Category Archives: Prayer teachings

Blocked From Entry?

 Do You Feel Like You are Being Blocked from Entry? 

 

Have you ever gone somewhere expecting to be allowed entrance only to be told at the door that you are not allowed to enter? You may have gone to a show or a doctor’s appointment with a family member. It can be disappointing or distressing. I imagine it is always frustrating.  

 

While emotional healing prayer is available to all people through Jesus Christ, sometimes people may face hindrances that keep them from entering into a healing experience and draw the conclusion they are getting a NO from God.  

I do not always know why this happens, but I have a few theories. I’ve experienced these hindrances myself and so I assume that one or more of these may apply to someone else who gets nothing out of a healing prayer session. 

 

So here are the top eleven reasons, in random order, that I don’t get healing: 

 

  1. I don’t look for it. It’s easy to forget in the midst of pain that there may be healing available while we are in it. It is my hope that you will look for healing even when you are in great emotional pain. If at first you don’t find it, keep looking. It’s not about having enough faith. It’s more about persisting in your search. There are so many different ways that God uses to offer healing that you may find which one works if you keep seeking.  
  1. I don’t want it. Either I feel justified in my pain or wear it as a badge of honour. This happens when I am offended by someone. Blaming the offender for hurting doesn’t really lend itself to peace and freedom. I have to give up my anger to receive the healing from the offence.  
  1. I feel like I am dishonouring someone else by giving up my pain. This happens quite often when I am grieving the loss of a loved one. For a season, this is actually a healthy kind of pain based on the truth of a loss. It’s ok to grieve for a time. Even when I am glad for their sakes that they are now pain free and with the Lord, I may still hang onto some grieving long after they’ve died if there is unfinished business that I didn’t get to do with them while they were alive. When my grief goes on for years, there may be some healing the Lord wants to offer. 
  1. I don’t believe the Lord will deal with “that” pain because the cause was my own fault. This is not from the Lord. This kind of attitude is just the kind of thing the Lord would love to help us with. When I confess my sins, He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). God willingly forgives a sincere confession and offers healing as well. 
  1. I don’t recognize the way God is trying to communicate with me or help me. God uses a variety of methods to make healing possible and He deals with each person and each situation differently. I’ve had to open my mind to new possibilities. God often demonstrates His love in different ways than I am expecting. Persistence pays off when learning to hear His voice in a new way. 
  1. I don’t have the kind of help I need. Very often I need a prayer partner to receive the healing I am seeking. This is very common in my own life. The Lord doesn’t always let me work alone. It is common for me to want to withdraw when I am hurting. This is part of the process for me. While getting healing, I am also learning to remain in community and stay connected to the body.  
  1. It’s not a good time. Sometimes there are situations when you just can’t stop doing what you are doing to get your prayer. Sometimes when I am praying for someone else, I get triggered because they are getting prayer for something that I am familiar with and have not yet had healing for. I can’t stop their prayer session on my account. When this happens, I’ve learned to ask the Lord to cover that pain and hold it for me so that I can stay in relationship with the person I am praying with. He will bring me to a place of peace at a more opportune time. This is also true in the case of a traumatic experience. Sometimes there are other things that need to be dealt with before I can focus on emotional healing. 
  1. I’m not in a spiritual position to be healed. There have been seasons in my life when I was knowingly in sin. At those times I’m in rebellion to God and am not listening anyway.   
  1. Illness can make hearing harder. When a person is really sick or in physical pain, it is much harder to listen to anyone because it takes so much energy to focus on recovery. When this happens, I’ve learned to focus on my physical body until it is well. It’s a lot easier to receive healing when I’m not ill or in agony. 
  1. Under the influence of mind altering drugs or alcohol. I’ve not taken illegal drugs and I’ve never been drunk, but I’ve had mind altering drugs given to me after surgery. During that time, I was not in my right mind and therefore could not feel pain of any kind, physical or emotional, and I felt invincible.   
  1. The Lord is waiting for the timing to be right. Sometimes healing comes when, where and how the Lord determines. It is simply a waiting period and we learn that it isn’t about us. Pain is not always a bad thing even though it hurts.   

