Prayer, Faith and Patience

Faith and Patience; Patience and Faith

Question: Are our prayers given in faith and patience with confidence or in demand with entitlement? #prayersofachild #faith #patience Click To Tweet

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”  

“The Lord is good to those who hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him;    it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  


 – Hebrews 10:19,22
– Lamentations 3:25-26

Faith & Patience

A few months ago we had planned a family camping trip to celebrate our oldest son’s birthday. It turned unseasonably cold (for Mississippi in November)  so we decided to rent cabins instead. All six adults and three grandchildren were gathered in the living were of one cabin, ready to share a meal together.

We joined hands and asked, “Who wants to pray?”

and Grantlee, our two-year-old grandson said, “Me!”


We bowed our heads. Grantlee closed his eyes, and with the most serious of expressions on his face, prayed the following words.

“I Grantlee Atchison, and I want it now. Amen.”

All of us burst out into laughter because it was cute and funny.

Kids! You just never know what they will say or do! 

But Don’t We Act the Same?

Later, I was telling my prayer group of our cute little grandson’s prayer. As we laughed, we suddenly realized a sobering thought:  Isn’t that the way we do God? We come to Him in prayer, and whether our words are eloquent or simple, we often convey this message.

Dear God, this is what I want and when I want it. Please hurry. Amen." #childsprayer #patience Click To Tweet

A Child Shall Lead Them

Oh, it is so humbling to be preached to by a toddler. Since that fun-filled evening, I have reflected many times on Grantlee’s innocent, heartfelt, powerful prayer. “I want it now. Amen.” I laugh, but then I think, really think.
Hebrews 10:19-22 assures us that we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. Lamentations 3:25-26 reminds us that we must wait, and the Lord will deliver an answer. 

Faith and Patience Prayer

Now, when I remember that little prayer, I bow my head and say, “Lord, You know what I want and when I want it. But You also know that what I need most is what You want in Your time and Your way. Keep me asking, but waiting on You with faithful patience. Amen.”

-Glenae Atchison

Other thoughts on Prayer

joyful worhip

Worship with Kids Steps Toward a Joyful Sunday

Let’s Get Ready for Easter

With Easter coming up, I thought I might share a few tips on how I made it through Sundays with children. Regardless of how often you make it to church, Sunday worship with kids can be a challenge. Sometimes it can make you wonder why you bother going to church at all. Check out why regular worship is important here.

The day is completely different from any other day of the week and likely the night before was different as well. I remember Sundays when we arrived at church a bit frazzled just from getting ready for church.

Keep Reading even if you have no children, some of these steps all of us can take to improve our worship time.

Start Preparing Early in the Week

  • Check with the church office to see if anything is going to be different this week.
  • Will there be Children’s Church or Nursery Attendants available for your child?
  • Do the children remain in the service for a portion of the service?
  • What are the service times? Some churches change the time on special days.

Saturday Preparations for Worship with Kids

  • Plan a simple breakfast that is easy to serve and clean up. For us, muffins and milk or orange juice usually did the trick.
  • If you have babies or toddlers, clean out and re-stock the diaper bag.
  • Decide what everyone is wearing. Our daughter, by 4 years of age, was pretty obstinate about what she would wear. But we found that if we planned this with her the night before, there wasn’t a fight on Sunday morning.
  • Is everything clean and pressed; down to the shoes. Avoid having to find socks and shoes (or shoelaces) and hairbows at the last minute. When everything is laid out and ready to put on, it takes much less time and aggravation to get everyone dressed and in the car.
  • Lay out everything you need to take with you (Bibles, lesson books, etc) Have them ready to grab as you walk out the door.
  • Get your bath and hair washed. For as many as possible, do this Saturday evening. Especially with large families and/or few bathrooms.
  • Keep Saturday evening sacred. In the Jewish faith, the Sabbath begins at sundown, the day before. I see a lot of good in this because it keeps us from staying out late and being too tired for worship in the morning. So we tried to stick to the rule that everyone gets home by dark. It’s not always possible, but this definitely helps the whole mindset of preparing for worship the next morning.

Sunday Morning Schedule

  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. This keeps you on time even if something goes awry. Children do much better if they are not being rushed. This also give you a few minutes to visit with friends or just get your mind focused on worship.
  • Arise early and enjoy a cup of coffee before you start getting the kids going. Typically, worship starts later than the start of school or work days. Why not rise at the same time to make the morning more enjoyable?
  • Turn on some upbeat worship music. In one home we lived in, we had an intercom. I piped the music through the house. This was everyone’s wake up call or at least notification that I would be coming around to get them out of bed.
  • Breakfast for the children. If you cook something, such as bacon, this could be another way to get them rolling out of bed. I know it works for teenagers. 🙂
  • Get dressed. I never figured out which was better.. dress the kids first or myself. I’ve had that fail either way. LOL! Maybe get dressed and put on an apron! 🙂
  • Assign others to help with the littles. You’ve laid out the clothes so this shouldn’t be difficult.
  • Give a 10-minute “Time to get in the car” call. Start looking over everyone to be sure they are fully dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, etc.
  • Again, leave 15-20 minutes earlier than needed.
Worship with kids
image credt free on Pixabay.com Modified by Mandy

