day 8

CULTURE OF PRAYER & THE WORD

This is the story of how the Word of God and prayer changed my life. To understand how significant it is that God brought me where I currently am, I must tell you where I started.

I was living in a toxic self-absorbed culture, I had walked away from the church, and I no longer believed God truly existed. I was deep in doubt, anxiety, and battled depression. I was living in pursuit of my own glory. I was physically sick often. I was in friendships that did not feel deep. I was in a ungodly romantic relationship that was not good for me. I was “meeting my own needs.” I believed that Christianity brought unnecessary shame and tiresome self awareness and correction. I thought I had freedom to do whatever I wanted, but all this did was create a prison of darkness and loneliness which robbed me of true peace, joy, and my true identity. The consequences of “living however I wanted” are what created the prison I felt trapped in. God plucked me out of that toxic culture and planted me in C3 NYC.

He rescued my heart and soul, and helped me become a part of His Kingdom culture. As I read the Bible more, prayed, fasted, listened, and worshipped - God came in and redeemed every aspect of my life. I developed a strong faith. God shifted a doubt and anxiety prone mind-set to a joy and peace prone mind-set. I began living to serve and love others. I developed true friendships that are deep and lasting. I gained wisdom and understanding of the depths of importance in purity. I learned that the guilt and shame I associated with Christianity before was from the enemy, not God. I learned true freedom is not “doing whatever I want,” but using wisdom to make decisions that protect my heart and soul, and allow me to live a life full of joy and peace, with more freedom and power than ever before.

On a practical note, the way I spend more time in the Bible and prayer is by carving out the time for it, and making it a priority. I asked God to give me a heart hungry for Him and for people! I love praying for others, and watching God change their life. I have fallen so deep in love with the person of the Holy Spirit that I love being in His presence. If He is who He says He is, and if I truly believe He died for me, He is the most important person in this world and He deserves all of me. He is always waiting and He will always show up.

This has been a developmental process. I started small; I was obedient in the small things and watched Him grow it. I created a discipline, and that took time and error. The more places I looked for Him, the more places I found Him. He never runs out, and we are never full, we overflow.

— CRYSTAL PERREIRA

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