Praise in the Wilderness 26-Feb-2023

by Pastor Roy Esposito

A Fact of Life: Everybody suffers!   Health, emotions, and anxiety (from real or imagined sources, including fear, hatred, violence, or envy.)

It’s part of human reality since the fall of man in the Garden.

Mankind (Adam) chose to leave the state of peace and safety provided by God for a life that would require them to find the answers to: 

“Who am I?   What am I doing here?”  – instead of just BEING!

But by His mercy, God has not left us to our ineptitude.

Colossians 3:3(TPT) – provides the answer for us   – 

“Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life (of suffering), and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.”

It seems ironic that although every believer is hidden away in Christ and is His body  —  YET we all fear and avoid the intimacy required to FIND ourselves in Christ.

I believe the events of the days we are living in are part of an AWAKENING that will imbue us with self-confidence, identity, and deeper trust in God (Faith). That will instill greater courage to face and accept our uniqueness, so we can give it toothers.

So, how can this happen? How do we find our way back to peace, safety, and ONENESS with God?

Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.”  – (John 14:6)

He is the Way to Life! – Life can only come through Truth. – 

Therefore, Truth is the WAY – the only Way.

Truth – is not a compilation of facts – Truth is a PERSON!

To come to  LIFE through TRUTH, then, has to become a personal matter.

God made it personal when He chose to manifest Himself on earth in the PERSON of Jesus.

Traveling The Path to Life requires  — Truth >> Transparency (humility and vulnerability) >> leading to Purity of Heart >> leading to Holiness.

God wants a holy people and has said so:

Leviticus 19:2 “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.”  

This is a scary concept for many because of the past legalism in Church teachings.      A “Religious Spirit”

But be assured that having a Religious Spirit will never make you holy!

Although we do participate in our transformation into the “new creation,” – we, on our own, can never make ourselves holy.

When you try to make yourself holy, your focus is actually on your UNHOLINESS – and we always become what we behold.

The key to Holiness –  Is realizing that it’s God’s will that it would be so.

The “Shall be…” in Leviticus 19  is not an order to make something He knows we’re incapable of doing but a promise – a prophetic declaration directed at our “inner being” to become what He’s spoken.

Not a demand but a prophetic decree spoke forth by God!

What’s more – I believe that God wants us not just to become holy and pure but also to be joyful and fulfilled in Him.

We don’t need a theory or theology about holiness  – we need an opportunity to experience what it feels like to be pure and clean before God.

Revelation 4:6 – describes a lake before God’s throne that is crystal clear and pure – it’s very still and has no ripples.  Water speaks of LIFE.

I think many times we miss opportunities the Lord creates for us because we don’t recognize them as such.

Why?-  Often, they are dressed unattractively – Looking like WORK, SACRIFICE, or unpleasant.  – Who wants to embrace that, right?

We generally like the stories of victory, blessings, and the promises of God.

We like receiving the Gifts of the Spirit and the Move of His Glory, right?

We love the idea of large angels doing spiritual warfare for us as if we’re playing a computer game – and we can press the Reset button if things get too unpleasant.

But God may be moving in ways we don’t expect – shrouded in Mystery and ways that require Faith and Trust.

Many times it gets a little too personal, and we close ourselves off often using the “Shield of Faith“ against the: ”Sword of the Spirit.”

These are the times we should humble ourselves and retreat into

“The shelter of the Most High…”  (Psalm 91:1-2TPT)

Hebrews 13:15 – “Therefore, by Him (because of who He is and with His help) let us continually offer the Sacrifice of Praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

Ahh!! — The Sacrifice of Praise!

J. Hayford Kingdom Dynamics – SACRIFICE – to kill or slaughter something for a specific purpose.

Praise – requires that we kill our Pride – our fear  – our sloth and spiritual dysfunction  – or ANYTHING that threatens to interfere with our WORSHIP of the Lord.

Worship is necessary because as we worship, we have fellowship with Him and become ONE with Him

Psalm 22:3(TPT) – “You are God-Enthroned, surrounded with songs, living among the shouts of praise of your princely people.”

Being “ONE” with God is how our original relationship was.

Praise makes God present, and in His presence, we can only worship; worship restores our authentic relationship with Him.

