Prayer-for-the-Sick: Oppressed People

There comes a point in the experience of either being or feeling oppressed, that we decide, “Enough! No More!” It often requires considerable fortitude. Believers build themselves up through prayer and seeking the wisdom of Scriptures. The path to liberation can be peaceful, yet it must be expressed and then lived out.

A Declaration of Liberation from Our Own Oppression © 1998 Michele Toomey, PhD

Too often we feel that others have all the power and we are at their mercy. As children, girls tend to be taught to be good, and good means thoughtful, caring, respectful, and generous. Disapproval, rejection, and feelings of being bad are, therefore, strong inhibitors of girls. Girls are not usually taught to develop their physical strength, but instead think of boys as strong and themselves as “pretty.” One of the great gifts of women’s team sports gaining public attention is the image of athletic women with strong bodies still looking like attractive, healthy women, and not thin waifs. However physical intimidation is still a potential silencer of women. We are also taught that we need a man, to protect us, provide for us, and to love us and that a man needs us to emotionally protect him, provide a home and family for him and to love him. This would be fine except for that twist of opposites that says, when men fulfill their role they gain superiority, and when we perform our role we are inferior. That is a trap for both genders, and as a result, men often end up controlling women and are burdened by them, and women end up looking to men to make everything outside the home happen and then become dependent on them. When we women find ourselves in that position we become victims of our own sexist approach to our power and ourselves. This manifesto won’t fit you in every way, but in whatever ways it does, grab hold and break out of your oppression of yourself. Declare your liberation from yourself and of yourself by yourself. Unlike physical oppression where another oppresses us, psychological oppression is kept in place by the oppressed. If you are not living as a woman of stature and integrity, this manifesto is meant to inspire and challenge you!
A Woman’s Manifesto
Inspired by the declarations at the above link, here is a believer’s alternative:
A Christian Woman’s Proclamation © 2010 Jean Solomon Because I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, I commit to being truthful. Because I am approved by God, I commit to receiving respect. Relinquishing manipulation, I commit to having and acting out of integrity. Maintaining my personhood in peace, I love others enough to confront unacceptable behavior. Because Christ has given me authority on earth, I commit to using the power I have for good. Because I am complete in Christ, daily I commit to calling forth my strength, riches, health and wholeness. Because faith is the substance of things hoped for, I commit to doing my part to manifest that evidence. Because He has promised to never leave neither forsake me, I commit to relying on God to help me make things happen. I neither trust nor distrust other women, rather I discern by the Spirit before joining people. I avoid preferring men because of apparent status or traits, rather I commit to valuing people whom God sends to be a part of growth. I commit to rejecting the spirit of fear regarding people, things, or events. Encouraging myself in the Lord and the power of His might, I commit to casting my future with honorable declarations. Jesus paid the price for my freedom and the abundant life, therefore I pay no man anything but the love of God flowing through me. Because He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world, I commit to conducting myself from that perspective with joy. Keeping my peace as the wise, I commit to speaking the truth in love at the appropriate time. I commit to watching and praying as instructed by Scripture. I commit to renewing my mind with God’s Word. Rather than relying on what or whom I can see, I commit to looking to the Giver of all good gifts. I commit to contending for the evidence of my faith. I resist conforming to the belief systems of this world, and I commit to reforming erroneous perspectives by the Word of God.

