Sunday, December 30, 2012

Standing in the Place of Prayers For 1972 Babies_December

In May this year, I had a burden in my heart to stand in the place of prayer for members of my family and friends born in 1972 during this 40th  year of their lives. I asked all my friends to share names of those they know born in that year and also to join me in the place of prayer.

Many of you responded and for the past seven months we have interceded on behalf of the 25 persons listed below. I am so grateful to all of you who responded to the call and have been praying for them.

There are many ways to love our neighbours, but intercessory prayer—praying on behalf of other people—has to be one of the most powerful.

The fervent prayers of the righteous man has great power in its effects (James 5:16). I am persuaded that our prayers have risen up to God Whose ears are ever opened to our cry. I believe that the seeds we have sown in the lives of these our friends through prayers will bring forth bountiful harvest in years to come. Because prayers always produce wonderful results. It is an effective weapon of spiritual warfare.

It is with this conviction that I call you, my dear friends, to join me in prayers on Monday, December 31st. This will be the last public call for prayer as 2012 comes to an end. Those who are much in praying, are also much in thanksgiving. Let us join together to give thanks and praise to God for the many answers we have received already, and with thanksgiving, let us make our supplications known to God.

Let us ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to enable us pray for them in accordance to His will. Pray in the spirit and in understanding:
- that there will be a performance of every prophetic word spoken concerning each of these precious children of God
- that God will be their ever present help in time of need.
- that God will give them wisdom and insight in the knowledge of His will (Eph 1:17)
- that the purpose and counsel of God will be fulfilled in their lives

I encourage you to continue to remember them in your prayers in the New Year. I will share with you news and testimonies of answered prayers as I receive them.

May the Lord richly water you and meet you at your point of need as you have taken time to stand in the gap for others.

I wish you a Happy New Year filled with daily displays of God's unending love for you.

For background information, please read the following blog post:
- The Year I Stopped Playing With Dolls - May 23rd, 2012
- Standing in the Place of Prayer for 1972 Babies - May 31st, 2012

The 1972 Babies:

  • Temitope      
  • Dotun
  • Subomi
  • Kemi
  • Bola
  • Dayo
  • Folabi
  • Evelyn
  • Yemisi
  • Gbenga
  • Bola
  • Sarah
  • Tokunbo
  • Mary
  • Funmi
  • Simon
  • Grace
  • Au Huen


  • Taiwo and Kehinde
  • Kayode
  • Rosemary
  • Femi
  • Modupe
  • Ehi
  • Erik

March 2013:
We continue to receive praise reports of God's awesome work in the lives of those we have been praying for. Thanks be to God for making a way in what was deemed to be difficult for one of our friends listed above to commence her residency in a very competitive program. Another was kept safe by the Hands of God through a period of serious illness. Praise be to God for their lives. God surely hears and harkens to our cry.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Seventy and More Reasons To Give Thanks

I like numbers.

Numbers give me reasons to count.

Counting my blessings reminds me to be thankful.

Seasons, times, landmarks and milestones are reminders to count the numberless blessings for which I can give praise and thanks to God.

So it is today. I have a unique number to note and unique reasons to count my blessings.

This is my seventieth post since I started blogging a little over a year ago. If I should count, I have more than seventy reasons to give thanks to God as 2012 comes to an end. He permitted me to see many evidences of His goodness and mercy on display in my life, and in the lives of my loved ones this year.

If we can count the grains of sand on the beach,
perhaps we will be able to count ALL His blessings in our lives.

In November, 2011, I started writing answers to my prayers and the numerous blessing I receive each day on slips of paper, and kept them in a box. I must admit I have not done it as faithfully as I wanted to over the past 6 months.

But this morning I opened the box and read some of the prayer points I wrote and pasted on the lid. My heart was thrilled to note how many of the prayers have been answered. I read some praise reports too.  It was been amazing to read the many reasons for which I have given thanks to God this year. They were too many to count.

"Those that are much in praying, will be much in thanksgiving".

