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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

screwtape

In 2 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul begins to defend himself within the Corinthian Church.  He had been encouraging and instructing in the preceding chapters.  Now, his tone completely changes.  He began to deal with the fact that there were false apostles, false teachers, and false teachings in this church that were presenting in the form of competition and defaming of his own personal character as well as a concerted effort to discredit him personally and deny him the authority he had been given by God to lead and teach in this church.

Paul begins with humility agreeing with his accusers that he was indeed low and mild when present among them.  Paul makes clear that he has no desire to be rough or overbearing even despite the severe and abusive slander being spread about him personally.  Paul is not about to stoop to that level, although he does make it very clear that he is both equipped and prepared with the authority given to him by God to punish offense done against him.  It was hindering the gospel which, in turn, made it an offense done to the gospel itself.

Paul points not to his own power, but to the wonder-working power of God over the spiritual realm.  Consider his words:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” ~2 Corinthians 10:3-6

He’s like, “Hey, guys!  This confusion and conflict and disunity we find in this particular church has nothing to do with the superficial problems or isolated issues that everyone wants to argue over.  This conflict is spiritual.  Everything going on here is a result of unseen forces working to destroy and devour God’s people and God’s plan.  There is bondage here – spiritual bondage that we must wage war against.  Spiritual strongholds are just that – spirits strongly holding people captive by deceit, by confusion, by ignorance, by prejudice, by lust, by lofty, high and prideful thoughts and opinions which contradict God and His will. These things are not trite or trivial.  They are a force waging an all out war against us all.  Thank God, that in his grace he has given us weapons with divine power.  Divine power!  The very power of God!  These are weapons which are able to defeat these forceful, spiritual strongholds.

That’s why I’m not gonna play your game of fleshly and worldly comparison.  We have a war to fight and that war is not against each other.  We have only one enemy and his name is Satan.  The war is against demonic forces evidenced in these conflicts and character assassinations being brought against me personally.”

“Ignorance, prejudices, beloved lusts, are Satan’s strongholds in the souls of some; vain imaginations, carnal reasonings, and high thoughts, or proud conceits, in others, exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, that is, by these ways the devil endeavours to keep men from faith and obedience to the gospel, and secures his possession of the hearts of men, as his own house or property.  But then observe, the conquest which the word of God gains.  These strongholds are pulled down by the gospel as the means, through the grace and power of God accompanying it as the principal efficient cause…The apostle speaks not of personal revenge, but of punishing disobedience to the gospel, and disorderly walking among church-members, by inflicting church censures.  Not, thought eh apostle showed meekness and gentleness, yet he would not betray his authority; and therefore intimates that when he would commend those whose obedience was fulfilled or manifested others would fall under severe censures.” Matthew Henry

Paul had every right and reason to punish this blatant disobedience to the gospel but he was waiting for the fulfillment and completion of their obedience first.  Later, in verse 10-11, he references again their complaint of him and responds:

For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” 11 Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.

In other words, Paul doesn’t say things right.  Who does he think he is?  Writing corrective letters but showing up and speaking softly?!  His speech is all wrong.  Why would we listen to him?!

If you hate what someone is saying and you want to avoid the truth of it, a great strategy is to just personally attack them and incessantly complain about how they say it.

Paul answers by pointing to his actions.  Actions speak louder than words.  If you find someone who doesn’t talk like you or walk like you but they walk like Christ, think about who they are called to follow and imitate.  It isn’t you or your preferences.  It is Jesus Christ and His practices.

Paul goes on to oppose their worldly comparison games and refuses to participate.  He restates his purpose – which was edification for the church, not destruction as he was so often and brutally accused.

Herein we find both the cause and the remedy for conflict, confusion, and disunity within a divided church.  The cause is spiritual strongholds and evil influence warring against God and His people.  The remedy is using the weapons which are listed for us in Ephesians 6 as truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer.  These are the things which, when used appropriately, have divine power to destroy the enemy’s schemes and free our brothers and sisters from spiritual bondage.  Thank God!

“Do not be deceived, Wormwood.  Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”  C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

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“1 But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” 42 And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting. And behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. 43 And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces. 46 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun.” 47 So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.” -Numbers 16:41-48

Here, God deals with false accusation against his chosen vessels. He does so by telling those who are accused to get away from the accusers so he might destroy them. 

