30 Days of Encouragement

What would the world look like if we spent a little time encouraging someone every day? The Bible is packed full of verses which talk about the importance of encouraging one another. Here are just a few passages…

“Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” Hebrews 3:13

“Let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

“But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort” 1 Corinthians 14:3

From November 26th until Christmas Day, I want to make a point of encouraging at least one person every day. On Christmas Day, I plan on giving a prophetic gift to someone God puts on my heart.

These moments of encouragement to people can be anything, from an email to a friend or relative, to encouraging someone on my way to work. My aim is not for this to last just 30 days and then I return back to my normal way of life, instead I want to make this a lifestyle, where I naturally encourage people.

Encouragement shifts our focus from the negative we may see about a person to the positive. God only ever speaks life into our situations and circumstances, so what if we did the same to those around us, the person on the bus or behind you in the supermarket? Let’s transform our world, one word at a time.

This page of my blog is dedicated to this exercise, and I will be posting daily updates, reporting back about who I encouraged that day. Why not join me in doing this, it doesn’t have to be a scary thing to do, you could just choose to email someone an encouraging email each day, or send someone a text. The present on Christmas Day doesn’t have to be something huge or expensive, just spend time asking God who you should buy a present for and what that present should be. Then, write a little note to go with it.

I would love to hear from you all as you join me in this, please feel free to leave comments and share your testimonies from the day on this page of my blog.

Day One – It begins
So, Day One has come and almost gone, and I have to say it has been a lot of fun! Walking to the train station this morning I was filled with joy and expectation as I thought of what the day would hold. I decided that today I would simply ask Holy Spirit what He wanted me to do and who He wanted me to be encouraging. Little did I know, my day would start with me being the one who received an encouraging word! Within an hour of being at work, I received a phone call from someone who had heard me speaking at a ministry school, and wanted to say how much they had enjoyed hearing what I had to say. Ha – they had beaten me to it! Feels good to be encouraged like that.

In the afternoon I had a meeting with some friends, who I was able to encourage as they move forward into what they feel God is calling them into in this next season of their life.

What I really felt Holy Spirit prompting me to do, and something I had felt Him saying to me a couple days ago, was to start this month off by encouraging my wife. God puts such a high value on family and the importance of having a strong relationship within the household, something that I value greatly as well. So, what better way to encourage a lady then by buying her some flowers, along with a card telling her how much both God and I love her.

Maybe you don’t have a spouse at home to encourage in this way, but maybe there is a member of your family who could use some encouragement today. Pick up the phone, send them a text or an email, change their day with one simple word. It doesn’t have to be ground breaking or earth shattering.

Days 3 and 4

Ran out of time to post last night so a double bill today. Have just spent the morning encouraging a room full of people to go out into the streets and release the love of God!

We looked at practicing the prophetic, which left us all feeling encouraged and strengthened. God gave me a picture of someone playing golf, which turned out to be for someone on the front row. It’s fun to partner with God, practice hearing His voice and then grow in the levels of accuracy with which He is speaking to you. He is always speaking even when we feel He is far away.

Encouraging people when you feel discouraged yourself may not always be easy. But there is power in doing that at it soon can change our countenance and pretty soon we become just as encouraged as those we are encouraging!

Who can you encourage today?

Day 5

Today, Sunday, I have spent the day at my parents house near Aberdeen, after having a belated Thanksgiving feast last night (my mum is American). So for today’s encouragement, I decided to email all of the directors for the healing rooms, encouraging them and sharing in all the testimonies from the last week of ministry. It’s fun to get to share and celebrate in all that God has been doing, there is a real danger that we lose focus of what He is doing and become overwhelmed by our circumstance, or the circumstance of those we are speaking to, and we can soon elevate the sickness/circumstance above God, making Him small and the problem big. In doing that, we allow hopelessness to come in to our way of thinking and soon, as Steve Backlund puts it, our hopelessness about the problem becomes a bigger problem than the problem! Take a step back, refocus on God and what He IS doing, and see how small the problem really is when you look at it through Heaven’s Perspective.

Day 6

Much of my day was spent in the car today, traveling from Aberdeen back to Edinburgh and then up to Burntisland in the evening for a meeting. I did, however, manage to pack into the day praying for some people in the morning, looking after my nephew for a couple hours and then giving a minister a prophetic word in the evening. So nice to be able to bless and encourage those who are doing such important work around the country. Speaking as a leader of a national ministry, I know how welcome those words can be!

Day 7

In Glasgow for much of the day today, with healing rooms in the morning and then some meetings after that. Healing rooms was great today, we got to encourage a lady who is going through some stuff, leaving her with hope and the tools to help herself get out of her own situation. Our words are powerful, and so when we speak words over our situation, do we speak life or death? Blessings or curse?

