ReFRESH® South

For Those Who Thirst For Revival

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Devotional for Day 26 – September 26, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Pastor Daesop Yoon, OPHIR (Orange Prayer House – Int’l Reach) New South Wales / Korean missionary pastor in Australia
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Intention:
Jesus prayed a prayer for the unity of all believers, the children of God. What should be our response to His prayer for oneness?

Scripture:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21 NKJV)

Reflection:
One of the biggest challenges for the Church today is how we might become one united family under one God, just as our God is an undivided Body of the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 indicates that He desires that all believers on earth be included in the beautiful oneness of the family of God, their heavenly Father. The Bible describes the beauty of the unity of a family in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”.

One reason why Jesus was lifted up on the cross was to gather all His children together under the grace of the Father God. It is the declaration that God Himself has completely removed all the barriers that prevent God’s children from coming together. The biggest barrier was sin and guilt. This then caused barriers like brokenness in human relationships; divisions and hatred among God’s people caused by their sins and unforgiveness toward one another. The cross is the declaration by God Himself that He has accepted all His children by paying the price for our sins and by forgiving all our transgressions.

Therefore Jesus’ prayer for oneness means we need to love and accept one another as we come into the Father’s house. Jesus has done His part of the oneness prayer by giving up His own life on the cross. Now it’s our turn to do our part. That is to nail our pride, our ego, our own agendas, our hurts and wounds on the cross and be crucified with Jesus and walk in a new life of unity with all of God’s children. His love is the perfect bond of this unity. (Colossians 3:14)

Jesus prayed, “that they also may be one in Us.” Yes, the Father will answer this prayer and we, as believers, can become one and be in His love and embrace.

Pray this Prayer:
Father, we thank You that You have forgiven all our sins by allowing Jesus Christ to die on the cross. We believe Jesus paid the price for our sins against You, which was too big for us to pay with anything we have. And yet, we see the little debts of our brothers and sisters and find it difficult to forgive. We see the little differences of our brothers’ opinions of the interpretation of Bible verses and stand apart from each other. Therefore, we are divided and do not experience the power and beauty of the oneness of the God’s family. Father, we repent and turn to You and Your heart of grace and love. Help us in our weakness. We are poor in heart. Come and help us with your Holy Spirit. Bond us together by Your love. Amen.

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Devotional for Day 25 – September 25, 2013

Margaret Whyte Dravikula of Scotland and Fiji, formerly missionary in the South Pacific
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Intention:
Who is there to stand in the gap and intercede for the nations, for the lost, the poor and needy and the unborn?

Scripture:
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)

Reflection:
In the days of Ezekiel, God was looking for a godly leader who could stand in the gap and intercede for the people. Jeremiah had a similar search and could not find one (Jeremiah 5:1-6). Isaiah also failed to find an intercessor. Isaiah laments that “The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene.” (Isaiah 59:15-16 NIV)

Praying makes a difference. Prayer changed the dynamic and invites the Lord to get involved. Prayer opens the gates, the windows and the doors for the Lord to act. We may feel like our small prayers do not count for much. But one righteous person standing in the gap could have saved Jerusalem from destruction (Jeremiah 5:1). God will work because of one! (James 5:16)

Standing in the gap is more than praying for those who have not yet heard the gospel. As Isaiah 59:15 shows, intercession is also about interceding for social justice. This was one area where Israel went wrong. They did not stand in the gap for the poor and needy and they oppressed the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow (Ezekiel 22:7). Living out the gospel we believe calls us to care about the needy in our cities.
Intercessory prayer is not passive, it is active. When our hearts break for the nations who are dying to a lost eternity, when we live alongside those in need and see their poverty, when we think of the unborn children not given a chance to live, we can stand in the gap. We can make a difference. We can pray.

Pray this Prayer:
Dear Lord, thank You that when we come to You in honest prayer on behalf of others that You hear. Help us to deeply feel the needs of the nations, spiritually and physically. Help us to get alongside and stand in the gap for those who need You and are born into cultures who have never heard the good news. We also pray for those who need justice and relief from poverty and crippling debt, for those suffering hunger, disease, war and famine. We intercede for the widows, the orphans and the fatherless and for those who have never had a chance to live. We invite You to act on their behalf. Thank You for hearing our prayer. Amen.

