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Congolese Cell Phone Prayers

I'm reading a book called The Poor Will Be Glad by Peter Greer and Phil Smith. I highly recommend this book. In the final chapter, the authors introduce us to a Congolese village known for minerals such as coltanite, used to make cell phones. The authors note the irony that, at the time of this book's publication, no one in the impoverished village owned a cell phone. Further research indicates Congolese coltanite as a conflict mineral, extracted through violence and oppression.

This presents an opportunity for prayer – and action beyond prayer. Prayer itself is an action and should precede other actions, whenever possible. (Obviously, in an emergency situation, action sometimes precedes prayer, or the two happen at the same time.) Often, prayer leads to further actions. That is the case regarding this story of the Congolese minerals.

If you are reading this and you have a cell phone, your phone has now become a good reminder of people struggling through difficult conditions in this and other Congolese villages. Let your cell phone become a prayer reminder. As you pick up your phone, pray first for the people living not just in this particular village, but also in remote villages all over the world. Take some time to put yourself in their shoes and say a fervent prayer for them. Know that God will work through your prayers to make a difference. 

Let your cell phone also be a reminder that people who live near bountiful resources often do not benefit economically from those resources. Pray for God's justice to bring redemption and restoration to those situations.

Finally, allow prayer to lead to a further action: Learn about global sources of injustice, such as conflict minerals. Do some research on the current state of legislation regarding corporations and source minerals. Know where the items you purchase originate, and at what cost to human lives. As Christians, we need to do at least that, just for starters. As God leads you further, in prayer and in action, to bring global justice, follow His lead.

Begin all things with prayer. Know that your prayers are powerful and will make a difference. Be willing to be used by God as an answer to prayer. And when your cell phone rings, take a moment to pray for the people living in Congolese villages.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Prayer Spotlight: Junior Achievement

How many children in your community know how to balance a checkbook? How many adults do?

Financial illiteracy adds challenges to already difficult situations. If someone is struggling with poverty, not only does that person need employment opportunities and training. He or she also needs life skills to sustain that employment and provide for his or her family.

Many community organizations put volutneers to work, sharing and teaching life skills. Poverty is not the only stumbling block to learning life skills. In my own community, we have children living practically homeless, often without adult supervision; grandparents, aunts, and uncles trying to raise more children than they can care for; parents in jail; extreme levels of addiction in the population; and few corporate jobs or work-training programs.

Fortunately, our community has responded to these challenges with many organizations fueled by volunteers. As prayer warriors, it is important that we get to know the volunteer programs in our community, and not only join one that's appropriate for us, but also pray for one or two others. Each of us can ask the Lord: "Where should I volunteer to help my community? And please show me one or two organizations You would have me pray for." It's important not to overextend, but to hear strategically from the Lord. One person can't be everywhere or pray for everyone. But the Lord can orchestrate many willing hearts, so that everything is covered, and we are praying in unity.

To gain some experience in praying for a volunteer organization, let's look at one that made a difference to me when I was a teenager: Junior Achievement. When I was in high school, I learned life skills, entrepreneurship, and how to serve as a corporate officer through my JA company. I received a sense of self-worth by the fact that several corporate employees gave up one night a week to mentor us. And the life skills and financial literacy I was taught by my parents were reaffirmed and put to work in our JA company.

Recently, I was thrilled to learn from a teacher-friend that JA still exists, and has revamped for the young population of today. They provide weekly entrepreneurial and financial literacy training at learning centers, as well as "JA days" in the classroom. What a great opportunity for children K-12, as well as for the adults who volunteer.

I would encourage you to take a look at the JA website and see what they are offering. How might we pray strategically together for JA, or for other organizations like them?

Here are a few suggested prayer points:

  • Pray that the children will discover their God-given identities and a sense of self-worth.
  • Pray for hope to spread through the communities this organization is serving.
  • Pray that the children will discover God has provided this opportunity for them (James 1:17).
  • Pray that the volunteers will not overextend or grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9).
  • Pray for the Fruits of the Spirit to be exhibited by volunteers (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Pray that as the children are helped, whole families and neighborhoods will be impacted.
  • Pray for creative ideas for teaching life and work skills to each child.
  • Pray that the organization has sufficient volunteers, funds, and resources, and invests these wisely into the lives of the children and communities.
  • Pray for protection for the children and volunteers, and that the organization effectively screens out individuals who intend to harm the children.
  • Pray that the body of Christ will learn, through organizations like this, how to make a difference in the lives of the people in the community where God has planted them.

