Tag Archives: prayer

Taking Control

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I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms— I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.
How am I going to fix this?
What am I going to do?
When will I be able to accomplish my goal?
Why can’t I figure this out?
Who am I going to consult with next?
Where am I going to find peace?
Are you plagued daily by these questions running through your head?  Bogged down with worry and stress about everything in life?  Can’t sleep?  Can’t rest?  Can’t enter into worship?  Well, I know you are not alone.  I bet millions of people from one end of this earth to the other are suffering while trying to figure out their next step.
God has only asked a few things of us:  love one another, be obedient to His Word and trust Him.  Sounds as easy as 1,2,3 doesn’t?  Well in today’s society the simplicity of what God requires as been contaminated with doubt, fear and worry…all instruments of the devil himself.  We find it so hard to unplug and unwind from our days as we are consumed with so many distractions and disasters in our lives.
God made an everlasting promise to us in Jeremiah 29:11 and to paraphrase, He has great plans for our lives, plans of prosperity and goodness…..no harm!  When we come to the full understanding of this we can than do the 1, 2, 3, but until we see just how much God loves us and that He is in control, it’s tough.
How do you escape from your mindless thoughts about how you are going to figure out your life, when you know full well that it’s God’s job to do that?  Pray for others.  Take the focus off from self and pray for others.  I prayed for my kids, my husband and anybody I could recall that needed pray from my Facebook friends on my way to work this morning. I did not even let the thoughts enter in of what I was going to  do.
By focusing and praying for someone else we are loving them, being obedient to God’s Word and trusting God for them.  It has to be a choice to pray but once you start, you will find yourself praying more often for others because it is destroying the endless rat race in your head.  Instead of trying to figure out what you should do next, you are asking God to bless and heal your family and friends.
Dear Lord, Help us all to find the simplicity of life.  Help us to focus more on others and to begin to pray for them instead of worrying.  We praise You and thank You for the mighty work You are doing in all of our lives.  We trust you with our lives Lord and we know Your plans for us are great, help us to believe in that promise.
In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Fire or Water?

Deuteronomy 5:2-5

God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. God didn’t just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain. At the time I stood between God and you, to tell you what God said. You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn’t climb the mountain.

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I love fire and I love to look at water….swim..not interested.  I have been contemplating what I want to do differently this year and I cannot decide if I want to walk through the fire or walk on the water.  Each are of equal interest and will provide excellent strengthening for the tasks ahead yet I am at my wits ends deciding which route to take.
Walking through fire means I have to be willing to change..ugh..change means I have to choose  a different way of thinking.  Fire means consuming that which is not of God in my life and allowing God to renew my thinking and behaviors.  I will really begin to learn the difference between respond and react.  Take for instance the fact that 90% of my job is dealing with people whether they be co-workers or customers.  How I treat them matters both in front of them and behind the scenes.  It’s tough to accept everyone for who they are, yet as Christians this is what we are called to do.  For instance, there are things in your life which you have changed and you just wish others would do the same in their own lives…but that’s not up to us.   We need to learn how to love people right where they are in their circumstances and live a life of example.  Tough with some people I know.  There are times when I just wish I could shake some people until they change.
If I choose the fire then I have to make sure that I am committed 1,000% to it.  I can’t stick my finger in and say “Ouch!” and go on to the next easier thing.  I have to be willing emotionally and mentally for a change.  I need to be prepared for a challenge because we all know the flesh does not like change, it like comfort and boxed in living.
If on the other hand I choose to walk on water, I will begin a deeper journey of faith and trust.  It is by our faith that things are revealed to us.  It is our trust in an unseen God which strengthens our very spirit.  Though walking on water may appear to be a easier choice than going through fire, it too has it’s obstacles.  Having faith means tithing that 10% EVERY paycheck and WHEN you get a raise you give the increase.  Faith means trusting  God with all of our finances and when He says give a certain amount we have to be willing to do so, knowing He will provide.  Walking out on the water means no going back and now sinking thinking.
So if you were presented with this dilemma,  which would you choose?  Fire will change you from the innermost part of your soul.  Walking on water will build your faith like you have never seen before.  As for me, well I am still seeking the choice I want to make. I know I have things in my life which need to be burned out and replaced with Godly principles and I also know there needs to be an increase of faith as I journey down this road.  Perhaps I could flip a coin to decide or draw straws. I know the real answer is to seek God in prayer while surrendering my life to His purpose and will for my me.  Who knows?  Maybe it’s just time to rest IN Him right now in preparation for the fire or water.

