Category Archives: christianity

Suffering for righteousness

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There are a few questions that have been on my mind for quite some time. Why is it that my life became more difficult when I decided to pursue righteousness and live for Christ? Why does it seem like life is easier for my non-believing friends? The concept of suffering for righteousness is difficult, but one we can overcome by grace. Desiring the life we had before salvation is a deceptive mind-set with no substance- we belonged to the enemy.  Now belonging to Jesus and salvation being our portion, spiritual attacks increase upon the children of God. Self-pity only makes one feel worse and discipleship never meant our earthly lives would become easier for accepting Jesus into our lives.

An example of this is John the Baptist. Born to obedient parents (Luke 1:6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly), his birth was predestined and foretold by his father having an encounter with an angel:

Luke 1:13-17 But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.  And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Moreover, he was the cousin of Jesus and was already a blessing before he was even born (Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit). When the angel delivered the message concerning John the Baptist to Zechariah, he did not say that he would suffer for righteousness but spoke about the blessing he would be to God’s people.

As John the Baptist pursued his God ordained purpose, he did not eat the fanciest food, nor was he dressed in royal robes (Mark 1:4-6 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey). He lived a humble life, and far for what the earthly standards would portray as ‘being blessed’.

Whilst doing the work of God, people would speak maliciously of him, yet he was blameless (Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon). One would wonder why a blessed man of God and a cousin of Jesus would undergo persecution. Moreover, the innocent man was brutally murdered, simply for speaking the truth:

(Luke 14:3-12 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet. On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist. “The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus).

Whenever the trials of this world overwhelm you and it seems you are the only one encountering suffering, remember John the Baptist. His character, calling and ministry. His suffering was beyond his life, and through him, God has made the way for all of us. Even for you, He will use your suffering to become a testimony and to save generations from perishing- it is beyond what we can see!

Jesus encourages us on suffering by stating the following:

Matthew 11:7-11 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  This is the one about whom it is written: I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you. Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

We thank God that He has chosen us to partake in His suffering and that of John the Baptist, for we are indeed blessed.

I want to encourage you today to take courage, you are not alone. Within the body of Christ, we all encounter struggles differently. There are people in the bible who experienced worse struggles than we have faced and yet God was pleased with them. It was the way He had preordained their lives to be and as disciples of Christ we will suffer for righteousness. No matter what arrow the enemy tries to throw your way, you shall overcome, the goodness of the Lord shall remain over your life and salvation shall remain your portion in Jesus name.

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The return of the prodigal son

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There have been a number of times in my Christian walk when I have fallen away from the Lord. I was distracted, gave in to the desires of this world and unwilling to give up my own personal desires. Other times, I felt too embarrassed and disgraced to return back to the Lord. How do I return back to God? I know Him, He speaks to me, I know the word- how can He forgive me?. I am no longer worthy of being His servant. Also, the judgement of others was something I feared and dreaded. What will other Christians think of me if they knew the sin I had committed? My Christian friends make the Christian walk look so easy, perhaps there is something wrong with me.

Returning back to the Lord after falling is something that requires humility and genuine repentance. It is not always easy to forget the mistakes we have made, but God is ready to wash it away and give us countless chances in life (2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land).

I want to encourage you today, that regardless of what you have done that may not have been pleasing to God, He still loves you. God cares about you, and the fact that You are still alive shows that He still has a great plan for your life. The enemy tries to deceive us by whispering lies to make us feel less worthy. However, it is written: Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

In Luke 15, God illustrates His unconditional love and joy towards us:

The parable of the lost sheep

Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’  I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

You are very precious to the Lord, He loves you so much that He is willing to leave behind His other children to go after you. You are dear to Him, and He rejoices when You return back to Him. No matter how big the sin, He is ready to embrace you and call you His child

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God continues to emphasize on His delight in us returning to Him and how much He honors genuine repentance:

The parable of the lost coin:

Luke 15:8-10 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?  And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.  Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Lastly, in the Parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), a son greedily asks his father for his inheritance, which he then recklessly squanders and is left with nothing- not even food to eat! However, he humbled himself and returned home to his father and asked for forgiveness. His father felt compassionate towards his son and was grateful that his son was still alive and came back home. He did not condemn him for the sin he committed, but embraced him with love (Luke 15:22-24 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate).