As a result: Worship Restores US!

How many would like your enemy’s main access point to your soul shut down and removed?

God doesn’t just want to clean us up, so we look Holy  – He wants to take out of us anything that might stand in the way of us BECOMING Holy!

John 14:30 – Jesus said, “The prince of this world comes, and he has nothing in me.” – I’d like to be able to say that.

Jesus also said that there would come a time that believers would be able to do the things He did and more.  – I think this might fall into that category.

As I was praying about what to speak on today, I felt the Lord leading me to remind you to be careful not to misunderstand or mislabel the things you’re experiencing in these times.

These are not times of lack or times of woe but are opportunities to experience sweet and deeper fellowship with Him as you lay down your fears, “what ifs,” and lack of understanding – and to trust Him.

I felt Him say, “Tell them, “What was once lost can be regained and restored through these times.”

Our first parents were “Had” by God.

When He spoke to them, they responded to His Word not just by DOING what He said but by BECOMING” what he said.

The enemy’s goal has remained the same through the ages: to get us to break fellowship with God.

He created a need in our first parents through deception, which focused their eyes and hearts on something other than God. 

“Partake of this, and you will become like God.” – When in reality, they were already one with Him.

Becoming Holy doesn’t mean – no enjoyment – no family or friends – no material pleasures.

It’s not sitting around chanting and being weird – it simply means partaking in all that is good while at the same time looking past all the stuff to the ONE who is the creator and supplier of all the stuff.

A Holy life – Is simply a life of thanksgiving and praise to God.

You’ll never have to seek to get free stuff if you find yourself captured by it already.

Thank and praise God in all things and ask Him to help you realign your priorities.  –  PR

If you will, the wildernesses we all find ourselves in sometimes won’t have to be an extremely hard and overbearing place.

It can be a place where we are changed in the presence of a Holy God.

Releasing the River (12-Feb-23)

by Pastor Roy Esposito

Last week – I said that  God would have us be persistent in prayer.

I encouraged us all to ask God for a larger dose of the spiritual gift of “Long-Suffering.”

Long-suffering is the ability to “hang in there” – not to suffer for a long time.  — Makrothumia – FORTITUDE.

“Cheetah Approach” – quick bursts – no endurance.

Ask for a “Bigger Heart” concerning prayer.

A Bigger heart – Is not just a desire to pray more but to attain a greater capacity to trust God’s faithfulness.

It’s the ability to sustain a level of prayer fervency, even if it should take years for a resolution.

Luke 11:5-13 – A guy gets out of bed to give bread to his friend not because he was nagged – but because of their relationship.

Hebrews 4:16 – “Come boldly to the throne of grace….” We can come because of our relationship as sons and daughters of God.

Luke 11:13 – “Earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to their children – how much more will our heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who would ask.”

The Prayer of Persistence is not about being a “scutch” (sig) – but about asking the Father, boldly and shamelessly, for more of the Holy Spirit’s fullness.

James 5:16b – “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much….”

Romans 3:21-26 – if any questions remain regarding your righteousness.

Effective Prayer – Contains the power to bind the “strong man” – the negative force that propels or sustains a circumstance.

Fervent – A passionate intensity – a blazing torrent of glowing hot resolve.

Visualize: An ugly demon supporting a disease – You take a hot fireball of faith-filled prayer power and release it – and it explodes as it unleashes a spiritual netting over him that renders him powerless.

I would bet that not many pray like that — YET!

I believe we are all “working out” in the gym of the Spirit right now – getting our hearts larger and stronger for more endurance.

Romans 12:3 – God has given each of us a “measure of faith.”

Hebrews 11:1 – ”Faith is a substance…” of spiritual composition – but still a substance.

This substance has power and will be effective in whatever we apply.

Eventually, if we “stay with it,” enough power will be released to get the job done.

Remember – 1 Corinthians 3:16 – We are the temple – the NAOS of God.  The “Holy of Holies” – The dwelling place of His Spirit.

John 7:38 – Out of the “Kolia” – the womb of our inner being will flow fountains of “Living Water.”

John 4:1-42 – Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well that He is the “living water” – the “Water” that gives and sustains life.