Prayer for the Sick: Healing and Medicine

God has given us more than one way to approach healing. Yet, he has graced the body with its own capacity to heal. When faith is present and strong, prayer for the sick might produce speedy results. But the healing process could take an extended period of time, and even require an assist from health practitioners; it is not necessarily the same for each person. The desire for wellness can be a factor, and also the state of the soul (mind, will, and emotions). It is in this area where healing prayer’s impact can more readily be observed. And often it is sought when healing and medicine have not matched.
A Merry Heart Does Good Like A Medicine By Donna L. Watkins
Solomon had wisdom in that statement from Proverbs 17:22. The human body, which God designed, can produce it’s own disease fighting chemicals.  God has created us “fearfully and wonderfully.” These bodies that we walk around in are truly amazing! Evolution is just not smart enough to equip us with the mind-boggling intelligence that our bodies contain! For example, when you are joyful, your body secretes two types of chemicals that fight cancer and other diseases. When you experience that  exhilarating feeling of being truly joyful, it does “good like a medicine.” One type of chemical released in your body when you are joyful is called “neuropeptide.” These neuropeptides are the same kind of chemical that cancer patients are injected with at the cost of up to $40,000.00 per shot! And God created our bodies to produce them naturally by having a joyful heart! Another chemical secreted into the bloodstream, by having a joyful heart, is known as “opioid.” (You can see the root word for “opium” which can be a dangerous drug but produces a calming effect.) Opioids when secreted into the bloodstream enhance the immune system to help fight the common cold. So, is there a cure for the common cold? Yes! A merry heart! You see, our minds, bodies and spirits are all connected. We are a walking network of amazing super-intelligence! We are not “gods,” but we are created “in the image of God.” God has created us so unique. When we are joyful, our minds, bodies and spirits are effected by it. Your mind can sense true joy coming from your spirit, and when your mind senses joy on the radar screen, it sends out “opioids” into the bloodstream which connect with “monocytes.” The monocytes receive messages from the opioids which trigger a Pac-Man like response and they begin to eat bacteria and viruses that tear down your immune system. If you are plagued by fear, worry, stress and anger, youare opening the door to sickness. Your body is not secreting what it needs to keep you vibrant. Is it any wonder Jesus tells us to stop worrying? (Matthew 6). Is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul tells us to stop worrying? ( Phil. 4). Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness and all of your needs will be given unto you. (Matt. 6:33) Take care of your mind, body and spirit. Have a joyful heart. Stop killing yourself. Allow that wise body God gave you to release those wonderful chemicals in order that you may experience optimum health and performance for His glory! Proverbs 17:22 – “A merry heart does good, like a medicine.”
Donna L. Watkins lives in Central Virginia with her wonderful husband enjoying birds, wildlife, gardening, forests, nature travel and her cat, Squeek.  More articles can be found at TheHerbsPlace.com and a free subscription to her mailing, A Healing Moment.  http://www.theherbsplace.com/ahm.html Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

