Please pray a unity prayer with us. Our Heavenly Father we pray...Read More

Please pray with us to put on the Armor of God. Our Heavenly Father we pray...Read More

Please pray a covering prayer with us. Our Heavenly Father we pray... Read More




by Nancy-TONI Youngbrandt


In the last four months, the focus of our prayers in this ministry has been two-fold: one, giving up our burdens and concerns, looking to Jesus to be filled with His Agape Love, and to be given a new heart with which to move in that Agape Love. The other part of the prayers is for our “green pastures”, with the focus that our “green pastures” are first and foremost in the Heavens as a state of being in our relationship with and in God the Father and Jesus Christ. It is then out of that relationship with and in Christ, that our physical green pasture is established. We take our green pasture with us wherever we are as it is an extension of our walk in Christ Jesus.

In the months of praying this way, as time went on, we began to hear from some prayer leaders that they were having a hard time praying. There was the thought among many that it was demonic activity blocking or hindering the intercessors. Chuck-JOHNEL had a different discernment. He knew that what was going on was that as we were praying to give up our burdens to Jesus and to take on His burden, and we were praying to be filled with His Light and Agape Love so as to prepare to manifest Christ in or lives, our thoughts and very being, that our soul-life did not like this at all. You see, in praying this way, our soul-life was begin removed from the throne seat position as being center of our life in a new and powerful way, and it was fighting back. The lack of desire to pray or draw close to Jesus was simply a soulish, carnal reflex. To overcome this the solution was and is a matter of pleading the Blood of Jesus on our mind and heart, and making the decision to pray through regardless of the resistance. This is certainly a good place to start, but there is also more to be learned for those interested.

As we’ve prayed and counseled with brethren here locally, I saw a common theme emerge which I believe is being shared with many of our prayer intercessors but they may not realize it. You see, what we are doing as a Body of intercessors in prayer is what happened “In the Spirit”, in the “Gap”, years ago, only now we are praying it into the World. The experience then, in the Gap, in a spiritual battle, occulted when the demonic forces had surrounded us and were pressing in from three sides to overwhelm our forces, and there definitely more of them than us! We were outnumbered and at the end of` our abilities to continue to hold off the enemy. It was then that we prayed for the Angels to hold the line while we all let go of the fight and struggles and turned our focus to Jesus totally. We looked solely to Him, for His Presence and Light to fill us, and for His Help and Deliverance by the Spirit of God. We prayed for God’s Will to be done in this seemingly hopeless situation.

What we are seeing today is that many in the Body of Chrf st are experiencing this in their own lives as they feel pressed in and surrounded by the forces of the darkness at work in the world against their own earthly lives. The question then is: What to do? What to do?

Well, the answer has been the same as in the Gap: It`s time to stop fighting, struggling, worrying, or trying to figure out the next move but to look to Jesus alone. It is time to let go of your burdens, your labors, your concerns, and give them up to Jesus, looking solely to Him, trusting your all to Him, for Jesus to be your Help and Deliverance in whatever way He sees best. The call is going out for God’s people to enter a closer walk with Jesus, to move by faith as your never have before, to be a vessel for His Spirit in a new and deeper way than you’ve experienced before.


A true walk of faith in Christ Jesus is often most unsettling for our soul. While we want to believe, it also involves moving in unfamiliar territory for our soul. The best example } can give to illustrate this is to relate it to Jesus and Peter walking on the water. In Matthew 14:25-31 we see Jesus literally walking on the water, coming towards the disciples who are in a boat on the water. When Peter sees this, he wants to go out to Jesus so Jesus bids him “Come.” So Peter steps out and begins walking on the water towards Jesus. Peter was doing well as long as he focused on Jesus but soon a boisterous wind kicked up and he began to fear and doubt, and so began to sink, crying for Jesus to save him. This happens quite too easily in our inner walk as well. We are often like Peter in that as long we focus on and keep our faith on and in Jesus we do fine. However, when we look at our troubles, at our shortcomings and sin, at our illnesses or whatever “storm” is looming on our lives – it’s into the drink we go! We no longer feel God’s Spirit or Presence but rather feel swallowed up by our own sea of troubles and circumstances in our life. When that happens, it’s time to dry off by calming our soul down and getting our focus back on Jesus to save us. He saved Peter, He will do no less for you.


