THE POWER OF PRAYER (PART 1)

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Unplugged to the Source of Power

I read a story about a pastor who walked into his church, one day, and found the caretaker exhausted and dripping with perspiration. The caretaker was a good Christian, but was gradually losing his ability to think and work effectively because of the hardening of his arteries. As the pastor saw him struggling with the vacuum cleaner, he looked down, and there, lying on the floor was the plug. The dear man had vacuumed the whole auditorium and did not have the plug in the socket!

This is what happens to many of us. We plan, we work, we pull, we struggle, we toil until we are utterly exhausted, because, we have forgotten or not bothered to plug into the power source. Our source of power is God and our ‘socket’ or access point is prayer – the powerful and effective prayer of the righteous person.

When I shared this story with my husband, he asked a question, “Could the man not hear the silence as he vacuumed?” A working vacuum cleaner is noisy and all around are aware of its use, and so is prayer! Are we, like this unfortunate caretaker, deafened to the silence of our prayerlessness?

Prayer is Essential

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.  Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.” –  James 5:13-18 (NLT)

Unfortunately, prayer is one of the most talked about but, often, more difficult and less practiced activities of our Christian walk. Yet, prayer is also one of the most important requirements of our relationship and walk with God.

Simply defined, prayer is a two-way communication or interaction between God and His children, either privately or corporately. Prayer is based on the relationship between us and God; He is our Father and we are His children. Through the redemptive and reconciliatory work of Jesus Christ on the cross, God has adopted us into His family, so we are now His children. Therefore, as God’s children, we must communicate with Him and He with us. (Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 3:1)

Although the scriptures constantly admonish us to pray, we do not always give prayer the place it deserves in our lives. Many have found other convenient, independent and, often, quicker ways of meeting our needs, so prayer only becomes a last resort, which, of course, is a very huge mistake.

No Christian Is Greater Than His Prayer life

As Christians, prayer (our access to God and communication with Him) is one of our greatest assets, which we can use to enhance our Christian lives, as well as advance the Kingdom of God. Yet, unfortunately, we do not adequately utilise this resource. It is true we are all at different levels of maturity and strength, but there is a saying that “No Christian is greater than his prayer life.” This probably explains why the Church seems to be struggling at almost everything, especially evangelising and fulfilling the Great Commission! We lack strength and power, due to prayerlessness!!!

Why Do We Not Pray?

Here are some reasons why people don’t pray or find it difficult to pray.

  1. Many do not know and understand the importance of prayer in the believer’s life and the life of the world around them.
  2. Many people simply don’t know how to pray. Many people are confused about what prayer is and what it involves.
  3. People have their own pre-formed ideas about prayer. Should it be formal or informal, loud or quiet, meditative or expressive, vocal or silent and intense or restrained…?
  4. Temperament, experience, cultural background and lack of knowledge also create a lot of confusion about prayer, which discourages and deters people from praying.
  5. Prayer is often regarded as a task, duty or chore that we do for God. This makes prayer tiresome and boring.
  6. It is difficult to talk to someone you cannot see and who sometimes seems distant and unreal. Unfortunately, this is how many believers see God.
  7. Many are not sure whether God will answer their prayers.
  8. For some, it’s just sheer laziness, indifference or apathy.
  9. We have an enemy who would do anything and everything to discourage or prevent us from praying because he knows how important prayer is.
Need for Change

However, there are many things that God will not do on earth, unless believers pray. We are God’s agents to advance and establish His kingdom on earth. We have been given power and authority to do that, but we do not have autonomy from God and need to be in constant communication with Him in order to fulfil His will on the earth. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:7-8)

God does not expect us to change the whole world; He only wants us to effectively do our part. When we come before God in prayer and give Him full control of a situation, we are acknowledging His sovereignty in that area. As a result, He begins to work on the problem with His mighty power. God desires to be involved in every area of our life. He wants us to specifically commit each of our concerns to Him. 

The Power of Prayer

The power of prayer comes from the source of all power – God Almighty. God is omnipotent and the source of all power; as such, all power belongs to Him. (Psalm 62:11; Revelation 19:6)

The Book of Job, Chapters 38 to 41, describes how God revealed His Omnipotence (almighty and all-powerful) to Job. After God had revealed Himself as Omnipotent, Job came to this conclusion, “I know that You can do everything, and no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you” (Job 42:1)

Illustration

Science tells us that when God created the atom He bound it together with a powerful force called the nuclear attraction force. This force is 3 x 10E39 times more powerful than the force of gravity. (3 x 10E39 is written as 3 with 39 zeros after it.) Nuclear power comes from that force. Yet, Jesus said, “ALL POWER BELONGS TO ME,” (including the power inherent in the atom)!

