Why Still Sick

If God is my Healer, Why Am I Still Sick?

“For I am the Lord who heals you.”

– Exodus 15:26 NLT

Why Am I Still Sick?

Have you ever wondered why so many people struggle with illness and weakness? You would think that since God is a Healer that He would reach down and heal his people, especially those that are believers.

You would think that since God is Our Healer, He would heal me. #godismyhealer #chronicpain Click To Tweet

It’s a question that has been asked down through the ages, I would guess.  And many have searched to find the answer. I have learned there are many reasons why God may leave us in our sickness, disability, or weakness.

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SHARING: Even in Pain there is Confident Hope

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Ephesians 1:16-18

Confident Hope?

When chronic pain hits, we might wonder, “How can I have confident hope?” But I soon learned that this hope comes from drawing ever closer to the One Who gives all hope. That is, Jesus!

For me, it was six months of pain before finding any answers. But when I walked through the doors at Mayo Clinic, I felt an amazing hope. Every inch of this place offered hope to me. Then I began to look around at all the others seeking to find answers. Some did not know the confident hope in Christ; however, it was quite obvious that others knew Him well.

Thanks for sharing your confident hope!

I have met several of you who have splashed your confident hope all over me. I’m thanking God at every chance that through my chronic pain, you have become an essential part of my life. I pray for you often that God will continue to bless you with his wisdom and insight through the trials you face; believing it is through these trials that we come to truly KNOW the God of Hope. I pray that your heart is filled with His Light so that you continue in His confident hope and keep spilling it over on the rest of us.

We are His holy people and we are so blessed to be His rich and glorious inheritance. He has invested everything in us to make this possible.

confident hope

Prayer

Oh Lord God, thank you for bringing so many chronically wonderful friends into my life. I ask for wisdom and insight for each of us as we daily try to fight off pain with Your help. As David said, “It was good that I have suffered that I might know you,” the God of all Hope, better. Fill us with Your Light today. I pray that Your investment in us will yield great and wonderful results.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Questions

  1. In what circumstance have you found Confident Hope?

2. Who has graciously splashed their confident hope over you? Have you told them so? Have you prayed for them?

3. Who could you splash your confident hope over?

In His Confident Hope;

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Even though my life changed drastically 10 years ago, God has still brought purpose into my life. I have found a little niche in writing. Something I never had time, nor the confidence, for in the past. Chronic Joy is a wonderful ministry to help those with Chronic Illness thrive. I was given an opportunity to write a prayer prompt for them recently.

*** All along my Journey with Chronic Pain, I have met many who have encouraged me. I am so thankful to them. Seeing that others can make it through tells me I can too! In this journey, I have found a wonderful ministry for those with Chronic Pain called Chronic Joy. Today’s post was written for this ministry. Find more at this link.

start your prayers

Entering Into the Presence of God


My heart is being pricked of late because I seem to forget to start my prayers in adoration towards God. I am afraid that too often I jump right into the “Give me” part which should be the last thing we do.

I learned an acronym years ago that leads us into prayer and reminds us of the four major parts of prayers.

It’s called A.C.T.S.

  • A – Adoration – just plain praise for the Father. It’s what He is looking for. It’s why we were created.
  • C – Confession – We need to come to Him daily confessing our sins, asking forgiveness for where we blunder, mess up, outright sin against Him. We’ll talk more about confession at another time.
  • T – Thanksgiving – Oh, never forget to thank God for all He has done. If the only thing He did for us was to save us from sin and death, we should be thanking Him over and over again.
  • S – Supplication – Finally, in the last position, our requests. I’m afraid that all too often we go straight to this part of prayer.

Start Your Prayers with Adoration

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Consider this: When we pray, first approach God’s throne with humility and in awe of how great our God is; how worthy He is of our praise. We can do this through the singing of hymns or even just meditating on hymns of praise. We can also adore him by quoting scriptures, such as this prayer in 1 Chronicles when Solomon was dedicating the Temple to God.

23 Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    He is to be feared above all gods.
26 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens!
27 Honor and majesty surround him;
    strength and joy fill his dwelling.