Don’t Let It Die

Jeremiah 17:8
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

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Raise your hand if you have ever had a pity party for yourself.  Good now that hands are raised all over the place, this will be easier to write. God has created each of us with a purpose.  He has also commanded us to preach the Good News and have compassion towards others as we aspire daily to become more like His Son Jesus.  I myself have been struggling a bit these last few months as I have been adjusting to all of the changes in my life.  I have been divorced, fell in love all over again and become remarried….all because God decided what I needed in my life.  Well in this process I feel I have lost a bit of my purpose as a Christian writer.

I knew at the age of 5 when I wrote my first poem in kindergarten that I wanted to be a writer.  Not a journalist but a writer.  I loved words and had fun putting them together in an array of sentences to make some semblance of meaning on a page.  As I grew older I had a teacher who spoke life into my writing and I was hooked.  I wrote journals and poems and short stories.  As I moved forward in my ministry aspect of life, I began this blog and wrote two books, looking towards the life of becoming a published author and having a way to share my love for Jesus publicly.  I have since fell short of these goals in my life.  I have not blogged and the two books I have completed are sitting at the publishers waiting on me to locate financing to have them published.

I was really feeling low today and I prayed with my husband looking to God for solutions.  I surrender it all to God on the way to a revival meeting, knowing that I cannot do anything in my power to fix me. I surrendered the books and my blogs.  I surrendered myself as a writer and I asked God to show me the next steps to take.  Leave to our loving Father in heaven to send a message to a man of God to speak at the very end of the of the meeting with a word that spoke straight to my heart.  This man spoke of dying fruit.  He painted a word picture of a lonely grape still ripe on a vine among other wilted ones.  The moment I heard him speak I knew it was for me.  I felt that my usefulness as a Christian was dwindling and that I really did not matter to the purposes of the Kingdom work.

I went up for prayer and he spoke life into me.  Told be that God was turning things around.  I now have regained hope in this area of my life.  God has renewed my passion and I am ready to press in and move ahead.  No more accepting the lies of the devil.  I am ready to realize that I have more fruit to produce for the Kingdom and I say to each of you reading this blog, don’t let your fruit die.  You have a purpose.  God has given you a reason to be on this earth.  Do not be led into darkness away from your destiny or dreams by the lies Satan likes to feed us everyday.  Be strong in the Lord and in all your way acknowledge Him, trusting in His plan for your life.

How Many More Need to Perish?

Psalm 103:8
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Who are we that we choose not to have compassion on those around us?  This is a burden I am carrying at the moment and I just want to highlight some things I have been feeling about this area of my walk.  So often we see the homeless or witness the handicapped people all around us, however, are we really moved to act out to help?  We say we don’t have enough to give or don’t have the time…mere excuses for not showing the mercy heart of the Father.

I was recently in Chicago for a class for work and we had an opportunity to visit the heart of downtown Chicago at night.  I went with some new friends from my class and we ate Chicago pizza and witnessed the sites of the city.  I saw several homeless persons along the way, however, I chose not to even stop as I was “busy” site seeing.  I did however say hello to an elderly couple who responded with a “bless you” and this began a work in my heart so deep for the people of Chicago that I had no idea what God was about to do right there in the dark of night in the middle of a HUGE city.

We arrived back at the bus station 45 minutes early and I decided to do a little shopping at a corner store.  As I entered the building a homeless man said if I had anything left to spare when I was done, he could really use a bus pass.  I said okay and entered the store.  a few minutes later I witness a military man in uniform asking the clerk to buy a bus pass.  As I turned my attention to what I had just heard, there was the homeless man patiently waiting for his gift.  I was so amazed at the act of kindness this man was doing I kinda got excited.  As I exited the store I saw this man standing on the busy street corner and I found enough boldness to walk up to this soldier and I explained to him just how blessed he was going to be for being so generous to this homeless man.  He was moved to tears.

As I walked away thanking God for the opportunity and was half way across the street when the homeless man called out to me.  He was asking for prayer.  He had seen what just happened to the other man and he wanted the same for himself.  I stopped in the middle of traffic and return to the street corner where there was about 10 people gathered and I poured all the Jesus I had in me into this mans heart.  Again moved to tears, this man thanked me.  Fearing missing my bus I departed the corner, however, God was not done.  As I was about to board the bus another man approached me and showed me all the money he had and explained that he needed another $5 to get into the shelter for the night.

Wow!  Another chance to bless someone and so I gave him the money and I grabbed his hand, asked his name and I prayed with him and blessed his life.  His spirits actually changed right there in the middle of the night in the heart of downtown Chicago.  Filled with so much joy at what God had just done I walk onto the bus and He leads me into a conversation with some young adults who had witnessed what had happened on the first street corner.  It was an amazing night as God used me to reach out to people that some would have just walked by and not even noticed.