 

 

These do not cover every reason, but I have found them to be common to many of those I pray with as well as myself. I’ve experienced enough healing by now to know that it is well worth the effort to overcome some of these obstacles to seek the healing I need. The Lord can handle it all and help us get through those things that try to resist His presence in our lives. Asking for help is a good thing. It’s ok to wait on Him until you are ready. Ultimately, healing is in the Lord’s hands. However, when we cooperate with Him we sometimes manage to speed up the process. 

 

My prayer for you is that if you know you would like healing but see a reason listed above that might prevent you from hearing directly from God, that you will seek His face and inquire of Him. He will lead you and show you if there is anything that you can do to cooperate with Him better, or if it is just time to rest in Him and wait. 

 

There’s a wonderful song out there by Casting Crowns on their Thrive album called Just Be Held. This has been a most healing producing song I’ve heard recently. Check it out and experience a new view of the God who Heals. 

The Doctor and the Nurse

Career Choice

Somewhere, years ago, I read that 80% of all those in the healing professions need healing themselves. Psychologists, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, chiropractors and the like apparently go into those occupations because they look for ways to help others in order to sooth their own pain. I don’t know how accurate that information is but I know many people in the healing careers who are indeed wounded people. 

 When I chose my first career, I went into nursing. During my time at school I experienced a number of deep wounds including sexual assault, betrayal and manipulation. I opted out of the RN program and chose to become a Licensed Practical Nurse instead. The responsibility of an RN was too daunting for my wounded heart when I was nineteen and in hindsight, I can see that it was a good choice. Years later, as I matured and experienced healing in Jesus, I would have been able to handle the responsibility of a Registered Nurse. Had life been different, I might have returned to school to become an RN, but I chose to be a full-time stay-at-home mother. It was when my youngest children grew older that I was able to explore healing at a deeper emotional level. 

 Hindsight is always clearer than foresight. I can see that I was too wounded to help anyone on a deep level. Most of my nursing career concerned taking care of seniors who were very sick. They were undemanding and all they needed from me was tenderness, compassion and general patient care. I had it in me to give that. 

The Path and It’s Results 

I learned the pathway to emotional healing, little by little. I read lots of books on the subject and practiced with the help of others who were good teachers. I learned to seek the help I needed from wherever I could find it.  

 I can be helpful with Jesus in me, guiding and directing me, and because of how He has equipped me. My experience with pain and healing makes me uniquely qualified to be compassionate and hopeful for others. I have accepted the training and mentorship of others so that I can pass on what I have received to as many people as want to receive this kind of help as well. 

 I have grown in confidence over the years in my ability to lend a hand, but I never stop relying on the Lord to lead. It’s not so much in what I have learned that brings people into their own healing, but far more importantly, it is the Lord’s ability to help us live a life He intended for us to live. 

Jesus the Great Physician 

Jesus really does love us. He came to earth to let us know that, and to bring us back into a love relationship with Him. One of the ways He does that is to tell us the truth about our circumstances and to set us free from the power of sin and death. It’s not just a good theory. He is very practical in the way He applies the truth to our lives. 

 I know the Lord is the Great Physician. I’m glad I get to help as a practical nurse, but I am very thankful that He heals. He knows exactly what is hurting us and He knows precisely what will heal us. All we have to do is go to the Right Doctor. 

 It is my prayer for you that you will seek the healing you need in Doctor Jesus. You may need a nurse to help you connect with Him. I pray you will find what you are looking for in your journey. As you heal, you too can be uniquely qualified to assist The Great Physician in the healing of others. 

 

A Lesson on Hearing God

Is This Really God? 

God speaks to us in many ways. He spoke to Adam and Eve in the cool of the day while walking with them. After they sinned that closeness was severed and they experienced guilt and shame. Yet He still speaks.

