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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)

A prayer of healing

Can God really heal? I pondered on this question for most of my Christian life. Are the testimonies we see were people “proclaim” they were healed by the Holy Spirit real? Is the same God who healed in the biblical days still able to perform miraculous healings? One will never know the answers until they fully surrender healing to the Lord.

I prayed but the person still died, why didn’t God heal them? (Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD). In such situations, we thank the Lord that the individual has received eternal life and no longer has to suffer on earth.

Phonto

During the early days of my Christian walk, my father (see the blog post: Rejected but not forgotten) was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was a very difficult time for me as I had just entered into adolescence and had only met him once at the age of 8. Growing up, I had a lot of resentment towards him for not playing an active role in my upbringing. I never expected that the next time I would see him that he would be lifeless using an oxygen mask. A few days prior to his operation, he called me and said “Vanessa, you are still so young and I didn’t see you grow up. I am not sure I will make it through this operation”. I remember spontaneously responding: “daddy you will be fine”. After the operation, we were informed that my father’s operation was successful and the tumour was removed.

However, he was in a coma and on life support. I was in the Netherlands at the time on holiday and my family took me to Universität zu Lübeck, Germany where he was. I remember seeing him for the second time after 6 years: tubes around his face and wearing an oxygen mask. I remember touching him and thanking God he was still warm and alive. I never knew that the next time I would see him; he would be in this kind of state. After the visit, my family sat me down and told me I needed to be strong and explained that the doctors where planning on taking him off life support the following week.

I remember thinking to myself: I refuse to be fatherless at this age, I want to have peace with my father. I want to forgive him, get to know him and give our relationship another chance”. At that point, I went on my knees, I don’t exactly remember the words I uttered. But I begged God not to take him. I grew up having a lot of bitterness  towards him for not being an active person in my life. I asked God to forgive me. My only prayer was that he would wake up, and that God would allow me to get to know him. I didn’t want my father to pass away without me ever knowing him. I never told anyone I said that prayer until recently. However, God was faithful and my dad woke up from his coma the following day and they took him off life support.

We went back to Universität zu Lübeck, and it was amazing seeing my father alive: talking, smiling and saying how tall I had become. Three years later, God fulfilled my prayer request and my father asked me if I could come and stay with him and get to know him. I stayed with him for 10 months. Less than a year after that, he passed away. I will always be grateful to God that He allowed me to get to know my father. It was not the most pleasant experience but it allowed me to fill a gap in my heart that I had desired for all my life. Also, I thank God for being merciful for extending his life for 5 extra years after the brain tumour- all glory to Jesus.

If there is a loved one you are believing God for to heal, don’t give up. Surrender them to the Father, He is still able. However, also acknowledge that it is His desire for us to join Him in heaven and that the greatest prayer You can pray for their salvation.

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A prayer of healing

Dear heavenly Father,

I thank You for everything that You have done in my life and continue to do. Thank You for waking me up today, for I know it was by Your grace. I come before You and repent of my sins. I repent for the sins I have committed knowingly and unknowingly. I pray that You will cleanse me with Your blood and forgive me. Today, I bring before you (state the persons name). Lord, I know that is Your desire for good things to happen in our lives (Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end). I pray Lord, that You will heal (state the persons name) in the name of Jesus. For in Your word it states that by Your stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). I pray today that Your healing power will manifest in (state the persons name) and that they will testify of your goodness in the land of the living. I pray for (state the persons name)’s salvation, that they will acknowledge You as their Lord and saviour. I pray that You will deliver them from the hand of the enemy and may Your angels protect them from all evil. I speak Your favour over (state the persons name)’s life. I also pray that Your perfect will be done in (state the persons name)’s life and may it be all for Your glory. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN

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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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The favour of Esther

A few nights ago, I had dream which inspired me to write this blog. In this dream, I was in a chaotic environment whereby women were oppressed, abducted, and held captive for no reason. The Lord was next to me; instructing and guiding me about how to prevent getting caught by the “bad guys”. He was my protector, and I watched other women get caught and taken away. Then He disappeared, and I was spotted and taken away. I was taken into a camp and met other women who informed me about the conditions they had been living in and that I would not be released or ever see my family again. The head of the notorious group of abductors walked towards me in an intimidating way. As he conversed with me, it ended up that we had mutual friends and the conversation flowed positively. The outcome was that he told the guards to release me and I was free to leave. I had favour.

After pondering over the dream, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and the favour of Esther came to my heart. Esther is one of the most influential women stated in the bible (read the book of Esther). She was a Jew; an unlikely candidate that rose from an orphan to a queen and a heroine of an entire nation. She was raised by her cousin, Mordecai, who helped position her into her destiny. Esther was a woman of obedience, humility, faith and courage. She knew who she was in God, she knew her purpose and knew what the power of God was able to do. God uses the story of Esther to show us how He is able to change a dreadful story into a glorious ending. The favour of God ensured that an orphan was ordained to be a queen to save the Jews from eradication (Esther 3:13 “Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods”). Esther was not dismayed nor discouraged about the current situation and was willing to sacrifice her life for what she believed God was able to do (Esther 4:16-“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish”).