Regardless of how far astray you have gone from God, it is not too late to come back. God is patiently waiting for you, to shower you with His unconditional love and welcome you back home. In your own words, pray and speak to your Father; converse with Him the way you would with your best friend. Pour out and tell Him exactly how you feel and pursue genuine repentance.

If you are believing God for the salvation of a loved one or are praying for someone who has backslidden, keep pressing on, its not too late ( see the blog post: Salvation of a loved one). The prodigal son is still able to come back home in Jesus name! 

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Compromising your faith

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The decision to walk in uncompromising faith is a daily battle we have to face. The temptations of this world seem endless. It feels so good and yet it is so wrong in God’s eyes- the struggles of the flesh. The inability to choose between God and man- the battle of the mind. Walking the narrow road alone or strolling on the broad road with a friend- which way to choose? A temporary fulfillment on earth or eternal glory in heaven- patience. Willing to remain unpopular and gain everlasting recognition- long suffering. Is it worth letting you desires die to please your creator? – obedience.

I recently found myself in a compromising situation and had to choose between man and God. The pressures of this world and my emotions got the best of me. Acting upon this, I considered compromising my faith for a temporary situation. Thoughts kept rushing through my mind “God will forgive me anyways, His grace is sufficient” “This is not as bad as it looks, God will somehow find a way of blessing me in this”. Those were all lies from the pit of hell.

However, deep down in my heart I had no peace about the matter and continued pondering over it. Overwhelmingly, I turned to friends for advice: some supported my decision, others did not. What do I do? By the grace of God, a friend of mine shared a dream that she had about me. She did not know I had been battling with this decision. However, in the dream she had, I had made the compromising decision and my life was a mess. I had turned away fully from God and was unhappy. There was a lot shame over my life and I was alone.

I had a dream a few days later, where the Lord said to me “I am pleased with you, however do not make the compromise because it will ruin all the plans I have for you”. I then woke up. The fear of the Lord gripped me and gave me the strength to walk away from the situation and trust God.

Matthew 5:30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

It was by grace that God spoke to my friend and myself in a dream. However, what if He had not warned me, where would I be now? Especially, if I had made the decision solely on my emotions, feelings and the pressures around me. Not compromising my faith resulted in shame, pain, disgrace and losing someone very dear to me. I am thankful for this, as it was all temporary and in the long run has given me honour.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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Hebrews 10:26-27 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.


Compromising your faith- prayer

  • My prayer for us today is that God will forgive us for all the times we have compromised our faith one way or another. May God forgive us for when we have taken His grace for granted. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
  • Let us repent for when we put our own desires before His and for the times we have been disobedient. May God forgive us for the times we have tried to please man and disappointed God. Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
  • May God give us the strength and grace to overcome the daily battles we face and not to give into the ways of this world. May He teach us to be selfless and let His ways be our ways. John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less
  • May God forgive us for all the times we have been ashamed of doing His will and tried to blend into the ways of this world. Luke 12:8-9 I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God
  • May He continue to empower us as His children and remain courageous and bold to fight the good fight of faith. Luke 9:23-26 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

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Why me?

1453022739779Why me? A question I repetitively asked myself throughout 2015. Everything that could possibly go wrong occurred. All that I feared happening in my life manifested. Why me? My prayers were not being answered the way I expected them to. Moreover, God was silent. Why me? Pain, grief, disappointmentFather where are you. Perhaps this was punishment for my former sins or maybe I was born to live a life of hardship. Everyone around me was having breakthroughs and my journey was getting harder- Why me?

I then found encouragement in the book of Job. Job was a perfect, wealthy, upright man that feared the Lord (read Job 1). One day, God gave satan permission to intervene in Job’s life and cause affliction.

