Sunday Gathering – Victoria Armstrong
This week we had Victoria Armstrong visit us for our Ladies Conference on Saturday and she also agreed to speak on Sunday morning.
Victoria Armstrong shared a personal experience about the power of the Lord's Prayer and its impact on a struggling couple's marriage. She emphasized the significance of truly understanding and internalizing each phrase of the Lord's Prayer. The Lord's Prayer, according to her, is a profound and powerful tool for healing and restoration in our lives.
- Victoria was initially planning to reuse a past sermon for a conference but felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to seek God for a fresh message.
- God led Victoria to pray the Lord's Prayer daily over a struggling couple, which eventually contributed to their marital restoration.
- She highlighted the importance of understanding the depth and power of each phrase in the Lord's Prayer.
- The Lord's Prayer is an encapsulation of everything humanity needs, and it holds the power to minister and bring healing.
- Victoria emphasized the significance of God's kingdom coming to earth and how the story of God centers on reuniting heaven and earth.
- She encouraged the audience to embrace the kingdom of God and focus on loving God and one another.
- Repentance is crucial for experiencing the kingdom of God, and genuine repentance leads to a transformed life.
- Victoria encouraged the audience to be patient in seeing the growth of God's kingdom, emphasizing that it takes time and genuine surrender.
- The talk concluded with an invitation to the audience to stand and seek hunger for God, surrender worldly views of success, and release pressure and overwhelm through prayer and obedience to God.
Note: The Bible verses from Matthew 6:9-15 (the Lord's Prayer) were highlighted and discussed during the talk but not repeated in this summary.
To be here again, I feel my voice is better than yesterday, is that right?
It feels it is.
Praise God, because I really need my voice.
So when I was asked, like, cheekily, to do not only a Saturday but a Sunday, I'm thinking,
okay, I'm going to invest all my time in the women's conference in what God wants me to say.
And I've done a few preaches in my time.
I'll just print one out and do that.
Because who is going to have time to do a Saturday and a Sunday, so that's cool, that's fine.
So as I'm bringing up one of my best preaches, thinking, hey, no, this will be good, this will be good.
I just felt the Holy Spirit say, you're joking.
Like, come on, come on, they deserve more than that, surely.
Why don't you spend the next few weeks asking me why I want to say to them,
instead of bringing up an old preach that, you know, you've got to print out.
And so I was like, yeah, no, actually, actually God, that's a really good point.
Yeah, no, I will do that, I will do that.
And so for quite a few weeks, I'm praying and I'm getting nothing, because that's just how our God rolls, isn't it?
And then a week before coming here, God reminded me of a really dear friend of mine,
who just, she's a girl in her 20s and her and her husband really struggling in their marriage.
I mean, we're talking this incredible couple getting together.
They were head over heels in love with each other, amazing testimony of their own walk with Jesus,
then coming together, wow, wow, wow.
And then all of a sudden, she rings me up just at the beginning of lockdown.
Vic, I don't know what has happened, but it's all gone horribly wrong.
We hate each other. Like, we really, really, like, this is serious.
We both don't want this anymore. We feel trapped.
We know God has so much for us. We love God.
But there was just a series of horrific events.
And it just took, it's toll on their marriage and slowly, slowly, slowly.
By the time she cried out to her friends, it seemed too late.
So, I get off the phone with her and I'm like, oh, Lord, I just want to do, do, do, do, do.
I want to do something to help this precious couple, but I don't know what to do.
What can I do? I want to give them something that will bring healing, that will bring restoration.
And I just felt God say, I want you, once a day, through lockdown,
just to voice, you know, only a phoney thing.
And on WhatsApp, you can just record some it can't you and then send it off.
I just want you to pray the Lord's Prayer over them.
And I'm like, oh, okay, you know.
We all know the Lord's Prayer so well.
You know, before I became a Christian, that's one prayer that I knew growing up was the Lord's Prayer.
But God was helping me understand how powerful the Lord's Prayer is.
It's blooming loaded.
Every single sentence is loaded with everything that we need.
When Jesus gave us the Lord Prayer, He basically gave us everything we needed in that prayer.
And it just seems so simple. It just seems almost childlike. It just seems a bit of a pattern.
