Monday, August 16, 2010

Lesbian and Gay Run Full Gospel Prayer and Worship

Dear Prayer Blog Readers,

I would like to announce a series of special meetings going on in Oregon for the lesbian, gay, bi, transgendered and straight faith communities. My favorite form of the Christian faith after exploring for several years is what we call the Pentecostal, or "Charismatic" type churches. Some also call them Full Gospel or Apostolic. What ever you call it, we all have crazy stories and jokes about "holy rollers" and the LGBT community is often freaked out by many groups like this partly because so many of them have fundamentalist views. There are, in almost every major US city and worldwide small communities of those who are LGBT welcoming and affirming that are drawn to "spirit-filled" worship services. This type of church is noted as being similar to the New Testament book of Acts style of churches while others just pass these off as being built on emotionalism and sensationalism. Although there have been excesses and harm that have been done (especially to the gay community); my experience for the most part has made a life changing impression on me.

I am drawn to religion that produces answered prayers and allows worshipers to experience God for themselves. I have found that many groups like this can create an atmosphere where believers can sense the Divine and enter in to a powerful worship experience. When I moved back to the Portland area after having been gone for over fifteen years, I found that there was no such place here like this that was welcoming and affirming. Over the last year, I have been meeting believers that have ministered in this local area along this "stream" of Christianity and have made some great connections. Although there is no effort to start another church at this point, there are some regular meetings coming up that I want to get the word out...

The InGathering:

An inspiring interdenominational evening of worship, prayer, and healing for the GLBTS community

First InGathering: Monday August 23 7:00 PM
Caldwell’s Colonial Chapel 20 NE 14th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97232
We will be meeting monthly on the 2nd & 4th Monday evenings

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thoughts On Prophetic Intercession

Thoughts On Prophetic Intercession

The term "intercession" in the context of prayer can simply be explained as prayer for others. The subject of intercessory prayer is vast and much teaching is available for this art. I like the the image of interceding as "standing in the gap" for others. Many Bible teachers say that Jesus is praying for us because the word "interceding" is used (Romans 8:34). I personally believe that the term is used here to indicate more about how Christ stood in the gap between sin and God on the cross and that this "intercession" is forever available for us.

The suffering of the Christian is not in sickness and lack, but in sacrifice. Intercessory prayer is a way to sacrifice time and effort on someone else's behalf. An effective way to pray for others is to pray in a prayer language, which I believe is one of the forms of Biblical "tongues".

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Prophetic intercession is a type of prayer that is led by the spirit of God to pray for things that we may not consciously know. Many of us have a “prayer list” that is based on needs that we know about. Although there is nothing wrong with prayer lists, either for personal prayer or corporate use, we can be limited and not as effective as we could be. Prophetic intercession is a way to find out needs that go beyond our knowledge by hearing from the Holy Spirit about what to pray for, and even how to pray.

1 Corinthians 14:15
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

We can be Spirit led to use different and new methods as well as prophetic actions. A prophetic act can resemble a ritual or something symbolic in order to accomplish something in the spirit rheum. Prophetic acts are all over the Bible and those sensitive to the Spirit can practice hearing from God and draw closer with these acts of obedience. For more study, read about Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Hosea as well as other Biblical prophets...

One way to have a time of prophetic intercession is to begin with praise and worship which can be done many ways. A meeting where there are musical instruments, musicians can be asked to lead in a few praise and worship songs to set the atmosphere.

2 Kings 3:15
But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

Some worship groups can "flow" prophetically. This is a spirit led worship team and can play spontaneous songs as well as being able to extend worship songs into a new piece.

Psalm 149:1
Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Prayers can also be sung and spoken with the music in addition to speaking the prophetic over the music. In a large meeting, this can be a powerful way to create a powerful place of prayer.

(Submitted by Jason T. Ingram, Portland, OR)

The following writings came out of a worship conference in the Seattle area June, 2010. During the meetings, some of the leaders had a time of prophetic worship. It was grate to see ministers in the LGBT community that have such insight into cutting edge subjects like this:

Prophetic intercession is to do what the Word says is “calling things that be not as though it was"; It is praying what God’s Word says about the person, situation or whatever you are praying about. It is decreeing and declaring as FACT what the Holy Spirit says about the situation, or person.

(Submitted by Apostle Dale Jarrett, Washington D. C.)

In and of itself, intercession is a powerful weapon to effect change in a region, a person, place or situation. When mixed with the prophetic and with worship, it takes our prayers beyond standing in the gap, and moves it into a place of decreeing the thoughts and intentions of the Lord into what you are praying about. We use it to not only speak life and victory into our prayers, but to bring the same encouragement, edification and exhortation, that we would use in a spoken prophetic word. As we pray, the Lord opens are eyes to speak into the atmosphere and shake the heavens. We speak under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and build and stir our own faith as we agree with the heart of the Father.

(Submitted by Pastor Debbie George, Seattle, WA area)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Submissions Wanted For Prayer Blog

Submissions Wanted For Prayer Blog

As the moderator of the Gay Prayer Resource I find myself doing all the writing and I want to hear more from our members.