28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
    recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
    Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30     Let all the earth tremble before him.
    The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

1 Chronicles 16:23-31 NLT

Here’s A Thought

You know, I’m thinking, Why not just wake up each morning with scriptures like this one. Memorize it so that you can speak it out to Him in praise every morning to get your day started. Then sing the Doxology or another hymn of praise. I would bet that your days will go a lot better if you started this practice.

Need Even More Help Adoring our God?

I have always loved the prayers of Anne Graham Lotz. She knows how to bring us into the presence of God. Some of her prayers series are on You Version and you can actually listen to her prayer. What a great friend to enter His presence with!

Now she has published a book with about a month’s worth of prayers. She uses scripture, as I have suggested above. She offers repentance which we all need to be doing, personally and collectively. I’m trying to get into the habit of using this book to start off my quiet time each morning.

Praising God with you,

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

P.S. Examples of this type of prayer

I have always loved the prayers of Anne Graham Lotz. She is releasing a new book of prayers in October. I am honored to receive a copy of The Light of His Presence: Prayers to Draw You Near to the Heart of God to review for her. While I am only three days into it, these are beautiful prayers. Go pre-order your copy today!

Watch the REPLAY of THE RETURN simulcast this weekend.

Will You Unleash the Power of Prayer and Fasting in Your Life?

Early in my faith, I felt that Christianity was a list of rules I could never follow.  The abundant life Jesus promised in Matthew 9:14-15 always felt out of reach.  So imagine my surprise when I experienced the power of prayer and fasting in my early 20’s and saw real breakthroughs!

What Is the Power Of Prayer and Fasting?

In college, I heard a message entitled, ‘The Power of Prayer and Fasting: God’s Gateway to Spiritual Breakthroughs.’  After teaching, the preacher challenged us to practice a time of fasting.  Wow!  God showed up in a way I didn’t think He still worked in the 21st Century.

He answered a question I had been asking Him for years in prayer and drew near to me in a way I could physically feel.  To this day I can look back at that experience as the catalyst for all the change in me that followed.  

But what is the power of prayer and fasting?  To get to the heart of this we have to answer some preliminary questions.  

What is Fasting in the Bible?

Medically, fasting is about going without food for a predetermined amount of time, however, Spiritual fasting goes deeper than food.  

“Fasting – Spiritual fasting – is a Biblical principle, a Spiritual discipline of setting aside something you seek for earthly satisfaction, to spend more time being satisfied by God.” – A Beginners Guide to Pray and Fast: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level

Biblical fasting can mean giving up food for a meal, but it could also be giving up other things that you seek for satisfaction.  

Why Do We Fast When Praying?

We add fasting to prayer when prayer alone isn’t enough.  When you have been praying without answers or what you are asking feels bigger than you, you fast.  In the Bible, we see fasting and prayer for breakthrough in several areas. 

In fact, I love using the books of Esther, Nehemiah, and Ezra as a fasting and prayer guide because they used this Spiritual discipline in easy to follow ways.  More than that, God moved when they humbled themselves before Him in prayer and fasting.  We need God to move in those ways in our world today and I believe if God’s people would begin to fast and pray we would see miraculous change. 

nehemiah 1:4 Prayer and Fasting

Why Prayer and Fasting are Important To Christians?

The people of God experience miracles through fasting and prayer that they would otherwise miss.  Prayer and fasting are a way to humble ourselves which helps us draw nearer to God. 

It is hard to humble ourselves on our own.  It is harder still to draw near to God in this fast-paced world. Fasting is important to Christians because it accomplishes both.

Why is fasting important to God?

One of the main benefits of fasting and prayer is nearness to God.  God draws near to the humble (James 4:6).  When we are in a posture of humility God speaks to us, answers prayers, reveals sin, convicts us, encourages us and so much more.  

Fasting is a discipline we have lost touch with, but it is important to God because God longs for all of those things to be part of our daily lives as His disciples.  

Related: How to Become a Strong Prayer Warrior and Why

Types of Fasting in the Bible

There are more than 9 types of fasting in the Bible, but the most commonly practiced today are below:

  • The 40-Day Fast
  • A Complete Fast
  • The Partial Fast
  • The Daniel Fast
  • Esther’s Fast
  • The Passover Fast
  • Group Fasting
  • Isolation Fasting
  • None-Food Fasts (from oils, meats, sex, unholy things)

We learn from the fact that there are so many types of spiritual fasting, that the power behind fasting is not about the rules as much as seeking God’s heart in humility.

