Posts tagged ‘prayer’

August 14, 2013

My mom knows Jesus (Nok)

I became a Christian 14 years ago in Thailand, in the Buddhist context. Almost everyone in Thailand are Buddhists. It is not easy for one person to accept Christ. It means a major paradigm shift. Since I came to faith, I told my family about it, hoping that they too will come to know Him one day.

God has indeed done a lot in my family. I saw the softening of the hearts in my family, I even saw curiosity in their life about Christian faith at times. I always felt I needed to move to Thailand soon, because the only way my family would know God is through me, the only person who is a Christian.

But then about two years ago, my aunt and my cousins came to know the LORD. I was so amazed by that. They witnessed to my mom a lot. My aunt said Buddhism never made her happy. And her neighbor kept witnessing to her for four years. One day she just got up and walked to church. Since then, her life and her son’s family have changed, filled with true love and true joy for the first time. And my mom saw that.

Meanwhile, God has already put a lot of believers in her life, myself, my husband and his family. Then came my mom’s neighbor who came to know Christ through Moody Bible Institute team’s visiting Thailand, and then her mom. My mom saw the life before and after, and the joy in them. God also put another witness in her life, a blind masseuse (In Thailand, it is $5/hour of massage). This person while massaging could not stop talking about the goodness of Jesus.

My mom probably noticed how God ambushed her in His grace. These past few months, my mom’s heart has been opened more to the Good News. She visited my aunt’s church regularly, and started listening to the message. When we talked on the phone, she liked to say the Christian messages are really good and easily applicable to my life, unlike the Buddhist teaching. Then, she began sharing with me more excitedly about lessons she learned, such as Jesus is the Good Shepherd. What a joy that brought to my ears!

One day she told me that she was looking for something to fix a pair of pants and came across my old Bible and started reading it. That is when I knew she was close to accepting Christ. Her heart has never been this open before, so that is when I told people to start praying for her. A Korean missionary who does the bible study with my sister (she is still not a believer) wrote me that he would pray and fast for her salvation for twenty days. I myself prayed and prayed, asking the LORD to reap her soul.

Then, this past Friday, all the prayer for 14 years from many many people was answered. My aunt invited her to a revival service at her church. My mom did not want to go but God gave her a dream on Thursday night that she was sitting in a church, so she decided to go. The sermon was so captivating to her that, she could not resist any longer and went to the front to accept Jesus.

When I heard of the news, I was so amazed and I called her the next day, just to check her faith. She believes that she is a sinner (very hard for a Thai Buddhist to accept that) and she believes that Jesus came to die for her to liberate her from sin. She still has some fear about the business, now that she can no longer offer incense and food to or worship the little guardian gods/spirits. What would happen to the business? I asked her if she wanted all the fear and doubt removed and she said yes, so I prayed for her. She was in tears during the prayer (And my mom is a tough woman who does not cry.) I know the Spirit was moving in her heart.

Next day my sister took her out for a special dinner, celebrating Mother’s day one day early. (It falls on august 12 in Thailand). It was so neat that my dad even noticed the change in my mom. He said from now on I will give you a new name, Mrs. Patience (because she is quite an impatient person and liked to fight with my dad daily). My sis said Dad has a new wife (a joke) but that is the same thing with the transformation message that Steve preached today.

The American mother’s day this year was May 12th. That was the day when I called my mom to share with her something in my heart and she said on the phone “Nok, let me tell you what your problem is, you trust your God too much.” Those words really hurt me that when I bear my heart to my earthly mother, she could not relate and even told me the opposite to the truth, that I ought to trust God for He alone is good and sovereign. God knows my desire to have a mother who is both earthly and spiritual. But now, just a few months later, that prayer has been answered. My mom is now in my family of faith. She will no longer told me to not trust God too much, for she too knows the riches of His glory.

Many people told me when I came to Christ that they prayed for their parents for 10 years, some 20 years. I was hoping that it would not take too long, but now 14 years past, I know that the return of joy from this persistent prayer is so worth it. My mom knows the Lord. She is saved. I am amazed at God’s mercy. Praise the Lord. And I believe that my sister and my dad will come to know Him as well.

