How to Pray When You are Hurting…..

…specifically when you are suffering for taking a stand for Christ.

  1. Get on your knees “…pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:28).
  2. Identify who or what has hurt you (what does it look like spiritually?)
  3. Ask God for help on how to pray
  4. Sit quietly and reflect on someone who may have been in a similar situation (someone written about in God’s Word).
  5. How did they respond?
  6. Look up the related scripture that comes to mind through the Holy Spirit’s leading.
  7. Continue to wait on God, and listen for His response

2 Corinthians 10:4 talks about the ‘weapons of our warfare’. Followers of Christ have effective tools to use in spiritual warfare, tools that are not of this world.

I wondered to myself, the other night as I knelt in the dark, “what are those weapons?”.

The verse goes on to inform us our weapons have “divine power to demolish strongholds”. Verse 5 continues “We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.…”. 

2 Corinthians 6:7 opens the window of clarity a bit further, “in truthful speech and in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left.”

But again what are those weapons of righteousness? Ephesians 6:10-18 gives us more insight. Verse 12 (in context) reminds us insults may be hurled from human lips but “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against….” (Eph 6:12).

Find a Bible, a Bible app, or use www.biblegateway.com and read on for yourself. A study guide Bible is the best because you are provided with extra explanatory notes below, and other verse references.

The remaining verses in Ephesians 6:10 – 18 continue to describe our weapons, (the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, sword of truth…)

As I waited in the dark I asked God to show me how these weapons demolish strongholds and tear down arguments? I lifted my arms and pulled down an invisible wall in front of me, trying to see if further understanding would come. It did.

I recognized my accuser as someone I loved. Suddenly I understood as we pray God’s power transforms us. We begin to see the situation through His eyes. Just as God forgives, we  forgive. In love and forgiveness we are able to see through the circumstances. We are able to take our thoughts captive and submit to God’s purposes (2 Cor. 10:5).

I recognized I had a choice to wear the false accusations and allow the curse to linger, or to pray and clothe myself in Christ (Romans 13:14).

 

 

 

 

 

To Be Loved, Part II

I saw the lovely trio skipping down the street one Saturday morning. More like the little ones were skipping, while dragging their mom along behind. I’m not sure how we struck up a conversation. She was asking for something in particular and I must have thought I could help. I set a time with her to come by her place.

She had given me her number and I called first. The morning it worked for me to go for a visit the sky was overcast and grey. Most of the snow had melted but the earth looked like a dirty carpet. I could hear the brittle ice snap, crackle and pop under my shoes as I approached her building.

I rounded the corner in the sidewalk, and thought I saw God’s little angels painting the earth white again. They were dressed in nothing but summer lace crinolines and black rubber boots. They were hopping on the tiny patches of ice left over from yesterday’s melt, and giggling with glee each time a new crack cried out. They didn’t notice me at first, but I saw the door to their apartment wide open, flapping in a north wind. I could see their breath crystals in the air, and I could see mine.

Quickly, but gently I introduced myself and scurried them inside. Thankfully they remembered my face from our previous brief encounter. Their mother was on the phone, standing at the end of the stairwell. I could hear her deflecting verbal punches from who knows who on the other end of the line.

I glanced to the right where nothing but a large mattress lay on the living room floor. My eyes dared glance to the left where a years worth of dishes and dried food decorated the kitchen counter. Their Momma looked up from the phone, smiled and waved me in to sit down.

I can’t remember what it was I was doing there, but the memories of that morning never fade, and the words we shared gave more insight into her world. Here is the second verse to yesterday’s song “All We Need”.

Winter’s arrived, I find her girls out in their dresses

Palin lyrics/Google Images

The look she wears can make you question how she stresses

She married far too young and craved herself a family

Only to starve to death from the silence inside

She’d never harm a flea, but she’ll break on empty

All she needs, all she needs is to be loved.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard it

It’s not the last time I’ll see

It is the all too familiar – calamity.

Where do we find this kind of love?

How do we grow this kind of love?

How can we be this kind of love?

All we need, all we need, all we need is to be loved.

©Cindy Palin November 2005

Drowning in a Feeling, or Living in the Truth?

I was going through some of my writing and came across this rough draft, and video. It speaks loudly of where I once was, searching for self, longing to belong. I know now that drowning in a feeling will never be as good as living in the truth. Thank you Jesus – I choose you!

Who Needs Love?

If I let myself I can feel it again, power disguised as love.

I can see it well, everywhere that I turn, everyone’s trading up.

Cause it’s better than waiting around, it’s better assuming control.

It’s better, so much better to drown in a feeling, than to know.

If you let yourself, you’ll believe anything, lies disguised as truth.

Can’t you see it now, your heart’s underneath, the weight of a thousand moons.

Cause it’s better than waiting around, it’s better assuming control

It’s better, so much better to drown in a feeling, than to know.

Cause you were told, but what’s the fun in that?

When you get old, maybe then you’ll settle down,

but until then – you’ll take the feelings.

Yeah until then – who needs love?

©Cindy Palin, music and lyrics, all rights reserved

Mercy, Mercy – Me.

Our desire for help is always heard, and we are always loved.

I am reminded of a day when I was running errands and a young woman came to mind. After her name had run through me several times I got the picture.

I drove up to her house and knocked on her door.

She was shaken to see me on the threshold. Turns out she had fallen off the wagon, and was afraid her child may be taken from her. She knew I was not social services, and her shoulders relaxed somewhat.

I had wanted to take her out for coffee, but she was in no shape to go. However, I realized I would be a miss if I didn’t take the opportunity to pray, and ask God for his help.

