Tag Archives: encouragement

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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Fifth time lucky

Seventeen, an age most teenagers in the UK anticipate turning one day. It is the year one becomes eligible to apply for a provisional driving licence. Less than a decade ago, this was me. I had fantasized about the way my driving test would go; moreover I envisioned my first car. Never did I anticipate that it would have taken much longer for this vision to materialize.  

I was the first one out of my group of friends to start driving lessons, and ended up being the last to obtain my full driving licence (Matthew 20:16 “In the same way, the last will be first, and the first will be last, because many are called, but few are chosen”). As much as I prayed, believed, fasted and anointed myself with oil, I just kept failing. I didn’t understand how someone who was trying to do things “God’s way” could not pass a simple driving test. It was disheartening and embarrassing. At one point, I started to doubt where God was: “God, if You are there, surely You will help me pass my driving test”. I quoted scriptures but it just wasn’t working.I stopped believing in myself and my faith was low.  

The Lord kept sending messengers and dreams my way encouraging me that I would pass my driving test. I questioned God and wondered whether He could see my current situation, the self-doubt, shame and the money I was investing into this “thing”. I would pray for people and they would pass their driving test, yet I kept failing. I just didn’t understand why God would allow such a thing to happen. Many people continued to ask me whether I had passed yet or how many times I had failed. I would usually change the subject – I felt humiliated and disheartened.

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I gave up on “trying” to pass my driving test and surrendered it to God. I said to Him “In Your timing you will allow me to obtain my licence”. That was two years ago. A few months ago, my friend Gladys encouraged me to take up driving again. She continued to motivate me to take a leap of faith and that this time around I would pass. Then three months ago, my prayer partner said God had shown him that I needed a car for ministry purposes and that the time had come to take the test. All the previous emotions started to come back to me: fear of failure, shame, discouragement, financial loss. But I knew I had to face my fears, and surely if this time round God had sent His messengers, He would not allow me to fail (Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”).

With the little faith I had, I took the driving test. After the test, the examiner gave me my practical driving test pass certificate. In disbelief, I asked him whether he was sure I had passed. He responded “Oh ye of little faith”. At that moment I knew that God was with me all along (Matthew 17:20 “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you”).

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We all have things in our hearts we deeply desire and we are wondering where God is. I want to encourage you today, that regardless of how your current situation looks, Jesus is still on the throne and has not forgotten about you! If God has promised you that something will happen, there is nothing satan can do – it has to come to pass (Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry”).

I have learnt in life that we cannot compete with God, He knows what is best for us even when we cannot comprehend why particular things happen to us. Only God knows why He allowed me to take this long to obtain my licence. Perhaps He foresaw a car accident? Only He knows (Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”).

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One thing I know is that He always wants the best for His children (Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”). This experience has taught me to fully surrender to God, be patient and not be ashamed of my scars. You never know who you will inspire with your testimony. A Christian sister asked me today “How could you openly tell people you have failed your driving test 5 times, that’s embarrassing!”. I would rather be honest and give all the glory to God than pretend I failed once or twice. 

Let us thank God for the things He does for us. It may not be at the time we wish things to occur but it will still happen.

Fifth time lucky – prayer 

Dear heavenly Father,  

I thank You so much for this time Lord. I thank You that although at times I may feel forgotten, You never forget about me. I thank You for my life and for the fresh grace and mercy You pour upon my life daily (Lamentations 3:22-23 “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning). Father, today I bring before you (state your heart’s desire). Lord You know how much I desire to see this come to pass. I have tried everything humanly possible to make things happen, but things have failed. People have laughed at me, in fact I feel humiliated. I pray Lord that in Your perfect timing this thing will manifest. Give me the grace to be patient and await Your perfect timing. Help me to be at rest and for Your peace to dwell in my heart (Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”). Help me not to envy others but know that You are in control of this situation. I thank You in advance that this will happen, all for Your glory. In Jesus name I pray AMEN

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