Let's each take a few minutes and pray through these points together for the JA nearest you. Your prayers right at this moment will make a difference for JA and those children today. They will feel your prayers, they will experience breakthroughs by God's power, and they will have an amazing day. How awesome is that! As we pray together, there is strength in our combined prayers.

What are other ways you would pray for Junior Achievement and organizations like it? Which organizations are doing similar work in your community? Let us know, so we can pray for them together.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

 

4 Things to Know about Generational Healing

Generational healing prayers are among my favorites. Why? Because I have seen such powerful changes through these prayers.

Consider this: Because of the power of Christ, you have the ability today to stand in for entire generations of your family and repent for generational sin. God can bring redemption and realignment to your family line, so your entire family can begin to walk in the calling and blessings God has given to you.

That's pretty powerful. 

Here are 5 helpful things to know about generational healing:

1. Numbers 14:18 tells us how generational curses pass through the family line. This verse also tells us of God's love and mercy. He wants us to be healed and He has made provision for our healing through Christ. Read Isaiah 61 about how Jesus has come to set the captives free.

Generational sin opens the door to these generational curses. They pass for 4 generations (10 generations for sexual sin – see Deuteronomy 23:2). This passing of the curse to 4 generations actually shows God's restraint (He could have made them pass longer). But if nobody repents, the sin keeps moving down the family line, becoming generational iniquity. Iniquity means a propensity to bend. It means the family has an inherited tendency toward that sin.

2. The Bible tells us to "bind the strongman" (Matthew 12:29, Mark 3:27, Luke 11:22). The strongman is the enemy who has plundered the generational blessings of each family. Read all of Luke 11 for insight into how the enemy plunders a family and how he is overturned by Christ. When we identify the strongman (e.g., addiction, pride, fear, sexual sin, violence, jealousy) and repent on behalf of the generations of our family, we invite Jesus in to set us free.

3. Generational sin is based in repentance. Through Christ, we have the ability to humble ourselves and choose to repent for the sin that has brought curses to our family. We forgive our ancestors who opened those doors to generational sin. We repent of the ways we personally have engaged in that sin. Then we stand in restitutional repentance on behalf of our entire family line. We ask God to restore the generational blessings He intends for our family. 

Often, we can identify those blessings because they are the direct opposite of the generational sin we have experienced. A family mired in generational fear has a blessing of power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). A family cursed with generational violence has a generational blessing of peace (Luke 8:26-39). A family that has been ripped apart over the generations by jealousy, strife, and contention is called to a generational blessing of love (1 Corinthians 13:4). The enemy tries to steal our gifts and blessings. Where he strikes us is the exact opposite of who we and the generations of our family are really supposed to be.

4. With generational repentance, the enemy will be silenced. He will no longer have such a strong hold on your family to compel each person into those generational curses. This doesn't mean the enemy will stop trying to trip people up. John 10:10 tells us he will continue to try and thwart God's plan for our lives. However, with generational repentance, he doesn't have the rights and the degree of force he had before. It gives people in your family a chance to come to their senses and hear the truth from Jesus. The generational truth becomes louder than the lies. 

Because of free will, family members may continue to choose to engage in a particular sinful behavior. The doors to sin that are open in a person's heart are complex. Jesus is the only one who can show each person how to heal and turn from those sins. But the difference, after generational repentance, is that the enemy won't have the same generational power as before to compel that behavior. I liken it to Jesus removing a megaphone from the enemy's hands.

This is where your prayers of intercession become so important. If a family member continues to follow in the old ways of the generational curse, you can intercede from a place of healing, truth, and blessing. You can't change that person's heart – only that person can do that, because of free will. However, you can pray for the Holy Spirit to help that person hear truth: that they are not a prisoner of fear, but rather they walk in power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7); that they are not an addict, but rather they are adopted by God (Romans 8:15); that they are not a victim of generational strife and jealousy, but rather they walk in God's love (1 Corinthians 13:4).

As you walk in your generational healing, and take ground from the enemy (Ephesians 6:13), you will be inviting the Holy Spirit to work more deeply in your family line. Your prayers of generational repentance, your generational healing, and the ways you choose to walk this out with Christ will have a powerful effect on your whole family.

Today is a great day to repent on behalf of yourself and the generations of your family. It's a great day to step into God's generational blessings.

Thank You, Jesus, for healing us. 

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Amazing Dream about Inner Healing

Last night, I had a weird, freaky, but also amazing dream.  

