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Putting Feet to My Faith

Serving dinner at Hope City

Serving dinner at Hope City

In the last several weeks, we’ve putting feet to our faith through various activities and outreaches. Here is a snapshot of what we’ve been doing:

-Orphan Justice Center (OJC): We went with OJC to a local children’s center and hospital to minister to (mostly) foster children with emotional or behavioral issues. We played games and just had some fun, which is a nice break from the kids’ very structured schedule.

-Hope City: My team went to IHOP’s prayer room in the inner city. There were many broken people with addictions in recovery. I was blessed by individuals’ open, real, and joyful hearts to the Lord in the midst of their difficult circumstances. There was no pretense in their attitude. We participated in their service and helped serve dinner.

-Evangelism: I participated in an evangelism outreach and had the delight and honor of leading a young girl named Brittney to the Lord!

-Prophecy and Healing Rooms: IHOP has ‘prophecy rooms’ and ‘healing rooms’ where people can receive ministry, and as interns, we have the privilege of receiving training and practice to facilitate these two ministries. Believers can still hear God’s voice today and perform miracles through Christ’s power. Prophecy involves hearing God’s thoughts and heart toward others and is meant to encourage, exhort, and comfort (1Corinthians 14:3). In 1 Corinthians 14:1, Paul says to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. We have begun to practice prophesying over each other, and it has been amazing and encouraging to hear God’s voice for others. Matthew 10:8 also instructs us to “heal the sick.” It has been challenging for me to step out in this area, but my heart is stirred to do this very thing because Jesus himself says in John 14:12: “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.”

In the midst of all these great experiences, walking out the 2nd commandment to love others, God continually reminds me in my times at the prayer room to keep my focus on the 1st commandment, to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I long to always go to the Lord for my worth and value and not to my success or effectiveness in ministry. A wise man once said: “I am loved by God, and I am lover of God. Therefore, I am a success.”

Planted by Streams of Water

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Roots from a tree can only grow deep if they are planted by the water and given the proper nutrients. As Believers, we must be intentional in planting ourselves by things that give us life. Having more of God often means having less of other things. Sometimes, desiring more of Him can permit Him to remove comforts and things in our life that we lean on more than Him. We enter the Kingdom through many trials and tribulations.

Just as I have begun to grasp and embrace the challenges of being here in this season, some of the same questions were back in my face again this week. Just over a week ago, I had a car accident that demolished my car. Tuesday, I went into an interview expecting an open door to work with a non-profit organization I was hoping to plug into, but I found out that no paid positions are available. Doors closed. Provision, uncertain. Direction, little to be seen! I wish I could say that I responded to these situations in perfect peace, but I have had quite a battle this week. Yet in all of this, I see Him growing me in love and trust. He’s been asking me the question, “Am I enough?” I have said, “Yes, Lord, You are enough!” Well this conviction is being tested in my heart right now through these circumstances. Is He enough when I don’t have the convenience of a car or the comfort and security of the future? While I know these things logically to be true, my faith is being tested experientially through these circumstances. All I can do now is intentionally plant myself by the river, lean on Christ, asking for truth and guidance. As I position my heart to hear from Him and not turn away in disappointment, I know He will speak and make my path straight.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Praise Reports:
-No injury to either party in accident
-Looking forward to a pleasant visit home to PA to see family in December
-I’ve been extremely blessed by my new friends out here in KC

Prayer Requests:
-Healing from the trauma of the accident
-Provision for car and living expenses
-Wisdom and direction
-Peace for family members who have had various stressors and difficulties

Trusting Him…Even More…

As, I am writing this blog, I am already a month in to the second part of my internship at IHOP. God has made it clear to me that I am to be here, and I am in a season of trusting Him in all things, especially for my future. I continue to spend time in the prayer room and am gleaning wonderful truth in my classes about who God is and how He wants to use me to bring His kingdom to earth as it is heaven. I am slowly starting to realize that Heaven is an ACTUAL place that exists NOW, and that as I pray and worship, I join the angels and elders in the heavenly throne room in adoring Jesus. As part of the training, we are also preparing to do some outreaches and are serving on the ministries teams. I will share more as we step out more into these opportunities. What a wonderful adventure this has been!

He’s doing so much in my heart. Growing in confidence in who I am. Stepping into my identity and authority in Christ. Going deeper in the Word. Finding joy in the place of intimacy and intercession. Knowing Him. Knowing who I am. Fellowshipping with Him through the joy and even tears and pain.

