Vertical Church http://verticalct.com Inspire - Develop - Empower Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:38:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 January 29: To Uphold Righteousness and Justicehttp://verticalct.com/january-29-to-uphold-righteousness-and-justice/ http://verticalct.com/january-29-to-uphold-righteousness-and-justice/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:05:12 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=684

Seek the welfare of our region so there will be a spiritual climate for the gospel to expand rapidly. Pray for righteous leaders and just laws. Ask that governmental officials would gain God’s perspective on any injustices occurring in your area and revelation of how to solve them. Pray for the media to be honest, truthful, and report accurately the news that really matters in our region.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you (Psalm 89:14, NIV)

To close out our time of corporate fasting and personal devotions, we would like to invite you to a special Night of Worship and Prayer this Friday, January 30 at 7pm. This will be a powerful time to come together as a church family and reflect on what God as done in our lives this past few weeks. Hope to see you there!

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January 28: To Experience Revivalhttp://verticalct.com/january-28-to-experience-revival/ http://verticalct.com/january-28-to-experience-revival/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:05:36 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=681

Pray for a marketplace revival to sweep our region. Pray for revival to break out on your street, in schools, government, business, media, entertainment, and congregations. Ask the Lord to raise up dedicated Christians who will become a voice to reform our region.

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Ps. 85:6, AMPL) 

Revive us, and we will call upon Your name. O LORD God of hosts, restore us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. (Psalm 80:18–19; NASB95)

Our Part to See Revival 

It is pointed out that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is addressed specifically to Israel. That is true. But surely the passage shows God’s heart for any people, any land.

What does God want from us? First, we must humble ourselves. We must admit that God is God and we are not. We must submit to God and come to Him in brokenness and repentance.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Second, we must pray and seek God’s face. No revival or awakening comes without prayer. Extensive prayer. Fervent prayer. Corporate prayer. Continual prayer.

It is worth noting that the prayer here is focused on seeking God’s face and not God’s hand. We are seeking God for Himself and not for what He gives us. We are locked in on God’s glory, not on our need.

Third, we must turn from our wicked ways. God wants obedience not religious ceremony. We cannot just say the words of repentance and pray the prayers of repentance. We must do the deeds of repentance and obey God in every part of life.

If we do these three things, then God promises to respond in three ways. First, He will hear us. He will hear those prayers. Second, He will forgive our sin. He will remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. And third, God will heal our land. He will pour out His favor and blessing upon us. He will heal our land.

In 1861 Abraham Lincoln had just been elected President. The nation was tottering on the brink of war. There was cruel slavery in the land. The President faced widespread opposition and hostility. He issued a proclamation for our country, a proclamation which expresses the spirit of this passage.

“Whereas a joint committee of both houses of Congress has waited on the President of the United States and requested him to recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these states, his blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace. And whereas it is fit and becoming in all people at all times to acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God, to bow in humble submission to his chastisement, to confess and deplore their sins and transgression, in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their offenses and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action. Therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer and fasting, for all the people of the nation. And I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to all ministers and teachers of religion of all denominations, and to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day, according to their several creeds and modes of worship, in all humility, and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down plentiful blessings upon our country.”

 

To close out our time of corporate fasting and personal devotions, we would like to invite you to a special Night of Worship and Prayer this Friday, January 30 at 7pm. This will be a powerful time to come together as a church family and reflect on what God as done in our lives this past few weeks. Hope to see you there!

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January 27: To be Cleansed of Sinhttp://verticalct.com/january-27-to-be-cleansed-of-sin/ http://verticalct.com/january-27-to-be-cleansed-of-sin/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 05:05:46 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=678

Understand that a city or region cannot receive God’s blessing if it is built on sin and bloodshed. That type of foundation causes the people to labor and gain nothing. Pray, and ask that God’s mercy and forgiveness be poured out in our region for any sins that have been committed. Name and repent for any specific sins you are aware of such as injustices or covenant breaking.

Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. (Psalm 25:18; NASB95) 

I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ (Ne1:6b, 8-9 NIV)

Repent?  Who?  Me?

In a meeting of diverse Christian leaders someone said, “the church in our city needs to repent.” One response to the statement was, what do we need to repent for? Then the individual asking the question went on to talk about all the good things the church in that city was doing and finished by trying to make the case that there was not a need for repentance and the seeking of forgiveness from God but rather the favor of God was resting on the city.

1 John 1:8–10 — If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

The scriptures reveal the sinfulness of cities such as Sodom, Gomorrah, Nineveh and other cities too. Those that repented and turned to God were blessed and those that did not, well some of them do not even exist anymore.

God loves to take a sinful city and turn it into a revival center. He did just that in Antioch, Ephesus, Jerusalem, Nineveh and more recently in Cali Columbia, Fiji, Guatemala, Uganda, Brazil and hopefully very soon in Connecticut.

