Tag Archives: power of prayer

Happy Hour: What do you get?

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do.” A.C. Dixon   

Let’s keep going with this thought process…

 

When we rely on setting boundaries we get what boundaries can do.

When we rely on the legal system we get what the law can, or will, provide.

When we rely on the government we get what the government can do.

When we rely on money we get what money can do.

When we rely on friends we get what friends can do.

When we rely on our own wisdom we get what our limited thinking can provide.

When we rely on singing, preaching, or church we get what they can do.

 

 “But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.” A.C. Dixon

 

I want what God can do!

I need what God can do!

How about you?

My favorite way to pray is to use God’s word; scripture, because it’s full of promises and precedence for us to pray. The words stay flat on the pages of our Bibles until we speak them. They are alive and active, sharper than any two edge sword when we turn them into prayer.

 

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword” Hebrews 4:12

 

Toxic Tuesday: Narcissistic Parents Part 3

November 11, 2014    Joy S.

This is the third segment of a four-part series by guest author, Joy S. See past Toxic Tuesday posts, Narcissistic Parents (Part 1) and Narcissistic Parents (Part 2)

We left off last week with Myth #1). “If I forgive someone, then that’s the same as saying that they didn’t do anything very bad.  My painful feelings will be discounted.”

FALSE.

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smallMyth # 2). “To forgive someone, I must also simultaneously forget that they ever offended me.  And if I haven’t forgotten, then I must not have really forgiven.”FALSE.Forgiveness is not AMNESIA.  :-). Your memories of pain are brain connections made – biology and chemistry of the past.  Reversing your neural connections is impossible.  Meaning, you both remember AND forgive. That’s normal.  (God doesn’t do memory wipes on us. If He did, then we wouldn’t be able to forgive because, duh, we wouldn’t remember what happened to us.)  It doesn’t mean that you didn’t really forgive the first time around, or that you’reabadforgiver, or a bad Christian.”Well, for argument’s sake,” you say, “can I simultaneously obsess/rehearse/reenact my pain AND forgive?”No. Very doubtful.Wise up!  You only have so much mental energy, and the enemy would love for you to squander all of it on the past.  (I mean, dwelling on what’s past is like saying you want to buy real estate at 1 Bad Memory Lane.  If so, then don’t build a house. You won’t need it.  Just install a sty.  I’ve had days, weeks, years when I just wallowed in a sty of self-pity (aka, sin).  Wallowed, wallowed, oinked…told everyone who’d listen to my tale of woes.  Rehearsed my NPD parent’s sins and dirt, churned up all the old emotions.  Not surprisingly, none of that gave me inspiration or the strength to obey God by forgiving like He commanded.  Eventually I crawled out of the sty and repented of my sin, my God-Daddy washed off my filth, and I got back down to forgiveness again.  Please learn from my sins.  Don’t hang out in the sty of self-pity.)Memories of your wounds can be valuable.  If they remind you of God’s past faithfulness, His sweet healing Grace, His deliverance from your NPDer’s control, or wisdom in how to protect yourself from unsafe people, keep them near.  If not, dump ’em.  (This is not the equivalent of giving your NPD parent a “get out of jail free” card.   Remember, they still have to face God for what they did to you.)

Recognize that you are in a battle!!   Say to God, “Daddy, I am not welcoming these unhealthy thoughts back after giving them to You.  Slay them on Your altar as a fresh gift from me.  Strengthen me to repel them.”  And mean it… mean every word.   Short of a miracle, your NPD parent will continue to be themselves and sin against you (even if you no longer live with them, they will find a way!).  So you are likely to have new offenses to forgive on a pretty regular basis.  Yep, sigh.  Forgiveness is not a one-time deed.  It is a conscious choice that you will have to make again, many, many times…at least that’s the goal.  Which leads me to the next myth.

3) “If I forgive someone, then we will be able to hang out together and have a satisfying relationship because they will have changed.”

OH, MY!  FALSE.  SOOOOOOOOO FALSE.

Let’s review the basis of affirming relationships, shall we?

  • – Valuing the other person for who they are, not what they can do for you.
  • – Seeing the best in the other person, desiring their good.
  • – Gently building them up in their weak spots.
  • – Recognizing that they belong to God first and that your relationship with them is a stewardship for which you will have to give an account.
  • – Addressing conflict in light of the other person’s God-given dignity, your/their sin natures, and the goals of repentance, restoration and unity.

Hmm.  In case you’re not sure, I can categorically state that these bear NO similarity to the mindset of a NPDer.  NONE.  In my non-professional opinion, a NPD parent is incapable of any affirming relationship with anyone, their child included.   After all, one of the defining characteristics of an NPDer is their sense of superiority over nearly everyone else.  Especially you (after all, you are JUST their kid).  The concept that they could be wrong about anything is unthinkable.  This is why they never have to take responsibility for their behavior nor do they need to apologize, like people do in healthy relationships.