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Devotional for Day 24 – September 24, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Sue Tinworth, PIPES (Partners in Prayer and Evangelism)
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Intention:
Our sensitive repentance is an imperative in our passionate pursuit of intimacy with God. He draws us gently and encompasses us completely.

Scripture:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what You were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to me, all You who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ ” (Matthew 11:25-30 NIV)

Reflection:
The more pure hearted we become, the more we see God. It is our Father’s will that we know Him as His sons and it is our privilege, through grace, to repent from everything that separates us from Him. When we rest deeply in His fullness and fix our gaze upon Him, we become more like Him. All obstacles, all that separates us from Him, all that is not love, in us, dissolves in the light of His glory. Then, others can see our Father and be drawn to His loving kindness.

Pray this Prayer:
Heavenly Father, You are my Beloved. All I am I offer you. Consume me, that only what pleases You remain as my gift to You, Jesus, that this beloved but needy world might see You and know You as Lord and Savior. Convict us and grant us repentance, worldwide, so the nations may be transformed and experience the abundant life that brings glory to You.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.
1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.

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Devotional for Day 23 – September 23, 2013

David Bereit, 40 Days for Life
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Intention:
Pray that God will awaken in His people a full awareness of the abortion crisis, and that they will respond to His call to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Scripture:
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?” (Proverbs 24:11-12, NIV)

Reflection:
Abortion has become the leading cause of death worldwide, ending the lives of more than 42 million babies around the world every year. More lives are lost annually to abortion than to war, hunger, cardiovascular disease, or AIDS. Every child that dies is precious in God’s sight – made in His image and likeness. In addition to the millions of babies who perish, millions of women are harmed each year by abortion. Some are killed by abortions, many are physically scarred, and all of the millions having abortions are wounded emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

No different than Christian persecution in China or genocide in Darfur, once we become aware of a grave abuse of human rights anywhere in the world, we can no longer say we didn’t know. Lives are at stake, and we are called to respond.

As we pray – and as we work to end the worldwide injustice of abortion – God will hear, and He will move mightily. I have witnessed this first hand. From just one hour of prayer around an old wooden table in Texas, God birthed the 40 Days for Life movement, which has since grown to more than half a million volunteers in 501 cities around the world over the last six years. 7,536 lives have been spared from abortion, 38 abortion facilities have gone out of business, and 83 workers have experienced conversions and quit their jobs in the abortion industry.

All because God’s people acknowledged the abortion crisis … and were willing to rescue those mother and babies at risk.

What can God do through YOU, as you pray – and work – to end abortion?

Pray this prayer today:
Lord, help me to see all children as you see them – as precious, unique gifts made in your image and likeness. Break my heart over the loss of these babies through abortion.
Help me resolve today to never be silent when human life is at risk. Help me to do everything I can to rescue those at risk of abortion, and to work until that day when no more women cry, and no more children die from abortion. I ask this in your most holy name, Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

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Devotional for Day 22 – September 22, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Lynne Bartholomew, Southampton Vineyard Church, United Kingdom
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Intention:
In the beginning God made the heavens, the earth and people. He made everything beautiful. He was and is delighted with what He has made.

Scripture:
“A voice crying in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low, the uneven ground shall become level and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” (Isaiah 40:3-5 NRSV)

Reflection:
When God created the world His intention was clear. It was to be filled with people who would be responsible on this earth, walk in fellowship with Him, and live for His glory. Humbly and willingly serving our Maker in this way, all would live in peace with Him and each other.

How far we have strayed. We have sinned against His commands, wronged one another, poorly stewarded His creation, polluted our rivers, and put our selfish will above His perfect will. Yet all this pales into insignificance at what has happened to our souls and minds. The fallen world has misled the hearts of His people, blinding us to His will, leading us to live according to greed, corruption and selfishness. Instead of beauty we see injustice, poverty, slavery, and lawlessness. The grace and joy of the abundance life in Christ is replaced with the grime of our sin.

Yet He loves us with an unending, caring devotion. The LORD has not given up on this world or its people and neither should we. What He began in creation, He will bring to completion. He longs to forgive, renew our hearts and minds and bring us into His will.

Pray this Prayer:
Mighty and wonderful God, we have fallen so far and failed so pitifully. Forgive us we pray about the part we have played in allowing our culture to sink so low. Forgive us for the unborn lives lost through abortion, the poor, widows, and fatherless neglected in our cities. Forgive us for the poverty, starvation, death and decay we see all around us. May we become instrumental in bringing renewal to the world. We ask this, oh Lord not because we are good, but because You are faithful. Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.