Any right thinking individual would probably have done that by now anyway. Not these guys. Instead, the accused bow down before him and plead for mercy for those who are seeking to malign and discredit them.  When God says, “Get away from the midst of this congregation that I may consume them in a moment,” these guys know God means business. God is more angry than they are about the damage these haters have done. But when God says go, they stay. They fall on their faces and pray. They run into the very assembly that God has just dismissed them from and they make atonement for their accusers. 

What grace! God hears their prayer and stops the just judgement he had already begun to pour out. 

WOW! 

Even when God himself justly excuses us from a desperate situation, love can overcome and mercy can save if we are but willing to humble ourselves, forgive our accusers, and pray for the guilty. 

Don’t run away. Pray. 

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Today I Prayed

care

Hello.  My name is Sonny and I am a momaholic.  I have always been around mommy and thought she was really fun, but when I turned nine months old I became more attached to her.  She used to be able to set me down or put me in the playpen and I would play nice.  Now I realize that it is a prison!  The newfound bars to stop me from crawling freely between rooms confirm my suspicion.  Therefore, I cannot, under any circumstances, let mommy out of my sight.  What if I lose her?!  Do you have any idea how much I need her?!  Who can blame me for screaming in withdrawal every time she puts me down?  I have to follow her as fast as my knees will take me everywhere she goes.  All.  Day.  Long.  Even when I am happily playing with my toys, as soon as I realize mommy is not in the room, I wail.  I really need mommy!  I just don’t know how to tell her because I can’t talk yet.  Every time I try it just comes out like a bowl of alphabet soup that got mixed up.  Can you please help me?

If my baby could talk, I imagine she’d say something like that.  If I could talk, I imagine I’d say the same to God.

I am a poor communicator.  I say far too little.  I say far too much.  I say the right things at the wrong time.  I say the wrong things most of the time.  I say nothing when I need to say everything.  I say everything when I ought to say nothing.  I have functioned most of my life as a selective mute.  I struggle daily with trust, relational intimacy, and personal prayer.  No matter how much I try to engage, I feel fearful, insecure, trapped, mute, and imprisoned by my infantile frustrations.  At least when I write, I can babble a little as I seek to learn my weaknesses in efforts to overcome.

I am a bona fide nerd.  Sometimes I can’t even believe how backward and awkward I am in certain settings.  In my quest for understanding I have, in true nerd form, made a diagram pertaining to my tendencies toward weakness and sin as it relates to communication.

chart1.jpg

Like Sonny, I feel trapped.  I feel alone.  I am afraid.  When I can’t see God, I protest.  I am insecure, needy, small, and now, keenly aware of it.  Still, when He picks me up, I just babble.  I go silent.  I wrestle out of his arms.  I am afraid to lose him.  I am afraid to find him.  Do you have any idea how much I need him?  It is terrifying and comforting and unsettling and sanctifying all at the same time.  Is it sinful fear and pride that keeps me from speaking my heart to God?  To others?  Is it unbelief?  Distrust?  The assumption that it will simply hurt too much to be honest?

I hide.  I stay silent.  I switch off all emotion.  It simmers underneath the surface.  Like a foreboding moat full of monsters, I know the fall is coming.

If I could just communicate properly with people, maybe, I think, I could communicate with God.  If I could just communicate with God properly, maybe, I think, I could communicate with people.  Maybe none of it is the truth.

The truth is trickier than a mere introspective evaluation.  The truth is that I distinctly heard God call me into prayer this morning.  The truth is that He was clear and I was able.  But I did not pray much.  Instead, I began to consider the reasons why prayer is so difficult on so many levels.  I began to consider the reasons why communication is so difficult, why I am so unskilled at it, and what I am so afraid of.

Reason.  Logic.  Human understanding.  Searching for those familiar friends, I called out.  For an hour I called out to my favorite idol: intellect.  I heard God call me into His presence to pray and I spent the hour that followed navel-gazing instead.

Daddy doesn’t settle for the silent treatment though.  During the course of my reasoning, I confessed my sin to a friend.  I surrendered my fear and I prayed that the Lord would pick me up.  I envisioned Him holding me the way I hold Sonny despite her wildness; her unrest; her indecision; her impossible will that wrestles out of my arms only to cry to be picked up again.

