“Where did that come from?” I asked as I pointed it out to my husband.
“I don’t know.” He said.
The next day, I looked down on the ground and there were probably about 5 more. What in the world?!
I had just put felt-bottoms on those chairs. It makes no sense at all that they would be damaging the floors like this. But, they were. . .
I got down on my hands and knees, flipped the chair over, only to find a rock about the size of two specks of pepper.
This little rock could do that much damage? I said to myself while holding it in my hand.
It certainly can.
What little rock do you have in your life right now? Mine is complaining.
I keep on speaking-out what is not right, what hasn’t happened, and what isn’t coming together. I’ve been griping a bit. I’ve been being a little dour and sour. Commenting on little things. . .far too much.
“Show hospitality to one another without complaining.” (1 Pet. 4:9)
But, the reality of this is: I haven’t been creating a hospitable atmosphere for my family. The environment shifts the second I speak-out — a bad attitude.
What about you?
Are you uplifting others or killing the joy? Speaking life or making everyone participate in your every annoying moment?
People don’t remember the food we made them, the house we let them walk into, nor the gifts we sent them away with — they remember how we made them feel. Even more, I wonder today, how am I making the Holy Spirit feel, as He lives within me.
Are we being hospitable to the Holy Spirit, who indwells within us?
Today, I commit to all of you, to do my best, to mind my mouth. To think before I speak. To bring my grievances to God. To gain perspective before blurting-out. Now, I probably won’t be perfect (because who is?), but I do plan to be mindful.
Prayer: Father God, may I speak only what is good, noble, worthy and of good report. I want to love others around them, not pull them down into my muck and mire. Give me the grace I need to focus on what is positive and powerful, in you. Then, I will be full of joy and life. Give me the wisdom, as well, to speak thanksgving more than complaint. When I think of it, I do have so much to be thankful for. I praise you today, In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
This morning my husband happened to flip over a vase in our house. Surprisingly, little pieces of folded white paper fell, like snow, from this vase and danced to the ground. My son was enthralled. Immediately, he fell to the ground and opened the little pieces, like it was Christmas.
They were our old prayers. Prayers from, about a year ago…all splayed out on the floor.
The more we opened them, the more our mouths opened wide: God had answered so many of them. He had literally helped my daughter to stop sucking her fingers. He provided blueprints to my husband’s business. He gave me fresh wisdom for another book and the means to get there. Answer upon answer, breakthrough upon breakthrough, word upon word — HE did it.
Oh, how easy it is to miss all the things God is doing — and has done.
Dear friends, let me tell you something, I don’t think the timing of this downfall is a coincidence. With this happening this morning, I believe God wants you to know: He is moving through the power of prayer. It is no wonder that I’ve been praying for you – and you have been praying for me — and now He splays out answered prayers on my floor.
God IS answering prayer. Believe! Believe, afresh. God IS doing it.
Needless to say, I feel inspired to share all-splayed-out-on-the-floor prayer-process with you today. . .
It started with my friend, and wise Pastoral Counselor, Karen Mortensen, who — way back when — taught me about a “Casting Bowl”. She, with wisdom, explained that we can take our worries, our fears, and areas we want to control and “cast (our) cares onto the Lord, for He cares (for us).”
In this, we can hand to God what is no longer ours to carry. We begin to “cast”– by writing it down on a little paper, and then we give it to him — by casting it into a little bowl or vase. Here, we literally – let. it. go.
I like to think of this symbolic action as, “transferring, or putting, our trust in Him.”
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jer. 17:7-8)
This is how it looked like in my household: First, I had my whole family write down their worries, fears, and areas of control like a prayer request — on a piece of paper. Second, we casted each one onto God as we let it fall into our vase. Third, we chose to let Him carry what we usually carry. This includes fear, anxiety and stress. We gave it up. Then, we decided, as these things “come back” or try to pester us again, we pray for them. And, chose not to “take them back” from God’s hands.
I did this imperfectly, I might add.
But, still, God answered me!!!!! He was faithful!
I believe He will do this for you. I believe He has actually answered many of your prayers of old (if you truly think about them). There are probably so many things you’ve prayed and forgotten, but God has moved. He has moved and IS moving.
Take faith. Take hope. Take courage. Christ has overcome the world. And, He is more than enough to overcome all your problems.
