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Are you miserable? Feel like God isn't listening to your prayers? Down to your wit's end?
i posted this to a specific person who was looking for help but its buried within a particular thread.. so.. if anyone else feels like this person did, hopeless, lost, like God doesn't care.. then I now share it with you
You seem to be at a low point. Been there man..
From personal experience I know of a few things that may be preventing your prayers from seeming like they even get past the ceiling.
First off.. have you ever been Saved and Baptised?
Being Saved is something you can do on your own
You simply have to verbally confess that you Believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was Crucified by man and that he was Resurrected, and that without him you are lost (For we are _all_ sinners by nature, none of us are perfect (you know this already)
Romans 10:8 ...The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.
If you have done this before, It is Ok to do it again. Why not? Couldn't hurt. as long as you mean it. Now, you may still have doubt. Feelings of doubt are normal (for me at least) and until you truly develop a relationship with Christ, you will never find the strength to chase away every fiery dart that Satan sends to your subconscious
Now, go get baptized. Find a church or just a person who will do it for you. This means _full body immersion_ not being sprinkled with water. Before you go under, make another profession of faith. The more people you do it in front of the better, because there's a special confidence you gain from overcoming nervousness and proving you are not ashamed to call on Christ in front of others, however God knows all hearts and nothing is secret from him, so having people there to witness it is not required
It may be hard to find someone to baptize you. (which is Sad) because personal experience has shown me that many churches won't even baptize someone unless they have become or intend to become a regular member of their church. (how hypocritical! we don't serve churches, we serve GOD!)
Again, if you have been baptized before, it never hurts to do it again to reaffirm your faith
But it is required. its not just a symbol.. Jesus commanded all who would take up their cross to go out and preach and baptize people
 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Now.. the next most important thing after faith in Christ is repentance
You see, even if you have been saved, being unrepentant still conpromises your eternal salvation! the problem with the world today is that Churches lead people to believe that things like church attendance, money offerings, and non-biblical rituals will save your soul. This is false doctrine and it comes from the influence of Satan
Jesus' scathing rebuke of the Pharisees (high ranking religious men at the turn of the millenium) should be a direct warning to people who would become teachers of the Gospel but it goes unheeded and ignored by and large
 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
you see, anytime a preacher/priest teaches doctrine that is not scripturally sound, it is the work of men's minds, which are flawed to begin with. we have no place of clouding Christ's role as our redeemer with any other doctrine whatsoever
8] This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
When you become saved and baptized, then you set the stage for changes to take place. You become "receptive" to the Holy Spirit.
You see, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to have an active role in our day to day lives. Think of it as the best friend you could ever have on this Earth. It is a teacher, a guide, a disciplinarian, and above all else, a comforter.
Prophecies and visions and words of knowledge as the OP describes them, are delivered through the Holy Spirit
It could be described as the working manifestation of God on Earth that dwells within each and every one of us. In its simplest functions, it is your conscience. that voice of right vs. wrong in the back of your mind, but as you develop spiritually it will become a powerful force in your life
But this takes work on your part
So we come again to repentance..
You already seem to be on the right track, as you have said
But I can see that something is holding you back. Pressing you down and keeping your spirit in chains
It can be several things but chances are you are harboring a certian amount of guilt over past misdeeds, or unresolved hurt
You may also have grudges that you have no released. You see, grudges do _no_ good for you whatsoever, and they will literally _slaughter_ your soul
You may not even realize that you hold grudges. I know I didn't for the longest time
Do you ever think back to certain people who have offended you or just plain out done you wrong?
For me, I often found myself remembering Teachers in school who did cruel things to me that made me lose faith in the school system altogether, and I have always blamed them for many of my shortcomings in life
It may be a parent or guardian who was too strict on you, or didn't show you enough affection growing up
It could be a friend or associate who you have had a major falling out with that may or may not have been resolved, but you still hold resentment in your heart towards them
Take heed of this next passage
 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
You see, Christ WILL forgive you of all of your sins, no matter how bad they are. but not if you are unforgiving
This is something that a lot of people miss I think (I know I certainly did, for the longest time)
You have to shed these grudges and feelings of resentment. Search your heart.. is there anyone you hate? these are the more obvious ones and they should be the first ones you address. If you are having trouble finding the strength to chase off these soul killing grudges, pray about it.
 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
God WILL give you the strength to forgive, even if you can't find it on your own. People are just flawed like that
But you HAVE to do it. It WILL enslave your soul if you can't bring yourself to do this. And that may be what is holding you back spiritually
Now that we have addresed that.. let us turn back to your own shortcomings
Just as you have to saerch your heart to identify people you have no forgiven of their sins, you must search your heart to find your sins if you want them forgiven
Again, if you are having trouble doing this, PRAY! if all else fails, always PRAY! God knows your heart, and he knows what you need, but you must have faith and Prayer is one way of demonstrating this. Aside from that, doesn't God deserve to be reached out to? Whether you know it or not, he has reached out to you many times. And he will keep on knocking. You just gotta open that door through repentance, prayer, and forgiveness
God does not expect you to come up with a list of every single thing you have ever done wrong. You could never finish a list like that :p
He just wants to see that you are honestly searching your soul.