Troubles are a fact of life in this world. Jesus even told us in Matthew 6:34, “…SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF,” which in the NIV Bible translates to “EACH DAY HAS ENOUGH TROUBLE OF ITS OWN.” Sometimes these troubles are external, sometimes they are internal as we struggle with the things in ourselves. The issue then becomes how do we react to these troubles? Or more precisely, how do we, as Christians seeking to grow in Christ and manifest Him more completely in our heart and lives, react to these troubles?

Well, Jesus give us some clear guidance and help by telling us in John 14:1 –“LET NOT YOUR HEART BY TROUBLES: YE BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.”


One thing that Chuck-JOHNEL taught me here in what Jesus is saying, is that this is not just a suggestion but rather like a commandment. He is telling that it is within our power to not let our heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. In other words, we have a say over our very own heart and we can give it direction. In this case, Jesus is showing to do two things with our heart: one – do not let your heart be troubled or afraid, and two – believe in Jesus Christ to be greater than that fear or trouble and receive His peace in its place. He has obtained peace for us so all we need to do is believe it and receive it. We need to believe and trust in Jesus more than we believe in the trouble we are experiencing.


We know through Scripture that for those who love and trust God, everything will work for good in our lives – even the stuff we consider as “bad”. Rather it is a matter of perspective – having God’s perspective instead of our own worldly, carnal view. If and when we truly love and trust God by His Spirit of Love, then we can live and relate to what the Apostle Paul wrote about trials and tribulations.
For example ,

in Romans 5:I-5 he wrote –“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also.. knowing that tribulations worketh patience,. And patience, experience,’ and experience. hope.. And hope maketh not ashamed.. because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Here Paul actually said that “we glory in tribulations.” The verb glory means to exalt or rejoice greatly. Wow … how many of us can say that we can rejoice greatly in tribulations? Well, it is possible with God’ s perspective, a spiritual perspective. The Apostle Paul shows why we can rejoice greatly in tribulations, and that is because with the spiritual mind we can know that through tribulation can come patience; from patience, experience; and through experience, hope: a hope that come from God through His Spirit of Love for Him which makes the tribulation all worth while as God works in our life and we grow in love and appreciation of and for Jesus Christ.

Paul also provides us with another example through his testimony as he shares in 2 Corinthians 12 the struggle he went through in his walk and what God used to keep Paul reliant on Him. Here in verse 7, Paul shares of having a ‘thorn in his flesh’ that actually was a messenger from Satan sent to buffet Paul. Talk about trouble… at one point Paul specifically prayed to be delivered from this ‘thorn’ only to be told that God was allowing it .‘lest (he) should be exalted above measure.” In other words, it was serving a purpose which was to keep Paul humble and to keep others from exalting Paul in an unhealthy way. When Paul asked to have this messenger depart from him,


To which Paul relied, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

We can all relate to Paul on some here, as we all have infirmities, which are weak areas in or lives, be physical ailments or more importantly, weaknesses within our soul. Likewise, we all have suffered reproaches, have needs, suffer persecutions of one kind or another, and can be in distress. The key here is how we respond. Do we get offended or angry with God or do we rejoice in our hearts because when we are weak, we know that Christ within us strong? Do we praise God for this chance to learn what Jesus went through for us or do we wallow in self-pity? Do we see ourselves as a victim or a victor through Christ Jesus?

The key here is a focus on Jesus Christ and the spiritual reality that when we are weak then Christ has the opportunity to be strong for us. It is not an automatic thing, but a reality which Paul was able to enter into. It became real to him. He knew by the Spirit of God that his weaknesses were nothing to God; they weren’t some huge obstacle to God, but rather when yielded to God in the right Spirit, they became an evidence that Christ was working in his life. He was truly able to rejoice in his infirmities, his weaknesses, only in the sense that then the power of Christ would then rest upon him. In knowing his limitations, his faults, his weaknesses, he was then able to see and know the difference between himself and Christ working through him. It was then that he could truly rejoice and endure all kinds of trouble, knowing that he was in the internal place spiritually through which the power of Christ would operate.


