Pray Until Something Happens!

“The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Proverbs 15:29 (NIV
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Gods’ promise as stated above, lets us know that He hears our prayers. We are counted as righteous because the Father says so. When God sent His Son who was without sin, He created a bridge to Himself just for us!

You have a constant way to get to God.
Your prayers!
You can dial Him up at any time and He WILL listen.
He won’t watch the phone as it rings, groan, and say “Oh gosh, she’s calling again? What does she want now?!” Instead He will be more than willing to listen and He will welcome you with open arms!
I’m a firm believer in the fact that prayer changes things. Not only can it change your life, it can change your outlook on your life. What’s the difference you ask? Your life is exactly how you’re living it. Where you live, the car you drive, the school you attend, how much money you make, etc. Your outlook on your life is the way that you see it. Are you happy where you’re at? Are you content? Do you constantly wish that things were better? Always planning and talking about the next “big thing”? Prayer can dramatically affect both of these outcomes.

Maybe you’ve been praying for God to change your grumpy husband or your nagging wife, to no avail. Maybe you’ve been praying about finding a new job or college acceptance, yet nothing has come along. Or maybe you’ve been turned down time and time again for a loan to purchase a new home. Now ponder this my friend, how are you going to God with your prayers? Are you TRULY believing Him to turn your situation around? Are you willing to PUSH….pray until something happens? I’m talking about repeating the same prayer over and over. Searching your Bible for His promises and then reminding your Father that He is unchanging.  Never speaking a word OPPOSITE of what you are asking for. You’ve got to be willing to pray until you see something happen. And once it happens, keep praying because now you gotta thank your Father for deliverance!

Sometimes, even when we pray fervently, without ceasing, and wholeheartedly, we may not see what we ask for come to pass. This is still for our greater good! I recall when my husband and I were searching for a house, early on we found one that we LOVED. It was in a great location, had a wonderful yard, was set in brick, and all that we were looking for. I started claiming this house as ours. I told my family and friends about it. I would drive by just to look at the house, all the while trusting God that it was for us! Well, the house was taken off the market and I was heartbroken. My faith was slightly shaken because this was a time when I thought I was REALLY walking with God. I said, “How could this happen? God, I prayed to You. I was obedient. We lved that house so what’s going on?”. After that, we visited house after house. Sometimes viewing 4 or 5 in an evening. Again, a great house came up! Perfect area, nice neighbors, our kids could stay at the same schools…we were elated! We applied and waited…and waited some more. Imagine our surprise when we didn’t get it. Money wasted and this time my husband was visibly disappointed as well. I knew sooner or later, something had to give. And it certainly did…we had to move out of our apartment, with no home in sight. Many of our friends and family questioned us as to why we just didn’t move into another apartment. The reason was because we KNEW God had a home for us and we were standing on His Word, no matter how it looked to the natural eye. We kept praying and believing God to give us what we asked for!

When you pray, you’ve got to  do so knowing God will come through in HIS time. Not when ya Mama says, or when your Grandpa tells you, or even when you tell Him He should. God will show up, right on time and He is guaranteed to SHOW OUT on your behalf! Believe that God will exceed your expectations. Whatever you think He can do, give, or help  with, He can actually deliver 10 times greater than that! He is Almighty, omnipotent, amazing, and filled with love for all of His children. He will do what you ask in His Sons name, if you will wait patiently and continue to pray even AFTER He delivers. I hope that you will begin to revamp your prayer life into one that reflects steadfast, undying faith.

Oh and in case you were wondering, God DID bless us with the house we prayed for! From the corner lot request to the fenced-in backyard…God delivered ON TIME, on EVERY, SINGLE, request, proving…”…He hears the prayer of the righteous”.

YSIC- CJ ❤❤❤

CJ Clark

Who Are You?

One of my all time favorite movies is Disneys 1951 classic, “Alice in Wonderland”. We find the main character Alice running around in Wonderland, trying to make her way back home after chasing a waistcoat-wearing white rabbit. Later in the story, she happens across a hookah-smoking character known as The Caterpillar who asks Alice repeatedly “Who R U?”. After the time Alice has had in Wonderland, she begins to ask herself the same question…”Who Am I?” Ever find yourself wondering the same thing? Maybe you know who you are, but I’m not talking about the numerous hats we wear so that the world can define and categorize us. You know those hats that state we are nurses, strippers, college grads, parents, husbands, wives, Christians, Buddhists, straight, bisexual, or any other way one can be labeled. Sometimes those hats become so heavy, that we want to rip them off, stomp on ’em, and burn ’em like crispy bacon! Aren’t you tired of being who the world wants you to be? Frustrated with being just like everyone else because it’s easier to fit in then stand out right? Living up to invisible expectations and climbing an invisible ladder that never seems to reach anywhere?

Well my brothers and sisters…God knows you’re tired and it’s time to STOP CLIMBING. Get off the ladder and instead ask your Father in Heaven, “God, do You say I am?”

God’s Word is full of promises that clearly state who we are. We are the head and not the tail. We shall be above ONLY and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13). We are blessed because our transgressions are forgiven and our sins covered (Psalm 32:1). As righteous children of God, we will never be forsaken nor beg for bread (Psalm 37:25). We can do ALL things because we have Christ to strengthen us (Philippians 4:13)! Start digging and you too can find that the Almighty’s Word is just that, almighty. Never failing. Concrete, strong, unchanging, and worth standing upon. In order to know who God says you are, you must get to know Him intimately for yourself. I can tell you all day what God says about you but if you don’t believe it, it won’t count. You’ve got to start encouraging yourself. Speaking life into your situation. Declaring that your circumstance is going to turn itself around. I remember when I got pregnant with my first child my senior year of high school, someone very close to me prophesied (spoke my future) that because of my poor choices, I wouldn’t even graduate. Ouch! As much as it hurt to hear those words, it fueled a fire burning deep within me. I was NOT a failure and I would no longer be a statistic. I was (and still am) a conqueror! On May 16th, 2002, I crossed that stage and received my high school diploma and my daughter, Zhariyah, arrived the following July 24th. She watched me as I received my Associate in Arts degree 9 years later on May 11th. I was determined to win, not just for myself or for her (and the other two children I had borne afterwards) but because I promised God that WE could do it. Don’t ever allow anyone, coworkers, your parents, your spouse, or even yourself, talk you out of what God says you can do. The Lord is true to His Word and if He said it, you best believe He will bring it to pass! Don’t delay your future due to guilt, shame, procrastination, or what was once my problem…fear of success.

My friend, you are EXACTLY who God says you are. You can do anything with His help. Instead of climbing that ladder to nowhere, try walking in faith to the the things God has set out before you. Instead of asking your homies, your girlfriend, or your grandparents what they think you can do or who they think you are, ask the One who knows your heart. Ask the One who created and knew you before you were even a bean in your mothers womb. Ask the God who grants new mercies and grace each and every day. Ask the Almighty who is the same from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same. He will never steer you wrong. He will never lie to you. He knows exactly who you are. The sooner you get to know Him, the sooner the true you can be revealed!

God can turn your tests into your TESTIMONY!

My tests were not for me to hold on to for myself, but to be shared with others so that they too might be saved! The Lord has made plans to use me and the devil is well aware of that. Last May, the enemy attacked my marriage. Last July, he attacked my body after a routine procedure and I almost bled to death. In late September, he attacked my husband, sending him falling through a staircase at our apartment complex, leading to an infection that almost took his leg. In early October the devil went after my children, causing two of them to fall ill and miss school. All of the events jeopardized not only our health and livelihood, but out jobs and finances. In December, the enemy attacked again, this time attacking me with an illness that 6 different health care providers were unable to diagnose. What started out as what seemed to be a simple cold lasted 10 days and left me collapsing at my job site and being rushed by the paramedics to the hospital. My oxygen level was 71% (normal being 96% or better), I was wheezing, I had lost 10 pounds in 8 days but they still couldn’t find anything wrong. My CT scans, x-rays, and labs were negative. None of the oral or injectable steroids, antibiotics, breathing treatments, or injections worked. I was sent home and advised to rest for several days. I received a call from a friend that a friend of hers, had had a dream in which there someone ill whose name was Cassandra or Cassaundra and she needed to speak with them urgently. My name is CasSaundra! When I spoke with this friend, Nikia, she shared things with me I had only discussed with God. She told what I was experiencing was spiritual warfare and that she was excited and honored to even be speaking with me because she truly believed God was using me for something great! I was shocked and moved to tears. The children of God know the truth when they hear it…and she spoke nothing but truth to me. She told me to continue to pray and to keep in touch.

On New Years’ Eve, we were served with an eviction notice from our landlords after notifying the complex that we would have to pay our rent late. We had never been late in 2 years so this came as a tremendous blow at a tough time. We had been house-hunting with no luck since August but prior to the notice, I had heard God say we would not have to pay any rent for December or January. I was confused and for some reason this caused nothing but worry and panic for me. I stressed wondering “Well where will is the money going to come from?” so I decided to talk to both family, coworkers, and friends. On January 4th, I visited my primary care physician who diagnosed me with anxiety, stress, and slight depression, and suggested I try Paxil which is used to treat Anxiety, depression, and obsessive-complusive disorder, to help me sleep. I took the pill 3 nights and had nightmares all those nights. Not ONCE did I listen to the little voice (a.k.a the Holy Spirit) that told me there was “No need to try this!” Philippians 4:6 (NIV) reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I was stressed out, drained, angry, overworked, and not trusting the Father to provide for me. I was working 50-60 hours weekly including training, raising 3 daughters with my husband, involved in various ministries at church, the President for my local Medical Assisting chapter, and also on my daughters SAC committee. Instead of going to God, I broke. On January 17th, I attempted suicide using the same pills I had been prescribed to help treat the stress I was experiencing. It was God who called out to me and reminded me that I was His as I lay on the floor fading away. It was He who saved me! I spent the next 4 days in a Psychiatric unit, away from my family, my job, the people that loved me…but growing closer to God. He told me it was “time to rest” and I made the decision to quit my job. It baffled the professionals in the facility and many others, but I trusted what I had heard God tell me to do.

5 days later, my husband and I went to court facing eviction. I had written a letter to the court after receiving our summons and explained our circumstances and even our intentions to pay our debt. A favorite song of mine by Karen Clark-Sheard says “If you need a lawyer, He’ll meet you in the courtoom!” The first thing the judge said was “I have read your response and I am VERY sympathetic to your situation”, he then proceeded to dismiss our case and not pursue any legal action regarding our debt and the prosecuting attorney agreed! On February 4th, we moved out of our apartment and for the next 25 days, we were homeless. We stayed at a hotel, 2 different friends’ homes, and then my parents homes. On my Mothers’ birthday, our realtor called and told us that one of her properties was available. We had viewed over 100 houses with her but were willing to check out this one. God had already revealed to me in a dream, that our kitchen would have all black appliances, a bar, and an island. Upon entering the home through the garage, I froze in my tracks, there was the same kitchen God had showed me in my vision! As we walked through the house I held back tears until I got to bathroom and saw the bathtub my husband had prayed for! Through my tears I thanked our realtor and her husband telling her “God told me to stick with you for a reason!” We moved in the very next day. We have had our share of the enemy sneaking in and stirring up trouble, but God has covered us and kept us!

The last week of April, I became ill with what I thought was the flu. 4 days later I was in the ER being treated for a bacterial infection. Saturday May 2nd, while brushing my daughters hair and getting ready for a party, I lost all feeling in my hands and feet. Within 10 minutes, I could not drink from a cup or a straw, I couldn’t hold anything in my hands, and I could barely talk. My husband sped to the emergency room and with elevated stats, my clothes were ripped off and the doctors feared I had a pulmonary embolism. After that was ruled out, I was immediately transferred to a larger hospital for evaluation. I was suffering from involuntary movement of my extremities, slurred speech, loss of vision and blurred vision but no one knew what was wrong. The next day, I was unable to move my left leg at all and my hands would not move either. My brain would tell my toes to move, it would feel like they were moving, but nothing would happen. My leg remained cold and still I was terrified. I kept telling the nurses, doctors, anyone who would listen, “I was fine before this! And “I’m a personal trainer, this isn’t normal!”. No one understood, they were just baffled. At 30 years old, I could not hold a pen, feed myself, use the bathroom on my own, I was helpless, or so I thought.

My biggest supporter has always been my husband. He was the one who reminded me that I am a “prayer warrior”. He told me “Don’t ask God why this happened, just praise Him and pray”. He is a man of very few words but I knew that he was right. I decided instead of crying and moping, I needed to pay attention and find out what the lesion was God wanted me to learn. So I became obedient. I began waking up at 4am and praying. I couldn’t walk without a walker, I wore a heart monitor, and I had a bed alarm but none of that was going to stop me from obeying my Father! I got on my knees and prayed. I prayed while they drew my blood. I prayed during all the ultrasounds, MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays and my physical therapy. 5 days later, the doctors still had no answers…but I could walk! No walker, no help, very slowly, but I was walking! When I was discharged, I didn’t want to wait on the 5th floor for my ride, I went downstairs with God walking with me. I even gave my testimony to a woman on the elevator who had heard the nurses applauding as I walked through the hallway as I thanked them for all their help and asked what I had been through. I shared with the woman that this happened to me because God knew I could take it! His grace was and is sufficient and He will always get the glory. My faith in Him grows stronger with each trial I face. Hopefully my story can help someone else because my tests have become my testimony for His glory.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”-Jeremiah 29:11