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Gaps

Posted by on Jun 1, 2020 in Ferguson, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Gaps

[How can YOU, as an intercessor, make a difference regarding the sea of unrest roiling in our nation? Because of our current situation, I have decided to post the series I originally wrote in August, 2014, during the crisis in my neighboring town of Ferguson. It is my hope that this teaching will assist you as you make a difference in prayer for our country. Originally posted August 14, 2014]

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30, KJV; emphasis added

Let’s take a closer look at gaps: What are they, what is your responsibility concerning them, and how do you interact with them?

Gaps—what are they?

A gap is a gaping hole in a hedge—an unprotected opening through which bad things can gain access to a person, a relationship, a family, a church, a community, a people group, or a nation. The original gap was sin—Adam and Eve blasted a gap in the protective “bubble” surrounding the human race by disobeying God. Ever since then, sin has been the common denominator for all gaps, both large and small. And the common denominator for closing the gap blown opened by Adam and Eve—and every subsequent gap—is Jesus Christ.

Gaps exist wherever there are people. They happen because the devil wants access to lives—saved and unsaved alike. Conflicts between husbands and wives, if not dealt with appropriately, create gaps. Hurts, misunderstandings, miscommunication, and the like can tear open gaps between friends, neighbors, and colleagues. I call these “micro-gaps” due to the limited number of people involved. How do you approach these micro-gaps? Simply, you pray and then you obey; you stand your ground in love before God and you walk by faith—not by feelings or by sight.

Macro-gaps also exist, affecting hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions of souls. Very likely each one of these gaps began as micro-gaps—unresolved conflicts between two parties which eventually became infected by unforgiveness, bitterness, and unrepentant, hardened hearts. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled (Hebrews 12:15, emphasis added) In effect, this is how micro-gaps morph into macro-gaps

Here are some of the glaring macro-gaps in today’s world: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; terrorism; racial conflict; culture war; political polarities; etc. How do these issues qualify as gaps? They are openings through which the devil has gained entrance to create turmoil, confusion, terror, destruction, and the like. They are opportunities for Satan to create a smokescreen, obscuring the gospel. They are openings through which ungodly men and women gain access to positions of influence so as to steer entire cultures away from both godly values and the Lord Himself. Have you noticed any gaps in your world lately?

Gaps—what is your responsibility concerning them?

Because of the immense number of gaps on every hand, recognize that you won’t be able to cover everything you see. But as certain issues pop up on your “radar”—especially repeatedly—you can be certain that those are gaps in which you are to stand in prayer. Trust God to direct you to those specific people and issues about which to pray. Then believe that He will lead you as you pray.

Due to the avalanche of issues out there, I frequently ask God to orchestrate the prayers of believers all over the nation and around the world, divvying up all the various situations, people, and crises, depositing them separately into all the different hearts so that every gap gets plugged and every broken hedge gets addressed. A great company of men, women, boys, and girls are called by the name of Christ; if each one of us prays our part, then much will be accomplished.

You may ask, How much time should I pray about an issue or a person? You pray about it until it lifts off of you or until it resolves. This doesn’t mean, though, that you do nothing else but pray; you set aside time to pray specifically and you pray as you go about your business. This is one reason I like to pray in the Spirit quietly as I move through my day—I keep my spirit open to input from God, making myself available to pray when He brings something up.

And although you’re responsible to pray and stand in the gaps He assigns to you, you need to stay balanced. If you get “heavied out”, back off for a while. Talk with someone. Sing. Laugh. Have fun. Eat a good meal. Get some sleep. If you wipe yourself out as an intercessor, you diminish your effectiveness. You aren’t God; He is, and He’s the only One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. You will need to give it a break from time to time—and then, just like a soldier who has been on leave—after you have rested, you return once again to the front lines.

Gaps—how do you interact with them?

