Reflections #22: The Faith of Miracles

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ Mark 2:3-5

The healing of the paralytic man is an incredible story. Jesus is in Capernaum, where so many healings happened. Not coincidentally, the people in this region had a strong faith. That realization made me stop and ask myself this question:

What is God wanting to do in my life, but He is waiting on my faith to grow up and catch up?

Perhaps you’ve wondered this same thing. Finish listening to this 5-minute meditation by clicking on the arrow below, or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. If you like it, we’d appreciate if you’d leave us a review.

Thanks for listening. May your soul’s meditation be fuel for Spirit-led actions today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Short & Sweet: Trust and Relax

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

2 Timothy 1:12

“Just relax through the pain.”

“Relax through the pain?” I thought to myself, “what an oxymoron. Who can relax through pain?”

I was suffering from something called a frozen shoulder. It happened one day when I was at recess with my students. Why I thought I had to do a cartwheel at the young age of 50 was beyond me. But I did it, and I stuck the landing.

However, I paid the price.

Now I could barely put my arm behind my back, or lift it above a 30-degree angle. I had been to the doctor several times, but I was making very little progress.

During the course of this inconvenient injury, I was attending a conference at a posh hotel in South Carolina. That’s when I met Michael—an angel who disguises himself as a massage therapist. I scheduled a massage.

Michael greeted me for my appointment and as protocol dictates, asked me the usual pre-massage questions. I saw a spark of interest ignite in his eyes when I told him I was there not to relax, but to seek healing for my injured arm. This was not just a typical bored pampered housewife appointment—I needed real help.

As he began to go deep into the injured arm, Michael said, “Just relax through the pain.” I turned over this comment over in my mind. Relax through the pain. How do these concepts mesh? Is it possible to hurt yet rest? How does a person relax in pain? Michael worked as I breathed in and out.

Mind wandering. Muscles releasing. Stress draining.

Suddenly, I realized to my astonishment, I was relaxing through the pain. Why? How? One word—trust. I trusted Michael. He knew when to stop. He knew how to probe the injury to a depth that brought healing not harm. I did not have to protect myself because he was protecting me. But he didn’t protect me out of my healing. I could relax and let him work because I trusted him.

Same thing with God.

He asks us to trust him through the pain; to give our wounds into His healing hands and let Him go deep. He knows when to stop, and when we’ve had enough. Left on our own, we would protect ourselves right out of our healing. But God knows how to heal, not harm. We can relax and let Him work because He is trustworthy. Healing wrapped in pain. A salve of wholeness and hurt. Buried pain exposed, cut away and removed.

Pain then healing. Hurt then wholeness.

We can relax through the pain of life because we are safe in His hands.

Trust in Him.

Action Points:

  1. What are you holding back? Is there a painful situation you need to turn over to God? Take a step of trust and tell Him as best as you know how at this moment, you are giving this hurt to Him to heal.
  2. Envision yourself completely healed. What would be different? What would you finally dare to do because you are completely healed?
  3. Take the first step. What is your first step? A move? A career change? The end of a relationship? Letting go of decades old guilt or shame? The first step can be scary but also very freeing and empowering!
  4. Seek the help you need. Counselor, pastor,  doctor, mentor— whatever it takes, do it!
  5. Cover everything in prayer. Ask God to give you His best and open wide your arms to receive it.

Life is sweet! Trust and relax.

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i pray: trust

iprayi pray

short podcasts to bring the sacred into your everyday

Do you only have a few minutes for prayer today? You’re in the right place! Try one of our new i pray podcasts. A few minutes is all you need to pray God’s word into any situation by interceding for friends, family, and yourself. 

Show Notes

Today we are praying about trust. Perhaps like me, you may sometimes have a problem fully trusting God because of current or past hurts and troubles. You’re afraid of being hurt again. And, when we’re honest, we wonder why God allowed these things to happen in the first place.

This world is a beautiful, messed up place, and both beauty and evil spill over into our lives. Let’s use scripture to help us pray through our brokenness and healing — and our place in God’s plan to redeem the world.

Today we’re going to pray through two scriptures:

  • Psalm 9:8-10
  • John 16:33

To pray with us, just click on the arrow below. Feel free to leave a comment or your own prayer as you process the issue of trusting God.




i pray: broken hearts

ipray

i pray

short podcasts to bring the sacred into your everyday

Do you only have a few minutes for prayer today? You’re in the right place! Try one of our new i pray podcasts. A few minutes is all you need to pray God’s word into any situation by interceding for friends, family, and yourself. 

Today we’re praying about broken hearts. While our emotions may betray us, we can’t always see the state of a person’s heart. Many of us, however, are walking around with broken hearts due to divorce, estrangement, a tragedy, the death of a loved one, or failed relationships. Whether you’re suffering or someone you love is, join Only By Prayer today in praying for the brokenhearted. God can bring about healing. We will be using Psalm 34:18 and Psalm 147:3 to pray.




The 12 Days of Thanks Giving: Day 5, Restoration

Pump OBP Header 12 Day 5:Restoration

Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope, even today I declare, that I will restore double to you.” Zechariah 9: 12

 

 

Restoration: [res-tuhrey-shuh n] noun

  1. a putting back into a former position, dignity, etc.
  2. something that is restored, as by renovating.
  3. the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment. the replacement or giving back of something lost, stolen, etc.

 

The Garden of Eden. A place of joy,  fellowship, righteousness and purity. Man gave away the blessing of Eden by believing a lie of Satan. God waits to restore His blessing to man when he believes the truth of the Gospel. The Enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But God comes to replace, renew, revive, rebuild, re-purpose, recycle and restore. But wait- not just restore, check the verse above–restore double. The Hebrew  word for restoration is shuwb, which means to return, to go back, to turn away from sin, to turn back to God. Restoration only comes through God and the power of His Word. According to the definition, our responsibility is to turn from sin, and turn to God. Speak His Word into your broken places, and let the restoration begin.

