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Being Uncomfortably Content

Meditating on the Bible is one way to find God's peace and contentment. Here are helpful verses taken from the New King James Version.

"When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." -Deuteronomy 24:19

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. -Psalm 56:3 read more

Baptism 2.0 Basics

Baptism 2.0 Basics

Answering the most frequently asked questions about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

My life is filled with amazing people. Recently, a widow I know pointed to a midnight intruder and boldly commanded him to leave her house. He did! Another friend refused to panic when her teenage daughter ran away. As she was calling the police, the Holy Spirit revealed the girl’s exact location to her. Another woman—a shy single mom—overcame a 12-year battle with bulimia. Today she teaches a weekly Bible study to women with addictions. Are these people superheroes? No, they’re just ordinary Christians who have received the extraordinary baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

When people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are filled with God’s ability. Natural people do supernatural things. Lives of chaos find serenity and purpose. Shy people become bold, and selfish people experience radical changes in their priorities. Sadly, many Christians today don’t seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit because they don’t understand it. They don’t know what they’re missing! Here are some of the questions I hear most frequently. read more

sleeping

The Usual Suspects in Dreams From God

Without the symbolism it would be difficult for you to know if your dreams were just dreams or a dream from God. Below is a guide to interpreting some of the most common objects and symbols in dreams.

To decipher the meaning of objects and symbols in the Bible, a principle of biblical interpretation called the “law of first mention” can be used. It states that the first mention of an object, number, color or symbol in the Bible sets up a pattern of interpretation for it that holds true throughout the rest of Scripture. Listed below are the verses where the symbolic words first appear. The meaning or meanings provided for each symbol are based on the law of first mention. Please understand—these may not be the only meanings.

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Prayer That Works

Read this if you don't want your prayer life to become mundane.

Everyone has a different preference when it comes to prayer and how he or she feels is the best way to connect with God. The important thing is that you don’t want your prayer life to become mundane and never grow or change. You want it to be fresh, exciting and even explosive in the Spirit. We all want our prayers to be effective, and anyone who is full of the Spirit has the anointing to pray powerful prayers that produce miracles.

We can pray in such a way that our prayers just flow. We don’t have to force them. They can even become prophetic—the heart of the Holy Spirit pouring out of our words and expressions.

Several years ago, we were praying at a prayer meeting in our church, asking the Lord to use the ministry more effectively to touch lives in our city. The Lord directed us to pray in such a way that our prayers would have “bull’s-eye” accuracy.

We knew the Holy Spirit wanted to develop specific prayers that were going to be like instruments of warfare targeted toward building certain key parts of the church’s vision. After that time of prayer, we were amazed at the number of breakthroughs we experienced in our ministry.

As believers, we sometimes pray randomly, repeating things—not really thinking about what we are saying. To pray effectively, we must pray calculated prayers, with biblical, Spirit-led accuracy. 

These kinds of prayers are like swords in the Spirit (see Is. 49:2-3). They shoot out, and something just “clicks” when you pray them. You know you hit the target and don’t walk away wondering if you received the answer.

James 5:16 tells us it is “effectual” prayer that avails much. The Amplified Bible says that is prayer that “makes tremendous power available.” 

Effectual prayer is accurate, targeted prayer that is done with action. In the Greek, it is the word energeo, which means to be “efficient, full of energy, and to display working activity.”

In other words, when you hear someone pray with effectual prayer, you don’t have to wonder whether it’s working because there is energy behind it. You can sense and feel power on it.

One way to ensure you are praying prayers that work is to pray according to the Bible. Rather than just praying whatever you think, find out what God’s will is for the situation and bring your prayers in line with it. God has a certain way of thinking when it comes to things in our lives, and we need to align with that. 

Case in point: When you need prayer for physical healing, you may feel terrible in your body and want to cry to the Lord about how bad things are for you. However, a more effectual way to pray is to find the Lord’s promises about healing from Scripture and pray in agreement with God.

This doesn’t mean you cannot cry out to the Lord in your time of adversity. What you need in order to stay accurate in prayer, however, is then to refocus on trusting in God and His promises.

When you make a habit of praying this way, you will learn to pray from the river of your spirit. You plug into the Holy Spirit’s way, the source of power in you, because you are agreeing with the Lord’s opinion. 

Instead of trying to swim upstream, you are flowing with the current. Remember that when the power of the Holy Spirit flows out of you like a river, it contains miracles, blessings and answers to prayer. Accurate prayer will help you flow in all those things.

Suddenly, instead of praying random, disconnected prayers, you are grabbing hold of the blessing that God has already placed in the river of your spirit. A new energy and confidence will come to your prayer life, and you will have conclusive results because you are targeting what you need with what God has already promised.