Once you become aware of a gap, simply ask God how He wants you to pray. If you can, pray in tongues as you think about it. The Holy Spirit will direct you. It may lift off of you quickly; that’s OK. A lot of the time, you will be a “stop-gap” gap-stander. In other words, you may be led to pray about something in passing. Sometimes that’s all the Lord leads you to do; perhaps you’re plugging the gap while some other intercessor takes a break. God has all the angles covered; your part and mine is to be ready and willing to participate however He leads.

In the case of the Ferguson, Missouri, situation, I know that I’m supposed to stand for the dissipation of chaos and the resolution of conflict. It’s my region that’s under attack; I must stand for my people—both black and white. I could shrug it off, denying any responsibility to pray by saying that God is sovereign and His way will prevail, but to do so ignores the fact that He searches for folks to stand in the gap.

So how do you stand in the gap? You pray, both in the Spirit and with the understanding. You pray the Word over the situation. You make time to pray; you pray quietly as you go about your day. When God brings light, you pray what you see; when He speaks to your heart, you pray what you hear. If you get no direction, you trust God and pray for His intervention. If your faith is wavering, you build it by feeding on the Word and praying in the Holy Spirit. And you stand, refusing to believe that the situation is hopeless. And you stand, resisting the temptation to throw in the towel. And you stand; having done everything to stand, you stand.

Know that your Father girds you up as you stand. “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10). Although this verse speaks of financial seed, know that as you pray for crisis situations by the leading of the Holy Spirit (often far harder on the flesh than giving money), you are sowing precious seeds of life and deliverance. And He—who has given you that seed to sow directly in the gap of the hedge—will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and He will increase the harvest of your righteousness—a tall, robust hedge!

That’s how you stand in the gap.

Dorothy

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13

© 2014, Dorothy Frick; revised 2020

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Gap-standing

Posted by on May 31, 2020 in Ferguson, Prayer Perspective | 2 comments

In mid-August of 2014, I wrote a series of blog entries focused on praying for Ferguson, Missouri, and seeking God to turn the tide of chaos hitting this region. I believe that now is the time to revisit that series.

My goal is that you will be inspired and encouraged to “pray your part” and that you will recognize that your prayers will indeed make a difference—even in our current situation.

[Originally posted on August 13, 2014.]

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30, KJV

The recent turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, has hit national and international news. And while pundits, leaders, personalities, and citizens give their opinions to awaiting microphones and cameras, another stream of focus has hit Heaven—men and women are taking their stand in the gap.

The last clause of Ezekiel 22:30 is terribly sad. “I found no one,” lamented the living God concerning His search for an intercessor. However, the seriousness of our times compounded by the critical events in St. Louis—the heart of America—have brought many sincere men and women to their knees, crying out to the God of all things to intervene with His mighty power and unquenchable love.

“And I sought for a man among them…”

God searches for people. One type of person for whom He looks is someone who will stand in the gap, praying and interceding for others.

“… a man among them, that should make up the hedge…”

God looks for a man (or a woman) who will make up the hedge. What is the hedge? According to Strong’s Concordance, this is the Hebrew word “gader” and simply means a fence or a wall. Enemies are deterred by hedges, walls, and fences surrounding those they seek to harm.
What is it that God wants the man or woman to do with the hedge? He wants them to “make up” the hedge. “Gadar” is the Hebrew word for “making up” and means “to wall up, wall off, close off, build a wall [or] to shut off”.

Consider societal unrest. Somehow, violence and lawlessness exalts itself over a population, victimizing a community or region with anger, fear, and chaos. The restraining effects of discipline, decorum, and lawfulness have somehow fallen apart, and God wants the hedge of protection rebuilt and repaired because of His great protective love for the people. This is accomplished by walling up, walling off, closing off, and shutting off the community in question from the ravages of the destroyer—sometimes literally (as in the boarding up of broken windows in looted businesses). But this “hedge making-up” enterprise is also—and always—to be enacted in the realm of the Spirit as intercession is offered by someone on behalf of those lacking full hedge-coverage. Effective gap-standing prayer takes place right where the hedge has been trampled down.

