Tag Archives: Prayer

Praying Amiss; When you don’t realize God’s already answered you

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Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Can you imagine receiving a brand new Ferrari as a gift, driving that new Ferrari and enjoying the perks of it without knowing that you are in fact driving a Ferrari? Furthermore imagine constantly begging the person who got you the Ferrari to upgrade you to a Ferrari although they’ve given it to you already?

That sounds preposterous and farfetched right?

For me the idea is not as farfetched as it seems. Recently I found myself in the position of the Ferrari driver with God being the bearer of my gift. All because I kept asking God for something without taking the time to find out what it was.

I was recently crying out to God for the gift of discernment. Diligently seeking His face and crying before His throne day and night “Oh God increase in me your spirit of discernment.” After praying that prayer for quite some time and not getting the response I desired, I decided to fast about it. I figured it was time to kill flesh and strengthen my spirit man as an act of sacrifice and surrender to turn God’s heart and ear toward me. I fasted for two days and still didn’t receive the answer I wanted from God.

I was heart-broken.

Why wasn’t God answering me? What had I done to deserve this silence from Him? Am I no longer in His presence? These were some of the questions plaguing my mind as I tried to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t hearing from God regarding this new desire on my heart.

As God would ordain it, a few days after my fast I sat with a friend and I began to share with Him my desire to see God increase His gifting in me and my desire for the gift of discernment. As we chatted my friend went into details of what the gift of discernment is and how it works. As I sat drinking in this new information, I was guilt ridden and ashamed when I realized how foolish I had been. It took everything in me to prevent my jaw from dropping when I realized I was asking God for a gift he already gave me and I already used.

I was in awe. In my quest for righteousness I didn’t take the time to research God’s word and understand what I was asking God for. I listened to ministers and other believers speak about the importance of the gift of discernment. I took their brief insight of the gift and presented it to God and waited on an answer.

I took the lazy way out and suffered tremendously for it. Instead of thanking God for what He was doing in my life and learning to appreciate, use and develop my gift I was before the throne of grace petitioning God for something I already had.

As I reflect on this experience I can’t help but wonder how many other things I prayed for or about and got an answer from God without realizing it.

2 Timothy 2:15 instructs us to study to show ourselves approved…… an area I can now admit to falling short in. Thankfully God uses our mistakes and missteps as an instructive tool in correcting our ways and drawing us closer to Him. I’m thankful that I was able to see the foolishness of my ways because it’s taught me a valuable lesson in knowing and understanding what I’m praying for so that my prayers won’t be amiss.

 

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Search Me Lord

Search my heart

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

Have you ever said the prayer above? “Search me O God……………..see if there is any wicked way in me?”

Recently I found myself praying this prayer; not in the exact words that David used in Psalm 139, but with the same message to God. The funny thing about me saying the prayer was while I was prepared for God to search me, I wasn’t prepared for what I’d see.

When God searches and finds things in you that are not of Him he has to show it to you in order to bring it to your attention and begin His work on removing it. Of course I didn’t understand that concept until I got a taste of it first hand. I’ll be very honest with you, when I said this prayer I thought God would just speak to me about the things that are deep within my heart that I needed to change. I was really hoping for a dream or a vision or even a word from a prophet telling me what areas in my heart needed work. Boy was I wrong!

As time progressed and I waited on my revelation God began to test me. I know most times when Christians say “test” people usually think trials, but that’s not what I mean. What God did was allow me to be in situations where the decisions I made highlighted what was really in my heart. Can you imagine the horror I felt when I realized that what felt good to me in a situation or what I gravitated toward naturally was not of God?

For me, I’ve always battled with lust. For as long as I could remember; even before I was saved, it was very easy for my mind to stray to situations and places it shouldn’t. When I got saved over a year ago, I started praying and asking God to save me from this spirit. Now I’ll be honest, on the surface I began to gain control of the situation and I earnestly believed that I no longer had a desire to lust anymore. Yet again I was wrong. On the surface I was okay but that desire was hidden deep in my heart and I was only made aware of that when I found myself in the presence of a young man that I’m attracted to. When lust showed up there I felt devastated and defeated.

