Category Archives: Prayer

The Touch of His Hand

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This past week has been one long blur, resulting in a combination of medicines and my body’s need for healing sleep.  At times, I was so miserable that all I could do is lay still trying to avoid my progressively worsening cough.  I couldn’t breathe.  Literally, I couldn’t get the air I was in taking to filter to my lungs.  The Dr. said I had asthma induced bronchitis.  Nice to know, I guess, but I just wanted to feel better.  From experience, I knew that it would not take long until the miracle of modern medicine would work it’s magic and I would soon be back to good health.  I did let my mind wander to the days of pre-medicine though, and tried to imagine what it would have been like for many who, experiencing the same type of sickness I have just suffered, had no hope for cure. Perhaps they had access to medicinal herbs or lived close to one of the major cities where some sort of medical knowledge might have been helpful, but for the most part, there was no known cure for many of today’s common illnesses.

I then let my mind journey even farther back through time, to the days when the streets of Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Judea were nothing but tired and worn trails of dust. They were also the only way that the cities of Israel were connected to each other. More than likely, caravans carrying wares to be sold in the market along with travelers making their way throughout the countryside could be seen on these streets on any given day. Another guaranteed sight, if one were to be walking the streets outside of any of the cities of Israel when Herod reigned in Judea on behalf of Rome, would be the various people for whom illness had driven them outside the city gates. In order to keep the greater populace living inside the confines of the city walls safe and healthy, those people having contracted leprosy, tuberculosis or other forms of highly contagious diseases were forced to find refuge along the highway or catacombs outside the city. The chronically ill were additionally forced to cry the word ‘unclean’ to passerbys so that no one might mistakenly come in contact with them. Think of this existence. These poor people were already feeling miserable, had been forced from their homes – in most cases, alone – they had to rely on charity for food, and if that wasn’t enough, also had to announce their uncleanness and unworthiness to all who might pass by them. The physical, mental and emotional toll on these individuals must have been overwhelming.

At some point, during this time period, word of unusual events started spreading throughout the country. For this small window in time, there lived One who might actually be able to help these ostracized folks. Eager to share what they had seen, men, women and children ran from city to neighboring city yelling and crying out the name of Jesus. This name, the wonderfully, powerful name of Jesus fell on the ears of the sick, laying outside the city. Maybe they felt hope and the possibility for a real life again. Maybe they had become so hardened that skepticism was the only emotion they could feel. Regardless of their reception of the news, the fact that something unusual was taking place in Israel could not be escaped. The documented love that Jesus had for the sick can be found in the New Testament eyewitness accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. John even ends his writings by saying in John 21:25, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

I let my mind wrap around the incredible surge of feeling that might have been felt by those who experienced the actual, physical touch of Jesus. For the outcast living outside the city, this touch meant even more as they had not experienced a touch from anyone in a very long time. No hugs, no handshakes, no pat on the back in passing, they were unclean and unable to be touched. The touch of Jesus not only healed these people permanently from their illness, but it radically changed the course of their life. Take a moment, let your mind roll around the opportunities that presented themselves to the sick through just that one touch by Jesus. As I lay trying to recuperate this past week, I savored the thought of feeling Jesus heal me of my cough. I stand in awe of His power and can only imagine what His personal touch felt like.

I will testify though, that I am better today and I give the credit for my health to only God. The prayers of a few close friends, availed much and I am confident that I felt the touch of God. We do not live during the time that God opened the doorway from heaven and allowed His Son, Jesus, to physically walk the earth. We do, however, live in a time when we, who believe and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, have His Spirit living in us. Jesus is not here, in person, to minister to the lost and sick, so it is up to us as His ambassadors to take his message to those outside the city gates. If the city is represented by the Church, in our times, then we must leave the safety and confinements of the church and go where the sick, unwanted and unloved live – outside the city gates. As Christians, we can bring the life changing, healing touch of the Master to those who truly need it but have no idea how or where to find Jesus. So many people wander outside the gate. They may not shout the word, ‘unclean,’ but they undoubtably feel unclean. Only those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, can ever feel clean and whole.

The world needs the Healing Touch of Jesus! Will you be the hands He uses?
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Full Access

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I have a key card or an “access card” that allows me to enter my office building, parking lot and restricted areas.  Without this card I am unable to access these sites.  I become  a person non-grata without my access card.  I can knock as long and and as loud as I want and I will not be able to enter.  I can sit at the gate to the parking lot but never gain access without my access card.  If I forget to bring it with me at any point, I am out of luck.

