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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

 

 

After months of gathering documentation, attorney meetings and court appearances, our prayers were answered, but not in the way we wanted or expected. My daughter, Cherokee and Son-in-law, Chris were fighting for permanent custody of Chris’s two sons; 9 year old Haydon and 4 year old Keaton. He shares 50/50 custody with his ex-wife and the arrangement has been stressful and is not in the best interest of the boys. Cherokee and Chris were given the news this past Thursday that permanent custody would NOT be granted. We were all disappointed, sad and angry at the judge’s decision.

I then found myself asking God, “WHY?” I prayed! Others prayed! This was not some attempt to get back at an ex. This was sincerely for the health and well-being of the boys. Why would God not give Chris custody of his sons? Why would justice and safety for the boys not be God’s will? Why would God leave these young children in an unsafe situation when we love them so much and can make sure they are safe and cared for?

All questions I may never have answers for. I have come to understand that God doesn’t owe us any explanations on anything He does. We may never know the ultimate reasoning for this decision. Sometimes we pray and are still heartbroken by the outcome.

THEN WHY DO WE PRAY?

I’m not even going to pretend to know why prayers that seem to be reasonable and appropriate are answered with a resounding NO! I am just as confused by God’s actions as everyone else. However, I can say this:

I will NEVER stop praying!

and

I will NEVER stop believing!

Why do I continue to pray? Why do I continue to believe? It’s simple really. Even in a life of struggle, I have seen the manifestation of the goodness of God. I have seen the answers to unspoken prayers and the protection of my children when the only answer could be: THAT WAS GOD! He continues to work good into my life even when He answers no. Without God, there is no hope. No hope in the goodness of people. No hope that all things will work out for the better. No hope that death was defeated and the enemy crushed forever.

When we stop praying the enemy laughs. When we stop believing the enemy wins. Did God answer NO! to your prayer? Are you confused? Are you angry? I urge you to keep praying. We can only see what’s in front of us. God can see the whole picture. He knows what is coming and He knows what is best for us. I know that God loves Haydon and Keaton even more than we ever could. He has every hair on their heads numbered and He will protect them and keep them safe. We have to choose to believe. I WILL continue to pray that God reveals His will in this situation. I choose to believe that this is not over. He is still at work and will bring good where we only see injustice and sadness.

If God has NO! to your prayer and you are struggling to make sense of it, please contact me. I don’t know all the answers, but maybe together we can continue to pray and find the hope that is buried underneath the confusion, anger and sadness. God IS good and He continues to have our best interest at heart. NEVER STOP PRAYING! NEVER STOP BELIEVING!

 

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prayer

 

I have been contemplating the role of prayer in my life. What is prayer and why is it so important to our christian walk?

What draws me into prayer?

A need and a wanting to be closer to God. I want to share every moment of my day with my heavenly Father and I want to hear what He has to say. My desire is to be in continual prayer throughout the day, so I am always near to God and prepared for whatever may happen, be it good or bad. My desire is to abide deeply with God, with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit. I want to have the same relationship with God that George Mueller had. God worked through George Mueller to transform the lives of thousands of orphans. God could not have used Mr. Mueller to that level without Mr. Mueller being intentional in his prayer life and his christian walk.

Prayer is such an important part of having that deep abiding relationship with God. It is partnering with God in His will on this earth. He allows us to partner with Him to make sure His will is done on this earth. He loves us that much. How do we have that kind of prayer life? My prayer life is always a work in progress. I am always making adjustments. There are a couple of changes I want to make because of this unit on prayer and I want the year 2017 to be a year of focused prayer. The changes I will make are:

Add:

Centering Prayer – a quiet prayer time to really hear what God is saying.

The Daily Examen – An Ignatian practice to prayerfully examen the day’s activities and look for ways in which God has spoken to us or convicted us of sin.

Prayer Journaling – A way to pour out our hearts to God. It is often easier to write out our prayers. Journaling is a good way to empty ourselves, letting go of everything we need God to know.

Praying Scripture – Using scripture as prayers. Praying God’s Word back to Him can be effective.

Holy Spirit Led Prayer – Praying as the Holy Spirit leads rather than using legalistic lists.

Delete:

Prayer Lists – They feel legalistic and make me feel disconnected, rather than connected.

I also, want to pray as George Mueller prayed. Never making an appeal for finances etc. instead making his needs known to God and God alone and trusting in a Provident God to provide. God always met their needs. Depending on God and not man to meet our needs has to deepen our faith. Trusting God alone to meet my needs is going to push me to deeper levels in my relationship with my Provident God. I have a feeling it may push me out of my comfort zone as well. I have a feeling God is up to something and when I partner with Him in prayer, the heavens are going to break open and His abundant grace and favor are going to rain down like a Spring rain, giving life in the wilderness. I can’t wait!!!