You just chant it. You can finish the Lord's Prayer before you've even thought about the profound words that it's saying.
So, that's what I did.
A week went by. A month went by.
She's not even responding. She's not even saying, oh, thanks so much, Vic.
I'm getting nothing back from her.
So then I'm a bit embarrassed because, you know, this isn't going very well.
But then one day, about three months in, she sends me about 11 o'clock in the morning.
I just get a text.
And she's very emotionally just says the Lord prayer back to me.
And what's that?
And it carries on, carries on.
And now she's sending the Lord's Prayer to me daily.
But now instead of it being pretty emotional with quite a lot of anger and fear in her prayer, starting to get powerful.
I'm starting to feel the effects of it.
God's starting to minister to me.
Just one sentence will just really kind of like, wow, fill me and like minister to me in a situation that I'm going through.
Just that one sentence in the Lord's Prayer.
I'm like, wow, my gosh, so I'm starting to text back and say that really minister to me today.
That couple now.
They are back together.
They're not over the hard times that they are knitted back together.
And they say it's the Lord's Prayer that brought them back.
The Lord's Prayer was what she started ministering to her husband, forgiving him, his debts, as God has forgiven her.
He then starts thinking, well, if you're going to start forgiving me and also she started apologizing.
You know, she had nothing to apologize at the beginning of telling me their marriage was over.
All of a sudden through the Lord's Prayer, she's starting to realize actually I've got a part to play in this.
It was incredible.
Anyway, last Sunday, as I'm praying, what can I, what can I share?
What's on your heart for this church?
There was a guy that was one of our youth and a couple of weeks ago his cousin was stabbed to death in a town nearby.
Absolutely shocking out of the blue.
Incredible family loves Jesus.
And he just is in the wrong place at the wrong time, 14 years old.
His life is over.
It's absolutely shaken us.
But it's shaken us towards Jesus.
But this young lad, he's at 16 and he's just slumped in a corner at the back of our church.
And he's just sobbing.
And so I go up to him and I just, oh Lord, I want to give him something.
I want to help him. What can I do?
And then my alarm goes off.
On my phone at 12 o'clock every day, I've switched off today.
My alarm goes off.
It reminds me to say the Lord's Prayer.
Because the Lord's Prayer is something that I pray every day now.
And it doesn't take long, 60 seconds.
But my word is powerful.
And it's ministering to me in a way that's just shocking and wonderful and like.
I'm just telling everyone about the Lord's Prayer.
And loads of people in our church now have a reminder on their phone to remind them just once a day to say this incredible prayer.
So as I'm kind of like looking at this precious man, young man, my alarm goes off.
I usually turn off on a Sunday, but I hadn't that morning.
And it's just as I'm looking at him and my alarm goes off and I turn it off.
And I just feel God's say telling about the Lord's Prayer.
And so I'm minister to him.
And the Lord's Prayer ministers to him.
And then as I'm getting up and he's kind of like getting himself together.
God just says to me, this is what I want you to say to the church.
This is what I want you to bring.
So that's really cool because the actual preach that I got was quite heavy.
And it was quite heavy yesterday, wasn't it?
I mean, it was amazing, but like it was intense, man.
And so I just thought to intense, you know, I don't want you to light up with the next bits here again.
And she's bringing it.
So I just want to.
I just want to read the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6, verse 9 to 15.
Our father, not my father, our father in heaven.
Hello, be your name, no other name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
We need it.
And forgive us our debts.
As we also have forgiven our debtors, that's an interesting one.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
So as I'm kind of like praying over this prayer for you guys, I really felt God highlight verse 10.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Because God knows that this is your heart.
Your heart is for God's kingdom to come to this place.
But what God is already doing in heaven for this place, you want that down here now.
God hears your cry.
He knows that you're not just waiting for heaven in the by and by.
You want it now.
You know when you are getting to know people out there.
You know they need heaven now.
But what is the kingdom of heaven?
The Bible project, I love the Bible project.
I love how they talk about God's kingdom.
And this is what they say at the beginning of Genesis, the Bible tells us that heaven and earth
shared the same space.
Heaven and earth were fully united.