Fasting and Prayer Scriptures

There are many fasting and prayer scriptures that help us understand the power behind this spiritual discipline.  However, of all that I have studied, there are two Bible verses about the power of fasting that help guide my practice.  

The first verse, spoken by Jesus is why I believe fasting is a must for all believers. 

“Then the disciples of John *came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:14-15 NASB emphasis mine)

The second scripture on prayer and fasting shows us that fasting is to be done in secret.

““Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18 NASB emphasis mine)

The power of prayer and fasting can be seen in many other bible verses.  There are 27 more fasting and prayer scriptures here.

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

““This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work—whether native-born or a foreigner residing among you—” Leviticus 16:29 NIV

““On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord.” Leviticus 23:27 NASB

Yom Kippur is observed in the Jewish culture with 25-hours of fasting and intensive prayer.  This is the holiest day of the year in Judaism where they focus on atonement and repentance. 

This year Yom Kippur will be observed Sun, Sep 27, 2020 – Mon, Sep 28, 2020.

Yom Kippur is only one of many days of fasting that the Jewish people still observe as they follow the example set by the patriarchs of our faith.  It would be wise for us to join them in this Spiritual discipline.

Will You Unleash the Power of Prayer and Fasting in Your Life?

the power of prayer and fasting

Over the years, through the power of prayer and fasting God has broken the chains of sin in my life and set me free from many things.  Not only have I found personal freedom, but I have also truly met with God, gotten to know Him more intimately, and developed a personal relationship with him that is deeper than I ever dreamed possible.

Through fasting, our church has found healing from hurts that went deeper than we knew, seen revival spark and spread throughout our city, and more.  

Adding fasting to your prayer life brings blessings and freedom.  Will you begin to practice this Spiritual Discipline today? 

How To Plan A Time of Fasting

 Getting started with a time of fasting is as simple as 1-2-3.

  1. Pray about what to give up and for how long.
  2. Set aside a verse or passage to meditate on while fasting.
  3. Make a plan for how to stick with the fast when temptation comes. 

You can do this.  God honors our attempts to grow nearer to Him.  Learn more about how to fast and pray in a way that pleases God here.

in HIM,

Tiffany

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Fast and Pray~A Place to Start

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YOUR TURN

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Intercessory Prayer is the Spiritual Warfare Frontlines

Have you ever known someone who could really touch heaven?

If you had a need, who would you ask to pray? My mother is like that. When Mike and I got engaged, we decided to take his two young boys and go to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving to meet my family. Mom thought how nice it would be for these young Georgia boys to experience snow. So she prayed … and boy, did it snow! You can read about another time my mom prayed and probably saved my sister’s life in my memoirs blog, Raised in a Barn.

While these stories of intercessory prayers are very good, I am also reminded of two precious ladies at our last church. Mrs. Mae Thomas was a prayer warrior. She kept a notebook where she recorded everyone she prayed for. And she recorded the answers too. (By the way, it is a wonderfully encouraging way to remind yourself of the goodness of God.) When she passed away and the family closed up her home, They found stacks of prayer notebooks with years worth of prayers and answers.

Prayer Warriors

There was another precious lady in the history of that same church. I never knew her but the people still spoke warmly of this precious prayer warrior. It is told that she had a table where she prayed and studied. On that table, was written all the names of people she had prayed for. So many that had turned away from God were pleased to later find their name written on that table.

These are just a few instances that prove the importance of intercessory prayer. Sometimes, we need to get really serious with God to bring people to Him. It can’t be just a flippant sentence, “Oh God, save so-and-so”. Intercessory prayer is found on the frontlines of spiritual warfare.

Intercessory Prayer is found on the frontlines of Spiritual Warfare. #prayer #intercession Click To Tweet

The Importance of Intercessory Prayer

We are instructed in the Bible to intercede for others. One can find many verses on intercession but the one that comes to my mind first is

 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.