So if anyone of you have an unsaved loved one, do not give up. Just keep praying and waiting to see with expectancy when God’s wind is moving. And let us be faithful in prayer :> God hears our cry.

– Nok

 

——

Wow. An amazing story of God working to bring salvation — a perfect follow-up to what Steve preached on Sunday.  Let’s trust for more stories like this one!

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September 17, 2012

Miracle Baby (Kyla)

Listen to this great story of God’s miraculous protection shared by Mike & Kyla:

Recorded Sunday, September 9th, 2012 at Church in the City

July 21, 2011

Prayer Walk (Erin)

Here is an encouragement to you that there is more than you think going on in your own neighborhood. Ask God how you might bless your neighbors this week and step into what He is already doing among them. Thanks, Erin, for writing this for us and for intentionally loving your neighborhood.

Lawndale Prayer Walk Testimony

Just had to share the neat things that God did on our prayer walk in Lawndale.  Two days before the walk, Dave, me and the girls went for a walk around the prayer-walk routes to hand out flyers that Gene made for us (thank you Gene!).  Its not very common to just walk around and strike up conversations in this neighborhood so we really felt stretched; but, God’s presence so clearly went before us–it wasn’t long before we had our first divine appointment…Ms. Geraldine!

Geraldine was on her porch with a bunch of little ones outside…she runs a daycare out of her home.  I invited her with our flyer and she got the biggest smile on her face and said, “well that’s JUST what we need…nothing else can bring change.”  She quickly grabbed her Bible that was just off to the side and held it up.. “I’ve got the Word right here!!” she said.

Dave and I said that if the whole prayer walk event was simply to meet Geraldine…it was the biggest “success” ever!

But we didn’t just meet Geraldine.  People all along the way received us with surprise and wonder as they heard what we were doing.  On the day of our walk, several people from our Connect group and the rest of the CITC community came out to support this neighborhood…long neglected…and regularly avoided (understandably so because of its rough reputation).  Geraldine came in with joy and power and our neighbor Mack was delightfully surprised by our excitement for God’s heart for Lawndale.  Another key community leader came and Gerry, who prayed with her on the walk, quickly discovered she was a bit of a celebrity in the neighborhood. Along the walk, many groups found other prayer warriors with faith for the community!   Many people had touching interactions with the neighbors and powerful visions for the community.

Gerry shared one such vision that I will leave you with.  God shared a picture of a jackhammer breaking up the cement in the neighborhood — breaking through strongholds, addictions and shackles that have long bound this community.  As they cracked water was rising up…carrying away loosened pieces and filling every crack.  Living water, the power of the Holy Spirit flooding Lawndale with healing and transformation!

Thank you CITC family..your presence was such an encouragement to the neighbors…you crossed boundaries many of our neighbors thought people wouldn’t cross and I believe God has blessed and will continue to bless unity like this!  I know many of you who couldn’t join us prayed along with us…what power there is in prayer.  Thank you CITC family – stay tuned for the next one!

Erin

February 27, 2011

Reborn, Into a family (Danielle)

Danielle sent me each of these testimonies in January, hoping to replace the first with the second one, but I think the two together give a moving look into the story of her journey with God over the past year. Thank you for encouraging us Danielle!

Reborn… (testimony #1)

I consider myself a born-again Christian; and a very new born-again at that.

I am still getting used to praying, reading the bible, and hearing God speak to me.

I grew up in a Christian home but unfortunately never got the true teaching I should have gotten.  For various reasons, I never grew up in the church nor had that core group of Christian friends.  Growing up, I always said I was a “Christian” but never really knew what that meant.  During high school, I had a major falling out with Christ.  I started hanging out with the wrong crowd as they say.  My grades started dropping.  My priorities in life were diminished.  I started hating life, hating my family, hating God.  I became in the mindset that life wasn’t worth living.  Why be alive in a world where I didn’t care for anyone or anything?