Please consider submitting an article or story about prayer. Here are some ideas:

Testimonies of answered prayer
Denominational perspectives... are you Charismatic? Catholic? Baptist? How is prayer unique in your faith?
Using the Bible to pray with
Favorite books and teaching on prayer
LGBT issues and how they affect prayer
Are lesbian and gay people stuck in written liturgical prayer? What are positive and negative aspects of written prayer?
Catholics: What is mental prayer?
Multi-media... youtube links of your articles
Prayer for the sick
Scriptures on prayer, for instance the prayers of Paul
Encouragement for the LGBT community to pray

Please email suggestions, ideas and submissions to:


Happy praying and gay bear hugs,

Jason Ingram

Thursday, April 8, 2010

God is working with Identity Thieves

God is working with Identity Thieves

Here is a story about how faith is helping me with a performance piece I am working on. "Identity Thieves" is about how I survived the "ex-gay" movement, and the major part of what helped me get through the pain of the religious abuse I had as a result of trying to change my orientation was faith in God.

As an openly gay man recovering from the ex-gay movement, I have my doubts every now and then about the advocacy work I do for the LGBT community. What helps is I take my self-doubt and my inner questionings to God in prayer and I get the reassurance from the Spirit to keep going and to not give up. Another thing that helps me is to remind myself that I spent over ten years believing that being gay was a sin, and years before that trying to be straight. Then I realize that I came out in late Spring of 2006 and it takes a long time to change thinking patterns when I am so used to feeling shame about anything gay related.

For instance, it was sort of like today on a bike ride. It looked like a sunny day and I took off without a jacket and in the second half of my trip, it began to pour down rain so hard, I began to get so cold, exhausted and wondered if I should stop. But if I stopped, I would have gotten more cold so I kept biking through the rain to keep my body temperature up. It helped to listen to some encouraging music I put on my phone's music player and a few prayers later and several city blocks toward home, the rain stopped and the sun came out and began to warm me up. I am glad I just kept going, and enjoying the exercise and the music (like a song I have where Josh Groban sings "don't give up"...) the cold Oregon rain did not seem to bother me. What may seem cheesy really is true about what they say about storms in life. Sometimes dark rain clouds blow away quite quickly! In Oregon, rain clouds can stay for a week or two, but its great to see them blow away in ten or so minutes.

This reminds me of the many times I gave up working on the Identity Thieves project. Early Summer of 2008, I had put down the project for months after a very parlous trip getting footage and feeling like there was no moral support to continue. Then I saw this local show about film makers and something got a hold of me. I took it to prayer and found that I had stepped out of God's plan. With the discouraging pressure of film school, pressures at home and feeling lonely and uninvolved, I gave up working on the very reason that I was going to film school: to raise awareness about the ex-gay movement. The Spirit of God really got a hold of my heart that day and I got inspired to go over the footage and start capturing much of the video from tape to digital files.

That was nearly two years ago, and I have put down and taken up this project several times since then. Last Winter, I decided to work on the project whether I get any moral support from anyone or not, and it looks like my preparation met opportunity and I started getting places to perform. Now, back to my story about April 8th, 2010...

As I got home, I decided to take the rest of the day off. I was pretty exhausted with dealing with stuff about the premiere of the performance piece and some other pressing personal issues. Sometimes, especially with my mental health, I need to be sensitive and know when to back off. After a nap and watching some TV, I lost my remote and thought I would check on my DVD project and try to make it work again. The last few days have been so frustrating getting the second half of my show's multi-media material to work. The disk with the second act video clips was not authoring a DVD because of broken links to picture files. After I fixed the files the program was still not working and I was going to have to do the project over again.

I decided to pray that God would help this project and I opened up the program without changing anything and I was shocked when it started working! I just sat there with my mouth open, stunned; and yet, I do think that I should be amazed when prayers do not get answered. God is so real and can work in our lives every day if we only talk and let God be God. I will explain a little more. The application iDVD was not doing this project even the last few times I opened it and tried burning the disk, I would get error messages every time no matter if I restarted the program and even shut down the computer all night, it would not work the next day. The only thing I did different was to pray, and when I went to burn the DVD, it just worked. Amazing. But there are also a lot of things that have been coming together in ways I can't explain without me even specifically praying for things to work out. Producing a multi-media one-man show requires a lot of work with electronic equipment and musical instruments.

