Purposeful Faith

Category - peace

Don’t Give up in Prayer

What do you do when you don’t see results?

If you try a craft and it becomes a hot-glue gun mess, do you keep going? If you phone someone and won’t pick up when you call, do you keep calling? If you communicate with a friend but they never listen, do you keep talking?

It is hard to continue something without results, isn’t it?

Many of us, for this reason, have given up on prayer. We haven’t seen the results we want. God hasn’t answered in time. We question if He’ll come through. So, we give up, before we’ve only just begun.

Are you there now?

Here’s how you know if you’ve given up: 1. You aren’t passionate about what you pray about. 2. Your mind drifts elsewhere when you pray. 3. You forget to pray. 4. You don’t believe your prayers will be answered. 5. You lob up words to some black abyss.

Jesus knows our mind. It’ why in Luke 1:8, it reads, “Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.”

Jesus told the story about the persistent widow (Lu. 18:1-8). She kept asking. She kept “badgering”. She kept pursuing her cause. She did not give up until the answer was what she wanted.

How many of us pursue prayer in this way?

Jesus tells us: Don’t stop. Don’t quiet. Be persistent. Be consistent. It is necessary for us to do this.

You know, I’ve grown a little tired of praying. It seems like I may be talking to the air. Yet, I know this is a lie.

Why? Because of you. Because so many of you have sent me emails telling me that God answered prayers we prayed together in the past. He showed up. You requested, He answered.

You asked me to pray over a year ago.  He showed up.
You needed His providence. He showed up.
You didn’t know how He’d do it. He showed up.

So many of your emails encouraged me. So, whether you are still waiting or He’s answered your prayer, let’s keep asking. Let’s lift every reader up today. Some need breakthrough with their kids, or with health, or in their marriage. Some need support, or help with an aging parent, or wisdom as to which direction to go.

Let’s all support each other today. Beyond this, feel free to email me your request. I will NOT be able to email you back (because of the sheer volume of emails I will get), however I will seek to pray for each one of you by name.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” (Is. 65:24)

“Pray without ceasing…” (1 Thess. 5:17)

“…pray one for another, that ye may be healed….” (Ja. 5:16)

Prayer: Father, you hear us. You care for us. You hear our prayers. We believe that “the heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].” (Ja. 5:16 AMP) We thank you that prayer is not a waste of words, but a move of God. We trust you to do what you think is best. We believe in your power to move mountains. We know that you are working out a best-end. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Peace, Be Still

peace

More than anything else I think, today, we need peace.

Many of us are beyond concerned. Everyone had an opinion online. The TV is telling us this or that. We wonder where things are headed?

More than anything else, today, we need: peace and prayer.

Tackling prayer is easy, we ask: Father, you will be done.

Peace can feel more elusive. This my reasoning for including 7 verses of peace for you today. I advise that you read them aloud and that you pray them over yourself.

7 Verses that Bring Peace

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10)

Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Ps. 100:3)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. (Is. 26:3)

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for to this you were called as members of one body. And be thankful. (Col. 3:15)

The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Nu. 6:26)

Prayer:  May the peace of God reign in your heart today, no matter what you face, no matter what you see. May you remember who you are in Christ and whose you are.  May you remember that God is in charge. May you rest in knowing that He has the whole world in His hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Pursued with Love

When I was a little girl I loved the story of Cinderella. She was the most unlikely candidate, yet chosen. She was raised from a low-standing to a royal position. She was pursued by one and she found love.

Stories like this capture us, don’t they? We love to see the one who is down and out, lifted up. The unlovable, loved. The unlikely, redeemed.

I wonder if you feel like Cinderella before she went to the palace? If you feel unloved? Down and out? Unseen? Unwanted?  Perhaps, your marriage feels dead and you feel left behind.

May I encourage you for a moment? The Cinderella story is yours…

“By the purpose and choice of God”, (Eph. 1:1 AMPC) you are wanted.
By Jesus you have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing. (see Eph. 1:3)
By His love, He chose you.

