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The Misconception of “Too”

July 26th, 2018 1 comment
The List

The List

The following blog was contributed by Martha Stanley.

Have you ever put something off because in your mind it was “too” hard, would take “too” much time, “too” much energy, was “too” complicated, would be “too” costly in some way, or would just be “too” something? Me too. A few weeks ago I looked around my home and saw an overwhelming amount of things that were needing to be cleaned, repaired, or upgraded in some way. I don’t know about you, but when my environment gets “too” out of order it has a draining effect on me. Sometimes one reaches the point where the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change.

Look Around – Write it Down

At that point I had the choice to let things continue to deteriorate and perpetuate the chaos, or do something about it. I do believe God is a God of order, and I knew He was in this. So Lord, where to start? A list. Look around, write it down. My list quickly had 112 entries. Yes, really 112 thing to do. Oh boy! Again, where to start? Some of the things on the list would take days, some hours, and some just minutes. These things would never get done if I waited to “feel like it”, so I asked Him to lead me. And He did, systematically, item by item He would tell me, “Now it’s time to do ‘this’. Today let’s start ‘that’”. Did I always feel like it? Mmmmm, no. But once I got started, the energy, the anointing if you will, was there to push through to completion.

Our Exellent Helper

The Holy Spirit is truly our Excellent Helper. He even showed me creative ways to restore, not replace many things. Living in Florida so close to the water, outdoor furniture and fixtures rust and mold over time with the assault of the salt air. All the furniture on our expansive back porch had seen better days, and was in desperate need of an upgrade. With a little cleaning (and about 30 cans of white spray paint) every piece looks brand new. The whole porch is now an inviting and attractive place for family and friends to hang out.

The brass door handle on the front door and brass porch lights also had been kissed by the air of the sea, but would be very expensive to replace. I felt led to go to the paint section of the hardware store one afternoon where I stumbled upon a jar of metallic brass paint. Perfect! After cleaning the fixtures up a bit with vinegar and steel wool, and a couple coats of the paint, for about 10 bucks everything looked brand new.

For over a year the cold water on both sinks in the master bath had been turned off because they were leaking. So every night the challenge was on to wash hands, face and teeth at warp speed to try to beat the forthcoming scalding water. Plumbing repair was in my mind not only “too” complicated to do myself, but “too” costly to hire a plumber.

The list item taunted me. Then the day came when I felt a nudge from the Lord, “We got this!” The wisest response seemed, “Ok, Lord, You’re on! Let’s do this!” After one YouTube video and a trip to the hardware store for Moen 1224 cartridges, it literally took me 5 minutes to fix my husband’s sink. There was a bit of a learning curve for mine as there was more than one issue. But hey, I learned all about compression rings, ordered one online and when it came a few days later it only took a few minutes to fix my sink too. Ah, the joy of washing my face with cool water. It’s the little things in life, right?

There is one more repair I want to mention. A couple of years ago one of the double paned storm windows came off its “shoe” when I was cleaning it. The window is large, and heavy, so I’ve been using a bulky piece of wood to prop it open, but this was getting really old. After watching videos of how to reconnect it, and several attempts with several people, it was clear that this is one job for which a repair call must be made. I had put this off for all this time, because in my mind a repair call to the window company would be “too” costly. Imagine my surprise to hear the dispatcher say that repairs of this type were included in the contract at no cost. All this time, all this fuss, and provision had been there the whole time. Yep, big lesson there.

From cleaning the garage, to painting and organizing the spare bedroom, to fixing leaky faucets, cleaning every window, drape, and blind, to repairing the lid on the steamer pan, all 112 things have now been completed.

Just Start Somewhere

After all was said and done I wondered why in the world I had put everything off for so long. Once I got going it really wasn’t “too” hard, didn’t take “too” much time, and with a little creativity wasn’t “too” costly. It had all just built up because in my head it was “too”. I had to just start somewhere.

What in your life have you put off? What to you seems, well, “too”? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, just start somewhere. He really is our Excellent Helper.