This afternoon as I was walking down Buchanan street back to the train station, a little annoyed at myself for missing out on an opportunity to encourage he staff at a charity I had walked past, I was approached by a man trying to ask me something. I almost walked past, trying to act like I was in a rush, until I felt I should at least hear him out. He was asking for some money for a fish supper. I gave him the little change I had, about 60p, and then walked on. I got a few steps away from him when I realised I had missed an opportunity to bless and encourage someone. I had just two minutes before that been speaking with God about being ready for the next time He would put someone in my path. So, I turned around and headed back to try and find him.

I found him outside a coffee shop, asking everyone there for some money towards his fish supper. I went straight up to him and told him I would take home to get him his fish. As we walked to the chipper, we got to talk about him and his situation. As I stood there and listened, he thanked me. He thanked me not for the fish I was buying him, although he did later on, but he thanked me for listening to him. Just with listening to him, he felt a weight lift off him. After he had his fish, I left him to it, once I had given a word of encouragement about his situation and that I would continue to pray for him.

No matter how many opportunities we feel we pass by, God is faithful and will always put someone in our path who we can help, even if it is just to listen to what they have to say. It reminds me of a time I spent two hours speaking to a homeless man in California. As it was time for me to go, I asked him if I could pray for him. He looked right at me with a tear in his eye and said “the best thing you have done for me today is just to listen to what I had to say.” Sometimes listening is all that is needed to bring someone peace and freedom.

Day 8

Today, Emma and I had two Deeper Healing sessions at our main Glasgow office. I love these times where we get to partner with Holy Spirit and see people set free from whatever has been holding them back. We got to encourage and speak into their lives, giving them hope for their future. Before each session, we spent time in prayer, getting ready for the time. Both times, Holy Spirit gave us accurate words of knowledge towards the people we ministered to. Partnering with Holy Spirit is fun – He is talking to us a lot more than we realise.

Day 9

This morning, during my Jesus time, I had a picture of a family friend come into my mind. I have known him and his family since they moved to Scotland in the early 90’s, refugees from a war torn country. God gave me some words that I felt He wanted me to share with this friend, so I emailed him through Facebook. It feels good being able to respond to what God puts on my heart, even if it is just by sending an email to someone who lives on the other side of the world. Encouraging people is fun.

Days 10, 11 and 12!

These last few days have flown past, visiting newborn babies, decorating for Christmas with our first real tree, church and then listening to my mother in law’s choir singing at a Christmas concert. Busy times with plenty of opportunities to build up and encourage people. Sometimes, all that is needed to encourage and build someone up is to just be there for them. Actions really can speak louder than words. Who can you be there for this week? Encourage someone with your presence.

I spent Saturday morning speaking at a men’s breakfast. My kind of speaking event- bacon rolls and coffee! Great time sharing my thoughts and views on how to develop a lifestyle of expectation, holding on to the truths about who God is and raising out expectation for Him to do it again.

This week coming up is going to be the best one yet. I believe God is going to bring people into my path that He specifically wants me to be encouraging. Tomorrow I’ll be back in Glasgow again, let’s see who God will put in our path!

Days 13, 14 and 15!

I can hardly keep up with the days, they are flying past! Just two weeks until Christmas, that is crazy, I can’t wait. These last few days I have been back and forth between Edinburgh and Glasgow every day, each day has had their moments of opportunities to bless and encourage someone. It always amazes me how faithful God is to put people in our paths that need a word of encouragement or just a sign that God is alive and sees them.

We had our healing rooms in the city centre yesterday, and a man came in to take some pictures of the building. We often have people come in just to have a look at the building. I love these people, as they come in for one thing and, I hope, leave with something else! I gave this man some tea and we had the chance to talk for a while, then, as he was leaving, I felt I had a word of knowledge about him. I asked him if he had any pain in his hip, particularly on his right hand side. He looked at me in amazement – “How did you know that?” – My favourite question to be asked when I have just got a word of knowledge correct about someone. It turned out he also had a sore knee too. I wasn’t able to pray for him, but I believe he left with much more then he came in for, and my hope and prayer is that not only did his hip and knee pain leave his body, but also that his perception of who God is changed as well.