The Bible records many ways that God spoke:
• by visual means i.e. the tabernacle, cloud and pillar of fire in Exodus
• through the prophets (1Kings 17:24 Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”)
• through dreams (See the book of Daniel)
• through visions (See the Book of Acts)
• through Jesus (See the Gospels)
• through the teachings of apostles (See the Epistles)
• through a “word of knowledge” in the church (See 1st and 2nd Corinthians.)
• through signs and wonders and miracles (sprinkled throughout the Old and New Testaments)
• Through revelation (see the book of Revelation)

God does understand our limitations and doubts about this matter. He said in Job 33:14, “For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.” The Bible can help you to recognize His communication styles.

As you study and read through the Bible you will see common threads throughout all of the different books that comprise the one whole Bible. Character traits of God become evident and remain consistent from one end to the other. Many of the names God gives to Himself describe what He is like.

I am still learning about His nature and character even now after many years as a Christian. I don’t know all about Him because I think it would take more than one human lifetime to know an Infinite God.

A Few Examples 

I remember the first time I got the Bible on audio recording. Because someone else was reading it, I could listen to the whole Bible in about 3 days during a long road trip. By listening to it quickly like that, I discovered God’s love in a way I had not noticed before. No matter how far or how often Israel strayed from Him, again and again He redeemed them. While pondering this, I realized that what he did for them He would do for me. It was an “aha” moment. It settled a deep concern I’d had about my salvation. If I listened to God’s call to repentance which He spoke often in the many books of the Bible, and if I sincerely repented of those things He was convicting me of, He would rescue me from my self-destructive path. I’d heard from God.

I’ve learned from several good teachers the value of journaling. One thing I do quite regularly now is ask God questions in my journal and listen for the answer. Some of the answers can be quite profound.

Here is one example: “Lord, why do I have to forgive every single time someone sins against me? It’s tedious and time consuming and it seems that they are getting away with something every time I forgive them. Can’t I just walk away and forget them?”

God’s answer: “My dear daughter. When someone sins against you it becomes like a thorn in your body. If not removed it will fester and hurt you much longer than necessary. Left unattended long enough it can get seriously infected. This is what bitterness is like. Eventually, if not dealt with, not only does the pain of the original sin increase, but it eventually affects other parts of your body and can cause death. When you forgive every sin another commits against you, you remain healthy and heal quickly. I am both merciful and just. I’ve asked you to forgive others as I’ve forgiven you. I’ve asked you to love others as I have loved you. If you love me you will do as I command. When you obey me in this matter, I am free to help both you and your opponent find forgiveness and healing and the enemy will not gain a foothold in your life. Forgiveness is a good thing, especially for you.”

One more example of hearing from God is through dreams and visions. One day I was talking to a young man who told me about his dream. In his dream, he was standing in the house he grew up in which he knew he now owned. It was old and dilapidated and the front screen door was open hanging from one hinge. As he looked outside, he was terrified to see several police cars driving up the hill towards his house with sirens on and lights flashing. As they approached his house, he woke up.

The interpretation we prayed for went like this: “The old house represents you. You are a product of your childhood, but since you are an adult you now own your own life and your family is no longer responsible for the way you live. You have become “unhinged” as it were and you are now open to see beyond yourself. The police cars represent justice. On your own, you face a just God who will judge you based on justice. If you do not repent of your sins you will not access the mercy of God. There is good reason to be terrified. This is a warning dream.

The result: the gentleman was open to the Good News that Jesus was willing to take upon Himself the sin of this man in exchange for Life through Jesus Christ. The man asked for forgiveness for his sins right there. He invited Jesus to become his Lord and committed his life to Jesus from then on.

It is my prayer for you that you will open yourself up to hear from God. I pray that you will know when it’s Him and not just your own imagination or some other voice. May you find that God speaks in love and always for your good.