Church Arrival & Worship with Children

  • Use the restroom. Non-negotiable rule. This keeps them from having to get up during the service to use the restroom. This is a no-no in our family. If you must take them out because they are disruptive, do so and get them calmed down. Then return to the service. If you don’t they will learn that you will take them out if they get disruptive. Children CAN learn to be quiet and respectful in church.
  • If you are a regular, watch for newcomers and greet them.
  • Find a seat. I suggest in the front half of the sanctuary. There are fewer distractions. Sit as a family. Another non-negotiable.
  • Prepare your heart for worship. Pray silently. Read some scriptures. The bulletin may have the pastors’ text. Go ahead and read it over to begin thinking about it. If the bulletin has the scheduled songs, meditate on the words of these songs.
  • Instruct your children during worship. They should learn to sing/sit/stand/pray along with the congregation. No toys or coloring during this part of the service.
  • Smaller children can have non-distractive toys or a book/coloring book. Save that container of Cheerios for the last few moments of the service when they are getting restless and the pastor is making his final point or call for decision.
  • Encourage your school-age children to take notes. You could even set up rewards for doing so. As a children’s minister, I created a small booklet for the children to take notes on days we stayed in the service. Such as this one. I gave them a small prize after church if they showed me their work.

After Worship Activities

  • Don’t rush out. Greet those around you, especially newcomers. Go straight to the ones you don’t know. They will leave quickly, especially if no one speaks to them. Your friends will be around and you know how to contact them anyway. If you need to speak with them, give them a quick, “Don’t leave before I talk with you.” greeting and then head to the visitors. If you are a visitor. Wait around a bit. Give people a chance to find you. Or just go ahead and speak to someone near you.
  • Clean up around you. Pick up bulletins, papers and anything you brought with you. Most churches have volunteers that do the cleaning. No one gets paid to do this, so help out and clean up your own mess.

Hope Your Sunday Worship is Joyful

Mandy Farmer
how to have an effective Bible study

How to Have an Effective Bible Study

There are many different methods to study the Bible. There are also several acronym methods that are similar to each other but all have the same end result: an effective Bible study. Let me help you walk through one method of study so you can dig in deep in the Word for yourself.

If you’re not sure about Bible study, whether it is something you should be doing, you can read 8 Benefits of Regular Bible Study. This should help you understand the importance of Bible study for your spiritual growth.

So, if you’ve been wondering how to study the Bible for yourself, then you’ve come to the right place!

Various Bible Study Methods

Let’s take a quick peek at some of the Bible study methods that are out there. You may recognize some of these, if not in title, then in the description:

  1. The Survey Method is like a panoramic broad view of the Book that you’re studying. You learn about the author or main character, the geography, the era, the theme and important topics.
  2. The Topical Method is like many of the Bible study books you see in Christian bookstores. It focuses on a specific topic and explores the whole Bible on that topic.
  3. The Biographical Method is a biography of a Biblical character, like David, for instance, and studies all about him, what kind of man he was and what he did that made him so well-known.
  4. The Word Study Method is a study of words or terms that may be unfamiliar to readers, like, redemption, propitiation, sin, the blood of the Lamb, etc. Tools used for this type of study would be a concordance and a Bible dictionary to help you dig deep.
  5. The Devotional Method is more of a devotional time than a technical study. You read a portion of text, the devotion based on that text as well as an end with a simple prayer. This is probably a method that you have heard of or maybe even used before.
  6. The Expositional Method is studying the Bible verse-by-verse. This is more familiarly known as the Inductive Bible Study Method. It uses the three elements of Observation, Interpretation, and Application.

Source: originally published on Women’s Tabletop Friendship as 6 Bible Study Methods to Enhance Your Bible Understanding.

Of these six methods, I most often use the Topical, Word, and Expositional Methods. I would love to work on a Survey study sometime, maybe of the Minor Prophets since they would be suited to a panoramic survey.

How Deep Do You Want to Study?

That’s a great question, how deep do you want to study? How effective do you want your Bible study to be?

A couple of questions to consider are, do you want to let someone teach you the Word or do you want to learn for yourself?

If you want to hear someone else lead a study, like in a women’s study group, for example, you would read the assigned work and then listen to the study leader. You would respond to the questions and possibly turn the pages of your Bible to find the answers. You may even write down notes as you go along.

Will you learn from this method? Sure you will but if you’re like me, you may quickly forget what you learned from it.

Now, if you want to go deeper in your Bible study, and if you want your study to be effective, you will need to do the research.

Effective Bible study means you dig into the truth for yourself.

When you use the Bible tools to find the answers, you will remember what you’ve learned so much more than listening to someone else teach it.

You see, when others present Bible studies to you, they’ve done the research and dug into the Word to find what they want to teach. They reap the rewards of an in-depth study but you, the listener, not so much.