Heaven and earth fully united.
The Garden of Eden represented the place where God and humanity dwelt together perfectly.
There was no separation.
Humans partnered with God to build a flourishing world.
But humanity turned their backs on God and wanted to create a world without God.
And we all know the result of that.
Heaven and earth separated.
God knows the longing of your heart.
He knows the ones of you that are praying earnestly.
For his glory, for his heaven, to come to earth, to come to this place, to come to this community.
He knows you're serious.
And he's delighted in that.
He's delighted in that.
And really, there's only one story on planet earth anyway.
The story of God bringing back together heaven and earth.
And I've heard people say in the 24-7 prayer movement, they talk about thin spaces.
Kind of places where heaven comes to earth, there's places on planet earth where heaven has come down.
But that can be the same in our lives, in our hearts, in our minds, in our bodies.
We can have heaven coming into the space that we're in.
No matter what is going on in our life, God's wanting to bring his kingdom, his heaven, first of all in us.
Then in our families, then in our church, then in our communities.
That's what he wants.
That's the point.
That's the gospel.
And Jesus said when he was on planet earth,
the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
And he was saying it all the time.
The kingdom of heaven, it's here, the kingdom of heaven.
It's a night, it's here, it's now.
How could he say this?
Because was the...
Have we experienced the fullness of heaven on earth?
No, not yet. That is to come.
That's the end story.
But because of Jesus, because of him humbling himself and coming to earth,
and to live fully God, but fully man,
and taking the choice to die on that cross for his creation.
And rising again, yeah, heaven is now.
Because of Jesus, because of what he's done,
we can have heaven here on earth as it is in heaven.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done.
Honor as it is in heaven.
I mean, in a nutshell, the kingdom of God,
it's humanity, God's creation, simply loving God,
and simply loving each other.
It's not rocket science.
It's pretty simple.
A child can understand it.
A child can get excited about it.
A child can go, yeah, I can walk that.
Jesus wants his creation to flourish.
He's desperate like we're desperate when we see war around our world.
He's desperate like we're desperate when we see people walking these streets,
struggling with addiction, struggling with mental health issues,
struggling with loneliness, acute isolation, family breakdown.
He's crying over it like we're crying over it.
So he says, pray my kingdom.
Pray heaven, come down.
Come down Lord, we need you.
We can't do this without you.
We don't want to do this without you.
We can't do this without you.
Wow, how different this world is from God's kingdom.
We know that full well.
We know that in our own hearts when we're not fixing our eyes on Jesus,
I doesn't take many days of me not fixing my eyes on Jesus to recognize
there's not much heaven going on in my heart and my mind.
I need Jesus every day.
I need to be saying every day your kingdom come.
Your will be done in my thoughts, in my actions,
in the way I am with a human being in front of me,
your kingdom come despite what they throw back,
despite what's going on around me, despite my pride,
despite my fears, your kingdom come and it will be done
because that's the great love story for planet Earth.
He only has one story.
There's no plan B.
There's two scriptures that I really felt God wanted to encourage you.
This is an encouragement church this morning for you guys.
I tell you what, you know there's twin towns in the world, isn't there?
There's one in France and they have a place in somewhere.
I think it's nice and where I used to live.
There's where I used to live in Stamford.
There were a twin town and they don't know what they actually did,
but there was a plaque anyway that said we're a twin town.
I tell you what, I want to be a twin town with you guys.
Seriously, Oasis, I want to be twin with you.
I am moved by you guys.
I'm excited by what I hear.
I'm excited because you want Jesus, end of.
And I want to hang out with people that want Jesus, end of.
And this kingdom is precious.
It's so valuable.
This kingdom brings healing.
It brings kindness.
It brings forgiveness.
It brings love.
It brings justice.
It brings restoration.
It brings God with us.
It's so valuable.
And you work so hard for this valuable, valuable kingdom.
Matthew 13, 44 to 45 says,
that kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.
When a man found it, he hit it again.
And then in his joy, he went and sold everything he had.
And he bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
When he found one of great value, he went away and he sold everything he had.
And he bought it.
I want you guys have sold the his kingdom.
What you have, let go of the his kingdom.
And it's incredible.