I am she and she is me.  I am close, though.  I am closer than I have ever been before.  I feel the loving presence of a Father who dotes on me daily.  I hear his voice speaking softly and calling me to speak.  My words are minced; meager; murmurs; but they are mine and He is musing.  Be they babble or brazen, I am his baby and He hears my less than best attempts.  Therefore, I rest.  Though it took more tries than I might hope for tomorrow, today I prayed.

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confess

“Is anyone among you suffering?”

Can any one of us answer this question with anything other than an absolutely overwhelming, “YES!?”  We all personally know many, many people who are suffering every single day.  In chapter 5, James tells us that their comfort is found in prayer.  He gives only one instruction for those suffering: pray.

“Is anyone cheerful?”

What do we do when we experience joy?  James tells us to sing praise to God.  I recently had a miraculous experience wherein joy was poured out upon me.  When we are happy, it is hard to contain.  Should we?  James says no.

“Is anyone sick?” 

There is a prescription for sickness, too.  Those who battle illness are instructed to call for the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

Do we, the church, go directly to these commands when suffering, or cheerful, or sick?  Do we do these things?  Are these our first lines of defense and reaction?  Do we believe this?  Do we do them?

Because our churches are chock full of sufferers and sickness.  And last time I felt extraordinarily cheerful, I actually felt out of place and insensitive for just being so – even without saying so – among all the downcast hearts.

Why are these things rarely happening on any given Sunday in the church today?  We know we have suffering, cheer, and sickness.  There can be no doubt about that.  But where is prayer?  Where is non-rehearsed, naturally overflowing, honest praise?  Where is leader-led laying on of hands and anointing with oil prayer?

James goes on.  He gives us the means to this end.  Maybe the means are what is truly missing.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

Aha.  Confession.  Confession – specifically in community – is the means to these ends.  Confession in community is the remedy for suffering.  Confessing that one is suffering is the first line of defense against that suffering.  When we hide our suffering from one another – whether it is not our fault, sin-related, or otherwise – we fail to ask for and receive prayer.  We often fail to pray because of doubt and discouragement.  We miss healing and wholeness because of the fear of man and pride.  Those who suffer are commanded to confess those things and to pray and be prayed for.  The same instructions pertain to those who are sick.

The cheerful have other confessions to make.  The cheerful are commanded to sing praise.  When God blesses us with good times, we are called to give him glory.  We are instructed to sing praise.  Our good is not just for our benefit.  Our good is meant to give to those around us.  We give him glory by confessing his goodness in community.

So why does the church struggle so with transparent community if that is exactly what we are commanded to do?  Community that laughs together, cries together, confesses together, and learns together?  To know and be known?  To share and to care?  To give and to receive?

I am sure there a too many reasons to count, but I have considered a few.

1. Misplaced Fear

Many in the church fear men over God.  We often fear what someone may think or say of us when and if we are honest about our sin, our doubts, our joy, or our disbelief.  There is a severe lack of willingness to be known within the church for this reason.  Still, failure to confess does not only make us superficial and fake, it proves us painfully dishonest.

2. Pride

Confessing our struggles, our sins, our sickness, and even our joy can become a matter of personal pride and preference.  There is an attitude going on in our world and our church today that says, “I am above others and I will never let them see my imperfections.  I will listen to theirs and judge them but I will never reveal mine.  I cannot look less than because I value my reputation more than God’s Word.  I want respected.”  This kind of prideful pretending is a lie straight from the pit of hell.  God is probably up there saying, “Please, get over yourself and listen to me.”

3. Ignorance

There are those who see everyone’s sin except their own.  They are completely ignorant of their own offenses and even when enlightened by well-meaning brothers and sisters, they refuse to acknowledge the truth that would set them free.  These are the religious – perhaps the most difficult group to preach the gospel to.

4. Love of sin

No one likes to suffer or remain sick but many love the sin that holds them in those bondages.  Everyone wants help as long as they do not have to change.  The church must not enable this kind of attitude by failing to call people to repentance and confession.  We cannot pretend there is no problem when it is clear that rebuke is in order.