That’s the kind of study you want to do, dig deep for yourself, right?

So, how do you do this?

Tools for Effective Bible Study

To study deep, you’ll need some tools. Let’s look at what they are first, then we’ll go over the “how to study” part.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. This is a great reference book to have on your bookshelf. You can use other concordances as well but as far as I know, this one is the most complete one on the market.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. This reference is invaluable. It gives a great explanation of the original meanings, whether it’s Hebrew or Greek.

The New Bible Commentary, Revised. This is a one-volume book and is very handy to have. However, you may have other commentaries that are just as helpful.

These are my top ‘go-to’ reference books on my bookshelf. Some others that I use are:

  • Nave’s Topical Bible
  • Zondervan Handbook to the Bible
  • The New Strong’s Dictionary of Bible Words
  • Commentary on the Whole Bible by Jamieson, Frusset, Brown

Do you know where I bought many of my hard copy reference books? Thrift shops, Bible store second-hand section, second-hand stores, etc. People are no longer keeping their hard copies of these amazing reference books. Possibly they received them in inheritances and just don’t feel they need them. But, I do, so I’m blessed with them!

If it isn’t feasible to have hard copy books, then have you considered the Blue Letter Bible or Bible Gateway? They have excellent resources, commentaries, tools, everything you would need to do a comprehensive study. I sometimes use them but I do prefer my hard copy books. There’s just something about turning the pages of a physical book, you know?

Additional Tools

Some other tools you will need before you get started with your next great study are:

  • A good pen
  • Quality colour pencils and a pencil sharpener
  • A Bible you can mark in that has a wide margin for notes
  • Notebook
  • A variety of colour Micron pens with archival ink that won’t bleed through thin pages
  • A large 5×7 inch index card for developing a keyword list
  • Kari King Dent’s list of keywords

If you don’t want to mark up your favourite Bible, you can always check the thrift stores or second-hand stores for a Bible. Or, you can print out the book you want to study from an online source like Bible Gateway. I usually paste the content into Word, then enlarge the font size to something I can read.

So, let’s talk about the “how to” part of an effective Bible study now.

Getting Started with an In-depth Study

Remember I mentioned the method that I use the most, the Expositional Method, otherwise known as the Inductive Method? Let’s look at how that works. Once you have this figured out, you’ll be able to apply these principles to either the Topical Study or Word Study Methods.

This post, 3 Elements of Inductive Study Method, goes into more detail of the inductive approach.

Step 1 – begin with prayer

First, the thing you should always do before starting any kind of Bible activity is, begin with prayer. I know you knew that!

Step 2 – decide on a book study

Decide which Bible book you are going to study. If this is your first time using this method, you may want to start with a short book like Jude or Philemon. They each contain 25 verses so it would be a great introduction to the Inductive Study Method.

Step 3 – identify keywords

You’ll need your additional tools, listed above.

Read through the text a few times and note if there are any keywords that stand out to you. Write them on the index card.

Label this index card with the Book Name Keywords, ie, Philemon Keywords. You can use this card as a bookmark later on.

Research Reason

As you are reading the text, you may see words that you are not familiar with, especially if you’re using the King James Version. Though it doesn’t matter what version you use, there are words that need further discovery.

For example, you may see “sound doctrine” or “healing” or “salvation” and wonder about the original meaning. This is the time to crack open those research books to see what the writer originally meant.

So often in the various translations, the original meaning is lost. When we read it, we apply today’s English to the meaning which throws us off in our theology.

So, it doesn’t matter what the word is, if you take the few minutes to look up the original meaning, you will gain a whole lot.

Step 4 – identify the author and recipients

The best thing to do is always start with the WHO. Who wrote the book and WHO is/are the recipient(s).

Refer to the Kari King Dent reference for marking keywords to decide on how you will mark the Author and the Recipients. Once you decide that, you can identify it on your index card, similar to what you see on Kari’s keyword list.

Now, as you read the text, mark the Author and the Recipient. Make sure these markings are distinctive from each other.

In addition to marking the Author and Recipients, you need to also mark the pronouns and any synonyms.

Once you have these two people clearly marked, it will be easy to see who is who as you observe the rest of the text.

Step 5 – observe what is in the text

Read through the text again and ask yourself the 5W and H questions. They are, who, what, where, when, why and how.

So, as you read the text, ask yourself some questions like

  • who is writing this book?
  • who is he writing to?
  • why is he writing to this person or group of people?
  • what is happening or going to happen?
  • when is it happening?
  • where is this taking place or will take place?
  • how will this event take place?

As you are finding the answers, make note of anything noteworthy in your notebook. Include the address, which is the chapter and verse. This helps when you are looking at your notebook, later on, to know where that answer came from.

Step 6 – mark the keywords

Now the fun begins. You already identified the keywords in Step 3, so now you will read through the text again to mark them. But, let’s do this in order.

Before you start marking, you need to decide on a symbol. Use the Kari King Dent reference file to help you come up with creative ways to mark keywords. You can use her symbols or you can make up your own.

