BECOMING FREE

Psalm 118:5 “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.”

 

One woman finds her heart-felt freedom in gardening. Another woman finds her freedom on her bicycle. A man says that he finds soul freedom riding his motorcycle on backcountry roads.

 

What is your way to find freedom within your soul?

 

How can you make it more lasting, beyond the freeing short-term activity?

 

The road to freedom does not mean infringing the rights of others; it is finding that personal inner road that leads to a freeing sense of self, totally focused on being one with God.

 

Songwriter and singer Charlie Daniels wrote:

 

A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.

 

Do you feel free right now? This is a great day for beginning the road to personal freedom. Right now, this very moment, is an exciting moment in the history of our lives IF we choose to make it so. We choose to walk with God and not be held down captive, and enslaved by our problems.

 

H. L. Mencken said, “I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that humans have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of a human can flourish only in free air………”

 

So we celebrate our inner freedom today from oppression and limitations, so we can grow and change and develop as a spiritual people. We love to experience all the things God has already provided for us. We cannot do that if we are not thinking freely—if we find ourselves in bondage, if we are holding ourselves back or limiting ourselves.

 

In John 8:31, Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

 

The spiritual truth is that you have God with you every moment of the day and night, that knowledge and awareness will make you free.

 

Let’s define freedom. Do we think freedom means we can do anything we want to do? We have heard people say, “This is my life and I’ll live it as I please! You can’t tell me what to do with my life. I’m a free person. How dare you try to limit me?” I can remember hearing teenagers say something similar.

 

Frederick Douglass wisely said, “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”

 

Think of the story of the prodigal son. The son said, “I want to be free. Give me my inheritance so I can go about my own business and do what I want to do.” [paraphrased]

 

As the biblical story goes on, we read about all the mistakes that this son made, UNTIL he came to realize the truth. He was not free but enslaved with gluttony of power. Giving it all up (at least the struggle) and going home created his personal freedom.

 

Gandhi spoke these words, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.”

 

Human life does make mistakes, and that is okay as long as we learn from those mistakes, correct our course direction, and rise higher. That is our progression toward freedom.

 

Many times, we see freedom as the opportunity to spread our wings and express our own individual, personal self, irrespective of where it takes us, and no matter what it means to us. A person, being paroled from prison, might say that he or she is now free. Of course he/she is free; he/she is no longer incarcerated and can move about the nation, and do the things he/she could not do while in prison.

 

Adolescents, leaving home for the first time, surely, could say they are free. Can you identify with that? I could. When I was young, I knew I was ready to go and I said, “I’m free.” My father and mother didn’t know nearly as much as I wanted them to know. (It’s amazing that, as I became older, they became wiser.)

 

There are times in our lives, especially in our early years, when we want to do our own thing, so we say, “I want freedom. I want to get out of this house. I want to do my own thing. I want to make my own mistakes.”

 

As the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, surely, they must have felt free from the bondage they experienced in Egypt. Truly, they felt free.

 

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

 

I want to give you a working definition of freedom. Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you. Freedom is a quality or state of being without thought or restraint, bondage, limitation or repression, having a sense of complete well-being. It is the result of regulating one’s life according to Divine principle—not according to what anyone else may think or say. Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people receive when accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior; and people are as free as they want to be.

 

We can be free from bondage, and we can be free from what is known as slavery. Let me give you a working definition of bondage: Undue attachments to thoughts in lower personal consciousness (or another way to say it -in our limited thoughts).

 

John 8:36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

 

Now let me give you a definition of God’s Truth: God’s Truth – That which is, has been, and always will be; the straight and narrow path on which our Holy Spirit directs. That which harmonizes with God’s Divine standard.

 

“You shall know the truth and that truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

 

In the past, we have found ourselves in bondage. We can be in bondage for so long that we get used to it. We’ve always acted a certain way. We’ve been limited, so we get accustomed to being limited. It’s like being in a prison cell and not knowing that we are in a cell, and not knowing that the door to that cell is unlocked. We stay there, exist there, and function there, not knowing we can change and do wonderful things with our lives.

 

Often the one thing that is missing is that wonderful personal relationship with God.

