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The Warfare of Praise!


Several years ago, our son, Josh, backslid. Up to that time he knew he was going to be a pastor. He received several words from the Lord, and I was prophesied over in our Christian Childbirth class that he would grow up to be like Samuel and he would lead mighty armies for the Kingdom of God. Josh would have dreams, visions, and see angels. He would spend hours on his knees in his room crying out to the Lord. 


Though this was a blessing spiritually, it made him target to the enemy and he was brutally picked on throughout his school years. When he turned 16, he became angry and began backsliding. By the time he was 19, he had become a body builder and had his own business that was prospering. He then became a bouncer in the night clubs, drank heavily, and often in trouble with the law. 

 

For several years we did battle for his soul…but unfortunately, like many, the enemy and what he was doing began to occupy most of our attention. Every time we got a negative report about what was happening in Josh’s life it would break our hearts. 


One day I read an old book by Merlin Carothers called From Prison to Praise. This book introduced a new concept to me that angered me at first. It said we should give thanks for all things! I was a fighter, and I was not about to thank God for what the enemy was doing. I began to study about it and realized that Ephesians 5:20 said, Giving thanks always for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


If we truly believe what Roman’s 8:28 says "And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose," then we can believe that whatever our circumstance, God will work out the outcome and it will be good. It also made me realize that our attitude of praise cannot be experience based, it must be based on God’s Word, faith, and our unconditional love for Him.

 

So, we began to pray, “Whatever it takes God, bring Josh back to you!” and we would decree the outcome! Joshua is a mighty man of God who is leading mighty armies for your Kingdom, Your Word is his passion…and it would go on and on…within a few months Josh lost everything he had. 

One morning the Lord woke me up and said, “PRAY! Josh is planning to commit suicide today!” I called my best friend and asked her to meet me at church, we needed to intercede for Josh. 


We spent the day praying, fighting, and worshipping God, believing that this was the day he would come back to the Lord! I stayed for the evening service. Then, Josh walked in and sat at the end of our pew…Our pastor stopped worship and came over to Josh and began prophesying over him. Josh shook and wept on the floor as the Pastor spoke a powerful word over him. Josh got up a new man! By Sunday morning his best friend, Bethany, called him. She had never gone to church, but she felt an urge to come that morning…She was radically saved! Within 2 months the Lord spoke to them that they were to be married. They went to Bible College and they now pastor together at Redemption Church in St. Louis…Josh later shared while preaching that the night he came to the Lord… he was planning on committing suicide, but something told him to stop at the church first!


Soon after he came back to the Lord, he was preaching at my mother’s church and talking about the terrible things he had gone through as a child. It broke my heart and I had to step out into the lobby and began to cry out to God! I said, “I don’t get it God…I love my son, but I know you love him even more…why did you allow this to happen?” He said, "what did you always pray for concerning Josh?" I said, "That he would have Godly relationships, but he never did." He said, "No, what did you want more than anything else?" I said, "that he would fulfil his destiny." He told me to walk over to the Bible on the table. It was opened and this scripture was underlined…Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. He proceeded to tell me that this was the ONLY path to his destiny!


Every trial is a set up for growth and a testimony of His goodness! Stay focused on Him and give Him praise even in the storm and watch as He fights for you and works it out for your good!

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