How does it happen that an entire community or city repents to the extent that it gets God’s attention and a transformation begins to occur? It begins by individuals getting honest with God confessing their sin and crying out to Him for forgiveness and freedom.

The real question is not, can it happen in our community, but will you allow it to happen in you?

This is day seventeen of our time of fasting and prayer. Seventeen is the number for victory; so let’s go for it by being honest before God about those things in our heart, confess our sins to Him and repent!

 

To close out our time of corporate fasting and personal devotions, we would like to invite you to a special Night of Worship and Prayer this Friday, January 30 at 7pm. This will be a powerful time to come together as a church family and reflect on what God as done in our lives this past few weeks. Hope to see you there!

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January 26: To Value Integrityhttp://verticalct.com/january-26-to-value-integrity/ http://verticalct.com/january-26-to-value-integrity/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:01:30 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=652

Pray that leaders in our area would uphold a standard of godliness in business dealings and financial planning. Ask God to strengthen their employees against the temptation to compromise. Pray that those in the workplace would walk in God’s ways and honor Him with their finances.

How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. (Psalm 112:1–5; NASB95)

…we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every good work (Col 1:9-10, NIV)

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January 25: To be a Habitation for God’s Presencehttp://verticalct.com/january-25-to-be-a-habitation-for-gods-presence/ http://verticalct.com/january-25-to-be-a-habitation-for-gods-presence/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:01:50 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=645

Lift your neighbors before the Lord, asking for God’s presence to fill the atmosphere, making it conducive for God to speak and work in the lives of all who live around you. Pray for your neighbors by name, asking God to reveal Himself to each one.

Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3; NASB95) 

For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, (Psalm 95:7–8; NASB95)

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing (1 Tim 2:8, AMPL) 

Our Community to be a Habitation for God’s Presence 

Matthew 13:58 …. and he did not do many miracles there …. Oh how that breaks my heart because I so desire that God be active in my community! Therefore, I must pray.

Several times in scripture we see God looking for a person who will stand in the gap for a people, a nation and for the land. He desires to come with blessing, healing and salvation and is looking for someone, or a group of someones, to agree with Him by paving the way for His coming in prayer.

The Biblical record reveals the Lord descended with His presence on Nineveh, Antioch, Ephesus, Jerusalem as well as other cities too. Today, we have documented reports of the same kind of Divine activity in over 1000 communities in the past several years.

The thought resounds why not here; why not now? It is possible because our heavenly Father wants to exalt His Son over our community! There is not a formula to accomplish this but there are some things we should give ourselves to as we invite Him to come. Christian researchers have discovered all 1000 communities that are experiencing God’s abiding presence have five things in common. Here they are in bullet form:

  • Persevering spiritual leadership.
  • United efforts of prayer
  • Social Justice and reconciliation, compassion evangelism
  • Public Power Encounters
  • Spiritual Mapping / Diagnostic Research… what’s going on in your community, what are the desperate needs?

So, let’s get to it! Find out who the spiritual leaders of our community are and pray for them regularly. Attend community wide prayer events where Christians gather to pray for the community. Pray for social justice and compassion efforts to rise up and be successful. Join in public displays of your faith with other believers. Lastly, ask God to give wisdom about transforming the underlying issues in our community where powers and principalities derive their power.

 

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January 24: To Prepare Our Members to be Agents of Transformationhttp://verticalct.com/january-24-to-prepare-our-members-to-be-agents-of-transformation/ http://verticalct.com/january-24-to-prepare-our-members-to-be-agents-of-transformation/#comments Sat, 24 Jan 2015 05:05:28 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=639

Pray that our congregation would join with others across the area to equip the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry, transform their spheres of influence, and impact the world for Christ in publicly meaningful and tangible ways. Pray for a foundation in the Word of God to be laid again in the lives of Christians and for the restoration of Biblical principles in God’s people in our  area.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes.  It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forever. (Psalm 133:1–3; NASB95)

His intention was the perfecting and full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), that they should do the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church) (Ephesians 4:12 AMPL)

 

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January 23: To Be Served By Visionary Leadershttp://verticalct.com/january-23-to-be-served-by-visionary-leaders/ http://verticalct.com/january-23-to-be-served-by-visionary-leaders/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 05:05:05 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=634

Ask God to give the pastors and church leaders prophetic vision for the New Year. Pray that the Lord would revitalize each leader and his family spiritually, physically, and mentally. Pray that the Lord would prepare “fresh bread” for them to serve God’s people and that they would speak with one voice. Ask God to show them how they can speak to the issues of the day with boldness and truth and as such become reformers for society’s problems.