 

There is an innate desire in each of us. It is like God knocking at our door saying, “Listen, My child. I’m here! You think you have it made now. If you put your hand in My hand, I’ll show you things you haven’t even dreamed of. Come to Me now. I will open up the windows of heaven and pour you out blessings.

 

Freedom is not being free to do the things we should not do. Freedom is doing the things that are in our best interest, and the best interest of God and others. We are free to actually live, move, and express ourselves as a child of God. That’s the freedom we have!

 

The life we thought was so great is nothing compared to the life we have available to us now. We can have a wonderful relationship with God. We can feel the whole Spirit of God active in our life. Nothing in the past has ever been greater, and nothing ever can be. This is it.

 

“None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.” Pearl S. Buck

 

We can change NOW. Freedom lies in being bold. We can redirect our thoughts and actions, right now, at this moment. Would you like to do that? Would you like to look at a new approach to your life and experience more freedom? Would you?

 

Pray and ask for guidance and strength. When we want to redirect our lives, when we really want to move beyond the status quo, when we want to make a drastic, dramatic, definite change in our lives, we need help. We, definitely, need God’s perfect help.

 

When I say God and I are one, I want it to be a real experience. So I ask God to have His way in me now. We need strength and courage to break any habit or any pattern.

 

Only you can say what you are imprisoned and chained to.

 

The bold step is to take the change one day at a time. Persistent constant progress is what we are looking for instead of many starts and stops. With God’s help even the turtle crosses the finish line and many times wins the race. If we want to be free, we have to be patient with ourselves and take it one step at a time. Look at the Israelites. They took forty years and moved ahead patiently (well, kind of patiently). I’m not saying it’s going to take us forty years—it could be much sooner. The forty years for us could be just any amount of time moving toward our freedom. The less we resist, the quicker will be the results. We must take it one day at a time, and sometimes, we must take it one moment at a time, or one hour at a time.

 

Study about God’s Truth and the fact that we are all children of God. We are all free, and God is the Source, and everyone else in our lives are channels.

 

Give thanks every single day of your life; thank God that you are free and unlimited now.

 

Let’s have a moment of prayer.

 

Thank You, God, for the Truth. We know the Truth, and the Truth is that we were not created to be limited. We were not created to experience sickness, poverty, habits or addictions that hold us back. We are free, God, to see Your good and to work toward that perfect Good, and to see and experience the good in others in our world. We are free to be optimistic. As this day continues and as our lives unfold, our commitment to You and to ourselves is to rise to that higher level of understanding, action, and interaction, whereby this freedom that we are will become an everyday experience that always leads us to the ultimate truth that is You.

 

Thank You, God. In Jesus Christ’s name. . .Amen.

 

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UNCOMMON MAN/WOMAN

“Your step will not be hampered.” Proverbs 4:12

 

 

We change and humanity also changes by moving from the old responsibilities or burdens to new ones. Humanity changes by turning from the weight of old ways and habits to building on that of spiritual growth. Individually and collectively as one people under God’s leadership, we must proceed down this path.

 

 

100 years ago it was a common belief held by the so-called elite of America, “that there were only about 400 people in all of America worth knowing.” ( guess the rest of us would have been “deplorables” – ha ha)

 

 

The writer of this period, however, O Henry, believed that each person in society was worth knowing and had a story to tell. His classic story “The Gift of the Magi” has its theme in each person giving his most prized possession for their love of the other. We are giving our most prized possession, all of our days of our lives, in exchange for the future, in the strong hope of becoming all that we may become.

 

 

100 years ago, there was a strong belief called “a good first footer,” saying that many people were willing to pay for the “right” first footer on the first day of a new year. The first person to walk across your doorstep on that first day of the new year was called the first footer. He would be hired to appear at the exact time so as to not trust fate, to bring misfortune for the whole year.

 

 

Let’s think about that idea or tradition (regardless of how ludicrous it might sound) for a minute. Do we stand poised on the threshold of a spiritual frontier? May this Bethel and our prayers and messages be our own first footer to walk across our doorsteps into our own new positive future. God is already walking ahead of us preparing our way of good.

 

 

Jesus Christ holds to the all-inclusive belief that each person has worth and value. His prayer is that each person rise above the lacks and limitations of their past to an innate knowing of their worth and value.

