02/01/2016

Being Aware of Verbal Prayer

Posted in Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , at 11:06 am by The Water Bearer

 

praying group

When a fellow believer unifies their heart to mine and to God’s presence in prayer it is an amazing event, and I have been blessed enough to experience this kind of unity a number of times just recently in fact. Yet sharing in verbal prayer is not a practice that I always find as comforting as some may think I should. Over the years I have noticed that some prayers don’t always sit quite right with me. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate verbal or group prayers’ certain place within the body of Christ, I listen intently to the words offered aloud, agreeing deep in my spirit when my heart harmonizes with what is being said. I am aware of the miraculous power sharing prayers can have, and yet sadly sometimes I notice that prayers can feel recited, watered down, and even at times heretic.

I wonder if perhaps I have an aversion to people praying aloud over me, from when I fell in with a false prophet for a brief period of time. At the time I had no idea she was a false prophet, as the evidence came to light later on. I was just thrilled to have made a friend who accepted me in all my faults, who at the lowest point of my life did not condemn me, who openly professed her belief in God and was happy to talk about the Bible and faith. Yet when she asked if she could pray over me I felt awkward, I noticed that her words didn’t line up with the Will of God as I understood it. She was trying to override His control, trying to get Him to change the circumstances He had put me in, rather than asking Him to empower me to accept His will, to guide my steps, to learn through the trials, to trust Him through the storm. No gratitude, No praise, No humility. As she prayed over me it made my skin crawl, and even though I fought myself trying to be polite and ride it out, I couldn’t and had to ask her to stop.

In Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus gives us direct guidance not to pray out loud and in public.

And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.

Have we forgotten how to value the purest communication with Our Heavenly Father? How intimate and wholehearted it should be?

Praying allowed, sixteen times a day, regardless of who is present, may seem like the most righteous practice around, and yet it is so simple to perform without righteousness. Careless use of prayer can be more harmful than good especially if God’s Will is not at the center, it may even push some away from the unity God’s people are intended to have. It won’t resonate the abundant power prayer can have when true unity is felt. Careless prayer may even guide some out of God’s will, if specific guidance is given when not prophesied directly from God.

Maybe my heart pulls this way because most of my experience with verbal prayer always came from my Dear Dad, who used to pray aloud with me whenever I desperately needed it. He always knew how to line up his heart with mine, and connect us in unity with Gods presence. Maybe it’s simply because I was spoiled to have shared that and I just miss his fervent prayers?

This post was not an easy one to publish, as it has the potential to be misinterpreted or taken out of context. It is tough to expose and put into words exactly how or why my spirit interprets prayer in this way. I guess I’d just hope to use this post as a gentle nudge to ask ourselves some honest questions about the true nature of our verbal prayers and to be wary of using them rashly, repetitively or without deep consideration.

 

hands in prayer

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08/11/2015

A Waterbearer’s Miracle at 3am*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith tagged , , , , , , , at 11:23 am by The Water Bearer

water bearer

“HONEY!! SHE NEEDS WATER!!” My husband calls to me in a desperate way, from twenty meters behind me.

It’s 3 am, middle of the City on a Sunday night.

A group of us are staggering from our work Christmas Party (insert excess alcohol here) heading towards the nearest open establishment, a nightclub which was about 800 meters or so up the road. We all worked in hospitality, in a club that opened all day everyday, and the Christmas party had been arranged on the quietest night so that only skeleton staff were needed at work. Being a Sunday night, in the middle of the City, not much was open. My husband was helping one of our overly intoxicated friends to stay upright as she tried to put one foot in front of the other without falling back into the bushes that skirted the footpath.

“I don’t have any water” I replied. I should mention here that I am famous for placing full glasses of water into the hands of those around me who are helping themselves to the unlimited Bar-tab without a second thought. “We are heading to the nearest place with water.” I reminded him.

“HONEY!” He called again, in a higher pitch, as he pulled himself and our friend from the bushes for the third time. “She really needs some water, she can’t do this!”

I began looking around me for a tap on the side of the building, or a bus stop or anything. No Luck.