A big key to a closer walk with and in Jesus Christ comes down to knowing the difference between what is you and what is Jesus. Discerning the difference is not always easy because it takes time, effort and honesty with and within ourselves. However, to begin to know Jesus and the Holy Spirit from within begins by learning to quiet our soul down. We cannot know the difference unless we are able to get outside of ourse/ves, or at the least, quiet our soul down to where the we can become sensitive to the Spirit of God and Jesus’ voice within. Too often our soul is like a brass band playing within when it comes time to pray and abide in the Lord’s Presence so quieting it down and bringing it into a place of rest is the first place to start.

In Hebrews 4:11-12 is says: “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joint and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents”

I like this Scripture because it illustrates to me just how subtle the difference can be between hearing Jesus and being led by the Spirit of God, and being led by your own soul. There are times when God the Father wants a revelation known or an action taken so He communicates in a direct, clear way so that there is no mistaking that it is God. However, in a more day-to-day walk, it is a more common experience that God speaks in that “still, small voice from within.” To grow in faith, God does many things to challenge us and cause us to surrender to Him and His Spirit. He wants to be the one true God of our life completely. This involves getting our self-life off its throne in our lives, and giving way to Him to learn a new way of being. In this growth process, it is our task to learn to discern the difference between ourselves and what is of God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. So where to do we begin?

Well, it starts with the plea in the first verse here: “Let us labour to enter into that rest…” And what rest is that? It is the rest spoken of in Hebrews 4:I-3,l0 –“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise left us of entering into His rest any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which believed do enter into rest, … For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own tasks, as God did from His.” So the rest we are to enter into is His Rest, the rest Christ Jesus obtained for us. It is further defined that for those who want to enter into His rest, we must cease from our works, even as God did from His. When I read this, the Spirit of God impresses upon me that our works are not just those which we do physically, but are also the works of our soul; the physical works are merely an extension of the works within our soul. Why do I say this? For two reasons: the first being that Jesus tells us plainly in Scripture that He did nothing of Himself but only as God the Father showed Him. This means to me that Jesus could have taken it upon Himself to do things apart from God but He purposely and deliberately did not. The second reason is because in Matthew ll :28-30, Jesus clearly speaks of a rest unto our soul. “COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU, AND LEARN OF ME; FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART: AND YE SHALL FIND REST UNTO YOUR SOULS. FOR MY YOKE IS EASY, AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT.”

One contrast here that you may notice is how on one hand in Hebrews 4 Paul writes that we should “labour to enter into His rest” and yet Jesus seems to saying that we should give up our labours to take on His yoke. So how do we do both?


Well, the answer lies in the context. In the case of Hebrews 4:11 (“Let us !about therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief,”) it helps to remember that the word “labor” means ‘to work hard’ but also to ‘move with effort.’ So in other words, Paul is saying “Let us make the effort to enter into the Lord’s rest for our soul, so we don’t just slip back and fall into unbeJief.” It takes some effort on our part to give our soul direction, to tell it the way we want it to go. This is what is being said here.

However, we must understand the limits of our own efforts and realize we can’t be holy, righteous and Christ-centered without Christ. So, we must come to Jesus with our efforts and burdens and give them over to Him. And as we give up our efforts and burdens, then we take on Jesus’ yoke to be bonded and joined with Him. It is when we let go to Him that we allow God the Father and Jesus Christ to move within us, to release from our burdens, to heal us, to give us the guidance we need and so therefore we find the rest that Jesus has for us… for His yoke is easy, His burden is light.