In the dream, I was placed inside a vision and I was supposed to write about it. 

I was put inside the enemy camp. I was surrounded by demons of all shapes and sizes, including big ones taller than a two-story building. I could see everything they were doing and all the ways they were plotting against people.

I was freaked out to be there. They could see me but they couldn't touch me. 

Their strategies were so air tight that it freaked me out even more, because it looked like they were doing serious damage to people.

But then (here's the cool part) I got to watch how their plan would be foiled and a person would be snatched away from them because of Inner Healing.

They were flummoxed. The madder they would get, the more they would make mistakes and more people would be snatched away from them. 

As Inner Healing would start, they would redouble their efforts to thwart it. But as Inner Healing gained momentum, they couldn't overcome it and people would literally be snatched out of their grip – sometimes whole families.

I literally saw the people in their grasp (that was the awful part) and then watched as people were pulled out of their hands (that was the cool part). The worst was that in-between part as people started Inner Healing and the demons tried to bully them. Sometimes, it would look like the demons were going to succeed but then they got weaker and the person was literally whisked from their hands.

I was there watching this for a while and was told to write about it. Then I woke up.

As I woke up, I felt freaked out, like really scared because I still felt the presence of the enemy in that camp.

What I would normally do when feeling like that is get up, turn on the lights, turn on a silly movie – anything to break the atmosphere.

But this time, I decided not to give it power. I stayed in bed, right where I was, and I asked Jesus to deal with the fear. I prayed Psalm 91 over myself and asked Him to cover me. And I went right back to sleep.

Wow. 

I felt like this dream showed how God uses Inner Healing to break people out of the enemy's grasp – not only for the healing and freedom of that person, but also for the benefit of entire generations. This has certainly been my Inner Healing experience. As I have gone through Inner Healing, I've stayed focused on Jesus. But this dream showed me the enemy's reaction, and how God has used Inner Healing in so many ways to free my heart and my family from the enemy's oppression. It's a beautiful thing to see. God is so faithful. The fact that I was able to respond, upon waking, with peace instead of fear is itself a testimony to what God has done in my life through Inner Healing. Thank You, Jesus.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Will You Take the Journey?

You don't have to read very far into the book of Acts to learn how treacherous were the journeys taken by the early Christians, especially the Apostle Paul. Travel in the ancient Mediterranean was challenging in ways we can't even grasp today. When they weren't traveling by boat, they were on foot, with the danger of robbers at every pass. 

Would we be willing today to take such physical journeys for the sake of the gospel?

As I pondered this question, it led to another. What about emotional journeys?

I'm talking about journeys of the heart: forgiveness, repentance, honoring others, loving our enemies, confronting someone with truth. 

These journeys of the heart are perhaps more treacherous than the physical landscape traversed in the book of Acts.

Discomfort? Inconvenience? Pain? 

Possibly all of these await us around every bend in the road of our hearts. 

Yet as followers of Christ, we are asked to take those journeys, regardless of how uncomfortable we might feel along the way.

I would encourage you today to spend some time reading in Acts. Follow Paul on his travels, as he carries the gospel to the Gentiles through hostile territory. Read about the persecution of the early church in Jerusalem. Perhaps listen in, as Paul's friends warn him not to go to Jerusalem, where he will be arrested.

Then ask yourself, prayerfully: Are you willing to journey, in the same way as Paul, through the deepest roads of your heart? No matter where God takes you?

Dear God, please help us today to trust in You. When You call us to search the deepest parts of our hearts, to live out Your love in ways that might be uncomfortable for us, remind us You travel right by our side. When we pass through the deepest waters, You will be there. We can trust You. In Jesus' name. Amen

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

The 3 Most Effective Prayers

The most effective prayers are often the simplest. Here are three of the shortest and simplest prayers you can pray. They are also among the most powerful prayers you can pray. Yet they are often the hardest and the most neglected. 

1. I confess

Confession is a way to acknowledge sins that are hidden and perhaps stuck in our hearts. This is where we pray like King David in Psalm 139:23-24, asking God to search our hearts. When we keep things hidden in our hearts, or don't realize what's in our hearts, we block God's blessings. Confession frees us to be who God created us to be.

The prayer of confession can be as simple as this:

Dear God, I confess that ____. Please forgive me. In Jesus' name. Amen

2. I repent

Repentance is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. John the Baptist tells us, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 3:2 NKJV) John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus, the Messiah. When we repent, we prepare our hearts to receive the fullness of life Jesus brings us.