Job 1:6-12 “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger. ”Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

One would ask, why would God do or allow such a thing? Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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The conversation between satan and the Lord was beginning of Job’s misfortunes and affliction. Job lost his cattle, his children, his honour all at once (read Job 1). What amazed me is despite this occurring, Job continued to worship God (Job 1:20-22   At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing).

However, this led to the Lord allowing satan to afflict Job for a second time.

Job 2:3-10 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”  “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life. ”So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”  He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

However, this caused Job great pain and he repetitively cursed his existence on earth. Job 6:8-10 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life! Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

What did Job do to deserve great pain and hardship? In addition to this, he faced shame and even his own wife and friends rejected him during his time of calamity.

Job 19:13-20 “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

Although Job wallowed in self-pity, he did not curse God and Job passed the test of obedience

Job 7:20-21 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.

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God  promises us that we will reap more than we have lost; all to the glory of His name.

Job 8:7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.

And indeed after God’s purpose was fulfilled in Job’s life, He blessed Job with even more than He had lost out on.

Job 42:11-13 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.  He had also seven sons and three daughters.

When I made a list of the hardships I faced in 2015 and compared them to the affliction Job faced, it was incomparable. Let us ask God what lesson He is trying to teach us, what His plan and purpose is for the affliction, rather than complaining and dwelling in self-pity (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus).

Like Job, God knew that you would be able to handle the affliction, to pass the test He has set before you. He has placed a hedge of protection over you. No matter what hurdle comes into the path of His servant, you will jump over it victoriously. The book of Job also shows how powerless satan is, and that God Himself has the final say over your life.

Why you? Because God loves you and wants to use your life as a great testimony to others. Why You? Because God has installed greatness into you that will do wonders in His kingdom. Why You? Because you are His entrusted vessel who cannot be broken, and can withstand the challenges life offers. Why You? Because God was confident enough that you would overcome any misfortune that come your way. Why You? Because no plan of the enemy can destroy you, it only makes you stronger!!!

 

Trust God-not man

Trust God and not man. Easier said than done. The convenience of confiding in an individual with five senses, rather than a Father who at times is silent-inevitable. Trust in the unseen has to mastered in order to avoid misunderstandings, disappointments and paintotal surrender.

We place unrealistic expectations on humans, in particular vessels of God and are ‘stunned’ when they do not meet our “godly standards”. “If only the pastor could touch me, that would be the end of my problems”. “Did you hear about the pastor who slept with a member of the congregation?”. We thank God for pouring His spirit upon man and for the gifting’s He has blessed us with (Acts 2:17). However, just like the rest of us, vessels of God fall short and also have struggles. In fact, they need more prayers than we do.

It is becoming more evident that ungodly relationships are being formed within the body of Christ. Secret sexual relationships occurring between anointed vessels of God and other parties. Am I stunned? Not at all. Who is to blame? We all have a part to play. At times, men and women of God are unable to express their secret struggles- suffering in silence. Others have yielded to the pretense of being the ‘perfect Christian’ without flaws. Some are using their spiritual position to entice others, in particularly if one has not undergone deliverance before pursuing ministry. Many Christians desire a spouse that complements the ‘person on the pulpit’ whilst others fantasize of a lustful relationship with God’s anointed vessel. Others have been deceived by the anointed vessel.

Furthermore, the anointed man/woman of God may be dealing with more issues than you have knowledge of; hence why we need to turn to God first and not man. If God was to reveal to us what each and every man and woman of God was struggling with, you will realize that you are better of seeking matters directly with God. Does that mean that we should not seek after anointed people of God? No, not at all. But our primary trust should be in Christ Jesus and He should be the one we run to first. God wants to be your Father, confidant, your everything and will never disappoint you (Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”).

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Recently, an anointed man of God who does not personally know me told me that: “God told him I was his wife”. I immediately discernment his impure motives and indeed was offended by the pursuing: “How dare he, he’s supposed to be a man of God”. However, the Lord reminded me that we are spiritual beings, and have to deal with things in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”). And like any other human being, he also has shortfalls (Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”). By the grace of God, I put my emotions aside and  prayed for this man of God to be delivered from the spirit of lust and perversion and to pursue the ministry God has given Him in a righteous manner (Matthew 18:33 “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?”).