 

 

There is a verse in the Bible that has great power concerning our life. Matthew 16:19. Jesus says: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

 

 

Jesus is talking directly to us as we spiritually walk toward our future, through these pages of our Bible.

 

 

It is as if He came up to you in a vision and said, “I’m going to give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” You would know that you had something incredibly powerful working in your life. And you do.

 

 

It’s for all of us. It crosses religious lines and theology of people. It is the Truth about all humankind.

 

 

We have been given the keys.  And this key is in our prayer time.

 

When you pray, what do you decide to bind to yourself? When you pray with a belief, with a knowing, without doubt, and you decide to have something in your life in your future, it’s going to be there.

 

 

There’s a great spiritual power that happens beyond our physical sight.

 

 

As humans, we sometimes focus on the negative. We think of ourselves being bound to our problems, tied to them where we can’t get loose. We try and we try, but we can’t do it. But what Jesus is telling us is that we are bound to our good, and our good is with us every day.

 

 

James 1:2-8: “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

 

 

Our mind can be a vessel of thoughts filled with God. Our mind can be the connecting place between us and God. Our mind is the place where God answers our prayers through direct inspiration, direct guidance and direct Divine ideas. In order for God to get something to us, God must get it through us.

 

 

And for God to get it through us, we must be an open channel as we have talked about before.

 

 

It may be a small little crack in the doubting dam that we have put up, it can be the size of a grain of mustard seed, but there must be a crack in our crusted over outdated ideas, consented to by our free will, for God’s good will to come through. If there is, then all can change, and all of the good of God can come to us. Everything can become anew, and our whole life is blessed by God.

 

 

You have spent your whole life waiting to get to this point in your personal history – most all of us have. When a couple gets married, they expect it to be the finest time of their lives, and it should be. But how about you? Right now should be the finest time in your life too. You’ve lived too many years; you’ve invested too much time, and you’ve been here too many weeks for it not to be.

 

 

What is happening outside of you, might appear a bit scary. We all have challenges. Let’s go beyond our outer challenges and enter through this spiritual doorway with an assurance of hope because we know we are not alone. If we accept the promises of Jesus Christ, we know that we are walking forward all the time to greater and greater good in our lives.

 

 

This was written by Herbert Hoover; he faced economic conditions worse than at any time, and while he did not solve them he certainly had the faith in the ability of the American people right.

 

 

This is called The Uncommon Man.

 

 

“In my opinion, there has been too much talk about the Common Man. It has been dinned into us that this is the Century of the Common Man. The idea seems to be that the Common Man has come into his own at last.

 

 

“Thus we are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which means a cult of mediocrity. But here is at least one hopeful sign: I have never been able to find out who this Common Man is. In fact, most Americans, and especially women, will get mad and fight if you try calling them common.

 

 

“This is hopeful because it shows that most people are holding fast to an essential fact in American life. We believe in equal opportunity for all, but we know that this includes the opportunity to rise to leadership — in other words, to be uncommon.

 

 

“Let us remember that the great human advances have not been brought about by mediocre men and women. They were brought about by distinctly uncommon people with vital sparks of leadership. Many of the great leaders were, it is true, of humble origin, but that alone was not their greatness.

 

“It is a curious fact that when you get sick you want an uncommon doctor; if your car breaks down you want an uncommonly good mechanic; when we get into war we want dreadfully an uncommon admiral and an uncommon general.

 

 

“I have never met a father and mother who did not want their children to grow up to be uncommon men and women. May it always be so. For the future rests not in mediocrity, but in the constant renewal of every phase of our life.”

 

 

And so it does. When you travel around this country you see statues of people. You see statues all the time, but these are never statues of common people. There are statues of people who have gone the extra mile, who have stepped out of their comfort zone, stepped out of mediocrity, and (I believe with God’s help) did something great.

 

 

May it be said of you, (beginning NOW), You have  become uncommon. There will be many around you who might say things negative about your future. You decide to become uncommon. There might be many around you who might say that because of your problems you just might as well accept your fate. But you stand up and become uncommon by walking through a spiritual doorway to God’s greater help.

 

 

There are many around you who are doomsayers. Doomsayers are common people. You’ll find thirteen in every dozen who will tell you the worst possible thing about your future. Don’t believe it. They are common people. You start to become uncommon when you say, “I can become better than my past, WITH GOD’S HELP!”