I went to God in confusion, not understanding why I was getting into trouble again in this area that I was supposedly free from. That’s when God began to minister to me. He began to show me that my problem was much deeper than I realized and that I needed to constantly pray against the spirit of lust, especially when I feel like I’ve got it under control and trust Him while he works on removing it from my life.

This experience gave me a greater understanding of Paul’s words in Romans 7 where he expressed his distress at doing those things he doesn’t want to. In my distress God took me to Matthew 26:41 where I was given my instruction on how to proceed in wisdom where my secret desire was concerned.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

More and more as the days progress I’m realizing that in order to live a life of holiness and righteousness I need to constantly be in prayer and fasting. Additionally I’m beginning to understand that righteousness and holiness is not an overnight experience; it’s a daily battle between flesh and spirit and once I remember that and keep surrendering my all to God He, through His Holy Spirit will help me to overcome my battles.

If you’re like me; coming to the realization of just how wicked the desires of the heart can be, and you’re seeking answers to this problem I hope that my testimony has helped a bit. I hope that you use the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 7; not as an excuse to continue on in sin, but as encouragement to pick you up out of that place of defeat. I urge you to remain focused and continue pressing on to the mark of the higher calling. Additionally I encourage you to heed the advice in Matthew 26:41 “watch and pray”, understanding that the battle between the spirit and the flesh is an ongoing one that can only be overcome through this method.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter with me. Your experiences might have in it the next word of encouragement for me and other persons who may be fighting this battle as well.

Share your testimony, share your experiences, share your God!

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God is not in the Coincidence Business

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Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

I love the book of Ruth. Divine providence is behind every twist and turn in the story of Ruth—the famine that led the family to Moab, the marriages to Moabite women, the deaths of Elimelech and Naomi’s two sons, the lifting of the famine in Bethlehem, Naomi’s return to her homeland, Ruth’s gleaning in Boaz’s field, Boaz’s notice of Ruth, the refusal of the next in line to be Ruth’s kinsmen-redeemer, and Boaz and Ruth’s subsequent marriage. The string of events are strung like pearls on the thread of God’s providence and secured in place with the knot of His love.

Have you ever noticed such a stringing of events in your own life? My friend, Gayle, experienced one particular series of events that were most definitely orchestrated by God. She started having trouble with her knees in her early thirties. Chronic pain in her right knee sent her to the doctor’s office on a regular basis for cortisone injections. Because Gayle’s mother had joint pain in her knees for most of her adult life, Gayle resolved herself to the same fate—arthritis. The doctors never X-rayed or performed an MRI to diagnose the problem but prescribed treatment according to symptoms and a family history of joint pain.

One night, after five years of cortisone injections, Gayle, her husband Joe, and another couple attended their college alma mater basketball game. On the way home, Gayle twisted around in her front seat to face the couple in the back. As they chatted, she noticed an 18-wheel semi-trailer truck’s headlights rapidly approaching their car. Surely he’s going to stop, she thought. But before she could even warn the other passengers, the truck plowed into the back of their car at 55 miles per hour. Because of Gayle’s position, her knees were smashed into the dashboard.

The driver of the truck had fallen asleep at the wheel and never even applied the brakes before impact. Gayle and Joe’s car, a heavy Lincoln Continental, was totaled, but no one in the car was hurt except Gayle. Her knees were black, blue, and swollen within a couple of hours.
When Gayle went to the doctor the next day, he decided to take an x-ray to make sure there were no broken bones. “Gayle,” he said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but you have a slow growing tumor in your right knee.”

“A tumor? How long has it been there?” she asked.

“Well, this is a very slow growing type of tumor which has probably been there for several years. The pain that you’ve been experiencing in the past has most likely not been due to arthritis, but due to the tumor causing the bone to expand as it grows. We’re going to have to remove it right away.”

“I can’t do it right away,” she answered. “I have a two-week counseling course that I’m going to next week. I’ve been on the waiting list for two years, so this tumor is going to have to wait. You did say it was slow-growing, correct?”