My prayer for us today is that God will teach us to fully surrender and trust Him and not man. May God be the one we go to when we are in need and may He guide and order our steps. Let us pray for the men and women of God in ministry that God will continue to protect them from the devourer. May we acknowledge that they are not supernatural but fellow humans and have flaws and make mistakes (Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins”). May God help us not to judge people of God when their sins are exposed(Romans 14:12-13So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way”).May God give them the grace to confess their sins to the Lord and be overcomers.

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Forgiveness after betrayal

Think back at a time in your life when you were betrayed. How did you feel? What type of emotions did you have towards the person who betrayed you? Did you love and embrace them? Did you forgive them? Are you still holding on to the pain in your heart? Recently, I found myself replaying these questions over and over again. I could just not grasp why someone so close to me would betray me- After everything I have done for her”. And even after repetitively declaring that “I had forgiven her”, the anger and bitterness did not fade. In fact, I felt justified to not forgive her or ever speak to her again.

The Lord then convicted me, and reminded me of His own betrayal. The people He loved, prayed for, and walked with  turned their backs on Him, and yet He was blameless. Peter was chosen by Jesus to walk with Him and be a disciple. He knew Jesus personally and witnessed Him proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing sickness and diseases (read the book of Matthew). Jesus even healed Peter’s mother in law (Matthew 8:14-15 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.  He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him).

Jesus declared a blessing over Peter’s life (Matthew 16:17-19 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”).

And Peter was privileged enough to witness supernatural encounters 

(Matthew 17:1-8 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him! ”When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.  But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus).

And after all this, Peter still denied Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man! Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly).

In addition to this, His other disciple Judas betrayed Him  (read the book of Matthew) and yet Jesus still referred to Him as His friend (Matthew 26:47-50 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”  Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come? ”Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him).

How many of us would love, embrace and forgive someone after encountering all this pain and hardship and still call them our friend? My prayer for us today is that God gives us the grace to be more Christ-like and have a more forgiving heart. Let our eyes be fixed on Him and not humans, who will let us down- as HE never will.

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Forgiveness after betrayal- prayer

Dear heavenly Father,

I thank You for this time and for allowing me to come into Your presence. I thank You for my life and that of my loved ones. Thank You that though I am a sinner, You still chose to love me. I repent of all the sins that I have committed, knowing and unknowingly. I pray that You will have mercy upon me. Father, there are many emotions I am feeling concerning the betrayal of (state the person’s name). My prayer is that You will help me to forgive him/her. Forgiveness does not come naturally, and I pray that You will give me the grace to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22). I pray that You will heal me from this experience and help me to let go. Teach me to fix my eyes on You and not on man. Help me to put my trust in You, knowing that You will not disappoint me. Help me to acknowledge that (state the person’s name) is human and not perfect. Thank You for allowing me to go through experience. I believe something good will come out of this. I pray for (state the person’s name) that You will forgive him/her and have mercy upon his/her life. I speak Your blessings over (state the person’s name) life and that You will meet his/her needs. I pray that I will embrace (state the person’s name) and see him/her the way You do. I come against any lie of the enemy, any spirit of unforgiveness, bitterness and anger in the name of Jesus. I pray that I will only declare blessings over (state the person’s name) and not curses. In Jesus name, AMEN.

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Seasonal people

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The year 2015 has been a year of rearrangement, growth and isolation for me during my Christian walk; in particular, concerning the people in my life. The Lord has rearranged my friendship circle, brought individuals who have helped me spiritually grow, and kept me isolated to spend more time with Him.

The discontinuity within friendships is never an easy one to comprehend: in particular, when God mysteriously removes people from our lives. One wonders: “Why would God remove this person? We have been friends forever”. These friends are seasonal and have fulfilled the purpose God had for them in your life. When this disconnection occurs, one may feel a number of negative emotions. However, remember that God knows what He is doing and sees ahead of time (Isaiah 46:10 “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please”). In addition to this, rearrangements allow us to move unto the next stage in our lives without hindrances.