So with a NPD parent, your forgiveness is rendered in obedience to God IN SPITE of your parent’s ongoing behavior.  It is not dependent on their repentance happening first.  It will not change your parent at all.  They have not repented, changed their ways, and sought reconciliation with you or with God.  (I mean, how can they repent when they are perfect, right?!?). Basically, they have no role in your labor of forgiveness. It’s entirely between you and God.  Its role is to transform you with healing.  It has nothing to do with them.

Which is why respectfully, even humbly, biblically approaching a NPD parent in order to point out their offense against you is a lost cause. *** A true NPDer does not speak the language of repentance, so it will serve only to confuse and inflame them.  Since our battle is not against flesh and blood, but rather the enemy who keeps our NPD parent in bondage, there is no profit in creating strife with them.  As far as it depends on you, live in peace with them.

***[Please note that this does not apply to grave matters concerning the law (ie., commission of a crime, abuse against yourself or others).   Then you must seek God and act with protection in place for your safety and that of others.  Appropriate civil authorities must be brought in, for that is their God-ordained function.  Also go with no expectation that they will repent.  In fact, they will likely turn the tables on you, attacking with intent to make you defensive.  It will be an unpleasant conversation at best, draining/devastating at worst.  Therefore marshal your spiritual and emotional resources before attempting any approach.  You will want people praying for you, and you will want to be prayed up. Prayer and fasting is paramount.]

The recovery rate among NPDers is minute.  Carolyn had one professional peg it around 1-5%.    I want to say this gently and not to depress you.  But in all likelihood, your NPD parent will not change.  Of course “nothing is impossible with God” (which is why I continue to pray that He will do a mighty work in my NPDer.  To date, I have prayed for two decades, without a visible “yes” answer…yet.  Yet.  🙂  I am more than willing to be amazed at God effecting change in such a heart.)

So, if you can keep a door to a redeemed, transformed possible future relationship with your NPD parent by lightly maintaining the relationship in the meantime, do it.  Then, if they recover, there will be a place for them in your life.  When I say “lightly maintain” the relationship, I mean this:  It is not safe for you to be intimate with them. They cannot use intimacy for any of the healthy purposes it was created for.  For them it is an opportunity to sin.  Therefore, be superficial.  Be vague.  Don’t give out unnecessary details that will just be used as ammunition against you.  Honoring your parent does not mean that they are entitled to every personal detail of your adult life or to interfering with your marriage or parenting.   Yes, you need to forgive them, but charity dictates that you not set them up to sin against you anymore than you can help.

Remember, God trumps your earthly parent.  He is the Master.  He is the REAL parent, the one who “subcontracted” the role to your earthly parents for a season.  If you are His servant, you belong to Him. Be wise about dealing with your NPDer, but don’t fear them.  You are in Your God-Daddy’s Arms.  To the extent that He directs you to meet their demands, do it. But not because of them.  Because of HIM :-)!!

You belong to Him.

Save the details for Him (He knows them already, but He loves it when we talk to Him).  He directs your life.  God is who you trust.  Go to Him in prayer and in His Word for your parental relationship needs.  Go deep with God.  (With your NPDer, stay out of the water if you can; if you must get in, stay in the baby pool! :-).

Seeking a counselor steeped in biblical wisdom and experienced with NPDers can equip you to effectively set boundaries for both your parent’s and your good.  They can help you role-play conversations so that you can confidently and lovingly set limits without getting rattled or losing your temper when your NPD parent pushes back against your healthy boundaries.  (I am NOT talking about worldly counseling where you are encouraged to do undisciplined things like exploding in anger, smacking pillows, screaming, and raging in letters.  Whatever your counselor suggests needs to agree with the Holy Spirit, who is foremost “power, love, and a sound mind.” So be discerning in your counselor choice if you go that route.)

 

Join us next week when I share from my experience with an excellent counselor some tips that I will pass onto you at NO CHARGE.

 

Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

Truth is like a lion

It was a beautiful, sunny and warm day in June of 2010 when I was driving Riley, with the boys in tow, to my friend Kim’s house. Kim, with her big fat math and science brain (and I mean that in the most complimentary way), taught Riley all of her High School math courses. Yes, we were blessed: Me, since I was a horrible math teacher who would have utterly failed the task, and Riley because she could understand her teacher and was able to learn and do well in math.

I was driving on a four lane highway in the left when all of a sudden in front of me, in the right hand lane, I saw a motorcycle rear ended by the car traveling behind it. I saw what was happening and I instinctively yelled to my children in a panicked out of breath voice, “Close your eyes—now! Keep them closed!”

