Tag Archives: Pentecostal

An Honest Account of Sickness and Healing

bacteriaI have been quite ill for the past two months with a bacterial infection. Thankfully, I am now on the mend. Dozens of people faithfully prayed for me during this time, and I so appreciate all the prayers. I thought it might be good to share the journey with you.

We have many sure-word promises of healing in the Bible, and I believe in them with all my heart. I claimed those promises, as did my praying friends. But when I didn’t immediately and miraculously get well, some people were troubled. A couple of well-meaning folks suggested unforgiveness in my heart was the culprit. This was very discouraging! I dutifully brought their concerns before the Lord, but did not feel their assessment was accurate. Others who know me well did not feel it was, either.

When healing doesn’t happen quickly or supernaturally, the tendency is to try to figure it out, and if we can’t, to start laying blame, usually on the sick person. This is very common in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles, and it is detrimental to the person who needs healing. It comes from a pervading “works” mentality, which believes it is all about us doing and speaking every iota perfectly in order for the Bible promises to be attained. We think our performance brings the answers, instead of putting our trust in Jesus our Healer. In essence, we want to come up with a formula to fix ourselves, instead of admitting our weakness and utter dependence upon Him.

A pastor friend felt God revealed to him that I would have to go through the  difficulties, but that it would all end well. He shared the story of Paul’s shipwreck, in Acts 27 and 28. He particularly mentioned that Paul had been bitten by a venomous snake on the island of Melita, and at first people jumped to the conclusion that it was due to Paul having sinned. But that was not the truth. The process was part of God’s plan, He did receive glory, and Paul came out of it all right in the end.

Someone reminded me of Romans 8:28, “… All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This fit well with what our pastor friend had shared. I began to get a glimpse of God’s higher perspective and that somehow God was at work for His glory and my good in ways I couldn’t yet see.

The Lord gave me two particular Scriptures which I have prayed often throughout this ordeal:

Psalm 41:3“The Lord will sustain and strengthen him on his sickbed; in his illness, You will restore him to health.” (AMP)

Psalm 23:1-3“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want [lack]. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul….”

I had moments of fear, and prayed Psalm 56:3, 4: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God I will praise His Word; in God I have put my trust. I will not fear what flesh can do to me.” Many times I said, “Lord, I put myself completely in Your hands. That’s all I can do.” I have not had perfect faith or perfect peace. At times I felt very hopeless. The emotional toll has been great. I relied on my husband’s faith and the faith of friends when I didn’t have much of my own.

The Lord uncovered some attitude flaws during this time — issues I had not realized I had. The whole experience has been extremely humbling. But refining is always a good thing, and I am grateful for it.

In the end, the Lord has brought healing through doctors and a treatment I would have preferred to have avoided. But His hand and timing have been on it all. I hope for better days ahead, although it will be a couple of weeks yet before we’ll be certain that no more treatment is necessary.

If I had had my own way, I would have preferred miraculous healing, without the need for all the doctoring. I don’t yet know how this will ultimately bring God glory. I do believe we should be healed supernaturally far more often than we are. But I know He does things the best way, I am not in control, and I have to trust Him for the outcome.

No matter what trouble He allows us to pass through, the Lord is always with us in the midst of it, and at the right moment, He will bring us out of it. Our challenge is to cling to Him and not let go while we persevere in believing in His goodness and His promises.

I hope that my honest story will assure someone else who has health issues that you are not a failure just because you are struggling. If it has helped, would you please take the time to leave a comment? Thank you!

prophetic intercession

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

nature of God

 

 

Before Whom We Stand,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Prophetic Leaning (Part 2)

3266744075_d01a66a103_m

Gerald Sargent Foster, Racing, 1934, Smithsonian American Art Museum, License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As I said in Part One, it is often wise to wait on making prophetic revelation public, so that we’re sure we have the whole of what God wants to say through us. Revelation and its understanding tend to come in pieces.

First, we need to weigh what we have heard or seen to make sure it is really coming from the Lord, not our own imaginations, fears, or hang-ups. Once we are certain we have received something from Him, our next step should be to seek Him for the correct interpretation and application. Interpretations and applications are higher steps in making prophecy useful to the Body of Christ. We can ask the Lord questions such as:

“What specific events or situations are you speaking of? Who is this meant for?”

When I first began releasing things I was hearing, I often blundered in believing my revelation was specifically for our local church. Sometimes what I said was not received favorably, because it did not always fit with the inner witness of our leaders. What I did not understand then was, more often than not, I was hearing about the American Church at large, not specifically our local fellowship. It was only when I saw a few well-known prophets saying the same things — sometimes down to the last word in a sentence or phrase — that I realized what was really going on. What a huge relief! I was not “off” in my hearing after all. I had merely misapplied who it was for.

