Only a good God could have created the incredible nobility embedded in the highest human aspirations. Otherwise, how could humans long within their hearts for beauty and kindness? Those are hardly reasoned choices? Charismatic Christian faith proclaims that joy and abundance will follow a prayer to God, who is good. But, that view is not shared by science.
Mainstream science denies the evidence of miracles from God. They point to a God, who permitted the Holocaust. They cite the lack of answers to many a heartfelt prayer. For science, the evidence is erratic, contradictory and unacceptable for the hypothesis of a good God. With this conclusion, science has thrown out the baby with the bathwater.
Faith is trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence, optimism, hopefulness. Christian faith is all these that God has good intentions for you. The Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) is believed to make choices, when one is faced with conflicting perceptions - such as when one is asked to identify the color of the word "Red" written in blue ink. But, we have convictions too - we know that we exist. ACC is silent for that decision. So also, true Christian Faith remains a conviction. When doubts enter the mind, ACC takes control and a decision becomes difficult.
Doubts rule mainstream science. Doubts blind science to a crucial dimension of human life - the goodness of God. On the other hand, faith points to the incredible beauty of the world to justify the view of a good God. He also works miracles. There is concrete evidence of miracles in the world. But, papers presenting the evidence of innumerable miracles across history are rejected by influential science journals. Where peer reviews decide the results of a lifetime of research, a public acknowledgment of miracles becomes a fatal frailty for a scientist. They diligently oppose the concept of a good and loving God. In spite of scientific opposition, many great statesmen and thinkers remain convinced of the existence of a good God and of His miracles. In the midst of such doubts, an increasing number of modern Christians have benefited from miraculous answers to prayers. The triumph of these Believers is founded on the silence of their ACCs.
The Believer senses the goodness of God deep within. As Kierkegaard suggests, logical contradictions opposing such a belief disappear into a vast silence in the Believer's mind. The Believer feels loved. The Believer argues that anyone can live a blessed life by following certain percepts. With a firm faith that prayers will be answered, the possibility of failure vanishes into a childlike silence in the mind of the Believer. He believes in the goodness of God while taking into consideration the daily media reports, from countries around the world, of earthquakes and floods, wars and holocausts, untimely deaths and of the resounding success of evil. In return, the Believer benefits from prayer. Replacing logical contradictions with silent faith is the basis of effective Christian prayer.
Christian prayers receive miraculous answers. They draw inspiration
from the Bible, which documents an untold number of prophesies and
promises. Devout scholars have uncovered much evidence of its
supernatural construct. As an example, some books in the Bible were
translated hundreds of years before the Christian era. Yet, those
books prophesied the life and mission of Jesus Christ.
belief is that crucifixion widened the reach of God's answers to
prayers. Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for all of humanity. From a
focus on the Israelites, the Bible promises answers to all prayers
through Jesus Christ. Faith in these promises yield miraculous
answers. Prayers in His name by Believers have mitigated their
disasters, achieved their successes and brought them peace and joy.
Each person is free to accept, or reject the Christian belief.
Acceptance has transformed lives.
The Charismatic Movement interprets the Bible, delineating steps to Christian faith. Their views have powerfully benefited their vast assembly of followers. Pointing to Biblical verses that abundance is acceptable to God, the Charismatic faith overturns prevalent admonitions against wealth. According to the Bible, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The path to faith usually begins when one feels fear and despair and feels a need for divine help.
The need is intense, when life has brought them to a place, where there is no way out. You need a miracle to save you. A hope that prayer through Jesus Christ can help is sown as a seed in your mind. You make a commitment to grow that seed. The Bible promises that your commitment will grow that seed. With faith, miracles deliver the promises of God documented in the Bible. It is written that they are wrought by the faith of the individual and not by Jesus.
The Charismatic view is that God speaks to you all the time. You need to listen.
When an amateur learned to fly, he listened to the confusing radio
message from his instructor. In the constant chatter within radio
waves, the beginner learned to identify his code number and respond to
his instructions. He gradually learned to grasp those messages.