Today, we pause from our normal blog posts, to say thank you. We pause from the busyness of our morning to honor you and to reconnect with you. We pause our mind to think of you. We set down our schedule to recognize all you’ve given us.
You are worthy of praise.
In the midst of life’s curveballs, you are worthy of praise. When we experience mountaintop successes, you are worthy of praise. When we dive into valley-low places, you are worthy of praise.
In all this, and through every learning, dream, failure, and realization…we say, “Thank you.” You are good and your love endures forever.
Jesus, thank you that you came and died to set us free. Thank you that your love changes us, time and time again. Thank you that by your stripes, and your stripes alone, are we healed. Thank you that no matter how much the enemy spits at us, we remain covered by grace.
We rest in your mercy. We rest in your love. We rest in your love-equipping power. You are more than able to do all things, at all times, in any way, and we rest in that. This is peace.
Thank you that you love us so much. You give us the giftings we do not deserve, blessings we could never afford and love unduly warranted. No matter, you rejoice over us with singing.
You want us. You chose us. You call us holy, because of Jesus.
When we truly and deeply think of you, you truly and deeply amaze us.
Your love is overwhelming and your guidance is unparalleled. May we honor you, every day and in every way. When we feel overwhelmed, may we unwind through surrender and fall into your arms. You always rescue us. Even if we can’t swim; you rescue us. Time and time again. Therefore, we lean not on our own strength, wisdom, power or might. We lean onto you, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. We praise you for the grace that allows us to repent and realize sin. It is a good thing, a life-transforming thing. Anything that draws us nearer to you is — good.
All praises, all glory, all honor, all acclaim to your name. Nothing we can do can add to what you’ve already done. It is finished. Praise! You did it. You. The Promise Maker, the Promise Keeper, and the Promise Ruler. Everything is in your hands; you have the whole world in your hands. You ARE the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, the Lion and the Lamb. We entrust ourselves to you. We love you. And you love us. And, for this, we are eternally thankful.
I am sending this out right now because I felt, after prayer, that someone needs these prayers to help them where they are right now. Someone is in a struggle and does not know what to do. Someone can’t see from here to where they hope God will take them. Someone is crying. Someone has hands in their head right now. Someone doesn’t believe they can make it through.
Let me assure you of some things:
Every prayer you pray counts.
Every prayer you pray is heard.
Every prayer you pray is powerful.
Every prayer you pray is handled by God.
Every prayer you pray moves the needle in your life.
Do not doubt. Believe and pray. God has something special for you in this day. This is why this email is going out at a random hour on a random day. Receive this message from Him to you. Circle the prayers that will help you.
Rescuing God is coming to rescue some of you right now. Some big prayers will be answered. I trust Him to save you.
Here are 12 Power-Prayers Sourced from Paul:
“God, I thank you for others. Even when I can’t understand them, I want to love them. Help me be uniter not a divider.“
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3–6)
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. (Romans 1:8–10)
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Eph. 1:15)
We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord. (Col. 1: 9-10)
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. . . . (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)
May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. (2 Timothy 1:16-18)
2. “God, may all come into a loving, knowing and abiding relationship with you.”
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. (Romans 10:1)
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 5–7)
3. “God, fill me with your goodness. Through this, may your name be glorified.”
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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)
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 215–23)
For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of 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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1 Thess. 3:13)
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
4. “May the power of Jesus Christ continually fill me with joy, grace, peace and hope, in believing, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. (1 Corinthians 16:23)
We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [Colossians 1:9–14]
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
5. “May my heart continually pursue you. May I hear, understand and uncover all you have to say to me through your Word and in prayer. Give me the words and wisdom I so desperatly need.”
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:2-4)
I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen. (Romans 15:30-33)
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19-20)
6. “God, you are the fullness of all I desire, want, hope for and need. Come and be my everything.”
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. . . . (Ephesians 1:3)
7. “I lack no good thing, Father God. Thank you for everything.”
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way— in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (1 Corinthians 1:4-9)
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has give you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:12-15)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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)
8. “God, as Healer, please heal me. I trust you will complete the good work you’ve begun.”
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take (thorn in flesh) away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12: 8-9)
9. Father, mold me, make me and fashion me into your likeness. May I not hate the process you have, but delight in the journey of doing it with you.”
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. [Philippians 1:9–11
Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection. [2 Corinthians 13:7–9]
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. [1 Thessalonians 5:23–24]
10. “God, may I come to know, trust and understand what your grace is.”