A still more common mistake is to apply to others a word God is speaking to us personally, and only to us. We eagerly prophesy it for the local church, thinking it’s for everyone else. This tends to happen especially when it is a corrective word which our flesh isn’t keen on hearing and applying personally. Revelation certainly can have an application beyond ourselves, but we should make sure God intends that before releasing a personal word as a one-size-fits-all prophecy.

“What is the timing — now or later?”

This can be really hard to discern, even for seasoned prophets.

Several years ago, a respected national prophet released a dream he’d had about California, which depicted a coming destructive earthquake of massive proportions. He strongly exhorted God’s people to leave California immediately. Of course, this information and the resulting advice was very upsetting to many California believers.

Meanwhile, I was personally hearing that revival and awakening were coming to California. Abundant fruit for the kingdom of God would come forth from that state. There would be a great shift in the ideology of Californians. I was also hearing to pray for an end to the severe physical drought going on there, and that the spiritual drought would also come to an end by the “rains” of the Spirit being poured out on that state.

Now, this messes with my mind extremely, to be hearing the seeming opposite of what time-tested, well-known prophets are hearing! My inclination is to think, “Lee Ann, you are just plain nuts!” But I asked the Lord about it, since I felt such an urge to pray blessings in upon California. He responded, “He [the well-known prophet] is seeing into the long-term future, while you are praying into My purposes for the shorter term.” The light bulb went on. It was not about one or the other hearing wrongly; it was about timing.

Unprecedented rains did come a few months later, and they continue to come in abundance. Currently, there are also some early signs of revival breaking out in a few places. The fullness of what God wants to pour out on California is still in its beginning stages.

“What if I continue to not understand or be certain of my revelation?”

Sometimes a word or vision will press on us, but understanding continues to elude us. We’re in good company. The prophets in the Bible often could not grasp what they were seeing, either. Some Bible prophecies are still awaiting fulfillment. This is just the way God works!

God may show us what our revelation is about at a later date, if we give it time. Or, it could be that He wants us to get the input of other trusted prophetic people. While we may have the actual word, how to interpret it may be given to someone else. Still another person may receive divine insight about how to apply it. In the New Testament body of believers, we are meant to work together, assisting each other in the ministry of spiritual gifts. We generally do not receive the whole counsel of God by ourselves. Even collectively, we are not always given the entire picture. The apostle Paul said, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. … For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:9, 12).

As we continue to seek the Lord, trusting Him to purify what we hear and see, we will gain clarity and keener discernment. God has chosen to make revelation and the understanding of it a process to draw us into greater dependence upon Him. Our nature conforms to His as we learn to submit our imperfect prophetic leanings into His care. It’s a beautiful journey together with Him.

Personal Prophecy

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy

 

 

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 7)

We’ve talked about why the gift of tongues, as used in our private prayer language, is so vital to living a powerful Christian life.  It produces health in our bodies, thoughts, and emotions.  It is one of the weapons of our spiritual warfare, is the seventh piece of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6, and enables us to pray perfect prayers according to God’s will.  It produces a communion between God and us that causes us to walk in greater faith, wisdom, understanding, and discernment.  And, combined with the interpretation of tongues, it helps us to hear God’s voice.

The question we might ask at this point is, “Why would I not want to pray in tongues?”

I would like to encourage those of my readers who have not yet received their prayer language to press God for it until you do receive it.  It is not that He is unwilling to give it to us; it is that some of us have a harder time than others in pressing past our own issues to get to the point of yielding.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “… He [God] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him,”  and Psalm 84:11 promises, “… No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”  As the saying goes, anything worth having is worth fighting for.  Great men of God, such as John G. Lake and Smith Wigglesworth, have struggled to receive their prayer language, yet they refused to give up until they received the promise, and they were not disappointed.

(Note: Since first writing this article, I have learned more about how to aid people in receiving their prayer language easily. Please see my article, How to Easily be Baptized in the Spirit with Tongues.)

For those of you who already have your prayer language, may I encourage you to use it abundantly?  You can train yourself into the habit of praying in tongues (in a whisper, if you like) while you work around the house, drive your car, and do other everyday tasks.  After awhile, it becomes so natural to pray in your prayer language, that you do not consciously make a decision to do it, and you may have been praying for some time before you become aware of it.  It enables us to be in constant communion with the Lord throughout our day.  It’s one of the ways to bring ourselves closer to Paul’s command to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Paul commented, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Corinthians 14:18).  If the prayer language was important to Paul, it should be treasured and nurtured by us, too.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 6) 

 

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

 

 

The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It, by Lee Ann Rubsam (CD or mp3)

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 6)

There is a cry inside most of us to hear God speak to us.  He wants to fulfill this longing.  One of the names by which He reveals Himself is “He Who Speaks” (Isaiah 52:6).  But a lot of people still struggle with learning to hear and know God’s voice.  One of the best ways to hear accurately from God is by praying in tongues and then receiving the interpretation.  I discovered this technique a few years ago, and it has truly enhanced my ability to hear God and to know how to pray.  Here’s how it works for me:

I pray a lot in tongues.  When I pray, I often switch back and forth between my prayer language and English.  I have learned to pay close attention to what I pray in English in between praying in tongues, because often it is something I would not know to pray in my natural mind.  It is actually an interpretation of what I have already been covering in my prayer language; it is fresh revelation from the Spirit Himself.  Interpretation may come as a phrase we pray out loud, a Scripture verse, a thought on how to pray, a word of knowledge, or even a picture or vision.