He rained down manna upon them to eat And gave them food from heaven. (Psalm 78:24 NASB95)

I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me (Habakkuk 2:1, NIV)

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January 22: To Receive a Fresh Outpouring of God’s Spirithttp://verticalct.com/january-22-to-receive-a-fresh-outpouring-of-gods-spirit/ http://verticalct.com/january-22-to-receive-a-fresh-outpouring-of-gods-spirit/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 05:05:26 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=630

Ask God to prepare your congregation with a new wineskin in order to receive the new wine He wants to pour out upon His people this year. Invite the Lord to sweep “the house” clean of any impurities and welcome His Holy Spirit to come in a fresh new way.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:2 NASB95)

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7 NASB95)

To Receive a Fresh Outpouring of God’s Spirit

It seems for many believers a major disconnect occurs between the heart and mind. “The longest foot in the universe is from our head to our heart”. That being said a fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit is greatly connected to our conscious awareness of His indwelling. John’s gospel states clearly the sending of the Holy Spirit, “the Comforter” for encounter not only with us but to dwell (live His life) IN US. We must be aware of His presence more than our sin.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:5 )

Jesus having become sin for us dealt the death blow to sin’s hold on us. Now the removal of the residue of sin’s power is no less than Christ promise to us.

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:11) 

There are many word pictures or descriptions of the Holy Spirit; one is WATER. Notice the request from the Psalm 51 is for “another” to wash, cleanse, and purify us. The very work of the Spirit invokes the idea of cleansing or purifying by literally being the “Living Water” flowing in power from within. Also Ephesians speaks of Christ and His bride “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word”. The living water and living word are ever present to do their work; we simply must say “YES” to His will and way in us and through us!

The new wineskins spoken of in Mark can refer to fresh governing or new governing of our lives. When the new spiritual “mind-set” being the awareness of Christ’s promise is fixed, fresh outpouring, “New Wine” will follow. When new wine comes “times of refreshing” in the Spirit of the Lord will overcome and overtake us with breakthrough in all aspects of our lives and those we influence. Sure did on the Day of Pentecost and throughout the book of Acts. Jesus started the church the way he wanted it, NOW He wants the church the way He started it! He wants us saturated with FRESH OUTPOURING!

 

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January 21: To be Healed and Reconciledhttp://verticalct.com/january-21-to-be-healed-and-reconciled/ http://verticalct.com/january-21-to-be-healed-and-reconciled/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 06:00:09 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=615

Pray for the healing of families in our church. Ask God to send a revival to families, causing many in entire bloodlines to become born again. Ask God to restore any broken marriages of which you are aware. Pray for reconciliation between parents and children and to repair breaches among other family members.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. (Psalm 107:20; NASB95) He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3; NASB95)

Turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers… (Malachi 4:6, NKJV) 

REAL HEALING AND RECONCILIATION OCCURS WHEN WE RECOGNIZE WE ARE EXACTLY WHERE GOD WANTS US TO BE.

The Scripture says in Matthew 4:1, “Jesus was led up by the (Holy) Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil”. It was God the Holy Spirit that placed Jesus in that desert for that particular time. There are no mistakes in God’s plan. There is no plan B. We only know His complete plan for our lives as we look backward.

Sometimes, circumstances beyond our control can push us off the thin wire we walk on in this thing called life. It could be the ringing of a phone, a knock on the door, a text, an email. We fall immediately into worry and fear that separates us from God, from our friends, our spouses, etc.

How can we not worry or fear when our outflow exceeds our income, when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, when layoffs occur at the company and our name is on the list, when our child is hurt or even killed, our spouse wants to walk out. What is our hope, where do we look for guidance in times like that?

We must pray to the One who has control over everything. We must ask Him to do what only He can do. And, we must consult the Scriptures for guidance and hope. Remember these folks:

  • Hagar, a single mom, was forced into a desert with her boy to die of thirst.
  • Joseph, desiring to be used of God, was seized, stripped, sold, and imprisoned in Egypt.
  • David, anointed by Samuel, was pursued by Saul’s army.
  • Most of the Lord’s disciples, who followed the Lord’s command to evangelize the world, died horrible deaths.
  • The Lord Himself, fulfilling the Father’s will, was nailed on a cross until dead.

Peter wrote in I Peter 4:12, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. . .” In other words, we should not be surprised when we find ourselves trapped in painful, frightening, difficult, or impossible situations. As a matter of fact, these things are to be expected in this venture of following Christ.

If we are in a time of trial, He is here. Our precious eternal Lord is here–He is the One who has promised never to leave or forsake us, never to forget or abandon us. So if we find ourselves in a difficult spot of needing healing and reconciliation, against all evidence to the contrary, there’s no better place to be.

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January 20: To Serve God Togetherhttp://verticalct.com/january-20-to-serve-god-together/ http://verticalct.com/january-20-to-serve-god-together/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 06:00:57 +0000 http://verticalct.com/?p=600

If you have never prayed, worshipped, or shared communion together as a family unit or with close friends, or if you have gotten away from this habit, consider how you can begin this practice regularly. Set aside time today to pray with at least one other family member or close friend and declare,

It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, (Psalm 92:1; NIV84)

I will serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. (Psalm 100:2; NASB95)

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15, NKJV)

 

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