The cyclist was hit, slammed against the hood and windshield of the car, bounced up in the air and came down hitting the front of the car. At that point the cyclist was pushed forward and rolled down the road. The car veered to the right to avoid hitting the cyclist again.

The unnatural positions of impact surely broke his back; maybe his neck.

“Lord, help him!” I pleaded.

“Guys,” I informed my children, “There’s been a terrible accident and you don’t need to see it. Pray.”

I instantly felt numb and nauseated at the same time due to watching, in what seemed like slow motion, an accident that happened in a matter of seconds.  There was one car in front of me in the left lane when I, along with all traffic, had come to a complete stop. There were already a couple of people out of their cars running to tend to the motorcyclist. Trembling; I dialed 911 on my cell phone and reported the location. I explained what I just witnessed and emphasized the urgency. I told the dispatcher that I did not know how a person could have survived what just happened and that I thought the motorcyclist would need a Life flight helicopter. When I hung up the phone I prayed with the kids for the man’s life. “A.J. and Colson,” I gently insisted,  “unbuckle your seat belts but keep your eyes looking down. Look down at the floor and do not look up. I want you to unbuckle and sit on the floor. Riley, do not look up sweetheart.”

Then I knew Jesus gently spoke to my very being: heart, soul, mind and strength— not audibly but in my spirit, “Go pray over him.”

This was the beginning of a back and forth dialogue between Jesus and me, all of which was done through the spirit without the kids hearing what was going on. The boys had found small buckets of manipulative toys I kept in the van for the times when we were sitting and waiting on Riley at extra-curricular activities.

“Lord,” I answered, “I don’t want to leave my kids alone in the van.”

He countered, “Go pray for him.”

“But I don’t want to see it. This is how an animal gets hit by a car…not…not a man.”

“Go pray for him.”

I opened the van door then without exiting the van, closed the door.

“Please, Lord, no? I can pray for him here in my van just the same as I can pray for him over there.”

“Child, I want you to go pray over him.”

I knew what Jesus wanted. He wanted me to go pray out loud over the man because a spoken word is powerful, but more importantly, God’s word is omnipotent. He has been teaching me the importance of praying scripture out loud for several years.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21.

 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak. II Corinthians 4:13

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I told my kids I was going to go pray for the man and they were not to look out the windows. I asked Riley to please turn around and watch the boys. I opened the van door again and climbed out, took a step and turned around. Tears were in my eyes as I implored again, “I don’t want to see what happened. That (the accident scene) is too close.”

The Lord insisted, “I want you to pray for him; now.”

I took two more steps toward the accident then turned around. For the third time I turned back toward the man then turned back around to the van again. Once again, I turned back toward the man and turned back around. “Lord, my babies are in the van. I don’t want them to see this. I don’t want to see what happened and I don’t want to hear what is going on.”

He assured me in His always calm voice, “Go pray for him. You can do this.”

This entire conversation took place in less than ten seconds. It was amazing how fast the communication went.

The motorcyclist had not been alone when he was riding. He had a buddy on another bike who realized what happened. The buddy looked back at his friend lying on the road, turned his motorcycle around in the right lane and drove back. He got off the cycle and was on his side lying down on the ground facing his friend.

I thought of the scripture, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am with them also.”  Matthew 18:20. I asked the lady in the car in front of me, “Do you pray?”

She responded with a, “Yes.”

I proposed that she join me so we could pray together and when she accepted we walked to the injured cyclist.  Another lady walked across the road from the oncoming traffic and identified herself as a nurse. She asked if anyone knew CPR or had given the hurt man CPR. We all, the buddy, myself, the lady from the car in front of me and another man, possibly the driver of the car, all said no. I told her I saw the accident and thought he could have a broken neck or back. The nurse began checking his vitals. I was aware that we still were not hearing sirens and I knew we were no more than two miles from a fire station. I was kneeling over the back of the hurt man. He had landed lying on his side. I again wondered if he had a broken neck, back or both. He was wearing a helmet and I could not see his face but I did see a pool of blood beginning to stream downhill which appeared to be coming from his mouth. He never moved from the time his body came to a stop on the road and I did not think he was conscious. His breathing was labored as he gasped for air through a gurgling sound in his chest; and I wondered if his lungs were punctured. I was overwhelmed and could do nothing but pray.

“Jesus, he needs help so we lift him up to you. Thank you that you live to intercede for us—for him. I ask…”

The buddy, looking up at me, angrily and authoritatively interjected, “You can stop right now! He wouldn’t want to hear a word you have to say and he wouldn’t agree with it or appreciate it!”

I looked at the buddy and slowly shaking my head up and down I acknowledged him, “I will respect that.”