“I’m sorry Babe, there is no water here, we just have to get her to the club.” I insisted.

“She’s not going to make it that far without some water!” He calls back.

I threw my hands in the air, I know he had had too much to drink, we all had, but what on earth did he really expect me to do? At the time I was in front of a large office block, which had a neat grassy area in front of it, but there wasn’t a tap in sight. Yet as I threw my hands into the air, I looked upwards into the dark night sky. I suddenly remembered my faith, I remembered that I have a relationship with the creator of the universe. I prayed….

“Lord, We really need water, I have no idea where you can get us some, but I know you can.”

I took two more steps along the empty street, and all of a sudden irrigation jets rose from the grass next to me and began squirting out water like a drinking fountain!!

“AMEN! WE HAVE WATER! WE HAVE WATER! AMEN!” I screamed, completely amazed by the accurate precision of God’s perfection and timing. Our dehydrated friend, came swaying over to the sprinklers and manages to slur,”Is it safe to drink?”

I filled my hands and gulped it down, laughing hysterically, “IT’S FROM THE LORD!”. Needless to say, that she had her fill of water and made it safely to the club, where we got her some more water and a cab home. 🙂

Our God is SO AWESOME!

This miracle occurred over 10 years ago, which happened to be a few years before that prophet came to my church and gave me the name “The Water Bearer” . I actually didn’t realise at first how many connections I had had with bearing water until sometime later. Needless to say each confirmation is always incredibly powerful, big or small.

Sharing these testimonies is such a pleasure, to be able to share evidence of how abundant and miraculous God’s impact can be in our lives when we believe and reach out to Him. I’d love to hear some of your testimonies. Please share below.

sprinkler

13/11/2012

A Tough 3rd Day*

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:17 am by The Water Bearer

On the last day of a recent 3 day blog fast, my girls asked me to watch a movie with them. The movie was a Japanese Anime Film and the boy in the movie had no technology in his home. They only had a dial-phone and lots of books.

My youngest daughter (9yrs) was fascinated by this film, it inspired her to want to take a break from technology herself. She expressed to me her desire to go on a technology fast. This little angel had ideals of lasting a whole week with no TV, no Nintendo DS, no Wii, no computer, no mp3 player, no DVD’s, nothing!

We discussed this at some length, I explained that a whole week is a very long time for a little girl and perhaps it could be something she works up towards. I explained my theory about 3day fasts. They are achievable yet still a trial. We have more chance of hanging in there and keeping our promise, than risk being tempted into breaking our agreement with God. She seemed quite happy with this, wrote out her agreement in her prayer journal and the next morning began her task.

As my fast had now finished, I was sitting in my office replying to comments when her little face popped up over the back of the couch at me.

“Mummy! Guess what I just nearly did!” She blasted at me at top speed.

I gave her an inquiring look “What did you just nearly do?”

“I just turned the Wii on because I am finished getting ready for school. Good job I realised in time hey!” She grinned as she flipped around to turn it back off.

“Well done Honey” I cheered, “Good for you! It’s easy to slip-up, but well done for being strong enough to catch yourself.”

She grabbed her Children’s Bible, curled up on the lounge and read it until we left for school. When she got home she was heading to her room and had to pass the TV, which was on. She got caught up, it was like it reached out and grabbed her, after a couple of seconds she shook her head and kept on her way (Bless her).

This kid has so much faith it astounds me. For the next two days she kept to her word, she read books, drew pictures and played outside. I taught her how to play Gin Rummy, which we played a lot.

On the third day she started to struggle. It was a weekend and the day was dragging, we had tidied up and completed some chores, but she was being tempted with dreams of Mario Kart. I reminded her that this fast was her idea, that she had wanted to go a whole week and here she was struggling on only day 3. I encouraged her to ask God for help and explained that if we can resist something when it is hardest, in those times we really really want something, it gives our faith a huge boost. Plus, we show God how much we really want to keep our promises to please Him, rather than pleasing ourselves and our flesh. She said a prayer and then began reading a hefty novel, which she had been too overwhelmed to attempt before.