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. [Galatians 6:18]
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. [Philippians 4:23]
11. “May you protect me and those I love. Strengthen us too.”
And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. [2 Thessalonians 3:2–5]
12. “God, you are the giver and all you give to me is good. I thank you.“
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. [1 Timothy 1:12]
I know many of you are like me, we want our prayers answered.So how do we pray with confident assurance that God will hear and answer our prayers?
“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,” says 1 John 5:14-15.
What a powerful promise! God says he will give us “anything” we ask for according to His will. Isn’t that amazing? It doesn’t say that he might answer the prayer, or that sometimes He’ll say “no.” He says “we have what we have asked of him.” That’s 100 percent of the time! Granted it might not be in our timing, but it’s always in God’s perfect timing. The answer is, “Yes.”
But there is one caveat: We must ask according to God’s will.
Ah…now that’s the tricky part. How can we possibly know God’s will? The only way to truly know God’s will is to pray the Scriptures. As it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
When I (Sally) was a young mom and a new believer in Christ, I had never actually prayed out loud. So when I stepped into my first Moms in Prayer meeting, I listened. Just listened. For six weeks I prayed along in my heart, but didn’t say a word. I loved hearing the other women’s Holy Spirit-directed prayers for my children. Yet I was too afraid to pray out loud. After about six weeks, I was brave enough to pray the Scripture for my child out loud. The Holy Spirit gave me the courage to speak out His Word, to pray His truth for my son. What an amazing experience, praying for my son, hearing other moms pray for my son. This was my new top priority for my kids.
God’s answers poured out like a flood that first year; our group witnessed dramatic miracles. God healed children of major illnesses. We saw changes in kids’ attitudes and behaviors. We prayed that every child would hear the good news—and He brought a Good News Club to our campus. And several teachers at our elementary school accepted Christ as Savior!
Eventually, I was leading my own Moms in Prayer group. We’d pray for our public school teachers adapting verse Acts 26:18: “May [teacher’s name] open his/her eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ.”
One day a mom came into the group upset about a certain teacher. I said, “That’s the teacher we’re going to pray for today!” And every week we prayed for her. As we prayed week after week for this teacher, God grew our love for her. Soon, she came to know the Lord, and my two youngest got to be in her class. I felt so privileged to be able to talk with her about the Lord and about prayer. It was amazing to watch and see her grow in Christ. But that wasn’t the only teacher that became a Christian on that public school campus. Eleven other teachers came to Christ as we prayed Acts 26:18 over them!
Want to see God at work? Pray the Scriptures over the people in your life. How do you know if God is going to answer your prayer? If you pray according to His will. And His will is the mighty Word of God, which never comes back void. It always fulfills His purpose and His plan.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11
My prayer for each one of you, is that you will “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. And every day has a time of need.
Want to learn how to remain unshaken in our crazy world? Sally Burke, the president of Moms in Prayer International, and Cyndie Claypool de Neve explain how in their new book, Unshaken. Want to go deeper? Experience what it really means to be unshaken through the innovative companion study guide.
Enjoy the peace and power of praying with other women for your children. Visit www.MomsInPrayer.org to learn more.
It’s your self-hatred.
It’s your hand that wants to slap yourself sometimes.
It’s that memory that classifies you as horrible.
It’s the action that ruined who you are.
It’s the person and what they did that you can’t get past.
It’s what holds you captive to the flesh.
Shame moves as unending pain…
You get angry at yourself about it. You hate that part of you. If you could scalpel away the emotions, you might. But, you can’t, because you feel stuck; you’ve been branded as sinful, horrible or tainted.
I know – shame. Shame is this little beast that lives inside. What he does is summon up guilt, guilt so insurmountable it’s untamable. Then, that very guilt goes so wild; he rips apart holy.
He tells you…
“You can’t be a temple, when you were tempted and tainted in that way.”
“You can’t be God’s child, when you hurt another like that.”
“You can’t be in God’s light, when you found yourself so sullied in the dark.”
“You can’t win when you’ve already decided your inadequacies make you a loser.”
“You can’t be of worth, when everyone else has declared you – worth nothing.”
If Jesus is hero, shame is enemy #1.
This enemy captured me for a large portion of my life. I declared myself, silently, as an unworthy follower of Jesus because shame spouted off his propoganda – and I listened! I knew truth, but I couldn’t accept it. I knew who I was, and I figured, God knew too. We had a silent agreement – shh… I wasn’t good enough.