 

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Kiowasiouxburris

 

I watched her disappear down the boarding ramp. My heart ached. As the tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t help but remember when she was 2 and stuffed worms in her coat pockets. I found them when I did the laundry, all shriveled up. She still has the crack in her tooth from a stunt she tried on her bike when she was 10. Always the dare-devil, she would ride her bike down the porch steps, nearly giving me a heart attack. She ran her first half-marathon when she was 14 and finished in the top 4 percent. When she was 17, she defended a classmate who was being bullied at school. A week before her 18th birthday, she ran her first marathon. She finished just 8 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I shouldn’t have been surprised when this courageous, risk-taking, defender of justice announced that she was joining the Air Force. She had served four years of JR ROTC in high school, but had always sworn up and down that she would NEVER join the military!

Yet, there I was, my heart pounding with a mixture of pride and fear. I gave her a farewell hug, whispering, “Stay strong and trust God.” As I watch her plane take off, taking her to a far away land, I whisper the same words to my own heart, “Stay strong and trust God.”

Easier said than done. How can I trust God to protect this daughter of mine? How can I trust Him to keep her safe from harm? Matthew 10:30 tells us that God has numbered the very hairs on our head. I love my daughter with all of my heart and soul, but I have not numbered the hairs on her head. How much more must He love her, to have every hair on her head numbered? As much as I love her, He loves her so much more.

Do I still worry? I would be lying if I said I didn’t. These are troubling times. I think some worry lurks in the heart of every military mom. I remind myself that I serve a God that is in control of ALL circumstances. Nothing happens on this earth that He doesn’t know about. I pray for her safety, as she does her job as an electrician. I pray that God will keep her out of harm’s way, here and abroad. I pray that God will continue to give her courage as she serves this beautiful country that we call the United States of America. When the worry creeps in, or missing her becomes to much for me to handle, I feel the whispering of the Holy Spirit in my own heart, telling me to, “stay strong and trust God.”

 

 

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Jesus in prayer

Hebrews 5:7,8

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered…

If we want an example of how to live our lives, then we need look no further than Jesus. He was the perfect example of how we should live our lives. No, we will never be perfect, but Jesus gives us an example we can strive to imitate. In Hebrews 5:7,8 Jesus models for us three characteristics that we should incorporate into our daily lives:

  1. He Prayed– Jesus prayed. Not only did He pray, He prayed with fervent cries and tears. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com, fervent means felt very strongly: having or showing very strong feelings. Jesus poured out His heart to His Father in heaven. When Jesus prayed, they weren’t just monotone prayers, prayed with a feeling of apathy. Jesus had compassion for the people He met. I can imagine that His prayers were much like a parent praying for a wayward child; filled with deep love and compassion for that person. We need to pray for others with fervent cries and tears. Our prayers need to be filled with emotion. Our prayers need to be filled with that deep passion that Jesus felt.
  2. He was Submissive– Jesus was reverently submissive. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com, reverently means to show a lot of respect. Jesus had a deep respect for His heavenly Father and was submissive to His Father’s will. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com, submissive means that a person is willing to obey someone else. Out of His deep respect to His Father, God, Jesus was willing to do God’s will. Even when we can’t see down the road to what God is doing, we need to respect God enough to be willing to submit to His will.
  3. He was Obedient– Jesus was obedient. Even when facing death, Jesus was willing to obey God, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42) It is possible that Jesus didn’t really want to go through what He knew was coming. Jesus knew that God had a plan of salvation and that He must die, for that plan to work. Jesus was human. He had a choice. He could have been disobedient. He knew what was coming and still He obeyed, because God’s purpose is bigger and better than our own. We must live in a posture of obedience to God. Even when the request seems crazy or impossible, we must obey God and trust Him with the outcome. We must strive to ALWAYS put God’s will above our own.

I am challenging you this next week to live in a posture of prayer, submission and obedience. See what happens and how God blesses you because of it. If it was good enough for Jesus, it has to be good enough for us.

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prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray continually, 

Prayer is our line of communication with God. This verse tells us to pray continually, telling us to be in constant communication with God. God wants to have an open line of communication with us at every moment of our day. It doesn’t matter what we are dealing with, God is ALWAYS with us and wants us to share EVERYTHING with Him.

Jesus gave us the main components to prayer, when He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. Click here to read my blog post on the Lord’s Prayer. According to the Lord’s Prayer there are 5 main components to prayer:

1. Praise

2. Praying God’s will

3. Supplication

4. Confession (Asking forgiveness for our sins and forgiving others for sins done to us)

5. Praying for protection from evil and temptation

Below are a few other suggestions that might help in your prayer life:

  • Centering Prayer– Centering prayer is a way to empty your mind of every day distractions and really focus on God. Centering prayer helps us LISTEN to what God is saying to us.
  • The Daily Examen– The Daily Examen is an Ignatian exercise and is used to examine our daily activities and see where God is speaking to us. Is there any way we could have been a better example of Jesus? Were we impatient when we needed to be kind? The Daily Examen is a way for God to mold our character, as we pray for Him to reveal what we need to change.
  • Prayer Journaling– We can use prayer journaling with the Lord’s Prayer model and as a way to keep track of requests and answers to prayer. Writing out prayers can be helpful in emptying our hearts of worries and anxieties. Often, when I am done writing out everything on my heart, I feel at peace. I know that God is working in the situations involved.
  • Every Hour– Every hour, on the hour, say a prayer about a person, event, or situation that you have promised to pray about. You can also, take the opportunity to praise God and thank God for all that He has done in your life. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads. This is a great way to make sure we pray continually.

