PRAY, AND KEEP PRAYING!
…Pour out your heart before Him…’ Psalm 62:8 NAS
More than anything else in life, Hannah wanted a son. And as the years passed she wrestled with disappointment and despair. ‘…and [Hannah] was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord.’ (1 Samuel 1:10 AMP) However, she did two things that worked—and they’ll work for you, too!
(1) Instead of turning away from God, she turned to Him. Instead of praying less, she prayed more. She knew that while her husband couldn’t give her a child, God could. She may not have been happy with God’s timing, but she never doubted His goodness. Unfortunately, one of the things we’re tempted to do when things fall apart is to avoid God’s presence. That’s a mistake, because He’s the one you need most! Yes, it’s hard to pray when your heart is breaking. But unless you’ve prayed with a broken heart and a deep sense of your need, you’ve never really poured out your heart before God, or learned what the Bible truly means by prayer.
(2) She didn’t just think about what she wanted, she also thought about what God wanted. ‘…she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if You will…not forget Your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to t he Lord for all the days of his life…”’ (1 Samuel 1:11 NIV) And shortly after that Samuel was conceived. When you’re willing to make a promise to God that He can hold you to (which is what a vow is), you’re getting serious about prayer. And that’s when God will get serious about your prayer as well! So, ‘pour out your heart before Him.’
PLEASE GOD NOT PEOPLE
And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. – Mark 10:43-48
The devil will always have someone available to tell us why we shouldn’t expect to get results when petitioning God. Most people would rather stay with the crowd and not do anything to draw attention to themselves even if that means not getting their needs met. They will try to make you conform as well. If this man would have listened to the crowd, he would not have received his healing. “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (Jas. 4:2).
This blind man is a good example of an active kind of faith. He was not passive in his approach toward healing. He boldly cried out to Jesus for mercy. When the crowd ridiculed him and told him to be quiet, he cried out even louder for mercy.
Many people believe that God can perform the miracle they need but relatively few are willing to actively pursue it until they get results. They are afraid of what others will think of them. This man had his attention focused only on Jesus. Nothing else mattered and that is why he got healed.
An integral part of faith is seeking God only with your whole heart. If we are concerned about what people think so that we can gain their approval, we will never take a stand in faith for anything that we might be criticized for. This one thing has probably stopped as many people from receiving from God as anything else. You cannot be a “man-pleaser” and please God at the same time. Satan uses persecutions to steal away God’s Word and thereby stop our faith. To see faith work, we must say with Paul, “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).
Our spirits are the only part of us that have experienced total redemption.
Thank God for the redemption He has provided for you today.
Victory over death, victory over hell, victory over sickness and disease, victory over lack, and bondage of every kind. There is VICTORY IN THE BLOOD!
SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING …
The earth was formless and void…and God said, Let there be light. – Genesis 1:2–3, NASB
Are you believing God for something that seems impossible? We serve a great and mighty God and He can create something out of nothing! He can make a way when there seems to be no way. Before God spoke the world into existence, it was formless and void. If God can make the world out of nothing, He can take the empty places in your life and create something beautiful, too. He can speak light into your darkest hour. He can take your formless dreams and give them shape. He can resurrect your dormant gifts and talents! He can make your crooked places straight! Trust Him in all things because He can make something out of nothing!
THE SPIRIT’S REST AND REFRESHING
Isaiah 28:11–12 For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing”…
To counter stress, many people resort to tobacco, alcohol or tranquilizers. These things, besides having harmful side effects, are costly and often lead to addictions.
God has something better for us. It is powerful, costs us nothing and has no harmful side effects. He calls it “the rest” and “the refreshing”. What is He referring to? Speaking in tongues—“For with stammering lips and another tongue…”
One of our church members was on medication for nine long years for a host of problems: severe depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, chronic sinusitis, gastritis and panic attacks. Every day, he had to take up to 30 tablets to keep these conditions under control.