A main theme scripture in this season that I have been clinging to is:

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. ~Philippians 3:7-11

I’ve laid much down to enter this intimate season of the Lord and there is much uncertainty, but He continually reminds me that it is SO worth it! I’m reminded of Jesus’ 30 years of preparation before entering 3 years of His short but powerful ministry. How much more do I need this season of preparation?

Thank you for continuing to share my journey with me through prayer and financial support. Thanks to the many who have generously gave, prayed for me, and encouraged me. You are such an important part of this journey.

Blessings in His Love,

Marie

PRAYER REQUESTS

Continued provision, wisdom, and guidance for future

Deeper confidence of my identity in Christ

 

The Latest!

I Lift Up My Gaze…

I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber… Psalm 121:1-3a

The Lord continues to teach me to look to Him for everything—affirmation, wisdom, strength, joy, provision, etc. This call has stretched me beyond my own abilities—I have been realizing my desperate need for Him and how helpless I am without Him . Apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15). Through all the ups and downs of this internship, God has shown Himself faithful to my heart.

He Cares for Me and Enjoys Me!

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
God made me and created me. He didn’t make me only to leave me to my own devices. He made me to enjoy me through relationship. How much more will he provide for that which He created and enjoys?

An Invitation to Partner…

As I venture on to the 2nd part of the Intro to IHOPKC internship, which starts at the end of this month, I have been connecting with many of you in reaching out for financial and prayer support. If you have not yet had the opportunity to respond, please prayerfully consider how the Lord may have you be a part of this journey.

Personal checks can be sent to my home address—simply email me marilo2@mail.regent.edu for the address!

Tax Deductible Donations can be made through a check written out to IHOPKC or International House of Prayer and mailed to:

IHOPKC, Missionary Support
3535 East Red Bridge Road
Kansas City, MO 64137

Please note: For donations to be tax deductible, they must NOT have my name written on the check. Please put a little sticky or scrap of paper in the envelope with my name on to identify it.

Any amount you could sow into this season would be such a HUGE blessing!

Thanks.
Blessings and love,
Marie

Going Deeper In Him

When we seek to go deep in the Lord, we often discover our human weaknesses and wounds. It’s not that those things weren’t already there, but we have an increased awareness of those things as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the One who sees and knows all things in our heart. I have found I can easily get so focused on these things and lose sight of the beauty and majesty of God. Yes, He does see and know all the things in our heart, but here’s the good news: HE LOVES US ALL THE SAME! He’s not surprised by my pride, insecurity, and failures. He actually delights in using these things to draw me in closer relationship with Him and in talking with Him. God redeemed humanity from sin by actually coming as a man to earth, dying to pay for our sin, and thus, allowing us to have deep fellowship with Him. As He brings things to the surface, He desires us to acknowledge it, repent of it, and get our eyes right back on Him. Oh, how slow I can sometimes be at catching onto this.

Right now I have been studying Song of Solomon with Mike Bickle’s teaching. One theme that stands out to me is how God loves us in our weakness. He encourages us to come to Him for help instead of run away in shame. Song of Solomon 1:5 says, “I am dark yet lovely.” We are dark in our hearts because of sin, yet we are still beautiful and pleasing to the Lord. What a relief! May God direct our hearts into this truth and reveal His heart for us.

Letting Go of Myself and Holding Onto Jesus

I can barely believe I am over half way finished this 3 month internship. Time has gone so fast, yet I feel as though so much has been shifted and stirred in my heart. I feel as though the Lord is restoring the joy of my salvation and restoring my intimacy with Him. He’s reminded me of His purpose for me, and even of my suffering—I was created to enjoy Him, and help others come into that relationship and enjoyment with Him. In this manner, I partner with Him in prayer for others.

The Christian walk isn’t meant to one filled with drudgery and agony. It is an exciting journey of growing closer to Him and drawing others to Him. We certainly do have our peaks and valleys, but it is only through this process that we learn to trust the Lord and really get to know His heart for us. In spite of the intense pruning of my heart—as God is removing the things in my heart that hinder my love for Him, I feel as though I see God and myself clearer. I am inspired about His goodness and faithfulness. He’s showing me that the cross we carry now will actually help us cross the difficulties that come later in life. God’s reminding me to not despise this season of learning to carry my cross and follow Him. He’s helping me to embrace my times of pain instead of fight them.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2

Praise and Prayer

I praise God that He has brought me to this place of prayer and intimacy with Him. I honestly never thought I’d actually get to move out of here and be a part of this prayer movement—I saw it as a dream that would never actually come to pass because somehow I was not worthy enough to be here. God is SO much bigger than what we can imagine and fathom!