The other lady and I removed ourselves to be out of the way since there was nothing else we could do. Walking toward her car I asked if she would still pray with me for the man  since he did not know Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  We both agreed that we still needed to pray for the man, now more than ever, so we stood beside her car and prayed.

“Father, I prayed, “You are the Lord, and there is no other. You speak the truth; You declare what is right. Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy and he is hoping to take this man as an unbeliever right now. Father, please don’t allow Satan this victory. We invite You to this place and ask that Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask in Your name, Jesus, that Satan and his demons be made to leave—NOW— and be kept away. We ask that this man be allowed another opportunity to accept You as his Savior. I don’t know how he will possibly survive without Your intervention and healing. ”

I do not remember what else we prayed at that time. This sweet sister –in-Christ and I took turns praying and she spoke in tongues while I prayed. I was thankful for the body of Christ and that we each are a different part of His body which together function for Kingdom purpose. When we were finished I thanked her. We told each other our names but I think her name went in one of my ears and out the other without ever being filed away in my brain.

I walked back to my van wondering what on earth, or in the heavenlies, God was doing. He had demanded my obedience to go pray for this man and when I did I was basically told to shut up and leave. I would have loved to have seen what was going on in the heavenlies at that moment.

Why were we still not hearing sirens?

I had kept my van in the left lane so other vehicles could not get through. I knew I was blocking traffic but my first interest was the hurt man. Besides other vehicles could turn left at the intersection behind us and easily reroute themselves.

I called Kim ever so quickly to tell her why we would not be keeping our Algebra appointment. She wisely insisted my children should not be there and said she would come and pick them up.

After several emergency response vehicles arrived in the west bound lanes I was asked to move my van to the right shoulder of the east bound lanes. The ambulance came and the fire truck arrived and parked diagonally across both lanes to keep traffic from getting through. Most traffic had rerouted and left, including the lady who had prayed with me. I thought I better stay in case the police needed statements from witnesses. I also knew God had not released me from praying over the situation.

DSCN3087

I took my scripture notebook out of my purse and began praying scripture over the man and his buddy. The ambulance had arrived but I was certain the man needed a helicopter if he stood any chance of surviving.

Next thing I knew, Kim was knocking on the van window. She quickly shielded the kids and took them to her van. She had parked in the Quik Trip convenient station parking lot and had walked a ways down through a ditch to my van to retrieve my children.

I again thanked God for her friendship. Treasure.

I continued praying scripture while the emergency personal did their jobs. I passionately and powerfully prayed scripture out loud like there was no tomorrow; knowing there may very well not be a tomorrow for this man.

I wondered why a helicopter was not here. There were police men taking measurements and pictures of the accident sight. Two of them were standing beside my van window so I rolled the window down and inquired if they would need a statement from witnesses. They reported there was another officer working on taking statements who would eventually talk to me. I then asked them if they knew what had caused the driver of the car to rear end the motorcycle and they divulged that the driver thought he had had a seizure because he could not remember what happened. I kept expecting to see some form of media coverage since there is ample supply of all forms in the metropolitan area but I never saw a reporter or photographer, other than a police photographer.

Kim called to let me know she had arrived at her house with my kids and from what she gathered, they had not seen anything. I mentioned my concern that a helicopter had not yet arrived and that the ambulance had not left the scene of the accident. She immediately informed me that the helicopter was sitting in the intersection behind me when she came to pick up the children. I looked in my rearview mirrors and realized all the vehicles behind me were now gone and there was not a helicopter sitting anywhere insight. I wondered how I managed not to hear a helicopter land, or leave, or notice all the vehicles behind me had turned around and left. Had the emergency personal managed to take the patient right past me to the Life Flight helicopter and I did not even notice?

The only people at the sight were those involved in the accident, the emergency personal and me. I got out of my van, walked over to an officer and asked if they needed a statement from me. He said they had enough information and would not need my statement so I went back to my van to leave.

As I began to turn around an officer motioned for me to wait. The fire truck was leaving which would allow access on the east bound lanes. As I passed the sight I saw what I could not see from where I had been parked and did not notice while I was out of my van. The motorcycle was still upright and attached to the front end of the car. The car’s front end had hooked over the motorcycle’s back tire and the seat was against the hood of the car.

All of a sudden I realized I was shaking, uncontrollably, and was not fit to drive my van so I pulled over at the next intersection to sit in the parking lot of a gas station until I calmed down. It had been over an hour and a half since the accident happened.

“Father, I so want to know what You are up to but I understand I may never know. You often place me in situations where I have to fervently pray for someone or something.  But this time was different. It was at Your insistence and not of my own accord. It is exhausting but I thank you for the opportunity of involvement in what You are doing.”

I continued to pray.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Next week I will continue with what I saw next, did next, prayed next, and what I found out about the man, John.