Why do we do this? Well, the main reason is to have continuity between all the books of the Bible that you will study. When you decide on a symbol for “God,” you will always mark it the same from book to book. So, when you are flipping through the pages of your Bible and you see symbols, the “God” symbol will always be the same and therefore, recognizable.

Now, focus on the first keyword that you identified. Read through the text again to look for that keyword. When you find it, mark it with the symbol you decided on. Make sure it is on your index card first so you don’t forget what it is.

Read the text again for each keyword, marking it as you go along.

For each keyword you identified, you will read the text and mark it. This means that if you identified 10 keywords, then you will read the text at least 10 times to mark each of those words.

Interpret to Discover the Meaning

Once you have finished marking all the keywords, you are ready to interpret the meaning of the text. Make sure though that you are using Scripture to help you interpret and not what you think it means.

Thinking outside of Scripture can get you in trouble with your theology. That’s how false teaching starts. So, as you are interpreting the text, ensure that you are keeping everything in context.

What’s context? It is interpreting the text in light of the surrounding verses, and the entire Word of God.

You can ask yourself some questions to help you with your interpretation.

  • is my interpretation consistent with the theme or purpose of the book?
  • is it consistent with other Scripture that contains the same subject or theme?
  • am I considering historic and cultural context?

Keep in mind that Scripture will never contradict Scripture. So, if you have a different interpretation than other parts of the the Bible, you will need to rethink your interpretation.

Tools for Effective Bible Study by Cindy Barnes #biblestudy Click To Tweet

Online Bible Study Group

Well, that’s one way to have an effective Bible study that has you digging in deep. This is something that you can do on your own but you don’t have to.

If you would like to join other women who are starting out with this method, feel free to join us over on Facebook in my private group called Deeper in God Bible Studies. We have both Writing Challenges and Bible Studies.

The Writing Challenges are either 5 or 10-Day Challenges where we write out whole Books of the Bible. For instance, we’ve written out Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians. We’ll be writing out Philippians from April 1st to 5th.

When the Challenge is finished, we flow right into the Bible Study using my own Study Guides that are available to group members only. There is no charge for either the Writing Challenges or Bible Studies.

That’s a Wrap

Well, that’s a wrap for today. I hope this gets you started on your own in-depth Bible study.

You now know about the various study methods and you know how to study using the Inductive study approach.

Don’t forget that you can join my study group. We’d love to have you! The link is up above.

If you have any questions about how to have an effective Bible study, please leave them in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Who First Read the Bible to You?

Who first made the stories in the Bible come alive? This summer, we are hoping to offer a Link-up Series, Summer of Legacy. We are looking for anyone who would link up a post about someone who helped build your legacy. This could be parents, grandparents, teachers, even a public figure, current or historical or biblical.

Here’s how it will work. You write a post on your own blog. Then on the set week, you come to our website and add a link to your blog. We hope to do one a month, May through August. Each month will have a particular theme. Presently, we are considering the following topics.

  • Legacy Builders: Women
  • Legacy Builders: Men
  • Building A Legacy in a Blended Family
  • Building a Legacy Through Adoption

Sign up now to be notified when the LinkUps become available. This registration will NOT subscribe you to our weekly newsletter, just Link ups



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The Rest of God

Book Review: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

the rest of god

A book everyone should read … probably more than once to be reminded of the importance of rest.

Buchanan took a sabbatical to research the subject of the rest of God. And found so much that pricked his own heart about taking too little rest. He noticed that “the harder he worked, the less he accomplished.” and he realized that “the Sabbath was a form of mending”.  There is some renewal that only comes from resting in the Lord and being still.

Continue reading

Sharing the Gospel

Sharing the Gospel: You CAN Do It

This week we have been focusing on the Great Commission. Glenae spoke of how our very lives should be a witness for Christ. And that is a very good place to start. But I wonder,

“When was the last time you led someone to Christ or even shared the gospel with a non-believer?”

When Was the Last Time You Led Someone to Christ? Click To Tweet
95%of all Christians have NEVER led someone to Christ.

This weekend, we watched some preaching from Greg Laurie. Wow! This guy is fast becoming one of my favorites. He’s such a wonderful Bible Teacher. And always leads people straight to the cross.

Not So Good News

Pastor Greg gave some very disturbing statistics about who is sharing the Gospel. He reported that only 95% of Christians have NEVER led someone to Christ and only 2% have ever shared the Gospel with a non-believer. This is very sad news since we have that only Good News that will fill the emptiness in a non-believers life.

We can give a lot of excuses for not sharing the Gospel. But will God accept your excuse when you stand before Him one day? Allow me to offer three ways to get around your excuses.

The sad truth. 95% of all Christians have never led someone to Christ. Click To Tweet

It’s Too Scary. I Don’t Talk so Good.

I understand. It’s a scary thought to share the gospel. But again, let me quote Pastor Greg. He said we recommend things all the time.

  • The best stores
  • My favorite restaurant
  • You’ve GOT to see this movie
  • Read this book!
  • The best vacation spot
Evangelism is a scary word but it is not that hard. Click To Tweet

So why can’t we recommend the best option for abundant life?