Esther obtained supernatural favour from her husband (king Ahasuerus)- the most influential person in the land, which helped her to accomplish her purpose (Esther 7:2 “On this second occasion, while they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “Tell me what you want, Queen Esther. What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half the kingdom!”). Esther was selfless and her request for the Jews to be spared was granted. God is able to positon us in places of favour, allow us to have favour with individuals and honour us for things we have not worked for (Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart”). The beauty of the story of Esther is that God did not only favour Esther and saved the Jews; He also favoured her cousin (Esther 8:1-2” On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had disclosed what he was to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman”). It shows that if we follow God’s purpose for our life, He also remembers our desires and blesses us beyond our human understanding (Luke 12:31 “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you”). Even those who do not wish us well will see the favour of the Lord flourish over our lives (Esther 8:5-7”and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favour in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen? Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews”).

We all have situations whereby we need Gods divine intervention and God’s favour. It could be for a job interview,promotion, business deal, with a loved one, exams etc. My prayer for you today is that the favour of Esther will manifest in what your heart desires- all to the glory of God.

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The favour of Esther- prayer

Dear heavenly Father,

I thank you for today and for all you have given me. I come before you as a sinner and ask for you to forgive me for all the sins I have committed- knowingly or unknowingly. Thank you for not giving up on me and for still counting me as worthy. I come before you because of (state the situation). I pray for the favour of Esther to manifest into this situation. Lord, I acknowledge that I cannot do anything without you and that all I have is because of your mercy (John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”). I pray Lord for your favour that things will work out for my good and will be effortless. I pray that you will go before me and give me favour with (state the situation). I also pray for unexpected favour in areas which I least expect it. I pray that you will bring the right people into my life that will help me with (state the situation). I pray that during this time, you will give me the faith, courage, humility and obedience of Esther. Help me to fully surrender this situation to you knowing that you are in control. I pray that through your favour you will take me to levels that I cannot obtain in my own strength (Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men”).AMEN

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The favour of Esther- spouse/partner

Dear Lord, I thank you for my spouse, for their lives and for bringing them into my life. I bring my spouse before you Lord and pray that you will bless them with the favour of Esther. I pray for favour to manifest at their workplace, in their family, with friends and all aspects of their lives. I pray that unexpected favour will meet them today. I pray for myself, that I will have supernatural favour with my spouse. I pray that as Esther had favour with the king, I shall also reap the same favour. I pray that whatever petition I bring to my spouse that is pleasing unto to, I will have favour with. I pray that my spouse will put me first and the matter of our household. I pray that my spouse will not be selfish but remember my needs and happiness. I pray that my spouse will think about me in the area of finance. I pray that as I speak to my spouse about (state the situation) I will have favour with him. May the outcome of my situation be positive, all to Your glory also pray for the favour of Esther with my spouses’ family and friends (Isaiah 28:29 “All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent).

 

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The favour of Esther- workplace/ financial breakthrough

Dear Lord,

I thank you for today, I thank you for my job, for provision and for financial blessings (Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it“). I thank you that you have gone before me and made my path prosperous. I thank you for levelling any mountain that was ahead of me. Today, I believe I am blessed and highly favour. I pray into the favour of Esther, that I will be favoured at work. I will have favour with my colleagues and with my manager. I pray for a promotion and a financial increase, knowing that all things are possible through Christ Jesus. I thank you because the works of my hands are blessed.  I also pray for my family members that you will show them favour in all aspects of their lives, as you did with Mordecai and Esther. I pray that even in my area of work, that I will be a blessing. I pray for all those at my work place, that whatever circumstance is troubling them, that you will turn this situation around for them. Use me as your vessel in the workplace to show your unconditional love. I also pray that you will give me wisdom on how to increase my finances (“James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”). I am believing you for a financial increase and thank you for this in advance (Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”). Amen

 

Rejected but not forgotten

 Rejection, the big letter R word that no woman wants to be reminded of. The thrilling feeling accompanied with pain and shame. It’s a feeling which makes you feel devalued, unwanted and worthless. Having dealt with rejection at various stages in my life, the question which always came to mind is: was I not good enough? The first person to reject me was my father. From conception until the age of 9, he was nowhere to be seen. I was too young to understand why he was not there, but how do you miss something you never had? The longing and desire for a father grew by seeing my other friends with their daddies at the playground, daddy buying them their first barbie or sitting on daddies lap. Rejection robbed me of those experiences and many more.

It was not until the age of 9 when the opportunity came to meet the mystery man. I was full of excitement and anticipation. The big day came, I wore my best dress, had my biggest smile, but the mystery man did not show up. Uncontrollable tears fell down my cheek, and I told my aunt: “my daddy doesn’t love me”. As much as my aunt tried to console me, no words were able to fill that painful void. Two weeks later, the mystery man appeared; much taller than I expected, but his smile and hug made up for all the lost time and tears. At last, I was loved.