Start Dealing with the Poverty Spirit

I know that there are lots of people who feel poor whether or not they are. Many people my age are the children of those growing up during the great depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s. At that time if someone got paid one dollar a day they were doing well, especially if they could keep that job. Those children grew up feeling very poor. There was no money for “extras” like ice cream and fancy clothes. Many families were larger then and hand- me-down clothes were common from older siblings to younger siblings.

When my parents had young children, families were smaller yet my mother still believed we were poor as well. She went out to work for most of the years we grew up and worked past the age of sixty-five saving and saving in Guaranteed Investment Certificates. Financial security was very important to her. I grew up in that environment and during my entire married life, felt that we were very poor even though my husband made a very good wage as an accountant.

One year while I was apprenticing in a healing prayer ministry, it was my turn to have my own healing session as a requirement of the program. As I asked the Lord what He wanted to heal in my life, the issue of poverty came up. I’ve always loved being generous and found all kinds of non-financial ways to give. I grew a big garden to share produce, shared clothes, food, and even furniture I built. I shared my time and talents and knowledge base with scores of people, but I never felt free to share money. My husband had control over our finances and had budgeted our giving and so I never gave much more than change in the Salvation Army pot at Christmas time or the penny drive at school.

As I mentioned this to my prayer partner, I felt a flood of emotions flow over me. I felt shame and condemnation. It felt like I was in this prison of poverty and I would never be free. By this time, I had given up a career in nursing to become a full time stay-at-home mom. I actually had no real income; only a couple of hobbies that paid for themselves.

I found the source of these feelings of poverty and shame to be a theme throughout my lifetime. There was no obvious beginning event to this feeling of being poor. It seemed it had always been a part of my life.

I asked the Lord for His perspective. I heard a scripture from Psalm 37:25, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.”

“But Lord,” I protested, “surely some of the righteous since that writing have starved to death. Look at all those who starved in concentration camps?”

Then I heard Him ask me, “Has anyone in your mother or father’s family starved to death?”

Thinking of my family history I said, “No, I don’t think so.”

Fear Passed from Generation to Generation

“Then why do you think they were afraid of poverty?” I wondered about this for a few minutes. It occurred to me that perhaps this was one of those fears passed on from generation to generation. During the great depression, some people probably did starve to death. I had certainly heard stories about my grandparents handing out mashed potato sandwiches for lunch at school and being ashamed of their poverty.

I felt led to ask God to forgive me for not trusting Him to provide for me. I asked God to forgive anyone in my family bloodline who may have had the same problem. I asked God to break off all shame from our family for being poor at one time or another. Symbolically, I put Jesus and His cross between me and any spirit of poverty or related shame. In the name and power of Jesus Christ, I cast off of me anything that would make me feel poor.

I did feel lighter after that. I can’t say the whole issue was solved in that one set of prayers, but I no longer felt that I could not give money and I began giving more than just pocket change.

At that point I was able to trust the Lord more. I found God able and willing to provide more than enough. There were other points of prayer about the poverty spirit to come. Yet it was a good starting point for me. Since then, I’ve seen supernatural provision of money on more than one occasion and I know that God is my provider as it says in the Bible in Psalm 68:10 “Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.”

I have been in poverty and I have been in monetary wealth, but abundance is of the Lord. It is my hope that if you have a feeling of always being poor or not having enough to keep let alone share, that you will find your way on your own healing journey.

How Anger Hinders Healing

 

One of the Biggest Hindrances to Healing 

 

Can we hinder our own healing? We sure can. There are many things that can block the process, but one of the biggest things that will prevent us from accessing the provision God gave us for our healing and restoration is anger. 

Anger is what has been referred to as a guardian emotion. When we feel hurt or vulnerable and we do not want to get run over by “weaker” emotions, we may choose anger. Our anger may seem to be so automatic that it doesn’t appear to be a choice, but I’ve seen people choose to put anger aside for a moment and allow themselves to dig deeper into what their anger is covering up.  It’s important for our healing that we recognize that anger can be a learned behaviour or a more socially acceptable emotion than crying. 

 

What does Anger Do for Us? 

