I was given these five questions, under the title “You Have an Enemy” and asked to respond in a written interview. The quote by Neil Anderson was included in the request. These are my answers. I welcome your thoughts and would love to read your answers to these question.
“If you are a Christian, you are a target and if you are in ministry, you are a bulls eye” – Neil Anderson
1 How do you serve, lead and minister with the reality and presence of the enemy all around you?
On a visit to China, I met some widows who lived in the church and prayed. My interpreter explained to me that this was important because the enemy could come in at anytime. As I processed this, I realized that the only difference here in the States is that the enemy does not wear a uniform.
I remind myself that the enemy is present but disempowered. At the cross, Jesus stripped the enemy of power, allowing him to live (for now) but giving the power that the enemy had coveted to those who are sons and daughters of the King. When we recognize who we are in Christ we can address the enemy from victory rather than pleading for victory.
2 What has been the most challenging thing about prayer for you?
Unlearning that prayer is a discipline that I need to cultivate and learning that it is a natural conversation with our Father who loves to hear my voice, is interested in what I have to say and loves to confide in me.
3 What difference has it made?
I no longer scold myself for not praying enough but instead look forward to building intimacy with God through spending time with Him.
4 How have you allowed God to speak to your heart?
I love to listen to worship music that welcomes the Holy Spirit and helps me focus on the Presence of God. When a time of encountering His Presence happens early in the morning it is easy to return to it throughout the day.
God speaks to me through His world. I meet the Artist as I ponder the artwork of creation.
I give myself permission to let scripture speak to my heart, even when it is not in context. (When I teach, I am careful to get the context right). When I am “hanging out with God” I discover Him speaking directly into my story from random scriptures.
5 What replenishes you?
Watching God be God
Friends who love me enough to pray for me, correct me and encourage me.
Knowing my cat is waiting for me at the door.
Watching my Koi swim peacefully, never worrying about being wet.
its been important for me to ask others to be in prayer when I’m in a season of leading. Regular conversations with my accountability partner bring me strength as does praying for protection.
Learning prayer is an ongoing conversation with God that takes many different forms: singing prayers of praise in the car, asking God how he wants me to respond in a given situation, prayers from my rocker recliner after reading Gods word. My how different than what I was taught: close your eyes, bow your head, start with. …always end with…. That sounds like religion and not relationship.