But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
I was inspired on Thursday night to take communion daily. It did not need to be at a church service necessarily; a simple home ceremony would do fine. So Friday morning I arose and went through my normal paces for the early morning hours. Then I went to the grocery store and picked up some matzo crackers and grape juice to use for the communion event. I returned home and enjoyed a time of prayer which included the simple communion time.
I had a good day which included some nice relaxation. My wife reminded me of a wedding she was going to attend and I gave her a ride to the home of the person she was going with. On my way home I began considering my evening plans of which I had none. I went home and made a sandwich for dinner.
I remembered that Josiah Center had a Friday night service. I checked their web site and sure enough, there was a worship service from 7:00 to 11:00 PM. I know a few people who go there occasionally and I made the decision to go there and see if they were there. Upon arrival I recognized a half dozen people immediately. After greeting a few of them, I went and stood next to a man and a woman that I knew and we worshiped together. Three incidents occurred over the following hours.
During the worship time I believed I was receiving a word from the Lord. It had two main points that were to sincerely seek Him and to love one another. The message was quite detailed including scripture verses and exposition of them. After the worship time and prayer time, the pastor delivered a short message. The message was basically the same as that which I had received though the emphasis was on different points. He used more scripture references than I had received, but all that I had realized, he used. What a confirmation of the presence of God.
Following the worship was a time of prayer. The woman I was seated with had an issue with her shoulder such that when she stretch out her arm and raised her hand she could barely get it to a thirty degree angle for her body. As she was prayed for, she slowly lifted her arm higher and higher. At the end of it all she could raise both arms above her head and praise God.
She then came and sat down to the left of me. She took my hand and while rubbing the back of my left hand she asked, "How can I pray for you?" I said, "You could pray for those arthritic knuckles that you are rubbing." Without batting an eye she began praying. My hands have been swollen, stiff and in much pain for quite awhile. As she prayed, the swelling went down and the pain melted away. I was also able to begin flexing my hands without pain. I thank God for such a healing. I awoke Saturday morning in thanksgiving and praise as I had no stiffness or pain in my fingers.
The Pastor was praying for whoever wanted prayer and I waited my turn in the large group. When he came to me he asked me, "Where do you have pain?" I told him about the healing and then told him of another issue, not physical, that was of great concern to me. He instructed to hold out my hands as if receiving a gift. I did so and he began to pray for me. He anointed me with oil and prayed. His prayer included healing for my wrists. I had said nothing about my wrists to anyone though I have had steady pain that varied in severity. I found that to be interesting enough, but then he prophesied over me concerning the other issue. I patiently, and expectantly, await to see how that comes about.
God is good and He wants to bless those who trust in Him and seek Him. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Jesus loves you and me and He wants to deliver us and reward our faith with eternal life as well as blessings in the here and now.
Will you trust Him and draw near to Him? I can do no other thing.