I cannot explain how or what triggered my mindset away from this negativity.  I left high school behind and entered college where I proudly said I was a Christian again, though still not realizing what this meant.  My last semester at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I was lucky enough to find a new group of friends who happened to all be Christians. Perfectly, I found them during the best time ever.  I was spending my last semester in school with a “Yes, can do!” attitude.  I would say yes to a majority of the invites sent my way.  They asked me what church I was going to and I admitted I hadn’t been to church since I was the wee age of four.  They invited me to Church in the City so I went.


After a few months at the church, I realized this was where I was supposed to be.

On April 18, 2010 I asked Jesus back in my heart.

On September 8, 2010, I decided to get baptized in chilly Lake Michigan.

God is so good.  He is answering my prayers.  He speaks to me, shows me love, provides me blessings.  I cannot be happier having Christ in me.  I look forward to an eternal life with God’s love shining brightly in me.

~~

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. – 1 Peter 1:23

…Into A Family (testimony #2)

I was privileged enough to be taught by Francois. He is awesome.
The worship band had a practice and teaching with him during his visit here in January.  We sang songs to Jesus and filled our hearts with His love.  The last hour, Francois decided to pray and prophesy over us individually.  He made his rounds with each person while I stood anxious for my turn.  I was fantasizing about the words he would give me; something amazing I hoped.  Or what if he got to me and gave me some lame two minute prophecy with no song to go along with it?

Francois finally stood in front of me and began his prayers.  I immediately starting crying, overcome with God’s love.  He started out by saying that this time in my life was a new season; a season filled with a new and fresh start.  God has been showing me new things and providing me with new things.  This was amazing to hear because I just asked God into my heart on April 18, 2010 and reassured it with a baptism in chilly Lake Michigan on September 8, 2010.

I am not to get frustrated, prophesied Francois, at the pace God is giving me blessings.  There have been a lot of new relationships, new opportunities, and new goods He has blessed me with instantly.  But I am not to get upset with God if He is taking a longer time to deliver His blessings.  In mid thought, Francois became silent.

I was afraid my turn was over.  No, please, that’s it?  That’s all I get to hear?

Luckily, he spoke up and makes a request to the rest of the worship team.  He asked them to just pray over me through the spirit out loud.  Fifteen or so people started praying, filling the room with such beautiful noise of tongues, words, and singing.  Again, the tears poured out, more heavily this time.  After the prayers silenced, Francois said he did this to show me the love and support I have right here.  He told me to stop fighting my battles alone because I have just witnessed the support that will help me.  He then asked one of the ladies if they could just hug me as everyone prayed over me again.  As I balled my eyes out, two of the most wonderful women hugged me and whispered, “Thank you, Lord” in my hear.

God does not call us to walk along the battlefield alone, so why am I?  I have been trying to be Miss Independent all my life so struggling spiritually has always been my own battle.
Christianity is a new thing for me so everyday is a new experience.  I cannot be happier to have God as my daddy.  I am thrilled to see what He has in store for me and for the amazing relationships He will bless me with.

Danielle

November 4, 2010

Bringing the Kingdom of Peace to Work (Amy Jo)

This testimony from Amy Jo is so encouraging to see because sometimes it is hard to grasp just how God is using us in the workplace. This example can help you lift your eyes to see the bigger picture of how you are impacting your world at work, and as we pray for one another. Thank you for passing on your testimony Amy Jo!

Amy Jo emailed Mat & Sheetal’s connect group on a Tuesday morning and we prayed for her that night. We got the 2nd response email from her a couple of days later…

 

Hello Connect Group…
I have a prayer request that I was hoping you could lift up today and tomorrow… I am in Las Vegas for work. (It is a managers meeting for one of our divisions.) Because there are significant interpersonal issues between the leadership level and the next level down, I was brought in to facilitate a teaming event that has the potential to either be really really great, or totally erupt into a disaster.

My prayer is that for no apparent reason, my voice is gone… I have a feeling like my throat is totally closed up and I am actually having trouble speaking and when I do, it is really hoarse and difficult to hear… [I do not have a cold or any allergy symptoms what so ever). I am also experiencing pretty severe anxiety to the point of nausea. I do this kind of thing all the time so really feel like I am under some other type of warfare. This is very unlike me… Butterflies, yes… the other stuff… no.