These are just a few ideas. The internet is full of different ways to enhance our prayer lives. I like to try different methods of prayer to enhance my communication with God. I have found that some things work and some don’t. I try to keep it simple. I don’t want to get to legalistic about my prayer life.

There are times when I can’t pray at all. There are times when words fail me and I can only whisper, “Don’t let me go, Jesus.” You will have times like this too. Don’t worry, God knows your heart and has sent the Holy Spirit to intercede for us.

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I’m not an expert on prayer, but I do know that I could not live without that open communication with my Creator. I know that at any moment of the day, that I can praise Him or cry out to Him and He will hear me. I encourage you to go to God in prayer. He is waiting for you. If you have any suggestions or prayer methods that work for you, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

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teach me to pray

 

 

Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I couldn’t recite the Lord’s Prayer word for word. I don’t remember ever attending a church where it wasn’t recited on a regular basis. Over the years, it became rote and meaningless. This was not the way Jesus intended it to be. Jesus never intended this passage to be a prayer in and of itself. He gave it as an outline to use as a guide in your prayer life. To recite the Lord’s Prayer in the mechanical way that we have become accustomed to does not do it justice and we learn nothing from it. There are 5 parts to this outline:

The first 2 parts are all about God and His will:

1. Praise and WorshipOur Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. We acknowledge who God is to us by praying, Our Father in heaven. This establishes our relationship with God. According to http://www.merriam-webster.com the definition of hallowed is holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered. This tells us that God’s name is holy, sacred, and to be revered. We don’t have to use these exact words in our prayers, but we do have to give praise and spend a moment in worship of our heavenly Father. Jesus put this part of the prayer first, because it is the most important part. To give praise and worship to our God is the most important thing.

2. God’s WillYour kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are to pray for God’s will in ALL things. I know how easy it is to slip into self-satisfying prayers, or prayers that push our own agendas instead of God’s. Jesus lived His life doing God’s will, seeking God’s will and obeying God’s commands. We need to do the same. It is okay for us to want things, but God knows what is best for us and we need to seek His will in ALL things.

In these days of unrest and evilness, it is important for us to be in prayer that God’s kingdom will come and we will live as God intended, in peace and harmony with each other. There is an urgency and we need to pray for an end to injustice, oppression, and hate. We need to be in prayer that all people will know God’s heart and that this world will be transformed by the love of God.

The last 3 parts are about us and what we need:

3.Our Daily Bread– Give us today our daily bread. Jesus is telling us to pray only for what we need today. This is consistent with God’s command not to worry about tomorrow, as found in Matthew 6:34.

For Ourselves- What needs do you have TODAY? Don’t waste your time on worrying about tomorrow, focus your prayer on your immediate needs for today.

For Others- What needs do family and friends have TODAY? If you know someone or a situation that needs immediate prayer than pray for that person or situation. I’m sure that Jesus prayed for the disciples and God wants us to pray for each other and events in our lives.

4. Forgiveness– And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. If there is anything on your heart that you need to confess and ask forgiveness for, then you better do it. Nothing keeps us separated from God more than unconfessed sin. Confession is good for the soul! So is forgiving others when they have wronged you. I admit that I have a tendency to hold a grudge. It is hard for me to forgive people who have hurt me. Sometimes the words, “I forgive you” is said between clenched teeth and God has to give me an attitude adjustment. We have to forgive others. Hanging on to the hurts of the past will only hurt us in the future. Let it go, give it to God and live the life you were meant to live. 

5. Temptation and Evil- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This is so important and Jesus knew how much we would need protection from Satan. Temptations hit us from every side and we need to be prepared. We can not face them alone. Only with God, can we face down temptations, before they take us down. This part of the passage shows just how much God loves us. He knows that there is no way in the natural realm, that we will ever be able to face the evil one on our own. He will deliver us, if we ask Him to. 

Remember that Jesus intended this passage to be an outline to guide us in our own prayer time. Expand on each part as God leads and see where God will take you in your prayer life. Prayer is how we communicate with God and He has shown us how to do that in His Word. Our journey in prayer is an ongoing process and always evolving, so don’t give up. Keep pressing in and God will bless you abundantly!

 

 

 

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PRAYER-teachUS

 

 

Prayer is one of the most important of the spiritual disciplines, but one of the most difficult to implement in our lives. We make time to communicate with loved ones and friends, so why is it so hard to make the time to communicate with the one who loves us the most?  I know of people who can sit for hours at a time in prayer and meditation. I don’t believe that we are all called to this type of prayer life. We are, however, called to pray without ceasing. I can tell you from personal experience that God does answer prayer. I love to talk to God during the day. I love to share my life with my heavenly Father through constant prayer. I encourage you to go to the Father in prayer and see what happens.

1 John 5:14-15

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

James 4:3

3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Philippians 4:6-7

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

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:5-13

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

James 5:13-15

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

Mark 9:25-29

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t  we drive it out?”

29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Acts 9:40

40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

Ephesians 6:18

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Psalm 145:18

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

 

 

 

 

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