She wanted God’s help and we prayed, but when our prayer time was over something very important dawned on me. My spiritual antennae were tuning in. The prayer was the first step, there was another step that needed to be taken.

I asked very cautiously if the object of her bondage was still in her house, and she replied “yes”. I offered to take it out and get rid of it, or help her pour it down the drain.

Her reply was an adamant “no”.

Summoning my courage and leaning on the Lord, I explained to her that we had just asked God for help. Should we not now, take a step of obedience and remove temptation from the premises?

She was furious with me, and asked me to leave.

With great sadness I got back into my car, and realized I had been given the privilege to learn a valuable life lesson, or two or three.

If we are going to ask Jesus for help, we had better be prepared to take the help he offers.

How many times had I asked Jesus for help, and sent the help away?

Sometimes we don’t recognize his help for what it is, but more often times than not, if we are to be painfully honest with ourselves
help-JPG-70 – we do recognize it and still refuse him.

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””][/clickandtweet][clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Help from God is not reliant on His giving it, but dependent on us receiving it[/clickandtweet].

The most valuable lesson I learned that day was one of love. My friend had fallen off the wagon, and though I was terribly saddened about her circumstance I knew I still loved her, and in that moment I saw the way God sees me and my mistakes, and loves me still.

Mercy, mercy – me.

The Best Posture & Presence for any Situation

Reading in John 8 this morning something very beautiful struck me. It is the passage where Jesus arrives very early in the morning at the temple to teach. There, a religious group of people bring to him a woman who has been caught in adultery, hoping to trap Jesus somehow, and with the intent to stone her.

Many of you may be familiar with this story, and Christ’s famous words, he who is without sin cast the first stone (John 8:7b). So profound. Of course no one threw a single stone. One by one her accusers walked away.

However as I was reading I was struck by Christ’s posture. The sinner is brought into his presence, and he doesn’t tower over her in judgement, as you might think the Holy God of the universe should, instead he bends down to the ground and begins writing in the sand.

If you were caught in a guilty predicament and brought before Jesus, would you expect him to lower himself before you? I don’t believe he was condoning what she had done, but he was creating an atmosphere of forgiveness and love, taking on a posture of humility.

If you have hesitated to check out a local church because you feel you do not qualify, please remember this story. If you have been mistreated before by people who claim to be Christians. Remember no one is without sin (Romans 3:10)

I have learned three very important truths to apply to my life today.

  1. I will remember your posture my Lord. [clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]When foreigners or truth seekers appear at my door, I will not tower over them with an ere of condemnation[/clickandtweet], but I will take the position of a humble servant, that which you have exemplified to me.
  2. When confronted by a controversial issue I will quiet myself as you did, Jesus. Wow wouldn’t my parents have wanted to hear this in my teen-hood? Wouldn’t my children have benefited from this wisdom when they were little, and I was so young. I will take time to wait for your wisdom to speak to my spirit before I utter a word out loud.
  3. And, last but not least, I will speak your truth in love, knowing that true freedom is not found in our own way – but yours.

There will be times in my human fragility that I will make mistakes, but with your help may I reflect your posture and presence to all I meet.

Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more. He loved her, he offered her forgiveness, but he also made the truth very plain. In our attempt to exemplify Christ’s love it is vital we share His loving boundaries with others. Often we confuse love with tolerance. The best way I can think of concluding this thought is by sharing these verses,

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones”. (Proverbs 3:7,8 NIV)

Find out for yourself, what God’s word says to you today!

The Faith Keeper Book Launch Video

 

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]“Love finds us, and calls us towards eternity, and when the going gets tough we want to quit[/clickandtweet]. The journey of faith stops in the middle for so many. Such is the condition of the fickle human heart. Much of my story shared here is from the middle years when all the colours of the world tried to paint love grey. The honeymoon stage of faith had faded, and my beliefs were challenged by the harsh realities around me. A Tsunami in Asia, and a letter from Africa were instrumental in stirring my spirit. A rescue prayer followed, and set in motion several unexpected, life altering events, which alerted me to the late hour in which I live. I was awakened from a seductive spell, to “surrender” to love once more.”

– From The Faith Keeper

Media Kit_Cindy Palin, The Faith Keeper

free images from www.dreamstime.com

 

The Highway of Life

It seems fitting to be writing about boundaries when I am a passenger riding the Coquihalla Highway through the Coastal Mountains. Not only am I bordered by enormous peaks on either side of the highway, there are also two cement barriers outlining our lane, which keep us from hitting oncoming traffic to the left, and from veering off the edge to the right.

For many people the boundaries God sets out in the Bible seem stringent, outdated, and alienating, when in reality they are entirely the opposite. Now, more than ever, is the time for believers to understand, and proclaim God’s truth and mysterious ways.

The Highway of Life
The Highway of Life

God’s boundaries for our lives are meant to protect us, and help us flourish mentally, physically and spiritually. His way alone enables us to love our creator, and our neighbor as ourself (Luke 10:27).

Throughout history humankind has tried to live outside the boundaries of God’s plan, with the prideful attitude of being more inclusive, but the harder we work at doing our own thing, the more exclusive we become, and the less love and freedom there is to experience. Without Christ we are hopelessly flawed. “Professing to be wise they became fools” (Romans 1:22 BLB).

Christ abided by his Father’s will (boundaries), and prolifically loved the broken, the blind, the poor, and the outcasts. He spoke and lived the truth, and truly loved, yet we still reject him.

Why do we think less boundaries means the more inclusive we can be? How can we possibly think THE CREATED can out think, and outdo THE CREATOR?

 But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10)

[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]The more godly boundaries we dismiss, the more soul casualties there’ll be on the highway of life.[/clickandtweet]

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7 NIV)