Yesterday as I got off the train in Edinburgh, a man walked passed me who was dressed up like Jesus – robe, sash, beard, you know, Jesus! He was just by himself and didn’t seem to be doing anything in particular to draw attention to himself, apart from the fact he was dressed up like Jesus. As I thought about that, I began to think about our own lives and how we get to be Jesus to those around us, just as we walk on by. It’s always amazed me how if you read through the Gospels, you see that the majority of people Jesus healed came to Him, interrupted Him from going about His day. People recognised who He was and that is what drew them to Him. What if we were like that today? What if we were so full of God’s love and presence that people were just drawn to us?

I want to be so full of His Presence that I can’t help but release it out wherever I go. This afternoon, as I head to the Post Office, bank and then back on the train, my prayer is that people will recognise the Jesus in me, and that will draw them in to an encounter with Him!

Days 16-19!

 

Ok, so the days keep on going by and I need to try and keep up with sending this out on time!! So, here are my thoughts from last Thursday to Sunday, and tomorrow I will send out today and tomorrow’s updates, and then we should be all caught up!

I find it so amazing that when I step out and encourage people, not only does it bless them but it gives me a sense of joy and refreshment to my soul too! There have been times where my encouragement levels have been down, but the moment I shift my focus from myself and on to somebody else, the moment my countenance begins to change for the better. No matter what the enemy tries to throw in our path, we must remain encouraged in Him and all He has and is doing for us. It is a daily battle, but won we already have the victory in.

The last few days I have been able to encourage people over the phone, through emails, texts, and also in person. Saturday I was teaching in Kirkliston on Deeper Healing, and how we get to partner with Holy Spirit in bringing freedom to those we minister to. As well as offering prayer for physical healing, we at the Healing Rooms also recognise the importance for us to be healed and set free emotionally as well, if we are to truly step out in all God has for us. It is not God’s intention for us to move through life carrying all of our past hurts, sins, doubts or fears. That’s what Jesus came to the world for, to offer us an incredible exchange – our burdens for His. And what’s more, His “burdens” are actually light, manageable and life giving. (Have a look at Matthew 11:28) Jesus came so that we can live in complete freedom. Saturday was a great day, and I am excited to see all the lives that will be radically transformed as a result of that day. God is good, even if our current circumstances try to tell us otherwise.

Yesterday at church I made a point of trying to encourage as many people as possible, going on an encouragement spree! So fun to do that.

This afternoon we head to the Christmas market in Edinburgh, I’m sure there will be many people there who could use a word of encouragement!

Days 20 – 23

Had a great time around the Christmas market on Monday with some friends who have four young kids. Such a fun excuse to act like a child too and run around the maze, go on rides, eat Crepes. There’s something about being child like that God loves. The adventurous spirit, no inhibitions.

Tuesday was spent through in Glasgow with the healing rooms in the centre of the city. What an incredible honour it is to partner with God and pray for those who come in. I don’t believe it’s possible for anyone to receive prayer and for nothing to happen, whether we see it instantly or not, something has happened. God loves to move through us in bringing fresh hope and encouragement to the world around us.

Wednesday we had our Christmas lunch in Glasgow, which was a great time to celebrate those who work tirelessly up front or behind the scenes in keeping this ministry thriving and moving forward. I am so blessed to be a part of this, part of God’s rescue plan for the nation and what better way to encourage those who have worked hard alongside me this year then to treat them to a fantastic Christmas lunch, along with the token hats and bad Christmas cracker jokes! We also managed to fit in some ministry time later on in the day, bringing in hope and fresh perspective to those we prayed with and for. God is good.

Today was working from home in the morning followed by last few Christmas presents to be bought. It can be hard to be encouraging when you are battling crowds and especially when you have, like me, and utter aversion to shopping. After several hours pounding the streets, texting friends for advice on present buying, I finally got all the presents I need for this year, and headed home. But, not before encouraging one lady on the till of a shop where the queue seemed to wrap around the entire building. It took me 20 minutes to get paid and get out of there, but I felt like she was the one who needed a word of encouragement. Encouraging people when the only thing we really feel like doing is screaming and running out of the shop without buying anything is actually fun and helped me change the mood I was in for the better.

One more week until Christmas…so excited.

Days 24-27

My wife and I had the opportunity to speak to a couple of guys who were sitting at a table across from us. As we spoke with them we were able to share what line of work we are in as well as even give one of the guys a prophetic word!

Saturday was a day of visiting friends and family throughout the city, handing out Christmas cards packed full with prophetic words and word of encouragement. Such an easy way to encourage people!

Sunday I had the chance to pray for healing for someone at church, and am believing God will bring full healing into his body this week. Such a blessing to be able to join in with God and see people touched and set free from sickness and pain.

Today we got to spend time with Emma’s grandpa which is always a great time. We crammed a Christmas tree and grandpa in the back of our car as we headed to Dunkeld!

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