Not long ago, I went through one of the most difficult seasons I have ever witnessed in my life. I was being tested in every area of my life and unable to cope. It was as if God was playing hide and seek with me and the trials and tribulations of this world had really gotten to me. I had not guarded my heart and the deceits of this world had started to creep in. I had gotten to a place where I was so overwhelmed and asked God to take me home (thank God He doesn’t answer all our prayers). But I remembered what Jesus did when the trials of this world got to Him (Mark 14:36 “Abba, Father, he cried out, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine).

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So I cried unto the Lord and asked Him to give me the grace to keep walking. And out of the blue, people started calling me saying that God had placed it unto their hearts to pray for me. Others had visions and dreams of my pain. These individuals were not my usual friends or people I would usually turn to in tough times. In fact, those people actually turned their back on me during this season. The individuals God sent were seasonal people, who helped me overcome the battles and pass the test.

Recently, I was not feeling too well and spent the day at the hospital. Unable to walk properly and in excruciating pain, I decided to download the UBER app to take a taxi home. However, for some reason the app refused to fully download and kept freezing at 2%. I turned my phone on and off, sat in various positions to get reception (though I had full reception) and it refused to load. I decided to give up and cross the road and take a bus home. In the far distance, I saw a lady cross over the road and walk towards me. Upon arrival she said: “ Excuse me, the Lord has told me you are in pain and that I need to give you a lift home”. I was in so much shock “Could this really have been God?”. I decided to take the leap of faith and went along with her to her car. I sat next to her daughter who was about 7-8. I asked her what her name was and she said Vanessa Anne (my full name is Vanessa Annelies). At this moment it hit me that God was with me, in fact He never left!

I just want to encourage you today to keep pressing on and keep walking. Our Christian walk is packaged with many challenges, but God will always bring someone to pray for you or use them to show you that He is still with you. Thank God for the people He has brought, the people He has taken away and the seasonal people He is bringing to help you reach your destiny.

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Seasonal people – pointers

  • Do not be upset when people leave your life, they have fulfilled their purpose.
  • Allow God to rearrange your friendship circle, He knows what is best for you.
  • Do not look at people you have helped to stand there with you during difficult times. God will send His seasonal people to stand with You.
  • Periods of alone-time are good, it allows you to hear God’s voice more clearly and have an intimate relationship with God.
  • When times are tough, look unto God and not unto man (1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God).
  • People will always disappoint you, but God never will (Psalm 118:8-9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes).
  • Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life).
  • Focus on God and all things will fall into place (Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things).
  • You are not forgotten and God has placed you unto the hearts of His servants to intercede for you (Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ).
  • Ask God what He is trying to teach You in this season and ask Him help you to pass the test.
  • Strive to please God and not man. All other things will fall into place (Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you).Phonto (1)

God’s lost children

Amsterdam, one of the most diverse cities I have visited. The chaotic, dynamic, autonomous environment that keeps one’s eyes observant. The contrast between my childhood perspective and adult perception- incomparable. Growing up in a town 14 miles away from this city, going to Amsterdam with the family was an exciting treat. Walks along the canals, shopping on Kalverstraat, scrumptious roasted duck in China Town- memorable childhood memories. More than a decade later, my perspective changed. As I walked around with my childhood friend, we came across the forbidden fruit- the red light district. I had never visited this part of the town before, however the Holy Spirit prompted and directed my steps there. I did not understand why He would lead me into an area of ungodliness, but He whispered ‘pray of them’.

As me and my friend strolled around the district, my spirit saddened. Women were displayed as a mannequin through a see through window, with very little covering. At first I felt disgusted, and with my head down I was trying to comprehend what was going on. Why would one degrade themselves to this form of occupation? How can the society we live in allow this form of profession to be legalized? But then the Holy Spirit whispered and said “Those are my children, pray for them”. I felt convicted: who am I to judge them for being there? I don’t even know their story”. One thing that came to my mind was that, if God was to return today, what would He find us doing? Would we be prepared and ready? Would He be proud of the activities He finds us doing? Would I as a disciple, have done my best to help those who are lost?(Mark 13:32-33 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come”).

