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Mother Praying

The Power of a Mother's Prayer

I remember seeing my mother kneeling at the side of her bed and praying aloud for each of her children and grandchildren. That memory is forever etched in my mind and I will never forget sensing a strong presence of God through her intercession. I came away with a sense of reverential fear and trust that no matter what would happen to any of us, God would honor her prayers on our behalf.

My mother is in glory now and it's a comfort to know that the Lord continues to honor those prayers. It encourages me to continue to pray for my own children and grandchildren no matter how uncertain their futures or what they are currently facing.

I am sure that there are bittersweet moments for each of us whose parents have gone on to be with the Lord. We remember them. We miss them. We now realize how wise they really were. Our hope in the Lord is that we will see them again and enjoy His presence together.

Except for Eve, the mother of all living, we've all been blessed with mothers. Our mothers helped shape who we are today—for good or not so good. We learned from their example and from their mistakes. And when we had children of our own we realized what a challenge they faced raising us.

Some of us are privileged to have our moms around to help us with our own children. They bring the wisdom of experience and offer their time, love and energy to the task. What a blessing to have a doting grandma to pour unconditional love on our offspring!

But even with all that, the Holy Spirit is our best adviser, teacher and counselor. He knows what's best for each child and can give us the insight to know what each needs and how to pray His will concerning each one. God hears a mother's prayer.

I am thankful for His instruction and "coaching" as I grappled through years of raising an autistic son in a ministerial fish bowl filled with well-meaning parishioners giving "expert" advice concerning things they knew nothing about. Without the Lord, we would not have made it. Time and time again, He would admonish me to trust Him with our son.

That was not an easy task. We would place him on the altar so to speak, and then quickly take him off, load ourselves with worry, then place him on the altar again. Then we'd call on the Lord for help and take one day at a time doing as He directed. The result was miraculous! Today, he's a grown man who loves and serves the Lord, is gainfully employed and active in the men's group at church. Surely, God is worthy of our trust.

Surely, He knows what's best for us and for our children. He is totally trustworthy.

Sometimes we worry when we don't see our children going in the direction we feel would be best for them. Yet we have His promise that if we raise them and train them in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from them (see Prov. 22:6). Though they may stray as they try to find their own way in life, they will return to what was instilled in them (see 2 Tim. 3:15). It's a promise.

Perhaps you are a single parent wrestling with raising your children and working full time. You feel exhausted and overwhelmed. You wonder how you are going to make it through another day. Take heart. You are not alone. The Holy Spirit will provide and direct you each step of the way. Our Father hears a mother's prayer. Trust Him.

If God has blessed you with a special-needs child, know that He has given you a treasure. It may not feel that way sometimes. You may feel as if you are the only one carrying the responsibility relating to your child, your spouse, your other children and the household. And if you also work outside the home it's a balancing act like no other. But His grace will enable you to do all He requires of you. You will learn the meaning of unconditional love and enjoy deep fellowship with Him. His love and grace is available—and it's free.

Perhaps your children are grown and your mom is in her golden years and needing care. The tables have turned and you are now the caregiver and she is the one needing your help. It's difficult for her to transition from total independence to needing care and provision. Do you struggle with the demands of your own family and her needs? Well, you are not alone. Honoring your mom in this season takes as much grace as handling a household of kids, a special-needs child, a full-time job and a cranky husband. But God is able to sustain you and go even beyond your need. He is there to give you His sufficiency, rest and restoration as you take time to get alone with Him.

No matter what season of life you are walking through, the Lord is there for you. As a daughter honoring her mother, a mother enjoying her children or one who is pulled in many directions at once, our God is more than able to provide you with everything you need to make this the most wonderful season of your life. Remember that God answers a mother's prayer. Happy Mother's Day! read more

Reflection

Redeem Your Esteem

Of all the eternal truths declared in God's Word, one prominent reality is essential to grasp: God made us in His image. We have been exquisitely designed by Him to reflect His image and reveal His likeness. As the "grand finale" of all God's unique creation, mankind stands unequaled, elevated as the Creator's crowning achievement, showing forth His radiance and splendor. Simply put, we're awesome!

 

Yet in spite of our resident worth and inherent value, many of us deeply struggle to feel a sense of acceptance and love. The recognition of our real significance escapes us, exposing a profound emptiness, leaving us with an acute awareness of unfulfillment. The problem is we were created with an inner desire to be needed and have meaning, with the desire to leave our mark on the world. Consequently, this wanting condition is a set-up for trouble.

