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If you have faith (in anything) - did you have an experience that led you to believe?

(37 Posts)
cherryburton Mon 23-May-11 16:51:00

Am just pondering the sort of incidents that might inspire faith (and wanting to have one!) grin

nokissymum Mon 23-May-11 17:22:00

I suppose individual experiences, like a desperate situation that was prayed about and then the situation turned around or occurrences that could not be explained any other way e.g healing.

tuffie Mon 23-May-11 22:12:27

I think a lot of people come to faith when they go through a bad time in their lives. It is during the dark times that people search for help. I used to pay lip service to my faith, going to church occasionally and saying the odd prayer now and again and as my life was good , I didn t feel the need to do any more. Then 2 years ago, I had a crisis in my life, and looking back, I really believe it was God's way of shaking my faith into action. So I started to look to God for help, and pray more, and now my life is much richer and more meaningful. I also have some great friends in the church.

cherryburton Tue 24-May-11 08:05:56

I can understand that. Sometimes there are things that happen that make me think that something is out there. But then there are times when I don't believe in more than I can see...I suppose I'm wondering if anyone's had an experience that they believe proves it without doubt (to them?) Something vaguely miraculous or supernatural?

cherryburton Tue 24-May-11 12:49:37

nokissymum -can I ask what sort of occurences?

nokissymum Tue 24-May-11 16:32:37

cherry button sorry I'm seeing this. Well there are lots including strange occurrences experienced by other people.

Personally I have experienced healing through faith in Christ. I have a sister who was run over by a lorry when she was 18. She suffered a fractured skull and lost several teeth. She developed several complications, including convulsing and epileptic fits and hallucinations.

She was treated at a very good hospital and underwent all kinds of iinvestigations, she continued to deteriorate over a 2nd period and we were eventually told there was nothing further they could do for her and that we should take her home to spend her last days in peace.

We took her home were she was by now practically a vegetable. One day she had a convulsion and did not recover, we rushed her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

My mum refusing to give up took her lifeless body to a small church which someone had told her was "a church were you experienced God"

The pastor came out and told my mum to lay her body on the floor, and the she was prayed over, my sister opened her eyes and asked for water! She stood up and walked and was the person I remembered from 2yrs before.

She came home afterwards and visited the neighbours who nearly fainted with shock at seeing her completely healed and normal, she resume university within 3 weeks and has never been back to hospital.

I have has several other experiences not all as dramatic as this one but immensely difficult situations where I could see no way out and prayers out it with faith and the situation just seemed to turn around in the right direction. So I believe in God, and that when we pray with faith, God hears.

tuffie Tue 24-May-11 18:57:11

nokissymum. What a wonderful experience! I haven't experienced anything dramatic to prove God's existence. I guess it's one of the hardest part of having a faith - believing without evidence. But then faith is a gift which we are free to either nurture or turn our back on.When I have doubts - as I'm sure a lot of us do- I fall back on those immortal words from the Bible - "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe "

nokissymum Tue 24-May-11 19:15:33

You are right!and I love the verse you quoted, we don't have to see wonders all the time as God is not a magician that "performs" but is living and real to those who believe.

madhairday Wed 25-May-11 17:16:40

That's amazing nokissymum

I've experienced all sorts of small steps along the way, but yes in the end do think about that verse, it's very helpful. Most of how we live is on faith, but God will do the occasional amazing thing that rocks you and keeps you going for a while. I had injured my knee and was having physio, it wasn't getting better and I could hardly walk. I went for prayer and felt a heat through it and could immediately walk normally, run even. But then again I have never been healed of my long term illness. But somehow I don't have a huge struggle with this. I know God in it with me, in the suffering, and have learned so much and met so many wonderful people through it.

I've had various more physical experiences of the power of God - shakes, laughing, incredible waves of God's presence, all that - but hard to explain without sounding somewhat off the planet. Only can assure that I'm (sort of) normal and found these experiences to be so empowering of my faith in general rather than weird. Very natural in fact.

Tee2072 Thu 26-May-11 06:59:29

Wow, nokissymum. That's amazing.

I have always been very spiritual in a very vague way. I knew there was a higher power, just wasn't sure of it's form.

And then I had trouble conceiving a child, the one thing I wanted more than anything in the world. I am older, have some health problems and was running out of time to have one. So I prayed. I prayed to God and asked him for a child. And we had just started our investigation for fertility treatment, which wasn't going to go far as I was already 39 at the time and can't afford private and NHS won't do much for someone of my age, when I conceived my son. After 2 years and one very early miscarriage.

My son will be two on 11th June. It hasn't been easy, being my age (now 42 in case you're as bad at maths as I am!) with my various health issues.

