My prayer for YOU!


Ephesians 1:17-19 “God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power. ”

AMEN

Replace the words ‘their’ & ‘them’ with ‘mine’ & ‘me’ and make this prayer your own. I challenge you to try praying this every day for a month or more and watch what happens! Believe and receive! Trust in God’s goodness, power and love for you or just be open to find more!  

Matthew 7:7-8 “Now Jesus returns to prayer, an important and sometimes difficult topic. Here He gives the very essence of prayer. ‘Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you. All who ask receive. Those who seek, find what they seek. And he who knocks, will have the door opened. ‘ ”

Which Way Are You Going?


Are you headed in the right direction? How do you know? Especially when faced with obstacles, choices, difficult circumstances and situations, how do you navigate through your life to find the best path? In my life I have had incredible difficulties and challenges seemingly insurmountable or even survivable. You can read my bio on the about page to find a summary. Given my childhood, I learned to survive by being alert, aware, analytical and resourceful, among other less healthy patterns. Around age 5 a near death experience caused me to believe in God who became a constant companion, with no other person in my life I could trust not to hurt me. 

As my difficult circumstances continued into adolescence, I lost that trust and faith. I decided to seek wisdom from the world and whoever I found willing to give advice. We can always find lots of people to give us advice and a lot of it is good. But how do we judge for ourselves which advice is good for us at any particular moment in any particular situation? Do we search for good reviews? Have those reviews always turned out to be best for us? Each of us has an individual unique path with lots of turns that cannot be fathomed by any amount of analysis, especially given the amount of opposing and confusing information now available. There is not enough time to research and decide. But I used to try. Looking back, some turned out good, but many turned out worse for me, or at least wasted time and money until the next solution came along. I spent years and all my money searching and trying anything that seemed ‘helpful’ or had a good recommendation. Ultimately given serious health issues without any available solutions, I turned back to God for help, following various spiritual practices and eventually teaching them to others. I gained some temporary peace but no permanent solutions, and when things worsened the peace disappeared. 

One day a friend gave me a tape of a lecture on a bible passage, Proverbs 3:5-6 (shown below). I listened and my heart lit up. It talked about letting go of our self reliance and analysis and trusting God to lead us and make our path straight, removing obstacles. That started my journey into the bible, a book I owned but never opened or was taught to use through 12 years of Christian school. The next few years were like doors and windows being opened in my mind and eventually in my heart, as I gained wisdom and experienced solutions and direction for impossible and challenging circumstances in ways I could not explain except to credit God. I realized through experience that only God has all the information needed to direct our choices and lead us on a path that connects us with the resources we need along the way. Only God knows everything about us and our past, every possible aspect of our circumstances, the results of every possible choice we could make, and information about the entire world over all moments of time. 

The experiences became more dramatic, undeniable, and, in some cases, miraculous, the more I learned to trust and follow God, as the bible verse says. My life became a journey of experiencing God’s best direction and results for my life’s choices, healing of my body, recovery from financial loss, the permanent transformation of my mind and personality and the deepening of my relationship with God in Christ, all with the help of the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus for those very purposes. Perhaps this verse will speak to you. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart. And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth, removing obstacles that block your way. ”


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What are you laboring for?

On this Labor Day in the United States, I was reflecting on labor. I am thankful that my health has improved so much from when a few weeks and months ago, I could hardly labor at all. I am thanking God for healing when doctors and medications could not work. I have labored in seeking help in any way I could, with doctors, medications, alternative healing techniques and trying all kinds of remedies, while my health worsened over the last few years, worse than it had been for a long time, being told a few years ago my doctor did not think I would survive a simple infection that should have cleared up in a month. 

More than 25 years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic illness coming from childhood trauma to my brain and neurological system which had deteriorated the various systems in my body. I am told there is no cure since it came from brain damage and that part of the brain is inoperable. I was told I would eventually be in a wheel chair for life. My primary care physician said she was so sorry because although I would want to die, the condition would not kill me, especially if I sought emergency care when having seizures which could come unexpectedly at any time, shutting down various neurological signals that keep me breathing, standing, my heart beating, my body moving and fighting off toxins and disease that normal neurological and immune systems do naturally, automatically. 

I turned to spirituality and labored to find tools and techniques to ease pain, alleviate symptoms and developed prayer practices to get closer to God, the Great Physician and Healer. I had some successes along the way but ultimately disabling symptoms would return and got worse the last few years, no matter what I labored to do. Medical expenses had emptied all my savings and retirement funds and put me in tremendous debt I could not manage month to month without moving balances around to new credit cards and cutting all unnecessary expenses. Just when I thought I would lose my home heavily mortgaged, avenues of funding and free resources would appear, including free plumbing and roof repair. I had exhausted all the avenues open to me. But I continued to labor to keep alive, even though I really wanted to die. One by one people left my life, a life that moved increasingly to being homebound and immobile. My solitude and isolation increased. But I continued to labor on to find a purpose for still being alive. I studied a lot about healing. I learned more about what it means to follow Christ. It was not about labor or doing things to be good, to labor at spiritual practices and devotions, or even long periods of prayer. But it did mean learning about God and what we have in Christ. It did mean slowly but increasingly submitting my life to God in Christ by cooperating with the Holy Spirit.

The rest of the story will be revealed over time, perhaps in a book. The bottom line is I learned that life and healing, whatever you might define as happiness, success, prosperity and fulfillment, do not just come from labor, planning, research, determination and faith. Abundant life and prosperity are offered as gifts through what God offers out of His love for all people. It comes from what Jesus Christ has done to give us this gift of grace, eternal life and salvation, which defined in the Greek original word, SOZO, means prosperity in all areas of our lives, now and eternally. It is received as a gift, not by Laboring to earn it or manifest it in our own strength, intelligence or devices. Just like money deposited in our bank account, we just have to make withdrawals. We have to prove our identity as defined in Christ by faith, which is not even anything we work to have. It is a gift and a mystery, a marvelous mystery that only manifests when we turn it all over and come to the giver of the gift through the avenue the giver chooses, Jesus Christ, following him as a disciple, and then the road becomes narrow but ultimately easier and surer than any other road we might choose on our own or by following the advice of others. 

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened by labors that provide no peace, and I will give you rest refreshing your souls with salvation. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me following Me as My disciple, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest, renewal, and blessed quiet for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear and My burden is light.”