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Praying for Healthy Spiritual Growth

For me, growing in the right direction means overcoming evil with good, acknowledging and releasing pain in prayer.

Reverend Dr. Peola C. Hicks
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My new granddaughter, Sasha Rae Elizabeth, is two months old. When Sasha was born she was six pounds and today she is more than nine pounds. We are very excited about her weight gain, which is noticeable.

When she first came home from the hospital, her weight dropped, but we were not alarmed. My daughter Kimberlee confirmed that the weight loss was normal when she took Sasha for her first doctor’s appointment. If she had continued losing weight after weeks of being home, we would have been concerned. It’s expected that children increase their size, and that parents watch how they grow.

I can remember when my children grew so much that their clothes no longer fit. I was careful to track how they were growing. I knew there were things I could do to contribute to their growth in the best way possible. I would make them eat vegetables when they didn’t want to, because I knew that it was good for them. At a certain point, I no longer had to force them to eat the right food or get the proper amount of sleep because they understood the value and the impact on their health.

No matter how old we are, we never stop growing. Growing is a sign of healthiness. And while it is important to keep track of healthy growth, it is equally important that we pay attention to unhealthy growth in our physical and spiritual lives.

It takes as much effort to grow spiritually as it does to grow physically. We must take into our hearts and minds the kind of things that draw us closer to God. I find this especially important when I have been hurt or misunderstood. I must remember not to cultivate thoughts of unforgiveness, because that will keep the wound fresh. Wounds can look as if they are gone when in fact they’re just covered up or masked.

My goal is to overcome evil with good. For me, this is growing in the right direction. I must be true to myself. I must acknowledge and release painful memories and events to God in prayer. Prayer gives me the opportunity to pour out my thoughts and feelings to God in such a way that I do not feel judged. It is like talking to a loving Father who has my best interest at heart and knows what I need at all times.

I hope my prayer points challenge you to take notice of how you are growing spiritually. We must pay attention to what we are thinking and feeling. Share those things with God in prayer and if necessary share them with a trusted friend or professional. We cannot allow negative thinking to persist and lead to bitterness. Remember that we are responsible for how we grow. God bless you!

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

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Experience a journey of spiritual growth this 2024 Lenten season. This remarkable book is a compilation of thought-provoking reflections from various women of faith. Prepare yourself for Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection with daily devotions that not only deepen your understanding but also strengthen your faith.

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