He began to anticipate the words of his instructor.
Prayer is the process of presenting problems that trouble you to God and faith is the process of leaving it to Him. When you ask your friend for help and he replies "consider it done." You can then leave it to him. With faith, the answer to your prayer is "consider it done." That problem is not yours to worry over. Repeat your prayers however many times with the same faith. Till you know the answer to your prayer.
Learn to recognize His promises and admonitions. Faith demands continuous prayer, till it is answered one way, or the other. Faith considers your prayer answered - your job is over. Consider it done. Value the surprising answers to some prayers. They could appear supernatural. Accept setbacks as the will of God, without questioning their logic. Kill the thistles and thorns of reason, which seek to destroy your seed of faith. Faith grows as you consign each destructive doubt into the vast well of silence in your mind.
Christian prayers lead to a privileged life. The divine point of
contact is the name of Jesus Christ. Christian inspiration for
prayers comes from daily readings of the Bible. As you absorb the
circumstances encountered by generations of kings, princes, prophets
and sages, your mind will grasp a verse, which is God's answer to the
crisis you face. Expect His words to rise in your subconscious.
Valuing small answers to prayers is the true foundation of faith.
Nothing is too small for an infinite wisdom. The answer may be
simple. Example - "I will give you rest."
Insights from the Bible can soften your worries and fears. Count your blessings and name them one by one. Value the good, however small. As you follow this path, you will still your feelings of despair. Become aware of negative ways of thinking. Awareness will consign the thought to the vast silence in your mind. Hold on to a simple belief in God and his goodness.
Faith is also strengthened when you feel gratitude to God. The
sense of gratitude will also still your fears. Listening to God,
accepting His insights and gratitude for His blessings will lead you
to miraculous answers to prayers. As your faith in the goodness of
God takes hold, you will be filled with joyous exhilaration, even if
you are hurting inside.
For my peace of mind, I earmarked 20 minutes for meditation on the terrace. With my eyes closed, I sense my hands on the chair and feel the numbness in my feet.
I feel my breath flowing through my nose, my throat, my chest and my stomach. I can hear the chirping of birds, the phut phut of auto rickshaws, the occasional roar of a truck and the insistent hooting of horns.
The wide sky and the treetops come to my attention, when I open my eyes, I see a pale moon over two hundred thousand miles away. I see the nuclear fires, blazing for millions of years in the pale globe of the setting sun. I see a single star millions of miles away in space.
I can see green shoots coming up on a tree, watch the dives and swoops of birds, the great circles of the hawks and flocks of birds flying home for the night.
Diffused light from the sun reflects off a parrot on the tree and enters my eye through a pinhole opening. I sense the bustling mood of the bird, even though it is smaller than a drop of water in my eyes.
All these things are seen and felt by me in a few brief minutes. In the distance, is the head of a man seeming to be no bigger than a pea. Yet, that head too sees and feels such things. Ten million people in this great city see and feel in ten million ways.
My mind wanders to a misty view of postwar London; an exciting glimpse of Disneyland. An awed view of Tiananmen Square. The looming Himalayan ranges. My mind takes me to distant galaxies.
It carries me into the heart of millions of invisible neurons, where electrical charges flash thousands of times a second powering my contemplation. I see the campaigns of Julius Caesar and Alexander. I feel the longings of Jehangir.
Already my mind has taken me to palaces, battlefields and even the stars. If I lost everything, but can just see and feel, in just a few brief minutes, my mind can travel the world, or imagine the cosmos.
While my thoughts wandered far and near, the thought "20 minutes is a long time" also kept floating in. And yet, life has already blessed me with over twenty million waking minutes! I have an infinity of time on my hands. Have I a right to expect more from life?
I really loved the self improvement plan post. Its great food for thought and the steps are actually actionable as compared to many other self help sites out there.
Joe Glen USA.
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Andrew Montgomery USA.