Prayer for the Sick: Miracles

Jesus’ Miracles, Signs of Divine Powers? By Rob Vandeweghe

“This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in Him” (John 2:11). Anyone who does not believe in God finds the concept of a miracle, any event that contradicts and even suspends the laws of nature, impossible to accept. That is, if God does not exist, only nature controls life. Therefore no miracle is possible and any account of a miracle cannot be true. This logical argument against miracles was first formulated by Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677). Spinoza’s argument can be summarized as follows: A miracle violates natural laws. Natural laws are immutable. It is impossible to violate immutable laws. Therefore, miracles are impossible. However, if God exists, He created the natural laws, so it should be no problem for Him to move beyond or outside these laws, nor can He be restrained by these laws. Jesus used miracles as signs to his credentials as the Son of God. Without miracles it would be exceptionally difficult to believe His claims. As John wrote in John 20:30-31: “Jesus’ disciples saw Him do many more other miraculous signs besides the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life.” Observe that the miracles of Jesus not only showed His power over nature, but also revealed His approach to ministry: helping others, speaking with authority, and connecting with people. The keyword is compassion. Almost all His miracles were driven by compassion. He healed people who sought His help. He raised the dead to comfort grieving families. He quieted storms to calm the fears of His friends. He fed multitudes to avert their hunger. Don’t fail to notice that Jesus never performed a miracle for His own benefit or gain. The miracles aided others, not Him. On five occasions Jesus performed a miracle as a sign solely for the disciples: walking on water; cursing of the fig tree; both miraculous catches of fish by the disciples; and the coin for the temple tax. All other miracles sprang from compassion for the people around Him. The New Testament gospels record thirty-five miracles. Only one miracle (the feeding of the five thousand) is described in every gospel. About half of the miracles are recorded in two or more of the gospels. As expected, quite a few, eleven in fact, are shared between all the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), but only seven are recorded in only two of the three synoptic accounts. Two miracles in John also appear in one or more of the synoptic gospels. Matthew has three unique miracles, Mark has two, while Luke and John each record six. This distribution once more demonstrates Matthew, Mark, and Luke are personal testimonies. Even Mark, the gospel “copied” by Matthew and Luke, has two miracles not mentioned in the other two. Why are they omitted if Matthew and Luke leaned on Mark as their primary source as the synoptic theory claims? As miracles are evidence of Jesus deity, it is useful to categorize them into: Healing miracles: The vast majority (26) of miracles in which Jesus heals one person or more or even raises (Jairus’ daughter, a widow’s son and Lazarus) from the dead. Nature miracles: Nine miracles are recorded where Jesus does something impossible simply within our natural world. He defied the laws of nature. The healing miracles are easy targets for critics. Many simply insist that the healed person was not ill, the person might be “self-healed” (the “power of positive thinking”) or there might even have been a type of hypnosis or other “magic.” Obviously our ancestors did not have our knowledge of science, but they were not stupid either! Even a first century uneducated Jew could distinguish between a magician’s trick and a genuine miracle. They would have identified a fake healing. The healed people were not selected from the audience willingly participating in a performance. These were locals, known by the community for their handicaps, perhaps long-term blindness or injury. Resurrecting someone moments after his death would suggest he had not actually died. Lazarus, however, was in the grave four days (John 11:39: “‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.’”), so one can hardly argue that “he was not really dead.” Still, from an evidence perspective, the most awesome confirmations of Jesus’ deity are the nature miracles. There is just no explanation for walking on water, calming a storm, feeding huge crowds from a single lunch box, or turning water into wine. Such events are real miracles and they show Jesus’ divine power. Keep in mind that such miracles have never been claimed by other professed miracle workers. Only Jesus has displayed such power. Look closely at the nature miracles and probe them for the characteristics for a genuine miracle. We learn: Significance: There is no doubt the nature miracles are significant. It is unlikely that anyone present was not awed! This is clear from people’s reactions, such as when Jesus climbed into the boat after walking on the water: “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:33). After Jesus calmed the storm: “In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him’” (Luke 8:25). Immediate: All of Jesus’ miracles had immediate results. Both healings and nature miracles were instantaneous. Defy the laws of nature: This cannot be disputed, for this is the exact definition of a miracle. Multiple witnesses: As a last resort, non-believing critics try to refute Jesus’ nature miracles by dismissing them as myths or legends. However, the evidence is overwhelming. First, the miracles were done in groups of varying sizes, either the disciples (one can argue they are not objective) or a crowd of several thousands. Second, five of the nature miracles are recorded in multiple gospels, one even in all four gospels. Third, Jesus’ opponents never denied or even disputed his miracles. They admitted Jesus performed miracles and tried to claim Jesus had teamed with the devil: “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons’” (Matthew 12:24). Or they tried to destroy the evidence: “So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him” (John 12:10-11). Among all miracles the astonishing feeding of a crowd of five thousand men plus women and children, likely a total of ten to twelve thousand or more people, stands out. This may well be the most impressive nature miracle of all. Some see a symbolic link between Jesus as the “Bread of Life” and God’s gift of manna to the Israelites in the desert long before. Second, it is the only miracle found in all four gospels. Each describes the events on that hillside near the Sea of Galilee: only five loaves and two fishes to feed the large gathering. Jesus broke the bread and the disciples handed out the food. There was enough for everybody and the leftovers filled twelve baskets. Comparing the four accounts is rewarding. As to be expected with eyewitness recollection, they all describe the same storyline, but each provides different details. For instance, Mark and John estimated “eight months of a man’s wages” would be necessary to feed all the people. All gospels relate that the people were to be seated, but only Mark and Luke tell they sat in groups of “fifties and hundreds.” John mentions the Sea of Galilee, Mark and Matthew just mention a boat, and Luke adds that they are close to a town called Bethsaida. John also reveals it was a boy who had brought along the Barley loaves and fishes. John identified a number of disciples by name. Again there is a random pattern of details in the various gospels. Contrary to synoptic theory, Mark, supposed to be the briefest and simplest gospel, actually has the most extensive account with the most details. A total of four independent witness accounts to this remarkable event. Third and last, this miracle is performed in the presence of five thousand men, not counting women and children. Nothing was done in secret. It was born out of compassion for the hungry crowd, but the number of witnesses is momentous. And at least three of the four gospels were written within a generation of this event, many of these witnesses were still alive as these accounts began to circulate. There were plenty of opportunities for someone to confirm or deny this miracle. In the words of famous Christian philosopher, theologian and author G.K. Chesterton: “The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.” Rob VandeWeghe is a skeptic turned Christian. For the entire text of this article on evolution visit http://www.windmillministries.org/Evolution. Rob’s book ‘Prepared to Answer’ and more evidences for Christianity are available at http://www.windmillministries.org
Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