“Yes,” he answered, “but I wouldn’t wait a day longer than necessary. You are a very lucky, young lady. If you had not been in that car accident, we may have not found the tumor until it was too late.”

Gayle smiled. Luck had nothing to do with it. God was in control.

Gayle did go on the counseling seminar. On the last night, 750 committed Christians gathered around her and prayed for her knee. The next day, when the doctor went in to remove the tumor, he was amazed to find that this slow-growing tumor had rapidly begun to shrink.

“Once again,” the doctor said as he showed Gayle the new pre-op X-ray of a much smaller tumor, “you are a lucky girl. The tumor was smaller today than it was two weeks ago.”

Once again, Gayle knew luck had nothing to do with it. She then shared with the doctor about the 750 people who had prayed for her the night before.

Many times when something seemingly bad happens in our lives, we need to remember that God is the director of the drama.

We may not understand the “whys” or the “what-fors” but we can trust in the God who controls it all.

Kathy Collard Miller said it so well: “Nothing that happens to the child of God is a coincidence, and when we look at every situation and encounter as God-directed, we will more easily fulfill His plan. This knowledge should also make each of us feel needed, valuable, and important: We are fulfilling God’s purposes for His kingdom.”

Just when it looks life has spun out of control, God stops the spin, picks up the broken pieces, and creates a beautiful mosaic—a work of art which He had planned all along.

Let’s Pray
Lord, I am so thankful that there are no coincidences in my life, but only God-incidences. Open my eyes to see You at work. Don’t let me miss Your fingerprints on the pages of my days.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Written by: Sharon Jaynes

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Daily Dose – An Ounce of Goodness

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1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Last night I had the most incredible revelation from God: No matter the situation, there’s always something to be thankful for.  Think of the most negative, hurtful, terrible situation that has ever happened to you or someone you know or think of someone who really, really gets you on your wrong side (we all know somebody). Ponder on any of the two and I’m certain you’re going to find at least one ounce of goodness in that situation or person that you can be thankful for. 

Most nights I have a list of people or situations that God would have placed in my heart during the day, that I pray for. Last night as I was about to pray for the persons on my list God told me to thank him for specific things in each person or individual.

At first I was reluctant, because I knew these people were going through some tough situations and I wanted to present those situations before the throne of grace. Past experiences however, has thought me not to argue with God, so I obeyed His command and began to thank Him for each person; not asking for anything at all.

While praying persons and situations that weren’t on my list began to come to mind and I thanked God for specific things in them as well.  Soon enough, persons and situations that I didn’t like or wasn’t pleased about started to come to mind and I realized I had things to thank God for where those things were concerned as well.

When I rose from praying God said to me, “there is good in everything and everyone, it’s up to you to focus on the good and be thankful for it”.  

This morning as I climbed off my bed Hitler came to mind. What could I thank God for where Adolf Hitler was concerned? The man who attempted to destroy an entire race of people because their physical features did not please him. It took a little while before I found something and then I thanked God that Hitler was only up set with one race of people. 

I realize now that sometimes we get so caught up looking at the negatives and the trials, and frustrations of life that we neglect to truly thank God for the ounce of good that dwells in bad situations. I’ve decided to dedicate this month to giving thanks rather than complaining. I am going to activate my faith and stand on God’s promise that ALL things will work together for my good because I love Him and I’m going to find peace in knowing that whatever is taking place in my life is His will for me. 

What do you say, are you up for such a challenge?

 

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Daily Dose – Pray For Others

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Job 4:10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

We all know the story of Job and how he stood firm in his belief during a time of great tribulation.

If you read the book of Job you will see that his friends scolded him and believed that the reason for his suffering was because of something he did to anger God.

This would have upset anyone and some of us might have ended the friendship we had with our accusers, however we see in the final chapter of this book that Job’s captivity only ended AFTER he prayed for his friends.

In life people will do things to hurt us and they may judge us wrongly. While our first instinct will be to pull ourselves away from the presence of those persons remember that your breakthrough just might be dependent on you praying for those persons.