We have the answer folks. We need to be sharing it. 2 Kings 7:3-10 tells of four lepers that were starving and decided to go out to the enemy camp and see if they could find some food. To their amazement, the camp was deserted and food and clothing all left behind. They began to feast on the abundant foods but then realized they needed to share the wealth. They ran back to the city gates and told the people that the enemy camp was empty and the spoils were there for the taking.

Why are we keeping it all to ourselves when we have the best thing since sliced bread. Even better. 🙂

Share the Good News? I Don’t Know Enough

Me Disciple? I Don't Know Enough. Click To Tweet

Simple solution. Learn more. There are many tracts and sources available to teach us how to evangelize. There’s the Roman Road and the A, B, C’s which I have right here on this blog. I have used the Wordless Book in my children’s ministry for a long time. This one uses colors to share the gospel. There is now a colorful soccer ball you can use to share the plan of salvation. One summer I taught our church children to tell the Gospel using the colors. They were all given their own soccer ball at the end of the summer. For all these avenues there are cards with all the pertinent information so that it can easily be shared, such as this one

If you would like more ideas, I recommend heading on over to The Navigators website. They have several ways to lead people to Christ, even one where you only need ONE BIBLE VERSE. You can learn one verse, can’t you? You probably already know it. (Romans 6:23)

Bridges International is another helpful resource for learning how to share the Gospel using the Four Spiritual Laws. This is the process that beings with “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I Don’t Know What to Say

Again I say, learn. Start taking your quiet time seriously. Don’t just stop for 5 minutes and read a bible verse. Dig deep into God’s word and see what you learn. He will show you great and mighty things.

Sharing the Gospel? I don't know what to say. Click To Tweet

None of us know everything. If you get stuck when you are sharing the gospel, take them to someone smarter than you. Our son is like a complete Bible commentary. When I have a question, I got to him and he hasn’t failed me yet to give a good answer. Do you have someone in your life that has Bible knowledge? (your pastor, for one) Tap into them, give them a call or take your friend to meet him.

You Can DO it
Photo credit: free image at Canva.com Modified by Mandy

God promises in His word that He will give you the words to say. Just trust Him to do it. If you don’t have the words, He will bring someone along to help you out. He did it for Moses, he’ll do it for you.

I’ll tell you this. Leading someone to Christ is the most amazing thing that will ever happen to you. You will be blessed beyond blessed.

I would love to hear about a time you led someone to Christ. Share your story in the comments to encourage others.

Mandy Farmer
Gaither Vocal Band – Can’t Stop talking About it
make disciples

The Great Commission ~ Who Me? Make Disciples?

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20


As I read The Great Commission passage again, two things that had never caught my attention popped out at me.

First, “they went to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.”

Second, “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.” 

First, they obeyed. But second, some doubted.

When we consider The Great Commission, we are sometimes intimidated by the “meat” of the passage. By the “meat,” I mean the command to “go and make disciples of ALL nations…”   When reading that and truly considering what Jesus asks of us, our initial thought may be,

“What?! Go EVERYWHERE and make disciples?! I am NOT a preacher!”

Who Me? Make Disciples? That's what the Great Commission says.

Well, that is true. And, that is also false. Most of us are not preachers by profession, but our lives either preach the word, or they don’t. 
You see, Satan will plant doubt (as he did for a few of those disciples) in us to keep us from living for Christ, and to keep us from making disciples for Christ. Even in our obedience, the devil will try his best to create doubt and reluctance. We must not let that happen!


At the end of this passage, we find all the strength we need to fulfill that Great Commission. “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Jesus is right there with us, wherever we go, whoever we meet, whatever He gives us to say or do. We must claim that, and cling to Him if we are to fulfill this Great Commission that He gave to those disciples long ago, and to us today.

Do not delay.

Go. Make disciples.

Remember, Jesus is with us every step of the way!

Glenae

P.S. Discipling Teenage Girls

Mandy’s sister, Kandy Chimento created a discipleship program for her youth when her husband was a youth pastor. She wrote about it here.

Titus 2 Women

The Bible admonishes us to come alongside the women younger than us. Most of them are looking for someone to lead them. Why not you? Also, check out Mandy’s review of Nancy DeMoss Wolgmuth’s book, Adorned, Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together


or Sue McDonald’s book Table Mentoring, a Simple Guide for Coming Alongside. Mandy’s review is here.


An Urgent Call to Pray

Are You Praying for Our Nation?

It’s not time to pray, but rather a time to act.

a recent post on Facebook

Now there IS a time to act, but I believe that we ought to start with prayer. We cannot face evil without first going to prayer and leaving it in God’s hands. When we go to action without God’s direction, we get what we have now. A mess. Just as the Israelites did many times.

We cannot face evil without first going to prayer and leaving it in God’s hands. Click To Tweet

Elizabeth Boles shared earlier this week the Reason to Pray and so many benefits to prayer. One of them is to pray for our leaders and restore our nation to God so that we can live peaceful lives. 1 Timothy 2:2

As Christians, have we truly fallen before God to pray for our nation? Oh, we say we pray and we might even throw in a sentence prayer or two now and again. But let me ask you, “When was the last time you really spent time in prayer over our nation?”