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The spirit of perversion is controlling the lives of many of God’s children. It is our duty as disciples to pray for lost souls, for the deliverance of those engaging in perverted activities and of course for ourselves (Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people”).

I encourage you today to stand with me in prayer for all the women and men all over the world engaging in sexual perversion. For the strongholds that have been capturing God’s children to be broken down and for there to be total liberation. May all God’s children know that when Jesus died on the cross, He died for them.

Let us also pray for ourselves, that where we are still short of God’s glory, for Him to have mercy upon us, deliver us and that on the day of judgement He will say to us Well done, good and faithful servant. When He comes back for His church, may He find us ready, blameless and without blemish in Jesus Name.

(2 Peter 3:11 “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him”).

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God’s lost children- prayers

Dear heavenly Father,

We thank You for our lives and for allowing us to come into Your presence. Before we ask You for anything, we repent of our sins and ask that You will forgive us and cleanse us with Your blood. Lord, we come to You in regards to the matter of sexual perversion. We come before You and bring every man and woman who has been struggling with perversion. Lord, we pray that You will deliver them from the hands of the devourer.

We pray that You will open the eyes of their understanding, that they will get to know You (Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe”).May they know that You bought them at a price and that they are worthy in Your eyes. We repent on their behalf and pray that You will transform their lives and use their testimonies to touch the lives of others. We pull down all strongholds of perversion holding Your children captive and we destroy them in Jesus name (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”).

I pray that You will remove any filthy garment, may You dress them in a garment of righteousness. I pray that You will remove any shame and bless them with honour. We declare, holiness, righteousness and purity over their lives and also upon our own lives. We pray that You will heal them from all pain, hurt, disappointment, and all other things that may be troubling them. We pray Lord, that on the day of Your return, Your children will be prepared (2 Peter 3:9-10 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare”).

We pray that in all areas worldwide where perversion has been ruling, that Your light will shine there. May fellowships, churches and places of worship be planted where there has been darkness. We also pray for our own lives, that where we have struggled with perversion that You will help us and that all our ways will glorify You. We also pray that Your hand of protection will be over our lives when we sleep and that no attack from the enemy shall prevail In Jesus Name. We thank You and believe that our prayer has been heard. AMEN.

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Dear heavenly Father,

I thank You Father for all You have done in my life and all You continue to do. Thank You for allowing me to see another day. It is by Your grace that I am still alive and I do not take it for granted (Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves”). Lord, I come before You and I repent of my sins; all that I have committed knowingly and unknowingly- have mercy. I pray Lord, that You will remove everything from my life that may be hindering me from entering Your kingdom, may You cut it off in Jesus name (Matthew 5:30 “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell”). Give us the grace to overcome the desires of this world and be righteous in Your sight.  I commit all my plans and ways to You, and that it will be pleasing in Your sight. I declare purity, holiness and righteousness over every aspect of my life in Jesus name. I pray Lord that on the day of Your return that You will find my garment without blemish (Ephesians 5:26-27 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”). I pray that I will be on guard daily, ready for your return.

I pray that on the Day of Judgment, You will say Well done, good and faithful servant”(Matthew 25:21). I pray that You will shield me from the spirit of perversion and that Your light will shine upon me all the days of my life. I thank You for it is done. In Jesus name AMEN.

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The matters of the heart

The matters of the heart, the unseen secrets that only the Lord is able to unveil. One can hide it from man, but not from the Lord. Our short falls, addictions and sinful nature- He sees them allIn this season of “waiting”, I asked God to search my heart, reveal all things I do that are not pleasing unto Him, and help me become a better person. When you are doing what God has ordained for you to do in life, the camouflage of perfection can be deceptive- “Since God speaks to me and is using me, I am guaranteed a place in heaven and I am living a righteous life”.