Christ, Himself, flows out of our inner being to give life to all He touches.

God has put “Living Water” power in us so that our prayers become more than just devices to get the Father to do something for us.

Our prayers are releasing the power of the “Living Water” over a given situation to accomplish His will and purpose.

Psalm 115:16(TPT) – “The heavens belong to our God; they are His alone, but He has given us the earth and put us in charge.”

Revelation 22:1-2 – John sees a Throne and, from beneath it, a River flowing.

Our faith-filled prayers open the floodgates allowing the River to flow.

Faith-filled prayers – speak not of what we muster up in our souls – but the increasing faith and trust we’re developing in the faithfulness of God.

This is the River of God, so it requires the pray-er to be in sync with the heart of God in order to be able to turn the water on and release its power.

In Sync – It is knowing, understanding, and applying the principles and ways of God.

I believe this is the place in God we are at right now – We are LEARNING.

If we remain persistent, the layers of understanding and faith will build upon themselves and allow the “River” to go from a trickle to a roar.

Ezekiel 47:1-12 – Gives a perfect example of what I’m saying:

  1. Ezekiel is shown the Temple with water flowing
  2. An angel measures 1000 cubits – water is ankle deep
  3. Measures again – water is now at the knees
  4. Again – At the waist
  5. Again – Start swimming, dude!

You could surmise that each measurement delineates an increase in faith.

Personal testimony – bladder cancer – originally quarter-sized – Pastor Marie prayed – God said I’d have to walk through it.  It was reduced to dime-sized at the time of the procedure.

Pastor Marie released spiritual power from her inner being that accomplished something physical in me.

Ephilippeans 3:20-21(NKJ) – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think – according to the power that works IN US – To Him be the glory, in the church, by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, amen.”

Exceedingly abundant – (Greek) – Huper Perissos – Super-abundant with even more added!

Romans 5:20 – the same word used for the supply of Grace God released to cover our sins.  As sin increases, GRACE abounds even more!


  1. God will do “superabundantly” in relation to the measure of faith-power that’s currently working in us.
  2. His GLORY is shown in the Church – the called ones who’ve responded to it.
  3. The incarnate God’s work didn’t cease operations when Jesus ascended to heaven  – it’s to “ALL generations.”

OK – so I think we’ve established that there is power available to us.

Matthew 7:7 – Jesus says that the power is accessible simply by Seeking – Asking – Knocking.  “Everyone who asks – receives; Seeks – finds; Knocks – doors open; no question about it.

So, if that is true – why doesn’t it always work?

Many times we ask – and nothing seems to happen; We seek – but still remain lost; We knock – but the door remains firmly shut.  WHY?

One thing for certain – the power source is not the problem.

Ephesians 3:20“…according to the power that works in us….”

Wuest Translation – “…in the measure of power which is OPERATIVE in us….”

So, it is not the LATENT power – it is the OPERATIVE power.

This power is not just the POTENTIAL power, but the power that is USED.

Measure – (Kata) – Connotes not just the AMOUNT of power but also the DISTRIBUTION of that power.

The scripture actually says – “God will do superabundant stuff tied to the measure of faith possessed by us, in the measure we are able and willing to distribute it.”
PR Translation

Why does He do it this way?  Why doesn’t He just answer our prayers when we pray them?

CS Lewis – “We will spend eternity thanking God for the prayers He didn’t answer.”

Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

I  think there is wisdom in considering that God answers the intention of our prayers – but does it in another way.  BUT…

I believe there’s something a bit deeper and more profound to consider.

Unlike any other religion, Christianity’s truth is centered on what is called The Incarnation – where God takes on human flesh and deals with us in a visible and tangible way.

As humans, we are present in the world through our five senses.

Jesus could be seen, touched, and heard.

1 Corinthians 12:27We are “the Body of Christ.” – The Incarnate Christ is still ongoing.

The Body of Christ is not a metaphor or an exaggeration – not a representation or a mystical body.

Scripture simply states, “We are Christ’s body.” – In an organic way.

The Word, who became flesh, continues to dwell among us.

We have been taught to pray “In Jesus’ name” or THROUGH Jesus’ name.

