The Spirit of Samson – Tackling Self-Absorption (#2)

Welcome to this 3rd installment of the spirit of Samson (click here for the intro and here for point #1.)

As we look at the 10 points that underlie the spirit of Samson, keep in mind:

  • they apply to men and women (I will use he/she interchangeably)
  • they apply to kids, adults, and the elderly.


A person with a spirit of Samson tends to be

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a. Immature

b. Impatient

c. Undisciplined

d. Persistent.

They may not be aware of these traits in their life. They may be well aware of them and laugh them off or express disgust about them, perhaps even desiring to change. He throws adult tantrums. He wants what he wants, when he wants it, and how he wants it. This will be the case even if their current burning desire is unreasonable or it means disobedience to God’s clear instruction. He believes he is the center of the universe and is oblivious how his actions affect other people.

  • Please share in what ways this might manifest in your life or in the life of your loved one.
  • What problems might this be causing in your life?
  • What does God want to do in your life or that of your loved one in this area?

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The Spirit of Samson – tackling self-absorption

Welcome to this second section of the spirit of Samson (click here for the intro to this topic, where we discussed similarities between Samson and believers in Jesus.) As we look at the 10 points that underlie the spirit of Samson, keep in mind:

  • they apply to men and women (I will use he/she interchangeably)
  • they apply to kids, adults, and the elderly.


The Samson in your life is called to be set apart to God. He has a divine directive or calling from God. This is likely marked by clear, sometimes unusual spiritual circumstances surrounding certain aspects of his life. This calling is evident to and affects significant others around them. He is remarkably gifted or talented in specific areas in life.

Please answer all or some of these questions in the comments section.

  • What is your Samson’s calling? What do people say your calling is?
  • How is he gifted or talented? What do people comment on regarding your gifting?
  • How would his calling affect you?
  • What unusual circumstances surround his salvation or yours?

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The Spirit of Samson – Tackling Self-Absorption (Intro)

Have YOU ever thought of YOURSELF or a loved one as self-absorbed?

Join me as I delve into a 10-point deep dive into the spirit of this great man, that we may:

  • grasp God’s mighty plan for us and our loved ones.
  • see exactly where Samson went wrong regarding self-absorption.
  • rescue our souls and those of our loved ones from the abomination of being self-absorbed.

Samson’s epic story is told in the Biblical book of Judges (chapters 13-16.) He was foretold by the Angel of the Lord (Christophany) to his barren parents. His name means “like the sun.” The positive amazing similarities between him and you, Christian, might surprise you. Take a look at the Table 1 below for 5 similarities between you and Samson:

1. LightThen the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson;… (Judges 13:24).
Samson means ‘sun.’
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven
(Matthew 5:14-16).
2. PromisedThe angel of the Lord appeared to her [Samson’s mother] and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son
(Judges 13:3).
Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise
(Galatians 4:28).  
3. Set apartNow see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite
(Judges 13:4, 5a).  
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart
(Jeremiah 1:5a).  
Separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you  
(2 Corinthians 2:17).  
4. Called and anointed for service to GodYou will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines  
(Judges 13:5).
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  
(Romans 8:28).  
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).  
5. Spirit -filled(in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came and went from individuals) The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him
(Judges 14:6a).  
Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him
(Judges 14:19a).  
(Since Jesus’s ascension, the Holy Spirit dwells in believers) You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you  
(Acts 1:8a).  
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
 (1 Corinthians 3:16).  
Table 1: Similarities between Samson and Christians.

Despite these great traits, something went deathly wrong in Samson’s life, hijacking his calling and ultimately taking his life.

Starting tomorrow we will look at 10 fascinating aspects of the spirit of Samson that may change your life or that of a loved one from being self-absorbed to fruitful and productive for the kingdom of God – this may save your very life. This applies to adults and children. Please remember, you cannot change a person, but you can powerfully influence someone else, especially children, who have been entrusted to you to mold.

Read here for point #1

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The P.P.R.R APPRRoach to PPRRoblem-Solving

The PPRRoven 4-step PPRRocess to PPRRogress past your PPRRedicament today.

We can all agree that that we are facing one Pprroblem or another. Some people’s are gargantuan while others’ are miniscule. The P.P.R.R APPRRoach can be applied to all sizes. They can be learned by children and adults alike. They apply at home, at work, at school, at the store, on the playground – everywhere. Ready? Master-strategist, the prophet Nehemiah exemplifies them beautifully. Pprress in…

The four steps are:

  • Pray
  • Plan
  • Report
  • Request a specific solution.
  1. PRAY

You can be with someone, without really being with them. You and I have been on the dishing and receiving end of that deal. It’s a raw deal.

