Are you intrigued by the idea of making your own mattah (staff of authority), like we talked about Wednesday? If so, Madaline's personal testimony today will make you even more excited. You're going to love it!
In the post below, my friend Pastor Madaline McFarland of Igniting Families shares how God used a mattah in restoring her life.
Pastor Madaline had been through divorce, single parenting, and lots and lots of yuckiness and hard times.
The Lord had been restoring her life for 12 years. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, the Lord gave her a mattah to help her remember who she is, so she would cast the past aside!
We all need that; don't you? To remember who you are? To let the past be the past, and to walk in the total freedom and newness of life that Christ guaranteed for us with His blood?
I believe that Pastor Madaline's story will encourage you today.
Before you read, remember this: a mattah is a staff of authority, also called a prayer staff.
When God told Moses to stretch forth his rod over the Red Sea, and it parted–that was Moses' prayer staff.
A staff of authority is an incredibly helpful tool when you are interceding and making prophetic decrees. Madaline even uses the making of a mattah as a coming-of-age rite of passage for the children she disciples.
One more thing: Pastor Madaline and I are co-hosting a Make Your Own Mattah workshop on March 18, here in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
If you live anywhere in driving distance, please come. Cost is $50 and includes the wood for your staff, water, and 4 hours of teaching from Madaline and from me. (Each person will bring their own mattah decorations, since decorations are so personal.)
This is a fundraiser; all profits go to benefit Madaline's ministry, Igniting Families. Click here for more info about the Make Your Own Mattah workshop, and click this PayPal button to register:
I still feel Holy Spirit's excitement over this word about mattahs!
I hope you will take the jump and make your own mattah, even if you do so at home. Your prayer staff will bless and encourage you.
So, without further ado, I give you Pastor Madaline McFarland. – Jamie
How God Used a Mattah In My Life
by Pastor Madaline McFarland
My mattah was given to me by a dear friend as I first embarked into the world of bloggers.
I had been asked to join a group of ladies (whom I highly respected), helping to start a website that would encourage women all over the world. I took some time to think it over, and I looked at some of the topics they had suggested to write about.
The Lord immediately dropped something into my spirit and I sat down and begin to write. I knew then that this was something I had been called to do, although I lacked the confidence that I could measure up or keep up with the others.
After I had agreed to join the group we meet for a nice lunch to pray and make plans for our new adventure.
At that meeting, each lady was given a stick, called a mattah, with a verse engraved into it. We knelt down like one becoming a knight as the others prayed over each member. The verse on my staff immediately grabbed my attention because it was a verse the Lord had recently given me, and which had become my silent heartbeat.
The verse was Acts 17:28: “For in Him we live and move and have our being …”
As a knelt for prayer after receiving my mattah, my friend did something unexpected. In her prayer, and by prophetic declaration, she placed upon me a spiritual mantle of purity.
I accepted that mantle because I could feel it was from the Lord, but I didn’t really understand what was happening.
What was the purpose in all the pomp and ceremony? What kind of purity could she bestow on me that God had not already given? What was I supposed to do with this stick? I knew it had purpose and so I sought the Lord to discover what that purpose was.
I wanted to know what was going on, so I began to study.
I first began my quest by scouring the internet for easy answers. I was looking for an article with some sort of biblical content regarding a mattah, but it didn’t exist. So … I had to resort to prayer and Bible study. (The really good stuff never comes easy!)
All I had been told about my mattah was:
- that it was a weapon to be used to in prayer for declarations;
- that it was a symbol of authority; and
- that I should pray and ask God to give it a name. This name would represent my calling and area of spiritual authority given to me by the Lord.
- I had also been told that the word AMEN was burned into the end that struck the ground, symbolizing agreement with God’s Word when declarations were made.
But I learned more when I began studying God's Word about the mattah!
The most insightful things I learned were from Scriptures regarding a shepherd’s staff, and from men of God who were known to carry staffs in the Bible. You can read more about what I discovered regarding the mattah here, in How To Make a Mattah for Prayer and Declaration.
First, though, I want to tell you the rest of my personal story.