I had much to pray about, many requests laid before God, and much to intercede and entreat God for. I can boldly declare that I also have so much to give praise to God for. I was filled with exhilarating joy seeing so many praise reports and many evidences of the God's goodness poured into my life and into the lives of my loved ones.

Counting my blessings:
- My first son got admission into the university, he got on the basketball team (his dream) and we have many evidences that God went ahead of him to prepare the way for him.
- My second son got on honour roll in high school.
- My husband travelled thousands of kilometres in safety.
- We had provision for renovation of the walls of the rooms and bathrooms damaged by water leakage.
- We saw God's hand at work on behalf of our siblings - breakthroughs and answered prayers
- We celebrated 20 years of marriage with testimonies of God's faithfulness to us.
- My writing reached readers in 58 countries across all the continents of the world through visitors to the blog, friends who share the messages by email and articles published in Effectual.
- God held my soul in life. So grateful, Lord.
- And many more…

The high point in counting my blessings was the joy of knowing that the Son of God, Who sits at the right hand of God in glory, before whom the angels and archangels bow, left His throne in heaven and came down to earth for me and for you.

He came knowing the frailty of humanity and the suffering awaiting Him here on earth. Yet He came. And because He came I have hope and the fullest of belief that through the many tests and through the fiery furnace, He will uphold me.

He is the reason why I can say "I would have fainted, had I not believed that I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living" (Ps 27:13), when another twist was thrown into an already complicated situation. Even the doctors are perplexed.

He is the reason why I am confident that God would not abandon or forsake me but He will see me through to the other side when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Because He came in flesh as a baby who depended on others and was humbled by His neediness, I know that He knows my pain, distress and discomfort. He knows where it hurts the most. I can say with assurance that there is a divine purpose in every situation that God is taking me through. That it is for His glory and for His honour.

Because Jesus came as flesh and He dwells in us, we are enabled to live lives that brings honour and glory to Him because of what He does in us - Darnly.

I can declare with utmost conviction and assurance founded on the unfailing love of God that He did not despise my affliction. He did not hid His face from me. He heard me when I cried unto Him (Ps 22: 22-24). Thank You, Lord.

God's unfailing love is the foundation of our hope and the fountain of our joy. This hope is renewed at Christmas because we are reminded that Jesus came for a purpose, and we are assured that it is because of us that He came.

Our joy overflows afresh because Jesus came to dwell with us. This knowledge causes a high praise to arise from within us, until it bursts forth in singing, adoration and worship of God Who gave Jesus for us.

Many of the Christmas carols we sang with gladness this week echoed the joy and hope Jesus brought to the world and to us.

It is also possible for us to experience Christmas everyday in our lives. It is when the light of God's glory radiates through us whether we are on the mountain top or we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

It is when those around us can see the grace of God abounding in our lives through the good times and the bad times, and it touches their lives in such a way that they are reminded that Jesus came, and they are the reason why He came.

Christmas is when we can hold on to the hope that Jesus brings and allow His joy to continue to effuse from our lives come what may—pain, distress, discomfort, uncertainty, complications, perplexities etc.

It is for this inexplicable hope and joy Jesus gives that I am most grateful as I count the innumerable blessings God richly poured out on my loved ones and I in 2012.

These slips of praise report are unquestionable evidences that God heard my cry and He answered me when I called on Him, and these are just a tip of the iceberg of God's numberless acts of wonder in our lives.

Therefore I know without any doubt that He is more than able to fulfil every word He has spoken concerning me. That knowledge gives me a confident outlook for 2013 -- no matter what may come my way, my life is in God's hand.