To pray is to be with God. To be with God means to hear him. It means to lean on him. It means to speak to him. It means to hear from him. It means to trust him. It means to love him – which means to obey him. If you are on a God-sized, God-given, God-driven mission, you have to be with God. You have to be with him, his way or it’s going to swallow you up and spit you out. Nehemiah fasted and prayed. You, believer, are called to do exactly that to tackle your pprroblem.

a. Praying isn’t only asking God for stuff. It’s aligning yourself with him. He’ll take care of the stuff.

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b. Don’t be lazy. Have you watched the kid that flings their backpack to mum when they get off the bus? Don’t be that kid. Carry your own backpack. Don’t expect others to pray for you if you’re not willing to do the hard work of praying for yourself. Yes, it’s easier to pick up the phone and ask your pastor or your ‘prayer warrior’ friend to pray. Carry your own backpack. YOU pray. (NB: I did not say do not ask others to pray for or with you.)

c. Discipline your brain to pray. Quiet distractions, then quiet your brain and be with God. Just you and him. No worship music, no sermon, no nothing! defines discipline as, “to bring to a state of obedience and order by training and control.” (Read Quit Wandering Chapter 10: Strategy #5 Discipline & Self-Control for more on that amazing subject.)


One of my favorite modern day theologians David Guzik says that faith is not a substitute for poor planning. Scripture is replete with admonitions to plan. Here are a few:

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5

Commit your works to Yahweh and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

“May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans.” Psalms 20:4.

While Nehemiah was praying for 4 months, he was also making plans. That way when King Xerxes asked him what he wanted, he didn’t say, “Let me think on that and get back to you.” No. He immediately said he needed. See # 4 below for his well itemized list.

Friend, make a solid, practical reasonable plan to tackle your problem. If you’re trusting God, know that he will bring someone of influence to help you in your quest. Be well pprrepared for that divine encounter.


Don’t confuse endless recounting, commentary, and narration with effective reporting. When your benefactor asks what the problem is and what you want, distill your words. State your problem in one line. Practice that until you have it honed to a fine point. This also applies to conversing with God.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7.

Note how succintly Nehemiah reported his pprroblem:

“… the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste and its gates have been consumed by fire.” Nehemiah 2:3.

When the king asked, “What do you want?” Nehemiah’s words were like a flung arrow:

“… send me to Judah, to the city of my father’s tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Nehemaih 2:5.

Nehemiah didn’t go into the history and the archeology and the biology of the problem like we tend to do. We wring our hands and hash and rehash the issue. Let’s be done with that. “The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much.” James 5:16b. ‘Effectual fervent’ translates to one word in the greek energeo. It means to impact, to display work or activity. Avail is ischuo. It means to be strong and robust, muscular, to have power as shown by extraordinary deeds. Our empty counting and recounting is neither energeo nor ischuo. It is impotent. It is a machine that makes a lot of noise and smoke but doesn’t move.


We can get so used to reporting our problems in nauseating detail and never pay an iota of attention to coming up with a solution. Again, we can be mentally and spiritually lazy and expect mum to carry our backpack when we get off the bus. Imagine the amount of work Nehemiah had to do to come up with the solutions below. No wonder it took him four months. He must have filled notebooks and blown up his cellphone bill calling up to get quotes and consult experts. (They used to pay for each call back in the day and some months their bill was astronomical.)

When asked what he needed, Nehemiah was cocked and ready:

  • time – he’d calculated about how much time off he’d need to travel to and from as well as to attend to the problem of the broken-down wall.
  • authority/permission (this is implied. Later, Nehemiah’s opposition would threaten to report him to the king, assuming he was doing this behind the king’s back.”
  • letters for safe passage – he knew security was an issue during transportation and during the project. He requested a posse.
  • access to a personal connection (Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest)
  • supplies – timber (what type, how much, and the best source).

I am teaching this pprrogram to workplaces, elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges, youth groups, women’s and men’s ministries, non-profits, executive boards, etc.

This topic is #9 in “Quit Wandering: 15 Strategies to Find & Fulfill your God-Given Mission.” You can purchase it here as a workbook (for group or individual study) or as a reader version.

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Christian Women’s Retreat

Please join us at our biannual women’s retreat in beautiful Silverton Oregon.

Theme: Created to be UNSHAKABLE – Standing with, on, and like the Rock in the face of stress, anxiety, abuse, and inherited family trauma.

