Posts Tagged: pray

Hope Does Not Disappoint

James 5:10Brothers, as an example of patience in affliction, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11See how blessed we consider those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.…

I’m struggling to write. Sheer exhaustion gets my brain jumbled up. I literally can feel my brain shorting out! After a week and half of unmitigated insomnia I had an absence seizure in the middle of church yesterday. Brian said he suddenly realized that I wasn’t there and tried to talk to me and I didn’t respond. While it didn’t go full blown my head will not quit pounding.

I hate this feeling, but I also know it will pass.

Please pray for sleep, and relief for my family from the physical attack, we are all oppressed by right now. Lord, you are my God, I do not understand what you are doing with all of this. Yet, I place my body in your hands. Please make our path straight! I put my hope in you and persevere through the pain to see your glory. Amen

 

In the War Room: Spiritual Warfare Momma Style

Psalm102:28The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.

For the first time in over two years I returned to the chapel to pray for our church youth group as they met. Coming to church has been difficult this year, and being around teenagers even harder. Not because I don’t love them, but because I miss Jonathan. From the first moment I said yes to Jesus, I have not battled a desire to escape church, until now. I began to withdraw from fellowship as soon as the casket closed. But in contrast to this struggle, God kept stirring me to pray for young men and women, some struggling very much like my son. I entered the chapel and felt the same blank, numb, weariness that I have become accustomed to these days in being in the building. I didn’t feel like being there, but God’s call was clear.

As I began to pray for guidance, as I began to pray for each of the students by name I became aware of a shift. It was as if the blinders were removed from my eyes and I began to see what I was actually praying for and against. Scripture declares that there is a spiritual battle not always seen by the naked eye. Discernment is needed and prayer opens the door for the spirit to guide us in our prayers.

13-15 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.

19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God. (James 5 MSG)

There came a moment when my hands were raised, but I don’t remember raising them. I felt like Moses standing above the battle field and when his arms were raised, the Israelites were winning, but when his arms dropped they began to lose. I could see the battle playing out, and the enemy losing ground as I declared God’s truth over each child. Prayer is a powerful tool, scripture is able to slice open and reveal the enemy’s schemes. So why do I so often use it as a last resort?

Don’t grow weary in your prayers. Jesus didn’t pray to his heavenly father day in and day out because he was God, he prayed because he had limited himself to being a man! To fight the enemy’s schemes just like we can do, to stand firm while others fell away, Jesus had to pray. It was not a last resort, it was his weapon of choice. He taught us how to pray! Prayer puts a stake in the ground and says, “No further Satan!” Today I put a stake in the ground Lord, I state before God and man, I will be a watchman. I will declare your faithfulness to me, and trust that you will be faithful to our children. Will you be a watchman with me?!

Psalm 78:

1My people, hear my teaching;

listen to the words of my mouth.

2I will open my mouth with a parable;

I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

3things we have heard and known,

things our ancestors have told us.

4We will not hide them from their descendants;

we will tell the next generation

the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,

his power, and the wonders he has done.

5He decreed statutes for Jacob

and established the law in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to teach their children,

6so the next generation would know them,

even the children yet to be born,

and they in turn would tell their children.

7Then they would put their trust in God

and would not forget his deeds

but would keep his commands.

Keeping Secrets: Living for the pleasure of God not Man

Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

What is just between God and I? Developing the sacred, in a world where it modeled day in and day out that everything is lived out in the open, can be difficult. I’m not sure that the Kardashians have much that isn’t public. Because of Jonathan’s death, I am getting the opportunity to share my faith a bit more publically. But, to truly value God and our relationship with him, there must be things that are shared only with him.

So why should I develop the sacred, even as I am being transparent with you as I walk through grief?

1. Am I looking to please God or man? (vs.1)
2. Where do I want my reward to come from? (vs. 6)
3. The enemy is unable to penetrate this bond! (Lord’s Prayer)

When the enemy comes to attack us, and he will, we stand firm because there is nothing that separates us from God’s love! When Satan offers earthly rewards they will seem like nothing, when he offers me food I can say the food I eat is to do the will of my father. When the enemy tries to stir up unforgiveness, I can state that I forgive because I am forgiven! I declare to you that is possible to know the will of the Father, just as Jesus did. Jesus was spelling it out in chapter 6 to us.

Pray like God’s voice and his will are the only that matters. Serve others like they are Christ before you. And know that heavenly treasures are far better than anything we could be given on earth. We develop a relationship with God in secret so that our focus is on him, and that he is a source, not man.

