Broken Vessel

broken-potI am continually baffled as to why God chose to lay this passion of prayer on my heart.

I feel pretty broken and messed up, but he showed me through scripture that he has chosen to use broken vessels to carry out His will here on this earth. I am forever baffled by the mystery that he LOVES using broken people to help heal this broken world!

~ Noah was a drunk ~ Abraham was too old ~ Jacob was a liar ~ Leah was ugly ~ Joseph was abused

~ Moses had a stuttering problem ~ Rahab was a prostitute ~ Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

I realize I’m broken, but how do I become a vessel for God to use?

I read a great book last year called Kingdom Journey: rediscovering the lost spiritual discipline. The book looks at becoming a broken vessel by Abandonment, Brokenness, and Dependence

1. Abandonment – to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in.

In order for God to use us fully, we need to abandon ourselves. We hear this all the time, but it’s hard! We know that we know that we know God’s will is better than our own, yet we do not abandon our will, we hang onto it – sometimes barely, sometimes like a death grip. The first stage in becoming a broken vessel is abandonment.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

2. Brokenness – ruptured; torn; fractured. Not functioning properly; out of working order.

God will not force His love on you; He gives it freely. Brokenness can only come once you have abandoned that which you had previously held onto. Through being broken, God can shape and mold you to His good and perfect will. Brokenness may hurt, but we have to believe that it is worth it.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

3. Dependence – relying on or needing someone or something for aid or support

We as humans have a void in our hearts that we seek to fill with different things that only God can truly fill. We therefore are dependent on many things in life. The question is after the abandonment and after the brokenness, will we become dependent on the right person?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” – Matthew 6:24

Abandonment, Brokenness, and Dependence are not one-time choices. Sometimes we have to fight for being a broken vessel because we may buy into the lie that we have “fixed ourselves.”

But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.  Then the word of the Lord came to me.  He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord.  ”Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. (Jeremiah 18: 4-6, NIV)

Will we let him use us broken vessels?

Prayer is a Choice

ChoiceWhen I started choosing to take prayer seriously for the first time in life, things started changing fast.

He even helped wake me up each morning with a new-found desire for intimacy. God said I could make a difference in the world if only I chose into the power of prayer. It was then God taught me to fight for 3 things.

1. Prayer for my own Prayer life

There were days where it was really hard; I didn’t want to do it. But I did it anyways, and you know what…God honored that! He allowed me to work through my attitude and filled me with His desire. His desire for praying didn’t always happen immediately upon prayer starting; but for those 10 days I can testify – EVERY TIME – God came through.

2. Prayer for those closest to me

At that point in time, nearly everyone was ill. There was nothing I could really do physically to help them other than get them food and water. It felt helpless, but God showed me the most powerful thing I could do during that time of sickness was actually pray for them. One of my teammates one day even said, “Brian, I’m not sure if I can handle this level of excitement” as we were about to go do street evangelism.

3. Prayer for everyone else

As the whole squad evacuated 5 days ago because of the virus, God taught me that I would now fight for the whole squad. I really was not looking forward to that, because God was teaching me SO MUCH when it was just me spending a ton of alone time with God. But God told me, no you still need to fight, I’m just giving you a bigger heart, a bigger task. Little did I know how much…

A Story of Life-Changing Prayer

A couple days ago I received word of my friend Katharine (Kat) Tompkin that had just had a serious accident.

I started praying and before I knew it I was absolutely weeping! But I wasn’t weeping because I was sad or even because I was angry. I asked God, “why the heck am I crying?” And in the smallest voice he said to me “That’s just a drop of my compassion.”

I was crying with compassion – something I’ve never done before in prayer. This blew me away. For most of the Race I have felt that I didn’t have compassion. Yes I love serving people, but never did I believe that I had compassion. I couldn’t keep this in; I had to share Kat’s prayer request with everyone! That night I shared the update with my squad, and afterwards prayed for her. God filled that prayer with such power, love, and belief. I didn’t “sense” any difference in the atmosphere, no “goosebumps,” but I didn’t need too. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was changing things.