Dates: October 21-23, 2022

Venu: Christian Renewal Center

Cost: $185 (early bird special) covers teaching sessions, activities, accommodations and 6 incredible meals.

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I dialed 911 on accident

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I was home alone and thought I heard a thump across the house this morning. Then silence. As I was settling back into my task, I heard another thump followed by a crash. That will make your heart stop. I punched in 911 and headed for the kitchen, aforementioned heart beating audibly in my ears.

I was ready for a bad guy, if you know what I mean. I walked boldly into the kitchen to find my cat staring wide-eyed from the counter. This cat has developed a taste for bread. She has taken that taste to the next level by opening cupboards in pursuit of potato bread. “Rose!” I said. “Why?”

I suppose that if she could talk she would say it’s for the same reason that we like potato bread. It’s amazing stuff. I slipped my phone in my pocket and shooed her away. As I assessed the mauled loaf, I was startled by a shrill sound. I grabbed my phone and realized that as I put it in my pocket, I’d dialed 911. I wonder why it has to make that horrid sound. It reminds me of the annoying sound when you call a fax line. That seems completely out of place.

A recording of a male voice informed me what I had indeed reached 911. A female voice translated for him into Spanish. I fumbled for the phone and swiftly did what any panicked false dialer would do. I hung up.

Then I thought, “That was the wrong thing to do, you dingbat. Now they’ll surely come. What do I do?”

I consulted Aunty Google who said that if you call 911 on accident, don’t hang up. Wait for the dispatcher and let them know it was an accident, otherwise they’ll send an officer out. I was a little late for that. So, I called myself a dingbat again as I sometimes do and called back. It can be a long wait when you call 911. A live person finally came on and I explained that I was just calling to say have a nice day. She was very understanding.

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But that got me onto 2 thoughts. One, what if it was an emergency? The shrill noise would surely give me away to an intruder. Two, what if there was an intruder and they made me call back to avert a response? The whole time I would be in trouble and the police weren’t coming. What if…?

Ancient Anti-Woman Code Cracked

I live on a gorgeous piece of property and love working in the yard. There’s so much to keep up that in seven years, I haven’t gotten on top of it. Never mind that I keep planting more amazingness, but that’s beside the point. The point of this post is to disclose a momentous discovery.

Historically, my dearest has stepped up willingly to hook me up with tools that claim to make my yard work easier. Take for example the weed-whacker. Holding it like a flagger with a stop sign, he teaches me the basics. I have a lot of questions but I’m trying to keep-up with the directives. I figure it’ll come to me once I start working. Friends, it doesn’t.

He sets it on the ground and yanks on the starter cord by powerfully pulling back with his long arms. It sputters to life and he plops massive earmuffs over my head. I know exactly how David felt when King Saul put his armor on the lad. But I’m more determined than he was to get those Goliath weeds. As he walked away, I thought I saw a smile.

No sooner does he round the bend than the darned thing dies. He walks back and this time, I swear I see him roll his eyes. “Pull on this,” he instructs, pointing to the cord. I pull with all my hundred pounds. It is not impressed, and it rolls its eyes. “Pull again.” I do. Nothing. He sighs and applies his two-hundred pounds to the cord. It promptly snaps to attention and goes to work. That makes me mad.

“Don’t turn it off,” are his parting words.

I start to lunge for him with the roaring beast, but the top-heavy, gangly body starts swirling. I feel like a drunk giraffe with an anvil for a head. I move this way and that to stabilize it but the oversized earmuffs, swimming in the opposite direction are now covering my eyes. I try to use my shoulder to move them but in so doing the anvil whacks against a tree which, irritated, bends in the same direction I was going, then catapults me to the ground.

Lights out.

I lie there for a minute, my hands neatly placed on top of each other as though I’m in a coffin. The weapon of my death straddles me, its engine is laughing so hard that it rolls over and dies. I remember thinking that this is not quite how I had envisioned dying. I’d hoped for something more dignified.

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Then I see a bright light. At the time I thought it was the light at the end of the tunnel ushering me to the heavenlies, but no. It is enlightenment that sends me back to earth to reveal to my fellow women that we have been wronged all along. Why is it that it takes him five minutes to tame the yard with this beast, but it takes me an hour to stabilize myself under it? Why? Because, the twenty-pound, twelve-foot, murderous, gas- guzzling barbarian was not made for a hundred-pound, five-foot woman. That’s why!

And those snide statements: “Just pull here,” “be careful,” “don’t kill it,”… Those, my warrior friends, are part of the ancient code that has kept us hobbled for millennia. But we are shackled no more.