It is my prayer that you also will experience this confident assurance that comes with knowing Jesus came just for you as you prepare to step into the New Year. May this assurance bring you hope and joy.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Be Thou A Blessing

I was researching for an article last Monday when I stumbled a message I wrote and shared with friends on my mailing list in December 2011 - Be Thou A Blessing.
I read it over again and noted how appropriate it was for this season. While still pondering whether to share it again or not, my 15-year-old son came to me with a surprise request. He was trying to make a decision about which child to sponsor through Compassion International.
"How are you going to support this?" I asked him.
"From my pocket money"
Since I know how much his pocket money is and how much is required for the monthly contribution to support a child, I knew it would to be a sacrifice. But I was touched that he realized that he is blessed and he can be a blessing to another child.
That was what confirmed to me that it is appropriate to share this message again.
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing” – Gen 12:2
What does it mean to be a blessing?
Be a blessing is an imperative and a demand God made of Abram. God promised to make him a great nation, to bless him and to make his name great so that he can in turn be a blessing—dispensing good to others. His obedience would bring great blessings.
Be thou a blessing—not just a subject or recipient of blessings but a medium, a channel or a conduit of blessings to others. It means our lives should be a blessing in every place we sojourn. It should make a difference and add value to the lives of others.
A dispenser of good gives out goodness to all. The life of God in us flowing out into the lives of other people.
To be a blessing means to be the one doing an act that blesses—promoting or contributing to the joy, happiness, well being and prosperity of others.
It is to act in a way that will cause others to benefit, to gain and to profit, and to bring improvement to the status of another.
It is to be a channel of joy to those who are around you.
Blessed to Bless
Personally, I have been a subject of God’s untold blessings just as Abraham. God promised him that He would bless him and He did. See Ex. 1:7 and Ps 107:38 – which are examples of God fulfilling His promise to bless Abraham.
The obligation of being a subject of the awesome blessings of God is to be a blessing.
But we must first recognize that in whatever estate in life we may be, we are blessed. Gratitude for the many blessings that we have received should naturally inspire us to be a blessing to others. We who have been given so much can do no less than our best to be a blessing to everyone we see and everyone we know.
The calling of God and His blessings upon our lives have a definite purpose, that is, for us to be used of God to be a blessing to others. Blessings always include the power to be a blessing.
Be a blessing is a command. It must be our overriding desire and motivation everyday of our lives. We ought to be a blessing to all the different people we are in relationship with – close or distant—indeed to everyone within our sphere of influence. We need to let them know we appreciate them and care about them not just by our words but also by our actions. Not just at Christmas time but at all times.
We have the Holy Spirit to guide us at each instance so that we know what to do to touch the lives of each person God brings into our lives for good. We can draw on His help through prayer and staying in His presence. The more of God I have in me, the more I am able to be a blessing to others.
Jesus Christ became the means of blessing to the world. He is the greatest blessing of the world. The greatest blessing anyone could ever hope to possess. We are blessed to have Jesus in our lives as Lord and Savior; He is the greatest blessing we can share with the world around us this season and through all seasons.
Here are some of the essential elements of being a blessing shared by Gray Smalley and John Trent in their book - The Blessing:
-          Providing meaningful touch: Jesus puts his arms around the children, he touched the people that came to him, and he touched the sick when he laid hands on them to heal them. People feel loved when we touch and embrace them. A hug, a handshake, or a touch can make a difference to someone.
-          Communicating warmth and offering words of encouragement: our words have an incredible power to build up and yet it can hurt and destroy relationships. When we speak words of kindness, words that uplift, words that praise and encourage others and words that show others we appreciate, love and care about them, we bless them with our words.
-          To be a blessing often requires commitment, a willingness to commit our time and invest our energy to see the blessing become a reality in the people’s lives. To be a blessing may call for personal sacrifice.
Just as Abraham stepped out by faith to embark on a journey without knowing where the Lord was leading him but he obeyed and trusted God, we can also step out by faith to be a blessing to others.
I wish you a Joyous Christmas celebrating Jesus and dispensing good to all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Gift That Made A Difference

It was not my birthday.

It was not my wedding anniversary.

And it wasn’t Christmas.

Just a regular Sunday.

It came in an envelop. It was a gift from a friend. A magazine with a blazing caption - For Women and Those Who Love Them, called Effectual.