God knows we will make mistakes. He knows we carry sin, not only from our own lives, but also from our generational lines. But through Christ, God offers us the opportunity to turn away from those sins (repentance is a 180-degree turning away). Repentance frees us to live the life God intends for us to live.

When you confess the sins you hold in your heart, you can follow that prayer with repentance:

God, I repent for _________. Help me to turn to You instead and to receive the life You have given me. In Jesus' name. Amen

3. I forgive

Forgiveness is also an amazing gift from God. Forgiveness not only frees us, but it also frees the people who have hurt us. This means God can work in their hearts too. God can change their hearts if we are willing to let go of our offenses.

Forgiveness does not mean, "It's okay that you hurt me." Forgiveness simply (and powerfully) means allowing God to deal with the situation on our behalf. We choose not to hold our hurt against the other person. We let that person go and move on with our lives.

One of the best articles I've read on forgivness is by Kerri Johnson of The Center for Inner Healing. She teaches about forgiveness in a very real, down-to-earth way that we can all relate to. Here, you can read her insightful article, "Wash, Rinse, Repeat."

The prayer of forgiveness goes like this:

Dear God, I choose to forgive ______ (name of the person who hurt you) for _______ (what that person did to hurt you). In Jesus' name. Amen

If you don't feel able to forgive someone yet, start with this:

Dear God, I want to forgive _______ for ________. Please help me be able to forgive. In Jesus' name. Amen

When you first forgive someone, you might not feel any change emotionally. That is okay. God simply asks for our obedience in forgiving others. Your emotions will eventually line up with your prayer of forgiveness, as God brings healing to your heart.

Try to pray each of these three prayers this week: I confess. I repent. I forgive. Start with something small; work your way up to bigger things. Pay attention to the freedom you will feel when you have prayed these prayers. God will respond in powerful ways.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

Are You Feeling Someone’s Grief?

We all feel for others. When a loved one is down, we feel down as well. We even feel pain for people we don't know. A news broadcast might show a family that is grieving after a tornado destroys their home. We feel that pain as if it's our own. Human empathy is a beautiful gift God has given to us, so we can comfort and support each other through life's hardships.

For intercessors, especially those with a burden-bearing gift, this feeling can be even stronger. We can literally pick up on emotions from others – even when they are not around us and we don't know what they are going through. The pain that person is experiencing can literally overcome us, body, soul, and spirit. God might be allowing us to feel a part of their grief, so we can invite Him into that place with His comfort.

Yesterday, I was suddenly overcome with grief. It just descended like a cloud. I literally had to go to bed in the early evening as I was overcome with sadness. There was no apparent reason for this. Nothing was wrong with me and I was having a good day. Then I received a text about a friend who had just learned some tragic news.

Barely did the news process than I started wailing. Deep anguish took over me and I just wept and cried out. This went on for a while, as I prayed, and then I was able to get up and go about my evening, albeit subdued at the thought of what my friend was enduring. I continued to pray a lot until it was really time for bed.

Burden bearing for an intercessor can look and feel that way. It's important for you and your family to understand what it is and how to move through it. Otherwise, you can feel as if you're losing your mind.

When emotions come over you out of nowhere, and you don't know why, stop and ask God, "Is this mine, or is this for someone else?" He will show you. If what you are feeling is for someone else, ask Him to lead you in prayer for that person. You might not even know who the person is; that's okay, because God knows. Follow His lead in prayer.

As you pray, invite God to come into that place of pain and lift the burden. This is important. You are not the one to carry the burden, nor can you. It is for Jesus to carry. He allows you to feel part of the burden so you will invite Him with your prayers. Especially in situations of grief or recent trauma, the burden can often be too heavy for the person going through it. As an intercessor and friend, you have the privilege to invite God to lift that portion that they cannot bear. Jesus Himself will bear it for and with them.

Be sure you pray through this, giving all of it to God. Don't try and bear these burdens on your own strength. They are very real and can affect you in ways God does not intend. It's important to learn how to bear burdens rightly. Once you have prayed through each burden, ask God to lift the burden from you and cleanse you, so that you don't take it into your own flesh. Ask Him to seal what He has done, and thank Him.

I can recommend two excellent books that will help you know if you are a burden bearer and how to use this gift in the right ways:

Sharing the Burden by Christa and Dirk Luling – This book takes a practical approach to the personality and daily life of a burden bearer. It teaches about what burden bearing looks like and how to live in a healthy way as a burden bearer. This book is especially insightful for parents of burden-bearing children and teens. But it will also help burden-bearing adults recognize and learn how to live with this gift. 