But this story isn’t just about Kat’s accident: it’s something much bigger…

Literally hours before her incident Kat had written a blog about the spiritual darkness she and her squad are facing Month 10 in Romania. Click Here to see her blog exposing the spiritual darkness. The devil tried to shut her up by her accident, but she posted the blog – because she is choosing to fight. She is making a CHOICE.

She Almost Died

Here story has motivated me to fight. Not just to fight for prayer, not just to fight for others, but to fight for the Kingdom. To fight with every fiber of my being, because that’s what Jesus would do. Some of the bravest people in the world are soldiers that fight for their country. I want to fight for the Kingdom of God and never stop till the day I die.

Will there be days that I don’t feel like fighting? Absolutely, but it’s my CHOICE, and I will Fight!

Supporting Scripture: Continue reading

Why is Prayer so darn Hard?

b2ap3_large_Struggle2_web_notxtPrayer is hard for a lot of us.

Some days my mind balks at the idea of prayer like when a cat freaks out in water. I pray to encourage you in your prayer life by sharing this space with you in vulnerability. You are not alone.

Prayer doesn’t come naturally.

Prayer goes against most “social norms.” This is not a bad thing, it simply causes us to pause and consider, because majority of humans are self-conscious: thinking about what others are thinking of them.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Prayer is a directly connected to faith. It is odd when you consider: (1) you believe in a power/person you cannot see, and (2) you trust that person to hear all your words/thoughts/prayers. Prayer seems like a lot of guessing/hoping sometimes.

Prayer feels pointless sometimes.

First, I would say give all your expectations to God. Do not expect prayer to be a certain way, because if we did God would more than likely show us something different because man cannot put him in a box. Anything that is not natural such as prayer, needs practice/work/time invested in order for it to become natural. Something needs to bridge that gap between the unnatural and the natural.

 “being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” – Colossians 1:11-12

Unfortunately prayer does not happen by itself. The greatest things we strive for in life come through our own discipline. Prayer is hardly any different. The only difference with prayer is that it takes your control of the results and places this power of activism in God’s hands.

Prayer is hard to concentrate on.

We’ve all been there. And that is alright! All God wants to develop in us is a perseverance to stick with him to the end. We are never going to get it fully right, but every day spent with God results in a deeper relationship than the day before

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”  – James 1:12

All God has ever asked for is a relationship with us. He loved us so much He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us as Christians so that we could know that God is closer than anyone.

Are you even listening to my prayers, God?

We’ve all been there. Feel like I’m talking at the ceiling or talking at the floor, take your pick. Is prayer supposed to FEEL a certain way? God how do I know you are listening?

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” – 1 John 5:14

We should EXPECT God to answer prayers, but when the request becomes so consuming that we lose our love for God in the process then we subconsciously turn God into a genii of sorts. Our prayers have become results-oriented. A healthy prayer life is fully satisfied in having an on-going, deep, communicative relationship that leaves results fully in God’s hands. Whether “Good” or “Bad” result still having a deep loving prayer life.

Prayer is not just for big requests

I get halfway through my day sometimes and realize I have not talked with God, and I say to myself, “well I have not really done anything today; I will make sure to pray this afternoon!”

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”- Matthew 6:26

“Prayer is for big requests” is something we would never really say out loud, but our subconscious screams it! This stems from a self-reliance, and it really sucks to admit, but it is the truth.

How do I continually pray?

Many cannot say that their prayer life is healthy. Why is this? Prayer is hard because it is not habit. If it is not almost second nature, how can you possibly expect to pray all the time like it is no big deal.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Praying without ceasing such as David and others mention in the Bible comes from a LIFE fully dedicated to the cause of Christ. Prayer did not come easy for them either, have you ever read some of David’s psalms? Some are not pretty at all. But his prayers do not have to be pretty, that is the point. The point is simply honest, heartfelt communication with God who cares about you.

What is prayer…really?

Isn’t prayer supposed to be some “divine communion” where God and I can talk on super deep levels? Rarely does it feel that way. God am I supposed to “feel” during prayer? God show me!

Prayer is how we converse with God. Conversations have endless variety. The problem is our prayers our often one-sided, making it feel like we are talking to ourselves.

Our belief in prayer is shown by the time we dedicate to prayer.