Prayer for Care Givers

A relative of mine experienced serious illness this summer. As I traveled to the emergency room, a request for prayer was one of the first calls I made to fellow intercessors. This dear one has been in the hospital and several care facilities now, which has provided me with an opportunity to observe the culture of the caregivers. Each staff seems to have particular characteristics regarding compassion, yet there are Christians salted throughout. It has made me realize that prayer for care givers is as necessary as prayer for the sick.

A Nurse’s Prayer

Because the day that stretches out for me Is full of busy hours, I come to Thee To ask Thee, Lord, that Thou wilt see me through The many things that I may have to do.

~ ~ ~

Help me to make my beds the smoothest way. Help me to make more tempting every tray. Help me to sense when pain must have relief. Help me to deal with those bourne down by grief. Help me to take to every patient’s room The Light of Life to brighten up the gloom.

~ ~ ~

Help me to bring to every soul in fear The sure and steadfast thought that Thou art near, And if today, or if tonight, maybe, Some patients in my care set out to sea To face the great adventure we call death, Sustain them, Father, in their parting breath.

~ ~ ~

Help me to live throughout this live-long day As one who loves Thee well, dear Lord, I pray; And when the task is done, and evening stars Shine through the dark above the sunset bars, When weary quite, I turn to seek my rest, Lord, may I truly know I’ve done my best.

Prayer-for-the-Sick: Time to Hate

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: . . . A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1,8)
Now is a time for prayer and spiritual warfare. Do you have what it takes? If you feel like you’ve been beaten and worn down, you probably do. In the 1976 movie, Network, the character Howard Beale, a news anchor, has reached his limits. Driven to the breaking point by his own frustration and torments, he protests during an evening newscast. He begins by outlining all the things that people already know are bad, “It’s like  everything everywhere is going crazy, . . .”  Then he commands a vocal demonstration of audience rebellion:
“All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad. You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, …dammit!* My life has value!” So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!!”

[* WARNING:  There are curse words in this clip. – Proverbs 8:13]

Whether you watch this clip or not, the significance of it is that we must rise up and voice our God-ordained rights. We must become sick and tired enough of being sick or tired that we do something. The Apostle Paul says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), so our hatred and warfare must be aimed at the spirit perpetrators of evil. Spiritual warfare! Yes, if you are a Christian, the time has arrived for you to get out of your padded pew and make a difference in the heavenlies. We must, together, get mad about the sickness, poverty, and hurts that plague us and our loved ones. And we cannot be self-righteous about it. There will probably be a need of repentance first; but rise we must. We need to exercise our blood-bought authority over the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). One of my favorite little handbooks for declarations and spiritual warfare is Prayers That Rout Demons [Aff] by prophet John Eckhardt. Check out his series of small handbooks and choose one that addresses your need. You can be guided on a regular basis to plug into the power source.
While the book is highly recommended, the feeling of fervor is demonstrated in the movie. It is a corporate movement. Jesus said in the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:8) that “the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Nevertheless, the children of light are called to make a significant difference. Lift your voice and seed the heavens according to Scripture. Then, let’s go out and set our hands to things that will prosper.

Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. ~Psalms 97:10