1 Timothy 2:1-2
interceding for others

You know, as I read this verse again, I find it interesting that it says not only to pray for them but to give thanks for them. Oh my, when you think of the people that need salvation, typically, we may not really be that thankful for them. I know from experience though that being thankful can make a world of difference. You know how prayer changes things, most of the time, it is our own hearts that change.

Prayer changes things, most of the time, it is our own hearts that change. #prayer Click To Tweet

OK, that was just an aside. Let’s get back to Intercessory prayer.

Come Prepared for Intercession

We do not stride into the presence of God.

Dennis Kinlaw

I recently received an article from Titus Women and it struck a chord with me. I want to share part of it with you now…

When we come to a time of intercession, we must come prepared to be in the presence of God Himself. As Dennis Kinlaw said, “We do not stride into the presence of God.” There must be heart preparation and humility. As we prepare for lifting others in prayer, here are some means of preparation for our own hearts.
 
“Lord Jesus, we ask You for these things as we come before You to pray for others.” 

Checklist for Intercession

  • A Clean Heart: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Cor.7:1
  • A Free HeartLet all bitterness and wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind…forgiving even as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph 4:31-22
  • A Forgiving Heart“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness spring up causes trouble and by it, many be defiled.” Hebrews 12: 15
  • A Right Spirit“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51: 10, 11
  • A Yielded Will“Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Psalm 143: 10
  • A Loyal Affection: “You alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing; you guard all that is mine.”  Psalm 16: 5 (NLT)

*copied from Titus Women

These characteristics certainly describe the aforementioned women!



A Challenge to Intercede

I remember once being challenged to think of the greatest “Lost case” you know. The one that you think will never come to Christ; never get their hearts right and straight on the path to heaven. Then intercede deeply for them every day. You might be surprised by what God will do.

Will you join me today to pray and intercede for one person in your life? If you can’t think of anyone, how about one of the presidential candidates? Or the other myriads of people on Capitol Hill? (See 1 Timothy 2:1-2 above)

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Your Turn ….

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meditation

What is Meditation? Why We Should Do it?

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

Deuteronomy 10:12-15
meditation

What is Meditation?

We know perhaps what prayer is but what is meditation? Sadly, today when we think of meditation our thoughts are turned to what comes from Eastern meditation. There is a difference so let’s find a definition. Let’s go to a great theologian, J.I. Packer, for that…

…meditation is a lost art today and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God; as a means of communion with God.

Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let His truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart.. . . . as we enter more and more deeply into this experience of being humbled and exalted, our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, our strength, and our joy.

From Knowing God by J.I Packer

What Christian Meditation is NOT

Eastern meditation is an emptying of the mind. But scriptures tell us that when we empty our minds, we are allowing space for the ENEMY to come in. On the other hand, in Christian mediation, we are instructed to “fill our minds” with the things of God.

Eastern Meditation focuses on the self. As Christians, our focus should always be on Christ. This is a big red flag for me. Find more reasons and explanations, just click here.

Eastern meditation attempts to empty the mind; Christian meditations attempts to fill the mind – Richard Foster #meditation #prayer Click To Tweet

More of a listening than an emptying

The majority of the time spent in prayer (if not all of it) is, I fear, just giving our wish list to God. Even when it’s a request for someone else. It is all about what we want or need.

Prayer should include more than this. And in my opinion, the requests should be the least important part of prayer. Communication is a two-way street. None of us like to be around someone who monopolizes the conversation, where no one else gets a word in edgewise. I wonder…

When you talk with God, does He get a word in edgewise? #prayer #meditation Click To Tweet

Our children have it figured out. When they want something, typically the first thing they do is give us a little praise and love. [“I love you, mom.”] Come on, you have done it yourself or have experienced it from your children. Right?

So how does a Christian Meditate?

In His book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster says that Christian meditation is a process to help us slow ourselves down and get rid of all the busyness of life. The Bible’s definition includes two Hebrew words culminating into several meanings:

  • listening to God’s word
  • reflecting on God’s works
  • rehearsing God’s deeds
  • ruminating on God’s law

Listening and Hearing

In each case. We are called to change. Yes, we are called to change our behavior because we have been standing before the Living God.