These are just a few examples that I believe shed light upon why our churches are full of people who are suffering, sick, and fail to honestly confess to and pray with one another. Brian T. Anderson puts it this way in his book, Six Habits of Highly Effective Christians:

Many of the healing miracles Jesus performed involved physical healings.  But Jesus also healed broken hearts, broken relationships, broken dreams, and broken identities.  These are just some types of healing we can experience when we confess our sins to each others and pray for each other. 

Community is one place where is is fully safe for us to take off our masks and know the healing power of being known and loved.  Before Adam and Eve sinned, they were naked and not ashamed.  The idea behind this is there were no secrets.  They were fully known and loved.  Everything about them was revealed.

What happens in many churches is that people attend every week, but no one knows them, and they are dying inside.  Nobody knows their fears, their dreams, or their problems. That’s not Jesus’ plan for his community.  The only way to receive healing is to make the choice to begin living in community with other people.” 

Amen.  Amen, amen, amen, amen.  It does not get any truer than that.  If we want to be healed and set free, we must be honest.  We must confess to one another.  We must work to know Him and one another and be known by Him and by one another.

Satan loves pretense.  He loves to masquerade.  Stop acting like him, church.  You belong to Christ.

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power

Healing begins with a broken heart.  One who has never been broken often fails to recognize pain, need, hunger, loneliness, and poverty.  One who chooses to stay broken clings to the security of neediness and ignores the pain, need, hunger, loneliness, and poverty of others for his own.  But for the one who has been broken and healed, broken and has forgiven, broken and been forgiven – that one loves much.

The more a heart bleeds, the more potential it has for love to flow out, or, the more potential it has to sew itself shut and dwell in egotistical narcissism as long as possible.  The one who has been forgiven much, loves much.  The one who has been broken much either considers only itself and its every selfish need in bitterness and fear, or, considers the brokenness in others most of all.

There are so many things that God has shown me over the last 19 days.  There are so many things He has done in me and through me during this time.  It would take a book to explain it all.  Maybe one day I will take that journey.  Or, if you ask me, I would love to tell you all about it.  For today, I have just a few truths to share.

I am so extremely, amazingly, beautifully humbled and thankful for the glimpses of glory I have seen so clearly recently.  These days He has given to me have each felt like Christmas – Christmas Eve, even.  Each day has been met with great anticipation, wide-eyed wonder, and undeserved, unbelievable gifts.

But, it began with brokenness.  The more my bright eyes beheld, the more my heart began to break.  The need in every life everywhere is overwhelmingly great.  As I sought to help and hoped to heal, I was given the greatest gift I have ever known – a gift I had not even asked for.  That gift is joy.  Real, true, unadulterated joy.  Joy inside.  Joy despite.  Joy deep.  Joy uninterrupted.

There can be absolutely no doubt this gift was given to me by God himself through the laying on of hands and prayers of a faithful, fearless fellow Christian.  Never once before this time have I ever experienced such freedom and freshness in my faith.  What God did through the prayers of his servant was nothing short of miraculous.

Not only was I immediately emptied of angst and worry, I was immediately filled with joy unlike that which I had ever known.  I was also given a great desire and urgency to pray constantly.  Me- a girl who writes books about why I cannot seem to pray and struggles to pray at all.

But now, God.  Now, GOD! God leads my prayers in a way I have never known before in nearly twenty years of Christianity.   God is using my prayers to lead and direct me to people and places and actions and needs like never before.  He has given me a great boldness to both pray and preach the gospel to anyone and everyone who will listen.  He has taken away my fear.  He is showing me things I should and would not know.  I know beforehand things I later come to see.  He is moving me, guiding my every step by His Spirit and confirming his direction with unmistakable signs and wonders.  And I am amazed like I have never been amazed before.  And if you will not ask me about it I will tell you anyway because you can’t make this stuff up and God will have glory because of it.

He gave me new knowledge, new eyes, new compassion, new strength, new joy, and yes, even a brand new life growing inside of me all at the same time.  God gave me rest in the earthly realm and realness in the spiritual one.  His message was one of comfort, joy, healing, and hope.  Judgement, restoration, and revival are what he has shown to me.  Joy, healing, and powerful, effective prayer are what he has given to me.