I knew instinctively that my mattah was to be named Purity. I had been on a journey of restoration over the previous twelve years. During those twelve years, the Lord had:
- brought me through divorce;
- brought me through single parenting;
- put me on staff in a ministry position in my church;
- given me a new husband;
- given me another son;
- and given me another baby who was on the way.
I knew I was pure before the Lord; He had washed me, filled me and restored me. So what was this new purity?
The answer came to me as I was driving one day, listening to a praise song called Overshadow. While I listened to that song, I realized that the Lord was asking to invade every part of my being.
I had been promised Act 17:28–the verse above, about how in Him we live and move and have our being–and now He was ready to give it to me.
In the Lord’s eyes I was righteous; but in my own eyes, I still carried guilt and shame over much of my past. God was asking to let His glory and purity overshadow every shadow that lurked within. He wanted to show me a deeper cleansing that required more accountability.
He knew my heart cry was to be closer to Him than I could stand. My prayer was Isaiah 26:9, which says:
With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
To have what I was seeking, I needed to be overshadowed by purity: purity in mind, thought, action and speech. God wanted everything.
So, through tears, I committed this to Him in the car that day. When He did, He gave me another verse that I had not yet seen. I have changed some pronouns to make it personal (so the below is a declaration, not an exact quote). It's from Isaiah 26:13-14:
Lord, my God, lords other than you have ruled over me; only because of you can I call upon your name. Dead they are, they cannot live, shadows that cannot rise; Indeed, you have punished and destroyed them and wiped out all memory of them.
Amazing! God had healed me of the pain in my past where I had let others lord over me, but now He was saying that even the memory of that past could be wiped out!
After writing the word PURITY on my staff, the next thing I wrote was the word FREEDOM with this Scripture reference around the bottom so that my freedom in Him would be declared every time my staff hit the ground.
More good stuff:
Over time, I've added other names to my staff. The other names written on my mattah proclaim the call that God has put on my life and positions of authority in which He has placed me.
Here are some of the names the Lord has inspired me to write on my mattah:
1. Warrior Bride.
This is a name that the Lord gave me as I was first going through the process of restoration after my divorce. He restored my virginity and gave me a vision of myself as a bride in army boots. On the outside I was in a beautiful white gown, and underneath I was fully geared for warfare.
2. The Shepherd’s Daughter.
I wrote this name one day after driving to work at the church. I was so fired up that I told the Lord I wanted to be a sheepdog and just rally all the people–the sheep–towards Him.
When I got to work, I was met by a co-worker who took me aside and said that the Lord had told her to give something to me. Her gift was a beautiful statue of a shepherdess holding a lamb, with an adult sheep at her side.
I turned the statue upside down and read the words “The Shepherd’s Daughter.” Tears rolled down my face as I heard the Lord say, “You are not a dog but my daughter. I have called you to care for my children and stand alongside their parents.”
3. Bridal Consultant.
This was a really strange one. I was standing in a group of people at my church when someone asked me what my job was. Before I could even think, I said, “I’m a bridal consultant.”
Those who knew me, and knew that I worked full-time in children’s ministry, just looked at me sort of strange. I was surprised myself! But I heard the Lord say, “I have called you to prepare My Bride.”
To bring the story full circle, the ladies with whom I began this mattah story with have all been called to new adventures.
However, the experience of writing with them was a stepping stone in creating my own blog at www.ignitingfamilies.com. I am also forever thankful for the encouragement and training I have received from Jamie and thankful for this opportunity to share with you.
I know that I have more to write on my mattah, and I am excited for what the Lord will reveal to you as you make your own.
I hope that my mattah story has been an encouragement to you, and I can’t wait to hear yours. Father God wants you to know who you are in Him, without any doubts or reservations.
He wants you to walk in power; to be fully restored; and to be completely, radically confident. I believe He will use your mattah in your life to help you become that way! It's an amazing tool of encouragement and hope. It's a visual reminder of your faith and of your authority in Christ.
So let me know if you make your own mattah, and leave a comment below if this story encouraged your heart!
Would you help me with my work of reaching people for Jesus as a domestic missionary? This blog, and all of my mission work in person, are made possible through your partnerships, donations, and product purchases.
If you'd like to help me, please check out the partnership details and products available for sale here. And, thank you in advance for helping make this blog and everything we do together for the Kingdom possible!