If God could put so much power force in an atom, how much more power would He release to help us in our time of need? The next time you are discouraged because of a problem and don’t feel like praying, just remember the atom. Think about the tremendous power God applied to this tiny object. This same power is available to us when we commit a problem to God. God can do all things!

 ““Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You…” Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”” – Jeremiah 32:17,26-27

This Almighty God is our Father

Many of us are afraid of God’s power and omnipotence. The Israelites were terrified at the display of God’s strength and power and were so frightened they asked not to see or communicate with Him. (Exodus 20:18-21) They had also seen His abilities in Egypt and on the journey so far, and yet, were afraid

But God’s omnipotence is not meant to scare us; it is to empower us and cause faith and confidence to grow in us. God’s power is not meant to disable us, but rather, enable us to perform the works Jesus said we would do. His power is not meant to destroy us, but to equip us as we fight the fight of faith. (Acts 1:7-8; Romans 8:15 – 17)

Prayer Is The Solution

This is why we need to pray, that is, communicate with God! Prayer has its source in the power and ability of Almighty God, who is not only God, but also, our loving and merciful Father. In an era where there is so much turmoil, pain, confusion, terror, rebellion and wickedness, PRAYER IS AND MUST BE, our first solution!!! We really need to plug in to the Source of Power to enable us to make an impact and a difference.  (To be continued)

By Apostle Jennifer Abigail Lawson-Wallace
A woman in tune, listening and obeying

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Hounded By God

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HOUNDED BY GOD

My soul thirsts,
My heart hungers,
My yearnings deepen,
My heart cries.

The more I drink,
The more I feed,
The more I’m satisfied,
The more I’m filled with joy.

The deeper my soul’s thirst,
The stronger my heart’s hunger,
The more earnest my yearnings,
The more desperate my heart’s cry,

I am perplexed,
My soul faints within me,
I pray and pray and pray,
I sing, I cry; I cry, I sing!

But then, I hear a whisper from within,
The reassuring voice of His presence,
And it finally dawns on me,
“I am hounded by God.”

The God of relentless love,
Has made me the object of His pursuit;
So, willingly and freely,
I embrace all the perplexities
Of one hounded by Love.

Jennifer Abigail Lawson-Wallace
Copyright 2016

For I Hear A Cry As Of A Woman In Labour!

“For I heard a cry as of a woman in labour, the anguish as of one giving birth to her first child, the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands saying, “Ah, woe is me…” Jer 4:31

A Poignant Picture

There is a picture I will carry in my heart for a very long time. It depicts two women holding each other in tight embrace, weeping and crying, as they prayed and interceded. Standing around, with hands stretched towards the two women are several other women, also ardently praying and weeping. The interesting thing about this picture is that it seems so powerful and spiritual, and yet, so very natural. That picture, I can honestly tell you, was an actual event that took place a couple of year ago in Kenya, as we prayed and interceded for Congo. The woman in my arms represented Congo and, as I held her in tight embrace, we stood in the gap and travailed for her nation!

The truth is that women are very good at engaging with each other on a deep level, when it comes to interceding, praying and warring until heaven responds or the enemy flees. It comes to us so naturally, which is why God is searching for and calling on women to rise up at such a time as this!
Amid the turmoil and trouble that is happening all round us, God is not only stirring up the Church to prayer, but is also stirring up women to arise and position themselves to carry and birth a fresh outpouring of His Spirit and glory upon the Church and our nations. We must respond to this call!

The Call – Isaiah  32

To understand what God has to say regarding women rising up in prayer and intercession, we must turn to Isaiah 32, which talks about the coming of a righteous King, who would transform society by bringing righteousness, justice and peace. This is a prophecy with a future fulfillment in Christ; however, it also gives an example of what a nation would be like if its government and leadership were righteous and godly. There would be righteousness and justice, security, prosperity and blessings for the people of the land. Sandwiched between the promise of an ideal government and its actual manifestation, Isaiah 32 issues a call and command to women to rise up and take responsibility.

“Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. …Tremble, you women who are at ease; be troubled, you complacent ones; strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, and gird sackcloth on your waists… Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.”Isaiah 32:9-15

The scripture very clearly puts a huge responsibility on women! It not only calls on us to rise up and begin to intercede, but also describes what would happen if we ignored the call.

