Behind the scenes

Ever wonder what goes on at the back office at Prayer for Anxiety? Well, here’s an exclusive look!

vince 1

That’s me.

I thought it might be time to give readers a tiny glimpse at my personal life as the creator of this site. Since some of you have contacted me, and many have been praying for me, I felt like sharing a bit of my story.

Right now, I live in Martinez (a city-suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina) with my wife Sofia and our five sons. I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA. It’s been a long journey, but God has been kind and faithful to us.

Rooftops of Martinez

Rooftops of Martinez

We relocated here in 2004. Right now I work as a writer, and this website is where my writer’s heart finds its joy — in serving Christ.

Another place I serve is in a prison Bible study ministry. Every week, we bring the Word of God to nearly 240 inmates. Each time I exit the prison I come away greatly blessed by the men who have been transformed by the Bread of Life.

 

Prison Bible

Holy Bible – Free In Jesus

Argentina has a rich history marked by periods of difficulty. The people have a huge sense of hospitality. A large part of their heritage comes from life on ranches and farms.

Traditional gaucho culture

I write all the articles and prayers on this site. My work will continue as long as God finds it useful. I even get feedback and prayer requests from as far away as Ghana.

Lake Volta in Ghana

Thanks for being interested in my story. You can email me at contact@prayerforanxiety.com. I’d love to hear from you!

For those who see value in my work, please consider becoming a Patron. All supporters get exclusive updates about life down here in Argentina and how our ministry is helping build God’s Kingdom.

Thank you so much for visiting and subscribing. I’m praying for you!

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Be With Him, Be Like Him

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Pillar of Support gets a FREE PDF of our Triple Pack:
Lift Up Your Weary Soul – A collection of 85 prayers & reflections
Be With Him, Be Like Him – A guide to cultivating your prayer life
Strength in the Storm – Helps find your way in difficult times

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God bless you!

Vincent

The Blessing Of Freedom

Jump for joy!

Jump for joy!

What do you think about when you think of freedom? Do you think it means doing as you please? The true meaning of freedom is being free from something.

Fear Not

When we do wrong, we fall under the condemnation and the power of our wrongdoing. We are condemned since the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). This means that sin brings a state of spiritual death to us. We really don’t need the Bible to tell us this do we? Whenever we do something wrong, we know it and we don’t like it. Many times we condemn ourselves for our mistakes in a way much harsher than anyone else would.

This condemnation generates something terrible in us: fear. One of the phrases most repeated by Jesus was, “Fear not!”

Freedom from fear is a great blessing. Fear is the root of so much illness in the world, such as mental health problems. Fear can lead to anxiety, depression, heart disease and a whole host of other medical disorders. But when we live fearlessly, we are free to be healed by God. It all has to do with the concept of justice.

Perfect Justice, Perfect Mercy

We have a funny way of thinking about justice, because in many ways we want an unjust god. We want a god that will say, “There, there, your mistakes are not such a big deal. Nothing to see here, now. Run along.” That way we slip into heaven like a teenager sneaking into the back door of a movie theater.

But when it comes to justice here on earth, we want perfection. We expect criminal acts to be dealt with by the justice system. The reality is that God’s justice is even more severe. His demand for perfection sits much higher than we can possibly imagine. God condemns sin with the utmost severity as sin cannot exist in his presence.

But when Jesus gave up his life for you, he removed all condemnation. Instead of falling upon us, the punishment fell upon the Son of God. This is one of the hardest things to accept and understand. Ironically, rejection of this truth is often rooted in another form of slavery: pride. We are so proud sometimes that we don’t even want to give up our mistakes.

The humiliation of God’s Son established perfect justice. How? Because perfect justice of God requires perfect payment. This could only be achieved by the perfect sacrifice. Jesus, completely innocent, was the only one that could fill that role. He became sin and was put to death for our sake. For your sake.

You Are Free

Even though the torture and humiliation of Christ’s persecution, trial and crucifixion were painful, it was nothing compared to the spiritual pain that was felt by God the Father and Jesus at that moment.

What does this mean?

It means that you are free. It means that your soul is saved from spiritual death. It also means that you are free from the power or influence of sin. You’re no longer a slave. You no longer have to live in fear.

Does this mean that you’ll never make mistakes again? Of course not. But when you’re a slave, you have no other option but slavery. I recall when I was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, I had no choice. I ran to these things because I loved them, or at least that’s what Satan wanted me to believe. But the Spirit of God freed me from this power. I may struggle with other things, but I’m no longer a slave. A slave has no choice, but a free person can resist and fight.

It’s A Process

Remember, the full blessings of freedom don’t come all at once. Think of it like a multi-lane highway. In some lanes, you zip along smoothly while in other places cars barely crawl forward. But bit by bit, God’s hand helps you remove the traffic jams. Your prayer life helps monitor your progress. When you faithfully seek God’s presence, he shows you how to get to a point where your freedom flows uniformly, like a river. Be patient with yourself during this process, and be confident that you are maturing.

True Righteousness 

Be completely free of excessive worry and anger. Be liberated from arrogance, pride, vanity or jealousy. Escape from impatience or a desire for vengeance. Break away from laziness or a distorted self-image. All these things lead to spiritual death, while freedom in Christ lets you soar on wings like an eagle (Isaiah 40:31).

