Thursday

The Wordless Prayer of Faith

It happened during a gathering in our home. We’d had dinner some time ago, finished the dishes together, and now we were gathered in the living room, with mugs of hot tea, and the warm glow of good friendship.

It seemed good to us and to the Holy Spirit to pray for individuals, for healing. We were all good friends, so there was much laughing and interaction while we prayed. That’s just who we were, and we didn’t feel the need to be different when we were with God.

We’d just finished praying for one person, and they got up from the “hot seat” (really a “hot hassock”: a place for them to sit in the middle of the group, so we could all see and all lay hands on if called for).

One of the women kind of hobbled to the center of the room and sat gently down on the hassock as soon as it was vacant. She announced that she’d hurt her back lifting something incorrectly, and needed it healed, please. We turned our attention to her, and asked God for his prayers for her; if Jesus only said what he heard Father saying, we figured that was a good model for us, so we waited for those prayers.

And we waited.

The silence went on for a while, and it became kind of awkward. The fact that it was silence was unusual: there wasn’t laughing or joking going on; people were listening for God’s prayers for our sister’s back.

And we waited. I asked a couple of the more prophetic people if they had anything, but they didn’t. This was unusual. So we waited.

Then, quietly, a teenager in the back of the room giggled. Yeah, I thought, this is rather odd: all these adult believers can’t even pray for one woman’s back. I can see why she’d laugh.

And her laughter continued. She tried, for a moment, to stifle it, but that never works, and it didn’t work this time. OK, so she’s laughing. What is God saying, for how to pray for this back?

But the laughing teenager was herself funny, and a couple more people glanced at her and chuckled. And they fought it, and they, too, were unsuccessful. And the laughter spread. And nobody knew why.

And soon, nobody was even trying to pray for the woman’s strained back; we were just laughing, loudly, uproariously. We didn’t know why we were laughing, but it was clearly not something we had the capacity to stop!

And after four or five minutes of unrestrained hilarity, the laughter slowly faded back out, ending as it began, with the happy teenager in the corner. Maybe five or ten minutes had passed.

And the woman who had sat down with the hurt back now stood up and stretched. “Aaaah.” she announced. “That’s much better. No more pain. Thanks guys.” And she walked, confidently, completely upright, out to the kitchen for a fresh cup of tea.

We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, chuckled again, and decided that we like hanging out with a sneaky God.



Feeding from the Old Testament

What's gotten people in trouble for so many centuries, is reading the Old Testament, without reading it through the lens of Jesus. (I speak from experience. Learn from my error, please.)

I don't recommend trying to understand God from the Old Testament any longer UNTIL individuals demonstrate they've got a handle on the first three verses of Hebrews, the letter written to the people of the Old Testament, which declares,

"In these last days [God has] spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things,... being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person..."

Until you can recognize that Jesus is the "express image" of God, until I learn to interpret whatever I read from the Old Testament through the revelation of the Father that is Jesus, then I WILL misunderstand God's nature. You will too.

Personally, I no longer listen to Bible teachers who haven't figured this out. Whenever someone shouts, "God is like this!!!" and points to the Old Testament to declare something about Him that is not in the revelation of Jesus, then I smile and nod, and I delete them from my Facebook Feed, or put their books in the Goodwill bin.

I won't drink from that polluted well any more. There's no life in it.

The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady


I’d like to tell you the story of a friend of mine, whom I’ll call Chantelle.

Chantelle had just found a roommate and a nice apartment, and they were in the early stages of moving in, when she called me. “I’d like your help in praying over our apartment before we move in.” She and I had dealt with some things together before, and she understood that teamwork is valuable.

So we began to pray. We prayed over the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, and declared the destiny we heard Father speaking about for the rooms and their activity. During the prayer time, I slipped away, and tossed a large handful of Dove’s chocolates into her empty room, just so she’s find a nice surprise.

When we finished praying about the public rooms, we headed down the hallway, and we both felt something strange, an unhealthy, unclean presence back there, and we both felt it at the same point, right as the hallway turned the corner.

Cool! A teachable moment! So we discussed it, discussed what it felt like, and I proposed that we check the back rooms individually for more sense of it.

We checked her room first, and there was no sense of that particular darkness, but there were wrapped dark chocolates scattered on the floor. She laughed and picked up a couple of them, and we agreed that this room wasn’t the source for the sense of the unclean that we felt. She offered me a chocolate and we moved on.

We prayed over the bathroom, blessed it, and ruled it out as a source of darkness, and moved on, while she nibbled her chocolate.

The roommate’s room. As Chantelle opened her roommate’s door, we felt the unclean darkness inside. “Aha! I suspect we’ve found a clue!” The roommate wasn’t home, of course; she wasn’t a believer, and wouldn’t understand what we were doing. In fact, there was just a small stack of boxes in the middle of the room.

We discussed the situation. We both sensed that there was uncleanness on the walls, though they appeared a clean white to our eyes. Chantelle stepped into the room, spiritual senses wide open, looking to sense where the unclean stuff was coming from. The closet? Nope. The window? Nope? This place where the bed obviously went? Nope.

That left the boxes in the middle of the room. They were just moving boxes, and only two or three of them; they looked innocuous enough. She popped the last of the chocolate in her mouth and touched the top box. Bingo! This is where the darkness came from! As we talked about the source of the presence, she straightened out the foil that had wrapped her chocolate, and read the quote it contained: “You are exactly where you are supposed to be.” We laughed!

We didn’t get into the boxes; they weren’t our property, but we felt the need to address the darkness, particularly, the darkness clinging to the walls. So we prayed that it would be removed. Nothing happened. We commanded it to leave. Nothing. We prophesied blessing on the room and its future. Nada.

