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In November, 2012, I saw a sermon from Dr.

Charles Stanley called Unloading your Baggage that can be found on You Tube at http://youtu.be/QOx_b79ZcA8. I was so impressed with the sermon, I ordered the CD. Being that I have been almost crippled in my feet due to tarsal tunnel and plantar fasciitis, my ears perked up when Dr. Stanley started talking about encumbrances to our running the race.

Hebrews 12 Amplified Bible (AMP) 12 Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. I have prayed for my feet. I have looked up every scripture on my feet and have prayed over my feet. What I have not done is (1) admitted my encumbrances,(2) taken responsibility for it, and (3)made a decision to deal with it. Dr. Stanley advises to make a list, and after you do these three things, burn the list up. This is a word picture for me as to give the list to the Holy Spirit to consume the list as a final act. The encumbrances in the sermon are all I am encumbered with: Poor self-image Defeatist Attitude Feelings of Rejection Perfectionist Fear of Failure Procrastination Lack of Self-Control Lack of Concentration Negative Attitude Suspicious Indecision

In some areas, I have made much progress over the years, but I have never addressed them in the fashion Dr. Stanley recommends.

Sin entangles us. That sin is the primary area of weakness in my (our) lives and is referenced in the scripture above and in the sermon. All mentioned are sins I have been/am most tempted by and have even been entangled with: Unforgiveness Critical Spirit Jealousy Greed Pride Deciet Lust Unbelief Anger Bitterness Slander Love of money Idolatry

I have made progress in each area, but I have not dealt with them as Dr. Stanley suggests. In no way is the list of sin is exhaustive. It is a beginning point. I know if I ask God other the sin his spirit will bring more to mind. For the sake of this prayer, I will keep the list aligned with the sermon and address other items as applicable. The consequences of not dealing with this baggage according to Dr. Stanley is that it: Divides our minds Gets us off track Drains energy Slows pace of spiritual growth Causes us to stumble Destructive

I too feel like that there is something hanging between God and me, and I could relate with Dr. Stanleys experience about asking his friends to spend a weekend with him to help him discover the problem. During that weekend, he had never experienced his fathers love. I too, as a child, needed my parents love. As recommended by Dr. Stanley, I will take time to visualize my mother holding me and my father holding me and then the Lord holding me. I need to experience his love. I am brought to tears even thinking about it. Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christs sufficiency]. In other versions I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Dr. Stanley recommends to rephrase this as verse as I will do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The prayer then is as follows: Lord, I am surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. In that I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me, I will strip off and throw aside my encumbrances and that sin that readily clings to and entangles me. I write that sin on a piece of paper. Lord, forgive me for that sin of unforgiveness, critical spirit, jealousy, greed, pride, deceit, lust, unbelief, anger, bitterness, slander, love of money, and idolatry. I take responsibility for that sin as listed. Lord, I receive your forgiveness in Jesus name and I forgive myself. Lord, in Jesus name, I throw that sin away and I ask you to separate that sin from me; I place that sin on your altar. Lord, you say there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. I am in Christ and Christ is in me. Next, I take responsibility and throw away my encumbrances. I write on this paper my encumbrances: Poor self-image Defeatist Attitude Feelings of Rejection Perfectionist Fear of Failure Procrastination Lack of Self-Control Lack of Concentration Negative Attitude Suspicious Indecision

Lord forgive me for my encumbrances. I receive your forgiveness in Jesus name. I take responsibility for my encumbrances. Lord, in Jesus name, I throw away my encumbrances. Lord, I ask you separate my encumbrances from me; I place them on your altar. Lord, you say there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. I am in Christ and Christ is in me. Lord, I am dealing with this baggage. I am also dealing with the consequences thereof. On a sheet of paper I write the consequences of that sin and my encumbrances: divided mind, getting off track, drains energy, slows pace of spiritual growth, stumbling, and destructive. Lord, in Jesus name, I throw away the consequences. Lord, I ask you separate these consequences from me; I place them on your altar. That sin, the encumbrances, and the consequences, are unnecessary weight. My putting that sin, the encumbrances, and the consequences on your altar strips off this weight from me. I ask your Holy Spirit

to consume on your altar that which I have placed on it. As a symbol of the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit, in the natural, I set fire to this list of that sin, my encumbrances, and the consequences. Father, I will do all things through Christ who strengthens me. In Christ, I will run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course for the race that is set before me. I will look away to Jesus, who is the leader and the source of my faith and is the finisher thereof. In Jesus name I pray, Amen, amen. After I did this prayer, I burned the lists in the outside chimnea, then I took a bath. I asked the Lord to send his presence and his word. As I washed I prayed, In the name of Jesus, I wash my self by the power of the Holy Spirit and I ask you Lord to wash me with your word. After I washed, I bound everything that had washed off of me in the name of Jesus with means that Jesus provides, contained that which cannot be bound with means that Jesus provides, sealing the containment with means that can only be opened by Christ Jesus, then sending that which is bound and that which is contained to the custody of the Lord. After I dried, I brushed my hair in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and bound that which has been brushed out of my hair by the power of the Holy Spirit with means that Christ Jesus provides, then sent that which is bound to the custody of the Lord. Lord, I ask you to bring up that sin, encumbrances, and consequences that have not been addressed thus far so that I can deal with this baggage and finish the race you have set before me. Thank you Lord. It is good to hear laughter in my spirit. Thank you for your love and your joy. Should I need to intercede on behalf of my family and my heritage, I will. Amen.