Everyday we have the chance to share Jesus with complete strangers.  Everyday we have the choice to let someone know the difference between heaven and hell.  Each person we pass is an opportunity for God.  How willing are we to allow God to use us for His purposes?  How willing are we to be used by God to save lives?  He sent His only Son so that non should ever perish and be placed in the pits of hell.  What if you or I just kept walking by?  How many more would perish?

Continual Conversations

2 Chronicles 7:14
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

What is prayer to you?  Is it something you do because you are a Christian?  Do you only pray when you are in need as a desperate, last call to God?  Are your prayers more like a routine, right before bed?  Whatever your prayer life is, God is calling you to step it up.  I attended a meeting at church today and the speaker discussed how in the “olden” days people came to the church early to pray before the service and they prayed before the Bible studies and things HAPPENED during the services which followed.  How have we strayed?  Has church also just become a routine in our lives?  What IF we prayed continually?  What if we entered the church EXPECTING something to happen while we were there?

Would we become overloaded and overwhelmed with the process?  Would we grow tired of praying to God over and over again???  Well, let me the first to tell ya, being on my knees and face in prayer is where it all happens.  God has pulled me out from the mess I had gotten myself in and it was not for the lack of my praying (screaming) to God when things were at their worst.  Perhaps He would have assisted me sooner if I had decided to surrender my situation for Him to take care of instead of hoping it would change on its’ own.  Nothing I can do to change that part of my life, but when things began to grow less dim for me was when I began to pray continually.

Now, praying continually does not necessarily mean completely stopping what you are doing, finding a quiet place, folding your hands and closing you eyes and then speaking this eloquently prepared prayer.  Sometimes prayer is singing a song while you are in the midst of a trouble.  Prayer can be in your head (or heart) where no one else even knows you are praying.  Praying can be saying a few words of healing when you see an ambulance drive by.  A prayer can be a simple act of looking towards heaven and saying , “Help me.”  I think sometimes we have this idea that prayer takes up too much of our time, perhaps it is because we are trying to be too formal about it or put it into parameters, kind of like when we put God in a box.  Other times we feel awkward in a setting where others are involved and we lack the freedom to really pray to God like we need to.

I challenge each of you to discover what is hindering your prayer life.  There is no 101 on praying except for the Lord’s Prayer as taught by Jesus to the disciples.  As that prayer alone is a start and very powerful, sometimes we need to ask God directly for what we need and then we need some knee time to talk to God.  God is going to hear you no matter what, yes we need to be quiet to hear God’s still, small voice, however He can hear us loud and clear no matter where we are at the moment.  I used to be the kind of girl who prayed before I went to sleep as my head lay on the pillow, where soon I was fast asleep before I could finish my prayers.  Now I just pray all the time.

I pray at work when I am frustrated.  I pray in the car for those who cut me off.  I pray each time I hear sirens blaring around me.  I pray at the grocery store when I see a situation I just know in my spirit needs attention.  I pray when I read a status on Facebook. I pray on my way to work for my co-workers.  I pray on the way to church and let God know I am going expecting something awesome.  I pray when someone asks me to pray, not waiting until later.  I find being in continual prayer is like a continuous conversation with God.He listens while I ask for my needs and He answer accordingly.  Recently I have found myself stuck to floor face down in surrender and then WOW God begins to answer the big questions in my life and shows me He is at work on my behalf.

Whatever your goals are in 2012, add continual conversation with God to that list.  Things happen when we pray.  Healing begins.  Family situations are mended.  Minds are renewed.  Blessings flow.  God is a wanting a relationship with each of us and prayer is the beginning.  Let’s commit to a stronger prayer life in 2012 and see what happens.  God longs to move in our lives but if we don’t ask, He cannot provide.  What if each of us began   today praying at least two more times than usual?  Do you think that is achievable? I do.  In the beginning of my increase in prayer, it was uncomfortable, but the more I practiced it, the easier it became. You can do this! I have faith in each of you!  One thing you will discover is that you are more at peace knowing God is answering your prayers, and the more you are at peace, the more you feel like you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

Nope, That Can’t Be It, Can it?

“[Dedicated Service] Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1 NASB

Okay, with a show of hands (don’t worry I cannot see you)  how many times have we stepped up to the altar, raised our hands in surrender thinking we know what a man or woman of God will speak into our lives like we have it all figured out?  I know you cannot see me either but my hand is raised, not in knowledge but in surprise.  There have been so many times I think I don’t need prayer and God shows me I do.  There have been times when I had to drag my flesh to the front because I did not think there was another thing God wanted to heal in me.  Whether we like it or not, God knows us better than we ever will.  I do not care how many psychology or self-help books we read, never will be able to figure it all out.  Let me use tonight as an example.