I was amazed at the quality of the content and presentation of the magazine. The theme of the edition I was given was Relentless Pursuit. I read it from cover to cover. I was encouraged, inspired with hope and challenged to pursue my dreams.

The style resonated with me. I was not satisfied with just reading it. I had to do more. I wanted to be associated with the work the team is doing.

One thoughtful act. One precious gift. It became a catalyst for a chain of events. Opened many windows of opportunities. Birthed new, rich and vibrant relationships.

I was overwhelmed and touched to the core as I read the current edition of Effectual Magazine - Open Brokenness this week. I was reminded of the act of giving that spurred all of these. The gift that made the difference.

I have been blessed with many precious gifts.

Gifts that
… left lasting impression
            … touched my life
                        … went over and above
                                    … were useful, timely and appropriate.

Some gifts came in wrappings but many more just simply could not be wrapped.

This is what giving should be all about - making things happen for others and touching lives for good.

Christmas is just around the corner and it is the time to share gifts with family and friends. As is the case with many at such a time like this, our minds are working overtime trying to figure out what gifts to give who.

It got me thinking. Our gift giving at this season should not be an act of routine, because it is expected of us to do so. It should be intentional and purposeful, with the desire to add value and make a difference to the life of the receiver. Our gifts should be thoughtfully and prayerfully selected.

We should desire to give gifts that will be useful to the receiver or will meet a need. This is where the help of the Holy Spirit becomes needful. I want to be guided by Him as I select what to give my family and friends this season. I want to give gifts which will have lasting impact.

There is another type of gift that is important to consider. That is the gift of quality time and attention we give to the significant people in our lives during this season. This gift makes a huge difference by deepening our fellowship with one another. It makes our relationship richer and more vibrant.

We must exercise caution so that we don’t get carried away with the busyness of the season - cooking, entertaining guests etc. to the extent that we become too exhausted to spend quality time as a family. This is an important reminder to me as well.

Beyond our regular list of persons to give gifts to, it is worthwhile to consider others especially those who can not give back to us - those for whom Christmas is bleak without the help of someone willing to spread the cheer of the season towards them. Let us remember what the season is truly about - goodwill toward men.

Let's take a moment to consider the channels available to us through which we can reach out to those in need and give them a gift of hope. There is a blessing in giving to others.

As we approach Christmas and the end of 2012, I look back and recount the many precious gifts I have been blessed with. The gifts, which have made a difference to my life, are truly beyond count. Above all these gifts, I am so grateful for the gift of life and breath.

For God so loved the world that He gave His beloved Son as a gift to us. The gift of Jesus is a proof of God's indescribable love for us. This is the greatest gift anyone can receive - the gift of life and salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus so loved us, He gave up His glory and came into the world to live among men.

What can we give back for this most precious gift ever given or received?

I found the answer in Proverbs 23:26 - "My son, give me your heart…" Give your affections to God, love Him with all your heart, soul and strength.

In addition and as an act of gratitude for the most precious gift we could ever receive, let us make our gift giving this Christmas—heartfelt, meeting needs and touching lives for good—gifts that makes a difference.

I am grateful to God for each of you who visit this blog from 52 countries, the last time I checked. You are a blessing to me.  And your visit made a difference. Because you read and share the message from here, I am encouraged to keep doing what I have been called and gifted to do - to be an encourager.

May the joy of the Lord overflow in your hearts and home this Christmas and beyond.

The Effectual Magazine is available on Magcloud

Thursday, December 6, 2012

And It Came To Pass

"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat,
and summer and winter, and day and night will not cease"
- Gen. 8:22.

I lifted the window shutters on Monday morning and behold, the garden was white, it was snowing—overnight the first snow of the season arrived in Geneva. I was mesmerized at the swift change in the landscape and the pristine beauty of the freshly fallen snow, and  marvelled  at the awesome splendour of God's handiwork.

Where did time go? It seemed it was just yesterday we needed the air-conditioners to cool down the summer heat, now the heaters are on.