Our longing for more feeds the natural obsession to find authentic value through a faulty system involving our own schemes and methods. Although we should be looking to God and His Word to validate our existence, we have, instead, looked to our own ability and human strength to somehow prove our merit. But this striving at importance will prove futile because God has not designed us to find significance through any other means than Himself. Yet the struggle for acceptance continues and the addiction for approval intensifies as we try to fill the void.

So what's up? If we really are so intrinsically valuable and precious, why do we spend so much time trying to improve our self worth? Why are moments of complete self-acceptance so rare and attempts at personal improvement more of the norm? The answer is simple. Our quest for significance is a result of mistaken identity. We have failed to discern, or believe, who we really are and have settled for a self-appraisal with an "as is, scratch and dent" price tag. We are selling ourselves on clearance because we are unable to see that our approval does not come through what we achieve, how much we earn or the amount of accolades we receive from others. Nor are we rejected because we experience difficult personal failures, traumatic childhood events or because we lack certain talents and abilities. Not so!

God loves us unconditionally because we are His possession … not only by creation but also by redemption. Although it is true that in ourselves we fail and fall short of God's original purpose for us, the good news is we are not in ourselves. If we have been redeemed by God's Son, Jesus, through the provision made for us on the cross, then we are no longer "in" ourselves, we are "in" Christ.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight." (Eph. 1:3-4, emphasis added).

We are His dear children, washed and forgiven by His sacrifice and made blameless and holy in His sight. This truth boldly confronts the subtle deception that has so many people bound. They have become slaves to the approval of others and captive to the drive of selfish ambition, all in an attempt to feel good about themselves. But Christ has set us free from this fruitless endeavor and has given us the right to say with confidence:

  • I am loveable because of who I am in Christ, not because of what I do.
  • I do not have to strive to earn my acceptance because God has made me accepted in the beloved.
  • I am not accepted based on my performance or my ability to get someone to like me.
  • I do not have to keep up with today's so-called standards of living to be worthwhile or credible.
  • I can have opinions that differ from others without fear of being disqualified from love because God's love makes me secure in Him. Therefore, I can risk being me.
  • I am free to explore and develop all the uniqueness of my God-given personality without penalty.
  • I no longer have to struggle or perform to fill the gnawing void that tells me I am nothing without accomplishments, awards or popularity.

Remember God accepts and loves you not just because He's God but also because He created you, He knows you and He is intimately involved in everything you do. Won't you accept His unconditional love today? read more

Just Listen and Obey

I don't consider myself a normal person. I don't think or act like most normal people. That's probably why the Lord doesn't talk to me like a normal person. He uses all kinds of strange and funny ways to get my attention.

For example, one Sunday morning during church when I was playing the piano, I happened to notice the reflection of my hands in the black, shiny surface. I have been playing for years, but in the natural, I'm not quite sure how I do it. Once a music major told me that it seems what I hear bypasses my brain and goes straight to my fingers. It does! What I know has been taught to me by the Holy Spirit. One thing I AM sure of: I know that I can't do it without Him. read more

The Fragrance of Christ

If you've ever gone to a public high school, you know there are different groups with which kids associate. Some groups are formed on the basis of social status, some on intelligence, some on common interests. But whether it's the wealthy, the brainy or the golf pros, within each group, certain individuals stand out. They are the popular ones, the ones people are drawn to. When they walk into a room or down the hall, there is always a crowd of people following them.

Why is this? Probably because they are more beautiful or more gifted or have more bubbly personalities than the rest. Whatever the trait, there is something that distinguishes them from everyone else. read more

Revival Girl

Revival Begins With You!

Have you ever wondered why there are so many professing Christians in America, yet so few cities that have been truly transformed for Christ? Why, in prayer meetings and conferences, we passionately cry out for nations to be saved in a day; yet our local spheres of influence remain largely unchanged year after year?

The answer can be found by examining the historical seeds of past revivals. For example, legend has it that Jonathan Edwards, before the birthing of the Great Awakening, made a covenant with God. Standing on a riverbank, he cried out to God for revival in the land. Drawing a circle in the sand, he pledged that before God could take the city, the region, the nation, He must start here—and he pointed to the circle. Then Edwards stepped into the circle. read more

Water Canister

Will You Refresh Others?

To the woman at the well, Jesus asked, "Will you give me a drink?" I can't imagine being asked by the living water Himself to fetch Him some refreshment. Yet Jesus asks us to quench His thirst—to bring Him something that will refresh Him. That makes me wonder, Is Jesus thirsty in my relationship with Him? Do I bring Him a cup of cold water in my worship, in my praise? Does my life water and refresh His heart?

