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NEW YEAR, NEW LIFE

Praise: A Gateway to Wellness

By Laura Bagby
CBN.com Producer

CBN.comOne particular day, I found myself completely spent, utterly exhausted, like all the energy and strength I owned had oozed out of me. I went home early on a Thursday and slept, only to feel just as tired the next day. My boss had given me Friday off, but instead of enjoying that unexpected gift, I spent most of the day in bed again. I was depressed because I was home alone when I really wanted and needed to be at work.

Then Saturday came. I had been anticipating the party of the year -- and it was going to happen that night. I go ever year and enjoy getting dressed up for this annual event. If I don't feel better, I thought, I am not going to be able to go. I knew I couldn't drive an hour in the dark feeling as tired as I was. I would surely get into an accident. So I dutifully took a nap.

Around 3:00 in the afternoon, it dawned on me. Lots of people get healed through praising God. Why don't I do the same? I quickly got out of bed and found a worship CD, Daryl Evans, the guy who sings "Trading My Sorrows." I began to pray and sing along with the music as I read the lyrics. I asked to be healed and I began praying in the Spirit, thanking God and praising Him for who He is. I could feel the Holy Spirit touch my heart and I felt expectant.

All of a sudden I felt a shiver go through me. It shook through my body, down my arms. And I just let it happen. It was the most amazing feeling. It didn't hurt, and it wasn't anything I conjured up. I knew it was the supernatural power of God, and I wasn't afraid. Actually, it made me feel close to the Lord. I knew that He had heard my prayer.

Within an hour of choosing to actively praise the Lord through prayer and worship, I was completely healed. I had my strength back. I could eat normally again. I was no longer fainthearted. I had never experienced such an incredibly quick touch of the Lord as I did that day. Actually, I was honored that God would grant me the faith to believe in His power and I was blessed to receive His answer: 'Yes. I can and I will heal you today!'

Now, I know that God doesn't work by formula. We can't make Him do anything. He cannot nor will not be boxed or pressured into doing anything we wish -- for only He is God. I did not make myself well. God did. And He chose to do it that way. I offer this example of how God worked in my life as a faith builder for you. If it breeds only a kernel of hope and faith in your heart, then I pray that God would breathe on it and grow it so that you can sense the same awe and miracle of God's presence in your own life as I have.

God doesn't always work the same way or answer the same way. But if you can show up in faith, believing God to answer, great things are in store for you -- "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4). Be expectant this year as you press further into His presence.

Dear Lord God, my Daddy (Abba Father),

I praise You and thank You for Your sovereign will. I lay all my needs before You, knowing that You will provide in Your way and Your time for I know that You are good and You give good gifts to me. Help me, Lord, to put You first in my life because I have come to understand that You alone deserve my praise -- regardless of my circumstances. I pray that You would make me a vessel of Your praise this year as never before -- not for what earthly or temporal things I wish to gain, but for Your glory to reign down on me, in me, and through me. And as that happens, I pray that You would grant me Your peace, Your wholeness, and Your purpose as You hold me in Your everlasting arms so that I could go into the world refreshed with the message of Your Hope and eternal wonder.

In Jesus Christ's name,

Amen.

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