 

 

There’s one thing in this world of recycling that we cannot recycle. It’s the calendar. You can’t recycle the past. How we wish we could, but it’s impossible. But you can, by going into this whole new doorway of the spiritual future, stand up and decide to become more than you’ve ever become before.

 

 

Never go into any day, this day, or any future day alone. Realize that many times you are stretched way beyond your human limits. The past may have fatigued you, and you need greater strength than ever before. You have to allow God to help you.

 

 

In the future, as people look over the different deeds you have done, if someone would judge Christianity by your faithfulness, would they want to join? Would they want to join if they see you out on the road somewhere? That’s the bottom line to everything.

 

 

Yes, they would join!

 

 

Because you are UNCOMMON—ONE with God in every word, action, and reaction.

 

 

It is not just going to church. It must be about living it.

 

 

We affirm together that this is an uncommon day for us to accept our good. This is the uncommon moment when God is blessing us with a receptive faith and a trusting heart, an illumined mind and a quickened understanding.

 

 

This is the day of victory in Christ when we become uncommon.

 

 

And you must consent to becoming one with God, and then it becomes so. Part of our consenting is having self-confidence. Jesus said we have to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most of us, as good Christians, love our neighbors; BUT we do not love ourselves, or our own life.

 

 

Remember that you are the channel for all of God’s love and creativity to come through to your outer world. But the channel has to be there in you, for you, as you, in order for what is in the channel to come through.

 

 

You are on a process to make tomorrow’s dreams come true by your work today, by standing up and agreeing to be what you were created to be. You are a child of God, a child of all possibilities, a child of love and a child of power, a child with a bright future.

 

 

It is the uncommon woman and man who walks in the way of God’s love.

Moving Forward in God’s Love

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— 9/11/16 – – –

Fifteen years; but it seems like yesterday that our country was attacked. Take a moment or two to pray for all the victims of this horrific crime against freedom. And let us look to the future to a better and more stable world – a world of freedom, peace, love and honor to our Lord.

 

 

“I and the Father are one…. If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.” John 10:30,37-38

 

 

With this in mind, let’s ask ourselves if we are filled with enthusiasm for our future?

 

 

Can you sense the potential in your future? We all have a wonderful and spiritual future regardless of our age – if we grasp the opportunity.

 

 

This is an opportunity to take a look at our life and see where we have been and what we have accomplished in the past; take a real honest look at where our life is. In other words, we each have a reality check. We take a look to see if we are on track, have done, and are doing what we really want to do. How many of us take the time to check to see where we have been, and perhaps release a few things from the past?

 

 

In God, we have the opportunity to begin again and create a whole new pattern for our lives if we desire, we can start a new story, regardless of our age or physical situation.

 

 

Author, Shel Silverstein, in his writings speaks of the opportunity that is at hand for each one of us every day in a little quip entitled “Magic Carpet” that I have quoted before. He said:

 

 

You have a magic carpet
that will whiz you through the air
To Spain or Maine or Africa
if you’ll just tell it where.
So will it let you let it take you
where you’ve never been before?

 

Or will you buy it, drapes to match,
and use it on the floor?

 

 

 

Well? Are you on that magic carpet now, ready to take off into your unlimited future? Within each one of us lies that beautiful God given potential, but for the most part some of us have been looking only outside of us—to that certain person or situation that would seemingly make life just right.

 

 

It’s not outside of us. The gifts of God and God-given talents are within. That perfect pattern each of us needs, and the tools with which to open any door is God-given within us. We are equipped by God with the gift of spiritual power.

 

 

Do an inventory; take a look to see if you are on purpose; if you are fulfilling that Divine potential. Your Divine purpose is to grow spiritually and to uplift the humanity in your world, and on your path; to be able to fully express whatever God-given talents you have been given.

 

 

God’s will is that you will just allow God to express through you in whatever way is yours uniquely to express.

 

 

One of the things you need to check is whether or not you’re handling challenges efficiently. How is the challenge-handling going in your life? Dealing with challenges by ourselves is a useless unnecessary burden. God is waiting and willing to help guide us through a complicated maze of human uncertainty. I can certainly attest to that with spinal surgery looming its head.