 It was not until 5 years later after the first meeting that I saw the mystery man again. At this point in my life, teenage emotions of rage and disappointed had subconsciously taken over. The communication had deteriorated and promises were never fulfilled, rejection eating me up inside. The question came back: was I not good enough? By this time he was unwell, in a coma on life support. I was remorseless and cold-hearted, in fact perhaps this was God’s way of punishing him for rejecting me. Nevertheless, I took the courage and went to his hospital bed. There he was, lifeless. I remember praying and asking God to wake him up and I promised that if he did, I would try to build a relationship with the mystery man and forgive him for all the pain he caused me. The next morning, he woke up and his smile and hug made up for all the lost time and pain. At last, I was loved.

Three years of occasional phone calls and emails went by, until one day he asked for me to move in with him. At last, after 17 years of waiting my daddy finally wanted me. Finally, I was good enough! Little did I know that those 10 months would be the worst months of my life and that I would feel emptier than ever. Rejection at its highest peak, a bleeding heart which was unsewable.

Piercing words which one can never take back, “pack you things and get out of my house”, “you are not my daughter”, “I don’t care if I don’t ever see you again”, have haunted me even in my adult life. Again the repetitive song came back again but in another format: why I am I not good enough? The discrete DNA test for me was the peak of pain and rejection. Our mirroring resemblance was not enough, he wanted biological proof. “The alleged father is not excluded as the biological father of Vanessa N. Based on the testing results obtained from the analyses of the DNA loci listed, the probability of paternity is 99.9%”. There was no apology or remorse. Vowing to fully disconnect from the mystery man, I tried to move on with my life; nevertheless the pain was unbearable. People say that time heals, but I believe it was a wound only the Lord was able to heal. Eight months later, he passed away. There I was at 19, empty, in pain and fatherless. This time he left me for good, never to return- rejection.

                                

The most important thing I have learnt from my experience with my father is that only the Lord can fully satisfy and love us unconditionally. Does that mean that we don’t need people in life? Yes we do. But people will always disappoint us in one way or another (Ecclesiastes 7:20-21 “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. Also do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you”)

One mistake us humans make is to allow humans to determine our worth and value. We forget that Jesus Himself paid a price that no human being is able to ever pay for us (1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sin in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed”)

When we take a look at the bible, there was a lady called Leah (read Genesis 29) who was rejected by her father. Her father devalued her worth and beauty and gave her away unjustly. In addition to this, she was rejected by her husband. At times, us women hope that our husbands will be able to fill the void of rejection we received from our father, and forget that our husbands are humans- imperfect just like us. Only God is able to fully satisfy us. As much as Leah tried, no amount of ‘trying to please’ her husband changed his view towards her. The blessings God gave her did not sustain her because she was focused on making her husband love her. It was not until she turned to the Lord full-heartedly that she found the joy, love and comfort she was looking for.

(Genesis 29:31-35 “When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing”)


Things I have learnt from being rejected:

  • Know who you are, be firm in your identify – do not allow a human to define this for you (Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”)
  • The enemy can use the people closest to you to destroy your life (1Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”)
  • As a follower of Christ you will face rejection at some point in your life (2 Timothy 2:3 “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus”).
  • God allows us to go through situations to build character in us (Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”)
  • Only God is able to fully heal you from pain and give you the grace to forgive (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”)
  • Christ Himself was rejected by mankind (Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem”

 


Daily declaration

  •  I thank you God because when you created me, it was not by mistake but You had and still have a good purpose for my life
  • I am still alive because the future ahead is bright, regardless of my current situation
  • Reveal yourself to me, I desire a deeper relationship with You
  • Show me Your hidden mysteries through dreams and visions
  • Give me wisdom on how to be a woman of impact in this current generation
  • Mould be into a virtuous woman and a role model to other women
  • I am blessed and highly favoured wherever I go
  • I declare a legacy of faith over my life
  • I take authority over any generational curses in my lineage and declare victory over them
  • Reveal anything that I may have done that has displeased You, knowingly or unknowingly

Philipians 4:6-7


Prayer of healing

Dear Lord,

I thank You for today, for my life, for the lives of my family members and for good health (Psalm 118:1 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever”). Thank You for waking me up today, You have decided to spare me because You still have good plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future). Thank You for loving me, although I fall short daily of your expectations, You have not deserted me (Romans 3:23 ” for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”). Father, You are a loving and merciful dad, You have seen all the rejection I have gone through. People have pained, emotionally and physically. These are wounds only You are able to heal me (Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”). People have abandoned, rejected, despised and hurt me. God, heal these wounds with Your precious blood. You have seen every tear I have shed, You have seen the shame I have endure. I pray You will help me to forget about this experience. Erase the pain from the past for my life. I come against any spirit of rejection in my life and my in family lineage and I speak favour in Jesus name. I pray God that You will give me the grace to forgive, this does not come natural to me. I pray for those who have rejected me, that you will change their hearts and may salvation be their portion. I pray that you will fill any emptiness I may feel and that I will not look at any person/thing to fill this void. I pray God that in my marriage, it will be full of peace and joy and be content with the person You have given me. In Jesus precious name I pray, AMEN