But that is what God said more than four thousand years ago, while the earth remains summer and winter, heat and cold will not cease, and it came to pass. The arrival of the snow is a fresh witness to God's fulfilment of His promise.

Sometimes when the nights are as turbulent as are on a stormy sea and I am tossed about like waves driven by forceful winds, one calm assurance holds my heart at peace, and that is, the night will pass and morning will come. And it came to pass that as light breaks out at the dawn of a new day, I have another witness to God's faithfulness in keeping His word.

My spirit is lifted up because I am assured that God Whose covenant with day and night can not be broken and Who promised that day must follow night, will fulfil everyone of His promises concerning me (Jer. 30:29).

He declared to Abraham that his seed shall be a stranger in the land that is not theirs and they shall serve them, but in the fourth generation they will come back (Gen 15:13-16). And it came to pass at the end four hundred and thirty years, the Israelites went out of the land of Egypt. God kept His promise made to Abraham.

"God is true. His Word of Promise is sure. In all His relations with His people God is faithful. He may be safely relied upon. No one ever yet really trusted Him in vain. We find this precious truth expressed almost everywhere in the Scriptures, for His people need to know that faithfulness is an essential part of the Divine character. This is the basis of our confidence in Him. But it is one thing to accept the faithfulness of God as a Divine truth, it is a quite another thing to act upon it" - A. W. Pink

A dear friend of mine shared his weekly newsletter last Sunday, the title: Do not leave it to chance. Set the standard,  caught my attention and I wanted to find out more. He wrote that God does not leave things to chance. He sets the standard of how things should turn out. God does so by declaring His word. As established in the instances I cited earlier, His Word always come to pass.

So my friend said that’s what we need to do as Christians, instead of validating the bad report we receive or declaring how bad our circumstances are, we ought to declare God's word concerning the situation. He challenged us to consistently speak the Word of God and like seed planted at seedtime, it will bring forth fruits at harvest.

We know that between the seedtime and harvest, there is a waiting time and here lies the problem. We must continue to align our confession with the truth of God's word while waiting.

A. W. Pink asked in his book, The Attributes of God: Are we really counting on God to fulfil His Word? "Are we actually expecting Him to do for us all He has said? Are we resting with implicit assurance on these words, 'He is faithful that promised' (Heb. 10:23)"

I let out a deep sigh as I read this…

I know what it feels like praying day after day concerning a situation or a person, and rather for the situation to get better, it seems to take a turn for the worst, more twists and complications are thrown into the mix.

It is at such times I have to remind myself again and again that God's Word is a swift messenger, it hurries to fulfil the purpose for which it is sent (Ps 147:15). No matter how bad the situation may get or how long it seems to take, the sequel will demonstrate—And it came to pass.

But am I in all circumstances and at all the seasons of my life acting with the implicit assurance that I believe and know from experience that God is faithful to His Word and He will do what He promised to do? Or do I worry, become anxious and agitated when things go wrong, become difficult or challenging?

Perhaps you are also pondering on all the promises you received at the beginning of this year and it seems they are not yet fulfilled even as the year is fast coming to an end. And because of this, you are troubled, wondering when these words would be fulfilled. Let me this one assurance give you—God has never forsaken or deceive His child. You matter to God, that is why He inscribed you in the palm of His hands (Isa. 49:16).

The scripture abounds with many illustrations of God's fidelity in fulfilling His promises. Nature and seasons speak day after day of God's faithfulness to do what He says He will do. You can rely on the unchanging faithfulness of God. When you are tempted to doubt His faithfulness, wait and see if day will follow after night, if it does, God Who keeps covenant with day and night will keep His promise to you. And it will come to pass.

It is upon this divine character of God that we anchor our confidence as we look into 2013 and we can safely declare that there shall be a performance of every prophetic word spoken concerning us.

Will you act upon this divine truth that if God declares His word, the only sequel to His promise is "And it came to pass"? 

If you will anchor your hope on His unchanging faithfulness as you navigate your life's course the rest of this year and beyond, I can assure you that God will faithfully adher to His promises concerning you.