“…and stand in the gap before me for the land…”

God has been talking about a hedge in need of repair. This hedge has a gap. “Perets” is the Hebrew word which is used, and it means a breach or a bursting forth—similar to when a dam breaks and water spills out. In other words, a gap in a hedge is a great big hole. And you know what holes allow: They allow that which is good on the inside to leak out and get lost, and they open the door to let the wickedness outside come flooding in.

What does the Lord instruct His man or woman to do about the gap? Does He lead them to wring their hands and worry? Does He tell them to condemn the hedge?

No. Once the intercessor is made aware of the gap, he is to stand in it. As the trampled hedge is repaired, the intercessor is to remain in the gap, plugging it up until it is rebuilt. This word “stand” is “`amad” which indicates to take a stand, to remain and endure, and to hold your ground. As you stand in the gap, you are blocking the devil from gaining continued entrance into a volatile or destructive situation. You are restraining him and his lawlessness as you stand in the hedge’s gap.

God is seeking today for a man or woman among us to make up the hedge and to stand in the gap, and I believe that He is finding an army of us in this hour. In fact, I believe that every living member of the Body of Christ has gap-standing assignments every day on behalf of lost and hurting humanity. And despite the critical nature of those gaps to which you are led, the God before whom you stand is quite capable of shaping your prayers and granting you effectiveness as you stand in the gap in the hedge.

You are called to be a gap-stander in this hour. You are a repairer of the hedge. May God grant you effectiveness as you stand before Him.

Dorothy

“Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” Isaiah 58:12

© 2014, Dorothy Frick; revised 2020

**[All Hebrew definitions are from www.BlueLetterBible.Org]

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Encountering trials

Posted by on May 20, 2020 in Daily walk, Help from God, James 1, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Encountering trials

I cracked open my Bible today to James 1. This section jumped right out at me:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Consider it all JOY?? If you are anything like the various people I’ve been keeping up with, your life is getting hit from all sides with varying levels of agitation, piles of distraction, a suffocating sense of cabin fever, perhaps overwhelming grief or loneliness, concerns about finances and health, and the creeping helplessness of uncertainty. I could list all of the things hitting me, but your list is probably longer and more intense! HELP!

But when I gazed on that phrase, consider it all joy, it brought a smile to my face and a sense of relief to the pit of my stomach. Oh, yeah!! I remembered. God is capable of helping me through all of this!

Yup. The trials are here. We are all encountering them, big and small, piled up and weighing us down with all the typical symptoms of stress and anxiety. That means every one of us qualifies for this James 1 exhortation, and the good news is this: We will emerge on the other side of every one of these trials!

You and I may not see instant results, though. That’s OK, because the main ingredient in making it successfully through any trial that hits you (next to leaning hard on Jesus) is ENDURANCE. Perseverance. Not giving up. Knowing that this trial—and all of these trials—will be behind you at some point.

You have made it through past trials. God steadied you, covered you, assisted you…He was there with you back then; He is with you now. He is faithful. That is what you nail your endurance to—His faithfulness to you. Bind yourself to that Rock with the good sturdy rope of Truth and refuse to untie it. He will see you through every one of these tests, both great and small. He loves you.

As you hunker down in tight proximity with Him, endurance will be working on your behalf by the hand of God. Oh, so subtly, but oh, so thoroughly, endurance will have its perfect work. You will make it through Trial 1. You will make it through Trial 2. You will make it through Trial 3….and all the rest of those attacks against your peace, your health, your finances, your sanity, your loved ones, and maybe even your very life.

Most of all, though, you will have walked through this season—perhaps while feeling like a total loser—choosing to fix not only your gaze but your entire being as well on the Capable One who loves you and is willing to hold you close. As you do, my friend, you will find at the end of this onslaught of piled up trials, that you will be perfect (as opposed to destroyed) and complete, lacking nothing.

May God, the Capable One, help all of us.