Some may say they never hear from God, but are they listening? Do they recognize His voice, if He did speak?

Meditation is our part of getting quiet.

Take just a small portion of His Word and mull it over in our minds. This is when true fellowship really happens. The truth is, God created us for fellowship. When we run to Him with a bunch of requests, this is not fellowship. But when we spend time coming before Him and soaking Him in. Suddenly, we’ll find we hear Him speaking to us. Finally, we begin to hear His voice.

If you go to the great preachers in history and even today, you will find they spend the majority of their day meditating on God’s Word. This is where they find the wisdom they need to not only speak and challenge us but also to live godly lives themselves.

Why do we Fear Christian Meditation?

Namely, because meditation calls us to silence. Most of us in this day and age can’t deal with silence. Silence calls us to remember things in our lives that need to be dealt with. As soon as we are quiet, we remember the things God has asked to do that we are reluctant to do. Those sins that need to be confessed come to the forefront. Our disobedience to God becomes quite evident.

Meditation is plain out threatening because we are standing in the presence of The Living God. And we must cry out like Isaiah, “Woa, is me for I am undone.” – Isaiah 6:5

A Few Pointers on How to Meditate

  1. Give some portion of each day to meditate. contemplative prayer is a way of life. “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  2. Find an appropriate place. Have everything you need set at this place so that you aren’t looking for your journal and pen. This place will become your obvious place to meditate. Others will know not to bother you when you are in that chair. If you neglect your time of meditation, that chair will remind you.
  3. Posture – Do you sit? Do you kneel? That all depend on you. Actually, it’s not so much the posture of your body as it is the posture of your heart. That said, kneeling or bowing down can help you get in the right spirit.

Then What?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer says

“… just as you do not analyze the words of someone you love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the Word of Scripture and ponder it in your Heart, as Mary did. That is all. That is meditation.

The Way to Freedom, Dietrich Bonheoffer, page 59

Live the Experience

Apply all the senses to our task.

Smell the sea.

Hear the lap of water along the shore.

See the crowd.

Feel the sun on your head and the hunger in your stomach.

Taste the salt air.

Touch the hem of His garment

Celebrations of Spiritual Disciplines, Richard Foster

Alexander Whyte counsels us,

the truly Christian imagination never lets Jesus Christ out of his sight. . . . You open your New Testament

. . . And, by your imagination, that moment you are one of Christ’s disciples on the spot and are at His feet.

Lord, Teach us to Pray, Alexander Whyte, pp249-50

It is a way of life; You will be constantly learning and growing as you plumb the inner depths.

Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster

I hope that you are able to employ these steps in your own time with Our Lord. I believe you will be amazed at the change in your life.

Mandy Farmer

Sing-a-long as you Stay at Home

This Mennonite family recorded this before the corona virus but it made me think this would be a good thing to do. Have your own hymn sing! And this family can downright sing!

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Give Prayer a Second Chance

Give Prayer Another Chance

I’ve heard people say that they have given up on prayer. It saddens my heart to hear them say this because prayer is our lifeline to heaven. I would say to them, “Please, give prayer another chance.”

Prayer is our lifeline to heaven. #prayer #spiritualdisciplines Click To Tweet

Could it be that our view of God is distorted? Maybe you need a new perspective on how God views the world? Possibly, your heart is not quite in the right place. I would like to offer some considerations as you give prayer another chance.

Considerations as we Pray

God Cares ~ He’ll Give you another chance

First of all, know that He loves you more than you can know. God desires for you to relate to Him. He came to earth and lived the life of a man. Jesus knows your pain and sorrows. He feels your pain. Prayer connects us to Him. You can have true fellowship with the God of the universe!

Talk to him sincerely. Tell him how you feel. Your sorrow. Your anger. It’s OK. He can handle it.

You Are Part of the BIG Picture

As the saying goes, “We are not an island.” There is a whole big world and we are just a small part of it all. That is not to say that God doesn’t have time for you. He is there every moment. However, He is working on a plan for everyone.