I had an idea. “Chantelle, why don’t you ask Father for the right weapon to remove the darkness?” She gave me a funny look, but we’d done stranger things than this together. She prayed, and I could see from the look on her face that she’d seen Him give her something.

“What is it? What did he give you?” She scowled. “A washrag.” We laughed some more.

But she began to wield the washrag that she saw in the Spirit against the darkness. In reality, she began to wash the walls with it, and it was the first time that we saw the darkness give way, though it was a fight.

After a few minutes, we recognized that this was going to take all night, and I couldn’t help her, as I was still standing in the hallway (out of respect for someone else’s room).

Another thought presented itself. “I wonder if that washrag is for you to wield, or if it’s for someone else?” We prayed. “An angel is to wield it.” “OK. Why don’t you invite that angel in?” She did, and she laughed. “What do you see?” “A cleaning lady!” We laughed some more.

So Chantelle handed the washrag to the cleaning lady angel, and invited her to wield the weapon. Immediately, she began washing the walls, and by the time Chantelle had reached the door to the room, the first wall was halfway clean; we could both feel the darkness lifting. That was better! We blessed the cleaning lady, and invited her to stay. It seemed to us that her assignment was the back of the apartment, particularly the hallway and the bedrooms.

We felt the freedom to invite a couple other angles to the house. A big armed one was stationed outside the downstairs entrance, and Chantelle assigned another, whom she named Cheese Grater Guy, to the front door, to remove any “Klingons” from guests to the home.

When we left, we looked back at the bedroom windows, and we both discerned what appeared to be a cleaning lady waving happily to us from the roommate’s window. We laughed and waved back.

The really fun part of the story came weeks later, when the roommate cautiously reported that she “could feel a presence” in the back hallway. Chantelle replied, “Yep, and she’s staying here! We’re not going to get rid of that one!”


And the cleaning lady likes cats. Both Chantelle and the roommate had pet cats, kittens, really, who loved to play with them. But from time to time, both women could see the cats in the hallway, playing with someone they couldn’t see with their natural eyes. 

Prostitution in the Church

Because of my nom de plume (“Northwest Prophetic”), people associate me with prophetic ministry. And as a result, I get a number of requests that I really don’t love.

Fairly often, someone – and it’s almost always someone I don’t know, very often someone whose Facebook friend request I’ve just accepted – will send a private message out of the blue. “I want a prophetic word. What is the word of the Lord for me?”

And it’s nearly always that abrupt. No “Hi, how are you doing?” No introduction to who they are or to their life and ministry, no respect for me as a human being, or as a child of God. Nearly always, the phrase “please” or “thank you” is not involved. Just “Gimme a word!” (and yes, sometimes it is that blunt). I’ve talked with some other prophets, and a number of them – especially those in social media – report similar experiences.

Our culture has a vocabulary for this, for when someone wants people to meet their urgent needs, but has no interest in relationship, or even common courtesy. We use words like “prostitute,” or “hireling,” or “servant” to describe the people that we disrespect, but we want them to meet our needs.

Honestly, I have to tell you, I don’t love prostitution. I really don’t love being propositioned to prostitute myself and my gift.

[I need to interject: asking for help from others in the body is NOT prostitution. But demanding that others meet your need, without the barest pretense of interest of them as a person, as a brother or sister, well, that sound a lot like prostitution to me.]

I was praying about this the other day (OK, fine! I was grumbling!) and Father listened quietly before he spoke. “It’s not just you, you know,” and he brought some others before my memory.

He pointed out that yes, prophetic people are dealing with this, but because the prophetic movement is relatively new, this prostitution of prophets is also relatively new. But the church is not new to prostituting her people.

Worship leaders, for one, have been prostituted for much longer than prophetic folks have been. Whenever Christians get together, there’s this urgent need that we Must Have Worship. Larger churches hire one (or more), and expect them to always be ready! I would argue that if our interest in them is only in what they can do for us, and not in them as a person, then we’re guilty.

It’s tragically funny when smaller groups, or outside-the-building groups get together, watching as they scramble to find someone able to Lead Worship. I can’t tell you the number of worship musicians who have described one measure or another of the prostitution syndrome. Recently, I invited a worship leader to a gathering in my home. When I suggested leave his guitar at home, but bring his family instead, it sounded like he almost cried.

We could go on and make a list, and it would include children’s workers, intercessors, youth pastors, sound guys, and others: the “little people,” people who often aren’t seen or thought about until somebody has an urgent need for something.

And of course, some groups, some people, some churches are more abusive and others are far more civilized. And of course, nobody (or perhaps “nobody in their right mind”) aspires to be a prophet or sound guy or children’s pastor or an intercessor for the money or for the respect. They follow that path because they can’t NOT follow that path, lest they shrivel up and die.

But it’s remarkably rare that these servants are respected anywhere nearly as the “real” leaders of the group. And if one of these folks has other gifts, those are pretty much ignored, unless that other gift is also on this list. (I’ve heard church boards look for youth pastors with a wife who can lead worship, so they can meet two urgent needs for the price of only one! I want to … speak firmly … with them for demeaning God’s children fn favor of their own desires!)

Lest this become a full-fledged rant, I’m going to change directions here.

First, I want to express my appreciation for the good people who serve God in these roles, despite the dishonoring ways of the people among whom you serve. Thanks for honoring our Father, and where you could, honoring your brothers and sisters.

Then I want to tell you that you are, in fact, every bit as important and as valuable as the trustees or the home group leader or the senior pastor or the TV preachers or the author or guest speaker or whoever. Your value as a child of God – your value as a human being – is equal to their value.

Finally, I’d like to invite all of us to treat our brothers and sisters with honor, with respect, with value. Our Father does. They deserve no less.