Aren’t you glad that we have Open Access to our Heavenly Father any time and all the time!  We are privileged to be able to go into His presence for any reason and He encourages us to do so.  We do not need a special key card that we have to carry and present in order to gain His attention.  We have only to believe that His son, Jesus, paid the price required as the penalty for sins by taking our place and dying on the cross.  This gift did not end there or Jesus would have been just like any other person on earth who died and was buried.  Three days after His death, He rose from the grave forever canceling the death penalty required for our sin.  This gave us Open Access as well.

Ephesians 3:12 “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” ~NIV

In the beginning of the Israelite history, as documented both in the Old and New Testament, only the High Priest would be allowed to speak with God directly in His presence.  The priest could enter into the Holy of Holies inside the Temple in Jerusalem where God resided inside the Ark of the Covenant.  He could do this only once a year.  The Holy of Holies area was separated from the rest of the temple by a veil (curtain) that hung from a very high ceiling. At the exact moment of Jesus’ death on the cross that very veil was ripped in half from the top to the bottom (no human hand could reach that high) thereby exposing God’s presence to all mankind.

Hebrews 10:19-23  “And so, dear brothers and sisters,we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. “

 God gave us this Open Access card to allow us full access to Him.  I want to take every opportunity to use this access and communicate with Him.  Make every moment count in your life for eternity’s sake and get to know the God who made you, who loves you, and whom you will see the minute you awake from death into life and see Him face to face.
Psalms 27:4 “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.” ~ KJV

Opportunity

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How many opportunities come your way that you miss out on either because you don’t recognize them until it’s too late or because you are too scared to seize the moment?  I was thinking about this very question today.  There have been many times that I have prayed, and prayed for God to show me what He wanted me to do only to hear silence – or so I thought.  Maybe there were answers that I missed because I wasn’t “in tune” with the quiet voice of God.  (I Kings 19:12, “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (NIV))  I was waiting for the earthquake and fire to announce my direction and guidance.  I would have settled for a personal suggestion in an audible voice.  I did not receive any of these revelations or occurences, and so I wallowed in indecision and uncertainty.

I have recently been made aware that the more time I spend in quiet reflection and devotion with God, the clearer His answers become.  There is no mysterious secret to hearing His voice because He speaks to you in the quiet of your heart.  All of the good plans He has for you become like neon signs to your soul as you become close to Him.

Tune in to His voice today!  

Out of Stock

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Picture Credit: http://www.cloutlet.com

I’ve been shopping for black pumps.  If you’re a female, you will know what I’m talking about, otherwise you may need a visual…..my husband had no idea what I was talking about when I asked him to help me look for pumps.  This gave me my chuckle (belly laugh) for the day!!!  After explaining that a pump was a close toed (this opened a completely new dialogue) shoe with a heel, we then proceeded to scour the shoe department in search for the perfect black dress pump.  Ladies, you know that of all dress shoes the black pump is the most versatile and standard staple that a girl can have in her closet.  This being the case, we located a multitude of pumps to choose from and the next phase of shoe shopping began.  Out came boxes…and boxes….and yes, more boxes until finally, the “one” arrived.  I knew instantly that this shoe would be the “one”.  It was classic and comfortable but just about a half size too small.  Wouldn’t you know it – the size I needed (and really wanted) was not available, it was out of stock.  All that time spent searching and trying on only to have my good mood shattered.  I started looking at all of the other choices, hoping that there might be one that would work.  Just about that time, the sales person came out with two boxes.  There were two additional styles that were not out on display yet and one of these boxes had the perfect fit.  This shoe far surpassed my first choice.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus,” Philipians 4:19 (NIV)

The blessings God wishes to shower on us are never out of stock.  Just like the boxes of shoes that were not on display, His storehouse is always full and overflowing with the gifts that he has waiting to give us when we ask.  “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him,” Matthew 6:8 (NIV).  Just as in my shoe shopping experience, the perfect answers to our prayers are just waiting for us.  We need to ask though in order to receive.  You do not have because you do not ask God.”  James 4:2 (NIV)  I could have spent the entire afternoon looking for black pumps in that shoe department and would have never found the hidden shoes.  I needed the wisdom of the sales person who knew what was in stock but out of sight.  If I had not asked for help I would never have been able to receive the shoes that I am so happy to now own.

Don’t hesitate to ask God for what you need.  His love for you is eternal and His desire to see you happy is immense.  Feel free to leave a comment sharing how God has provided for you from his storehouse of blessings.