Sometimes the things we are asking take time or aren’t the best thing for us at this particular time. Ask God to give you a new perspective. He may have us in a hard place to give us a specific opportunity or direction in life. Don’t think that you cannot ask God, but with the asking, open your heart to hear His desires for you, as well.

Prayer is the courageous act of bringing our authentic desires before God. Prayer is the place where, in Jesus’ name, we meet a holy God with all of our humanity hanging out. In our bravest moments of unscripted, unedited prayer, we find ourselves telling God what we want, how we’re afraid to want this, how we fear he’ll withhold, how we fail to trust, and to worship and to reverence. We allow ourselves to see – and be seen. In this struggle, prayerful and raw, we willingly wait for the mercies of God to deliver us into the abiding belief that He is good. Prayer, bold and beautiful and brave, takes on the quality of our struggle to surrender to the God who is holy, to the God whose holiness produces our surprise.”

Jen Pollock Michel, Teach Us to Want

Don’t Give Up on Your Prayers

prayer a second chance
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Remember, Some blessings take time. Some answers come only after years of trusting and believing. If you have opened your heart to the will of God, keep on praying, even if your heart is breaking.

Oftentimes our heartaches and our unfulfilled heart’s desires skew our perspective and keep us thinking small. We need to learn to crawl out of our small story so we can see all that God is up to, in, and around us. Because He is, and it’s awesome.

.

Our short-term solutions will always fall woefully short of God’s redemptive plan. And those short-term solutions will often cause us more trouble than we ever bargained for.

Susie Larson, Your Powerful Prayers
Our short-term solutions will always fall woefully short of God's redemptive plan. #spiritualdisciplines #prayer @susielarson Click To Tweet

Abraham and Sarah Gave Up

How they longed for a child. They hoped and prayed for a very long time. Then they came up with their own solution. To have a child through Sara’s servant, Hagar. Then later, the son God promised is born to Sarah. Oh my! The competition. The fussing and fighting. That didn’t turn out well at all.

You see, when we take things into our own hands, we usually make a big mess of things. Come on now, you know it’s the truth. Just keep waiting and trusting in God. His plans are always the best.

Keeping trusting and waiting on God, His plans are always the best. #prayer #spiritualdisciplines Click To Tweet
Bruce Wilkenson Beyond Jabez
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If you give up the life you thought you needed, you’ll find yourself getting more of God Himself. And He will so satisfy your heart that all other passions will be consumed by your longing for Him.

Bruce Wilkenson, Beyond Jabez

When you admitted and turned from your sins and asked Jesus to forgive you, you became a child of God. Your name was written in the Book of Life. You are a citizen of heaven. God loves you and wants to give you the best.

Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.

Matthew 7:9-11, CSB

There is One Point that Must Be Looked At

Most importantly, you are an Heir of God… aren’t you? Do you remember the day that you knelt down and confessed your sins to God? Have you given your life over to Jesus, repented of your sins? Are you truly a Child of God? Because these are the ones to whom the Heavenly Father gives good things. These are the prayers He hears.

If you haven’t given your life to Him, today is the day to do that. It’s as simple as A, B, C.

  • Admit that you are a sinner.
  • Believe the Jesus died for your sins
  • Confess Your Sins and turn away from sin.

This is the first prayer you need to pray

Lord Jesus, I know that I have sinned and I need Your forgiveness and pardon. I believe that You died and rose again for my sins. Now, I accept You as my personal Savior. I will forsake my sinful life. I know that Your grace and power will enable me to live for You. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and for giving me a new life. Amen

https://nazarene.org/how-know-jesus

If you would like more information about knowing Christ, please follow this link.

Pray His Promises

Finally, I would encourage you to pray the scriptures. Get yourself a notebook or journal in which to record your prayers. Write the person or request at the top of a page. Then write out scripture that you feel shows that this request would follow along with the will of God.

Leave the rest of this page open to record anything that encourages you that the request is being answered. And record the date and story once your prayer has been answered or a step has been made in that direction.

This gives you a record of all the answered prayers. You will be able to occasionally go through the pages and praise God for the many, many blessings He has bestowed on you.

Your Powerful Prayers

These are just a few thoughts that I have gleaned and made my own from Susie Larson’s book, Your Powerful Prayers. I would strongly urge you to get a copy of the book for your own. There are many, many more things to help you as you give prayer another chance.