One way we can refresh the heart of Jesus is by watering others. Jesus talked about water more than once. He tells us that when we give a drink to others we have done it unto Him. read more

Cloud Formation

The Son Has Always Been There

We live in Colorado where the skies seemed to change every two minutes. Recently my husband, Terry, and I were out doing our errands for the day. Terry was driving with his eyes intently focused on heavy traffic, and I was riding with my eyes drawn to the expansive sky. A cloud above us was forming into a most unusual shape. "Whoa!" I exclaimed.

Terry heard my cry and reacted, suddenly applying the brakes. Through my side-view mirror, I saw a line of cars reacting to our car, screeching to a sudden halt. read more

Woman Looking Up

Change Your Focus: God Our Inheritance

The key to receiving God's blessing is to see ourselves and our inheritance from heaven's perspective.

 

Several years ago I was introduced to the poignant Irish hymn "Be Thou My Vision" for the first time. It quickly became a favorite, especially the stanza that reads: "Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise / Thou mine inheritance, now and always / Thou and Thou only, first in my heart / High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art."

Whenever I hear this verse--and I sing it often--I imagine the glorious, eternal riches of our inheritance in Christ. It is true that on Earth and in heaven, God has by His grace provided for us "one blessing after another" (John 1:16, NIV). Yet without eyes to see Christ as our inheritance and our chief aim, we don't recognize His blessings for what they are.

King David wrote: "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance" (Ps. 16:5).

In His sovereign, loving, infinite wisdom, God apportions to each of us what is to be ours. And He chooses better for us than we would choose for ourselves.

God selected an inheritance for Abraham that was beyond anything he knew to ask for. But He also told him, "'I am your shield, your very great reward'" (Gen. 15:1). Seeing God Himself as his true reward moved Abraham to forfeit the earthly, temporal riches of Haran in order to claim the eternal wealth of Canaan and a heritage through which all the peoples of the earth would be blessed (see Gen. 12:2).

In The Pursuit of God renowned preacher and author A.W. Tozer wrote about the significance of making God our treasure: "The man who has God for His treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness.

"Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever."

Although God deals with each of us in unique ways, His intentions toward us are the same as they were toward Abraham-to bless us and through us to bless others. The key to receiving His blessing is to see ourselves and our inheritance from heaven's perspective.

It will take this kind of spiritually enhanced vision to take our land, because in every case, there will most certainly be giants to conquer-enemies within and without. But we must believe that possessing our territory for ourselves and our descendants is worth the fight of faith we'll have to engage in.

Shake off any weariness or discouragement and take one faithful step at a time, boldly staking your claim: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion [inheritance] forever" (Ps. 73:26). read more

Solutions

Turn Problems Into Provisions

Life brings its share of problems, but every problem has a promise that will lead to God's supernatural provision. Learn how.

This is a very personal confession of a pastor who has survived and prospered in the ministry for more than 50 years. What I am sharing is the result of the life lessons I have learned in those years. No one wants to hear from a prophet who has no scars.

I have endured many problems in my life. Some have been self-imposed, while other problems have been spiritual or physical attacks from the depths of hell. No matter what the source, God has used these problems to help build character, endurance and understanding. I have sometimes received God's supernatural promises swiftly, and other promises have taken me months or years to receive because of how I have conducted myself while in the problem.

I believe there is an all-knowing and all-powerful God who created the heavens and the earth and controls the affairs of men. I believe that every person has a divine destiny, one known only to God since before the world was created ... before we breathed our first breath. That divine destiny or purpose is our only path to love, joy and peace.

I also believe there is a divine principle found in sacred Scripture called "promise, problem and provision." Simply stated, God begins leading us to our divine destiny by giving us a scriptural promise. This is followed by a problem or series of problems meant to bring us to the level of spiritual maturity whereby we can receive His miracle provision. If we reject His provision, we will miss our divine destiny, and we will live our life without meaning or purpose.

A classic biblical illustration that helps us understand the absolute truth of promise, problem and provision is found in the example of the children of Israel. God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He would give to them and their descendants a nation whose boundaries are forever specified in Scripture. This Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey, would be God's miracle provision.

The Jewish people became a nation in Egypt. God sent Moses as their deliverer and brought about the first Passover, which led them to their exodus out of Pharaoh's bondage. Then came the problems-at the Red Sea, with the idol crafted by Aaron at Mount Sinai, and at the tent of meeting where 250 Israelites who rebelled against Moses were buried alive by God in an earthquake.

The children of Israel were stuck in the wilderness-their problem-for 40 years, when it could have taken only 40 days to arrive at their promise. It is while in the problem that God exposes the inner weaknesses preventing His children from reaching their destiny. Eventually God allowed them to reach their Promised Land, His provision and their divine destiny.

Life brings its share of problems, but every problem has a promise that will lead you to God's supernatural provision-your promised land.