Guided by the Comforter: Learning to listen to God’s voice

Acts 4:31And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Daniel wanted Jonathan to be a part of Halloween. So we took the huge poster that the funeral home created and stuck it in the window with a talk bubble. I had to smile at Daniel’s insistence, and that my spirit so readily agreed to it. I’ve had more of those moments this week. A calmness has infused my being that certainly wasn’t there a week ago. I have no illusion that I am no where near the end of grieving, but what is happening is that I am having more and more moments of genuine joy. It was a pleasure to take the kids trick or treating.

Even though the disciples had Jesus back for forty days, they still had to grieve the loss of their friend after he ascended to heaven. But boy the difference in how they grieved. They went from locking themselves in a room and hiding away to praying together, celebrating the resurrection and waiting for the comforter (the Holy Spirit) to come. They didn’t have to wait long before things began moving and shaking. The Comforter had arrived!

In my previous posts I have mentioned that I am allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me. This isn’t rocket science, but it also isn’t simple either. Just like the disciples we need to spend time with Jesus, get to know his voice, his character, and his love for humanity. Otherwise, we will may find ourselves being guided by our own selfish desires or the voices of others who do not have our best interests in mind. These voices will always lead us away from God. I love the song of Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns, it describes the struggle we have with knowing the Shepherd’s voice. Since I was a little girl I’ve had a lot of voices in my head (don’t laugh, unless you’re my siblings) and the loudest was my overpowering, obnoxious critic. Nothing I did or ever could do was good enough. It got to the point that I stopped trying and quit a lot of things I actually enjoyed.

A couple of year ago I really began asking, ‘How do I know God’s voice?’ My question sprung from John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” I began discerning what the Holy Spirit sounded like and practicing stepping out in faith and acting upon that voice’s direction. Amazing things began to happen, and a power that I had never been able to tap into began surging through my spirit. Following the direction of the Holy Spirit takes practice and a solid knowledge of the other parts of the Trinity. I’m still learning and growing in this area, but since Jonathan’s death, the fear that had once held me back from trusting the Holy Spirit’s direction and acting on it is getting kicked out.

I had a bit of fear when I approached a complete stranger on the prompting of the Lord. I held back, but the urging became even stronger, and she kept looking at the books I had on the table as she waited for her coffee. I felt awkward, but managed to introduce myself and a new connection was born, very much in line with the previous connections that God has been forming since Jonathan’s death.

Here is the criteria that I follow:
1. The voice of the Holy Spirit will never contradict the other parts of the Trinity (revealed in scripture).
2. I will never have to rush in, or be impulsive, the Lord is not limited by time.
3. The Holy Spirit will always be affirmed. (Example: The woman at the coffee shop thought that we might be in the same field)
4. Pray and be open each day.
5. The Holy Spirit always has humanity’s best in mind. He will strengthen us and bring the resources for us to help others.

Building Connections: Placing ourselvers where the action is!

Mark 5:28For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”

Once again the coffee shop has proven to be a place of connection. I go there once a week to make myself available to anyone who needs to talk to or pray. I’m not normally there on Wednesdays, but had to switch days. A friend met me and as we talked and prayed the woman behind us was listening. We got up to leave, but our booth neighbor stopped us and asked for help with her own family situation. We prayed with her and exchanged contact information.

Are we putting ourselves in places where synchronicity can happen? Synchronicity, is defined as: the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. I define it as those moments when we make ourselves available to the will of God and all of heaven moves to meet us! Since Jonathan’s death I have had many of these synchronicity moments. There has been a consistent theme in my life of children’s homes, horse therapy and counseling training. I do not know what God has in store for all of these connections, but he most certainly is bringing the outline of my path into clearer focus and brought heavenly resources to me.

Jesus put himself smack dab in the middle of the action! He was at the docks where the fishermen were casting their nets, he was in the village square where the Samaritan woman drew from her well at an unusual time of the day. He was in the garden, where God himself met with him through prayer. He was in the Jewish temples where the teaching occurred. He was at the parties, at the tables, and available in the middle of the needs of the people. He moved ever closer to Jerusalem as he ministered, ever closer to his death, and ever closer to providing for the entire world its need for forgiveness and hope.

Maybe synchronicity is occurring because I refuse to let fear stop me. Or, maybe it is because my mission is to offer hope, and turn around the suicide rate. Whatever God’s purpose, I am hopeful and in awe of his storehouse of resources! Jonathan loved the movie A-Team. Hannibal, the leader of the team says, “Love it when a plans coming together!” Even though all of the events seem random and impossible.

When we make ourselves available to God’s plan, he’ll move all heaven to equip you! No, you may not be trying to drive a tank in the sky, like the A-Team, but you may walk on water!

Free Gift

Embrace hope in dark places.

Get three free printables of hope and encouragement when you sign up for my monthly newsletter.

.
Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.