I don't go to church or anything as I think most of them are devoid of god. I pray in my own way.

But I still pray to god.

And sometimes she agrees to help. grin

nokissymum Thu 26-May-11 10:48:35

tee2072 it's funny, I am very bad at maths by the way!

It was sad reading your line " I don't go to church as I think most of them are devoid of God" I know you are so right, and it makes me so angry, it's frustrating because Christians are meant to light and salt, but many are not.

A lot of preaching but no actions to match. If we could touch people's lives the way the early churches in the bible did, what a great testimony that would be.

But I don't let it shatter my hope, I just press on, in the words of Michael Jackson, "if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change", hopefully I can find ways where I am to do this, so that some might be touched.

Tee2072 Thu 26-May-11 15:18:56

I was a bit wary of saying that, nokissymum, because a lot of people take offence at the idea. But I have been to many many religious services of many many kinds of religion and have never felt closer to God than I do lying in my own bed at night or sitting in my front room. Most of them made me feel further away as I wonder if God really requires all the worship. I don't think she does.

grin

cherryburton Mon 30-May-11 10:41:19

nokissymum - that's amazing, I'd probably be devout if something like that had happened to someone I knew!

I do believe in something, and it may be the same thing as everyone else on this thread even though I'm closer to being a Pagan than a Christian. Oddly though, I have had some very interesting things happen to me as a result of praying in churches.

tuffie Tue 31-May-11 20:00:42

cherryburton - what sort of things ?

cherryburton Wed 01-Jun-11 18:09:08

Years ago I was in France with a friend and we were looking for a job. We'd been there about a month and were about to run out of money and no sign of work coming our way despite our best efforts. We went to hand out our CVs in Monaco and on the way home we went into a huge church, lit a candle and prayed for help. We got the train back to where we were staying and went into the local English bar where everyone went to network and as I ordered a drink the barman introduced me to the skipper of a boat who gave me a job the next day. My friend got a job the next day. You could call it a coincidence but it was all very strange.

I've since been into churches twice (in the last year actually), lit candles and prayed very hard for something that I needed badly and both times it's happened. After long periods of really struggling to make these things happen, I should add. Which makes me think that there's something out there, but perhaps not specifically a Christian God. I do really like churches though, especially really really old ones. There's lots of Norman ones near here and I believe that a thousand years worth of prayer really leave their mark on a place...

cherryburton Tue 07-Jun-11 18:44:18

bumping before it drops off my list... smile

JandT Tue 07-Jun-11 20:48:06

Hello, nothing so dramatic but I'd say it's the ongoing experiences I have.

For example, I'm a youth worker for my church yet without training or any experience not only did I know it was the right thing to do but also I knew how to do it. I also had a very bad relationship and prayed in a church that it would resolve itself and that one day I'd be back there with a wonderful husband and family. Well, 1 year later my husband proposed to me whilst we were visiting the church (without knowing about my prayer), 2 years later we were there with DSS and 3 years later we took DS aged 6 weeks to say thank you. More recently, I was going crazy being a SAHM to a 7 month old and something happened at my church which meant I'm now happy being a SAHM with other things to focus on which once again, are going better than they should.

As for churches lacking God, I go to church every week and we have been through a period of three years where it felt like God was being pushed out and forgotten (bad priest, now gone to join the Ordinariate for Rome). The moment he left it felt like God came back but, having spoken to others, he was always there supporting us. We go to a Shrine in Norfolk (the church I had prayed in for the above things) and when I go there I'm quiet and I feel God like nowhere else. That said, sometimes just talking to God whilst driving down the road is just as good.

If you want a true 'God Story' google Tony Anthony. I saw him speak once and came away with goosebumps.

Suncottage Tue 07-Jun-11 20:54:43

I was witness to an awful car crash where a young girl was killed. I saw and felt her leave her body as I stood over her.

No one will ever convince me otherwise.

I am not a churchgoer but I am a believer that when we die that is not the end.

springydaffs Thu 09-Jun-11 14:15:36

I became a christian because of a miracle. I was living with a christian couple for a while and they were pg with their first child. Right at the end of the pg they were told that the child had the condition where the brain, therefore the top of the head, hadn't formed (can't remember the name) and that the child would die soon after birth. They had a prayer meeting in their house and I went along more to show support than anything - I wasn't a believer. I cried copious tears, it was embarrassing. I was obviously upset about the prognosis but was taken aback at how much I cried, from the depth of my soul it felt like. I prayed that God would heal their child, even though I didn't really believe there was a God. The next day they went to the hospital for another scan and apparently the doctor was so shocked he called other medics around the hospital to have a look - the brain and head had fully formed. AFter he was born, many people who didn't know the story commented about his head, how perfectly shaped it was. It was a strange thing to say but in my mind's eye I remember a photo taken of him when he was a baby and he did indeed have a beautifully-shaped head!