God bless;

Mandy Farmer

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P.S. My hope at the beginning of the year was to rediscover and write about spiritual disciplines. I was drawn away from this when our family learned that we had two months to move. Now we are settled and I am turning my thoughts back to this goal. Follow this blog to learn more with me on the spiritual disciplines. There is a sign up below on the blue bar.

Fan the Flames

How to Fan the Flames of Your Faith

Is your faith growing cold? Do you feel that you are losing ground in spiritual things? Or are you On Fire for God? Is your love for God burning to share it with others? Let’s talk today about how to fan the flames of your faith.

The Holy Spirit is the Fire in us

When we give our lives over to God, He gives us the Holy Spirit to emblazon our hearts with His love, joy, peace, etc. But the thing is that many of us have invited Christ in but we haven’t given Him complete control of our lives. So then, we are still missing out on that victorious life of which the Bible speaks.

We can quench the fire in us

Yes, disobedience to God or blatant sin in our life throws cold water over that fire of the Holy Spirit. He cannot stay alive in our lives if we are constantly going against His will. There is more to salvation than just allowing Him into your life. We must give Him complete control through obedience and allowing Him to clean out the dross within our lives.

So, How do we Get the Fire Started or Fan the Flames?

It takes intentionality. We need to enact the spiritual disciplines into our life. They are simple but not always easy. Anne Graham Lotz shares a few of these with us in her new book coming out in October.

{These disciplines} include

1. Daily Prayer

2. Daily Bible Reading

3. Sharing the Gospel

4. Continuous obedience as you live out what God says in His word.

5. Continuous trust as you relinquish you expectation and let Him have His way.

6. Deepening surrender to His authority-especially during times of pain and suffering.

Which Discipline do you lack?

Jesus in Me, Anne Graham Lotz, Chapter 16, page 124

A Little About the Book, Jesus in Me

Fan the Flames #bookreview #jesusinme

I was so excited about being on this launch team. I could hardly wait to get my hands on this book about Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion.

First, it was just amazing to me that she could write to us WHILE she was going through cancer treatments. I know that when I am struggling through life’s trials, it is nearly impossible for me to even write in my journal. I just don’t want to face the issues. She has been amazing.

Secondly, as always she shares openly and honestly about her own faith. Where she succeeds and where she fails. Then she tells us what she learned. Anne openness helps me connect with her as a common friend. I’m not intimidated by her because she is Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter. More so, I welcome her advice.

Thirdly, this book on the Holy Spirit is greatly needed. From my point of view. Many are not tapping into what He can do for us. Anne can help us do that.

Fan the Flames #holyspirit #spiritualgrowth #sanctification

Now, on to How to Fan the Flames

First, Daily Prayer

I am saddened that even church folks seem uninterested in taking time to pray. But this is our Life-line to God. I’m seriously considering majoring on writing about this discipline more in the coming year. Elizabeth Boles guest posted earlier in the year on The Importance of Prayer.

You may feel you don’t know how to pray. What words should you say? Maybe your tongue gets tangled between your teeth when you try to pray. I’ve always felt that others were so much more elegant than I when they pray. Emily P. Freeman from The Next Right Thing says to borrow their prayers! You can find a prayer online on nearly any subject imaginable. It’s a great place to start. Before long, you will be praying with the best of them.

Second, Read Your Bible

A co-worker once said to me, “Why do you keep reading the Bible? Just read it through once, close it up, and say “That was great.”

At the time I was speechless. I really didn’t know what to say and I feared I would find myself in a discussion that I was unable to stand firm on. But do you know what God says?

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

1 Peter 3:15 NIV

In retrospect, I wish I had said how God’s Word is living and active in the soul’s of man. That it is alive and new every day. Because that is the truth.

Earlier this year, we wrote about Why and How to Read Your Bible. Check out this post for some help.

God's Word is Living and Active in the soul's of man. It is New and Alive every day! #Jesusinme #bookreview Click To Tweet

Third, Share Your Faith

Always be prepared to give an answer. Goodness! Too many of really have no idea what we believe. It’s time to get in the Word and know what you know. There is no excuse today since we have the world at our fingertips. IF you haven’t been through your local church membership class, it may be time to do that. Find out what you believe.