Complacency

There are many things which stop us from heeding God’s call. However, nothing hinders us as much as complacency! Many of us are complacent and apathetic. We are self-satisfied and self-focused. Some have a comfortable lifestyle, so are at ease, indifferent or disinterested in what goes on around us. God hates complacency (Amos 6:1; Jeremiah 48:11-12)! The call, therefore, is for women to come out of their ease, self-satisfaction/focus and indifference, and take responsibility.

The Onus Is On Women!!!

If women do not heed the scripture, nothing will improve or change in our home, communities, towns and nations. There will not be good and righteous government or peace, unless we arise and pray (1 Tim 2:1-4). Our streets won’t be safe unless we arise! Our children won’t change unless we arise! In fact, things will get worse unless women take responsibility. Our economies will fail if we don’t begin to cry out to God. Society will collapse if we don’t come out of complacency and take responsibility. Therefore, God is calling on women to rise up, strip themselves of comfort, self, fear and pride, and position themselves in the gap for our homes, communities, towns, cities and nations. God is calling on women to humble themselves and cry out in prayer and intercession, pushing through the pain of travail, until the Spirit is poured from on high and there is fruitfulness in our homes, communities, cities and land (Isaiah 32:15). This is REVIVAL!

Why Women?

Why does the scripture instruct women to rise up? What is the role of women in national development and change? What is it about women that qualifies them for such an awesome task? God has designed and created women in a unique and powerful way. He put certain abilities, strengths and gifts into us, which He wants to utilise for His glory. Here are a few examples:

  • Everything a woman receives she multiplies. Give a woman a male seed and she will incubate, multiply and nurture it to create new life. Give her trouble and she will multiply it and give you hell. Give her love and she will multiply it and build a home and haven for you. Better still, give a woman the seed of revival, and she will take it into her spiritual womb and carry it.
  • A woman has the strength and patience to endure nine months of pregnancy with its associated problems. Thus though revival tarries, she will endure and patiently await and expect its manifestation.
  • A woman has the strength to labour and birth what she has carried in her womb. Thus she will labour and travail, and will not give up until revival has been birthed
  • A woman nurtures what she has birthed; hence she can sustain revival on her knees and by moving in the power of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel and disciple new believers.

Peculiar Characteristics

The women who will heed the call will have peculiar traits.

  1. They will focus on God and listen out for His voice.
  2. They will tremble at God’s Word and Presence, knowing He is their only Help. There is no familiarity in their walk with Him, rather, love, respect and honour for His Presence.
  3. They are troubled by the state of affairs around them. They seek, to know and take the Lord’s burden concerning what is going on.
  4. They strip themselves bare and are transparent and open before the Lord. They are women of integrity, sincerity and character.
  5. They gird themselves with sackcloth (expressing their humility and brokenness) in intercession, travail, wailing and waiting before God.
  6. Their only desire is to bring the Presence and Glory of God back into their churches, communities and society.
  7. They will not give not give up until revival comes.

Arise Women!

What is the way forward? What can women do?

“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him….”Lamentations 2:10-11

  1. We can rise up and take responsibility for the spiritual, political, economic and social climates of our nations, and pray, intercede and war for righteousness, justice and peace to prevail. We can hold prayer meetings and vigils, do prayer walks, etc.
  2. We can share the gospel, lead souls to Christ and disciple them.
  3. We can get into the word of God to know His mind and will. This will not only help us pray, it will also cause us to grow and mature.
  4. We can build strong marriages and families, in Christ and after biblical pattern.
  5. We can raise our children, the next generation, in the fear of God and by the standard of His word.
  6. We can serve in the local church.
  7. We can give towards God’s work., and even start businesses to fund missions and the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  8. Wherever we are, we can declare and proclaim Jesus Christ
  9. We can cry out for God to send REVIVAL!

““Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.” Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? A nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.” – Isaiah 66:7-8

It will not be easy, but we possess the strength and tenacity to endure! We can certainly go the long haul and endure the length of time and the travail it takes to bring change in our world! With the help of the Holy Spirit we can make it.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”Romans 8:26

With His help we can birth revival and the fruits of righteousness, justice and peace in our land. Our communities can be safe again, and our children dwell in hope. JESUS CHRIST our Righteous King can reign and rule in our nations, if we rise up!