The "promised land" is your land, one flowing with milk and honey, a land of unspeakable abundance. It is a land filled with the favor of God, a land of love, joy and everlasting peace.

Problems not only happen to bad people; bad problems also happen to good people. Adversity is God's university! God has given to us more than 3,000 promises in His Word. Every promise is custom designed in heaven to help us journey through the problems of life and receive the supernatural provision available for each problem we encounter.

It is imperative for God's children to discover the principle for transforming the problems of our lives into the provisions of God. Promise, problem and provision is a supernatural principle based on the Word of God that will give you wells you did not dig, houses you did not build and vineyards you didn't plant. It will turn your darkest night to golden day. It will fill your desert into streams of living water.

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Adapted from Life's Challenges, Your Opportunities by John Hagee, copyright 2009, published by Charisma House. This life-changing book includes encouraging testimonies of people just like you who encountered major problems, stood upon God's promises and received God's perfect provision for their lives. This book will give you the tools you need to move confidently through today's challenges. To order a copy click on this link.

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Girl Saying Be Quiet

Who Says You Can't?

What are you saying about your life? Words have power, and when you speak, ultimately you empower your words to materialize. Each of us has the ability to speak curses or blessings into our lives.

Whatever you hear, good or bad, will have an impact on you. So what have you been accused of over the years that would make you believe you can’t be successful? What lies have been told to you that say you can’t live a wonderful and fulfilling life? What untruths have been planted in your mind about your ability to accomplish great things?

Who’s been talking to you and to whom have you been listening? Who said you have to keep listening? Who said you can’t be free? If God didn’t say it, then it’s only someone else’s opinion!

Let’s agree in the beginning that there is one sure and final authority in our lives, and He is God. If you can initially accept and agree that there is a power greater than your circumstances, experiences, perceptions and surroundings, then you can grasp that there is a divine plan for your life and a divine authority in place to help you accomplish it.

By whose authority have you been making decisions for your life? Are you still basing the outcome of your life on the words of someone who didn’t believe in you? Are you still being hindered by the negative influences of your childhood? Are the broken dreams of your past depleting the potential for your future?

No one enters the world void of a purpose, plan and destiny that has been assigned since the beginning of time. Our objective is to discover that individual and unique plan and then fulfill the potential of the life we’ve been assigned. Without questions, there will be difficulties, challenges, and obstacles that arise to distract and discourage us from discovering our purpose, but we’ve been given a divine promise of success, and it is our responsibility to accept nothing less than overwhelming victory.

God has given each of us an instruction manual that tells us that through faith, positive affirmation and perseverance we can do all things. That statement has the ability to alter your future and establish the foundation of your faith. Are you willing to believe that it is possible to live life without limits? Are you willing to believe that the best is yet to come? Are you willing to believe you can? Who says you can’t?

We live in a world of possibilities—a “can be” “can do” society where nothing is impossible. You are a person with a purpose, which means that there is a specific assignment or life task that you’ve been given and must fulfill before you exit this realm.

The plan for your life may lead you to different people, places and situations than you ever imagined possible, but ultimately it leads to your predestined purpose in life. Nothing happens by chance, but rather by circumstance. You alone are responsible for reacting and responding to the circumstances in your life.

As people with a purpose, plan and destiny, we cannot afford to use confusion, chaos and difficult circumstances as excuses for failure. You can no longer accept you can’t. You must simply believe that you can. If you can conceive it and believe it, then there’s no reason you can’t achieve it.

I vividly remember being told, “You can’t” when I was a child. If I had listened to what was said, I wouldn’t be where I am today. When I was a boy, I was injured by a poisonous arrow shot through my right eye—leaving me poisoned, blind and in a coma. I recall my parents telling the story from the perspective of the doctor, who told them I would never come out of the coma and that I was going to die. I was in a coma for three months. When I finally came out of it, the doctor said that because of the poison in my body I would not live past my next birthday. Well, as you well know, I am still here, and I’ve lived well past that prediction.

I believe that most of us have been through similar scenarios in life. There are things you were told you couldn’t do, and as a result, you didn’t even try. Without a doubt, I know that everything we need to fulfill the divine plan, purpose and destiny for our lives is inherently a part of who we are. Everything that man said I could not do, I am doing!

People may try to put limitations on you based on tradition, the past, or their own experiences, but don’t let them do it. Only you and your divine destiny can define the boundaries and limits of your life.

Who Says You Can't Book Cover

Adapted from Who Says You Can’t? by Kingsley Fletcher, copyright 2009, published by Charisma Life. This book will bring you hope to see past where you came from, what you used to do, who you used to be, or what others said that you can and cannot do. It will inspire you to reach your full potential in God’s plan for your life. To order a copy click on this link.

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