As !wrote in the beginning of this article, we have heard from many brethren that they are finding it hard to pray lately while others seem to be going through some turmoil inwardly. This is somewhat normal whenever we pray to press into the spiritual things of God. Why? Because it is as Paul wrote in I Corinthians 2:14-16 –“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

So you see, as we pray to enter into the Spiritual “green pastures” God has for each of us, and we pray to let go of all our burdens and concerns to look solely to Jesus to receive His Agape Love, the natural man within our soul feels left out and doesn’t understand what is going on. It is used to being in control, or at least taking a part in all that we do, but now we are surrendering all to Jesus for Him to do for us what we are unable to do and it feels left out. It is at this time it is even more important that you stop what you’re doing and abide in Christ and God’s Presence. Let the Spirit of God renew your mind and transform it into the mind of Christ; put aside the natural mind and pray to abide in and move in your spiritual mind by the Spirit of God.

This brings me to my final topic – how do we know when the Spirit of God is leading us and when is it just me? The simple answer is: you know by the fruit of it. Just ask yourself: Is this bringing me closer to Jesus or leading me away from Him? Are you feeling condemned and tormented more than before, or are you able to find peace? Once you have experienced the Agape Love and Presence of God, anything else pales in comparison.

Just remember what it says in Romans 8:1,6 – “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit … For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

No condemnation, life and peace are all fruits of the Spirit of God within us, but perhaps none is more important and life-changing than the Agape Love of God – the very heart of God’s Spirit itself. Once you have experienced that (the Agape Love of God), you now have a base from which to build or operate from. That becomes your foundation upon which a relationship can be built.

With this in mind, let us further explore and define just what the Agape Love of God is, and how it differs from the type of love we are more used to in this world. It is quite fascinating to study the word LOVE in the Bible as it reveals so much more that just what love is, but also helps us to discern the difference between the flesh/natural/worldly/soulish and the Spirit of God on many levels and in many ways. So, let`s take a closer look at Love in the New Testament.

In the Greek there are three main words for love. I have read their definitions but find it a bit lacking so I am going to share what I have come to understand by their definitions combined with what I know by the Spirit of God, in my own words. In the Greek translation of the words for love in the New Testament, there are three main types: PHILEO, AGAPAO AND AGAPE.

I would put that first kind – philco ‘- in the flesh/natural/worldly/soulish category. It is defined as: “to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an objectl); have affection for (denoting personal attachment) as a matter of sentiment or feeling.” This kind of love is like saying, “I love chocolate,” or “I loved such-a-such movie.” In Scripture, this kind of love (phileo) is referred to in Matthew 6:5 where it says “for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.” Or in Matthew 23:6 where it spoke of those who “love the uppermost rooms at feasts …”, or in Luke 20:46 of those who “love greetings in markets.” You can see from these examples that this is a more worldly, self-centered or shallow love, and not kind of the love stemming from God.


The other two, agapao and agape, both bring God into them. In the Greek itself, the word “agapao” means “to love (in a social or moral sense)”, and the word “agape” means “love ( affection or benevolence ), dear, love.” In reading the Scriptural context of these two, I would say that “agapao” is a verb/ action, and “agape” is the noun which speaks of the Love of God itself, in its purest form being the Spirit and Heart of God.

For example, the agapao love, the verb/action form of love is seen in Jesus’ commandments to us in Matthew 5:43-44 – “Ye have heard it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,…” and so on.

And in Mark 12:30-31 Jesus tells us: “… thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength … Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Both of these are speaking of love in an action sense, having the love of God directed in a certain direction: towards God first, and then towards our neighbors and even our enemies. What may be missing from this at first is the fact that we have to first receive the Agape Love of God, from God, into our soul and heart before we can truly direct the agapao Love of God back to Him and to others. So this brings us to the Agape Love of God.

Again, I would define the Agape Love of God as the purest, highest form of Love, which is above all others. It is God`s Love but also embodies His Heart and Spirit as well. Agape Love is distinct in that it truly comes from God. This is the Love Jesus spoke of in John 15: 9- 10 – “AS THE FATHER HATH LOVED ME, SO HAVE I LOVED YOU: CONTINUE YE IN MY LOVE. IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; EVEN AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER’S COMMANDMENTS, AND ABIDE IN HIS LOVE.”

What I find so wonderful here is that Jesus is not just speaking of receiving God’s Love and His Love but continually abiding, or in other words, living and remaining in His Love as place and state of being. Surely few of us are there on a continuous basis, and yet, by the Spirit of God, this can be our reality.

