"I started with prayer, and the more I did it, the more people would call me, because I guess there would be an answer to the prayer."

Openness to God opening doors for St. Catharines minister

Patricia (seen with her husband) is now finishing a book.

Complete obedience to the Lord sometimes leads to an unexpected life journey, with plenty of adventurous twists and turns along the way. Patricia Usher's life is an example of that. Her willingness to obey the Lord has had him introducing her to new and interesting ways she can minister to others, for his glory. As a result, today she is touching many lives for Jesus.


In a recent sit-down, she reminisced about how the Lord led her to start a ministry of praying for others. "Because

of a lot stuff I was going through at the time, I was just led to pray for different individuals. So I started with prayer, and the more I did it, the more people would call me, because I guess there would be an answer to the prayer. They wanted to find somebody who would pray, and would help them get victory in the area they'd want prayer for."


She expanded her outreach when she opened up a prayer line, and asked the Lord to lead people to her that needed prayer. "They'd call me day, night, or whatever. That was the first thing I did. I'd pray, and see them get set free or delivered." She is still praying for people today, and she is still operating a prayer line. Those needing prayer can reach her at (289) 931-8094.


Another element of ministry that the Lord uses Patricia in, similar to the one mentioned above, is counselling through prophetic prayer. This is where he provides answers to those being prayed for, through the very words that Patricia speaks. She explained further what these situations look like: "When I'm praying for a person, I'm praying prophetically. So usually something pops up when I'm praying that addresses something in their lives. The Holy Spirit will highlight something." That specific addressing of certain issues in the prayer brings receptivity to the counselling aspect of her ministry.


"The prayer is that open door. Once I start praying, I know the prayer is not 'me' anymore. (The words being spoken) start opening up stuff within their own lives. Suddenly they say, 'I got it! You just prayed something about my life!' We then start dealing with that area.


"The Holy Spirit will give me a word of knowledge for that person, whatever the problem is. His wisdom will then start flowing. It's never about what I think (about the area being mentioned). It's the Holy Spirit. Because it even shocks me, since I really don't now what the Holy Spirit is going to do."


More recently, the Lord began providing opportunities for Patricia to write. She hopes to finish her first book, Lily Of The Valley, later this year. It features her life story which, like a lily, has experienced growth through difficult circumstances. "I want people to see the struggles I've been in, and how God was there with me. A lot of those struggles were based on my not really trusting him. The book shows I had overcoming power for the times of my life when I really trusted in him."


Just prior to beginning the manuscript, Patricia had a season of challenges that almost prevented it from even being started. Upon graduating from Bible school in 2008, there was no clear indication from the Lord that she and her family were to go back out west, where she lived before moving to Niagara. "After Bible college, I knew I wasn't going to go home. I was here, seeking God, getting involved in different prayer meetings, and just waiting to see what was the next move. I know he wasn't saying to go back to Winnipeg, but at the same time, what do I do in St. Catharines?

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"Then In 2013, I had a real catastrophe. It wasn't pleasant. I needed a rest. I need out of the situation to refocused." Her entire family went to a retreat centre in Georgia for a month of refreshment. This was the turning point that helped determine her next step. She returned to St. Catharines, expecting resolution, and feeling impressed by God to go to a local woman she knew who could help. Patricia and her husband set up a time to meet for prayer.


Patricia vividly remembers the meeting. "She said, 'the Lord said you are supposed to write your book. That is your assignment. There is a book about your life, and you need to write it. And I'm going to the one on your case to make sure you write the book." God definitely provided direction!


But even with this confirmation, Patricia hesitated. It would eventually take a series of events surrounding an upcoming local conference to finally get her writing.


She felt compelled to attend the conference, and in particular, a session featuring a speaker that had caught her attention. But she was also supposed to open her church for a prayer meeting that night. She resolved her dilemma by asking two friends who didn't attend her church to go to the conference. She would open the church, then head out herself if an opportunity to leave presented itself.


Patricia then recalled, "At about 8 o'clock there was something nudging me, saying it was time to go." But was it a God-nudge? Patricia stayed, but remembers what happened next. "When I got home, I called up one of the ladies: 'Pat! Guess what! The speaker called out your name! He said, "There's a woman, her name is Patricia, she was supposed to be here tonight and did not show up. She was on her way. If anyone knows her, tell her that I have a word from the Lord for her, and she needs to find me."'"


When she met the minister, that changed her mindset for good. "He said no more thinking this or that. Write the book."


Since then, people have come along to help with the writing process, marketing, and providing a future website, where an electronic version can be purchased -- all of which serves as more confirmation for her that the book is God-ordained. And that total obedience to the Lord could create moments of service for Jesus.

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August 2015