Are you living by a silent agreement?
Shame takes sons and daughters, ones declared pure as snow and tells them they’re as tarnished as sin. He says, “Wash as you may, but your disgust and disdain can never be washed off.”
How has he marked you irredeemable?
He marked me too. I finally realized something, however: I can’t walk free if I am walking chained. Seriously. It’s an either/or choice.
Either I will walk in the fullness of freedom or I will walk in the chains of shame. And, at risk of sounding too simplistic, because I know making your way to the other side can seem like a mountain-wide length of difference, in some ways it is a simple belief that frees us.
All things are possible. (Mt. 19:26)
Even more than what you believe possible – is possible. (Eph 3:20)
There is almost nothing more God wants to do than to free you. (Lu. 4:18)
So, what feels impossible to let go of, with God, is possible. What feels insurmountable to forgive yourself for, with God, is forgiven. What feels unspeakable and incarcerated in the jail-cell of “don’t talk about it” – is let go by God’s grace.
The Lord reaches his hand out to you. Will today be the day you grab it? For, he wants to lead you somewhere. He wants to bring you to more. He wants to set you free so you set others free. Open up and let Jesus sit down with you right now. Let him wrap you in the cover of forgiven and forgotten, and thrown as far as the East is from the West. He longs to bring warmth to the cold lies shame has told you for so very long.
Dear Lord Jesus, right now, I ask you to draw near to my friends who are suffering in shame. Perhaps they’ve been suffering for a long, long time. Perhaps, right now, they feel undone. Perhaps, they don’t know what to do. Put your arms around them. Pour out your love. May they see your face of compassion and redemption. May they know your heart to love them. I pray they hand over what is not theirs to carry any longer. May they know you carried it on the cross. It is finished, done and over. May they release it now into your great abyss of love. Amen.
Do you feel unable? Do you have a dream no one believes in? Have you hit an impossible roadblock?
Maybe you’re after a miracle.
Even worse, maybe your not. Maybe, you’ve given up.
I am well aware, we all have our – “if onlys”, “it’s impossible” or “that couldn’t happen” scenarios. They loom like harbingers of how we will self-destruct, how those we love will get hurt or how we will never come out the other side – alive.
The enemy loves to tell us we can look, but can’t touch. He tells us good things are out of reach. So, instead we put on anti-faith, which is doubt cloaked in the covering of Christian-like behavior. We pretend.
We forget about this: Truly, truly, I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Jo. 16:23
Our real problem isn’t that it’s out of reach, it’s that we don’t believe God’ll put it within reach.
The difference between a miracle and a mirage – is prayer.
If only we asked. And believed.
For 80% of my life, I lived not believing. I mean, half-believing, I guess…if that is such a thing. I lived attending church. I lived trying my best. I lived praying. But, for the most part I lived doubting: doubting I’d ever do good, doubting God would really forgive me, doubting God could use me, doubting people would ever like me.
Fear was my slave master and my inadequacy his whip. I stayed in line.
Until, I started praying. Prayer is the liberator every woman needs, but has no idea how to find.
Me? A girl who stayed back in 3rd grade. A girl crippled by a chest that clenched its own self. A woman afraid that everyone would hate her. A quitter. An anorexic who felt she had to be perfect. A woman who hid from opportunities because she didn’t want to fail. A lady who was told she’d never write, nonetheless be an author.
No doubt, underneath this stark movement in my life, were countless prayers. Above it, stood a limitless God. Between these two places, was my belief. I watched everything collide.
God is calling us to step deeper and walk further into the fullness of all he can do. You see, we don’t have to imagine it, or perceive it – forget all that – we just have to believe it.
This is what my book Fear Fighting is all about. It’s about linking arms with the Savior, the Redeemer and the Creator of all good, so that we, as sisters, may walk bold and brave. It’s about leaving behind trembling so we can walk, on sure foundation, into God’s greatest callings. It’s about exchanging comparison and jealousy for the life-charging power of I-am-loved, beyond a shadow of a doubt. It’s about seeing yourself as God sees you. It’s about stepping out when every voice from your past tells you to step in. It’s about finding the you God created you to be.
Join the Fear Fight. The time is now. Your God waits. He will help you. Prayer will be your guide and God will not steer you wrong. Your greatest miracle is just ahead.