 

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Daily Dose – Thy Will Be Done

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Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

I have been pondering the above scripture for some time now and I can’t begin to express the excitement I feel when I say the four bold words above. YOUR WILL BE DONE!

It takes a level of humility, trust and faith to sincerely pray such a prayer. So many times I have repeated the Our Father prayer and not realized the true magnitude of its words. Only now as God is taking me through a season of pruning and grooming that my eyes have been opened and my heart blessed with various revelations in this scripture.  While there are many parts of this prayer I can expound upon, tonight I will focus on those four words in verse 10 of Matthew chapter 6.

I believe that we have been boxing God in by praying for things and not accepting that what we ask for may not be what God intends for our life.

2 Timothy 1:8-9 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

When God saved and called us it was according to HIS purpose. God has an intended purpose for each of our lives and sometimes we don’t fully understand what it is, so we try to shape our lives a particular way, by praying for specific things which we sincerely believe are in alignment with God’s design for us. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking God for what is in our hearts, however we need to be mindful that if what we want is not what God intends for our life then we need to accept His will when it is manifested in our lives.

The manifestation of God’s will outside of ones desire is exemplified in Luke 22:42-43 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.

This was the night Jesus would be betrayed and he went to His father earnestly asking to not have to face the pain of the cross. In His prayer Christ acknowledged that His Father’s will should be done above all else. Here we see that instead of removing the cross from Jesus’ destiny, God instead strengthened Him for the rest of the journey.

I believe that this is what is happening today with a lot of believers. We are asking God for things and praying about circumstances with the expectation that God is going to say yes. We have not considered that what we desire may not be God’s will for our lives. It is very possible that some of the things the people of God are asking for will not come the way we’re expecting it. Some of the things may not come at all because they are not in alignment with God’s will for our lives. The problem lies not in the answer from God, but in our ability or willingness to accept an answer contrary to what we desire.

As I type I realize that I am guilty of such actions. I ask God for things sometimes and I really do expect Him to give it to me or to work out situations in a particular way, in a specific time frame and I don’t leave room for His will to be done in my life. God’s will for Jesus on the cross was our salvation. If he had taken the cross from Christ, if Jesus’ blood was not shed we would not have the promise of eternal life today. Clearly the will of God supersedes the desires of men.

It’s time for change. It’s time for us to mean what we say when we pray. It’s time for God’s children to trust His will for our lives and embrace the purpose for which we have been called!

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School of Prayer – Two Basic Purposes of Prayer

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I know it’s been a while since I posted on the “School of Prayer” series. Truth be told I missed the last session before school went on break (due to my surgery) and we only reconvened this week after a break for the Holidays. Well as usual class was very enlightening. Pastor Dougie shared some powerful information on the purpose of prayer and the value of it to God, His purpose and His people. In this post I’m going to share on the two basic purposes of prayer and sometime before the next session I’ll share on what I’ve learned thus far on the value of prayer.

PURPOSE 1 

Prayer ushers us into the realm of the spirit and gives us direct access to the presence of the living God. 

For us to greater appreciate the above statement, let us look at where prayer takes place;

Luke 11:2  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven – This scripture reveals that we must pray to God who is in heaven.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. – Here we are instructed to go before the throne of grace with boldness.

Both these verses indicates to us that prayer does not take place in the natural realm. Praying is the activation of authority in the supernatural realm, therefore it is not something to be entered into lightly. We must approach prayer with the consciousness that we are entering into a completely different realm where there are forces at war.  In the spiritual realm there are forces which help us to reach the throne of grace and others which work to hinder us. A good example of this can be seen in Daniel chapter 10, where the angel of God appeared before Daniel explaining to him that his prayer was heard and answered on the first day he prayed. However en route to delivering God’s answer to Daniel, the prince of Persia tried to stop the angel and hindered Daniel’s answer for twenty-one (21) days.

Here we see that the enemy understood the power of Daniel’s request and the authority that God’s answer would give to Daniel. He also understands the power and authority we exercise through fervent prayer and will try to hinder our requests and answers just as he tried to Daniel’s. Now that we Know the enemy is fearful of the power we obtain through prayer, how much more should we go before the throne of grace and make our petitions and requests known to our Heavenly Father?