I wrote earlier this year about how to debunk some of the excuses we have for not sharing our faith. Seriously, friend. When we stand at the judgment seat, do you want your friends and those with whom you interact to ask you why you never shared the Gospel with them? Read more here.

Additionally, Fellowship with other Christians and Church Attendance

Why is it that we think we can maintain a good Cristian walk on our own? We go out into the world and rub elbows with all the filth and before long we stink like the world. There are things we can only get when we are attending church and Bible Study

  1. Fellowship with other Christians.
  2. Encouragement.
  3. Training. (We all can learn something new)
  4. To be with like-minded friends.
  5. Accountability.

It’s time to find a local church and get involved.

Yes. there will be some hypocrites around. But they are there to learn and improve. Maybe you can learn and improve too! There are also some amazing Christians and Bible teachers there as well. Go rub elbows with them!

The church is like a hospital. It’s for the sick. We don’t say we won’t go to the hospital because there are sick people there. We go because there are doctors and nurses that can help us get better.

Speaking of sharing the Gospel

Finally, one of the best ways to spread the Gospel is within your own family. Are you teaching your children The Word of God? Are you taking them to Sunday School so they will know that Jesus Loves Them?

I know it’s hard to get up on Sunday morning and get everyone ready to go. Sometimes it all seems futile. But it’s not. You are setting a precedent. You are showing the importance of knowing God and placing Him first in your life. Here are some tips to help you get to church on time.

I encourage you to work on the disciplines. Pick up Anne’s new book today. It will change your life.

Mandy Farmer


peace through the storm, feature

My Peace Through the Storm

Hurricane Season is approaching

In Savannah, we all know what it is like to be awakened in the night with blaring horns warning us that there are severe storms in the area. I recall into the midwest that storms and tornado warnings could come upon us quickly as well. Either way, it’s a frightening experience.

Just like in a tropical storm, we have no control of where or how the storms come in our lives. It may barrel straight through us or it might skirt around us. Some storms may be strong and dangerous and others are slow and become just a thunderstorm or even just a bit of rain. One never knows.

Isn’t Living For Christ a Cake Walk?

We would like to think that if we are following the Lord, life’s path will take us through smooth sailing. But this is not true. The Bible says, “In this life, we will have trouble.” (John 16:33) The Promise we do have is safety through the storm.

Oh, how we must learn that God is faithful through the storm.

God Sees us THROUGH the Storm

pathway through the waters, peace and hope
image built in YouVersion

He will be right there with us, our haven. His path will help us grow and learn. We will be strengthened to face another day. He provides for our every need in every situation. There is Hope in the Hard Places.


We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV

Why do we worry and fret and not live in the peace that He offers us? Why do we allow the projected path of a storm to get us all worked up? We aren’t showing the world a reason to follow Christ if we fret and worry over our situation.

We aren't showing the world a reason to follow Christ if we fret and worry over our situation. #peace Click To Tweet

But when we have peace in the storm, THAT is when people stop and wonder what it is that makes us so calm. This is when we exemplify the peace that Christ provides. 

When we have peace in the storm, THAT is when people stop and wonder what it is that makes us so calm. #peace Click To Tweet

Let’s rest in Him through our trials so that He gets the glory and we get the peace that passes all understanding.

Let's rest in Him through the trials so that He gets the glory and we get the peace that passes all understanding. Click To Tweet

Enjoy This Hymn Favorite

P.S. I’ve been introducing the old hymns lately. This seems like a good time to share a hymn…

“There is Peace in the Midst of the Storm”

When the world that I’ve been
Living in collapses at my feet
And when my life is all tattered and torn
Though I’m wind-swept, I’ve been battered
I’m gonna cling unto His cross
I’ll find peace in the midst of the storm

-by Stephen Adams

There is peace in the midst of the storm-tossed life
There is an Anchor, there is a rock to build my faith upon
Jesus Christ is my vessel so I fear no alarm
He gives me peace in the midst of the storm

Peace in the Midst of the Storm: Performed by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Mandy Farmer
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