Categories: General Tags:

A Prayer Today for This Generation

June 18th, 2018 No comments

 

This Anti-Human Trafficking newsletter by Jessica Wilson highlights an extremely important issue though it is something we seldom talk about.  The current generation of school-aged young people faces many concerns that can contribute to hopelessness and helplessness. Please join in prayer and declare freedom, hope and the fullness of life in Christ for this generation. They carry destiny and spiritual breakthrough for such a time as this.
– Nancy McDaniel, Aglow Int’l Prayer Director

 

Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter – June 2018

Dear Jessica,

I was going to write to you about pornography and this article from For Every Mom that highlights the danger of Snapchat’s Cosmo After Dark feature. It was a pornographic feature, completely inappropriate for Snapchat to host. BUT, because of public outcry, Snapchat has canceled the Cosmo After Dark Feature! (You can read about that here.) However, after some events this month, we’re going to take our insight and prayer in a slightly different direction.

Teens and Tweens

For many, school is out for the summer. However, my heart hurts for teens and I want to highlight prayer for teens and pre-teens this month. I’ll expound on this in future newsletters, but I want to quickly say that the porn industry targets kids – as users. Pornography offers comfort for pain, just like food, alcohol, relationships and more. Porn sells the lie that it’s completely natural and harmless – which studies show is gravely incorrect. Yet many seek out porn as a way to derive comfort from pain – often deep, traumatic pain, misunderstanding or hurt.

And right now, many tweens and teens are experiencing great hardships. A YoungLife leader who is a friend of mine recently said, “The pressure these kids have is nothing like I had, and I was only in high school 10 years ago.”

Kids, just like adults, are hurting. 

Some are cutting. Some are using. Some are even taking their own lives, and the fear (“Is my pain too much to escape from?”) is scary and deep. In addition to the news, this week in a town nearby two highly popular seniors, a week away from graduating, took their own lives.

“When the popular kids who ‘have it all together’ can’t escape their pain, what do YOU do? ” These are questions many tweens and teens are asking. Some reach out to God. Some reach out to friends. Some reach out to a trusted adult. Many reach out to drugs and prescription pills. Others reach out to alcohol. And many reach out to the comfort of the fantasy and escape porn brings them.

It’s time to pray. Not just for the eradication of porn, but for our kids.


This month let’s pray for the kids in our cities and communities:

Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them. Psalm 10:17-18

  • Pain is real. Pray for wisdom on how to promote and model healthy coping mechanisms in your family, neighborhood, and social media presence.
  • Pray for peace for the children in your neighborhood, according to Philippians 4:7.
  • Speak LIFE and HOPE over your community.
  • Pray that girls and boys in your community would know their identity, value, and worth as an individual.
  • Pray for freedom from porn for the kids in your life. Pray that they would see their and others value through God’s eyes.
  • Pray for your schools. Pray for strength for teachers. Pray they have eyes to see and ears to hear when dangerous activity is going on, and wisdom in how to help.

So God heard their groaning and remembered...
Exodus 2:24a

Lord, hear the sorrowful groaning of young people who are in pain and feel hopeless and helpless. You remember them – reveal Your deep love to them.

Additional Resources

Standing in the gap with you,
Jessica Wilson
Anti-Trafficking Specialist

Categories: General Tags:

This is How I Fight My Battles

April 18th, 2018 No comments

This is How I Fight My Battles
The following blog was contributed by Jessica Wilson.

Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Proverbs 4:7

 

How Do You Fight?
Last night I joined some friends, only to encounter them already deeply entrenched in a funny movie. It was a goofy, spoofing film about an all-knowing English spy, perhaps a distant and slightly bumbling relative of James Bond. The film has been out for several years, and wasn’t particularly acclaimed by critics, but it certainly gave us a good laugh. As I joined them to watch this particular film, I was struck by a particular scene.

In every good spy film, there is always a foot-chase scene. The best of these usually involve skilled assassins who not only possess the skills to win any street match that comes their way, but also those of an Olympic gymnast. This film was no exception.
Deep in the chase on a rooftop building in a busy downtown setting, our protagonist – being a few years older – knew he was outmatched in physical strength. His opponent jumped off of a small shack, over his head, and onto the cement floor, looked at him with a cocky smirk, and ran away – jumping over a large rooftop air-conditioning unit as he went. As the older spy started to chase him, he suddenly stopped and the film flashback to his training instructor some years earlier, saying something along the lines of, “You may not have the strength of your youth…but you have wisdom.”