He “[actually picked you out for Himself as His own] in Christ, before the foundation of the world.” Now you are “holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4 AMPC)

Radiant.

Because of Jesus, you are fully seen and fully wanted.  In fact, He “[desinted, planned in love (for you)] to be adopted (revealed) as His own…” (Eph. 1:5 AMPC)

God is not ashamed to reveal you. Just like the prince revealed Cinderella as his own, with proudness…Ephesians 1:5 says, “it pleased (God) and was His kind intent”— to reveal you.

You are His, radiant daughter of the High King. And, God is yours too. He wants you, has adopted you and He freely bestows this love on (you), His beloved. (Eph. 1:6)

Let this all soak in. You are a princess. The daughter of the Most High King. Can you be any more wanted than that?

Prayer: May the truth of this love overwhelm you today. May the fullness of His desire for you — be made known to you. May the beauty of the work of His hands (which is: who He created you to be) be appreciated, as you think of how much He loves you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you want to learn to rest more in the love of God? Consider my new book: “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.”

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Where’s My Passion?

Where’s the passion I used to have? The determination to run with strength? The boldness?

I hear people think-out-loud along these lines. They wonder how their motivation disappeared, or why they procrastinate or feel so stuck. They can’t seem to rev their wheels anymore. They get stuck in the mud.

I relate.  I’ve tried to get started on certain projects and then they’ve just — fallen through. Not all the issues are me, but still — the outcome feels embarrassing.

Ever been there? Maybe you have a big dream but you haven’t followed through. You have hopes for a relationship. You want to stop a bad habit. Or, go a new way…but you just can’t seem to succeed. There seems to be a stopper right ahead of you.

This morning, this verse spoke to me in a powerful way:

“So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us…”  (Heb 12: 1-2)

I must let go — to go. It is only by letting go of old wounds and sin that I can run ahead.  For, no one can run effectively ahead while looking back. To run looking behind you is to run into things. To bang yourself up. Reconsidering and rehashing (aka. looking back) prohibits one from seeing the good thing God has ahead.

I realize I must (REALLY) let go of what lays behind me. Only then, can I “run life’s race with passion and determination.” Only then can I easily go down God’s path already “marked out” before (me).

God offers me a new beginning today. He gives you one too! Wonder is knowing that Jesus presents us with an endless amount of new beginnings. Today you start over. Repent if you need to… Then, you trust that the Author and Perfector of faith, Jesus Christ, is doing His best work. Believe that the Shepherd of all shepherds is protecting you from what happened in days of old. Fully rely on The Light of the World to illuminate your world in an exciting and joy-filled way.

When we look ahead at the beauty of Him, we won’t as much want to look back. Instead, I believe, we’ll move with fervor, passion, and excitement, like never before. We’ll be able to perceive the light of His goodness ahead. We will focus on Jesus, and with Him, we’ll go again.

Prayer: God, give us the grace to let go of what lays behind. We don’t want to look back anymore and miss what is ahead. Come and help us to look to Jesus, constantly. Give us undivided attention and renewed fervor. We love you. We want to live all-out for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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Staying Strong Like Jesus

My young daughter looks at me and cries, “Mommy, I’m falling!” I know it’s a test. In actuality, her falling-off-the-couch body is just half a foot away from the ground. It doesn’t matter. For her, this is a test. She’s asking, “Mommy, can I trust you to catch me? To really be there for me?”

I’ve asked these very same questions of God during various trials. God, how will You possibly show up when my bank account is tens of thousands of dollars in debt? Will You be there for me when Multiple Sclerosis makes me unable to walk? Will You abandon me too, like those people did? Will You really be able to help me overcome my depression?

God, how can I be sure You’ll do what You promise? Especially when doubts exist.

Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re there today, facing fear, doubt, a boss who isn’t nice, a friend who hurt you, a husband who is absent, a daughter who is astray, a home that is too expensive, a dream unmet, or a wait never-ending.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my trials, it’s this: To respond reactively sinks me emotionally. However, to prepare proactively is to triumph. We triumph only through Christ who triumphed.