The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity by Carol A. Brown – This book takes a spiritual approach to the gift of burden bearing. When you recognize yourself in these pages, you will feel like a light has come on. You are not crazy. You're not alone. It's a gift.

Burden bearing is a beautiful gift from God. If you have this gift, or if you see it in your children, it is important for you and your family to learn everything about it. Learn to use it in the way God intended, and you will have the privilege to come alongside others and God, to invite His comfort and healing in life's difficult situations.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

 

 

Teenage English Lessons in a Polish Suburb

The atmosphere was quiet, as I waded through calf-deep snow toward a little apartment on the outskirts of Poznan, Poland. The light in the windows was inviting. This kind of winter was new to me, a Florida girl. The night sky was a deeper blue, as the moonlight reflected off the snow.

After spending the summer in Poland, and the fall semester back home at University of Florida, I decided to go back to Poland for the final semester of my senior year. Here I was, in the middle of an osiedle, a Polish housing community. The towers of lighted windows reminded me of Miami Beach. But I was a far way from there.

I was going to meet Krysia, an 11-year-old daughter of one of the university officials. She wanted to learn English. I had committed this semester to living my Polish experience to the fullest. I was here not just to complete the credits I needed to graduate. More than that, I wanted to squeeze out every ounce of this adventure. So I volunteered to teach English to this sweet little girl.

Her apartment was different from most of my Polish friends. She had her own room, for one thing, and a piano in her room. Her walls were beautifully painted and covered with posters that looked not unlike an American teenager's decor. Cozy thick carpet and lots of pillows piled up made me feel young. Everything was bright and colorful, including her disposition. She had a beautiful smile and a giggle that bubbled up with joy.

I didn't know her background, other than her parents were divorced. I knew nothing of the circumstances that led to her living in what seemed an affluent place, in the middle of this snow-blanketed osiedle, two tram lines away from my dorm. But this was part of my experience, so I embraced it.

We spent an hour together, two evenings a week, and in between she practiced. I asked her questions about her life, and her school. She tried her best to recount, in English, things that happened during the day, which opened a window for me into the life of a Polish girl. I knew it wasn't a typical window, as she went to a private school and lived in relative luxury. But it was a window into her young world, and I appreciated that.

With her vocabulary largely self-taught, she stumbled over the words. When she didn't understand something I said, in English or in Polish, she simply giggled. Her eyes showed genuine joy. My heart felt light too, after each session.

Even so, we weren't making much progress. I knew it; she knew it. Her father tactfully expressed that he knew it. I wondered if he would fire me, but he said it was good that she spent time with a native speaker from America. However, it was clear he expected more. While she wasn't a disrespectful child, I could tell she wasn't terribly worried about her father's wishes for her language skills. But she was thrilled to spend time with someone from the States.

That's when it finally hit me. "What questions do you want to ask me about America?"

The barrage tumbled out of her heart, with a mixture of Polish and English. I smiled. Now, we're getting somewhere. I asked her to spend time that week writing her questions, in Polish, in her notebook. I would answer them – in English – the following week, and we would talk about them.

Her pages were filled when I returned. Although I spoke Polish, and I understood more than I could say, it took several dictionaries and the full hour for me to understand some of her questions. I took her notebook home with me and wrote my answers in English. The next week, we had so much to talk about. In English.

Her improvement was amazing each week. One night, I walked in and she had sheet music from a song that was popular in the States. I helped her learn to speak the lyrics, and to understand (most of) what they meant. (She was 11, after all.)

At the end of the semester, her father gave me a bonus payment. I used it to buy her a gift, and we enjoyed a celebration.

The creativity that was needed in teaching her was something that would inspire me through many years as a teacher, in equally challenging situations. Do what works. Do what will stick. Make a connection. Be present. Get to know and appreciate the person you are teaching.

I will never forget that little girl, in the moonlit apartment, in the snowdrifts of a suburb of Poznan.

Do you have memories of teaching, or working through language challenges, or unexpected connections in places away from home? I'd love to hear them.

Be blessed.

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

 

The Beauty of an Ordinary Moment in Belarus

I crossed the border between Russia and Belarus at a tumultuous time. I had a lot to worry about – and to be excited about. I'm amazed at how, some 19 years later, what stands out in my memory isn't the dramatic backdrop. It's an ordinary moment with a student whose name I don't remember, but whose heart I will never forget.