When was the last time you really spent time in prayer over our nation? Click To Tweet

Are we desperate enough to give up a meal, get down on our knees and cry out to God over the sins of our land? Are we willing to humble ourselves and ask forgiveness? God is calling to prayer. He wants to see that we are desperate for Him to do something. Let’s start with prayer.

call to prayer 1 Chronicles 7:14
Free image modified by Mandy on Canva.com

God promises that if we, HIS PEOPLE, will humble ourselves and repent of not only our own sins but also the sins of the nation that He will restore our land. Let’s claim it and do it. Let’s Start with Prayer.

Start with Franklin Graham’s prayer in 2016

Let’s Pray with Dr. Franklin Graham. This prayer was during the conventions in 2016, but his prayer is still valid today. Pray with him now.

A Prayer Resource to Continue in Prayer

A few years back, Anne Graham Lotz set up several Initiatives to Pray. It’s all written out to guide you through serious prayer for ourselves, our churches and our nation. You can find these prayer guides on her website. There are two that I especially like concerning our nation.

  • An Urgent Call to Prayer and
  • A Distress Call to Prayer.
  • Go to Anne’s website and download these prayers. Use them in your daily quiet times. it might change your own heart.

Let’s Send out a Distress Call to God

God would see that we are serious. Commit to praying for our elected officials, confess the sins of our country, and plead for God to help us turn things aroud.

Will you join me?

Mandy Farmer

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Prayer What Why

Why Should I Pray?

The importance of Prayer The Who What When Where Why

Spending time in prayer is a very important aspect of our day. It gives us a chance to spend time alone with God, to have a conversation with him, to make our requests made known to him, and listen to him.

We need to be obedient in praying.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.


Deuteronomy 8:6

First of all, Who Should Pray?

Everyone should pray at all times of the day, every day. Everyone should let their requests be made known to God -Philippians 4:16. God will supply every need of yours (Talking to everyone) according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus -Philippians 4:19. Everyone should pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

And For Whom Should We Pray?

We should pray for ourselves, our family, friends, church family, co-workers, neighbors, homeless, anyone struggling, and your enemies.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,


Matthew 5:44

God also wants us to pray for our Nation -Psalm 22:28. No matter what nation you are in. God wants everyone’s hearts, not just some. He wants us to pray for the world –John 17:9.

When we listen, God will ask us to pray for certain people as well.

What Should We Pray?

Two Dozen Reason to Pray

There are many different ways in which we can pray. In my post “Why We Pray and the 12 Forms of Prayer” I go through 12 ways to pray. Here I am going to add to my list because there are so many ways that we can pray.

1. Adoration and Blessing: Adoration is a deep love and respect, a form of worship. (Psalm 84:11, Luke 4:7). A blessing is God’s favor and protection. (Nehemiah 1:11)

2. Communion: Communion is sharing or exchanging your intimate thoughts and feelings with God, all day, all the time. (Psalm 72:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:17)

3. Petition: Petition is your formal request to God with respect for a particular cause. (1 Timothy 2:1)

4. Supplication: Supplication is when you ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly. Lifting up your needs. (Psalm 119:170, Matthew 6:9-13)

5. Intercession: Intervening and praying on behalf of another person. (1 Timothy 2:1, John 17, 2 Corinthians 1:11)

6. Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving is an expression of gratitude to God (Philippians 4:16, 1 Timothy 2:1, and a lot of the Psalms have thanksgiving prayers)

7. Praise: Praise is when you express admiration, respect, and gratitude toward God. (Acts 13:2-3)

8. Spiritual Warfare: Spiritual Warfare is when our Spirit engages in or is involved in war or conflict with our own mind or when dealing with Satan and demons. (Ephesians 6:11-12, Romans 7:23, Hebrews 2:15)

9. Agreement: Agreement is when you are in harmony or accordance in opinion or feeling with the person you are praying with or in agreement with God. (Acts 1:14, Acts 2:42)

10. Faith: Faith is complete trust, confidence, or a strong belief in God. (James 5:15)

11. Consecration: Consecration is making or declaring something. (Matthew 26:39, 1 Timothy 4:5)

12. Watch and Pray: Watch and Pray is when you are constantly aware and praying. (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 21:36)

13. Immanuel prayer: There is a bit to learn with this prayer. You can learn how to do this prayer at www.immanuelapproach.com. The Immanuel approach is the same thing but a different name for Emmanuel prayer or Immanuel process. Immanuel means God with us. This prayer deepens intimacy with God, resolve past pain, and discern God’s guidance. Related scripture can be found in Matthew 28:19-20, John 14:21, John 15:4-5, and Revelation 3:20.