There is one tactic that can literally change the outcome of your daily wars (you will see exactly how below). It can help with people problems. It can reconstruct your mental state. It can abolish the feelings of despair. Do you know it?
Likely not. I think the majority Christians – know of it, but they know not – the power of prayer.
There are 3 reasons why:
1. They got hurt. They prayed for something big, yet nothing big happened. They, now, figure prayer is an outdated practice.
2. They have to wait. They give up before God gets up to fix their predicament.
3. They get bored. They think prayer is pleading endlessly about other people; there’s nothing for them.
Prayer sounds good on face value but on our knees?
Well, we’d rather be anywhere else, doing anything else, to fix our something else –
than praying. We’d rather be – doing, than – praying. We’d rather be – posturing, than – praying.
This is our problem; this is why we stay stuck.
Being on our knees hurts. Our very feet that want to go, fix and control circumstances are cut out from under us.
Yet, what if this is the point?
Perhaps, God has us on our knees, because our feet can’t bring us where our knees will.
And, this I am learning: A man will get more done on his knees than he ever will a lifetime on his feet.
The power of prayer is sometimes subtle, but it is also potent. I call my husband sometimes, and say, “I’ve been praying for you.” He replies, “I know. I can tell. Keep it up.”
You don’t think that changes his moment? It changes mine. My faith is renewed in a God – who answers.
This is not an isolated incident either. Prayer works, I’m finding. It wants to release captives from shame. It wants to change circumstances 360 degrees. It wants to restructure bodies, broken. It wants to change hearts, today.
Moses lifted his hands in prayer and look at how it worked for him:
As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. (Ex. 17:11-13)
Our power to win is often held within the power of prayer.
When Moses lifted his hands to pray, the Israelites were front-runners. When he dropped them, and grew weary, they fell behind.
Someone had the insight to realize this. Someone noticed the power of prayer. Do we?
Aaron and Hur responded; they seized constant prayer by: holding “his hands up – one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” They made it happen.
Do we make constant prayer happen?
There are mountains God, with us, God wants to move. (Mt. 17:20)
Prayer isn’t pleasantries. It isn’t niceties offered up to appease a mean God. It isn’t a way to gain favor with God for the bad stuff you did yesterday. It is the real charge of heaven falling on earth. It is strength for weakness. Hope for despair. Renewal for recovering addicts. Recovery for controllers. Realizations for the real pursuers of God’s heart.
Lift your hands; you’ll win. I think it is that simple. It’s the faith that makes it so. So believe.
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I stared out the window. My eyes squinted, not because the sun was blinding me, but because I was furious with God.
Absolutely. Stinkin’. Furious.
He failed me. And from where I stood in that moment, on those knees that were bended in prayer for the past six months – my view wasn’t pretty. I pleaded and postured and trusted to no end – and I saw nothing for it. I believed God was going to come through for me – and now I am left looking at a pile of nothingness. Even worse, I am looking at damages.
God not only didn’t come through, he hurt me.
So, like any good Christian girl, I went to church. And when they sung, “How great is our God,” I lip-synced. When they asked us to pray, I kept my insides empty. And when my husband asked what stood out in the pastor’s message, I grunted, “Mmm…hmmm….”
Do you feel that God abandoned you?
Maybe someone is still sick. The spouse is still mean. The dog is still lost. Your heart is even more lost. A child still won’t return. Your finances are in the dumps. A friend has gone and hurt you. Your past is not healed. You live in a place that is horrible. Your car won’t stop breaking down. Your face is getting old. Your kids are getting obnoxious. Your life looks ugly.
Whatever is going wrong, it’s because God is gone rogue.
Whatever is broken is because Mr. Fixer Upper didn’t do his job right.
Whatever makes us feel uncomfortable is because the God of comfort lost his magic.
Oh, I know these feelings alright. To say they’ve never existed is probably to lie.
But, years later, upon reflection of this bitter hour, I see things through a different prism, a different angle. Whoever said time heals, knows its true. And it is. Looking back, I see both Him and me through time and things played out. Sense arrives.
