Friday, March 27, 2020

Don't Struggle With Your Thorns

How are you doing? Are you facing an attack from the enemy?









I have been dwelling over 2 Corinthians 12:9 for several weeks. If you do not know this verse, let me back up a little.




God's Grace Is Enough 





Paul was given a thorn in his side to keep him from being conceited. This thorn was given to him by the enemy. Paul cries out to God three times asking Him to remove this thorn; this weakness, but He said, "no" and He tells Paul that His grace is sufficient. The grace of God is all that Paul would need to endure because His power is made perfect in weakness ( 2 Corinthians 12:7-9).





Now, in my study of this verse (or should I say, these verses), I have come to understand that my struggles are the thorns that are in my side. The aches and pains that I have, due to fibromyalgia, my migraines, my adrenal insufficiency, my carpal tunnel pain, my depression and anxiety. Oh, and the weakness that I feel when I am hit, out of the blue, with the past. All of those things (and many more) are my thorns.




Offer Thanks For Each Thorn





With this knowledge, how do I handle my "thorns"? I turn to God and offer Him thanks for each one of them.





Yes, the pains still hurt. The depression is still hard to deal with, at times. However, when I stop and give thanks to God for them it puts the focus on Him and takes the focus off of my problems. Oh and added bonus, it takes the sting out of the enemy's attack as well.





2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV 





But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.





Other translations: 





2 Corinthians 12:9 GNT 




But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me.




2 Corinthians 12:9 NLV 




He answered me, "I am all you need. I give you My loving-favor. My power works best in weak people." I am happy to be weak and have troubles so I can have Christ's power in me.









2 Corinthians 12:9 TPT 




But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.




According to  dictionary.com 




Grace - 




1. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God
2. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them
3. a virtue or excellence of divine origin
4. also called state of grace. the condition of being in God's favor or one of the elect




Sufficient - 




adequate for the purpose; enough to meet a need





Boast - 




a bragging statement; a possession, attribute, attainment, etc, that is or may be bragged about





Exult - 




to show or feel a lively triumphant joy; rejoice exceedingly; be highly elated or jubilant





Weakness - 




the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness 




Prayer: 




Dear Father,  





Thank you for each one of my weaknesses. Thank you for helping me to understand that my struggles, (my aches and pains, my migraines, my anxiety and depression, attacks from the enemy) are all the thorns that are in my side. I know that you have allowed me to have these thorns to help me focus more time on giving you thanks than on my problems. Yes, Father, your grace is all I need to carry me through. Thank you. In Jesus' name, Amen.














4 Tips To Focus Your Prayers


Prayers Equal Love


Pray In Secret


Prayer, Just Start Talking



















How are you doing?
Are you facing an attack from the enemy?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.































Photo credit: andrea piacquadio on pexels.com 

Friday, March 13, 2020

4 Tips To Focus Your Prayers

Do you know of someone that is struggling through a hard time? Would you like to cover this person in prayer, but aren't sure where to start?







Yes, it can be overwhelming when you try to think of what to pray for someone. You may not know, exactly, what their struggle is other than the fact that they are having a hard time.




What do you do? 






1. Go away somewhere quiet 





You can sit in your bedroom, in a closet, in the bathroom. The place does not really matter as long as your focus is on the Lord.




2. Pray a few short prayers 





Spend this time in prayer.




3. Ask for guidance, direction, wisdom 





During your prayer time, be sure to ask specifically for guidance, direction, and wisdom.




4. Sit quietly with the Lord 





Sit, with your eyes closed, and just be quiet. Listen for the Lord to reveal something to you.




Let the Lord lead





I have recently had one of these "focused" quiet prayer sessions with the Lord. Our middle son, Taylor, has been on my heart a lot lately. I sat quietly with the Lord and felt led to read Psalm 18.




Psalm 18:16-19 really spoke to me.




Psalm 18:16-19 NIV 




He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.









Other Translations:




Psalm 18:16-19 CEV 




You reached down from heaven, and you lifted me from deep in the ocean. You rescued me from enemies, who were hateful and too powerful for me. On the day disaster struck, they came and attacked, but you defended me. When I was fenced in, you freed and rescued me because you love me.




Psalm 18:16-19 GNT 




The Lord reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies and from all those who hate me— they were too strong for me. When I was in trouble, they attacked me, but the Lord protected me. He helped me out of danger; he saved me because he was pleased with me.



Cross References:




Psalm 59:1 NIV 




Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.




Psalm 143:9 




Rescue me from my enemies, Lord , for I hide myself in you.




Psalm 31:15 NIV 




My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.




Prayer: 




Dear Father, 




I pray that you will reach down from on high and lift my son out of the deep waters. Please rescue him from his powerful enemy that confronted him in his time of distress. Help him to resist his enemy with your support. Bring him out of his despair and place him somewhere that is spacious. Come to his rescue because you are delighted in him (Ps. 18:16-19). In Jesus' name, Amen.