Prayer is worth it because God is worthy. Every exchange involves a transaction of WORTH. If someone does not see worth in their part of the transaction, then they will not take a part in it – plain and simple. The crying sin of today’s generation (myself included) is not seeing WORTH in PRAYER. How? Why? I do not know. But I keep on reminding myself that prayer is WORTH it.

No matter how frustrated I get, I am going to let God know about it.

No matter how impossible prayer feels, I am going to let God know about it.

No matter how good life is and prayer seems easy for now, I am going to let God know about it.

That is prayer.

I believe the most beautiful aspect of prayer is that God says, “Come as you are.”

God just wants us to be honest and genuine with him. Let us start today, because the “struggle” is worth it!

How do we start a Face Down Revolution?


Starting a prayer revolution is kind of a daunting idea.

When the Lord first gave it to me, I automatically rejected it, “That’s too big for me God, how is that even feasible?” He said one person at a time. But before you go around trying to change the world, you have to know how to pray.

“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:9-13

You might have heard the Lord’s prayer many times like me, but let’s break this prayer into 3 parts.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”

It is reverent submission (Face Down) before God. He first acknowledges that His father is in heaven, acknowledging His power and position. The second part: “hallowed (means honor as holy) be your name” is glorifying God because He is worthy of our praise.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

It is an admittance that God’s will comes before our own. Jesus’ prayer is bigger than himself essentially. The second part: “on earth as it is in heaven” is a calling for heaven to come to earth. It is a call for **Living like Heaven**(read more on this topic at bottom of page by clicking, ‘continue reading’)

“Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

This is a daily request in prayer, calling upon God to provide for our needs. And even though this last section includes “prayer requests”, It is no coincidence that the “requests” are actually last in Jesus’ prayers.

So we see that prayer honors God, acknowledges his will, exalts His power, and secures His aid. We now have the example, but how do we actually start praying? I recommend frustration prayers: “God, I want to pray! But I do not know where to start or what to pray. Can you help me?” God loves those prayers! Prayer is an admittance to God: “I need your help.”

If you are trying to form a habit of praying, I would not start out by praying for lists of things quite yet. In every friendship, if your new friend started asking a bunch of favors before you really know them, would you feel used? I do not think we should treat God any different. The whole purpose of Jesus coming to earth was not just to die on a cross He came to restore a broken relationship between man and Him.

So how do we better any relationship?

We communicate… We spend time together… We put others first

 Challenge for this Week:

Try having conversations with God like He is right beside you. It might feel awkward, but that is okay. God is not going to judge you for wanting to come closer in your relationship. The more you do it, the more natural it will feel, and relationship will eventually bloom from the discipline of prayer.

Additional reading : Side note from text above:

** Living like Heaven**:

Continue reading

Why is Prayer necessary?

Why-Should-You-Spend-Money-On-Facebook-AdvertisingGrowing up I didn’t pray often because I didn’t see the point of it.

Sure, I knew prayer was important, but only because my family and the church told me. Prayer seemed to be taught from the pulpit, but never lived out. All I wanted was someone to show me why.

Prayer is necessary because it is communication with God. Our God is unique because he actually interacts with humanity. Do you know of any other religion that claims to have a god they can converse with?  He’s personal and relational, intent on getting to know us on a deeper level.

We need communication with God because deep down we crave fulfillment. We spend our lives searching for things to make us happy and give us a sense of purpose. God created prayer as this avenue: a way to be truly fulfilled by the Father. But self-sufficiency gets in our way. It make prayer harder because self-sufficiency and humbleness are opposites. When prayer is mentioned, it is automatically associated with humbleness. Prayer and self-sufficiency cannot coexist; one has to bend the knee.

We are a generation that wants to DO so much! Constantly working and never stopping. That’s great!

But let me ask 2 questions?

  1. What is your motivation?
  2. Where is your motivation coming from?

My motivation was missions. I wanted to DO the right thing, but my motives were skewed.  My intentions were good, but they lacked the power of prayer. I was so full of actions, so full of self, but never full of God. What I never realized was that God wants to help us do these great things. But if we never spend the time inviting him to join us, then we will miss out on something much greater he has planned for us.