Pray For Restoration

Restoration for Relationships: Dearest Father, because of our sin, we have many broken, damaged relationships. First and foremost is our relationship with You. Thank You that by accepting Jesus’ death on the cross, our relationship with You is restored. We pray for Your healing in strained relationships with our spouses,  parents, friends, coworkers, in-laws and siblings. Your specialty, Lord, is bringing dead things to life. Please restore our relationships. We give thanks for Your goodness and healing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Restoration for Hearts: Father, we give thanks that You provide restoration for broken hearts. Our hearts have been shattered because of our choices, the choices of others, sickness, death, and job loss. Your Word promises that You use ALL things for our good. Please restore our hearts to health so they will beat only for You. We thank You, Father. Amen.

Restoration for Minds: Heavenly Father, we thank You for healing of our minds. Help us to think correctly so we may act correctly. Our minds have been influenced and damaged by lies we have been exposed to by the Enemy and by our own choices. Please restore our minds so we will love You with all our hearts, souls and minds. Thank You that You have given us  sound minds. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our minds be pleasing in Your sight, oh God, our Rock and our Redeemer.

More Restoration

Prayer of Restoration a specific prayer by Mary Kane

Scriptures for a Sound Mind an article by Joyce Meyer

My Peace I Give You Part 2   a blog post by Jane Vanosdol

 

Comment

Please leave a comment below in the Speak Your Mind section on what God teaches you today about restoration.

 

restoration. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/light (accessed: November 18, 2014).

Hebrew definition taken form:

“Hebrew Lexicon :: H7725 (NKJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. Web. 19 Nov, 2014. <http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7725&t=NKJV>.

 




Soul Care for Intercessors

Soul Care for IntercessorsFinal

The best gifts that people can give are those that involve some type of sacrifice — of time, money, or creativity. While you may have never thought of it like this before, prayer is a gift to others and like any gift, it extracts something from the giver.

Those who regularly intercede are constantly standing in the gap between man and God, holding up people, events, and circumstances to His notice. It’s exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.

Pulse of the Prayer Team

At a recent prayer meeting, my pastor did something a bit unusual. He took the pulse of the prayer team to see what kind of shape the pray-ers were in. We split into small groups and honestly shared what was on our hearts. Many of us were feeling beat up. It was a comfort to admit it and realize we weren’t alone. Right or wrong, some of our struggles revolved around these issues:

  1. Low-grade fever. One intercessor said he felt like he had a constant fever of needs going on in his spirit. Not enough to sideline him, but enough to wear on him. Similarly, a woman said she felt like the petitions were hovering around her like a cloud all day.
  2. Guilt. Some intercessors were dealing with guilt because they felt inadequate to meet the heavy needs that were presented to them.
  3. Spiritually drained. Some people admitted to being drained. Frequent intercession had extracted a toll on them that they weren’t recovering from.
  4. Overwhelmed. A few confessed to feeling overwhelmed by a prayer list that had grown to huge proportions.

Sharing these struggles with each other exposed the wounds to God so that he could start the healing process. It was clear that we pray-ers needed some TLC ourselves.

Soul Care for Intercessors

Some guidelines to soul care for intercessors emerged from our meeting:

  1. Intercessors need a time of rest and retreat to recharge spirits and souls. When possible, periodically attend a weekend or daylong retreat for some TLC.
  2. Pray for intercessors. We were so busy praying for others, that we were neglecting to pray for those who were interceding. Remembering to cover each other in prayer can supply a needed boost to a battle-weary pray-er.
  3. Periodically debrief with other intercessors. Sharing each other’s burdens can be a help. This is not meant to be a gripe session but a place to air any concerns or stress you may be carrying.
  4. Pray with a partner. For protection, when possible intercessors should pray deliverance type prayers over others in the safety of a small group of other pray-ers.
  5. The most important point to remember is that prayer time needs to be built on the strong foundation of personal time spent with God. We can’t be effective intercessors if we aren’t grafted on to the vine. In John 15:4 Jesus says “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Several times a week, I have added quiet listening to my devotional time with God, and I journal what God brings to my mind. It keeps me connected to Him and opens me up to His plans. No matter how long your prayer list may be, don’t neglect sitting at Jesus’ feet. That takes priority over prayer requests and actually feeds into the ability to be directed by the Holy Spirit in knowing how to pray and which requests to pray for. You do not have to pray for every request every single day. Let God direct to what is most important for that day.

 Overall, remember that God is calling you to Him first and to pray for others second.

5 Tips for Intercessors

 At the end of our prayer meeting, some common helpful tips emerged.

  1. We are standing on holy ground. Offering ministering prayer or intercessory prayer for others is a privilege, and we are treading on holy ground by letting the Lord use us to bring his healing and comfort to others. We are ushering the person into His presence.
  2. God knows even more than the “prayee” about the situation. Sometimes the people we’re praying for have a hard time articulating their need. God knows what is going on, and we can pray in confidence that He understands, even when we don’t.
  3. The Holy Spirit is interceding with us. We’re not by ourselves in this prayer venture. Romans 8:26 tells us that “The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
  4. Praying for others can give us a “prayer shot.” Although this doesn’t always happen, sometimes God lets us see comfort or healing delivered and received. How wonderful!
  5. Remember, the results are not up to us. We need to take the pressure off of ourselves. God promises us that He is working. How he does this is up to Him. Our calling is to pray.

Taking the time to care for yourself and other intercessors will strengthen you and fill your prayer tank back up, allowing you to continue to bless others with the powerful gift of intercession.

Pray on!