This proved his key for the rest of the fight scene.  (Spoiler alert.)

As the young assailant continued running, the Spy ran to the AC unit and…scooted between the unit and the wall, and continued his pursuit.
The assailant was a good 20 feet ahead – but stopped at a barbed wire fence – He dramatically grabbed a cloth, threw it on top of the fence, and scaled it effortlessly – the cloth covering the sharp barbs! The Spy…walked to the fence, saw a door in the fence, opened it, and walked through.

The Spy then turned the corner, and at the edge of the rooftop…there he was! The smug Assailant paused, made eye contact with our Spy and smiled a victorious smile as he jumped off the roof – and descended the scaffolding that we now see surrounded the building.

The Spy was upset! He was sad! He was defeated! He – – no. He was none of those things. He simply turned around and walked to the building’s elevator. The camera panned back to the Assailant to follow his journey to the ground – almost breathlessly he finished his descent and turned to run down the street – only to have the door to the building open, and the Spy walked out – just steps behind him.

The scene was obviously comical as the Assailant used such flash and drama to his moves, while the older Spy, unequipped with such flash, simply used…wisdom.

 

This is How I Fight My Battles
A popular song that has been saturating the Christian air waves recently is Surround (Fight My Battles). The chorus echoes ‘This is how I fight my battles, It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You.”
In looking at HOW we fight our battles, today I want to ask you –

Based on the specific fight you’re in, is your battle key today REST and WISDOM?
Proverbs 4:7 says get wisdom.

Not every battle is the same. Knowing when to attack, or hold your ground, is key. In Ephesians we’re called to put on the WHOLE armor of God. For the battle you’re currently facing, what is the wise battle plan?

What if today’s battle plan calls for walking in peace, when the enemy gives chaos.
What if today’s battle plan calls for simple obedience, when the enemy gives impressive flash and smoke.
What if today’s battle plan calls for seemingly boring persistence, instead of dramatic, self-led, self-focused change.
What if today’s battle plan calls for walking through a door, when the enemy wants you to follow him in scaling dangerous, but unnecessary, fences.

What is God’s wisdom telling you to do, to fight today’s battle?

 

Categories: General Tags:

Proclaim!  Declare!  Decree!

February 12th, 2018 4 comments

Proclaim!  Declare!  Decree! 

At our Aglow Jubilee Conference a few months ago, Graham Cooke challenged us link our intercession to promise and purpose. As we do this, we pray powerful Kingdom prayers of proclamation, declaration and decree.

Recently, I’ve been asked this question several times, “What is the difference between proclamation, declaration and decreeing when we pray?” Great question!

In the moment of making “proclamation prayers”, I often use these words interchangeably. However, when I stop and think about it and craft my prayer more carefully, there are nuances of difference in their meanings. While we could probably find volumes of books and articles that explain this fully and with great insight, here are some short descriptions I find helpful.

Decree
This is more of a legal term. It is a command that sets something in place legally. It is aligning things on earth with heaven, bringing heaven’s rule, law or government into earth. It is an expression of God’s Kingdom government to align, shift or even invade earth and the systems of the world with the majesty of God.

How about if we make a simple decree for God’s favor upon Aglow International? That sounds like a great prayer!

We decree the favor of God upon Aglow International.

This is a prayer that aligns Aglow with the favor of God and renounces anything that comes against His favor. This firmly establishes that the favor of God is upon Aglow.

Declare
A declaration announces full support of something or makes our position clear. Let’s turn our prayer for the favor of God upon Aglow International into a declaration.

We declare the favor of God upon Aglow International. 

This prayer says, “Lord, You said that Your favor is upon Aglow. You have released favor upon favor upon favor upon favor upon Aglow.  Therefore, we rise in full agreement with Your favor. We stand fully in Your favor. This is our clear position – God’s favor is upon us! Nothing shall sway us or separate us from Your favor!”

Proclaim
This is to make a strong public announcement.

