Once I was going through a hard time in practising intercession prayers. In those days I had the gift to pray at least three hours straight without a stop. I don’t have that gift now. The thing is, if I felt good, I would pray and at other times if I felt bad or doubting my prayers were worth anything, I wouldn’t pray. And one day my friend and I were talking about my prayer life, the Holy Spirit was on her and she said to me ‘sometimes you are listening to God and sometimes you are not.’ She didn’t tell me when I was listening to Him and when I wasn’t. It was not God’s will at the time for her tell to me. It left me asking, am I supposed to pray or should I not? I was suffering from depression at the time and your thoughts on simple things can be very confusing to work out. Of course looking back I know the answer, which was to pray whether you feel like it or not. Sometimes I think God does these things so that you will turn to Him and pray for gifts like discernment, which unfortunately I didn’t do. He wants you to grow spiritually and because of our laziness we need challenges to get us out of our comfort zones. Why I have brought this example up is show you God is always talking to us, most of us just can’t recognize Him when He does.
God Wants us to Be Kind to One Another
Another example the town I grew up in was once a big country town where everybody was related somewhere along the line. I have moved from that place about twenty five years ago and have never gone back. Unfortunately I was told it has now sky scrapers it has grown so much. When I was a child going to and throw from school every day I would always say hello to the older folk, because I didn’t know for sure if they were related to me or not. And I didn’t want the word go back to my parents that I didn’t say hello to a relative. Things changed when I became an adult, I never said hello to anybody, but those whom I knew. One day, as God seems to love doing this, I was minding my own business, I could see an elderly women coming down along the footpath, by herself and I had such a strong urge in me to say hello to her. I couldn’t understand it, it came out of nowhere and it was overwhelming strong. I was extremely shy and phobic socially, but despite of all of that I just had to say hello to her. When I did it, I was so shy about it, and she shyly said hello back. I don’t know what it was all about except to say we both needed it. I believe it made my day just as much as it made hers.
God Gives Us Warnings
What about the times when you get alarm bells ringing saying get out!! Get out!! Get out!! And you look around and you ask yourself ‘what is this all about I am safe here, nothing bad is going to happen to me.’ Listening to your mind on those occasions are not a wise thing to do. The Holy Spirit is shouting at you to get out. What about the times when we were children, I am thinking more of women here, but I know sometimes boys too are very much a victim of this sort of thing as well. When I was little, the voice of the Lord even though not audible was shouting out in Spirit to get away from that person or some other person, He would be shouting for me to run. And I would look at the person and think he is alright, he is a nice man, but the Spirit of God is still shouting at me to run. How many of us have had that experience. I can look back now and know exactly what was going on, but in my innocence I judge the situation by its outward appearances, I was blessed that I did listen to Him, but I know of another who did not.
Another time I was talking to a very young mother and I felt drawn to tell her that I was told that when your children are very quiet that is the time to start looking for them, because they are usually up to some serious kind of mischief. A little time later I met her again and she had a young child from 18month old to two years old, I can’t really remember the age of the child that well. One day she said everything went very quiet in her apartment and she remembered me saying that, so she went looking for her, and found her child climbing over a balcony of a two story building. And she grabbed her in time from falling.
What about the times when somebody says something to you and you think no that’s not right, but you don’t want to be bothered to tell them, because you don’t want an argument on your hands. I remember a young man was telling me when you are riding a bike and are overtaking somebody and another car is coming straight at you the safest thing to do is to jump of your bike, because you will have a better chance of surviving that way. I felt the urge to tell him ‘no it be more dangerous to do that.’ But I said nothing. Sometime later I heard he died doing that.
God Wants Us to Pray for One Another
Another time you think to pray for somebody and in my case a very special powerful prayer with promises attached to it from the Lord Himself was given to a holy saint for the dying. (I think centuries ago.) This prayer came to my mind to say it for a certain person. I say this prayer often for anybody that God puts into my mind. They may not be dying, but I offer it up for when that time comes. Well one day I was thinking of a famous singer and the thought came to me to offer that prayer up for him and I said to myself I will do it later. The day went past and I was busy and I didn’t get around to doing it. I found out this particular singer did die on that day. I didn’t know at the time that it was God, who put that thought into my head, but now I do know. That is why I am writing this so that you will know. Others do know this of course, so naturally I not writing it for their sakes, but for those who need to know. A year or two later I am looking at a YouTube show on somebodies experience of visiting hell and this person saw some of the famous people there.
I was so upset to find this singer there also and wondered if my prayer would have saved him. As a Catholic I would believe if it did, he would most probably, only God knows for sure, would have been saved from hell, but he might have had to still had to go to purgatory first before going to heaven, because he was deeply in sin. Another way of saying it, depending how deeply the repentance was would determine whether he would be allowed to go straight to heaven or not. Look at Matthew chapter 18 verse 23- 35 in your bibles and see what you make out of it. And take particular look at the verse 34. He does get out! In hell you never get out!
Matthew 18: 34…In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
Catholics believe your sins are always forgiven if you turn to Jesus to forgive them. Wiping you totally clean is another matter. It depends entirely on how deeply you have repented of all your sins and your desire not to repeat them again. If you are deeply and truly with all your heart sorry for your sins then you are completely free of them. Even if the sin is repeated, but if you sorry but not enough to wilfully stop doing it again, chances are you are still in debt. You are forgiven to the degree that you are sorry for your sins. We go to purgatory to be purified, so that we are made worthy to go to heaven. God will not accept anything less than perfection in heaven. It is still through the merits of Jesus crucifixion that saves you. St. John of the Cross speaks about those who live holy lives that our death will do the finally purification, so that they will go straight to heaven thanks to the sacrifice Jesus made for us to be saved. But say you are holding something back from God. You haven’t given Him your all, then there is still some work to be done to you. Purgatory in my opinion is a very merciful thing. If you are not perfect doesn’t matter how good you are you are not worthy to go to heaven. God has found a way to get you there for those who are not perfect enough, but still love God enough to be called His child. (I won’t go into the matter of purgatory further, because that is a completely different topic.)
We Need to Ask God to Help Us Recognise Him
Getting back onto the original subject. You can see where I am getting at though can’t you? You think these things that pop up in your head is just you, sometimes it is, but not all the time. God does put things into your head and so does the enemy. So you do need to ask God to give you discernment and be willing to act promptly when God speaks to you. Not only does God put things into your head, you sometimes just feel things in your spirit that God is talking to you that way too. I should imagine there are countless of ways God communicates to His children. I am now starting to ask God to give me the ability to hear His voice and the voice of heaven and recognised Him when He is speaking to me in all manners not just the ones that I am familiar with. I am asking Him once I hear Him, I act promptly and obey Him. I am also asking this because God has given me a different lifestyle and I need to know what God wants me to do day by day. Once my life was routine, I knew what I was to do each day. Now I have to ask God to know what His priorities are, because I am finding out what I think is the most important thing to do, God has other ideas.
If my beliefs are confusing to people, God has given me a lifetime of a lifestyle with so much Protestant, Catholic influence I have become a cross between the two. Because really and truly both Protestants and Catholic have a lot to give one another if they would only listen to what God has to teach both. We are constantly learning about what new things God wants us to learn, it will never stop, because God is eternally.
Proverbs 3:5-6…Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.