I have been listening to this station called Way-FM and have been encouraged by some of their music. This song in particular stands out, What Faith Can Do By Kutless, where part of the song acknowledges even "silent" prayers. I think a silent prayer reminds me of Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

"I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pray for, Pray with, Pray to and Pray at

(Native Alaskan Jesus Drawing by Jason Ingram)

Pray for, Pray with, Pray to and Pray at

If you pray for your bible, it still may fall apart
If you pray for the devil, he may act
If you pray for God, He will wonder why you think He needs your help
If you pray with the devil, he will confuse you
If you pray to people, they may attempt to be the only ones trying to answer your prayers
If you pray to the devil, he may think he is your god
If you pray at people, they may get confused and even very upset
If you pray to a bible, it will not do anything
Pray for people, they will get blessed
Pray with a bible, you will get faith
Pray to God, He will answer you
Pray at the devil, he will flee from you in terror
In other words...
Pray for people and compassion rises up in you
Pray with a bible and wisdom comes
Pray to God and He shows up
Pray at the devil and he may not be able to tell the difference between God's authority and God's boldness in you
Pray in the Spirit, and the devil won't tell the difference between you and God
Pray for people and you get to partake in their blessings
Pray with a bible and it will help your mind not to wander
Pray to God the Father in the Name of Jesus, in His name and in His will
God will answer your prayers
Pray for people
Pray with a bible
Pray to God
Pray at the devil

Monday, February 1, 2010

Anti-Gay Saints and What To Do With Them

Anti-Gay Saints and What To Do With Them? But of course Watson, this is a prayer blog (and not a flog) so I should state obviously that we are to pray. Well, I admit that this is not my instinct or even my finest idea. It came out of a conversation I had this week with an LGBT minister (Naomi, pictured) who came out in a small town where she once pastored and ministered for decades. Talk about hate mail! She got it and more. However she said so strongly to me that its God that has to reveal to them who we are and what is and what it not "sin". This is where prayer comes in. Also, she mentioned that we are to pray that they see the truth about homosexuality and the Bible.

The big deal with this is not to argue. I like to make my stand known but not waste my breath on a useless quarrel. Paul told Timothy to aviod argeuments. I argue, and I get mad somewhere along the line and I can even loose my head. I take this stuff very personally, especaally when I get these candy-coated insults and have had even close friends tell me that I was demon possessed. I am learning to listen and know when not to talk. Sometimes, espesially when someone seems really ignorent, I like to ask loaded questions in the hopes that they see how outragious their anti-gay claims are. I mean stuff like, "if you see the Bible that literally... as a rule book, which rules do you pick and choose if you can't follow them all?", and "are you the one that is picking and choosing or am I?". But the people I talk with, like anyone who has been indoctrinated find ways of getting themselves out of arguements like this. One thing they do which I don't do (for fear of trying to play God) is saying stuff like, "well God says that". It was OK when I was arguing with you but now I am arguing with God Himself somehow THROUGH you? I laugh at this idea now but I am afraid that this is a pretty scary thing to do, taking God's place in the world of opinions and speaking FOR Him entirely. If that were the case, these "God said it" folks always seem to say other stuff that disqualifies them.

Just last weekend while talking to another seasoned LGBT minister and about the funny hate mail we get, she loves Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network, and we were musing about his hate mail. He found that they have bad spelling and grammar. Well, mine stinks, I really don't have much academic education passed the seventh grade and if it were not for spell check, no one would take my articles seriously. But what is with these saints? Do they realize how ignorant they look when they make these outrageous statements?
Here is my most recent one. I got it today when I checked my personal myspace mail after I rejected someone's "friend" request:

LOL I am not the one off track...Bible does not lie.....thanks for rejecting me lol...Sad. My husband refuses to even listen to your are hurting lots of people..including yourself. What you are doing is so against God...God loves you...just not what you are doing...besides being gay is gross!!
No homosexual shall enter the kingdom of Heaven my the bible...and listen with your heart. Devil is playing you man...wake up!!
Praying for you and thanks for the kind words about me...:)
God bless,

She not only misuses II Cor 6:9, but I love how "the" Bible is just "Bible does not lie" and how dumb it all sounds. I admit, I get my feelings hurt and my reaction is to fight back so much of the time. I get this sort of "justice" attitude and feel like I can go off on folks but I need to take a peaceful response. It takes a long time to undo generations of homophobia and change someone's heart about a touchy matter like this one. Peter was bound by religious racism even while he was Mr. Pentecost in Acts 2. But we see that God got a hold of him about a group of OTHER people, in this case the (non-Jewish) Gentiles.

Remember in Acts 10 about all the non-Jewish foods?

14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

15The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

(context link)

This is not a scripture I am now using to state that gay is OK, which it is, but for anyone wondering about another culture or people and what God thinks about culture and dealings with others we don't agree with. The principal that I want to show here is not about us being right, but I see this about that God had to speak to Peter about other people in order to change his mind about them.

My friend Naomi Harvey has stories about straight anti-gay folks that pray and see that God is with some of us, that there are some true Christians that are lesbian and gay. What if Cornelius showed Peter a sheet with snakes and other gentile gross cuisine and said, "hey Pete! Rise kill and eat!"?

They simply will not accept us unless something beyond the verbal reveals it to them as much as you can convert a couple of Mormon missionaries that are in your living room to a different religion with a debate over Mormon tea (I think Mormon tea is hot milk). Its amazing how so many religious folks, some sincere saints can be so programmed to think certain ways. But it happens and I realize that's the way things are and yet there are some things we can do: aside from praying and stating who you are, there is living a consistent life before them and demonstrating God's unconditional love. Yes, we need to come out, and sometimes coming out is simply stating who you are and living by example and letting time and the Spirit do its work in others.