A proclamation is a strong public announcement. A proclamation removes any doubt, affirms our agreement with the God-head and strengthens us in our spiritual position. A proclamation releases the light of the truth of God to expose deception and dispel darkness. A proclamation announces on earth what heaven has already decreed. A proclamation for the favor of God upon Aglow International may sound like this:

We proclaim the favor of God upon Aglow.

This prayer is a public announcement of God’s favor upon us that releases celebration, liberty and confidence in us while binding and paralyzing the enemy.

Let’s keep stretching and growing in Kingdom intercession. I pray that deep revelation and empowerment comes by the Holy Spirit as we continue to marinate in the words God has given us.

Father, what are You decreeing from heaven to earth? We are aligning our proclamations, declarations and decrees with Yours! Truly, Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Categories: General Tags:

Authority and Distraction – Part 2:  Don’t be distracted! Stand steady and hold the course

November 30th, 2017 No comments

Recently I shared with you about “Authority and Distraction Part 1”. Today I have a few thoughts on “Distraction”.


Don’t be distracted! Stand steady and hold the course

Like you, I have been praying for world events, issues and chaos in our own nation and more recently regarding hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes. For several months as I’ve prayed about these matters, I’ve heard, “Don’t be distracted! Stand steady and hold the course.”  As we continue to pray for issues in our nations, I share these words with you, “Don’t be distracted! Stand steady and hold the course.

Here are a few keys to resisting distraction:

  • Guard your place of peace and calm in your heart.  Don’t let the turmoil, urgency and anxiety of storms, fires, destruction and chaos invade your peace. War from a place of peace. Let your intercession BE the peace in the midst of chaos.
  • Definition of “distraction”: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else; extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.  While we seek information and news so we can pray focused on-target prayers, do not be so distracted by news and information that you lose sight of actually praying Holy Spirit led prayers. A simple prayer under the divine leading of the Holy Spirit is more powerful than a complicated prayer that includes all the information and insights that man can offer.
  • Luke 21:28 “But when you see these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  God is concerned, but He is not panicked. As we pray with deep concern and passion, stand steady and hold the course!
    Do not be consumed by the urgency of current events, rather be consumed by the awesomeness of God’s master plan for the people of the earth.  Keep your eyes on Him, not on the storm.
Categories: General Tags:

Authority and Distraction – Part 1:  Stand in the Full Authority of Christ Within Us

October 20th, 2017 No comments

In the past few months, we have faced extreme perils due to weather and natural disaster –
This is not a time to cry, to fall on our face or to beg in prayer.  This is a time to STAND – to stand in the full authority of Christ within us.

James 5:16-18 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

Here are a few very brief nuggets from this passage:

  • We have authority over the weather.  If Elijah could stand in that authority in the times of visitation of the Old Testament, how much more can we stand in that authority in this time of habitation with the full, completed work of the Cross and Resurrection as our banner of authority and our position of being hidden with Christ in God!
  • Confess, pray, be healed – This is a time to confess the sins of our land, pray for one another and receive the healing of our land. There are three areas of repentance I feel to draw to our attention as we pray:
    (1) Sins of dishonoring the dignity of people – this includes slavery, racial/ethnic prejudice and inequality, gender inequality, socio-economic inequality and dishonor of parents and civic leaders.
    (2) Abortion, both the acts of abortion that have taken place in our nation and the legislation which allows it.
    (3) Dishonoring God – this includes humanism in education, removing Judeo-Christian symbols from public places, silencing prayer in public gatherings, removing the 10 Commandments from display and movements to remove phrases such as “In God we trust”, “Under God” from pledges and national identification.
    Pray for a complete work of repentance in your nation – that our actions, legislation and mindset demonstrate a true turning to righteousness.   Receive healing!  Believe, receive and rejoice that God is our healer of our land.
  • Elijah’s story demonstrates two reasons God will change weather: (1) So that people will know He is God.  Pray for a full acknowledgment of God in our nation. (2) To bring fruitfulness. Believe and decree the fruitfulness/fulfilment of God’s Word over our nation.

Well, that’s enough for today. We’ll touch on Distraction another day.  God bless you as you stand in prayer for your nation!