Prayers Equal Love


Pray In Secret


Prayer, Just Start Talking


How Is Your Prayer Life?



















Do you know someone that is struggling through a hard time?
Would you like to cover this person in prayer, but aren't sure where to start?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.


























Ps. I am including a free printable for you. It is the Bible reading plan for the month of April. It is called Ask Call Seek. Enjoy.









Photo credit: engin_akyurt on pixabay.com

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Prayers Equal Love

Do you spend time in intercessory prayer? Do you struggle with knowing what it actually is all about?







Praying for others is a form of love. You are showing love for your family member, friend, co-worker, when you offer up prayers on their behalf. As you pray over them, Jesus' love flows through you which then increases your love for the person that you are praying over.




This is what we call, "intercessory prayer. "






Intercessory prayer is when we cover others with the love of Jesus by praying over them. Do you have family members, friends, etc that you pray for on a regular basis? You are talking to the Father on their behalf. You are presenting their cares up to Him and asking for His will to be done.





I am thinking back to when T was sick with Burkitt's Lymphoma. He was in the hospital, away from me for at least a month. I spent a lot of time crying and praying over him. I lifted him, his cares, his doctors, nurses, tech workers, nutritionists up to the Lord.



I poured out my heart. 





I poured out my heart. It was all that I could do. T was sick, but he was in the Lord's hands.





Just as praying is actually our way of having a conversation with the Father, intercessory prayer, is our conversation with the Father for those that we love.










John 15:16-17 NIV 





You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.




Points to notice:





1. Jesus chose you
2. Jesus appointed you
3. He wants you to be fruitful - bear fruit, show love to others
4. Ask whatever, in Jesus' name, and the Father will answer
5. Follow His command and love others





Prayer:





Dear Father, 





Thank you for all that you do for me. Thank you for blessing me with those that I can pray over. Your word says that I did not choose Jesus, but Jesus chose me. He appointed me. He wants me to be fruitful in all that I do; by showing love to others. Help me, Father, to let Jesus' love show through me. Your word promises that I can ask for anything, in Jesus', and you will answer my prayer. I am claiming that promise, Father. In Jesus' name, Amen.













Pray In Secret


Prayer, Just Start Talking


How Is Your Prayer Life?


Don't Miss The Blessings




















Do you spend time in intercessory prayer?
Do you struggle with knowing what it actually is all about?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load?



































Photo credit: public domain pictures on pexels.com

Friday, February 21, 2020

Pray In Secret

When you pray, do you bring glory to God? Or do you seek recognition for your actions?









Being an introvert, I can honestly say that my prayers are private. I do not seek out recognition from people. My only concern is in pleasing God.



Don't Put On A Show





Although, I do know, full well, that we all have those in our lives, that enjoy recognition for things. Oh, and if they do not feel like they are receiving their share of recognition, they will gladly toot their own horns until you notice them.




In Matthew 6:1-6, Jesus is warning us against doing things in a way that comes across as though we are putting on a show.




Matthew 6:1-6 NIV 




“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “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. 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.







Let Your Prayers Be In Secret 





Let your giving be done in secret, so the Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (v. 4). And when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray. Do it in secret. The Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (v. 6).




Do not put on a show. Do not give only to receive recognition. Do not pray only so others hear you and praise you for your efforts.




Instead, focus on the Lord by doing these actions in secret. The honor and glory go to Him and Him alone.



Prayer:



Dear Father, 



Thank You for all that you have done for me. Please forgive me, Father, for the times that I feel the need to put on a show about what I have done. Help me to keep you at the center of everything that I do, Father, so all of the honor and glory goes to you. Let my prayers be done in secret so that I will please you and receive the reward you have promised. In Jesus' name, Amen.













Prayer, Just Start Talking


How Is Your Prayer Life?


Don't Miss The Blessings


Praying Scripture Over Fear




















When you pray, do you bring glory to God?
Or do you seek recognition for your actions?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.




























Photo credit: lifeblossomer on pixabay.com 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Prayer, Just Start Talking

Have you ever found yourself struggling with your prayers? You tell your friends that you will pray for them, but you just do not know where to begin.








I have to confess that, I too, struggle with my prayers. I constantly wonder if I am doing it right.





Prayer is just conversation with God <---- Period.





You have conversations with your family. You have conversations with your friends. That is what prayer is all about. It is our way of being able to communicate with God.





What I like to do, when I pray, is to close my eyes. While my eyes are closed, I picture Jesus sitting there with me, holding my right hand.





Just start talking.





That is a concept that I have a hard time with. I am not someone that just talks. And I am definitely not someone that talks about myself and my needs.











Read over Psalm 139. It is a beautiful prayer from David to God.





Psalm 139 NIV 





You have searched me, Lord , and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord , know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord , and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.





