“To praise God in fullness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer. . . . Our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service would be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children. These exercises drive back the power of Satan. They expel the spirit of murmuring and complaint, and the tempter loses ground. They cultivate those attributes of character which will fit the dwellers on earth for the heavenly mansions” (Christ’s Object Lessons, pages 299 – 300).
When I came across this quote recently, I immediately had a fuller realization of why the Lord has impressed me so much lately that I must pray much more and share more freely what God has done and is doing in my life.
When returning from our trip to America last spring, we found ourselves in the middle of deep emotional pain among those in our circle of influence. Our hearts ached for many people that we have grown to love. Interpersonal relationships can be complicated at the best of times. When people deal with stressors from various sources, personality conflicts, misunderstandings, judgmental attitudes and false accusations, God’s spirit and harmony fades. In these conditions, we have an enemy eager to gain a foothold that, before we know it, develops into bitterness and untold heartache. Gossip, murmuring and faultfinding can become a cancer, with the sweetness of fellowship melting away and our mission becoming seriously damaged.
As we learned of these realities, our response was to double and triple our time in prayer. Counselor training and human wisdom are inadequate. We needed Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s power. Fortunately, our AFM team, who had been dealing with many of these situations, has joined us, and we have made this a special focus of prayer. The Lord has prompted me to share scripture and prayer thoughts most days. This time has blessed me and others eager to see spiritual and relational healing and personal growth. God alone knows each heart. He is the ultimate Healer of hearts, the Specialist in fractured relationships and permanently damaged marriages.
As I write this article several weeks later, I can report that God has worked in many ways. We all have grown. Though changed in many ways, things have improved, and there is now more open communication. The oil of the Holy Spirit is working in many hearts.
As our mission moves forward, we seek the prayers of supporters and prayer warriors to join us, praying that our influence and spiritual footprint will expand and strengthen in the city of Khon Kaen, Thailand, despite enemy attacks.