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Devotional for Day 21 – September 21, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Pastor Jim Botomani Mbewe, Malawi Assemblies of God, Malawi
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Intention:
God is calling on us to pray effectively.

Scripture:
“Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged.” (Luke 18:1 GNT)

Reflection:
The parable of the persistent widow told by Jesus (Luke 18:1-8) presents us with helpful insights on effective intercession.

The woman comes from a lower status. She had no name in the society. She had no money to pay a lawyer. She had nothing to show. She was completely desperate. The woman had no possibility of a solution to her case except the judge. Likewise effective prayer comes from a desperate person. She was someone with no possibility of a solution elsewhere except from God. Effective prayer presents a believer with his vulnerability and his weaknesses before God. Effective prayer overcomes all forms of self-sufficiency. It comes from a person who empties himself of dependence on his own knowledge and abilities to allow the righteousness of Jesus and the Spirit of God to take over his prayers (Romans 8:26-27). Through such effective prayer, God receives all the glory. In this kind of prayer, He has no competitor.

The woman was denied justice on several attempts, but she did not give up. She kept on knocking on the door of this wicked judge and kept pleading with him. Effective prayer does not give up on God. Unlike this wicked judge, we have a caring and listening Heavenly Father. Though, at times, according to His most Holy and Wise Counsel, He does not answer immediately, but deepens our relationship with Him. He does so to help shift us from being transactional in our approach to being relational. Jesus connects the persistence of this woman with her faith and says to His disciples, “Now, will God not judge in favor of His own people who cry to Him day and night for help?” (Luke 18:7 GNT) Effective prayer focuses faith on Christ, not on us.

Pray this Prayer:
Father, we thank You that You are a loving and caring God! We humbly present ourselves as we are. We confess all forms of self-sufficiency in our praying and our lack of desperation. We allow You to take over. Redirect us and help us overcome all slowness and slackness. We ask You to help us pray with persistence in the power of the Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

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Devotional for Day 20 – September 20, 2013

Annie Cathcart, Australia Toowoomba Regional Prayer Network & Global Prayer Connections
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Intention:
Prayers can’t be answered unless they are prayed.

Scripture:
So He said to his disciples, “The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. Pray to the Owner of the harvest that He will send out workers to gather in His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38 GNT)

Reflection:
I found this old poem in my files, and it is so true:

“A life without a purpose is barren indeed
THERE CAN’T BE A HARVEST UNLESS YOU PLANT SEEDS
There can’t be attainment unless there’s a goal
And man’s but a robot unless there’s a soul
If we send no ships out, no ships will come in
and unless there’s a contest, nobody can win
For games can’t be won unless they are played
AND PRAYERS CAN’T BE ANSWERED UNLESS THEY ARE PRAYED.”

Billy Graham once said, “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.” And Max Lucado writes, “God’s power is unleashed when God’s people pray.” Can I urge you then to pray to the Lord of the harvest for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? For when we pray we CAN EXPECT GOD TO ANSWER OUR PRAYERS. We can be sure that He wants to answer our prayers, but we need to pray!

Pray this Prayer:
Lord of the Harvest, please forgive us of our prayerlessness. I pray that You will raise up a prayer army throughout the nations of the world. Call many more people into this army so we will see a great harvest of souls throughout the nations of the earth. MAY YOUR KINGDOM COME AND YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.

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Devotional for Day 19 – September 19, 2013

Dave Butts, Harvest Prayer Ministries and America’s National Prayer Committee
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Intention:
That we might truly enter into God’s provided rest.

Scripture:
“There remains then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV)

Reflection:
The author of Hebrews spends the entire fourth chapter dealing with the Sabbath rest of the people of God. In verse 10 he writes, “…for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work.” As we rest from our works, God’s work is highlighted and He receives all the glory and praise. We enter into His rest, which is not a cessation of activity on our part, but an awareness that we are called to allow God’s work to progress within us. To make it simple, it means going back to the words of Jesus in John 15:5, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing”.