As a visiting university lecturer, I was based in Russia for two years. A friend had invited me to travel to her university in Belarus and give a guest lecture. I was always excited to see a new place, and I was so passionate to teach on human rights, anywhere I was invited.

I was struggling with visa issues – nothing I had done wrong, just a mix-up on paperwork. This train journey was supposed to provide a chance to get a new exit/entry stamp that would clear up all my problems. Little did I know, the tension between Russia and Belarus meant that the borders were "removed."

While the border confusion might have inconvenienced me, the tension affected a whole nation far worse. The country's leader canceled elections and the value of currency plummeted the day I arrived. My friend who had invited me was married to the American consul. When he met me at the train station in Minsk, he just shook his head by way of explanation, and we went to McDonald's for a burger. He expressed sympathy over my visa situation but there was nothing he could have done.

I was to speak that evening, and again the next day, as part of a weekend conference. Meanwhile, I had a few hours with nothing to do. A student from the university in Minsk had been assigned to help with whatever I needed. She was willing to take me on any official errand or to any of the famous tourist sites in the city.

After a moment's thought, I said with a laugh, "What I'd really like to do is buy some eye liner." I also asked where I could find a CD of my favorite Russian pop singer.

She smiled. "I know where we can go."

We spent the afternoon at a shopping mall, looking for makeup and CDs. This was an old-style Soviet-era shopping mall – not what probably comes to mind when you read those words. The arrival of Western items was still fairly new. But this student knew where to find the things I needed. We could barely communicate but we had so much fun. Eye makeup and music doesn't require translation to be enjoyed together.

I've never forgotten that day. It stands out as one of my favorite moments living overseas. Forgotten were all the politics, border patrols, visa problems, and even the excitement of presenting my work at the conference. We were just two kids having fun at a shopping mall. An ordinary moment that brought such familiarity and peace in an otherwise tumultuous world. I am thankful for that student spending the afternoon with me.

When you travel or live abroad, these are the moments not to miss. They are the memories that will last far longer than the bigger dramas. Be fully present in those ordinary moments. Enjoy the company of the people who cross your path. Then write about those experiences, as an encouragement to others.

Have you encountered an ordinary moment in an extraordinary situation? I'd love to hear about it.

Be blessed!

***

Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.

 

What Are Prayer Cloths?

Prayer cloths are a wonderful way to share healing prayers with your loved ones.

A prayer cloth is a tiny piece of fabric that you pray over, and then you give it to someone in need of healing. They can carry it with them in their pocket. It is a constant comfort and reminder to them that Jesus is their Healer.

The prayer cloth also carries your healing prayers. The Bible teaches us that the healing anointing of the Holy Spirit has a tangible presence: Acts 10:38, Luke 8:46, Acts 19:11-12, Acts 5:15-16. When I hold a prayer cloth in my hands, I can feel that healing anointing.

I even took a prayer cloth into surgery with me. The prep nurse taped it to my skin. Everyone in my church had prayed over it the previous Sunday, passing it from one person to the next for prayer. So I wanted it with me in the operating room.

Our prayer team at Healing Rooms of Dahlonega prays over prayer cloths for people. Sometimes we know the prayer need ahead of time, and we pray over the cloth together for that person. If the person comes in for prayer, we ask that person to hold the cloth while we pray.

At other times, we pray together over cloths, to get them ready for future needs. We let the Lord lead our prayers. We keep those cloths ready for the next person who needs one. When we give those cloths to people, we know God already knew who that person would be and He has already prepared the cloth for that person.

Many people have told us these prayer cloths give them comfort. Often the prayer cloths help the recipient to discover Jesus in a new way, as their Healer.

Prayer cloths are simple to make. They are small (for ease of the person carrying the cloth) and don't need to be fancy. I go to the dollar store and buy a small pack of pillow cases. I cut heart shapes out of the fabric. We anoint them with oil and pray over them as a team, with each person holding the cloth as we pray. For children, you can even make animal-shaped prayer cloths.

Have you ever received a prayer cloth, or prayed over one and sent it to someone? Tell us about it in the comments. Your words will encourage others.

Prayer cloth

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Janet Eriksson is a missionary of prayer in Dahlonega, Georgia and founder/coordinator of the Hometown Prayer Mission. She also volunteers with The Center for Inner Healing. She would love to hear from you at hometownprayer.org.