14. Repentance: Repentance prayer is repenting for sin asking for forgiveness. (Matthew 3:8, Luke 5:32, Acts 13:24, Mark 1:4)

15. Binding and loosing (taking authority): Binding and loosing prayer is when you bind or put chains on something or a situation, such as bind the devil against his attacks, bind under law or authority, bind to a spouse, etc. or when you loosen something such as loosening chains, break free from someone or something, break free from bondages, or to declare something that is unlawful. (Matthew 16:19)

16. Fasting: Fasting prayer is when you fast and pray, saying a fasting prayer is asking God to help you with your fast and to focus on God, rely on him for wisdom and guidance. (Esther 4:3, Matthew 6:16)

17. Declaration: Declaration prayer is like the consecration prayer- when you declare change, you declare breakthrough, or declare something in your prayer. (1 Chronicles 16:24, Psalm 22:22, Psalm 51:15)

18. Proclamation: Proclamation prayer is proclaiming your prayer. Praying out loud to God. Sometimes Satan wants us to be silent so we should proclaim and say them out loud. (1 Peter 3:19)

19. Prophetic: Prophetic prayer is having a conversation with God, not only talking to him but listening to what he has to say and acting or responding accordingly. You can pray with revelation, given to you by the Holy Spirit. You can receive prophetic insight before you pray but use that when you pray or the Holy Spirit can guide you while you pray. Prophetic prayer can be intentional or spontaneous. Know when and how to apply this prayer. Some situations require God’s immediate intervention. (1 Corinthians 14:32, Romans 16:26, 2 Peter 1:19)

20. Praying Bible verses: Praying Bible verses is when you turn to a scripture in the bible and pray it over your life or someone else that needs prayer. For example, I pray strength among other things over my children, one scripture is “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13. So, I pray it like this “Heavenly Father, My children can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens them. Amen”. You can do this with many verses in the Bible for strength, faith, courage, peace, provision, direction, protection, joy, compassion, justice, wisdom, guidance, hope, love, fruits of the spirit, and the full armor of God. Praying Bible verses is praying God’s Word back to him.

21. Promises: Promises prayer is praying God’s promises to you back to God. When you look for scripture that has promises that relate to your situation, pray that scripture and trust God to bring them to pass. (2 Corinthians 1:20, Psalm 106:12, Joshua 21:45)

22. Travailing: Travailing prayer is a very intense form of prayer. It involves expressing a great deal of time and emotional energy. The manifestation of the grief of the heart of God or God desiring to manifest a measure of life or growth. (Mark 6:7-13, Mark 3:13-15, 1 Kings 8: 44-45)

23. Listening: Listening prayer is when you spend time with God and just listen for what he wants of us and being obedient. (Luke 10:39)

24. Prostration: Prostration is when you put your body in a submissive position in the presence of God, whether it is kneeling or bowing, but with your hands on the ground. Submitting fully to God in prayer. (Numbers 22:31)

Forms of Prayer
photo credit Elizabeth Boles
Forms of #Prayer Click To Tweet

So, When Should We Pray?

We should pray always: Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

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


-Ephesians 6:18

When we pray we don’t have time to sin, to turn away from God or our faith. We will notice more prayers answered when we pray without ceasing and with faith.

Making time for God should be a priority in our lives. Pray when you first wake up thanking him for letting you see and live another day. Pray during the day about your day, safety, guidance, family, among other things. Pray at night before bed, before you fall asleep.

OK, Where Should We Pray?

We should pray anywhere and everywhere but also God wants us to pray in our prayer closet: Go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen Matthew 6:6

You can pray in your bed, in the shower, on the toilet, while making breakfast, lunch or dinner, in your chair or on your couch, in your car, at church, at work, at school, or anywhere else. You can make time for God at any time of day. You can pray to God in your head all day long, having one constantly long conversation with him.

Why Should We Pray?

REasons to PRay
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Modified by Mandy

1. We are God’s Children and should have a close relationship with our Heavenly Father. He wants us to have a relationship with him. He wants us to dig deeper.

2. Ask for forgiveness of our sins and receive God’s Forgiveness. God wants us to repent for our sins so that he can forgive us. He also wants us to forgive others.

3. We give thanks to God for all he’s done in our lives and for our many blessings. We have so much to be thankful for and we are beyond blessed by our Heavenly Father. Why not take a moment out of your day to let God know how thankful you are.

4. It helps us call on God, depend on Him and trust in Him. Having a conversation with God is one of the best parts of the day. It’s one way we really get to know him and how he works.

5. It gets our hearts ready for what God wants us to do in our lives and what he wants to for us.

6. Gives us an opportunity to listen to God. We should take time out of our day to listen to God and be obedient.

7. We can pray for God’s guidance. Where is God leading us, what does God want us to do? He answers all of those questions when we pray and ask for his guidance.

8. We can make requests, pray for our needs and desires spiritually, physically and mentally.

9. We ask for God’s blessings. God wants to bless us and pour his favor on us.

10. We get to Praise God. No better time of day than Praising God for who he is. Praising and Worshiping God is such an intimate time with God, you really don’t want to miss this time with him.