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Ryobi to the rescue!

I picked myself up a three-pound, four-foot, electric weed-whacker. That baby rises when I walk up to it and salutes me like an eager recruit. Friends, I have since dominated acres of weeds, slain unruly lawn edges, and tamed defiant bushes.

Moreover, there is no need to earmuffs as my doll purrs in my arms. No choking fumes. No insolent pull-cord. No leaking gas. No snide comments. No anvil-giraffe hybrid. This, women, is what we were made for! This is power. I have to go!

In the name of all that is good, your wrath upon this world is over.”

Wonder Woman

What on Earth is your Soul?

By Hannah Thuku Kolehmainen, Ph.D.

“Jesus saved my soul,” we claim. “Bless your soul,” they say.  “He’s a wretched soul,” we might accuse. 

What on earth is a soul, anyway? The basic understanding of it is a life, for example, we might read that ten souls perished in the inferno. Beyond that is a deeper, seemingly mysterious definition. Asking many Christians what their soul is leaves them stammering for answers and scratching their heads. Welcome to a clear and concise description of it. In this article I will define the soul scripturally, I will unfold the premise of the soul,  and then tackle our calling to align it with God.

Understanding your soul can dramatically transform you and how God works in your life. We must grasp it so as to comprehend what we are in essence. Numerous Bible passages refer to the soul. 1 Peter 1:9 claims that the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Peter refers to Jesus as the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls in 1 Peter 2:25. Jesus admonished, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell,” (Matthew 10:28.)

To understand the soul, let’s pan out to the greatest commandment, upon which all others hinge, based on Deuteronomy 6:5. 

When asked, “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  

Matthew 22:37-40. 

Defining the Soul

Western culture views the heart as the center of emotions, the soul as entirely fuzzy and best sidestepped, and the mind as the brain. How does Scripture define these terms? Review God’s greatest command. To love Him is our top calling. We are to do so with 3 aspects of our being: the whole heart, the whole soul, and the whole mind. Unraveling these concepts is a feast! Let’s use Strong’s Bible Dictionary to guide us.

  • The heart, kardia, is the center of all physical and spiritual life; the fountain and seat of the passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors. It is the faculty and seat of intelligence, the will, and character. It encompasses our emotions. 
  • The soul, psuche, is the breeze or breath of life that animates men and animals. Furthermore, it is the seat of feelings, desires, affections. It is the heart. It is a moral being designed for everlasting life and is not dissolved upon death. 
  • The mind, dianoia, is the faculty of thinking, understanding, imagining, feeling, and desiring. 

Note how tightly woven this trifecta is. Just as God started the greatest commandment in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear O Israel, the LORD your God is one,” the heart, soul, and mind are one and the same thing at their core. This is where the mic drops! It is so simple. It is so deep.

The scriptural outlook is much meatier than our western view. Heart, soul, and mind are synonymous with each other. We can define any one of them as the will, the intellect, and the emotions. I use the simple acronym W.I.E. to remember them. Are you ready for the second mic drop? God has a soul too. He has a will, an intellect, and emotions. Animals also have a soul and it is easy to see these three aspects of the soul in various animals, especially those higher up in the animal kingdom.

Unfolding the Soul

In this section, we will explore the three aspects of the soul – the will, the intellect, and the emotions. View the article titled The Senses as the Gateway to the Soul.

  1. The will.

The Google dictionary defines the will as the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action. Other words to describe it include resolve, determination, purpose, motivation, and drive. 

  1. The Intellect

In this context, I refer to the intellect as executive brain function. Click here for my list of the various intellectual elements. Can you think of any that I missed? Please email them to me or note them in the comments section. As you reflect on these, you see that God also has an intellect, as do many animals.

Elements of Executive Brain Function




Planning/organizing (short, mid, and long term)


Accomplishing a task: initiating, maintaining, and terminating

Logic and reason


Verbal fluency

learning – processing, comprehending information

Memory – storing, and/or retrieving information

Mood regulation

Inhibition and the capacity to resist temptation


Empathy for people and animals

Culturally-specific social appropriateness

Motivation (anticipation, desire, drive)

Judgement/discernment – hindsight, insight, and foresight

Abstract concepts (the ability to make a leap from the symbolic to the real world)

Understanding different points of view

Mathematical calculation


Time concept



organizing – categorizing, generalizing, discriminating, grouping

  1. The Emotions

Emotions refer to feelings or sentiments. They are a natural instinctive state of mind based on one’s circumstances. Numerous emotions wheels have been developed. Click here for one of my favorites: Emotions Wheel : Glenn Trigg. You can also download one for yourself from that site.