This is more than a formality.  When we pray “Through Christ,” we are also praying through the Body of Christ – which we are as believers.

So, in reality, not only is God in heaven being asked to act – we are also charging ourselves to act.

To pray as a Christian demands a concrete involvement in trying to bring about what is being asked.

Example: If my mother is sick and I pray for healing but don’t drive her to the Dr. – I have prayed only as a theist but not as a Christian.

I have not put any “incarnational skin” to my prayer.

Our prayers need flesh to back them up because God won’t be texting people from heaven anytime soon – It’s my voice and my heart that needs to be heard.

If we are serious about being more effective in prayer, we need to ask ourselves some questions:

  1. Am I acting in a manner that faithfully distributes the measure of power given to me?
  2. Is the RIVER flowing from my inner being?  What may be blocking it?

I must be intentional in prayer – casual, sporadic prayers won’t accomplish the miraculous.

James 5:16(Wuest) – “A prayer of a righteous person is able to do much as it OPERATES.

It doesn’t say, “It causes GOD to operate.”  “IT” itself – operates.

How?  The same power that went into the depths of the earth and took back the Keys of Life from the kingdom of darkness – IS IN US!

It is our responsibility to RELEASE IT.


“Father, please lift the veil from our eyes today regarding The RIVER of Life.  Remind us to come boldly to your throne, where we will find the mercy and the grace we need in this time of awakening and be able to let the River flow out to the world.

In Jesus’ name.

Pray Without Ceasing (5-Feb-23)

by Pastor Roy Esposito


I have been thinking a lot about the condition of my faith and the effectiveness of my prayers.  I have asked the Holy Spirit to help me in this area of service. 

I felt the Lord say that prayers of “Valor” were the ones that hold the power to do great exploits in His name and that I should pursue them. 

I considered David’s army and the elite force that was within it called the “Mighty Men of Valor.”

Valor [Desfinition]: having the strength of mind and Spirit to encounter danger with firmness and commitment to purpose.

Valor is the absence of indecision – even in the face of death.

David’s elite force had several things in common that identified them as the Mighty Men of Valor

  1. They had a common purpose – to serve the king.
  2. They could not be shaken from that purpose regardless of the humbleness of the task asked of them or the impossible odds against them.
  3. They did whatever they needed to do no matter how long it took and never wavered while the challenge was still before them.

2 Samuel 23:8-12 – gives some examples of their exploits.

Shammah took on the humble assignment to defend a lentil patch and tenaciously defeated an overwhelming contingent of Philistines in the process.

Adino, who fought and killed 800 Philistines in battle single-handedly.

Eleazar, whose hand became frozen to his sword b/c the battle endured for so long.

These men – and others – possessed a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) called “long-suffering.” – which doesn’t mean “suffering for a long time.”

Mak-roth-u-mia – Fortitude – the ability to “hang with it.”

I felt there was an instruction here for today’s church and for me.

We also have the purpose to serve the King and the King’s people.

One of the most effective ways to serve God is through prayer.

Luke 18:1 – Jesus said that men “always ought to pray and not lose heart.”

James 5:16 – “…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availed much.”

Ferventpassionate intensity

Today, it seems that even when we remember to pray, our prayers seem to lack the passionate intensity and “stick-to-it-ness” – the VALOR that’s necessary for total victory.

We live in an INSTANT society where everything must be quick, or we lose interest.

It’s like everyone is suffering from “Mass Attention Deficit Disorder.”

We seem to specialize in the gift (?) of “cutting corners” to get results.

It seems that our collective societal consciousness lacks the ability to “hang in there,” –  which is the spiritual fruit called “long-suffering.”

I’ve read about the African Cheetah. It can run up to 70 MPH to catch its prey but has a small heart and, therefore, has no endurance.

It must accomplish its purpose quickly, or it goes hungry.

Many times, we have used the “Cheetah Approach to prayer:

  1. Speed through the prayer with little or no fervency and no passion.
  2. Quick to have someone else pray.
  3. Lose focus easily.

We seem to lack the “heart of endurance” for a sustained effort in prayer and falter before accomplishing what is needed.

Sometimes we use the “TNT Approach” – and try to Blow-Up the problem.