11. Show God in one way that we love him. He wants to be shown our love. He shows us his love every day in many ways, we can show him that we love him back.

11 Reasons we should pray Click To Tweet

Finally, How Should We pray?

Finally, there are many was that we can pray. I listed many ways that we can pray in “what should we pray”.  Those are all ways in how we should pray. God listens to all prayers, he sees and knows your heart. There is no specific way in how you should say every prayer. As long as you are praying to God our Heavenly Father there is no wrong way to pray. God hears our hearts, even our complaints, struggles, and when we mourn.

One way we can pray to follow the pattern of The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:9-13

The Lord's Prayer

Pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.


Job 22:27

In closing:

No matter who prays, what we pray, when we pray, where we pray, why we pray, or how we pray, we should pray to God our Father.

God wants us to pray at all times, with all requests, everywhere we go, with all kinds of prayer because he wants to have conversations with us. He hears us and he wants us to hear him and obey him.

Spending time with God in prayer is the best kind of relationship we can have with God. He wants our heart and we can give him our heart by praying.

Spending time in prayer is the best kind of relationship we can have with God. #whypray @purposeandlove1 Click To Tweet

I like to keep a prayer journal, I write in it every morning. This gives me a chance to go back and see what prayers have been answered and it keeps me focused in what I am praying for.

Do you keep a prayer journal? Why or why not? If not, have you thought about starting one? Let me know in the comments.

Please share this on your social media with your friends.

With Love,

Elizabeth Boles
Spend Time in Prayer
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Benefits of regular Babile Study

8 Benefits of Regular Bible Study

In this post, I would like to offer you 8 benefits of Bible study along with 5 reasons why you should develop the habit. But first, let me ask you a question: If you looked at all the books you own, which one would be your favourite? Do you have one that you would definitely pack if you were moving to another home?

Continue reading
keeping the faith

4 Building Blocks to Growing Our Faith


I Praise God for His Salvation

I thank Him daily for loving us (me) so much that He sent His Son to earth to live a perfect life, to suffer the cruel death on a crimnal’s cross, but then rise again just to save us all from our sins. Praise His beautiful name! [Read my testimony of faith on my memoirs blog.] But I want to know Him more. I want to grow closer and closer to Him.

Salvation Goes Beyond the Altar

But it doesn’t stop there. Our salvation goes beyond the day that you kneel at an altar and confess your sins to God.

Yes, I believe that we are saved by grace, it is not of works lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8). Yes, I believe that we are made into a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here! 2 Corinthians Praise the Lord!

We are saved by grace, not of works @ggmandy Click To Tweet

We are Called to Grow in Grace

But we are also called to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18). If we gave birth to a baby and that child remained a baby forever, we would be saddened. It would break our hearts if the child never learned to walk and talk and live a productive life. Yes, we would still love him but we would desire so much more for him.

The very next verse in Ephesians 2 says,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Salvation Leads Us into Service

So our salvation should lead us into service for God .. living a life that glorifies Him and leads others to Him. ie. growing in grace

2 Peter 3 says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “

And the Apostle Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:1-6 (AMP),
So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]. There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.


Live a Life Worthy of the Call

So, I too, encourage you to live the life worthy of His calling. We need to work to live holy lives to the glory and honor of God and also, to be a light in the darkness so that others can find the way to Christ.

Photo credit: free at Canva.com; Modified by Mandy

In order to “leave a legacy” for our children and those around us we must first grow ourselves. And how to do we grow? First, we study the Bible. We fill our minds and saturate our lives with His Word.


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Growth through Bible Reading

Bible reading and study teach us how to live for Him. It corrects us when we are wrong, encourages our faith and keeps us on the narrow way. And because we need this encouragement in a moments notice, we should memorize the scriptures. King David said, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”-Psalm 119:15. If David needed it, so do we.

If King David Needed it, so do we! Click To Tweet

Growth Thru Prayer

Secondly, we must communicate with God. Yes, pray to God and practice His presence every day. Communicating with God includes worship and adoration, repenting of sin, interceding for others, and yes even petition for our needs.

Growth Through Fellowship

Thirdly, we need fellowship with other believers. We are not an island. Without faith and encouragement of others, we would fall too easily. Solomon declared that “two are better than one because if one falls the other can help him up. Three are even better! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) God promises that whenever we gather together even in a group of 2 or 3, that He will be in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20) Realistically, we need each other so don’t neglect the meeting together of believers.

Growth Through Sharing

And finally, we need to share the Gospel. We are not blessed with salvation so that we can keep it to ourselves. We are commanded to “go and make disciples of all nations”. Even without this command from Jesus, sharing our faith helps us (Matthew 28:19) stronger in it. It confirms in us our belief in Christ.

Let’s do this, friends!

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more thoughts on these four growth factors. I have searched out some fellow bloggers who can so eloquently speak on these things and I have asked them to write encouragement to us to help us grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Join me here on the blog every Monday to be instructed and encouraged. Have you subscribed to receive our updates? You can do so just below in the blue bar. Just add your email address and click submit!

Growing in Grace;

Mandy Farmer

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