As the day turned to night, I was getting ready to head out to a friend’s birthday, and my daughter began yearning again. Snuggling up at the end of a Saturday with a movie is a common practice for our family, and she was itching for it. She didn’t want to just ‘break’ her promise so instead asked me if she could. I told her if she wanted to break her fast it would have to be her choice, and that I wasn’t going to give her permission so she could blame me for not reaching her goal. I reminded her of all the things I had said earlier, that she was so very close now and that is always when it gets hardest. I explained that if she broke her promise now, before her agreement was fulfilled, then the past 2 and a half days would be wasted.

She went back to her room to pray for more help and I left unsure of how strong she would remain without me to support her. So I said my own prayer asking for the Lord to keep her strong and keep the enemy from tempting her. When I arrived home later that night all was quiet, everyone was asleep. I wanted so desperately to wake her up and see if she had achieved this monumental goal.

I waited until my eyes sprang open then next morning, “How did you go Honey? Did you end up watching a movie or did you manage to keep your promise?”

Her little face beamed back at me “I didn’t watch a movie Mummy. God helped me keep my promise and I read this much of my book” She held up her novel and showed a quarter of it sectioned off with a bookmark.

I was so overcome with joy as tears ran down my cheeks, I made such a big deal of her triumph. Throughout the day I kept reminding her how very pleased I was with her, because it is one thing for a parent to discipline a child, but for a child of 9 years old to discipline herself was a huge accomplishment. I don’t know  many adults who have that much self-discipline or faith. I strongly feel that exercising faith and self-control is extremely important, especially in a day and age when self-indulgence is so widely encouraged. Proudest Mum ever!

24/09/2012

My Mini Mountain*

Posted in General, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:24 am by The Water Bearer

After a weekend spent celebrating two members of my family’s birthdays, I feel as if I am peeking my head out from the bunker to survey the damage. I have not been near my laptop in a number of days and so made a bee-line for it as soon as I opened my eyes this morning, hoping I haven’t missed too many wonderful posts by my fellow bloggers.

I tiptoe over my filthy tiled floors, in memory of the numerous tiny footprints which headed in every direction a hundred times yesterday and the day before. I pretend I don’t see the basket of washing siting up on the dining table. I close one eye as I pass the lounge room of destruction, and I am not even game to head into the kitchen to make my morning cup of tea because I know I will get stuck in there, lassoed by the stack of dishes and benches piled as high as the Andes.

I unplug my laptop from its place in my office and run back to bed, diving under the covers, safe for a moment from the task that awaits me.

I would never have made it here if I had taken a moment to view the destruction. I would be in there now, wiping and sweeping, folding clothes and finding homes for each element of the Andes. I will do it, I can’t help myself. Someone will lose their head if I don’t get my home back in order as soon as possible. But for the moment I am hidden away, in my bedroom and I sit letting the ‘Reader’ page spin as it loads how many ‘New posts’ I have missed….. 47!! Oh Lord, and then I recall that I hit a quick refresh the last time I was here so I am guessing that’s maybe 70 posts unread!

I love all the blogs I follow, I want to give credit to your talents and hear your views. I want to soak up the knowledge and perspectives of you all who inspire me so much, so what am I to do??

The good Lord has given me some new voices to use in my novel and I need to get them out of me before I lose their spark. I have a book I am reading, which is helping sculpt the voices for my novel, and I want to absorb God’s word so I keep up my armour and His hand in all the areas of my life. I have about 10 incomplete drafts, waiting for my overly analytical mind to edit and approve of before I can post them. I need to shorten them substantially because I realise that if my readers are as pressed for time as me they will skip over the ones with the word count that gets up into the high hundreds or beyond. I feel if my ideal of sharing both God’s input in my life to inspire others, and the valuable teachings from my Dad with as many as possible is going to be likely, then I need to tailor my work for the audience I have been given. And to top it all off it is school holidays!

Wow that was word 535… I better go…

Hmmm I think I will pray first …. After all faith can move mountains…..

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