We need to repent, because we have not entered God’s rest. We have tried to build our own kingdoms in our own strength, and somehow procure our own salvation. We repent and rest, and when we move away from God’s rest, we repent again and move back into God’s rest. This, Isaiah says, is our salvation…depending upon the saving power of Christ and His continued work within us.

Pray this Prayer:
Lord, I thank You for providing an eternal rest for us. Even now, on this earth, You invite us into that rest. Forgive me for not staying there with You in that resting place. I so often try to do Your work in my own strength. I repent! I turn from dependence upon self and turn completely to You.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.
1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.

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Devotional for Day 18 – September 18, 2013

Adapted from a devotion by Pastor Shibu Mathew, Bethel Faith Mission – Inland & International Ministries serving the people of India
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Intention:
We, as the people of God, need to know and use our power and authority over evil that was given to us by Jesus.

Scripture:
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19 NIV)

Reflection:
Spiritually speaking, life is a battlefield. Most of the battles that we fight are not “of the flesh”, meaning they ultimately don’t have to do with other people or things in the natural, but instead, they are spiritual battles (Ephesians 6:12).

As soldiers of Christ, God gives us spiritual armor and weapons (Ephesians 6:13-18) and He gives us the power to use them. No matter what we face, we can be encouraged that through Christ, we have authority and dominion over every negative influence and all spiritual powers that we encounter. Jesus disarmed the power of the enemy through His cross (Colossians 2) and He has given us authority “to overcome all the power of the enemy”.

In India we face many challenges – over 600 million people live in deep poverty, Christian workers face persecution in some districts, sexual immorality has resulted in a HIV/AIDS epidemic, the caste system holds people in bondage, child labor is increasing, youth are growing up without hope and over 1 billion are without Christ. There are so many strongholds that we need to address in the power and authority of Jesus.
So church leaders and members, now is the time to stand in the gap and resist the devil (James 4:7) in the power and authority that Jesus has given the people of God. We must straighten our armor and sharpen our weapons and enter the battlefield for the saving the lost.

Pray this Prayer:
Dear God, I thank You for the victorious life, death, resurrection and glorious ascension of Jesus that has brought me into a right relationship with You. I pray that Your presence will be strong in my life and that I will minister to those in need with the power and authority of Jesus. May my life bring glory to You.

Forgive me for times I have allowed fear or lack of willingness to cause me to shrink back from the spiritual battle. I pray that Your power be made manifest in my life and that, in the name of Jesus, I will demolish strongholds of the enemy by Your grace. Thank You for the confidence of knowing that You are for me and are always with me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.
1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.

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Devotional for Day 17 – September 17, 2013

Carol Saia, The Sentinel Group, Documenting & Teaching on Transformation Worldwide
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Intention:
God wants to transform entire communities – not just individuals. He can change desperate situations that seem impossible to us.

Scripture:
“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain… or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NASB)

Reflection:
Sins such as idolatry, bloodshed, and broken covenants defile the land – literally. But if we repent and return to God He promises to heal the land – literally.

In Almolonga, Guatemala, villagers had worshiped an idol for 500 years. Many men were alcoholics who beat their wives and did not provide for their families. Drunks slept in the streets and jailors sent their overflow to surrounding prisons. Today, 88% of villagers are Christians, priests have taken their idol elsewhere, and all four jails closed – no longer needed. Parents teach children to work hard, and the village prospers. Even in drought, moist soil in Almolonga produces giant vegetables which villagers sell to several countries.

Desperate Christians in Manchester, Kentucky began to pray together, repent, and, at God’s direction, they marched against drugs and corruption. 22 corrupt officials were jailed. Churches began working together with government agencies to rehabilitate young people from drugs, and now funerals of young people are no longer common. Even the land is being healed. The ecology has changed so black bear, Rocky Mountain elk, wild turkeys, and large fish now supplement the diet of the poor.

Desperation is a common element in these stories of contemporary transformation. Christians learned to set aside differences of denominations – to pray together and then obeyed what He showed them to do.

Pray this Prayer:
Lord, may Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you Your fire has fallen in communities in our lifetime, with many saved and restored, the land healed, and social structures and governments dramatically changed.

Forgive our complacency with less than You desire for our lives, families, communities, and nations. Give us Your heart for the lost. Teach us what to pray and do. Increase our hunger to spend time in Your presence and Your Word. Help us learn to hear Your voice. Do not let us be satisfied until we see Your glory. In Jesus’ name.

Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.
1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.