Shout Hallelujah! Prayers and Hope for Black Men and Women. I finally finished the book! The book is a collection of teachings and prayers for Black men and women. I wrote the book to encourage Black men and women to pray. However anyone can pray the prayers in the book.
This book was a challenge to write. I really had to pour of my spirit several teachings and a hand full of prayers. The prayers are intended to inspire more prayer, not to take the place of your personal prayer life. Many years ago my husband worked for the CBA; Christian Booksellers Association. I was one of the first Black book reviewers that
he hired. We tried to make sure that African American books were included in their magazines so they would get picked up by the Christian bookstores across the country. That was many years ago. I often go to the bookstores, especially to see what is new on the shelves of the Christian bookstores. I am amazed at the lack of diversity of books on the shelves that still exists. I believe God wants to reach all his people. I still find that the lack of diverse material on the shelves is problematic.
I worked with Cook Communications many years ago when I lived in Colorado Springs. My job as a freelancer was to rewrite the material for the Black community for Echoes VBS. It was an unusual task of making the material more sensitive to the Black community. They eventually disbanded the whole department and left one editor to that task. The minute that many of the Christian organizations in Colorado Springs (Christian Mecca — over 400 parachurch ministries and businesses) discovered that African Americans working with them were not republican, those people typically got fired or their division shut down. True story! God have mercy on our overidentication with political parties. It’s hurt a lot of people. I am in Jesus’ party!
I began to see the dividing line in the Christian world of publishing. I am concerned about what I have witnessed over the years in the lack of diversity and lack of material that hits to the heart of the Black community. I prayed about God’s direction on what to do. I felt led by God to write books, fine art, and create images that would project a God that does leave us behind. I struggled when I wrote this book about putting out two editions that would speak to the diversity issue. I don’t want to be a part of the problem, but the solution. This book is focused on prayers that are our heart cries to God. The book can be read by any race of people. There are a few sections where I note the struggles of Black people to encourage them. However the prayers are Spirit filled and powerful. Anyone can pray the prayers in the books and get revelations from the teachings. The teachings are revelations about crying out to God and brokenness. I am working on several other books that will be more diverse, but I hope this book somehow can be used by anyone to shout Hallelujah!
Teaching from Shout Hallelujah!
The Walls Came Down!
The walls of Jericho came down when God told Joshua to have the people “shout”. Before that, happened Joshua had sent spies into the land to see if they could take the city (Joshua 2). The spies encountered Rehab. She agreed to help them if they would spare her family. The spies went back and gave their report to Joshua. Then Joshua led the people to cross the Jordan. They crossed the Jordan during the time of the flood season so the water was very rough. The priests walked into the water carrying the ark. The Lord used the power of the Ark of the Covenant to hold back the water. After they crossed Joshua had each of the twelve tribes get a stone out of the water and build an altar on the shore. Not to be removed, and to serve as a remembrance of the day they crossed. It was the second time in 40 years that God had held back the water for them, for the new generation that had come out of the wilderness. Joshua had before that circumcised all of the new men in the army as ordered by God. They witnessed for themselves the power God had to hold back the water. It must have encouraged their faith in God greatly since they did not experience the crossing of the Red Sea 40 years earlier. I always thought that it took the Israelites 40 years to make an 11-day journey to the promised land because they were hard-headed. I realized after reading this account that God was raising up a new generation in the wilderness that could fight without fear and that could experience God’s power and to tell of his goodness in a new way! God was raising up an army in the wilderness that could fight and have faith in him! A million or so people crossed over the Jordan. When everyone had crossed the Jordan, the Lord told Joshua to tell the priests to come out of the river. They headed to Jericho.
“While Joshua was near Jericho, he suddenly saw a man standing in front of him, holding a sword. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you one of our soldiers, or an enemy?” “Neither,” the man answered. “I am here as the commander of the Lord’s army.” Joshua threw himself on the ground in worship and said, “I am your servant, sir. What do you want me to do?” And the commander of the Lord’s army told him, “Take your sandals off; you are standing on holy ground.” And Joshua did as he was told.” Joshua 5:13-15
“The gates of Jericho were kept shut and guarded to keep the Israelites out. No one could enter or leave the city. The Lord said to Joshua, “I am putting into your hands Jericho, with its king and all its brave soldiers. You and your soldiers are to march around the city once a day for six days. Seven priests, each carrying a trumpet, are to go in front of the Covenant Box. On the seventh day you and your soldiers are to march around the city seven times while the priests blow the trumpets. Then they are to sound one long note. As soon as you hear it, all the people are to give a loud shout and the city walls will collapse. Then the whole army will go straight into the city.” Joshua called the priests and told them, “Take the Covenant Box, and seven of you go in front of it, carrying trumpets.” Joshua 6:1-7
God spoke to Joshua on how to take the city. He sent the commander of the Lord’s Army. God sent an angel to speak to him. He did as God said for six days and then shouted on the seventh day. They marched around the city with the priests blowing the horns for six days. The walls came down. The Lord gave them the city. They spared no one and took the city.
Joshua cursed Jericho after that because they served other gods that the city would never be again. They shouted down the walls! I have seen many churches pull out horns (shofars) and try to recreate the intensity of what happened that day at Jericho. I think they are missing the mark on what we can do to see God move in our lives as he did for them at Jericho. So many of the Christianized things done in church are based upon religious fervor, than on godly revelations. It is easy to be caught up in the “fads” that churches carry out to try and force God to move. The most important thing that happened that day was that they listened to God’s instructions, and God gave them the city. He gave them instructions on what do and they took the city. I think that hearing from God is a revelation about really allowing him to speak to us in our battles. It is a revelation about how to have the victory in our lives. Joshua encountered a commander of the Lord’s army. God gave him audience with an angel that fights all the time the battle for the Lord. God can send us help and insight from those equipped to get the victory….even angelic help! He can also just speak to us boldly since we have the Holy Ghost. YOU DO HEAR from GOD! Settle that in your spirit and press on in victory. The shout that we have in our spirits can come at any time in the battle instead of just at the end. We have the victory every day through Christ Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. We can shout all day! The walls are down! We are just executing his will to give him all the glory. He speaks to you. Listen for him in prayer and just in your everyday life. Joshua was getting ready for battle when God sent a word. It was unexpected, but needed. God is awesome in speaking to us. You can shout now!
Many times, we look at the fact the walls came down, but the events before that, leading up to that great day are worth noting. The fact that God sent in spies to survey the land. God gives us insight to what he is doing sometimes. They crossed the Jordan to get to the city. Sometimes we cross great miles of problems to get right up on and close to the final battle. Joshua and the army was in a place to hear from God because they had seen him move at the Jordan. They saw the power of God’s word with them in action. Many times, we are able to see God’s word with us in action before we get the final victory. Sometimes God will give you a part to play in defeating the enemy in your life. Be in a place to listen. It takes being in place to listen in prayer. Block out all the voices in the world and listen for the voice from heaven!
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4: 23-24