Brenda Kunneman is co-founder, with her husband, Hank, of One Voice Ministries and co-pastor with him of Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska. She ministers worldwide in conferences and churches and is the author of several books, including The Supernatural You (Charisma House). read more


The Forgiveness Habit


Our relationships become healthier when we remember the message of the cross.

In our relationships, it is important for us to remember that mutual love and respect are to be accomplished out of reverence to Christ. To the degree that each of us is subject to Jesus Christ, the Lord enables us to relate to each other lovingly and respectfully.

The reverse corollary is also true. To the degree that we are not subject to Jesus Christ, He will not rule our hearts, and forgiveness will not be built into us as a moment-by-moment daily practice. When we do not submit our wills to Him, we will be subject to one another, but to one another's selfish control rather than to blessing.

Good, bad or indifferent, each of us does relate to every person with whom we come in contact. We affect others in some way. In that sense, we cannot avoid being subject to on another.

Without the presence of Jesus in our lives, we will relate to others only according to the flesh and not by the Spirit. Only when the cross is present is the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ able to transform our relationships to produce blessing rather than harm.

Our distance from the cross of Christ, practically, in daily living, is the reason we have so many broken relationships and divorces today. People are paying lip service to Jesus, but they don't know how to walk with Him moment by moment. They can't maintain long-term relationships because the fire of unforgiveness burns within them.

When a man and woman enter the marriage relationship, the husband and wife often tend to counterbalance each other. For example, if one tends to talk too much, the other is likely to remain silent. If one is a strong disciplinarian, the other probably will be more lax.

When this tendency to counterbalance one another occurs, tensions develop between partners because one or the other is pressed to lean uncomfortably toward behavior contrary to his or her normal temperament or beliefs. This counterbalancing dynamic is also active among siblings, friends and business associates.

The key to overcoming this dynamic is in sensitive applications of the cross and forgiveness. We must evaluate what is happening in all our relationships and put our own ego in proper perspective.

Jesus said, " 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me'" (Matt.16:24, NKJV). We can take the practices of our relationships to the cross through forgiveness so that through the power of Jesus Christ our selfishness can be put to death and our wounded feelings healed. read more

The Secret Blessing of Generosity

In Genesis 13 (Read Genesis 13), Lot chose selfishly and moved his family to the choicest land—near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose inhabitants sinned greatly. Abram, Lot’s uncle, generously let him go; and for his generosity, God blessed Abram and allowed him to settle his family in a safe area. 

Later, God used Abram to rescue Lot from the evil cities before He destroyed them. Abram learned the blessings of being generous and following God’s plan. read more

Do I Have to Fast?

Fasting is truly a secret source of power.

During the years that Jesus walked this earth, He devoted time to teaching His disciples the principles of the kingdom of God, principles that conflict with those of this world. In the Beatitudes, specifically in Matthew 6, Jesus provided the pattern by which each of us is to live as a child of God. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: giving, praying and fasting.

Jesus said, "When you give" and "When you pray" and "When you fast." He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life. As much attention should be given to fasting as is devoted to giving and to praying. read more

Learning How To Heal

Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word.·

The most fundamental skill required for healing is openness to the Holy Spirit, emptying oneself and receiving His leading and power. Frequently I encounter people who want a method for healing, a formula they can follow that guarantees them automatic healings. But divine healing is neither automatic nor dependent on our right actions; it is rooted in a relationship with God and the power of His Spirit. Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word. When I speak of listening to God's voice, I mean developing a practice of communion with the Father in which we are constantly asking, "Lord, what do You want me to do now? How do You want to use me? How should I pray? Whom do You want me to evangelize? Is there someone You want to heal?"


Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me specific insights about people for whom I am praying. These come as impressions—specific words, pictures in my mind's eye, or physical sensations in my body that correspond to problems in their bodies. These impressions help me know who and what to pray for as well as how to pray. I do not imply that I have an infallible "hotline" to God, and that I always hear His voice and follow His leading. But I am open to God, listening to Him, confident that He wants to lead us to minister to others. read more

Woman Hiding Scars

Healing Life's Scars

Scars are not evidence of imperfection; they are evidence of healing. Your scars glorify God.

In his book A Few Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All, Jerry Cook tells the story of his open-heart surgery. When he had his heart attack, Jerry was pastor of a large church in Oregon that believed in and practiced healing. During his recovery, a woman in his church asked him, "Were you embarrassed to have a heart attack?"

Jerry replied that he was not embarrassed. But the woman was. She was unable to handle the totality of life's experiences--including the fact that pain and suffering are real. read more

Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit