Tag Archives: Prayer

Why are our healing prayers so ineffective?

The female pastor walked to the pulpit and began her eulogy for my friend Brad. I have no idea what she said because the Lord chose that moment to speak to me.

I felt Him whisper to my heart: 

“My church is a bunch of nice losers. They lay their hands on the sick and pray for them, but when they die, they aren’t mad at all. They don’t check themselves out to see what happened or what they may have done wrong with their prayers and actions. They accept defeats and don’t think any more about them.

“Now, Major League baseball teams are all filled with good players. Each player has to be one of the best in the world to make it to the Major Leagues. Losing teams have good players on their rosters, too. But after a while, losing teams’ players don’t mind losing because after all, they still receive their Major League paychecks and bonuses.

 “But winning Major League baseball teams are different. They hate losing and will do anything and whatever it takes to win. They hate losing.

“I want My church to hate losing!”

This time the grief, which hit me, measured a ten on the Richter Scale. (Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who)

            These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” (Mark 16:17-18)

I have prayed for numerous sick people in the last few years. What have been the results? Many have died and others have continued on in their ailments. I’m not exactly a ringing endorsement for the truths of Mark 16:18.

Finally, I am fed up and angry about my efforts!

You see, I mirrored what the Church as a whole has been doing. Like them, I’ve gone through all of the traditional motions. Anointing the sick with oil. Laying hands on them. And tossing prayers out there for their healing. Maybe even fasting a little. But I failed to ask myself some tough questions: why are the sick still dying after my prayers? Why are they still ailing and crippled? What am I doing wrong?

I have become like the losing Major League baseball teams. I didn’t hate losing…until now.

Recently, I sought the Lord on what I was doing wrong.

The Lord showed me that my healing efforts were centered on the hope that one of my gifts – gift of healing, gift of faith or the gift of working of miracles – would show up and the sick person would be healed right then and there on the spot.

Yes, I have seen healing miracles through these gifts over the years, but to be honest, these gifts have not been consistently working through me in the last few years. And from my observations, these gifts haven’t been working that well in the Church as a whole.

You see, the Church and I have been guilty of trying to walk in the gifts used by Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, William Branham, Jack Coe, Paul Cain, A. A. Allen and others during the healing revival of the 1940s and 1950s. But the problem is that healing revival is over and the next healing revival has not arrived here as yet. We are living in the in-between time period.

So, what changes am I planning on doing in the future?

            But Jesus turned around and when He saw her, He said, “Be of good cheer, your faith has made you well…(Matthew 9:22)

            Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way, your faith has made you well… (Mark 10:52)

            And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:19)

            This man was listening to Paul as he spoke. Paul looked at him intently and saw that he had faith to be made well (Acts 14:9 NASB)

I plan on giving a short teaching to each person that I pray for. Something like this:

“Listen, I am going to anoint you with oil and lay my hands on you according to James 5:14- 15 which states that my prayer of faith will heal you. Do you believe that? If you are instantly healed, we will both rejoice. 

“But if you aren’t instantly healed, do not despair because instant healing is not always the Lord’s way. Instead, it will probably be through your faith. My anointing you with oil and praying a prayer of faith will be your point of contact to activate your faith in the Lord for your healing. Our belief is that the Lord will eventually say to you, ‘Your faith has made you well.’

“Do you believe that?”

Healing by faith works. We need to learn how to walk in it and also teach people how to receive their healing through faith.

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Pray for My Friends in Manila

A missionary friend, Mark Pedder, texted me yesterday evening asking for prayer for a sad happening in Manila, specifically BASECO:

Marco and Marivic’s oldest boy, Nicolai has had a girlfriend for I think the last four years. Her name was Mikey, just 21 years old, beautiful girl. She got pregnant etc, etc…she was full term this week.

She went in to deliver and both mum and child are dead. Then to add to the trauma of the whole thing, due to the virus getting out of control there, all dead bodies are being cremated, so no funerals.

So the body goes from the hospital to the crematory and instead of his girlfriend and a baby, Nicolai gets a pot of ashes. Neither of them were walking with God. No one was allowed in the room with her, so she went through that literally all alone, just very incompetent staff with her at the time. All just her horrific thoughts.

It’s Manila, in a povo’ hospital, so there will be no real way of ever knowing exactly what happened, but Nicolai went from waiting in a waiting room to see his new baby, then waiting at the crematorium for the body to be burn’t…not sure how you carry that.

It’s more or less a 12 hour turn-around from healthy, happy and having a baby, to literally ashes. Very, very sudden.

There is no way she’d be dead if she was in another country. Marco already has so much pressure on him, Marivic is overseas and there are no flights, it would take a miracle for her to be able to get home. There are a lot of other complexities, it’s really a mess. It’s all sort of madness.

My wife Christine is not doing well with it at all.

Mark

These are our brothers and sisters in Christ. If you can, pray for:

Nicolai – the young father.

Marco – Nicolai’s father

Marivic – Nicolai’s mother

Mark and Christine Pedder – missionaries to BASECO.

Father,

We run quickly to Your throne of grace, asking to find mercy and obtain grace to help Nicolai, Marco, Marivic, Mark and Christine right now in their time of need. Our minds can’t wrap around this tragedy, but we know You, Father, can offer each one of them comfort and a peace that will pass all understanding. Only You can do that for them. They need Your Father’s heart of compassion, pouring out Your love on them.

And Father, out of this terrible tragedy, use it for Your good. Raise up Nicolai with a passion for You and Your ways and send Him to the nations.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

 

 

 

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Over 60? Is it too Late to Build a Prayer Life? (Part 4)

praying

Along with our friends, Tony and Janelle, Carol and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 1997 to join The Watch of the Lord prayer ministry and to attend All Nations Church. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda headed both ministries.

Each of us felt the Lord directed us to move there. Our billfolds lacked money and credit cards, but faith filled our hearts, believing God would somehow supply our needs.

We pooled out money together and rented a room with two double beds at the Charlotte Residence Inn. The room contained less than two hundred square-feet of floor space with a kitchenette, two beds, four chairs, table, and a bathroom.

A mortgage financing company hired the four of us as telephone sales reps on our second day in Charlotte. The company paid its employees on a biweekly basis, which meant our first paychecks arrived two weeks later. This posed a problem because we only had enough money for one week of rent at the motel.

Each morning the four of us gathered together and prayed for our finances, as in, “Oh Lord, help! HELP!”

We introduced ourselves to the church and ministry as soon as it was possible. The members said we were the answers to many prophecies spoken to the group about people moving from different parts of America to be a part of the ministry. Their words encouraged us, but our money still dwindled daily because of food and gas.

A couple from All Nations Church invited us to their home for a small group meeting and Christmas party on the last night of our motel rental. The four of us agreed not to mention our dire financial needs to the group, but instead, we were determined to trust the Father, according to Matthew 6:6 −

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

The married couple lived in a beautiful new two-story home located in a picturesque area with tall pine trees. It had a large living room, three bedrooms, fireplace, two bathrooms, and large kitchen. A perfect place for four needy, soon to be homeless, believers like us.

The meeting began with Christmas songs and prayers, with the group then waiting on the Lord to hear His voice. The group leader broke the silence by turning to Tony and Janelle.

“Do you guys need something?” he asked, looking at them.

Tony and Janelle shook their heads.

“Not really. The Lord is taking care of us,” said Tony.

The group returned to waiting on the Lord, but the leader was not satisfied and again turned to Tony and Janelle.

“I just don’t feel good about your answers. What do you need?”

Tony and Janelle answered again in the same manner.

“The Lord is taking care of our needs. Thanks for asking.”

The leader would not quit. He continued to ask them what they needed.

“Okay, here’s the story,” Janelle finally said, “we’re out of money for rent and groceries starting tomorrow morning. We don’t know where we shall go or how we’ll survive until we get paid next week.”

How do you think these joyous, Christmas celebrating Christians replied to her statement? And remember: it was December and cold outside.

The group’s leader digested Janelle’s statement for a moment. He motioned with his hands.

“Let’s gather around these two couples and pray for them.”

Tony, Janelle, Carol, and I stood in the middle of the living room while ten Christians placed their hands on our shoulders and prayed. They cried out to the Lord with passion for our circumstances.

I cheated a little by keeping my eyes open and watching the group. Oh Lord, I thought, this looks like the sum total of their aid for our needs. If so, I feel like puking all over their carpet for their level of Christianity.

The rhythm of their prayers reached a crescendo and backed off, waiting for someone to speak.

“I see the Lord raining drops of gold on the four of you,” prophesied a woman. “And all you have to do is reach up by faith and grab what you need. Just reach up right now.”

The prayers ended and we sat down again.

What a convenient prophecy, I thought. They actually believe they don’t have to help us in our time of need because of the woman’s prophetic words. Shouldn’t someone ask how much gold we were able to cram into our pockets during the prayers? Why did the Holy Spirit unmask our financial needs? To reveal our lack of faith or to reveal the group’s hypocrisy?

Various types of Christmas cookies, fudge candy, sandwiches, chips, and potato salad kept the four of us busy after the prayers. We stuffed ourselves and then graciously said our goodbyes and left.

The four of us did our best to pray blessings on the group and forgive them for their lack of hospitality on our drive back to the motel.

We checked out of the motel the next morning, packed our cars, and went to work. After our phone sales shift, we drove to a large shopping mall and stayed there until it closed at 9 p.m. We then drove both cars behind a large motel and slept in our cars.

How we handled the cold December temperatures was out of necessity rather than comfort. We only started our engines when the cold became unbearable. As soon as they warmed up, we turned the engines off to conserve fuel.

This routine continued for days.

I now wonder about the what if’s, such as, what if we had been four fluffy Golden Retriever puppies abandoned by a cruel master on the couple’s front steps. Would the small group have ignored our pleading eyes and whimpering yelps, allowing us to freeze to death outside in the cold weather? I don’t think so because that’s too inhumane, right?

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth (1 John 3:17-18).

If we want to build our prayer lives, we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might end up being the answer to someone else’s prayers. If we don’t want to do that, why even pray, right?

(Continued in Part 5)

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Over 60? Is It Too Late To Build A Prayer Life? (Part 3)

praying

 

Religious Nut

The first time I heard the term “religious nut” was in the 1950’s when my mom spit those words out of her mouth. It happened when we shopped at Meiners’ Grocery Store in Forreston, Illinois. Mom picked a few items off the shelves and carried them up to the checkout. Lillian Meiners, the cashier, attempted to talk about the Lord to Mom while totaling the purchases on the cash register. It was a one-sided conversation with Mom saying nothing.

“She’s a religious nut!” Mom proclaimed as we walked to our 1955 Pontiac, parked outside the door.

From that day forward, Lillian Meiners personified a religious nut to me. I would often see her and when I did, Mom’s words popped into my mind. Lillian never knew my true feelings about her. It was one of those inner character assassinations I never spoke aloud to anyone.

Lillian’s name was filed on a forgotten corner shelf of my mind until late 1985. It would still be there covered with layers of dust and cobwebs except for the question I asked the Lord one morning during prayer.

“Jesus, why did you save me?”

A clear voice whispered to my heart.

“Because of Lillian Meiners’ prayers for you.”

His words shocked me, but a few years later, I talked with her pastor, Rev. Orin Graff. He told me Lillian was a faithful prayer warrior for kids who attended Bible Camp.

Thus, the first saint I am going to hug upon my arrival in heaven will be Lillian Meiners. I want to thank her for faithfully praying for an agnostic who always thought she was a religious nut. We can have a good laugh about my ignorance and how Jesus set me straight.

(An excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

Lillian Meiners died over thirty years ago. So, she would have been in her 60s when she spent time praying for me.

Lillian reminds me of what Wesley said of Whitefield:

John Wesley and George Whitefield certainly had their theological differences which at times caused great problems. With this in mind, a timid lady asked Wesley after Whitefield’s death, “Do you expect to see Whitefield in heaven?”

“No, madam,” replied Wesley.

“Ah, I was afraid you would say that,” said the lady.

“Do not misunderstand me, madam! George Whitefield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me, who am less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him,” said John Wesley.

I also will need strong field glasses to see the likes of religious nuts like Lillian Meiners and other senior citizens who have faithfully prayed for the generations that followed them.

(Continued in Part 4)

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Over 60? Is it Too Late to Build a Prayer Life? (Part 2)

praying

In a way, I’ve been blessed in that my almost thirty-five years of walking with the Lord has been one long trial. If it wasn’t finances, it was my marriage or my many mistakes forcing me to keep my foot on the prayer accelerator. I really had no other alternatives!

Yes, I love hearing how some believers fall so in love with Jesus after their salvations that they just want to pray all of the time. But that certainly wasn’t me! You see, I just wanted to survive my never-ending battles and had enough wisdom to realize God was my only answer.

So, I plodded along day after day in my prayer life.

Then, one morning the Holy Spirit fell upon me. What happened? I was gone for approximately forty-five minutes and where I was I didn’t have a clue, but there was no worry, no time and just peace, love and the Holy Spirit. It was an awesome experience.

This happened again and again in the following mornings so that I learned how to travel into this “secret place” to be with God.

Now, I didn’t let anyone else know about my daily “secret place” visits with God for about two years. Part of my reasoning was that it was so precious and the other part was that most thought I was a religious nut and I didn’t want to add more lines to my resume.

Yet, it wasn’t until I heard someone teach on Psalm 91 that my eyes were opened:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Can you believe that God has a secret place and He actually wants us to spend time with Him there? I always stand amazed just thinking about that.

Can any believer visit God’s secret place? Young or old?

Absolutely yes!

All you have to do is find a quiet place and open your Bible to Psalm 91. Tell the Lord, “I want to visit Your secret place and abide under Your shadow.” Begin praising Him and thanking Him.

Then, it’s up to the Holy Spirit to escort you into God’s secret place.

For me, it’s been a little over thirty-four years since my first visit. And since then, there has never been a day when I didn’t want to spend time in God’s secret place.

It has radically changed my prayer life from boredom to excitement.

Maybe it will do the same for you.

(Continued in Part 3)

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70,000 Deaths in Three Days!

God was angry with Israel in 970 BC. So, He allowed Satan to entice King David to take a census of the people in Israel.

Doesn’t a census sound harmless? But it wasn’t.

You see, Exodus 30:11-12 states that a census had to be ordered only by God because the Israelites were His people and not the property of any King. And if a census was taken, a ransom had to be given by each person to the Lord or a plague would hit the people of Israel.

When King David ordered the census to be taken, Joab, the commander of Israel’s armies, said to David, “But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”

King David ignored Joab’s advice and insisted on the census.

It took almost ten months to count the people.

And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to King David to explain just how David’s iniquity could be removed. Gad gave David three options to choose from:

  1. Shall three years of famine fall on Israel?
  2. Shall you flee three months from your enemies?
  3. Or shall three days of a severe plague fall on Israel?

I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” (2 Samuel 24:14 NLT)

The Lord sent a severe plague on the following morning. 70,000 men died in Israel over the time of the plague. More would have perished, but King David interceded for Israel by saying:

“I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? O Lord my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people.” (1 Chronicles 21:17 NLT)

King David’s prayer becomes more amazing when you consider that David was willing to give up every prophetic promise for himself and his family if that would stop the plague. His promises included a Son of David promise that would arrive on the scene almost three thousand years later.

God saw David’s heart and stopped the plague.

(Read the whole story in 2 Samuel 24 or 1 Chronicles 21.)

What does this have to do with the Coronavirus, right?

I believe the Lord is looking for believers who are willing to intercede in the same way King David did by standing in the gap for their cities, states and America right now.

For those who are willing, all we have to do is ask the Lord what He requires us to do in this sad hour. If we each do our part, I believe this pandemic will end sooner…rather than later.

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To Speak in Tongues or To Not Speak in Tongues? That is the question. (Part 3)

Praying in tongues quiets the mind. When Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, compared brain scans of Christians praying in tongues with Buddhist monks chanting and Catholic nuns praying, the study showed the frontal lobes—the brain’s control center—went quiet in the brains of Christians talking in tongues, proving that speaking in tongues isn’t a function of the natural brain but an operation of the Spirit (1 Cor. 14:2, 14). (Adapted from Seventy Reasons for Speaking in Tongues by Bill Hamon(Destiny Image). Reproduced by permission of Destiny Image.

An early step in my heart renovation happened during the winter of 1993 when I scheduled a teaching at a home group in Story City, Iowa, a fifty-five mile journey from Fort Dodge. My 1975 Chevy gas-hog of a pickup truck sat outside of my apartment with a gas tank resembling my empty billfold.

I already had a teaching ready for the group and felt the Lord had a way to somehow get me there. I prayed in tongues on my knees for an hour before a scripture crossed my mind.

One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed (Proverbs 19:17).

“Lord, how will this scripture help me?” I asked aloud.

No response came, but I knew the scripture contained my answer. I memorized it and meditated on it while praying in tongues for another hour. The Holy Spirit eventually reminded me about giving all the money in my billfold to a poor woman who lived just down the street. The ex-husband was late with child support. The family needed milk and groceries.

“Okay, Lord. That builds my faith because I did give money to a poor person, but how am I going to make my faith work in this instance?” I said.

No answer again.

I returned to bowing on my knees and continued meditating on the scripture while praying in tongues for another hour. This time I felt the Lord instructed me to cut out a piece of paper and tape it over my gas gauge so the needle pointing to E could not be seen. My faith would then be in God and not in the gas tank. I followed His instructions.

The truck’s engine roared to life when I turned the key and headed out into the cold, windy, snowy evening. There was little traffic on the highway. My thoughts on the ride centered on whether an angel had a gas can and continually poured fuel into the tank or if the Lord recycled the fumes. I never figured it out, but I arrived at my destination without any incident.

The Lord has built in my heart a deep trust in prayer over the years. He is my Father, who loves me enough to bankrupt heaven for me. I ask Him to provide for whatever I need in the quiet of the prayer closet and seldom have ever mentioned anything to others. Thus, I never told anyone about my empty gas tank at the house group.

The meeting and fellowship lasted until midnight, but just before I left, a man handed me thirty dollars.

“The Lord told me to give this money to you,” he said.

I thanked him and let him know how much I appreciated his obedience to the Lord’s voice.

(Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

Be still and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)

(Continued in Part 4)

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How Shall We Overcome Our Fear, Anxiety and Depression? (Part 3)

In the beginning, God created the heavens, the earth and everything on the earth.

Next, He created mankind in His own image by forming man out of the dust of the ground and breathing into man’s nostrils the breath of life. Man became a living being.

So far so good.

Next, God decided that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and that he needed a helper, fit for his needs. God took a rib from Adam (the first man) and created the first woman. She was just what Adam needed and he called her Eve. 

Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. (Genesis 2:25)

So far still so good.

The Bible doesn’t exactly say how long Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden before the fall occurred in Genesis Chapter 3, but we are told that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. This third child was born after Cain had killed Abel.

My guess is that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for approximately one hundred years without disobeying God’s one command to them –

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Maybe Adam and Eve walked by the forbidden tree once a day for one hundred years. That would be 36,500 times. If Adam and Eve were like me, they’d be at least curious about how the forbidden fruit tasted. And 36,500 times of not eating or touching the fruit probably primed them for the serpent’s temptation when he said,

“You won’t die! God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)

Eve listened to the serpent and then ate the forbidden fruit and gave some to Adam who also ate it.

What happened next?

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” (Genesis 3:7-8)

Adam and Eve’s disobedience released two stumbling blocks upon mankind which help to foster fear, anxiety and depression: hiding from God and fear. We are still struggling with these issues today.

(Continued in Part 4)

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How Shall We Overcome Our Fear, Anxiety and Depression? (Part 2)

Let’s call the first female ride-share rider Alicia (not her name). She was nineteen years old, very pretty with a nice shape, long blond hair, intelligent and a great smile.

As I drove, we conversed about her college experience and her move to a new apartment. Somehow, I asked, “Do you struggle with depression?

“Yes,” she replied, “I am one of those smiling depressed ones.”

“Really? How can a pretty, bright gal like you be depressed?”

Alicia went on to tell about her childhood. She had a domineering religious father who demanded his wife always wear a dress, spanked his children too hard and too often, abused his wife and did all of this while hiding behind a “Jesus loves you” attitude.

Her mother left her dad and then remarried another man. And guess what? The mother chose a man just like her first husband.

Alicia made up her mind as a teenager never to be a Christian, but God had other plans for her. Some friends coaxed her into attending a Christian youth group. She met the real Jesus and built a relationship with Him.

But so far, her Christians beliefs have not erased her damaged childhood. She still struggles with depression.

Let’s call the second female rider Stella (not her name). She was forty-three years old, divorced, a successful professional, very pretty, in great shape, intelligent, and a Christian with a big smile.

It took no time to learn about her depression.

She had just returned from an out of state job interview. The reason for seeking the new job was that she was sexually harassed at her present company. She put up with the harassment for a while because it was her boss, a partner in the firm. But she wisely kept all the texts and emails he sent her.

Finally, she became fed up and went to the Human Resources Department with her texts and emails. The boss was fired, but the company treated her as though she was the problem and the cause of a good man being fired. Former friends turned on her.

Stella went to a psychologist, trying to get a handle on her strange predicament. Her company then felt she was too unstable to handle her position because she needed counseling.

It then snowballed from there.

Depression settled upon her so that she felt her only hope was to move to another city.

Both of these females should have had everything going for them with their intelligence, looks and youthful energy. Yet, one was damaged in her childhood and the other was hit head on by an unwanted circumstance.

These two females’ depression illustrate two of the main causes for our fear, anxiety and depression.

(Continued in Part 3)

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How Shall We Overcome Our Fear, Anxiety and Depression? (Part 1)

I struggle with writing a series about fear, anxiety and depression because I don’t really suffer from these disorders. It’s not that I’m uncommonly brave or anything like that. It’s just that from my childhood until now, I’ve always had an attitude of “something good is about to happen to me.”

This becomes somewhat funny if you take the time to read my testimony because the Lord saved me on the day I was going to commit suicide. It’s not that I was depressed or anxious on May 20, 1985, it’s just that I had run out of options to save my home, car and family. My life insurance policy of $125,000 seemed to be my only hope. So I thought of it at the time as a business decision – nothing more.

Now, the only time I have ever truly suffered from depression was when a Christian friend with good intentions leant me his copy of Deliverance and Inner Healing by John and Mark Sandford. The book blends scripture with the teachings of Jung and Freud to supposedly rid believers of buried memories. The authors’ premise seems to be that Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Bible are not quite enough to set captives free.

I began reading the book on a Saturday afternoon. And after about a hundred and fifty pages,  I became severely depressed and confused. The book had convinced me that my Bible studies and prayers were wasted efforts and that I needed the insights of inner healing, as outlined in this book.

I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.

As I walked down the sidewalk in a foggy daze, a Christian neighbor looked out his window and saw me. He felt I was in danger. He rushed outside and asked, “Larry, what’s your problem?”

“I’ve been reading a book entitled Deliverance and Inner Healing and it has really confused my faith,” I answered.

“Oh, that book is filled with psycho-babble and sorcery,” he replied. Then, he proceeded to outline the history of Agnes Sanford, John and Paula Sandford, Karl Jung, Sigmund Freud, inner healing and more.

“Jesus is the way, truth and light. Period,” he said.

His words instantly set me free.

Thus, if my depression on that Saturday is a small example of what many suffer on a daily basis, wow! It makes me realize just how debilitating and tormenting fear, anxiety and depression must be for millions of people.

Two female riders on my ride-share travels this week inspired me to write this article. We will talk about them in the future.

(Continued in Part 2) 

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