In my prayer time.
He's shown me how much you love him.
And how, despite the hard stuff in your life,
you keep fixing your eyes on Jesus.
You recognize how valuable the kingdom is.
And that is beautiful in God's eyes.
So I'm here to encourage you, yeah, you got it right.
Jesus in your life is the most valuable thing you hold.
Bringing heaven to this community is the most valuable thing you will ever do.
It's worth more than a good career.
It's worth more than an incredible family.
It's worth more than anything all that you long for and you look for.
All the things that you think I don't have.
They are worth nothing compared to that desire in your heart for God's kingdom to come to this community.
And another thing to encourage you.
The kingdom isn't a quick fix.
It's not going to happen quickly.
We're not going to see things happen like people want nowadays.
It takes time to grow.
Matthew 13, 31 to 32 says, again, he said,
what shall we say the kingdom of God is like?
Or what parable shall we use to describe it?
It's like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.
Yet, when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants.
With such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.
Small mustard seed goes down in the ground, starts to germinate.
I want it now.
We want to see it happen now.
We want to see that person free from addiction now.
I want to see that family restored now.
I want to see that person struggling with mental health sorted now.
We want to see that new building up and running now.
But it takes time.
Because we have a good father.
He's not really interested in spoiled brats.
He wants us to grow, sorry.
But he doesn't.
We know what it's like to see a child who's spoiled,
who gets what they want straight away.
Do we long for that for our children?
It's a quick fix.
It's an easy win there and then.
But my word.
Look what grows.
Not a strong oak tree with large branches.
The birds can call their home.
So be patient, church.
Take one day at a time.
You won't miss anything God has for you.
He knows your heart.
You can't do it anyway.
All we have is yes, Lord.
That's all we bring to the story.
That's all we bring to this great wonderful romance
with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Rest in Jesus.
And enjoy the adventure.
Whatever age you are,
there's still adventure coming up.
Do not write yourself off because you've seen God work
in the eighties, the nineties.
We haven't seen anything yet.
He's just been preparing us.
Every single one of us.
We've been born for such a time as this.
Take delight over the little things.
Lean on Jesus.
Learn from Jesus daily.
God will take care of the rest.
The kingdom always comes with repentance.
We'll never get the kingdom coming without repentance.
John the Baptist says,
repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand Matthew 3.2.
Jesus said, repent and believe in the gospel Mark 1.15.
Peter said, repent and be baptized Acts 2.38.
Repentance is the best give ever.
It's just look what we can do.
When we mess up, when we absolutely make a mess of it,
when we say I won't do that again
and lo and behold the day later, we're doing it again.
We can come to Jesus and we can say sorry.
And we can say sorry.
And we can say sorry and we can repent and repent and slowly but surely.
As we fall more in love with Jesus, we think I don't want to do that anymore.
Help me Lord.
Repentance is a beautiful thing.
I love it and I don't repent enough.
It's a lavish gift that God wants me to embrace daily and I forget.
We won't see God's kingdom come without repentance church.
And we have a lot to repent about.
But it's a beautiful, beautiful tool.
It's an incredible gift and we should help one another in repentance.
There's areas of our lives that we're trapped in.
Let's go to someone that we trust.
Let's be honest.
There's so many things we can be addicted to.
We might look at some of the people in our community and think yeah,
it's obvious what your addiction is.
You wear that addiction and we want to see you heal from it.
But there's a lot of addiction in our lives that we hold very, very close to our heart
that no one knows about.
It's time to start getting honest.
It's time to go and tell people somebody that you trust.
I'm struggling with this.
There's this sin in my life and I can't shake it.
Let's get on our knees and repent before our Lord in Saviour because He wants us free.
And it's very hard to free other people when we are also in bondage.
We carry authority when we start to find ourselves getting free from addiction in our own lives.
How are we doing for time? I've got absolutely no idea where I'm.
Well, no, seriously.
So I just want to end with this.
We'll leave that section out.
I felt God say that He wants to speak some words over you as a church.
Some of us are feeling a sense of apathy.
Some of us have lost our appetite.
God wants to bring hunger this morning into those of us that look at others in this church.
And they're kind of like, you know, come on.