 

 

 

As soon as you do a little spiritual back-tracking (going inside yourself in prayer, getting in touch with God) you will find yourself back on the right path, in the flow of life again with God’s help. We each can be on target for the life each one of us should be living, by positive mental adjustment.

 

 

 

 

John the Baptist was speaking about positive mental adjustments when he said, “Repent, repent.” The word “repent” comes from the Greek word metanoia. Change your attitude. Change your thinking. Take a look at what you are experiencing right now with the eyes of God, with the eyes of that perfect pattern given to you as a child of God. As you ask, the guidance and direction will come from God.

 

A family had the father’s boss over for dinner. As the evening wore on, little Ryan persisted at staring at the boss. Finally, the man was becoming a little uncomfortable, and he said, “What are you looking at?”

 

 

Little Ryan said, “Daddy said you were a self-made man.”

 

He beamed and said, “Of course I’m a self-made man.”

 

Little Ryan said, “Why did you make yourself like that?”

 

 

We are co-creators with God. God has given each one of us the beautiful, perfect pattern—all the skills and tools needed to achieve that desire in our heart which is intended to be expressed by us. But we need to take a step forward in our lives by making goals and allowing God to express through us to create the life we really want.

 

 

Jesus gives us positive direction for our lives in Matthew 6:24-36. Jesus was very specific when it came to giving us clear guidance as to what we can do and how our lives can be. Jesus said:

 

 

 

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot

 

 

We cannot focus on the life we desire to live–the success, happiness, joy, beauty – and also serve other things; living “a split life.” We need to turn to one or the other. He continued by saying:

 

 

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

 

 

“And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

 

 

“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will [take care of itself].”

 

 

“Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

 

The kingdom of God is a process, a daily way of life of studying and coming to know God in every way you can through prayer, reading, attending services AND THEN LIVING IT.

 

 

It is, first, and foremost, an inner journey through prayer and meditation that allows us to make conscious contact and find the kingdom of God within. That is where the kingdom truly is. Seeking the kingdom of God is about–looking within as we also spiritually study.

 

 

“ . . . and his righteousness.”   This is the right use, the full expression of God in every area of our lives—placing God first. Take the time every morning to turn your attention, your heart, your love to God through meditation. As we

 

 

One the greatest joys you will find is when you put your life on “God-cruise control.”

 

 

As you seek, and ask in humble serenity, God will come through your life in profound ways.

 

 

Jesus didn’t say to seek first to heal the body or the wounded inner child or to gain riches and then seek God. He said, “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God.” Turn first to God, and then all else shall be added for each one of us.

 

 

The degree in which we place God first in our lives is directly proportional to the amount of ease, joy, and success we are seeking in our lives, to the degree that we allow our lives to flow with God’s help.

 

 

Rather than trying to use God to “fix” our lives after we have insisted on doing it OUR way. We begin to turn to God and just ask, and God is always with you to help, respond, and gently guide.

 

 

Finding God’s truth is easy; serving God’s truth is sometimes the challenge for the human being. Each one us probably knows more about God’s truth intellectually to keep us busy for a whole lifetime. However, if we have not placed God first in all areas of our lives, we are not serving God’s truth and there’s little joy in it.

 

 

Open your hearts. Feel that presence and power of God. It’s here right now in this precious Holy moment.

 

 

Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” To know God and the operation of spiritual life on easy automatic cruise control setting, take time for daily prayer and meditation. Acknowledge God every morning when you wake up. In fact, you might even make a little mini-checklist of where you are. Are you on track with your life purpose of letting God express through you and show you and guide you into that next arena for you to live and express in your life?

 

 

Take time to do that in your time of prayer and meditation. Then, develop a willingness to let go of those things or situations that really are not productive in helping you accomplish that which you are seeking.

 

 

In John 4:35 Jesus said: “Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.”]

 

 

Your field, (your life), is already ripe for the harvest. Right now, today, God’s good is yours. Are you ready to receive it? Can you see it clearly?

 

 

Can you feel the energy, the presence of the Lord ready to guide you and lift you up to face with certainty the beautiful future ahead?