A few days ago, this became the manifestation of an answered prayer. I had a dream in which I saw a large crowd of people at a train station. This large group of people were heading towards a very long and broad road. I tried to squeeze myself into this road and walk with this crowd of people. There were so many people all of different ethnic backgrounds. As I journeyed with these people, I saw a friend of mine. He was walking together jezebel and smiling; no idea what his destination was (Revelation 2:20 “But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servant to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.  Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works”). 

It is then that I realized that this was the road to hell (Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it”).

I woke up and asked God for mercy and forgiveness. I interceded for my friend, all the people on the broad road and prayed for myself. One will ask,” I try to live a righteous life, I repent every day, why would I be on the road to destruction?”. Yesterday night this question was answered. I had a dream whereby the Lord brought me to a house and invited three guests. The first guest was a family member who I sincerely dislike based on their treatment towards me. The other two guests were people I do not particularly get on with well. As soon as they walked in, an emotional rage went through my spirit: detestation, hatred, bitterness, repulsion- God have mercy. The Holy Spirit then spoke to me and said “it is because of your unforgiveness” (1 John 1:9” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”). I woke up and started to ask God for mercy and the grace to forgive these people, unforgiveness does not come easily for me. I then started praying for them and their salvation (Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”). I then asked God to forgive me for my sinful nature (“Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”).

I didn’t realize how deep routed this unforgiveness was; hence why we need to ask God to search our heart (Jeremiah 17:10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve”).

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During my time in ministry, I have encountered many people who do not want know the truth, and will only acknowledge positive revelations from the Lord. I remember once praying with a friend, (the one whom I saw walking with jezebel in my dream). God was revealing the need for him to turn away from his sinful nature of sexual immorality and repent; as well as revealing positive revelations. He insulted me for mentioning the sexual immorality, but embraced the positive revelations (Isaiah 30:9-10 “For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction, They say to the seers, “See no more visions! and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions”). People need to understand that God reveals our sinful nature to redeem us because He loves us. He wants all His children to join Him in eternity. There is no sin greater than the other, sin is sin!. It’s easier to spot an imperfection on another and judge, but what is inside of you? (Matthew 7 :1-6“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”).

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My encourage you today to ask God to search your heart, reveal all things you do that are not pleasing unto Him, and help you become a better person. We all fall short, each and every one of us. Let us not become comfortable in our daily lives, thinking because we are “saved” we will go to heaven. We need to be on a guard at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 “for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief”). Doing God’s work does not guarantee you heaven, all the spiritual gifts He has given us are by grace and not works. We still need to live a just life and strive to be Christ-like (Luke 13:22-30 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.  Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved? ”He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us. ’“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’“ There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.  People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”). My prayer for you is boldness; that even when the Lord reveals your faults, you will embrace the revelation, repent, and strive to overcome.

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Blessed are the broken hearted

In this life journey, we have all had our hearts broken at some point in our lives. The emotional feeling when you think your world is coming to an end accompanied with an endless atrocious pain. The aching heart which manifests as if it’s about to physically erupt- consolation is unable heal the broken heart. One will wonder, where is God and why has He allowed such a thing to happen to me? Or perhaps it is all entirely my fault? What could I have done to avoid this situation?

Two months ago, I found myself asking God these questions. A close friend of mine had sadly passed away from adrenal cortical carcinoma. We all know that death is inevitable, yet when it occurs the shock is unexpected and unbearable- irony (Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return”). I remember 6 months ago when I found out about her illness. I went before the Lord and prayed and had a captivating vision. I saw a white room, glowing with light and a white coffin in the middle. I started contemplating whether I had really seen this or whether this was my imagination. But deep in my heart I knew this was confirmation that it was her time to be with the Lord. Dazzled with emotions, I continued praying for her and believed God for her healing (Psalm 77:14” You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples”). Whenever I spoke to her, she was weak but joyful, anticipating on when we would see each other again. We planned all the activities we would do, and reminisced on old memories. Up until the very end, she was positive, knowing that the Lord would heal her from this unpleasant condition. I had planned to see her, and although she was 4000 miles away, I knew I would get there in time to spend time with her and physically pray with her. My deepest heart desire for her was that God would use her as a vessel to show His healing power, and to bring more people to the Lord- for it to be evident that the miracles that occurred during the days of the apostles are still very much a alive. 6 days before my departure, she passed away. I was devastated and even now at times when I remember her it brings tears to my eyes- Gone too soon! I was disappointed and sorrowful, with many unanswered questions. “God, If in Your word it says that “..by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5),why did you not heal her and let her live?”. 

