Holy Spirit

The Power of Prayer

During the past couple of months, I've been busy with book signings.

Because of spinal fusion, the bending and standing for lengthy periods has caused me much discomfort. Last Sunday night my right hip felt so weak I feared it might give way, so I went up for healing prayer. By the end of that prayer, my pain had eased to a dull ache. Next morning, I was pain free! Jesus is indeed the great healer.

The promise is in Psalm 103:2-3 "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases".

What a promise from the great creator. I believed, and I have received and been healed. All praise goes to him.

Sometimes I doubt the power of our almighty God. I'm wondering if my doubts hold me back from receiving the healing he wants me to have. Jesus performed healing throughout his ministry and we learn about the many successes he had. God is with us through the holy spirit so there shouldn't be any reason why we can't receive his healing today in all areas of our lives.

Do you believe in God's healing power? Are you receiving strength and grace that is freely available to you?

If you're struggling emotionally, physcially or spiritually, I encourage you to ask for healing only Jesus can give. You'll be amazed at the results.

Praying Simply

Praying is a meaningful practice to get closer to God, but what happens when the words don't come? Sometimes, when I'm praying, God seems far away, and at other times he's here beside me, holding me and encouraging me. So why do I think he's far away sometimes?

As with everything in this life I'm living, I've come to realise I'm keeping some part of myself back from him. This is an unconscious action, but what that tells me is I'm not tuned in to the Holy Spirit. I'm allowing my ego to take over instead of trusting the Holy Spirit as the guiding force in me. When this happens my prayer is forced, disconnected and frustrating.

When I'm in tune with my spirit, I hear God speaking. He comes as a gentle voice, a prompt that says something like "not that way, try this way". By listening to this small voice I free up the kinks in the link between God and me. He only wants what's good for me. When I'm tuned to his will for my life, I can achieve more than I would normally do under my own steam. Through obedience, I've found I'm drawing closer to God and through that relationship, I'm learning the purpose he has for my life. The spin-off from this is a deeper connection in the relationships with people I meet every day.

So prayer for me is fundamental in making the connection with God at that extraordinary deep level he wants to be with us. Prayer starts a relationship with God. As I continue it becomes a trickle that grows to an ocean where it washes my spirit, calming and nurturing it, until I become compliant for God so he can use me for his purposes.

By taking the time to pray in a private place where I won't be disturbed, I ask my heavenly Father for his guidance. My Father already knows what I need before I ask him. Sometimes the words tumble out unceasingly and become a jumble of meaningless words, but he doesn't want to hear that. He wants to hear the words of my heart, to know what the deep concerns are, but he also wants me to keep it simple. We're instructed in Matthew 6:5-15 NIV to pray as follows:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

Next time you're praying and you can't find the right words, pray the above prayer, because this is how Jesus teaches us to pray in the Bible. God hears this prayer, and he will answer according to His will and purpose for your life. No fancy words--a simple prayer is enough to connect with him in a powerful and meaningful way. Try it today and see his power in your life.

Leave a reply below and tell me about how He's worked in your life today.

Free: God's Lifeline ... Any Time, Any Place

Ring ring ... ring ring. I answer the telephone.

"Hello, Laura, this is God. I haven't heard from you for some time. I know there's been trouble ..."

How would you react if God used the telephone to connect with you when he felt neglected?

My insides squeeze so hard I can hardly breathe. Every excuse I can think of races through my mind. I take a deep breath and admit the truth. He's right, I haven't spent time with him for ages. I've been focussed on putting out the bushfires in my life.

Sound familiar? Could I have done life better?

Most certainly. I forgot God has been watching me during this stressful time. The things I believe were important have made me forget about everything I hold precious--my family, my friends and my God.

God saw my position and wanted to lovingly remind me he's there waiting for me and so are my family and friends. I could have done the past couple of months much better. He reminds me I have access to an enormous amount of power that will get me through tough times, if only I will stop and think for a few minutes.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God..."

If I'd been still, I'd have heard his comforting words. I'd have felt the peace he places upon my heart in troubled times. Instead I became self-focussed trying to solve my problems myself. God knows my deadlines, my fears, and my inadequacies. In the turmoil I forgot his gracious power that is available to me.

By living in spirit, I am connected to the one who created me and it is by the gift of his mighty power he will encourage and empower me to be creative and achieve great things for him. I forget so easily that no phone is required to speak to my heavenly father. All I have to do is be still, pray and listen for his loving voice.

I'm a slow learner. Stress is a part of life, but not the bad stress that cripples my thought processes and makes relating to my family almost impossible. I've learnt during recent months I have no control over what happens in my life, but I can take time out with Jesus to pray and ask for forgiveness when life gets out of control. If I read his word, my priorities will fall into place because he is in control through the Holy Spirit, not Laura in control through the flesh.

Next time you're feeling wrung out, beaten and faded like an old rag, be still and listen for the one who really cares for where you're at. His peace and grace is enough to get you through no matter what challenges life throws at you. You don't need to pick up a telephone to speak to him, and he doesn't need a telephone to speak with you. Be still and know that the lifeline to God is free--any time, any place.

Trusting The Small Voice

Do you like the excitement of the unknown, meeting new people, discovering strengths within yourself you didn't know you had? Welcome to life.

Exploring life needs confidence. In a recent post I briefly touched on gaining confidence. Confidence is believing in ourselves and our abilities. Most people gain self-confidence from the affirmations received from our parents or caregivers since birth, and this continues until adulthood when we branch out on our own to try new activities.

Sometimes, when we attempt a new activity we may feel defeat and lose heart. The next time we take on a new challenge it becomes harder to step out, and after a few stumbles we consider ourselves a failure.

I see failure as an opportunity to get up and have another go, except the next time I'll learn from my mistakes. I go and find more information about the new activity; I read how to books; I search the internet for information and most importantly I approach others who are already involved in that line of work or hobby and find out how they do it. Why re-invent when I can tap into the experience of others who have been before me? This saves time which can be hard to find in our busy lives. It's important we make the most of our time because our days on this earth are numbered. Many people will go out of their way to help you if they know you're genuinely interested.

Stepping out to do a new activity takes a certain amount of faith. Faith is what keeps me looking for new and interesting experiences so that I can learn about myself. Faith for me is knowing my God is in control of my life. God gives me peace, strength and perseverence to do projects I might not attempt in my own strength. Faith is listening to the soft small voice, trusting its guidance and stepping out obediently. Faith and action are partners. Faith without action brings inactivity and action without faith becomes unfulfilling and meaningless.

For me, a life without faith would mean living in a dark place afraid and alone. Faith gives me the courage to pursue my dreams, to build relationships, and to know myself the way God knows me. God's holy spirit is within me, and because it is I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

Do you draw your strength from the small voice that prompts you every day? He'll be the best friend you'll ever have.