NEW YEAR, NEW LIFE
Praise: A Gateway to Wellness
By Laura Bagby
One 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
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,