My heart is grieving but hope remains that as we Christians humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, seek His face and pray and turn from our wicked ways, He will forgive our sins and heal our land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
The Supreme Court Justices ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states. However, their ruling does not define marriage. Marriage between one man and one women was God’s forever design for human kind. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has ever done so in his 10 years on the court. Roberts said although there are strong policy arguments in same-sex marriage, it was not the court’s role to force states to change their marriage laws. “Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law,” Roberts wrote.
What God has allowed to take place today is heart wrenching. We would have never thought that we would ever hear this during our lifetime here on earth. A cry out to the heavens for repentance of the body of Christ will be our heart’s cry out to God that our families in this nation will not endorse or accept the five Supreme Court Justices spitting in the face of the one and only Jehovah God. We, as the body of Christ have not heeded God’s call to repentance forsaking the ways of the world. We have conformed more to the world standards than Biblical truths. The question I believe God is asking us “Will we continue to go the ways of the world or will we surrender to become true followers of Christ and surrender to His Lordship over our lives.
The prayers of the women in WP have not been in vain over these 17 + years. He has shown us many answers to prayer. He is working in the unseen and He has kept evil away from our doors. We will continue to pray the Prayer Focus that moves society toward the things of God and the Christ-centered future that we will pass on to our children and grandchildren. We will not give up in praying for God to heal our land. Now, more than ever God is calling the body of Christ to a united repentance so deep that we will no longer be like the world.
You can read about it at: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/us-supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-gay-marriage-nationwide/ar-AAcaBM5?ocid=se
May God have mercy on us and deliver us as we adhere to and live out the truth of His word. By Joan Courtney, WPI Founder/CEO
Yesterday as I read some devotions and viewed some sermons I had taped, several things stood out to me; and I invite you to ponder these things with me.
“So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21 NKJV. If God is sending me into the world to be His mouthpiece and His vessel to touch unbelievers, then what would God want me to do to reflect Christ in my daily life? Does my daily activities reflect God’s character or mine?
The following list came from Dr. Charles Stanley’s sermon, A Strong Christian Life www.intouch.org. I hope this list helps you, as it does me, to remember that we serve a forever, faithful God who loves us. Yes, He does have a plan to conform us to the image of Christ to use us and fulfill our destiny on this side of heaven. His plan will be for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28; 11:36).
A STRONG LIFE IN CHRIST – Evidences of a life walking in the Lordship of Christ fully trusting Him.
First, dear friends, let’s fully realize that those statements above are only possible when we intentionally put God first in our lives (Matthew 6:33); die to ourselves and let Christ live through us (Galatians 2:20).
For my personal spiritual evaluation I wanted to share my spiritual journey with you using Dr. Stanley’s list:
Friends, I hope and pray that as I have honestly shared my heart with you that God will help you in your daily journey to press forward with tenacity and perseverance to trust and obey Him as His Holy Spirit guides you. He will fulfill His plan for your life for your ultimate good and His glory. Joan Courtney, WPI Founder/CEO
“Kingdom Praying – and all these things will be added to you.”
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) Seeking God first, above all else, is a huge subject. I will attempt to narrow it down to “praying for God’s kingdom.” When I first started praying, my prayer life consisted of praying for my family, my friends in need and maybe my Pastor. Many of the women in WPI have told me that they prayed the same way. Those are good things, and God loves to hear and answer our prayers. However, I never once thought about praying for other topics regarding our society and issues that will impact the future of our children and grandchildren.
“How did I come to the realization that my prayers could make a difference beyond my family and friends?” I believe it was when I realized that God heard and answered my prayers for the good of my family and friends and for His glory. Somehow, I was impressed to pray for the greater things on God’s heart, to pray for His kingdom to come, and His will to be done on earth (in our cities and nations) as it is in heaven.” God is waiting for us, His children, to pray His heart for His eternal plan for mankind. He is entrusting us, His children, to pray His eternal plan into existence in the world. What an honor and privilege to be used of God in that way!
Earlier I mentioned topics, and you may be wondering what topics? I am referring to the prayer topics on the WPI home page menu under “Prayer Focus.” Our prayer topics are: Churches and Ministers, Government and Military, Families, Education, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Business, Special Issues Concerning Your City and Nation, Christian Organizations. We end our time of prayer by praying for our personal requests.
Friends, I would like to challenge you to visit the WPI home page, and start praying for your city and nation daily, weekly or monthly. The amount of time you spend on these prayer topics is up to you and the Lord. I believe that God will give you a great sense of wellbeing and joy when your prayer focus is kingdom-focused. You can be assured He is using your prayers to bring about HIS will into each and every area of our society.