Woman, Daughter of Zion, God is calling on you. Will you heed the call? Will you rise up and take responsibility? Will you stand in the gap for your nation? …Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high…

The Church of Jesus Christ is His Bride, and therefore must possess these same qualities and characteristics. She must also arise, strip herself and cry out to God, until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wildernesses of our churches, families, communities and nations becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest

If you would like to heed the call and get involved in prayer and intercession for your community, town, city and nation, then please consider joining QUIVER. QUIVER is simply women coming together in groups of five to pray for Revival in the United Kingdom (or your particular nation). For more information, email: quiver5@live.co.uk or log on to http://www.quiverprayermovement.org

In Christ’s Love and Service
Apostle Jennifer Abigail Lawson-Wallace

QUIVER Newsletter – June 2014 Issue

Click on link below to read this month’s issue of QUIVER NEWSLETTER – Birthing Revival

 QUIVER Newsletter – June 2014

QUIVER is a strategic prayer movement for such a time as this.

For more info visit www.quiverprayermovement.org

QUIVER Newsletter – December 2013 Issue

QUIVER LOGO

Please Click on link below to read this month’s issue of QUIVER NEWSLETTER – Birthing Revival

QUIVER Newsletter – December 2013 Issue

QUIVER is a strategic prayer movement for such a time as this. For more info visit www.quiverprayermovement.org

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM THE SNOW

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In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago

This message was first publicized  in November 2010 as a word from the Lord to His Church. However, today I felt led by the Holy Spirit to send out this abridged version again, to remind and encourage God’s people. I hope this bless and challenges you.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM THE SNOW

The weather forecast had predicted heavy snow, yet I was hopeful that our retreat at Ashburnham Place in East Sussex, England would still take place. As the snow began to fall, the weather reports got more alarming, while pictures of heavy snow and traffic on the motorways and roads told a grim story, especially in the area we were to travel to. However, we felt the Holy Spirit leading us to go, and so we set off by faith.

The journey to Ashburnham gave us a clearer picture of the amount of snow that had fallen. Everywhere, the fields, trees, roads, etc, were all covered in snow! There was no sign of the sun and the atmosphere was still, cold, icy, grey, eerie and lifeless. There was not much else worth mentioning about the journey, except for a comment I made. Out of the blue I said,

 “Don’t be surprised if we wake up tomorrow and it has rained and there is no snow.”

As I spoke, I looked out of the car window and knew that short of a miracle, what I had just said would never happen. I could also tell, by looking at their faces, that none of the people in the car with me could imagine that happening either.

We arrived at our destination and there was about 12 inches of snow covering the car park, making parking almost impossible! After we had checked and settled in, we had a couple of teaching and prayer sessions, and then went to bed at about 1.00am.

However, when we woke up for prayer at 7.00am, lo and behold, it had rained and most of the snow had melted away, with just a few patches left, which soon melted away. I immediately remembered the comment I made in the car! All day long, till the next day, it rained and water continued to flow, both from the rain and the melted snow. Also, every time I closed my eyes, I would see a picture of water flowing and growing,  like a big river, but the water was very beautiful and blue, clean and clear. I knew that there was a message or lesson for me to learn, but didn’t quite know what it was.

Word from the Lord

A few days after we returned from the retreat, just before going to bed, I felt a strong urge to read my bible, and the more I tried to ignore it, the stronger the urge became. I wasn’t quite sure what I was being prompted to read, so I said a quick prayer to the Lord, “I’m going to open this bible randomly and read whichever page it opens to, even if it’s the genealogies!” I opened my bible, it fell to Psalm 147 and I read from verses 15 to 19,

“He sends out His command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes;
He casts out His hail like morsels;
Who can stand before His cold?
He sends out His word and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any nation;
And as for His judgments, they have not known them.
Praise the LORD!”

Of course, now the Lord had my full attention!!! I began to pray and ponder on the word I had just received and the events of the weekend. I knew God had a message for us and was eager to discern His heart and mind. The more I prayed, the more I realised that this was a message of hope to the Church and to the nation(s)! Hallelujah!

We now live in a nation and world that has rejected God Almighty and His Word, laws and statutes. Rebellion, disobedience and hardness of heart towards God, and the rejection of God and His Word, have become the status quo. There is apathy, coldness and blatant indifference toward God, the Creator of all the earth and everything relating to Him. In the midst of the current situation, we have the Church, disengaged from her Source (Jesus Christ), struggling to make herself relevant and heard, and baffled by the lack of response and effect, both within and without.

In this dire state of affairs, the Word of God seems to have lost its power and impact. It appears to have little or no effect on the hearts, minds and lives of people. Even in the Church, the Word of God appears to have lost its power to perform and transform, and many walk in disobedience, doubt, unbelief, faithlessness and fear.