Why? Because Jesus the victory belongs to the Lord. And, He left us with a battle plan: His Word. We have a clear-plan from God.

I learn a lot from Jesus…

Jesus: Respected and honored appointed times for change. For instance, Jesus began ministry at the age of 30. (Luke 3:23) Why not earlier?
Jesus Did Not: Get to the age of 21 and demand a timing change from God by saying, “I am tired of waiting around. I am tired of seeing all these issues. I need to fix them now by doing something about them. I’ll die right now and save the world.”

Jesus: Trusted His Father’s ultimate plan to fight the battle and to win the war.
Jesus Did Not:
Retaliate, injure or fight the people accosting, intimidating, or threatening Him.

Jesus: Reached out to the convicted sinner next to Him on the cross.
Jesus Did Not: Focus only on Himself as He suffered.

Jesus: Used God’s Word as a shield to block the enemy darts and temptation.
Jesus Did Not
: Listen to the enemy’s talking points.

Jesus: Enlisted and equipped simple fishermen who accomplished unbelievable works.
Jesus Did Not: Enlist only perfect people to be His ministers after His death.

It doesn’t matter how things appear. With God, we’re always just a half-foot above the ground, even if it feels like we’re in a free-fall plummet. He protects. He helps. He calls. He equips. He guides. He answers. He strengthens.

“I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

There is a plan. God knows what He is doing.  We are right in the center of it.

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What I’ve Learned

I have learned something that has changed my family. It is simple and profound.

The learning is founded on these 2 concepts:

One: Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6)
Two: I follow Jesus.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” (My.16:24 ESV)

Note here: Jesus is not the Prince of Conflict. Nor the Prince of Double-Mindedness. Nor Prince of fear.

Here, in the busyness of my day — I can ask myself: Am I following and pursuing peace, or lesser things?

Doing this makes me a wiser decision-maker.

For instance, this helps me to:

– consider if hanging out with the friend with the gossipy-potty mouth will make bring me peace afterwords.
– if saying yes to the 60-hour a week job will create a peace-filled home.
– if debating my husband is increasing peace between us.

The amount or lack of peace in our life often is a good indicator of how we seek and follow Jesus in our lives.

Sometimes, often actually, I have to literally go the other direction from my feelings which seem to scream at me to attend to them.  Yet, when I do this, the result is almost always a million times better than the short-term pleasure of reacting. I can benefit in this way, when I take time to consider outcomes.

God is powerful enough to fight my battle!

Do you seek and pursue peace?

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14)

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God answers prayers!

God answers prayers.

A couple months back, I asked, “How can I pray for you?”  The response was overwhelming, so much so that I didn’t even think I could pray for everyone. But, I did.

And when I did, I somehow knew many would see breakthrough! I expected BIG answers. Why? For many reasons…

Because we serve a BIG God.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Eph. 3:20)

Because prayer moves mountains.

“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” (Mk. 11:23)

Because God answers prayers for those who believe.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mk. 11:24)

Because God hears those who don’t quit asking.

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?” (Lu. 18:4-7)

Friends, keep asking. Keep believing.  And, be persistent.

Requests sent up DO NOT fall on deaf ears. Actually, the time we spend speaking to God is far more effective than the time we spend speaking to anyone else about our issue. Prayer effects change, whereas small-talk  — sits us down in pain.

Prayer works.

For example, earlier this week, I got an email. It read:

Hi Kelly..

I trust this finds you well.

I was looking through my old emails and I came across this. Your prayer (for me) was answered totally and I just want to let you know I am very grateful…I won’t send you pictures but you would not believe it if I did.

Kindest regards…”

We pray, God listens. Even when we sleep, God doesn’t. He never sleeps.

“He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.”  (Ps. 121:3-4)

God moves, even when we don’t.