1. Sometimes you don’t get the lesser prayer because God is answering a bigger prayer.
Let me tell you about my son. He was a screamer on steroids. He’d wail so hard a lung would nearly pop out. I’d pace. I’d try to keep him together. I’d try to keep me together. It was a song and dance, an anxious time. God didn’t answer my prayer that he sleep. But, you know what? In retrospect, it was an anointed time. It kept my husband up, and me too, so we could pray my numb legs and hands were not an actual diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. You know what? God answered that prayer.
2. Seasons come, but seasons also pass.
Back to the 10-pound screamer…he screamed, but six months later, he stopped screaming. I no longer had to endlessly bounce, with a broken back and arms that felt as if they might fall off. He, miraculously, like an angel, fell asleep on his own. Not only that, he made it through the night! What is hard today, may often becomes joy the next morning.
3. Waiting produces patience. What we often fail to realize is that patience = faith. We pray, “God make me more faithful.” This is usually the equivalent of praying, “God make me a better waiter.” It is in the wait that we learn faith. It is here where iron meets the road and we either stick it through with God – or we bail.
4. God’s sole job is not to keep me happy. There is no law that says God must keep me happy. He often does, because he loves me. But, also, because he loves me, he teaches me. Just as I allow my son to learn from his mistakes, often God lets us live out ours, so we can return closer to him.
5. What looks like rejection is often protection. We see life horizontally. God sees life horizontally, vertically, cross-diagonally and inside out, he sees it up and down and all around. He sees how person A affects person B and how person B may know Jesus if person A goes here or there. He also sees how shutting a door may prevent our foot from getting jammed in it.
God hasn’t given up on the disgrace that is you. He doesn’t have better or more important people to deal with. He doesn’t discount your prayer as stupid, frivilous or worthless. He doesn’t see you as needy. He loves your need. He loves your longing. He loves you voice that calls out for his name.
Even more, God has a plan. It isn’t a plan that looks like your days activity. It looks like a matrix, a flow-chart and a high-level war plan for greatness that is being worked out on spiritual, eternal and visible levels. You can’t understand it. But, you’re not meant to.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
Surely, as I have planned, so it will be and as I have purposed, so it will happen. Is. 14:24
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I bit into a nectarine. It was straight from the rural farms of deliciousness. As I bit down, sweetness with undertones of sour exploded. Frankly, it tasted like heaven. I stared, turned it over and over again in my hands and asked, “How could this be? What produces something like this?”
It both looked and tasted like a sunset in my mouth.
Fruit is fruit, but rare is it that it tastes good. Rarely, does it make you want a second and third helping. Rarely, does it leave you holding it, staring it and wondering how something could actually – do that!
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit…” Jo. 15:16
If I am supposed to be bearing fruit, does it taste like this?
Like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23)?
Or am I producing a watered down and unripened variety?
People should taste heaven when they encounter me.
They should stand back to consider the power of God – in me – because God stands out – through me.
What I fear, though, is I try to be like everyone else. I fit a mold of Christianity. I hinder God from making me unique. I fear being too great, vocal or in love with Christ. I fear being too much. Do you?
Then, I end up as the ordinary garden variety of grocery chain fruit; I taste average.
Bor-ing… Blah…. Been there done that… It tastes a little lukewarm. Jesus regurgitates those types (Rev. 3:16). I don’t want to be that, I want to be so jaw-dropping, so succulent people have to step back to consider who could produce this. Imagine that?! Where all people want – is more. More Jesus. More love. More Spirit.
Where they walk on up and say, “Give me some of that!”
I want to hand out “…fruit that will last…” Jo. 15:16 I want to hand out fruit that unites people at a table of love.
I want to hand out fruit with seeds to bear more fruit. I want people to ask how something like this could happen.
That is what I did. I searched online to see how good fruit is produced. I found practical tips to growing good fruit. But, what grew under each of these practical tips, were God-tips. Tips that would instruct me on how to be flavorful and full of God’s life-changing juice.
Tips to Growing Good Fruit*:
1. Place them in direct sun. Get in the light of God’s word. Let it grow you.
2. Make sure they have shelter from high winds. Dwell in safe places:Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps. 91:1
3. Add compost or manure to the soil. Pray that your heart is open to change and you’ll have the courage to endure as he does.
4. Give them support, netting or canes. Lean up against God:“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28
5. Cut off the top of the plants. Let God shape you, even when it hurts: “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Jo. 15:2
Simply said: Let God water you straight into delicious. Then, the world will take a bite and fight to know how God makes something that good. They will hear, and peace will reign. Your fruit will produce fruit.
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