Please pray that I would continue to surrender and submit everything in my life to God’s leadership. He’s been slowly helping me release some things of my past that I still hold on to, and I want to continue to find Him in the midst of questions that my heart has in relation to suffering.

A New Season…

Refreshed Anew

This season has quickly become one of me returning to my First Love. This internship involves spending lots of time in worship and prayer before the Lord, and it positions you in such a way that you just can’t get away from the Lord! This is actually a wonderful thing because it causes you to deal with and let go of the things that are hindering your closeness with the Lord. For me, this has included letting go of having complete control over my schedule, eating healthier, and aligning my thoughts with what God says about me and others. Intense? Yes. Amazing and worth it? Absolutely.

Missions…Now?!?!

Not that, Lord! The very thing I dreaded and hoped He wouldn’t ask me to do, to lay down pursuing counseling as a profession (at least for the moment), is the very thing I believe God is leading me to! My heart burns as I think about continuing on with the second part of the internship at IHOP and consider joining IHOP staff as an intercessory missionary. What do I do with this? Is it worth it?? What if God doesn’t provide, and I get disappointed?

Amidst the questions, I hear the Father ask me a question: “What if you trusted me with the what if’s?” God has provoked me to trust Him with the unknown. He’s asking me to do my part: to seek His will and obey it, and then to trust Him with the rest. Ultimately, the safest place is to be in God’s will, and wherever that is, I want to be there!

Please Pray!
If I decide to stay for the second track of the internship (another 3 months), I would have to raise funds for the internship and my living expenses. The second track is focused more on practical ministry training. If I decided to become part of staff, I would have to fundraise most of my living expenses. As a staff member, I would be an intercessory missionary, spending half of my time in the prayer room and the other half of my time in some sort of service assignment. Although I don’t need to decide yet, I have been drawn to this process of saying yes to whatever it is God tells me to do in the end.

I appreciate prayers for God to clearly direct my path, but even more so, for me to enjoy this time of soaking up His presence and getting closer to Him in His Word. I know that whatever is next, the Lord is preparing me for it. Thank you dear friends!

Nearly There!

Below, I share a little bit of what the Lord has been teaching me in this season. If you’re short for time, go to the bottom for an update and prayer requests. Love, Marie 🙂

AS I PREPARE: LETTING GO OF ALL EXPECTATIONS…
God’s been teaching me a lot about changing my expectations of Him, myself, and others. With my break between graduation and going to my internship at IHOP, I have had a lot of time to think and notice what I’m actually thinking about it. And, I’ve realized how often my thoughts are critical, judgmental, and filled with a “life should be fair” attitude. These realizations have led me to pray for the Lord to help me in this area.

What I’ve begun to realize is that God wants me stop putting unrealistic expectations on Him, myself, and others. For example, I used to really struggle with not feeling fully celebrated and appreciated by people. So I would go into interactions with others thinking something like, “they better notice all I have done for them and bless me the same way,” or “I really hope they see what my needs are and minister to me.” And if things did not go the way I thought they should, I would become angry, disappointed, and discouraged. Sometimes I carried these things long enough to create depression inside myself and an anger with the Lord.

Recently, a thought came to mind, what would happen if I didn’t place any specific expectation on people and just trusted that God would bless me and take care of me? As I have slowly put this into practice, I have had been stunned by the results: God really does bless me and take care of me…I was so lost in my critical spirit and frustration at what people were NOT doing for me that I missed out on how God was blessing me! Making this change does not mean I let people walk all over me or take a passive approach to life, but it truly frees me to not worry about my life or how things will turn out—because, they ALWAYS turn out good with God! All we have to do is ask Him for His favor and blessing.

As I’ve shifted my expectations about others, the Lord is helping me do the same with Him and myself. Recently, I read The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, which has encouraged me to believe every day for God’s blessing and favor without putting conditions on how that should happen. Today, I listened to a Graham Cooke teaching that also talked about not putting conditions on people when we give to them. In Luke 6, Jesus says to give away without expecting anything back. What?! What about me? Who will take care of me and bless me with words of encouragement? The simple word “surrender” has helped me get this. You give to God and others with no expectation on them to give back, yet fully knowing that the One that created you knows your need and will take care of you.

