters House" to our church! Everything I had read on your testimony page spoke about a life-changing, heart-moving, stronghold-breaking experience and it is all true! The message is revelatory, intensely hopeful and profoundly truthful. We were all talking today about how much it impacted us! I came away from it understanding the loving ways of my Father in heaven like never before. Thank you for being such a yielded vessel so others can receive His pouring out. 
I praise God for this ministry.
Laury, NY

  Send us your testimony

 

If God has ministered to you during your
"Journey to the Potter's House"
we would love to hear about it.
Please send your testimony to

 

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Thank you and God bless you!
 
But this beautiful treasure is contained in us-cracked pots made of earth and clay-so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us.
We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. 
We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair.  
We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. 
We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  
We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus.  
As a result, His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well.

II Corinthians 4: 7-10 The Voice

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