For instance, once while praying for a pastor-friend in tongues, I clearly heard the thought in my mind, “praying for the unexpected.”  I did not understand what it was about, but I continued to pray along the lines of preparing him for something unexpected.  About three weeks down the road, he experienced some very unpleasant circumstances that he had not foreseen.  But the way was prepared before him in intercessory prayer so that he could handle the event when it happened.

Another time I was praying for a loved one who was going through difficulties, and I was very concerned about receiving a good outcome for him.  The words, “God who performs all things for him” flowed out in English in the middle of my prayer language.  It was the Holy Spirit’s reminder of a Scripture verse, Psalm 57:2“I will cry unto God most high; unto God who performs all things for me.”  The Holy Spirit was using my prayer language to pray that God would take care of his need, and by interpreting the prayer for me, He was also assuring me that everything was going to be all right.

At still another time I was praying for my pastor for his upcoming sermon.  After praying in tongues for a bit, I was startled to hear myself speak in English, “God, help him with his sermon on brokenness.”  He had not informed me what his sermon was to be about, but it turned out to be exactly that.  God was interpreting my prayer language and giving me a word of knowledge.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:13-15, “… let him who speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.  What then?  I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also….”  Those of us who are Pentecostal or Charismatic understand that when a message is given publicly in tongues, an interpretation should be given.  However, few of us were ever taught that this is a normal part of using our prayer language privately as well.

If you have trouble hearing the voice of God, try asking Him to interpret for you what you are saying in your prayer language.  In addition, because we are communing with God on a spirit-to-Spirit level when we pray in tongues, it opens us up to revelation of other sorts.  You will find that you are more prone to having godly, creative ideas flow in your thoughts when you have been praying in tongues.  You may receive visions.  Your understanding and wisdom will increase.

I’ll have a few more thoughts on the power of our prayer language in the next post, and then we’ll be done.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 5)
Next: The Power of Your Prayer Lanugage (Part 7) 

 

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

 

 

The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It, by Lee Ann Rubsam (CD or mp3)

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 5)

In my last post, I mentioned some ways that our prayer language is a powerful spiritual weapon:

1.)  It renews our mind, a major battleground where spiritual warfare goes on, so that we think like Jesus thinks.  This enables us to recognize when the enemy is injecting  “foreign” thoughts, so that we can take them captive and get rid of them quickly.

2.)  It builds our faith, according to Jude 20.  We take on the faith of God as we interact deeply with Him in our prayer language.

3.)  It enables us to pray rightly, with accuracy, because it is actually the Holy Spirit within us breathing the prayers, according to Romans 8:26, 27.

4.)  It helps us to hear God clearly, so that we can be effective in our warfare.  (I will talk about this in greater detail in my next post.)

Because the devil knows what a powerful weapon our prayer language is, he tries to stop it in any way he can.  Doubt is his main tactic.  He almost always tries to convince the newly baptized-in-the-Spirit person that nothing really happened, so that he or she will not attempt to pray in tongues again.

Sometimes people doubt their prayer language is real, because it sounds funny or halting.  However, there are known languages in which a halting hesitancy is part of the language.  There are languages that have very few syllables, in which the majority of the communication is done through voice inflection alone.  There is even a language which is entirely made up of clicking sounds in the throat.  Never belittle your prayer tongue, no matter how odd it may seem to you!

The devil will also attempt to use cessationist teaching, which says that the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 (including healing and miracles) are not for today, to cause people either to doubt the prayer language they already have, or to avoid seeking to receive it in the first place.

You may find that doubts attack you about your prayer language’s effectiveness while you are in the midst of using it.  This is the time to press through, past your mind, and use your prayer language in faith anyway.  When I am praying for my pastor, especially when I am backing him up in prayer while he is preaching or laying hands on the sick, I almost always experience a doubt battle in my mind over whether my prayers in tongues are doing anything.  I press through and continue to pray in the Spirit anyway.  I do not listen to the doubts in my mind.  This is merely the enemy’s attempt to get me to stop praying.

The devil fears what happens in the spirit realm when we pray in tongues.

Next time we will talk about how our prayer language enhances our ability to hear God’s voice.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 4)
Next: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 6) 

 

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

 

 

The Baptism in the Spirit: Why You Need It & How to Get It, by Lee Ann Rubsam (CD or mp3)