 

Anger does many things for us. Anger covers our vulnerabilities when we feel threatened. It makes us appear stronger and tougher than we feel. It masks the fear we are feeling and gives us a sense of personal control over a given situation. Anger can be expressed both actively through outbursts of angry words and violence or passively through distancing, ignoring and punishing silence.  

 

Most psychologists now agree that anger is a symptom of wounds people carry. Without going into the many books on the subject of passive and active forms of anger, suffice it to say, they are well known among the hurting. Anger allows us to blame someone else for the pain we feel and removes us from any responsibility. 

 

There is a common phrase I’ve seen in recent months: “Hurting people hurt people”. If we use anger as a way of dealing with our pain, we may well be managing our pain but in the end, it doesn’t help us heal. Anger will hurt us and those closest to us in a perpetual cycle of negativity that prevents us from healing. 

The Bible says, Eph. 4:26, “Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Righteous anger is a legitimate emotion, but it is a rare thing among us mortals. Righteous anger is not about us. It is about what offends God and hurts others. Anger hinders healing and personal relationships when used as a coverup or reaction for offenses or hurts.  

In our anger we are often blame shifting. Sometimes we judge others for things they said when it is not what they said at all but what we think they meant. God is the only one who knows the whole truth, understands motive and sees every side of an incident.  It is not uncommon to be angry when we have been wronged, but prolonged anger leads to bitterness which can be hazardous to our personal health and relationships. Bitterness also does not lead to healing but rather can destroy more and more in our lives.  

Using the anger we feel as a signpost to help us turn to the healing process can make the emotion useful rather than harmful. The Holy Spirit can help us to control our reactions to anger when we ask Him to grow the fruit of self-control into our lives. 

 

Putting Anger Aside 

 

In many of the healing prayer sessions I’ve had with others the presenting emotion is anger. I will ask them if they are willing to put it aside for the moment because anger focusses on another person rather than oneself. What we are looking for is what’s behind the anger so that the recipient of prayer can find healing. When they get their healing, anger is no longer needed to protect them. 

 

Sometimes we can simply put anger into an imaginary basket for the time being. Sometimes we have to find out what they think might happen if they give it up. Then we look for truth to deal with that so that we can move on. 

 

I believe that if you are willing to put aside your anger for a short period of time, you too will find healing for yourself. When you gain healing, you are able to make room for some of the more positive things in your life, like love.             

 

1 Corinthians 13:5 says about love, “It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” It is a wonderful thing when we can love like this. Healing our hearts can lead to love that gives without pain. 

 

 

Do You Want Your Life to be Fruitful?

The Fruit of the Spirit

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22 & 23

I remember when I first understood this verse. I’d memorized it and tried for years to produce this kind of fruit in my life. It was written on a plaque over my stove and I reviewed it often. 

I had a large family and was a busy mom. I knew I wasn’t doing a very good job of loving. I didn’t know what joy was. My home was chaotic, not peaceful and I’d regularly run out of patience, kindness and gentleness. As I saw it the only thing I was any good at was faithfulness to my husband and children.

The Light Slowly Dawns 

One day as I looked at the plaque, I was bemoaning my lack of obvious fruit, confessing my sin of impatience and unkindness once again after yet another episode of barking at the kids.

I stopped suddenly in the middle of stirring the pot on the stove when I heard a near audible voice say, “Read that plaque again.” 

So, I began to rattle off the line “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” 

“Can you read it more slowly, please.”

“Ok,” I replied, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…”

“Stop. Again, more slowly,” the voice interrupted.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love.”

“STOP!” more sternly. “Now one more time SLOWLY.”

With a sigh I began, “The fruuuuit of the Spiiirrriiiit.”

“Stop,” the voice interrupted yet again. “Did you get it?”

“What?” I cried exasperated. I had no idea.

The Simple Lesson

“It says the fruit of the SPIRIT. It does not say the fruit of you. If you want more patience and love, then ask the Spirit to grow some.”