Categories: General Tags:

The Everlasting Message of Christmas

December 14th, 2016 No comments

The following is a Christmas letter we received from Glenda Fleming.  I was so blessed by the beauty of this everlasting message that I asked Glenda if I could share it with you.  Glenda serves Aglow International on the International Board of Directors, as U.S. Regional Director of the Southern Region and on the Israel Council.

May your heart be warmed by this glorious Christmas message. Merry Christmas!
Nancy McDaniel, Aglow International Prayer Director

 

From Glenda:  The Everlasting Message of Christmas

 

The Sweetest Message
One of the sweetest messages ever announced from heaven is being sounded to us again this Christmas.  Luke 2:8-14: That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly and angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced and it is for everyone!”  The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem.”  Suddenly the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the Armies of Heaven – praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang, “And peace on earth for all.” (The Life Application Bible)

Fear Not
We can, in our hearts, go to Bethlehem this Christmas; and in the company of wondering shepherds, we can see Him who was born King.  Isaiah 7:14 – Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel (God with us).

On the first Christmas night God spoke “Fear Not” to the world. The shepherds listened to the angels. Inspiration took hold of their hearts, and grace took root in their souls.  Their fears were gone. Our Father wants that same inspiration and grace to fill our hearts this Christmas.

Prophecy Fulfilled
The love and joy that we feel at Christmas was manifested in that stable in Bethlehem. But the joy for us is that He is not in a manger this Christmas. For one day on a lonely hill called Mount Calvary He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. By His stripes, we are healed.” He was buried, but He conquered death and came forth out of the grave. He stood with His disciples on the Mount of Olives and promised them the power of the Holy Spirit. He told them to go into all the world and preach the gospel, baptizing in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Then, He was caught up in a cloud and ascended to the Father before their very eyes. Two angels came to stand beside them and told them that just as they saw Him ascend, that the same Jesus would come again in like manner.

Just as the prophets foretold His first coming, Christmas; they have also foretold His second coming. This should bring a Christmas spirit of joy and rejoicing to each of us. The next time He comes, He will not come as a babe in a manger, but in all the glory and splendor of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Gifts
Just as God the Father sent the first Christmas gift of His Son, the Son gives gifts to us not only at Christmas but each and every day until He reappears.  2 Peter 1: Grace and peace be multiplied to you (this Christmas season) in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue; by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises (gifts), that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature.

The precious Christmas gift of the Son of God wants to lead our lives, giving us the peace of Christ that will rule our hearts (Colossians 3:15).

Just as a loving Father gave a star that would lead and guide the wise men of the first Christmas, He still gives us a star (His Beloved Son) that will lead each of us willing to follow His star.

From my heart to your hearts comes all the blessings and love of Christmas. May each of your homes be filled with His glorious Christmas Light.

Categories: General Tags:

Imperturbable Aplomb

July 27th, 2016 1 comment

Imperturbable Aplomb
The following blog was contributed by Martha Stanley.

I’ve been having some disturbing vertigo issues, so finally went to the doctor. Two different physicians said it was most likely a brain tumor from the way it was presenting, but could be a severe inner ear infection. An MRI was ordered.

With those words I had to make a decision. I could A) freak out! or B) press in to the “secret place”, lean into the heartbeat of God, and listen. I chose B. After some time in prayer I felt a peace, so refused to give in to fear. After 2 weeks of waiting, the results came back clear, so on to the ENT I will go.

I was seeking the Lord for His purpose in allowing this to happen. The answer came clearly and quickly. The enemy was rattling his saber trying to get ME rattled. Kudos on the try – didn’t work, dude.

I sensed there was more so asked…and what more, God…? There are many situations in my life that seem overwhelming, have been going on a loooong time, look hopeless, and perhaps on some level I had become weary.
He showed me that the enemy is merely rattling his saber in those situations, too.
God wants me to see the other situations in the same light – don’t be rattled – stand my ground – speak only life – victory WILL COME.

Going through the waiting time for the test results truly brought me up to a higher level of “abiding in the secret place”. He is saying, “Ok, you learned this here. Now apply what you learned HERE, and take the ground over THERE.

I can now face the other situations from which I had grown weary, with renewed strength, hope, faith, and….wait for it….imperturbable aplomb.