 

 

Let us pray:

 

 

Dear God, I ask and I seek Your direction for my life, help me to take an inventory and to have a clear and an understanding perception of where I am, and where I should go.

 

 

I ask for Your help, and the courage, and the strength to follow the positive directions that You reveal to me.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name….Amen

 

…God bless you!

A Clear Channel

Luke 18: 1: Always pray, and never give up.

 

Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

 

 

I want to talk today again about prayer and our prayer room (our Bethel) and its activities. Check it out, especially on Thursday evenings when the whole group gets together. But in addition to that, we are open to hearing you and sharing 24/7; we are always there.

 

 

http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/

 

 

We love music in our Bethel. It is a wonderful part of the way we express love for the world and for each other. So throughout this message I will post special music to share as you read this.

 

 

Before we go into our prayer time, we normally chat a little about some idea that might seem special to us during the day or something that has happened in the world, or just something a little spiritual to actually lead into the prayer service.

 

 

Today, I want to start with an essay written by the writer James Dillet Freeman. It is very short. It touches me so, and I want to share it with you.

 

 

 

 

“A few years ago in my garden, I built two shallow lily ponds and put goldfish into them. They multiplied. But the dogs tore the liner and ruined the ponds, so in the fall, I drained them and gave away the fish.

 

 

“Later that fall, much rain fell and in winter much snow. Two or three inches of water formed in the bottom of the pools. It must have been frozen solid for at least a month, and must have frozen solid and thawed a number of times; there may even have been times when the pools were completely dry.

 

 

“When spring came, I went out one Sunday afternoon to measure the pools as I intended to rebuild them. I measured the larger pool and then went to the smaller one. It had no water in it. It had rained a week before, so how long it had been dry I do not know.

 

 

“There were a few spots of half-dry oozy muck on the bottom. On top of this muck, in the sun on its side and not breathing, lay a goldfish about three inches long. I still remember my surprise at seeing it. There, in the middle of that empty pond, shining in the sun – a little red goldfish.

 

 

“‘It has to be dead,’ I thought. But almost as I saw it, I thought something in that fish said, ‘No, no. I am alive. Pick me up.’ I ran to the house and got a glass of water. I picked up the fish and it gasped.

 

 

“I put it in the glass, and for a long time it did not move again. I could see that one fin was gone, and part of its side was damaged.

 

 

“I moved the fish from the glass into a larger bowl. For several days, it showed almost no sign of life, but little by little, its vitality came back. And in a week that little fish was lashing with life. That fish was the most alive creature I ever saw. He spent every waking moment splashing and darting and hurtling around the bowl, and trying to push through the glass. When I put him back in the lily pond, he lived in it as if he knew how dear life is, and he was not going to waste a single moment of it.

 

 

“How had he survived that winter of freezing and thawing and drying out?
It’s hard to surmise. And what if I had not gone out to the pond on that March day? A few minutes, at most, and he would have died . . . but he lived. He lived to live furiously again. You may not think so, but I will always believe I had to go out to that pond because he had to live.”

 

 

Isn’t that a lovely story? Just as James Dillet Freeman had to go out to that pond on that day (it was almost a Divine appointment for him), to allow that little fish to live, I like to think of our prayer time together as being that way. We are there so people, whatever their pain, whatever their hurt, whatever comfort or solace they need, whatever spiritual strength they need at the moment, or whatever praise they want to share can know that we are there praying so people might live or prosper or be healed.

 

 

There have been a lot of years of prayer in this ministry. People have come into the prayer room and have begun crying just because they feel that the atmosphere is so special and so sacred.

 

 

This whole ministry is founded on prayer. It is a reservoir of prayer. Today, as we pray, we will be filling that reservoir so that those who do thirst for more in their lives can come to that reservoir and tap into it.

 

 

Prayer is the battery that keeps this beacon of light shining.   The light is a kind of a consciousness. Although no one can define it, I think everybody knows what it is. It is to this consciousness of prayer, this sacred trust that is this ministry, based on Jesus, in whose name we pray, today.

 

 

In praying for others, we are able to see the good that those people asking for prayer often cannot see. If you are in need of prayer, you often cannot see your own good. If you could see your good in your life, even the future good, you would not need prayer. You would say, “Well, it’s coming. It’s okay.”