God does not want His people to be stagnant.  He is moving and His people are to be moving.  He is moving his people.  Still water is dead water.  Stagnant water is diseased water.  God is building his house in great power – and that power is prayer.  His living water will be rushing through it at all times lest he shut the doors and close it up.  He spits out pretense and all who set themselves up against his purposes through prayer.  God seeks to demolish strongholds and bring boldness to his people through prayer.

The seeds are planted firmly in the ground.  May the Lord bring a great harvest of hope, healing, and regeneration through obedience to public and private prayer and the laying on of hands.  May it be what he uses to break the spirit of pride, pretense, rigidity, and position in our families, churches, communities, governments, and nations.  Amen.

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star

The next day, I prayed again.  I went early to a triathlon race where I ran into a man who had acted as a father figure to me for several years in my mid twenties.  I had not seen this man in quite some time but ten years ago he taught me to swim and trained me for my first marathon.  He always encouraged me like a dad would.

As I got into the pool I realized my goggles were not adjusted right as my kids use them often.  I tried to fix them, but every time I swam a stroke, water entered into my eyes.  I made several attempts but I could not get them right.  I began to swim backstroke instead because I cannot stand water in my eyes.

As I swam, I thought about how I must live this way.  I must live looking up at all times or I am going to be completely blind.  God was teaching me.

When I began the bike portion of the race, I saw a church marquee that read, “Faith for your decisions, Part 2.” I literally laughed out loud because I knew what God was saying.  I have not made my decisions in faith in the past.  Part 1 was not faithful.  But he is opening a new chapter for me concerning how to follow him in true and saving faith.

I biked for several miles and just as I entered a hollow of shade trees, I thought of my dad.  Every time I go through a hollow on a country road, I think of him because when he got sick (when I was 11) we always took 857 to Morgantown to visit him.  I knew when we went though the hollow we were close to seeing daddy – whom I missed terribly.  I knew God would show up.  Just as I entered the hollow and thought of daddy, my friend who had taught me to swim and distance run appeared from around the bend coming the other way.  “Good job, Lori,” he said.  Those are words I never really got to hear from my dad.  What are the chances that he would enter that hollow coming from the other way at that very moment? It was not a coincidence. God, my Father whom I have missed so much was meeting me.

As I was running, I was coming onto the track toward the finish and a song I associate with the excommunication came on.  Next, a song I associate with a severed relationship from the dark period came on.  The two darkest realities I faced over two years ago were both associated with a song and both songs played at the finish of this race.  God was speaking.  He was in that and he is in this – healing.  He showed me that it is finished.

After I finished my father-like friend gave me a hug and said, “I’m proud of you.”  That’s what daddy would have said if he were there.

The doctor told me the reason God wants to heal me is for freedom.  So I will be free from anxiety and worry and discouragement and sin.  The race was put on by an organization known as “Faith in action” – a Christian hospice and home care agency.  Their sign at the end of the race had their motto which read, “A neighbor’s independence depends on you.”

Freedom .  Independence.  Mine and yours.  That is why I am sharing this awesome, bizarre, crazy story with you.  God wants to give us freedom from fear, discouragement, depression, and anxiety.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt he does.

As I drove home I noticed a cloud in the sky that was shaped like a heart and  – I kid you not – inside that cloud was a brighter white cloud in the form of a “u.”  Love u.  It was God.  No doubt.  Not a moment later a huge billboard read, “Who is Jesus” in all caps and another said, “A father is who picks you up after you fall.”  Then I entered back into Pennsylvania from West Virginia and the sign said, “Welcome to Pennsylvania, state of independence.”  Did you know that was our motto?? I didn’t.  I thought we were the keystone state or something.  God was lavishing his love upon me, assuring me as my father, giving me freedom, and bringing me back home.  That is what he is doing.  I have no doubt no matter how unreal this all sounds to other people.

I was so smitten and overwhelmed by God’s love by this point that I literally missed my exit and did not realize it for many miles.  When I finally realized that I was lost, I got on the toll road and came home a completely different, longer way.  As I came past a church the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me and said, “Go to that church and pray for the person who is there.”