PURPOSE 2 

Prayer has the power to make manifest on earth the possibilities that God has established for us in the heavenly or supernatural realm.

Luke 11:9-10 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Take a careful look at the words in the scripture above. They are a clear indication that there are things which we can gain access to only through prayer. Things which have already been ordained in heavenly places that require our prayer in for their manifestation to take place in the natural realm. Prayer empowers us to make manifest on earth those things which God has already ordained for us in heaven. If we do not pray and exercise our authority to ask, seek and knock, these things remain in the heavens, but with prayer they become our reality here on earth.

REMEMBER

When you approach prayer in the future do so with an understanding that you are being ushered into a completely different realm where there are limitless possibilities. Therefore, enter into prayer more soberly and with a greater consciousness so that you can maximize the possibilities that you are afforded when you have the privilege of entering the realm of the spirit; into the very presence of God.

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Testimony – The Power of Prayer

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John 12:32  And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

Prayer is such a powerful tool. Sometimes we look at persons who are down and out and instantly think money, food or clothes is what they need. One of my readers commented on a blog I wrote (Holy Spirit Access) some time aback and testifies that sometimes the less fortunate really just need someone who loves them enough to lift them up in prayer.

Don’t get me wrong, the less fortunate do need our help in meeting their physical needs as well. We still have a responsibility to help them in any way we can in their day-to-day living, however we should not stop there. This testimony shows that sometimes the best thing we can do for anyone that we care for is lift them before our Heavenly Father in prayer. I hope Karen’s testimony blesses your heart.

Karen’s Testimony

I had an experience once that really blessed me and showed me the truth of the phrase – lift me up and i will draw all men to me – (badly paraphrased) ,anyway in my twenties I was at a large and bustling train station in London. It was my first visit to the metropolis as I was a small town girl; it was a bit overwhelming, soooo many people bustling about busy with their day. Then a scraggy, smelly old man approached me and asked for some change.

I don’t know what came over me; this was my first encounter with a homeless beggar and I said “yes i’ll give you some money if you will let me pray with you”. Much to the embarrassment of the friend I was with (lol), he said “okay” and I laid my hand on his dirty head and prayed for him; I have no idea what i said.

I then gave him some change and off he went. My friend and I then went into a cafe on the station concourse – we were sitting there having a coffee when this same beggar appeared but this time with 5 other old beggars just like him. Much to the dismay of the other coffee drinkers they approached my table and the old guy said “my friends would like you to pray for them too” I sort of chuckled inside thinking that it was not prayer they wanted but money. I was wrong, because they all bowed their heads as i said a prayer of blessing for them, thanking God for how much he loved these men.

when I was done I expected the hands to come out for money, but instead they just looked at me and and said “thank you” and left!!!
I still wonder what became of them !!!!

 

If you have a testimony you’d like to share with us feel free to contact us on facebook @Testimonies of His Goodness or email it to testifywithme@gmail.com 

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Daily Dose – On My Knees

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Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down,and prayed

When was the last time you knelt before God?

Jesus, on the night he was betrayed went before His Father on bent knees to make his request known.

Jesus showed us that the most humble way we can approach our Father is on our knees. When we approach God in humility he provides strength for our journey.

On our knees we a physically vulnerable but spiritually powerful. Maybe it’s time we begin to exercise our spiritual authority.

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Daily Dose – Accept Your Responsibility

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Colossians 3:8  But now YOU YOURSELVES are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth

There are so many things that God has instructed us to do with regard to our behavior. We are responsible to change our old habits of anger, wrath, blasphemy, bad language and gossip.

Unfortunately, many times we try to give this responsibility back to God by continuing to do wrong and then praying “Father take these things that are not of you away from me.”

God has given us the ability to discontinue the bad habits we developed before we knew Him as our personal Lord and Savior.

Now it’s up to us to accept that responsibility and live according to the Holy Spirit, committing all things to Christ.

SEE ALSO: 

Ephesians 4:22-24

Romans 8:13

Galatians 5:16

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