I was on my own when I heard the story, that all was well, and felt staggered, quite frightened really - I remember thinking omg can it be that God really exists, that it's all true?? I found it hard to get my head around that. As I looked up, alone in their house, a cross-stitch sampler on the wall - hard to describe - stood out, really kind of lit up. It said God Is Love. It is hard to explain how I just knew in that moment that it was true, that he is love.

A few days later I went to church with them. It was a pentecostal church and there was a lot of singing, it was all a bit much tbh. Again, I cried and cried, all the while not really sure why - I couldn't work it out. At the end of the sermon the pastor gave an altar call ("Is there one?! Is there one who will give their heart to the Lord Jes-us-ah?!!") and I thought I'd give it a go, wanted to know more really - if he was real, and he was love, I wanted it/him. I knelt down and said the prayer but nothing in particular happened and I walked out feeling quite disconsulate, thinking "well, that didn't work". As I walked out through the vestibule - again, hard to describe - very suddenly an enormous weight SHOT off my back/shoulders, straight upwards, like an inverse gravity. I felt unbelievably light, truly like an immensely heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders (it was only later that I read Pilgrims Progress where a similar thing is described). I felt incredible, like I had been washed inside and was spanglingly new - I really did understand the phrase 'born again' as that was exactly how I felt: a new person. I had also, as a child, had a problem with bowed shoulders - people commented on it and I did everything I could to straighten my posture but to no avail. I was conscious of it and had also been a very unhappy child.

I floated home - only way I can describe it - and for at least a week I was in a state of absolute bliss. For the following 9 months I experienced many healings, physical and emotional. It was as if all the dross was being cleared up. I realised I was now a christian and tbh found that a bit hard to get to grips with - I didn't know where to go to church and found christians a bit wierd, couldn't relate to them (that's still the case I'm sorry to say).

I don't know why he chose to reveal himself like that to me - I just know it was incredibly kind and I have never forgotten it. It has stood me in good stead in my life as I have faced a lot of difficulties and heartache one way and another. I have since found out a lot more about him, that he is as awesome as he says he is, which is wonderful and very comforting.

cherryburton Mon 13-Jun-11 12:02:22

springydaffs - that's lovely. grin

So if you still don't go to church, what do you do to connect (for want of a better word?) Do you read the Bible?

cherryburton Mon 13-Jun-11 12:26:43

Suncottage - I like to think that too, and most of the time I do, but I do through periods of doubt where I think maybe death is the end and it depresses me. I much prefer myself when I'm in a phase where I do believe there's more...

CheerfulYank Thu 16-Jun-11 07:13:20

Me too cherryburton . smile

I don't have a ton of shocking experiences, or anything, but I was once seeing a guy who died very suddenly in a car accident. He died on July 18th (years ago.)I slipped into a terrible depression and the only thing that helped was to pray. I felt that someone was listening.

I got married a few years later and found out I was pregnant three weeks later. We hadn't planned on a baby at all and were really shocked. We hadn't mapped out our future plans or anything so everything seemed very...precarious I guess! When I was in my third trimester I became very depressed again, the horrible sort where you can't get out of bed and don't want to do anything but lie there and cry or sleep. I started to pray, almost all the time, and it gave me some relief. So when my beautiful boy was born (on July 18th), I called him Samuel, since one of the meanings attributed to the name is "God had heard."

cherryburton Thu 16-Jun-11 10:03:51

Cheerful - how strange that your son was born on the 18th July! Maybe it was to put something positive back on top of the date so it stopped being so ominous?

I'm sure I read something once about a scientific experiment that proved that even if you're not religious, prayer can have a tangible effect? Will have to go and google it to see if I'm talking rubbish...

amberlight Thu 16-Jun-11 17:18:22

I've had all sorts of experiences of God over the years - leaving me in absolutely no doubt that He exists. Perhaps the best was after my mum had been very ill in hospital during a mental health episode and was refusing to eat. Her weight was at 5 1/2 stone for her 5 ft 7 frame, she hadn't washed properly in weeks...she was an absolute mess. I had a long chat at God on the way over there one night and said, "Look, I know you've got the power to sort this out" (more or less). From that night onwards, she recovered, and went on to live four more fairly happy years in the community. There's no way I can 'prove' that, but it proved it to me. Just one of many...

CheerfulYank Thu 16-Jun-11 17:36:18

Cherry I think so. For a long time that date was a bad day for me, and now it's "Oh goodness, can't believe Sam is X years old, where does the time go, did I remember to order the Spiderman cake?!" smile And I can think of the man who died and it doesn't hurt.

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