I second guessed several times but knew the command was clear.  I am not one to do this kind of thing – ever.  I have, but it has probably been fifteen years since – back in those early days when I trusted God like a child.  So, I reluctantly turned around telling myself surely no one will be there at noon on a beautiful Saturday.  No one in sight, so I pulled behind the church to turn around and a man sat on a lawn mower right in front of me.

I stalled a few moments wondering if I should just leave or pretend I needed directions but God said, “Pray for that man!”  So I got out and told him I was reformed but God made me.  He was the pastor and said the man who cuts grass was ill that day.  God wanted to encourage that man through me.

Later that night we went out to dinner for a friend’s birthday and to hear a band.  About halfway through the night, back behind the band I noticed a picture hanging on the wall at a table set back by itself.  As I got closer I realized the picture was of a red bird in the woods.  When I run I always look for red birds because they remind me of my dad.  I used to specifically ask the Lord to show me a red bird when I was thinking of my dad and he often would.

I have no doubt that these seeming coincidences are really and truly God moving in my life to restore, heal, and use me for his glory.

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star

The night before I was called to repentance, my thoughts were on my earthly father.  I was playing softball as we always did when I was young and I had a moment where I felt as though he was actually there with me.  Thinking of him on my way home, I saw a street sign that read, “Lewis Dr.” Lewis was my maiden name.  At that point I felt that my father was with me, just like I did while I was at the ball field and I began to remember a particular memory where he and I laid in the grass outside and looked up at the stars together.  It is one of my favorite memories of my dad.

The following day the man who told me God wanted to heal me (the doctor) told me to repent of my excuses and take time to sit still and pray each day.  That night I took my shoes off, stood in the grass, and I prayed.  I sat down on the porch and watched the sky.  I realized, but not until this point exactly, that I was told by the doctor to do exactly what I had done with my dad so many years ago.  A few moments later, I saw a shooting star move swiftly across the sky.  My husband and I began to talk about the shooting star and I shared how the first time I had ever seen one was with my dad.  I remember it vividly.  My dad had been drinking.  He did not drink often, and even more rarely in front of me,  but on this particular occasion, he was drunk.We had been at a Halloween party and it just so happened to be my birthday.  My mom was driving which is significant because my mom never drove when my dad was in the car.  My dad always drove.  This time, my mom drove and me and daddy watched the sky.  A shooting star moved across the sky and we took note of the time.  It was 10:30 p.m. on 10/30 – October 30, my birthday.  The star fell at 10:30 on 10/30.  Maybe that is why I remember it.

After I talked with my husband for a few minutes and shared this story about how the first time I saw a shooting star was with my dad, and he was drunk, and all about the party and how I was dressed up as a clown and my brother a devil and how he drove us into the woods because he had had too much to drink, probably out of sheer curiosity, he picked up his phone to look at the time.  It was 10:36 p.m.  That star we saw the other night fell at 10:30 p.m.

At that very moment, I remembered how after I had left the doctor’s office that day – after being told to pray – I said a prayer in the truck before pulling out.  I asked God to speak to me and I turned on the radio.  I put on WORD FM to maybe hear a sermon but all I got was static so I changed it.  The song I heard first was , “Drunk on Your Love.”  The Holy Spirit came over me and I began to cry tears of joy.  I knew God was speaking to me about how much he loved me and I could physically feel his love and joy pouring into me in a way I have never experienced before.  This went on for more than 15 minutes or better and I understood it as God’s divine healing for me.  When I saw the shooting star later that night and was reminded of my father being drunk when we saw my first one, I felt my entire body freeze up in utter disbelief.  When I heard the song I did not know yet about the star I was about to see.  When I spoke of his drunkenness I did not think anything about the song until after Tim checked the time.  At that point I felt like I was in the movie interstellar where the father was talking to his daughter from light years away in space.  It was a surreal moment in which I almost felt afraid – not scared, rather, known and as one who had just seen something unmistakably supernatural.

I was listening to a song called “Invisible City” afterward and I decided to look up the meaning of what an invisible city was or if there was a legend about it.  The invisible city was a city who, when under attack did not move or prepare to fight, rather bowed and prayed, and sunk down under the water where their enemies would never find them again.

 Coincidence?  No. Confirmation.  God is calling me to be serious about prayer and he is showing himself time and again to strengthen my faith and so that I and those around me might believe.

 

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