Like the snow, which is just water that has crystallised due to coldness of temperature, the word of God, in encountering the coldness of human hearts, seems to have ‘frozen’ and become ineffective in accomplishing what it was sent out for. Like the snow, which freezes to death and stifles life, the coldness of human heart has created a spiritual state of death, hopelessness and despair. Just as the snow brought everything to a standstill, motorways blocked with traffic, aeroplanes grounded with businesses losing millions of pounds sterling, many have become spiritually bankrupt, ruined and insolvent.

Yes, we are in the bleak midwinter, not long ago, but HERE and NOW!!!

Revival

Nevertheless, that is not the focus of this message, because in the midst of all that is happening, the Lord seeks to bring hope to the Church and to the people of this land. Hence, this is not an exposition on Psalm 147:15-20, but rather, a declaration of what is on the Father’s heart. The essence of the message is that God is sending forth His word again as rain to melt the coldness and hardness of human hearts. Thus the word of God is going to be restored to and declared by the Church, once again, in this land.

This is the REVIVAL we have been crying, praying and waiting for!!! God will send forth and revive His Word once again. The Word of God is going to be exalted in the Church! God’s people shall HEAR and READ the Word. God’s people shall UNDERSTAND the Word. God’s people shall BELIEVE the Word. God’s people shall OBEY and LIVE according to the Word. God’s people shall BOLDLY DECLARE the Word. And God’s people shall DEMONSTRATE the Word in power!

According to Psalm 147, the Lord will send forth His Word, together with the wind of His Spirit, causing frozen, icy, still and hardened hearts of rebellion, unbelief, doubt, fear, indifference and apathy, to melt and flow like a river of life. Hallelujah!

The bible tells us in Isaiah 55:10-11:

“For as the rains come down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there;
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it”

The Word of God comes down as rain, and is powerful and able to accomplish all that God sent it forth for! As we receive the Word, understand, believe and act upon it in obedience, faith will begin to build up in us, for “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

Rebellion, disobedience, unbelief, doubt, faithlessness, fear and apathy shall all melt away, as faith builds up through the power of the word of God. As our faith increases we will receive more answers to prayer, which will encourage us to further read the word and stand and act on it. This will give us the boldness to DECLARE the Word of God to all. The power of God’s Word will be demonstrated as we boldly declare it, and we shall see life and wholeness created, and change take place in our lives, homes, communities, towns, cities and nation. (Acts 4:29-31)

Yes, this is the REVIVAL we are waiting for!!!

The River of God

In Ezekiel 47, God showed Ezekiel a picture of a flowing, growing and rising river. The water started flowing from the threshold of the Temple. The river grew and expanded from ankle to knee and then waist deep. Then it became a river so deep that one must swim through it. The river contained a great multitude of fishes and its water brought life and healing wherever the river flowed. There were many fishermen on the banks of the river, spreading their nets and catching exceedingly many fishes! Also, along the banks of the river grew many kinds of very fruitful trees, whose fruits and leaves were for food and healing.

Through the Church, the Word of God shall go forth, like that river, into every area of life, bringing healing, restoration and life. The creative power of the Word of God shall go forth from the Church, causing righteousness, justice, peace, mercy, truth, love and joy to spring forth in the land (Psalm 85:8-13). Above all, many souls shall be saved into the kingdom of God.

Indeed, this is the REVIVAL we are awaiting with anticipation!!!

“Aslan Has Come!”

The scenery on our way to the retreat was totally different from that on our journey back home. On our onward journey, as we travelled through the frozen, cold and barren fields, someone commented, “This is Narnia!” Yes, it did look exactly like the film’s depiction of Narnia from C. S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” when the Snow Queen had taken over and turned everything to ice and snow.

However, the scenario on our return journey was totally different. There was little or no snow or ice anywhere, as the rain had melted it all. There was life, as we could now see the trees and fields. One of my team members who was riding in another car immediately sent me a text message saying, “ASLAN HAS COME!” What a true and appropriate depiction of what God wants to do! Indeed, Jesus Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Word of God has come!

This is a message of hope to the Church, for He has come, through His Spirit, to deliver, empower, strengthen and enable us. He has come to stir up FAITH and BOLDNESS in us to live and declare His Word, causing righteousness, peace, justice, mercy and truth to spring forth. This is a message of hope for the people in this nation and the world because as we live and declare Him, they will all hear, know and believe that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is our only Hope, Light and Saviour.

In this coming year and beyond, whatever you do, receive, believe, live and proclaim the Word of God.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” – Isaiah 11:9b; Habakkuk 2:14