Some of my heroes in the faith have demonstrated these principles. Heidi Baker lives in Mozambique, Africa and has an amazing ministry to broken and hurting children and people. She went on a one way ticket with her husband, not knowing where their money would come from to fund their ministry, yet the Lord graciously supplied their need and continues to do so! Pastor Adam Cates of Big House Church continually speaks of surrender, giving up your rights, and letting God promote you. He emulates what he says through how he pastors our church. He has not taken on any specific advertising campaign or done anything to promote it. He consistently pursues God and His Presence, the Lord shows up, and that is what draws people in.

I share all this to say, let go of any critical spirit and expectations you have on people and God, ask God to bless and take care of you in the best way He knows how, and watch Him show up! And also, apply these lessons to yourself and be set free from the need to be perfect!

UPDATE:
I leave in 5 DAYS!!!!! I’ve been asking myself, is this really happening? Am I ready? Will I be able to maintain the level of peace and joy I’ve experienced in the past few months? What in the world is going to happen after this three month internship? It all comes back to what I was writing about…I CHOOSE to trust God, knowing that HE WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND BLESS ME. I COME TO HIS THRONE BOLDLY, asking for provision, wisdom, and guidance. And in humility, I am asking for your prayers, love, and encouragement through this huge transition in my life!

PRAYER REQUESTS
Please pray that the Lord would continue to pour His Lessons of Love, Surrender, and Trust in me as I take this next step of faith. Please also pray for safe travels this Saturday through Monday as I drive my car out to Kansas City. Pray for divine relationships and grace for this transition. Lastly, pray that I would be open to receiving ALL that God has for me in this season. Thank you for your love and support—you mean the world to me.

In His Amazing and Abundant Love,
Marie

Partner in Prayer!

They Shall Overcome by the Word of Their Testimony…

Where I Have Been…Disappointed

 

My journey with the Lord began at age 17 when I surrendered my life to Him after a difficult season of hurt, depression, and pain. I noticed the Lord’s tangible presence in that moment, and He has continued to reveal Himself to me. Recently, I completed my Master’s in Counseling at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This season was stretching, amazing, and healing! About midway through the program, I went through a season of disillusionment and questioning of the Lord. I questioned God’s goodness because of unfair things that happened in my past, and I came to a breaking point of with anger at the Lord for my lot in life. Through the support, prayers, encouragement, and counsel of others, I slowly opened my heart up again to the Lord and experienced deep emotional healing and freedom. My life has not been the same since this season, and I have experienced more joy and peace than I ever have before!

 

Where I am Going…Appointed

 

Out of this place of disappointment and abandonment has come a season of being appointed and called by the Lord to lay down my life for His Kingdom Purposes. A couple months ago I sensed God reminding me of my heart for prayer and missions, specifically through the ministry, International House of Prayer (IHOP), located in Kansas City, Missouri. I applied to and got accepted to the Intro to IHOP internship in Kansas City, which starts July 5 and lasts for 3 months. We will be spending a devoted time to the Lord in prayer, worship, and the studying the Word. I will be spending approximately 24 hours a week in the prayer room, praying and worshipping God, in addition to learning from the Word, participating in a small group, and sharing God’s love in practical ways.

 

I am grateful to say that I have raised nearly enough funds already for the trip, and I anticipate getting enough to cover my living expenses through yard sales that I plan to have in June.

 

I would like to invite you to partner with me through prayer as I prepare to leave and as I enter my journey at IHOP. God has confirmed in my heart His desire for me to take this next step. Otherwise, I am uncertain as to what might be in store next! Ultimately, I want to honor God, no matter what the cost, and bring His Kingdom to broken, hurting people! Would you please consider pursuing this adventure with me through prayer? I am looking for a team of friends and family who want to partner with me through this season (and perhaps seasons to come)! It would be such an honor for your prayer partnership!

 

If you are interested in partnering with me in prayer, please send me an email at marilo2@mail.regent.edu and follow me on my blog: https://marielorah.wordpress.com. I plan to update it at least once a month and will include testimonies, reflections, prayer requests, and other things the Lord is teaching me. I strongly value and invite any words of encouragement you may have for me now or during my time in Kansas City. What a blessing it is to have this opportunity. Thank you for your time and investment in my life.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

Marie Lorah

 

Current Prayer Requests:

  • Spiritual protection over my mind,      body, and spirit as I prepare to leave
  • For the yard sales to go well
  • That the Lord would prepare my heart      for this coming season
  • That I would stay connected to the      Lord in INTIMACY and TRUST for this next month of transition