Think of how much more blessed our endeavors would be if we truly Prayed!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Luke 11:9-10

Ask cannot be accomplished without humility. It’s an admittance (whether we want to or not) that you need help. When you ask, God says you receive: Obtaining of something which you did not have previously.

Seek cannot be accomplished without a search. It’s an all-out hunt for something you desire. When you seek, God says you will find: Laying hold of the thing you were seeking.

Knock cannot be accomplished without first raising your hand. We need to put forward the effort in order for God to know we actually want in. Knocking is saying, “Hey God, I want to make this relationship work.”

So…..”Why is Face Down Revolution necessary“?

Face Down Revolution is necessary because this generation is missing the life-changing power of prayer. We need to learn to become “reverently submissive” before God if we ever expect to communicate with him. Then, and only then, can we truly expect God to start radically answering prayers.

God is here waiting with loads of grace. Let’s start praying today.

What is Face Down Revolution?

It all started on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

We asked each other what we wanted out of our time together, and we all agreed to explore what being a man of prayer looked like. We didn’t even know where to start, but we dove into the unknown.

Face Down Revolution spawned from that month. My prayer life transformed from rigid structure to unhindered freedom. I grew more bold and confident in my relationship with God, as I saw him changing the world through my prayer. That month started a revolution in my heart that has shaped me into the person I am today.

Face Down. Jesus offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears, but that wasn’t what caught the Father’s attention. Hebrews 5:7 says Jesus was heard because of his reverent submission.

Revolution. Many of us want to believe that prayer makes a difference, but haven’t seen much proof. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says if we seek his face, he will forgive our sins and heal our land. He wants to bring a revolution.

Many of us grew up with big dreams.

I wanted to be a golf professional, winning lots of golf tournaments and making the cover photo on a Wheaties box. You may have wanted to be a firefighter, pulling people from burning buildings and retrieving stranded kittens from trees. But society told us to grow up. We were supposed to attend college, get a job, get married, and before long we forgot our childhood dreams.

In the same way, our prayer lives suffered as we grew up. We were told to use logic and reason, instead of childlike faith. We were taught to only trust ourselves, not trust the Lord first and foremost. We were told to make a name for ourselves, not make his name known. How can we make a difference in this world?

If we live a healthy prayer life, we can change the world around us.  You don’t have to find the cure for cancer or invent artificial intelligence in order to be a world changer. You can do that by praying for your neighbor or pastor. Why? Because prayer changes things as God changes things.

Do we ‘let go and let God,’ or do we actually do something?

Our blunder as Christians is the belief that prayer is passive. In many churches, prayer is relegated to another tradition in the church service. It’s not viewed as a world-changing tool from God. He designed prayer to be our ‘Go to’ and first line of communication with God, but we tend to treat it as a last resort. We seem to pray out of reaction, instead of praying in advance.

Imagine two Christian examples: a monk and an evangelist. The monk has a great appreciation for personal time with God, as he lives isolated from the world. The evangelist loves preaching, as he lives constantly around people. The majority of Americans would support the evangelist because we favor ‘action’ and ‘busyness’ more. But is the monk any less active or important in God’s Kingdom?

It’s all about prayerful activism.

The idea that we can bring as much Kingdom praying on our knees as we can by serving as an evangelist on the streets. It’s about spending time in prayer, but also about actively living your life out in the world for God. Both are taking action, and both are necessary.

Look around. Everyone seems to be looking to join something that has purpose and meaning. Face Down Revolution is not about sitting around all day and praying, even though there is a time and place for that. It’s about living out your God-given calling, and actively praying for God to further what you are doing. It’s about bringing God into your everyday life and walking in the fullness of him. You’ll soon see things start changing, because Christ says he lives in us. Everything that applies to Christ, he says now applies to us as his son or daughter.

Living a life of prayerful activism is challenging, but don’t worry. None of us are ever going to get it perfect. I fail more often than not, but I can’t let that stop me. When Christ commissioned the disciples he said “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” – John 14:12. We have to trust in the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, because Christ wants to change the world through you.

If you feel this same calling on your life, join the Face Down Revolution.

Next blog: “Why is Face Down Revolution necessary?”

Face Down Revolution Verses:

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” – Hebrews 5:7

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14