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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The winds are blowing

Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Everyday Observations | Comments Off on The winds are blowing

Today I passed by two different bird’s nests, violently spilled upon the ground. Nearby the second lay a blue egg, never to burst forth with feathered life. Instantly I realized that yesterday’s high winds had casualties: They swept away both home and offspring for more than one bird.

My mind shifted to a biblical application: During “interesting” times this one thing is of utmost importance—upon what have you been building your “home”?

Are you basing your decisions and hopes on shifting sand (or vulnerable, branching outliers of popular thought)? Or are you building your life on the solid, wind-resistant bedrock of the One who created the wind, ground, rocks, and branches?

His Word is a sanctuary in times of peace; during the storm. His Word is a living refuge of protection.

Be cautious as you build. The winds are blowing.

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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The Parable of the Little Black Cat

Posted by on Apr 17, 2020 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on The Parable of the Little Black Cat

Most of the world has been sheltering in place for a month or so now. While in isolation, I am becoming increasingly aware of how easy it is to let life’s distractions, the media, and an urge to just numb out swallow my attention away from my first love, the Lord.

Recently, He illustrated to me how that makes Him feel. I’ve read in the Bible several times that He is a jealous God. He longs for a reciprocal intimate relationship with people; yet throughout history, humans have tended to prioritize anything but Him. And here I am, in isolation, glad that His consistent love for me will never change, but at the same time, I’ve been rather oblivious about how those lulls in my attention may affect Him.

I hope this parable helps you to see how God simply wants your friendship and love…and for you to be as attentive to Him as He is to you.

Enter Remington Emerald, aka, Remmy, a little black cat I adopted two months ago on Valentines Day. It is through a recent experience with him that I present to you

The Parable of the Little Black Cat

One day not too long ago, a little black cat was adopted by a human. This cat, who once lived in a cage in a large room filled with cages, was so thankful that he now had his own home and his own human. He had freedom now to explore and play and eat and sleep—and to love and be loved by his human.

He frequently found his human throughout the day to meow a greeting, purr at her feet, or jump into her lap to be snuggled and loved.

He also liked to look out the back door at squirrels and birds. His human thought, “This cat would like to have a platform to sit on as he looks out the window.” So she set a stool by the door.

Soon, she decided to surprise him with a special box—a fluffy platform with a toasty cubbyhole beneath—so he could be cozy and warm while looking outside.

The day arrived when the special box showed up at the little black cat’s home. He had become very familiar with his surroundings and his human by this time, so when the human set the wonderfully cushiony box by the door, he knew instantly that it was his.

Quick as a wink he dashed into the cubbyhole inside the box and curled up for a snooze. His human went about her day, and from time to time peeked into the box to check on the little cat. Yes, he was still there.

Time went by; the human saw less and less of the little black cat. She attempted to interest him in looking outside at squirrels and birds; he glimpsed disinterestedly for a second or two and then turned to slip back into the box.

The human noticed that the cat was purring less; he was less interested in sitting at her feet or jumping into her lap. The box had become the cat’s entire world.

The human moved the box to a different spot in the house. The cat simply followed and scrambled back into his fluffy cubbyhole.

When the human realized that the little cat hadn’t purred when she petted him in several days, she became concerned. “What is wrong, little cat?”

He only lifted disinterested eyes and curled up deeper in the back of the box.

The human began to feel a strange emotion: Jealousy. “The little cat loves a box more than me!” she thought. “This must not continue! I adopted this little cat for friendship. I adopted this cat to love! I must do something.”

When the cat was busy with his dinner, the human took the box and hid it in a closed room. The cat noticed and ran to the closed room, pawing and scratching at the door. He moped and stared at the door the rest of the night. He was still nosing frantically under the closed door as the human turned out the light to go to sleep.

The next morning, the little cat meowed a greeting, purred at the human’s feet, and soon jumped into her lap, purring contentedly.

What do you know? The cat started looking out the window again at the squirrels and birds, he played heartily with his toys, and once again, he was thankful to have his own home…and his own human.

May we, too, recognize those things in our lives that we love more than God, and simply let them go.

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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