I just feel there is a real opportunitiy to heal some really poor working relationships and possibly start mending bridges where leadership by fear and manipulation has been prevalent.

Thank you for your offering of support and prayer. My meeting is tomorrow from 8-12n…
Many blessings,
Amy Jo

 

Dear Friends,
I cannot tell you how much your prayers, emails, texts meant to me this past week…. And I know it is no surprise to any of you that yes, God showed up in a big way.

When I woke up that morning, the first thing I felt was an overwelming sense of being in the most luscious sleeping bag possible… It was such a profound peace… I can’t really describe it… and I knew immediately that my voice was back. The next thing that I remember thinking was this scripture: Mat 10:19  ‘….do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say…

That morning, it was evident that the group of people I was going to work with were not pleased to be there (doing another ‘fluffy’ HR thing). They were all tired from being out ‘playing’ in Vegas the night before, and unbeknownst to me, a major organizational announcement had been made that just added insult to injury. Things were just poised for disaster.

But God is a God of truth and when truth needs to be spoken God gives us the words; as he did with me. The activity took on a life of its own, the result of which was very powerful. Specificallly, relationships between two different sets of people were restored and several others significantly impacted. The post-session comments and emails continue to speak of a sense of unity between the two groups that has never existed.

It is humbling to really think about how small all things are compared to how MIGHTY the Lord is… and even more humbling that no matter how many times we forget this, He still pursues us with the love of a perfect Father.

All glory to Him and thanks to those who He uses to bring pieces of His kingdom to earth.
Blessings and thanks,
Amy Jo

September 8, 2010

Like Moths to the Flame

I have to say, I love this story below.  Can every day of life be like this, please?

Send me some testimonies people, I am not about to let this blog go dry! What has God done or been doing in your life?

photo courtesy Jamie Tubbs

August 2010

On Wednesday, Heidi, Brittney, and I were all working at their
apartment when the fear of finances and various things came up. We
decided to pray for each other and declare God’s favor and truth over
each circumstance. It ended up being a very powerful time. Heidi had
the idea to go grab their downstairs neighbor, Gina, who has a bad knee
and had wanted them to pray. I was able to share the testimony of
knees being healed in Belize just 2 weeks ago, and I think her faith
was boosted. There is power in testimony! So we declared healing to
her knee and she couldn’t test it because she would have to go for a
run to find out. Another hour or 2 passes, and it’s about 6:25. I’m
about to pack up to get ready for prayer meeting, when Gina comes
upstairs and asks me to teach her nieces the 10 Commandments. I was
hesitant, but she insisted. A couple minutes later, 2 Puerto Rican
girls, ages 12 and 14 walk in awkwardly. I ask if they were in trouble
or something, but they weren’t. I humorously explained to them why I
didn’t really feel like teaching them the 10 Commandments, because God
isn’t just there for us to keep the rules and that He’s actually a
loving friend and Father to us. They perked up instantly and started
asking questions. This led into me sharing the entire Gospel with
them, and they had never heard it before! Soon, Heidi, Brittney, and
Karen joined, slightly confused why I was sitting there with 2 young
girls and my Bible open. The girls soaked everything up like a sponge
and they accepted Christ! They even shared with us how they both had
had dreams about God. One has had nightmares, but then this white
light comes and the fears leave. The other girl had a dream where she
saw Jesus on the cross surrounded by all these demons and she had to
dress up like a demon to keep from being targeted, and she made eye
contact with Jesus and He showed her His love. Fortunately, these
girls only live half a mile away and so Heidi, Karen, and Brittney
plan to disciple them! It’s so cool how we often go out to find lost
sheep yet here’s an example of them coming to us! Like moths to the
flame!

-Tommy

August 19, 2010

Freedom and Authority (Rob)

Here is a testimony from Rob, a pastor at Missio Dei, after some friends prayed with him over sickness he was experiencing.  It’s a pretty amazing story of things happening supernaturally as they prayed. If you have questions about any of this or are unfamiliar with God working in this way and would like to discuss it, feel free to email me. Thanks for passing this on to us, Rob!