Aligning the soul with God

Our goal then becomes to align your soul with God’s soul. He is as the docking station my Roomba vacuum cleaner docks itself to when it is done cleaning. Better yet, he is our true North to which we are to orient ourselves moment by moment. Consider your will. How driven are you? What motivates you? How does that align with God? He desires for us to live passionately driven lives for his purposes. What is your purpose? What are you pouring your short life into (and it is short even if you live to be 130 years old)?

Next, peruse the intellectual functions again. Pick five and compare them in your life to the same function in God’s life. What am I constantly focusing on? Am I paying attention to what he is paying attention to? Is my humor aligned with his? Am I submitting my plans to his plans as disclosed in Scripture? Is my imagination pleasing him? Are my priorities in line with his? How am I faring in the area of judgment?

Now behold the emotions. Do I respond emotionally as he does? Am I happy and celebrating what makes him happy and celebrate? Does what makes him angry make me angry? Again, pick five items off the emotions wheel to study. Ask him to reveal how yours line up with his. Are you filled with his joy and peace?

In closing, look again at the greatest commandment to love him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. Consider that to “love is to welcome.” From this regard, welcome his will and bend yours to fit his. Welcome his intellect and mold yours to his. Welcome his emotions and yield yours to his. What a fantastic and grand calling. To do so is to be holy as he is holy (Leviticus 20:26; 1 Peter 1:16) – truly sanctified meaning, set apart. Then we can say with John, “herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world!” 1 John 4:17.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

1 Thessalonians 5:23

I’d love your feedback on this material. Is this new information or were you familiar with it? Please share this article with a friend or with your pastor. Blessings!

How You Can Shape the Future Today

Does your spiritual life feel limp today? Could you use a blast to power and lift your life and that of others? Today I am enthralled by the power I hold in my hands as I unfold E. M. Bounds’ article Putting God to Work. This is one of those works that has the capacity to revolutionize your spiritual walk. In it, he explores the potential horsepower we have with the heavenlies, with our world, and with ourselves through prayer. Meditatively contemplate the points I outline below. Each point is a burner firing up the hot air balloon of your life. Be transported. Be transformed. Shape the future.

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10 Prayer Afterburners

  1. prayer is a specific divine appointment, an ordinance of heaven, whereby God purposes to carry out his gracious designs on earth and to execute and make efficient the plan of salvation
  2. Prayer puts God’s work in his hands and keeps it here. It looks to him constantly and depends on him implicitly to further his own cause. Prayer is but faith resting in, acting with, leaning on, and obeying God. This is why God loves it so well, why he puts all power into its hands, and why he so highly esteems men of prayer
  3. the denial of prayer is a denial of God himself, for God and prayer are so inseparable that they can never be divorced
  4. prayer puts God, angels, and man to work. “What a wonderful reach there is in prayer!” It brings into play the forces of heaven and earth. God, angels, and men are subjects of this wonderful law of prayer
  5. the work of God stays or advances as prayer puts forth its strength. Prophets and apostles have urged the utility, force, and necessity of prayer
  6. God has placed himself under the law of prayer
  7. prayer puts God to work on earth and therefore prayerlessness rules God out of the world’s affairs and prevents him from working… leaving man [believers and non-believers] on earth the mere creature of circumstances, at the mercy of blind fate, or without help from God
  8. God says, “whatever you need for my cause, ask me and I will do it. Shape the future by your prayers. God says, “It is my work which you are doing. It concerns my causes. Be prompt and full in praying. Do not abate your asking, and I will not wince nor abate in my giving…” As an example, God stayed and answered as long as Abraham stayed and asked. He will do the same with you
  9. by leaving prayer out of the catalogue of religious duties, we leave God out, and his work cannot progress without him
  10. the fishes of the sea (Jonah,) the birds of the air (Moses,) the very climate on earth (Elijah) are all brought into subjection to this same law

Ignite your burners, church. Pray, men and women of God. Pray, believers. Pray, fathers. Pray, mothers. Pray, children. I pray that you would pray. In so doing, you fire up the very pulse of God, his roaring heartbeat. In praying your unleash his heart and unfold his hands. With this new mindset, pray and shape the future.

  • which of these 10 points most resonates with you?
  • which is a burner you haven’t fired up before?
  • who can you pray for today and participate in their transformation?
  • who can you share this and shape their future?