Bible: Hebrews 13:6 –so that we may be boldly say, the Lord is our helper so we will not be afraid for what anyone can do to us.
Thank You Yahweh, our Shepherd, our Jehovah Rapha, our Abba, our God of - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our Adonai, our El Roi, our Papa God. We thank You for making it possible to gather as a family to meet with You. We thank You for being patient with us when we doubted You. We Thank You for our careers because it is blessed. We thank You that all our impossibilities will become possible by Your grace, power and favour. We thank You because You will make a way where there is no way. Thank You for defeating all the powers and principalities that came against us in our exams, schooling, travels, holidays, jobs, health, relationships and our blessings. Thank You for our salvation. Thank You for breaking the shackles of shame in our lives as a family. Thank You for the powerful name of Jesus You gave us. Thank You for forgiving us with Your mercy when we transgressed against You. Thank You for every day You give us. Thank You for all that You have done for us as a family, for every battle You brought us through, for every mountain You helped us climb, for the joy of the LORD which gives us strength, for Your peace poured out on us that passeth all understanding.
We thank You that our children will return to the throne of God physically and spiritually. Amen. We thank U because You are faithful, able to complete all the good work in us - in our healing in our bodies, for all that we are believing for because it will still happen by Your grace. We thank You because You make dreams and promises happen. We thank You because we will see ALL our children and grandchildren fulfil their divine purpose and destiny. We agree with You in belief and faith that Your favour over each of our lives will be awesome because in this house, we serve the LORD, our supernatural God of all creation.. Our hope is in You and forces of darkness can’t stop Your purpose and blessings for our lives. Thank You because we are blessed, fulfilled, victorious and loved despite any setbacks or moods we experience. Thank You for our amazing future. Thank You for the shift, new open doors and new levels of our destiny, the right people we are going to meet and the promotion in our careers that will be more rewarding than we imagined. We will be full of testimonies. Amen.
Help us to trust You when we don’t understand our circumstances, the unfairness, the complexities of life and setbacks. We know You will turn everything for our good. Amen. Help us to keep our LORD Jesus as the centre of all things in our daily lives to Your glory by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have prayed. AMEN!
CULTIVATING A HEALTHY HEART
Cultivating a Healthy HeaCultivating a healthy heart
Guest Post by Jo Acharya
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure;” wrote the prophet Jeremiah, “Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV) These words will resonate with anyone who has ever followed their own thoughts, feelings or desires down paths that proved to be destructive. How can we trust ourselves at all, if this is the verdict of God’s word and our own experience?
In the Bible, the heart is our inner self: our unique blend of thoughts, feelings, choices, desires and beliefs. It’s the place where decisions are made, where we turn towards one thing and away from another. It’s where we react emotionally to events, form opinions and develop a view of the world around us. Our hearts are the core of who we are.
The Bible is clear about two things. Firstly, the fact that we have the ability to think, feel and choose is good. It’s how God made us! The very first task God gave to Adam in Genesis 2 was to use his powers of reason and creativity to name the animals. Our capacity for conscious thought and emotion is one of the ways that we are made in God’s image.
But secondly, the Bible tells us that our ability to think, feel and choose is damaged by sin. It’s true: we cannot fully trust ourselves. The answer though is not to reject or ignore our hearts, but to submit them to a higher authority. Proverbs 3:5 (NIV) tells us, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ The characters in Sophia’s new book, ‘The Captive’s Crown’ grapple with this as they gradually learn to trust God above their own damaged emotions and desires.
Even for Jeremiah, human brokenness is not the last word. Later in his prophetic book, God reveals his plan for the redemption of every part of us, including our hearts: ‘“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”’ (Jeremiah 31:33, NIV)
The very innermost part of us, the part that is enslaved to lies, is the very part that God promises to engrave with his truth. The part that is ‘beyond cure’ is the very part that can now be healed and restored by the saving work of Jesus. Not only that – the Holy Spirit makes his home in the hearts of those who trust him, and works with us to bring health and wholeness into every part of our lives.
So what is our part in cultivating a healthy heart?
Our thoughts and emotions are so familiar to us that it can be easy to assume they are accurate and reliable. But they are rooted in the complex soil of our upbringings and past experiences, and for most of us the true and helpful are mixed with the false and harmful in ways that aren’t easy to tease out. When we start to examine where our feelings or thoughts are coming from, we often find they tell us more about ourselves than they do about the world around us. When we ask God to help us line our inner selves up with his truth and life-giving love, he is more than ready to teach us his ways.
This kind of self-reflection can be challenging and even painful. But when it’s done carefully and prayerfully, and with pastoral or therapeutic support if needed, it can bring freedom, wisdom and emotional stability. There are many resources available to support this journey. One is my devotional journal, Refresh, which explores God’s design for wellbeing in many aspects of life, including our inner selves. It’s designed to gently guide you into a conversation with the Holy Spirit, where you can invite him to shine his light into the areas that need help and healing.
Perhaps you could begin your conversation with these famous words from Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV): ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
Jo Acharya is a writer and former music therapist. She lives in Sussex with her husband Dan and is passionate about inviting God into every part of our lives. You can read more of her writing on her website valleyofsprings.com, where you can also buy signed copies of her first book, Refresh: a wellness devotional for the whole Christian life’.
Olusola Sophia Anyanwu