Imperturbable – adj. – unable to be upset or excited; calm:

Aplomb – noun – self-confidence or assurance, especially when in a demanding situation

Categories: General Tags:

When He Saw, His Spirit Revived

July 6th, 2016 1 comment

Blog 07 16 Fresh AirWhen He Saw, His Spirit Revived
The following blog was contributed by Martha Stanley.

Genesis 45:27 says, “But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.”

When Jacob saw, his spirit revived. Jacob suffered years of anguish, torment and grief thinking his beloved son Joseph had been torn apart by wild animals and died a gruesome death. But in reality, Joseph was very much alive, prospering, second in command under the King of Egypt, fulfilling God’s purpose delivering nations from certain destruction. In this case the paths of “known reality” and “true reality” were vastly divergent.

How many times in my life has focusing on “known reality” brought me to a place of complete heartache and despair? The “facts” that were before my eyes and known to my mind screamed of failure, defeat; they shouted that God’s ears were deaf to my cries. As with Jacob, sometimes what I “know”, and what is actually true are as different as the full light of day and the darkest of nights.

Recently, in a study of Psalm 91, I discovered that one of the meanings of the word “abide” in verse one means “to pass the night”. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall ‘abide’ under the shadow of the Almighty.”

What if…what if we could perpetually live from a place where, when a tragedy happened, we would hide ourselves in the secret place of the Most High staying under His wings until turmoil turned into peace; until we heard the heartbeat of God, and our hearts beat As One. Then, yes, then we could live in the place of peace, of joy, of prosperity until the night passed.

Jacob had 11 other children, and multiple grandchildren. Did his grief over Joseph rob him of all the joy that ‘could have been’ with the others? Did his “known reality” of Joseph act as a thief stealing the precious ‘times that could have been’ with the children and grandchildren who were there with him every day?

How many times have I done this? How many times have I allowed the grief of the ‘promise yet to be fulfilled’ to plunder my joy and rob me of the marvelous treasures of this day.

So Lord, as this day unfolds, help me to keep my heart, my mind, and my words not on the path of what I can see and feel, my “known reality”, but help me to live in the place of “true reality”, embracing the certainty that You are at work in ways I ‘cannot see or know’ bringing all things together for my good, and the good of those I love. Today, I set my face like a flint that I will enjoy all of the beautiful gifts God has in store for this day as I wait with confident faith for the fulfillment of the truths I have heard in the secret place.

Categories: General Tags:

Forgiveness, Prayer and Freedom

January 26th, 2016 1 comment

Forgiveness is so much more than saying, “I’m sorry” or “It’s ok, I forgive you.” Forgiveness is freedom. Forgiveness is that heavenly Kingdom key liberating us from the bondage to hurts caused by offenses. How do we get “unstuck” from the residue of an offense enough to forgive? Good question! Maybe Job gives us a key to being free to forgive.

Job knew God in the secret place. We read in Job 19 about the agony of his losses and the pain he endured. Yet in the middle of his discourse on the severity of his suffering, he raised his voice in worship and declared, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25–27

Job did not use his suffering as an excuse to turn from God. Instead, his suffering drove him deeper into the treasury of God in the secret place. Job also did not use his suffering as an excuse to hold an offense against his friends.

The only good thing about Job’s friends—who were not very good friends—is that they visited him frequently. But instead of offering encouragement, comfort or help, they added to his torment with endless questions, accusations and judgments against him. Finally, near the end of Job’s story, God confronted those friends. He told them that He was angry with them and that they needed to ask Job to pray for them. Only then, perhaps, would He receive their sacrifices and forgive them (see Job 42:7–9).

Once again a godly man faced the need to forgive. Something had to happen in Job’s heart to enable him to pray sincerely for his friends. He had to forgive them, too. When Job prayed for his friends, they were released from the guilt of the offenses they had caused. When Job prayed for his friends, Job was freed to step out of his pain and into his renewal. Job’s losses were restored through the grace of forgiveness: “The LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10 (Italics added.)

Thank You, Lord. Your forgiveness has made me free – free to pray, free to love, free to forgive.

(Adapted from Prayer – Heaven’s Open Door, Chapter 9 by Nancy McDaniel)

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