To understand Agape Love, there are two other sections I wish to share. The first is I John 14: 16-21 where we see that there is no doubt that Agape Love is “Perfect Love” and God Himself: “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is_love; and he that dweleth in love dweleth in God and God in him.”

( I John 4:16-21 continued) “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. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. We love him, because He first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

The Scripture speaks for itself but I would point out that again, we can see evidence or fruit to look for to know if we are operating in Agape or not, and this is if we have fear and torment, or we fail to love a brother or sister as we should. Both of these reveal a lack of Agape. If we are still wrestling with fear then we are not yet dwelling/abiding in His Agape Love as we should. It also is not enough to say we love God, and yet have our heart and actions reveal otherwise. It has everything to do with the Spirit in which we are moving and operating – if it is of the world or of God.

Then there is I Corinthians 13:1-13, the Love Chapter. Here, the word “charity” means “Agape Love”. So read this once with the word Charity and then read it again with the word Agape in its place, and suddenly it takes on an even deeper meaning.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profifeth me nothing.”

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away… For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but than shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”


In those first three verses we see Paul explaining that even though a person can speak in tongues, prophesy, understand great mysteries, even move mountains, and not have the Agape Love of God, then it profits us nothing spiritually. We can even give all our goods to feed the poor, or give our bodies to be burned, and not have the Agape Love of God, then it profits us nothing spiritually. All those things will not save us or add to our righteousness before God one bit if we don’t have the Agape Love of God within us as the foundation and reason for doing those things.


Knowing God, knowing Jesus, knowing the Agape Love of God – the Spirit and heart of


Agape Love is not just a feeling, but the Spirit of God Himself. It is Jesus Christ. It is also a way of being inwardly, of operating, of reacting to the world around us.

Agape Love is as deep, vast, healing, freeing, transforming, and substantive as God Himself. It is God in all His Glory.

Just look again a 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and this time insert Jesus’ name for the word Charity, and see Him as our example of how we should be. (To paraphrase here:)

JESUS suffers long, and is kind; JESUS envies not, does not vaunt Himself, is not puffed up. JESUS does not behave unseemly, seeks not His own will (but God’s Will instead); is not easily provoked, thinks no evil. JESUS does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth. JESUS bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. JESUS never fails.


So, the next time you do your prayers and abiding time, start by calming your soul down and bringing your focus to Jesus Christ. Direct your soul to give up to Him all of your burdens, troubles, struggles and worries, and enter into the rest for your soul which is Jesus Christ. Trust in Him more than you trust in your fears, anxieties and difficulties in this world.

Lastly, get outside of your self-life and pray to abide in Jesus and His Love. See Jesus as more than just a way out of this world but as the embodiment of God’s Love extended out to you. Pray to abide and dwell in the Agape Love of God – the heart and Spirit of God – which in Jesus Christ as well. He could not have done what He did for us without the Agape Love of God. Open your heart and soul to receive His Agape Love. Let it fill you and flow through you in all aspects of your life. Receive the Agape Love of God. Rest in His Presence and abide there. Get used to doing this on a regular basis so you can form and build a relationship with Jesus Christ from the time you spend together.

After a while, you can ask questions and seek guidance, or He may direct you to do things or pray for people or issues He brings to your attention. Let this time with Jesus, let the Presence and awareness of His Agape Love be the foundation of your walk in Christ, from you life from here on forward. Jesus did nothing except the Father showed Him; this is the be~innin~ to that kind of relationship between us and Jesus.

Now is a good time to be praying for a closer relationship with Jesus, instead of waiting until the last moment or when there is a major crisis happening in the world, or in your life. In the times ahead it will be more important than ever for us to be close to Jesus, reliant on Him, and that we have Him as our Rock and foundation, as we will be shaken, attacked and challenged as never before. But as Paul writes, JESUS NEVER FAILS.

May you draw ever closer to Jesus and begin walking on the spiritual waters in your life, with your heart and faith centered squarely upon Jesus Christ!

In Jesus Love;


walking on the water

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