So ask God frequently to set you free from the chains that tie you down.

This freedom, born of the Spirit of God, allows you to resist all the negativity and evil in the world and say, “Enough! I do not believe in a world that tries to sell me isolation and despair. Instead I believe in a great King who lives and is seated at God’s right hand. I believe in a heavenly King who brings a new righteousness to my heart. Not a righteousness of power and control, but the righteousness of love.”

Coming soon!

Order today

This post is an excerpt from Vince’s book, Is Jesus Real? Can Jesus Help Me? Order from Amazon today.

 

 

 

Title image source (modified).

From Victim to Victorious

From victim to victorious

Everyone has been wounded at one time or another. In the most serious cases, these experiences affect every aspect of our lives – especially personal relationships. Some may end up suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) requiring years or even a lifetime of treatment. How do you cope with your deepest wounds? Should you take medication? Let’s find out more.

Take meds or not?

Today’s mental health sciences have come a long way in the treatment of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Perhaps the greatest advances have been in the removal of the stigma surrounding these problems. These are true medical issues, and no one should ever feel ashamed about them. Instead it’s important to get help. In some cases, physiological counseling and medications are a necessary part of recovery.

One mistake people make, however, is believing that pills contain some kind of magic power. If you need medication, take it as prescribed, but be realistic about the limitations of science. Never forget that the deepest healing comes from God’s love and mercy. This is where you should place your trust.

Don’t make them weapons

It’s very common for us to weaponize our wounds. We lash out and hurt others and ourselves. Seek to recognize when this happens, and ask God to free you from this behavior. When you stop causing new pain due to past wounds, you can then start the healing process.

One common way we hurt ourselves and others is by shutting out the world. This happens since you’re afraid to get hurt again. Nobody wants to feel pain, that’s for sure. But instead of closing in, let your wounds be the doorway where God enters your heart. This can be scary and complicated, so it might help to have a spiritual guide accompany you.

This process doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect yourself, but your heart doesn’t have to be imprisoned either. Instead, God will give you a strong heart that can feel, give, and love again.

From victim to victorious

Those who have been wounded deeply are truly victims. You didn’t ask for suffering. Still, sometimes we fall into the trap of labeling ourselves as a victim above everything else. This is exactly how Satan wants you to think – that you are helpless and hopeless. Don’t believe this lie.

Look to Jesus to transform you from victim to victorious. How? Regain your dignity through the healing mercy of God. Your victory rests in saying:

“Yes. I was hurt. I was wounded seriously. But that was not the final chapter in my life. God lifted me up again. He healed me, gave me strength, and now I move forward. God gave me meaning because I know for sure he loves me. He showed me this by forgiving me and giving me his Son. Jesus knows how much I suffered, since he suffered too. But Christ rose up again, and I did too.

I am God’s child. Nothing and nobody can ever, ever take that away from me.”

God’s Economy

The victory doesn’t stop there. You see, in God’s economy, nothing is wasted. The wounded and broken become transformed into agents of healing and grace. Many times, only a person who has suffered can help others who suffer from the same wounds.

As you are healed, you become the hands, voice, and heart of Christ that heals others. Your life transforms into a celebration where angels sing praises about how the love of God gave you your life back again.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

This post is dedicated to my friend Jan and her brother Daniel. God bless you! – Vince

A prayer for the broken
A prayer for when you feel you can’t go on

Image source (modified).

Return to intimacy

How long has it been since you felt a deep intimacy with Jesus?

Sometimes, when your relationships with other people get cold, it’s because you’ve grown cold with Jesus. Warm up to him again. He never holds a grudge. He never looks to settle a score. Jesus only gives.

Remember, it’s not a list of things to do that gives you life. Our faith is not faith in rules or doctrines. Our faith is in a person – Jesus Christ.

When you return to your first love, you regain strength. God’s grace and peace fill your life. Then you can start giving and loving others as Jesus loves you.

Return to him. Return to knowing him and feeling the deepness of his mercy and love for you. Be sure again that you are forgiven and loved as you are.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear… We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:18a, 19

 

What is truth?

All the badness in the world, all the hatred, violence, arrogance, selfishness, and betrayal – everything – Jesus accepted as his fault. He paid the price for us all. For my sin and for yours. Think about this for a minute. Meditate upon the innocence and purity of Christ.

Understanding this truth is understanding God’s love. And for his great act of love and obedience, the Son of God rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Let this truth change you. Let it transform your view of yourself and the world around you.

And let the truth set you free.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ”
John 3:17

Don’t rush God’s hand

Some prayers only last a few seconds, like, “I need a parking space Lord!”
Others can last for years. You know what these are.

Don’t fear the long term. Don’t rush God’s hand.

Jerusalem wasn’t built in a day, and the greatest glory takes time.

With each prayer, you gain patience.
With each prayer, you trust more.
With each prayer, hope thrives.

Lay each prayer down, day by day, and watch God’s Kingdom rise up before you.

“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”  Matthew 7:25

A quick but important reminder

Remember. Being a Christian is not about being perfect.

Being a Christian means you know deep in your heart that you are forgiven… and you are loved.

You are a child of God. Your identity is indestructible.

So even if your life is a mess right now, grab hold of your identity and hold on tight. Hold your head up high. Because Almighty God loves you dearly.