He suffered from such bad sinusitis that he had to visit the hospital regularly to drain the mucus. He could not sleep much—at most three hours—even with sleeping pills. And because of his panic attacks, he could not go to work and seldom left his house. His wife had to look after him and their three kids. The side effects of the long-term medication also caused his physique to balloon.
One day, he felt God prompting him to pray in tongues as often as he could. He obeyed. The moment he started to pray in tongues, even though it was just a few syllables, he felt a rest, a peace. This encouraged him to pray in tongues more. And the more he prayed in tongues, the more rest and peace he felt.
His sinuses began to clear up and he was healed of gastritis. Slowly, the fears and panic attacks left him too. He also started to have quality sleep without the sleeping pills! The Lord even taught him how he was to eat—two meals a day, but to eat whatever he wanted. Today, he is back to his normal weight!
Through praying in tongues regularly, God delivered this man from a host of long-term illnesses. My friend, this is the rest and the refreshing which God has promised us. So start praying in tongues regularly, and let His rest and peace saturate your entire being!
PLAN FOR GOOD
… those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. – Proverbs 14:22, NIV
Do you wake up every morning expecting favor and blessing on everything you do? Do you plan for what is good? When we plan for what is good, the Scripture tells us that we find love. We know that God is love so when you plan for what is good, you will find God in the midst of your plans!
Today, don’t let the negative voices of the world or get you distracted or pull you off course. It doesn’t matter what is happening around you, God’s plan is always for your good. Pursue His plan. Seek love and faithfulness because what you seek you will find. Put Him first in all you do and find the peace, joy, and victory He has in store for you!
HEALTHIER, STRONGER EACH DAY
Acts 2:46 – So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
Back then in the early church, Christians would meet each other every day, either corporately in the temple or from house to house in smaller groups. And when they met in their homes, the Bible tells us that they would break bread. That’s the Holy Communion, and they took it every day!
Now, I am not saying that you must take the Holy Communion every day. But if you feel led to and you want to, go ahead! The thing about taking the Holy Communion daily is this: If you are sick, you can be made well on a gradual basis. This means that you get healthier and stronger from day to day—first thirtyfold, then sixtyfold, then a hundredfold!
You see, while you can receive healing through the prayer of faith (Mark 11:24), it sometimes puts pressure on you because it requires you to believe that you receive it all—complete healing—the moment you pray. There is nothing wrong with the prayer of faith, but you may find yourself saying, “I must believe I receive it all, now! I must believe I have it all, now!”
But the Holy Communion allows you to receive a measure of healing every time you partake in faith, so that you get better and better. The more you take it, the better you become. There is no pressure to believe that you receive it all at once. Isn’t God good? He meets you at your level of faith!
Now, there are cases I know of in our church, in my family and in my own life, where the manifestation of healing is immediate and complete. If it happens that way, praise God! But if not, don’t worry. The more you partake, the better you will become.
I know of people who take the Holy Communion three times a day, just like they would medicine! Why not? My friend, if you are very sick and you are diligently taking your medication three times a day, why not give the Lord’s Supper the same amount of attention? Why not boost your recovery rate? And the next time you eat the bread and drink the cup, you may just find your disease totally gone!
THE POWER OF WORDS
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. —Proverbs 18:21
Nelson Mandela, who opposed the South African apartheid regime and was imprisoned for almost 3 decades, knew the power of words. He is often quoted today, but while in prison his words could not be quoted for fear of repercussion. A decade after his release he said: “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”
King Solomon, author of most of the Old Testament book of Proverbs, wrote often about the power of words. He said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov.18:21). Words have the potential to produce positive or negative consequences (v. 20). They have the power to give life through encouragement and honesty or to crush and kill through lies and gossip. How can we be assured of producing good words that have a positive outcome? The only way is by diligently guarding our hearts: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23 niv).
Jesus can transform our hearts so that our words can truly be their best—honest, calm, appropriate, and suitable for the situation. —Marvin Williams
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Our words have the power to build up or tear down.