On that day a light dawned in me. There I was trying to produce what only the Spirit of Christ can give. Since that day, I experienced times when only a prayer for more fruit in my life saved a relationship. This was most evident while I was raising my children. I remember one day particularly when I was tired and one of my children was particularly defiant and rebellious. I wanted to throw her out the window but managed to have enough self-control in me to command her to go to her room so that I would not act on instinct. As she ran up the stairs she announced to me that I was a horrible mother. Ouch.

I chased her up the stairs to deal with her. I was arrested mid-way and felt prompted to ask for a boost of patience. By the time I reached her room, she had thrown herself onto her bed screaming into her pillow. 

I knelt beside the bed and silently asked the Lord to grow more fruit in me. I immediately felt calmer. A new atmosphere of peace seemed to flow into the room. My daughter stopped screaming and her shoulders began to shake. I was wondering what was going on so I asked her. “Sweetheart, what are you thinking?”

She suddenly jumped up onto her knees with a big smile on her face. “I just want to hug you mommy,” she giggled. I cannot explain the transformation that just happened before my very eyes. Not only did I enjoy a new measure of spiritual fruit in that moment, but so did she. 

With a new perspective on these nine “fruit of the Spirit”, I began to see the difference between love according to the Spirit and love according to mankind. The Holy Spirit is very giving. Joy is not related to circumstances and neither are the rest of the fruit. 

May you invite the Spirit of Christ into your life and discover all the wonders of His fruit when they start growing in you.   

Can God Have a Conversation with You?

Can God have a Conversation with You?

Some might say not anymore. They would say that if you want to hear from God, read your Bible. Everything He has to say to mankind is written in the Book. I beg to differ. The infallibility of the Bible has been established for hundreds of years. That is not in question here. The question is, “Does He still speak to us today?”

I believe He does. Although we can be mistaken about whose voice we are hearing, with the help of the Bible we can check what we are hearing against His Word in the Bible.

In John 10:27 we read Jesus saying to His disciples, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me.”

In Isaiah 30:21  we read, “You will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”

In Psalms we often read of people crying out to God, expecting an answer. In view of these and many more scriptures on the subject, we have a Biblical standard of hearing God’s voice. Based on that, I believe it is safe to say we can hear God’s voice.

What does His voice sound like?

In the many years of experience listening in on conversations people have had with God, I can tell you that there are a few ways He chooses to speak to us. It is rarely an audible voice. More often than not it is a voice that you hear in your head. Yet sometimes it isn’t a voice at all.

In some cases it is a “knowing”. That is, you suddenly are aware of something you never knew before. As in my Healing from Sexual Assault, I suddenly knew that I was not injured from the trauma as much as I should have been given the circumstances. In that article, I also wrote about seeing Jesus, whom I did not see with my physical eyes at the time of the incident. I saw what He did to help me in my memory when I asked Him where He was. I also mentioned the words I heard in the incident.

Some people get colours and ask for an understanding, some get a song running through their head. Yet others get a verse from the Bible that just stands out to them, makes sense and they apply to the situation they are facing.

When I am in prayer with someone for their healing, I ask them to report to me whatever seems to becoming to mind, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense or apply to what we are praying about. Then we look at it and ask the Lord for clarity. I will often ask for a Bible verse that applies to what they are seeing or hearing or to whatever they may seem to be receiving.

A Few Checkpoints

There are a few things you can check to see if God is talking or not.

  1. Does it agree with the Bible? It is most helpful if you are familiar with the Scriptures or receive a Bible passage to check what you hear.
  2. Does it agree with God’s character? God loves us. He is not mean and condemning. He corrects us and offers us good things according to His loving character.
  3. Does the result end in peace? The truth will bring us peace. We may need truth on several issues, but each truth will bring us closer to complete peace.

There are many more things we could say about this, but that is not within the scope of this blog.

I encourage you to take a risk and try to hear God’s voice. Write it down. Then you can analyze it with the help of the Bible and a mature friend who is familiar with His Word.