And we're looking at them thinking, I want that or I don't even want that.
We need to be hungry to see God's kings come and he's well being done.
We need hunger.
Some of us are trapped in success or the fear of failure.
We are saturated in the 21st century in the United Kingdom with success.
Sometimes we can be drenched in it and we don't even realize that we are seeking success instead of Jesus.
Jesus does things very differently from how stuff's happening in this country.
God's wanting to pour surrender over our success.
Some of us are feeling pressure.
There's a lot going on.
You do a lot.
It's changing lives.
But there's pressure.
Some of us are feeling a little bit pressured.
He wants to lead us back into a place of prayer.
He wants that pressure to just be the alarm bell of its time to pray.
Some of us are feeling overwhelmed.
So many balls juggling.
So many situations going on in our lives.
We're just overwhelmed.
I want to bring this back to our audience.
What balls are we juggling?
Did God throw that ball?
Or is it one that you picked up?
Because you think you have to.
How many people pleases are in this room?
I'm one of them.
When people ask of me, I hate to say no.
The beauty that came out of cancer for me was one big massive.
Can't do anything.
When I recovered from cancer.
God, give me a bit of a stern and beautiful talking to.
Don't pick up anything.
I haven't told you to pick up thick.
When anyone ever says to me, can you get involved in this?
All right, if you do this, I'll just go, I'll have a prayer about it.
And I don't even say, I'll get back to you.
I'll have a prayer about it.
Lord, is this what you want me to be involved in?
And if I don't get peace.
And if I don't feel he's saying yes, I just lovingly say no.
I want to obey the journey that God's given me.
And I don't want to fear man.
I want to fear God.
So, it would be amazing if we could just have a bit of time
where we look at these four areas that I feel God is wanting to speak to us.
And I say us because we're twin town now.
And so I'm grafted in.
I am, I do.
I want to be grafted into you guys.
And actually, as God was speaking these words for you,
it really ministered to me.
I need this too.
So, there's something about standing.
So, let's stand.
Because standing means we're focusing, we're meaning business.
And if it's alright for the worship team, because we know you like worship.
For some of us, we are feeling apathy.
We are, we know we're not hungry.
We know there's something in us that's just saying,
oh, I can't be bothered.
Because there's just so much that's gone on in our lives.
And we feel weary.
God wants to give us hunger this morning.
He wants to give us such an appetite.
Some of us hate.
Getting stuff wrong, being a failure.
Oh man, it's so part of the kingdom.
Get used to it.
The only success there is in the Bible is God glorified.
And usually we need to be humbled for him to be glorified.
So, just let's shake off success.
And what the world thinks is success.
Let's surrender to Jesus this morning.
And just give him all that.
I've got to do this, do, do, do, do, do.
And then it'll be successful.
Whatever that might be, let's just surrender it to Jesus.
And for those of us that are feeling pressure,
it's time to pray.
And for those that are feeling overwhelmed,
even this morning ask God,
what do you want me to put down and release?
And what do you want me to pick up?
We just need to obey God,
and He will do the rest.
Lord God, would you come?
Would you come right now, mighty King?
Would you come like a rushing river?
Would you come as a small whisper?
Would you come as a jolt?
Would you come as your arms wrapping around us right now?
Would you come stroking our faces?
Would you come that we can lie back into your arms?
Would you come?
Would you come in any way you want to come this morning?
Would you come and meet with your bride,
your kingdom come?
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Lord, we want you.
We need you.
Just come, Holy Spirit.
Come and meet us where we're at right now.
And if any of you actually feels I actually need more
than just being standing in my seat,
I actually need someone to pray with me.
And then, yeah, come to the front.
Come and that amazing prayer group
that was the prayer ladies, you know, you're not finished yet.
You know who you are if you want to come and a minister
or if you need to pray yourself.
But if you want to kind of like just make a bit of a...
repentance is just turning around and saying,
I'm going to stop going my way and trying to work it out in my way
and I'm going to go God's way.
Sometimes we have to get really physical about that
and that's why sometimes moving is a good, good idea.
But for others, just embrace Jesus where you're at.
Thank you, Father.
Thank you, Jesus.
I love you.
I love you.