 

 

If you are going to the bank to make a withdrawal, you don’t pray if you know you have a bank account. You just know you are going to make the withdrawal. If you are not quite sure if your balance is up, you might begin to pray. But when we are sure of things, we do not pray for them. We pray for those things we cannot envision.

 

 

In this ministry, we are very happy to hold your good for you. We can do it better than you can. We can see your good for you better than you can see it for yourself. But can you see that for your friend? Your friend could come up to you and say, “I really need some help; I really need to feel this,” and you can see their good for them. You can see that new car or their relationship straightening out. You can see it much better than they can.

 

 

That is the way we can do it in prayer, here. We know that God’s desire for us is absolute good; it is not conditioned on anything. When I was a kid, I thought my mother would love me more if my room were clean (and in retrospect, maybe she would have), but we are given messages that the better we act, the more lovable we are. That is just not true. We are love personified. It is up to us to accept it.

 

 

We know that God’s desire for us is absolute good. It is not conditional on our room being clean or our acting a certain way. We are always lovable and we are always loved.

 

 

If we are always loved, then God’s desire for us is absolute good. And if we know that God’s desire for us is absolute good, it is very easy for us to hold that. It does not matter what the circumstances in our life is right now.  It may be in the biggest mess in the world, because God’s desire for you is good, we know good will come about. So, in prayer, we hold to the high road.

 

 

Dr. Larry Dossey, the best-selling author, wrote a marvelous book about prayer called “Healing Words.”. He says some of the things that we have always known to be true, but he puts a scientific slant on it. Intuitively, we know they are true. I think he knew it, intuitively, too, but being a physician, he wants to prove it to the world in a more scientific way.

 

 

He was trying to quantify what prayer does and he says that the more prayer people pray in a certain direction, it seems the better it is. The more intellect we bring into it, the less effective prayer is. These are the results of double-blind, scientific tests. It seems that the more people are praying for something, the better it works.

 

 

So, if you would like us to pray with you, we urge you to ask for prayer. Insert yourself in that fantastic reservoir of prayer that has been going on for a long time. Let all the consciousness of prayer pray with you.

 

 

If you have any needs today, in your mind, or if you want to write it out, do so and take advantage of this tremendous store-house of prayer.

 

 

We do not pray for God to change things. Indeed, wouldn’t that be a frivolous God if we could change God’s mind by whoever begged the loudest or made the best deal with God. “God, if you will let me win the lottery I will come here every Sunday, both services.” That is bargaining or auctioneering prayer. God is not an auctioneer.

 

 

We pray by seeing those who ask for prayer raised in prayer consciousness so they can accept that which is already theirs. It is not praying to change God; it is praying so we can change and raise ourselves up to that point to where our good comes to us.

 

 

So, if we are praying for God’s desire, there is no need to counsel, there is no need to manipulate or to say, “Well, if you do this, then this will happen.” We feel the highest form of help is prayer. We feel that the highest form of help we can offer is to pray for that person; to see them in that area with their consciousness raised to the point where they can accept the good from God that is already theirs.

 

 

So, we in our prayer ministry strive to be clear channels. If you choose to pray with us today or any day, we ask you to be a clear channel; not to go into this prayer with any agenda at all, but just to say, “God, I am a channel.”

 

 

 

 

If you are hosing your car off, you know that the first thing to be cleaned is the inside of the hose. Anything in that hose is washed clean first. So if you are praying, especially if you are praying for someone else in a selfless way, you are the first one who gets the benefit of that prayer. So, be an open channel; not a channel that directs to where the prayer should go or what should happen to the person, but just see them whole and centered and able to accept.

 

 

We pray together: “It is not I, but the Christ within who does the work.” That is why we want to be clear channels. So let’s relax now and know we ae the clear channel loving and knowing our Lord.

 

 

In the love that Jesus taught us, we remember all who ask for prayer and embrace them with the same love with which we embrace You. And we feel Your love in its fullest expression. We accept Your love in its fullest expression.

 

Peace fills our hearts. God’s Divine love envelops us in peace, and our life has order and harmony.

 

And the peace of God settles over us with a warm sweetness. The peace of God envelops us. We are safe and secure.

 

Go in peace; serve the Lord.