Please take my challenge and begin praying for your city and nation.
My prayer for you: “Heavenly Father, Thank you for entrusting Your children to pray Your will from heaven into their city and nation. Please speak to their hearts and increase their faith in believing that You are the God of the impossible and that there is nothing too hard for You. I ask You to hold them close to Your heart and let them know that their prayers are precious to You to answer for their good and Your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”
Joan Courtney, WPI Founder/CEO
God brought the scripture in Hebrews 10:24-25 to my mind this morning as I was reading my morning devotional – “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is a manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Those two verses contain so much that a person could spend many hours unpacking them. My heart centered on “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves.” That is a phrase in the WPI’s mission statement. We desire for the women who pray in a WPI group to be aware of this aspect of WPI and understand it. The mission statement is: “We, as co-laborers in the body of Christ, commit ourselves to be used of God to redeem a lost world unto Himself as we unite with one heart to pray across denominations, races, and cultures, not forsaking our own assembly.” It continues to say, “By the Spirit of Christ, we will persevere and trust God for the increase of passionate intercessors and the coming end-time harvest of souls.”
Please stay with me as I focus on “not forsaking our own assembly”. WPI desires for the women to adhere to the foundational principle in reference to this statement: The women are to place their church before the ministry of Women’s Prayer International. If they have a meeting at their church at the same time there is a WPI monthly neighborhood group meeting or an annual meeting, they are to attend the meeting at their church. Many times a WPI member has said, “I really don’t want to miss the WPI meeting; but my church is having a meeting, and I need to be faithful to my church.” That is a wonderful thing and God is well pleased when we put our church before a ministry. My prayer is that all the women praying in the WPI groups will understand that truth and follow in obedience.
It is my desire that all members, those new and those not so new, will also know that WPI s priority is to undergird the churches and ministers with prayer at each monthly meeting. Praying for our churches and ministers each month reminds us to keep our Pastors in our prayers till me meet again.
Whether you are a WPI Prayer Member or not, you will be blessed when you put your church before any ministry, in your attendance, tithe and service. Doing that, friends, will surely bless the heart of God. And isn’t that the best blessing we could receive? Joan Courtney, WPI Founder/CEO
FROM THE BEGINNING…
GOD IS FAITHFUL. In May 2014, the united prayer ministry of Women’s Prayer International entered into its 17th year. It is certainly a time of reflection for me in serving as the Founder and President for 17 years. May my message encourage you to reflect on God’s faithfulness and mercy to you in your life and bring you hope.
Seventeen years as the Founder and President, has been, is now, and I believe will continue to be an adventurous spiritual journey with the Lord in the valleys and on the mountain tops. When I ponder the faithfulness of God my heart is filled with wonder and thankfulness. The closest way to express it is thorough Psalm 40:5 “Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”
Frankly, without God’s word in my life, I could not have survived. His words have guided me, convicted me, and encouraged me. I take comfort knowing that He is opening doors that no man can shut and shutting doors that no man can open. Revelation 3:8 says, “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” This verse continues to be a source of courage when I am discouraged. And quite frankly without the encouragement of God’s people who have supported me and the ministry through the years, I would not have survived. My hope and prayer is that I will honor them daily with my prayers and support.
My heart is bursting to share with you where God has me this year in my walk with Him – A deeper faith and more courage! There are so many scriptures that I want to live out each day. At the beginning of each year I ask God for a scripture that will show me what is utmost on His heart for this new year and so that I may live it out for His highest purpose and glory. One scripture especially meaningful was from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest. It was as if it was written specifically for me. I wrote it in my prayer journal January 1, 2014: – “My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honor to Christ in my own person by fearless courage.” (Philippians 1:20) KEEP TO THE POINT in 2014 – A surrender of my will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender on that point. – Faith and Courage. Do I believe in a miracle working God, and will I go out in surrender to Him until I am not surprised an atom at anything He does? Will I step out in faith and risk that if God is not in it, it will fail? Do I believe that God is faithful to His word and will establish the work of His hand through me and WPI? Do I trust God to be true to His word in Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you?” The irrevocable answer is “Yes, Lord, I surrender all. Here I am Lord, use me.”
Friends, a great hope and belief are in my heart for the days ahead for myself, my family, the ministry of WPI and for a transforming revivals in our cities and nations. My desire is to live a life of prayer so that the life of Christ will live in and through me to serve others and be a small part of advancing Christ’s kingdom all for the glory of God.
Praise God that He, Who has begun a good work in you and in me, will complete it until the day Jesus takes us to our eternal home or He comes again for His bride, His church. God is forever faithful! Joan Courtney, WPI Founder/CEO