These verses show us that God is always there. He knows when we go out and when we lie down. He is with us. He has been with us. He goes before us. He keeps us safe. Can I get an "Amen!"





Prayer:





Dear Father, 





Thank you for all that you continue to do for me. Father, I take comfort in knowing that you have searched me. You know me better than anyone else. You are aware everytime I sit down and everytime I rise. You know when I go out and when I lie down. You know everything there is to know about me. Father, you even know about my struggles. My fears, my worries. You know how I am constantly afraid that my prayers are not good enough for you. I find comfort in knowing that you are always with me, guiding me through each step. Your hand is on me keeping safe. Thank you. In Jesus' name, Amen.














How Is Your Prayer Life?


Don't Miss The Blessings


Praying Scripture Over Fear


Praying Scripture For Comfort



















Have you ever found yourself struggling with your prayers?
You tell your friends you will pray for them, but you just don't know where to begin.
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.



























Ps. I am adding the reading plan for the month of March. I am also adding, for those of you keeping up, the next part of writing plan of Nehemiah.



Enjoy!













Photo credit: jennyfriedrichs on pixabay.com 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

How Is Your Prayer Life?

Do you struggle in your prayer life? Do you have times where you do not know what or how to pray? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and just give up?








Today is the 2 Year Blogiversary for my blog. Woohoo! <-- I just needed to get that out of the way :) .





Okay, how is your prayer life? Do you struggle?





I often find myself not sure what or how to pray. Then I will end up feeling overwhelmed by it all, like a failure and then I will end up pulling away. I just give up. Anybody else struggle like this?





I am learning (a very slow process) that the feelings I have, when I feel overwhelmed and like a failure, are from the enemy. Those feelings are not from God. He wants me to draw closer to Him so He can draw closer to me (James 4:8).





I am also learning that it is okay to not know what to pray. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Roman's 8:26).








Now we are going to look at Ephesians 6:10-11 to see how to stand against the enemies attacks.





Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV 





Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.





1. Find strength in the Lord
2. Trust in His mighty power
3. Put on God's armor
4. Stand strong with God
5. Deflect the enemies schemes





Prayer:





Dear Father, 





Thank you for your mighty power and for being my strength. Father, I put on your full armor so that I am able to stand strong, with you by my side, and deflect the attacks of the enemy ( Ephesians 6:10-11). In Jesus' name, Amen.

















Don't Miss The Blessings


Praying Scripture Over Fear


Praying Scripture For Comfort






















Do you struggle in your prayer life?
Do you have times where you do not know what or how to pray?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed and just give up?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.





























Photo credit: congerdesign on pixabay.com 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Don't Miss The Blessings

Do you ever struggle with feeling like you are invisible? Do you feel, at times, like you do not matter and that nobody cares?









I often find myself struggling with feeling like I am invisible and that I do not matter. Do you know what I am learning, though? I am learning that whenever these thoughts enter my mind, I am under attack.




I try to live in a way that I feel the Lord is wanting me to live and it is getting someone's attention. This let's me know that I am doing something right.




However, I do have to confess, sometimes it is easier to just wallow in the negative feelings than it is to refocus my thoughts. It is often hard to pull myself out of the dark pit.




Let's look at Genesis 26:1-6 and see how the Lord blesses Isaac.





Genesis 26:1-6 NIV 





Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar.











In these verses, we see that there is a famine and Isaac wants to go where he can find food. However, the Lord appears to him and tells him to stay where he is and that He, the Lord, will personally be with him and will bless him and his descendants. He promises to bless Isaac's descendants so that they are as numerous as the stars in the sky. He promises that through Isaac's offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed Him and followed His instructions.




When life starts to weigh you down, I would like to encourage you to find three positive things to focus on. When you find these three things, stop and write down what they are and offer thanks to the Lord for each one. Try this for several days/weeks to see if your focus changes.




Blessings/Gratitude/Praise that I am focusing on today:




I am the daughter of the King (Romans 817-19 NIV)
My youngest traveled downtown, last night, and returned home safely
Being able to watch the birds come up to our feeders




Prayer:




Dear Father, 




Thank you for all that you continue to do. Please forgive me for the times that I choose to wallow in negativity instead of trusting you. Father, I pray that you will open your floodgates and pour out your blessings upon me as you did with Abraham, Isaac and their descendants. Please help me to always be able to slow down enough to see your blessings and to offer you praise for each one. I pray that your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.














Sarah, The Mother Of Nations 


6 Ways The Lord Blesses You 


Blessings In The Ordinary 






















Do you struggle with feeling like you are invisible?
What are three (positive) things that you can focus on today?
Please share them with me.





























Photo credit: jillwellington on pixabay.com 

Don't Struggle With Your Thorns

How are you doing? Are you facing an attack from the enemy? I have been dwelling over 2 Corinthians 12:9 for several weeks. If ...