We pray harder, faster, and louder when what is really needed is more staying power and fervency.

More staying power or stamina can only come through possessing a “Bigger Heart” for prayer. (Jesus, enlarge my heart to pray as you did!)

George Muller – “The point is to never give up until the answer comes. I have been praying for 63 years and 8 months for one man’s conversion. He is not saved yet, but he will be. How can it be otherwise — I’m praying.”

His friend received Jesus just before his funeral!

Jesus’ prayer ministry is exemplified in the 3 hours He spent in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, which gave Him the strength to face the Cross.

Hebrews 5;7 – “…He offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death…”

1 Thessalonians 5:7 – “Pray without ceasing….” – so “easy does it” won’t do.

I think the reason we haven’t reached our spiritual potential is not for the lack of information regarding prayer nor the lack of opportunities and resources  – 

But for a lack of  “fortitude” – a failure of heart and spirit.

We go into defeat much too easily. We give up to easily and instead listen to the voices of doubt and unbelief and get discouraged and depressed when we don’t get INSTANT RESULTS.

OK – no condemnation implied here!

I spoke to a friend of nearly 50 yrs. this week.

We recounted our testimonies with each other. Remember the miracles God has personally done to deliver us from destruction. We remembered the before!

A fair question – Why does God require our persistence in prayer?

Is it that:

  1. He requires a predetermined amount of prayer to answer.
    Are Redemption points involved?   S & H green stamps?
  2. We must talk Him into things as lawyers present legal arguments to a judge.
  3. Is God waiting for us to just say the right words before He decides to answer us?
  4. Do we earn rewards of His favor through hard work?

Say it with me:    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Luke 11:8 – What about the guy who goes to his friend’s house late at night for bread and just keeps bugging him until he gets up and gives in? Doesn’t this parable teach us about persistence? Just keep bugging Him until He relents.

No! We don’t persist against God.

To persist is to ask boldly and shamelessly because of our intimacy with God.

1 Timothy 1:7(NIV) – ”For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

Hebrews 4:16 – We can come before the throne of grace BOLDLY and without a sense of shame or unworthiness because we are sons and daughters of God and are “accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

There’s a key to understanding the prayer of persistence:

Luke 11:13 – “If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

The Prayer of Persistence is not about nagging the Father for specific things – but asking for the Holy Spirit’s help in our times of need. And to ASK BOLDLY out of an intimate relationship with God.

Sometimes, it’s true that God uses the waiting period to teach us things.

But if that were the only reason, why not just pray ONCE and then wait?

One reason for the delay in getting prayers answered is “divine timing.”

Galatians 6:9 – “And let us grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

But again – wouldn’t praying just once and then waiting suffice?

Why did  Elijah have to pray 7X for the rain to come down?
(1 Kings 18:41-19:8)

Why did Daniel have to pray for 21 days before the angel broke through with his answer? (Daniel 10:10-19)

Consider this: I believe that our prayers do more than motivate the Father’s heart.  I believe that prayers of faith have “Substance.”

Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

I believe that when we pray, the “substance of faith” is released…

With each prayer, more of that substance is released in the form of the power needed for that which we are praying to come to pass.

Power Released by:

  1. Praying in the Holy Spirit
  2. Speaking the Word of God as a declaration and proclamation of the TRUTH
  3. Prophetic Command – Matt 17:20 -” Say to this mountain….”
  4. Laying on of hands  – Mark 16:18 “…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

We also need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us visualize the “Throne of Grace” differently so it’s not seen as outside and apart from us.

God has made His throne in our HEARTS – we are the temple of the Holy Spirit

We are the NAOS of God – The “Holy of Holies” – The “Sacred Place.”

1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are the Holy of Holies of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

John 7:38 – “He who believes in Me, as the scripture says, ‘ From his innermost being (Koi -lia) shall flow rivers of living water.”

Koilia – the womb – speaks of reproduction and “birthing new life.”

Revelation 22:1-2 “The River of Life” – the Spirit of God – flowing from the Throne of God – through Jesus, to us and out into the world.

This is the purpose of the Church.

The Gospel’s promise of new life doesn’t echo from “out there” but through those willing to live it in valor and persist until His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.