Sometimes our prayers are not answered in the way in which we want them to be answered (Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD”). However, God has a way of manifesting His mighty power in all situations. My friends’ medical condition made headlines throughout the nation and disseminated to communities within the diaspora, as well as on social media. Worldwide people were praying for her healing.  People sympathized with her and donated financial funds towards her medical treatment. The day before her death, a car wash fundraising campaign was launched in which over £20,000 was raised to aid her treatment. Her departure touched the lives of many.

I have come to understand that although we plan things in our life, God already knows our beginning and ending (Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega-the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come-the Almighty One”). It is His desire for us to join Him after we have completed our purpose on earth and live in eternal joy (John 14:4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going”).

When a loved one leaves us, whether it is in a relationship or to be with the Lord, it leaves a hole in our heart that only the Lord is able to fulfill. Its very easy to praise and thank God when we get what we want and when we are joyful; but what about in disheartening, sorrowful, disappointing times? (“1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”). My prayer for you today is that regardless of the kind of heartbreak you are going through, God still loves you and has an amazing plan for you. The fact that you are still alive shows that you still have an impact to make on this earth and have a bright future ahead. It is always hard to say goodbye to a loved one and there are many unanswered questions. But there is always something to be thankful for- always!

In the loving memory of RN, miss you loads xxx

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       Blessed are the broken-hearted- prayer

Dear Lord,

I thank You for today and for the amazing plans You have for me. I thank You because the joy of the Lord is upon my lips and I am blessed and highly favoured. Father, I come before You because of (state situation). Lord, my heart is heavy and I am in pain: spiritually, physically and emotionally. Father, You see all that I have gone through and know You are with me, I am not alone. I pray that during this time you will be my source of strength (Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”). I pray that you will help me to understand that everything I go through in life has a beautiful ending. I may not understand it now but pray that You will heal me and help me to forget about this experience. Help me to forgive all those who have hurt and disappointed me.  I pray that You will bring the right people in my life that will encourage, uplift, love and bring joy to my life. Anyone that is not meant to be in my life, I cut them off in the name of Jesus. Restore me O Lord, renew my strength and help me to continue to run the race of faith. I pray that You will carry any burden I may be carrying (Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”). Help me to put all my trust in You and remember that man will disappoint me but You never will. I thank you for I believe my prayer has been answered. AMEN.

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Prayer of healing (bereavement)

I thank You for this time, I thank You for today, I thank You for the wonderful plans that You have for my life. I thank You for waking me up today, for allowing me to see another day. I do not take this for granted (Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves”). Father, although my heart is heavy right now, I know it is pleasing to You to praise and thank You even in our lowest moments. My prayer for today is that you will heal me from the pain I am encountering because of the death of my loved one (Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”). It is difficult to know that I will not see this person again and that they are gone forever. Whenever I think about them, it brings such sorrow and sadness and words cannot explain how I feel. I pray that during this time You will comfort me and be my strength (Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”). May you strengthen my family and that of (state the persons name). May I acknowledge that this was Your perfect will and that nothing happens without You allowing it. I thank you for allowing (state the persons name) to fulfill their earthly purpose and for being a blessing to my life. Help me to hold on to the precious moments I had with (state the persons name) and pray that they have joined You in eternity, a place without pain, sadness and sorrow. Help me to move on forward with my life and fulfill the purpose you have for me on earth. AMEN   

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