A friend of mine and I went to Boot Camp tonight to hear a prophetess speak, not expecting prayer or a word of knowledge, just a lesson in the things God had in mind.  I expected to learn, not release or have God show me something I had really misunderstood about myself.  Now the lesson was clearly about false prophets and good trees producing good fruit and bad trees producing bad fruit.  She clearly taught how the body of Christ can easily be deceived. After a time of refection she called those up front who wanted to become pure and holy with no bad roots in us so that we may be trees of life bearing the good stuff the people of God needed.  Of course, I went up front, knowing I knew just what needed to be ripped out of me only to have God show me something completely different.

I was figuring she would say doubting was my downfall and maybe she would say something about the direction of my writing or the restoration of my family, NOPE!  God had something totally off the beaten path for me that hit me like a train.  He clearly stated He freed me from depression and a brokenness in my mind.  What?  Huh?  I am the type of person who tells everyone that I am not a depressed type of person and I am thankful I do not have to conquer that.  I also thought I could not help those who are dealing with depression (including my own daughter) because I had not walked through that in my life, yet here was God telling me He had delivered me from it. Once again, Huh?  I was really confused and then she told me I was anointed to free the broken-minded and hurting. Boy, did I miss the mark or what?

Yes, if you look at my WHOLE testimony, I should have been depressed:  adopted into a family where the dad was a drinker and the mom a yeller. Molested at age 5 by a family friend.  Teased in elementary school so badly I cried almost every day.  Parents then divorced when I was 16.  Smoking by age 13.  Drinking at age 15.  I had three random relationships before marrying my husband who was a drinker then an drug addict.  Had two children I tried to protect from everything that was going on behind the scenes in my marriage only to end up 20 years later, separated and living with just my daughter in a run down trailer.  Who wouldn’t be depressed?  But let us dig deeper perhaps so that through writing this out I too might grasp what God is saying.  Did I hide everything from myself?  Did I just think I was okay?  I wasn’t a cutter.  I did cry myself to sleep, but I didn’t just stay in bed all the time, I was always active.  I thought I was pretty positive about things.  Maybe I have a misinterpretation of depression.  (one moment as I go get Websters answer to the meaning of just this word)

Definition of DEPRESSION

1
a : the angular distance of a celestial object below the horizon b : the size of an angle of depression
2
: an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: as a : a pressing down : lowering b (1) : a state of feeling sad : dejection (2) : a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies c (1) : a reduction in activity, amount, quality, or force (2) : a lowering of vitality or functional activity
Okay the first part does not fit and unless I was in denial the only thing which seemed to fit in my situation is hopelessness.  Did Satan have such a hold on my life at one time I could not see these things in my life?  I do remember one time I had this huge fight with my husband and I went for a walk.  It was a long walk towards Lake Michigan and my intentions were to never stop walking even when I got to the water.  I got tired after walking for like two and half hours and called for a ride, but I was pretty determined to be done with all of this frustration in my life and that word (frustration is the key).  This was the summer before it all came to head with my husband and as I shared this story recently with my daughter she clearly pointed out that I would not have drowned, it was not possible. (besides I am sure my fear of water would have taken over at some point).
Anyways, as this person was praying over me, she told me I had to get rid of all of my recent frustrations.  Ugh!  The whole list?  Work, my home, finances, my writing…….all of it I had to surrender to God tonight so that I would not be led down to the roads of depression again.  Boy, Satan sure threw me for a loop and I did not even notice.  Is this happening in your life too?  I urge you to fall to the floor in prayer and worship and ask God to reveal the things which you are deceived by.  Certainly God has been protecting me all along for the person praying said if it was not for the hand of God I would not have been standing there tonight…I will most assuredly agree with such a statement.  Will you trust God enough to reveal to you the things which you need to straighten out in your life so that you may bear good fruit?
As for me I will be listening closely to what emotions I am using to deal with life.  I will continue to learn to be quiet and only speak positive things into the atmosphere around me.  I certainly do not wish to be depressed or give the appearance that I am.  I also do not wish to hide anything from myself anymore.  I want to be used by God and He can only use me if I am pure and holy.  When we are accurately following the things of God, only then can He use us in a mighty way to help others around us.   So here I stand in surrender, waiting on the Lord, keeping quiet about my frustrations and not whining anymore.  I give it all to God and in the mean time I will spend my extra time in worship!