You have to be _hard_ on yourself. You have to despise the sins you have commited. You have to humble yourself.
Pride is a soul killer as well, possibly the biggest one
You see, even a little bit of pride or self righteousness will completely blind you to being honest with yourself. You will overlook small or serious offenses alike (though, in God's eyes, sin is sin. if you commit one, you commit them all.)
This is why we are all equal in God's eyes : We are all sinners. People tend to judge eachother because it makes them feel more secure thinking they haven't been as greedy, jealous, prideful, deceitful, or unfaithful as the next person
But God hates ALL sin
He doesn't hate the sinner.. just the sin
So even if you have to start small, start devoting yourself to change
Identify your wrongdoings, and ask forgiveness for them. Tell God you know that you are a sinner, and can never be perfect, but you want to try to be more perfect. He needs to _see_ that effort
Onto something I just touched base on..
Judgement and Self Righteousness
 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
That is my message in a nut shell
You see, we as human beings are naturally judgemental.
We judge all the time, whether we know it or not.
We judge people based on superficial things like apperance, education, social standing, possesions, clothing..
We judge people based on gender, race, nationality, homeland, profession..
When God looks at us, he sees our Souls and our Hearts, not our apperance, our possesions, our intelligence, our education, our voice, our abilities or skills, or our accomplishments
and we cannot see other poeple's Souls and Hearts, so how can we judge them?
Judgement belong to Jesus. He will judge the world when he returns. No judgement we pass on Earth is going to effect who we pass it on when this world fades away. But it will condemn us..
For you see, How we judge others is how we will be judged
Don't ever tell someone they are going to Hell for something they did.. because you may be damning yourself to Hell in the process
Only God knows if they are going to Hell or not, so why even bother yourself with it?
Its a shame that many people today, especially those in positions of religious authority, do this all the time
The fact is, there are not a lot of good examples in the world today. Thankfully there is no better example than Jesus.
I hope I have helped you in your journey..
Take not of the things I have mentioned
Thoroughly examine yourself and find what it is that is holding you back, and once you have identified it, pray about it. ask for help with it.
The last thing I will give you is the Lord's prayer.
This is the manner in which Jesus told us to pray. It doesn't mean you have to use this exact prayer word for word (though I myself do) but I will say that it is a tremendous help in examining yourself spiritually because I know that everytime I get to "and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us" its a reminder to make sure that we have indeed forgiven those who have sinned against us.
"In Jesus Name I pray..
Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come,
they will be done,
on eath as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive you who have sinned against us
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory
forever and ever, amen"
Pray as many times as you can. anytime you even think about prayer, go do it. it helps to find a place where you can be alone, and focus on your thoughts without anyone overhearing. Drop down on your knees when you do it too.. show that you are humble
Now, I encourage you to learn to truly speak with the Lord. Opening with the Lord's prayer is always a good start and sets the mood. if you find it hard to find the words to say, just sit and meditate. this is the best time to search your heart, because you have already opened up a dialogue with God, and you will find that this helps you find the words. As soon as you find something you need to confess, just start pouring it out.
And in all things be thankful. Give God his praise. As you start changing yourself you will feel more and more blessed because this is indeed God in action. you cannot acheive these kinds of results without him. Let him know you appreciate it!
Have you ever just been awestruck by something beautiful in nature? like a sunset? or a bright sunny day with a cool breeze? Do you have a pet that is loyal to you and treats you like you are the only person in the world?
God made all these things. He gave us a perfect world, which we are destroying. All praise is due to our Lord for the amazing world he has given us. No artist can compare. Let him know you appreciate his work!
Now.. before I leave, let me again stress the first thing I mentioned
If you haven't been saved and baptized, you need to do it. God intends for this to happen when we are children, but the family unit is no longer living by God's standards, and it leaves many of us walking a fine edge between salvation and damnation
You have to be saved and baptized first, for your spirit to truly take root and grow
Well.. sorry for typing so much.. But i sincerely hope and pray that I have helped you in any way whatsoever..
Please feel free to hit me back with any further questions or if you just need some advice
Oh - and once you get yourself on the right track, start reading that Bible more than ever! You see, the Word of God is special in a way that we will never fully understand it, and we will never even come close without the Holy Spirit teaching us. (That is another one of its many functions.. God Bless the Holy Spirit! without it we are lost without hope)
I strongly suggest Matthew. It is easilly approachable, and is chock full of massive amounts of wisdom and it clearly details how we are to live if we strive to be like Christ
You can it 100 times and through the blessings of the Holy Spirit you will learn more every time
Oh and here are some great resources
[link to quod.lib.umich.edu]
Bookmark this! You will need it
You can search the Bible by looking up specific words, or you can pick any book and chapter or verse
It makes finding out anything you want to know amazingly easy! I use it ALL the time
God bless you brother/sister! I love you and want nothing but the best for you, and you will find everything you need to be at peace and shed away these scars from your soul in your walk with our Lord and Shepherd Jesus Christ, the Messiah
Pictures (click to insert)
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