I got another email. This one read:

 “God finally answered a long-awaited prayer yesterday by blessing my husband with a new job right smack in the middle of a pandemic! And not just any job, a massive promotion to the executive level. Only God can perform such miracles and I believe he will do more miracles on the worldwide scale through this pandemic. I can’t wait to see what He does next!”

Friends —  prayers open up God’s miracles. So, let’s pray for one another. Your breakthrough could only be one prayer away. A sister’s breakthrough could be the difference between you lifting her up and you moving along to another online thing.

Dear ones, we need each other now more than ever. We ARE the body. And, this IS the church. More than grandiose sermons, ample programs or big church buildings — this basic, elementary practice of prayer is Jesus’ great vision for “church”. Let’s get back to the heart of the matter…

“And He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer’” (Mt. 21:13 NASB)

Let’s pray:

Papa God, we ask for breakthrough for every person who reads this post today. We ask that you would extend such grace — such peace unexplainable and joy uncontainable that it would touch each and every one of us today. We ask that situations be transformed under your glory and grace.  Where there is fear, bring faith. Where there is devastation, rebuild. In the face of depression, bring healing and great devotion to you. I ask for life in the place of death and hope in the midst of disappointment.

As the body, we also pray that:
prodigal children, return home.
the sad, be comforted.
the sick, be healed with new strength.
the hungry, be fed.
the weak, be renewed.
the lost, be found.
the marital issues, be transformed.
the pride in us, be humbled.
the fearful, receive faith.
the pain, be sorted out.
the bitter ones, forgive.
the broken, find breakthrough.
those waiting, get wisdom.
the unseen, know your care.
the hopeless, find hope in you.
the bound up, proclaim Jesus.
all glory, makes it to your throne.

Jesus, you are — our answer, our hope, and our ONLY way.  In you, we place all our trust. Your way is our best way. In this, we lay down our good way, so that we walk your best way. Give us fresh vision to see and fresh ears to hear all you want us to understand in this hour. Make us, not just hearers of your Word, but understanders, who naturally become do-ers. May every bit and morsel of glory go to you. May we live all our life for: your glory, your honor, your acclaim and for your kingdom purpose! We pray in agreement. We lift all these things up to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

*Friends, if you find that God answered this prayer in a beautiful way, please share the testimony with me. I am expecting great things from our collective prayers. Thank you, Father God, that you hear us! We love you!

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God’s Divine Protection

peace

I was amazed. My daughter didn’t fall once; she fell two times, nearly unscathed. In both instances, she rounded a turn on her bike and skidded out. Her wheels flipped over and her body hit the ground, with force. Tears welled up in her eyes.

She had been riding fast. Her helmet flew off her head. But, when I asked her where she was hurt, she didn’t know. There was only but the smallest scrape on her. She escaped, nearly untouched…

“For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.” (Ps. 27:5)

For in the day of trouble, in the hour of trouble, in the moment of trouble…God is here. Emanuel. God with us.

“God with us” sends His angels to guard us. His power to keep us.  His wisdom to guide us. He is over all and in all.

We don’t know every detail of how He protects us. Or, why He doesn’t protect others.  We don’t fear what has come upon other men. We don’t fear the plague that may befall us. Don’t get entrapped with another man’s story. God deals with each of us as He chooses.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (Prov. 29:25)

Keep your eyes on your own lane. Keep your attention on your own family. Keep your words headed up to heaven. Trust God’s provision and protection to fall down on you. He has you covered. Choose to stay under the protection of his wing and not to wander elsewhere.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you are above all. You are over all. You are ruling all. We declare you as Lord over everything we face and see. We are not wavered by the news, by people or by fear. We stand under the shadow of your wing. We choose to place ourselves under your loving-care and put ourselves under your protection. You have us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

You are a blessing, brothers and sisters in Christ. I love you, beyond measure. My hope is that I can bring much of His treasure, back to you… XOXO!

 

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God (Really) Loves You

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8)

We often look at these verses and think, “This is how I need to act. This is how I should treat others. This is what I have to do to be loving. . .”