Meanwhile, check out some sweet testimonies from semi-famous to famous people over at www.iamsecond.com. Amazing to hear how God reveals himself to people no matter their status. I especially loved Stephen Baldwin’s story about his housekeeper prophesying to his wife.  Augusta, I want to be just like you!

Rob’s testimony:

“Steve and two of the guys prayed over my illness.  It was pretty amazing.  The one saw a snake constricting me about the neck and chest and abdomen – representing spiritual oppression.  Another saw strings dangling from my back, pointing toward generational sin.  Together, they saw a curse upon me, and my blood – which we think was put on me in a then-crazy incident in Africa. They saw that my heart was physically tired from the cursed blood, that my spleen was enlarged and that my liver wasn’t functioning properly.  So they prayed to break the oppression.  One man shook violently as they laid hands on me.  I felt tingly/warm all over – almost as if I was being held up by something/someone else.  At one point, the one man felt led to pray the presence of God upon me, wrapping his arms around me completely. This went on for about 25 minutes or so… finally I got chills up/down my spine and heard a dark voice say, “I am leaving you…” and “I will be back,” and “you are right to fear me.”  Creepy!  I shared this with the guys, though, and they spoke truth: “that’s a lie” (the fear part).  In any case, I felt lighter, clearer, at peace.  Although I did leave wondering a little “what happened?!”

Within the next 12 hours, I started to believe that I’ve been healed.  Not because of outward stuff, but more of an inner peace.  Steve had prayed “authority” over me, not only in ministry, but over my home. That morning, I actually boldly stepped into that to pray over Aidan, who was not acting like himself. As I prayed, I saw a little gremlin-like dude teasing his ears, head, etc.  so I prayed in Jesus’ name against that spirit of stirring up.  Within a minute, a drastic shift occurred in him and in our home.  A little while later, I prayed in the shower, and was drawn to worship God – praising Him for healing, but also taking time to renounce things I had agreed to.  In the process, I also begin praying prayers of agreement with who GOD is, what is true of Him and His ways and His goodness, love, grace and mercy in Jesus.  I was literally in tears – you know, happy tears.  From there, I sensed a certain lightness all day, and a clarity I haven’t felt in a while.  I also had energy I hadn’t had in years.  And without caffeine!  There was also a renewed/restored confidence in many ways… Janel even saw the difference.

Interestingly enough, our kids had trouble on the way home from an afternoon/early evening spent with suburban friends.  Isabel projectile vomited out of nowhere and Aidan began having horrible coughing fits.  We got home and Janel and I prayed peace and protection over them and all seemed to calm… until I was awoken wide awake at 12.19p by a dream. I dreamt a white dog in our house was minding its own business (in the dream it was our dog) when suddenly it began to snarl and charged our front door, banging against it quite hard – as if there was some danger/evil on the other side.  Having been at the dream thing earlier, I recognized that this was a dream of warning from the Lord. As I lay in bed, it occurred to me to get up and lock the door.  It was unlocked.  But I was also led to pray over my home/family too, as I believe it was a spiritual dream.  I stood in the name of Jesus over Janel and the kids.  Finally, sleep came.  Ironically, Janel woke up at 1.19a and couldn’t sleep, so she prayed for quite a while. After falling back to sleep, she woke up at 3.19a.  Same thing.  Funny enough, Holly reported being awake from 3a-5a with a call to pray for us.

Some of this carried over to church Sunday, where I was committed to taking part in/leading the prayer time.  I felt drawn to pray with a new confidence and boldness – praying over this people and against oppression – from a spirit of control and self-aggrandizement to a spirit of pleasure and indulgence.  As Holly said later, I prayed with authority.  Hmm…  that’s a word God was speaking not only in the last 72 hours, but for about 9 months now.  I believe He’s working it in me and bringing me into that more and more.  Duh.

I will also add…I’ve found myself singing and whistling and even being silly ever since Friday night – as if a HUGE weight had lifted off me.  Which is pretty stinkin’ cool. I will say that it did seem as if the weight tried to come back today, while at the office, but even now I’m sensing it’s abated.

So…as you can see…it’s been quite an adventurous few days.  I’m excited to see what God is going to do from here…

All I can say is “praise God.”

Blessings,

Rob