Today, Ashirayi speaks to us about communicating our requests and desires to God, suffering loss and God’s provision.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I am the last born in a family of four girls. Being the last born, I was very close to my mother, and we even shared a birthday. I lost her to cancer the year I was turning 17 and as difficult a process as that was, I thank God for preserving me through it all.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24) Sometimes the reason why we do not have is simply because we never asked. God has been walking me through a journey of learning to ASK for everything down to the very small details. The way I see it now, if something doesn’t happen the way I would have asked for it, the only reason is that God’s sovereign will would have prevailed but it must never be because I never actually asked for it.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Trust! I’m currently in a season of learning to rely completely on God and relinquishing all control to Him every step of the way. Trusting in God is such a liberating process because you release the burden of figuring it all out and you rest assured in the hands of a God who already has the final blueprint in hand.
Profession/Mission: By profession I am a Communications Specialist. I had been working in the corporate sector for about 7 years until end of 2020 when the Lord told me to leave my job to pursue purpose and passion. It was such a test of my obedience because I had just had a baby, COVID 19 was still very rampant and everything was still so uncertain but, in that uncertainty, God was saying lay it all down and trust me! So, I heeded to the call and with my husband’s support, here I am today! Has the journey of obedience been easy – NOT ALWAYS! Have I had moments that I second-guessed if I heard the Lord correctly – YES! But as I learnt to walk in full obedience and submission, the path has started to become a little clearer and from the little I see – I am so excited for what is ahead! I enjoy my first ministry as a wife and mum. I also recently launched a platform called By The Altar @bythealtar on Instagram where I share the Word of God and He is still unravelling what else He would have me do through that ministry. I also run a florist and gifts business, which is something I have always been passionate about.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? “Prayer Still Works!”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? It was in 2011, the year I was turning 21. I was at the end of the road after a few years of teenage rebellion. A friend of mine invited me to their church and what I experienced there was life changing. See, I had grown up in a traditional church and never had a ‘Pentecostal’ experience until then. When I saw how people in the church I visited worshipped and surrendered themselves I said “Lord, if you are real, I want to experience what these people are experiencing.” What followed was a peace, a warmth and a reassurance that led me to my knees in repentance and surrender.
How would you describe Jesus? Ah! Where to even start! My Redeemer, my Great Friend, my Assurance, the Lover of my soul. The One who carries all authority in His Name alone!
How has your relationship with Him changed you? My relationship with Jesus has given me a complete understanding of the authority I carry. At my very core, I am an intercessor and I depend so much on my relationship with Jesus as I intercede for others and for various situations. I realise that because He has claimed me with His blood, I am His and I am seated with Him in Heavenly places, far above all principalities, rulers and authorities. This gives me so much confidence to contend spiritually knowing that I am already on the winning side.
“At my very core, I am an intercessor and I depend so much on my relationship with Jesus as I intercede for others and for various situations.”
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? My husband and I faced 3 miscarriages before we had our first daughter. One of them was nearing the second trimester and that one really broke me beyond reason. I didn’t understand why it happened, and it was so painful to have to let go of all the dreams and hopes we had already started to create.
However, we conceived again the same time the next year and with no human intervention we carried our lovely daughter to full term and we can truly say like the Psalmist ‘If it had not been for the Lord!’ When I speak about a God who can do the impossible, for me its not just a cliché verse, it’s a reality I have seen with my own two eyes!
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season?
Spending time with the Holy Spirit and having a constant awareness of His presence, dedication to prayer as well as fellowship with people who are like-minded and share the same focus!
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb. This book is a definite must read for anyone who has been called to intercession. It has taught me that when it comes to those whom God chooses as vessels of ministry, (whatever kind of ministry) He places such a huge demand on having a Christ-like character. If you are going to be representing Him, He must be able to trust that you will carry His endorsement in a worthy manner.
“If you are going to be representing Him, He must be able to trust that you will carry His endorsement in a worthy manner.”
Top three essentials: Prayer. True intimacy with the Holy Spirit. The Word of God.
How did God speak to you recently? One thing I have learnt is that God speaks to us ALL the time, sometimes we just never notice it. Most recently, He spoke to me through an incident with my little girl. We can learn so much from our children if we care to pay a little attention.
“We can learn so much from our children if we care to pay a little attention.”
Hobby: I love to read. I could read all day if I could!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
- Intimacy: Spending undisturbed, surrendered time with Holy Spirit and allowing Him to minister to you. This isn’t a time for petitioning, its just a time to rest in Him.
- Reading the Word: The word of God refreshes, it brings light, it enables, it contends and so much more. Staying rooted in the Word makes you like a tree planted along the stream (Psalm 1), though you may feel the heat, the guarantee is that you will not wither
- Having a mentor/someone to account to: We all need someone to be accountable to in our spiritual walk. There will be times when the cross gets a little heavy and it’s so critical to have someone to help you to keep the focus.
Favorite person in scripture? So many! In this season, it’s Nehemiah. I love how devoted he was to the mandate he had of rebuilding the walls. He was so focused and had such unbelievable confidence that despite various opposition God would bring him success in this mandate.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want people to see that God is dependable, faithful and never failing.
Favorite holiday? Definitely Christmas. It’s so awesome to celebrate life knowing that we owe it all to a God who gave His only Son. And I also love gifts!!!
A goal you have? To preach Jesus to the nations!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I have quite a few but truthfully, I think when I do get there asking questions will be the very last thing on my mind! I will probably fold my little paper with all the questions and just busk in the glory of Jesus! Oh, what a glorious day!
What does your morning routine consist of? I start off my day with prayer. I usually then play worship songs while I get everything ready for my little one to go to preschool. I continue to worship even as I drive her to school, though sometimes ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ creeps into the playlist, lol. When I get back from dropping her off I shut myself in, sit at my altar, read a passage of Scripture and get into a time of prayer before I get into the business of the day.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Living a life that is fully committed to representing Jesus so well that others will want to live the same way, too.
For more Ashirayi:
My Instagram handles are : @bythealtar and @ashirayi_maps
Until next time, keep witnessing!
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