But, how often do we consider — this is how God loves us. . .

“God is love.” (1 Jo. 4:8)

With this, God is patient to you today. If you’re having a hard time changing, His grace is there to help on your way.

God is kind. His kindness can overpower your meanness to yourself if you allow His Words to become your words.

God is not envious, boastful or proud. He wants the best for you — without anything else. There’s no additional, “But. . .”, or exclusion, or disclaimer.

God is not dishonoring, self-seeking, or angry. While people may act one way, God’s way is the good-way, the right way, the heart-honoring way. Above people’s ways, you can always find His. This is a freedom-place for you.

God does not keep a record of your wrongs. The second Jesus died, He created-way for wrongs to be replaced with the righteousness of Christ. To receive Christ is to find relief.

God does not rejoice in evil, but delights in truth. Whereas the world may celebrate dysfunction and laud evil, God delights in truth as truth. What is hidden — He brings to light.

God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. He is always protecting you — and worthy of trust. He has all vision and plans in His hands. And, His love for you, will persevere all trials and hardships.

God’s love for you will: never fail.

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2 Prayers That Changed Everything

I’ll never really know all that God saved my son from, but what I do know is that protection came through one thing: prayer.

I visited my son at school during his lunch hour. Something about him seemed off lately. His eyes looked a little sad. His shoulders seemed a little slumped over. His spirit of wanting to play around seemed to be missing. I just wanted to sit with him. We had a great lunch hour. I didn’t pay attention to anyone or anything else, but him.

Yet, the next day when I was praying for my 5-year old, something incredible happened.  My words to God were normal. They sounded something like: “Father, please help my son. Whatever it is that is missing at school, please provide it for him. Wherever he feels sad, comfort him. Whatever it is, I need to do, let me see it. Help me to know what to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

I wrapped up my time of prayer, but immediately something came over me. It was a feeling — or a prompting — that hit me right after I prayed. It seemed God was nudging my heart back to my kid’s school for his lunch hour again.

“But, God, I just went there, yesterday,” I said.

No matter, obedience is obedience. I somewhat hesitantly lifted myself off my bed and hustled out the door.

Once there, at a table full of rambunctious kids, I opened my eyes a bit more, rather than honing in just on my son. Here, I saw things I did not see the previous day. I saw how some kids were making fun of him at the table. How they laughed at him because His face got a little messy. How there was a gang of boys at work. How they were fearless in their pursuit of him even with me by my son’s side. How they whispered with their hand cupped over their mouth. I saw the defeat on my son’s face.

How did I miss this before?

No matter, I thanked God on the drive home from that lunch. I now knew what I needed to do. There were other concerns with the school. We immediately decided to pull him out of the school. But, where would he go now?

Once again, I returned to prayer. My husband and I needed to know what school to send him to as we were new to the area. We prayed. We prayed. We prayed and prayed.

Then, one day, while eating dinner, we saw a young family pass by on a walk outside. We’d wanted to meet them for weeks, so we ditched our meal and ran outside. Once there, shaking hands, we learned that the man before us was the pastor of a school that many people had been telling us about. God brought him right to our door. He explained about the “no bullying” policy at his school.

What we asked for, God answered. Not once, but twice.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 Jo. 5:14-15 NLT)

These are not hollow words that we half-way believe, but The Living Word of God. They are true and at work in your life and in mine.

We pray. God hears.

We ask according to His will. We have confidence in it.

We ask like this. We “have” what we asked for.

God, through prayer, takes unseemly scenarios and flips them over. Time and time again. I could tell you countless stories.

What are you facing? What seems impossible? Where do you need wisdom? Ask God, believe He hears you, walk confidently in the prayer you prayed and trust Him to answer. Be open to how He may lead you.

He may speak through a person, a predicament, His Word or some unusual way like He did for me. But, God speaks. He answers. He hears. Your every prayer matters.

Today? My son is thriving at a school full of love and grace. God led Him to just the place He needed to be.

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