pray for believers

Pray for the Believers

Introducing Glenae Atchison

May I introduce my college friend, Glenae Atchison as a contributor to this website. You may recognize her name if you have been to my Facebook page, Leaving a Legacy. She posts there on a regular basis.

Glenae AtchisonGlenae is a native of Indiana and a long time resident of Mississippi. She graduated from Asbury College in 1983 with a BS in Music Education. She and her husband, Skip have been married for over thirty years. They have two married children and three grandchildren. Glenae is active in choir, two group Bible studies, United Methodist Women, and is a certified lay servant in the United Methodist Church. Her favorite activities include singing and playing the piano, sewing, quilting, making Swedish weave blankets, and, of course, spending time with her grandchildren.

As you will see she is ‘made from the same cloth” as I. And now her first post on the subject of prayer. Continue reading

Glenae Atchison

Glenae Atchison is a native of Indiana, and a long time resident of Mississippi. She graduated from Asbury College in 1983 with a BS in Music Education. She and her husband, Skip have been married for over thirty years. They have two married children and three grandchildren. Glenae is active in choir, two group Bible studies, United Methodist Women, and is a certified lay servant in the United Methodist Church. Her favorite activities include singing and playing the piano, sewing, quilting, and making Swedish weave blankets.

How Hannah Prayed

Two Lessons from Hannah’s Prayer

10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.

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Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

1 Samuel 1:10-11, 18 (NLT)

When I read about the anguish in Hannah’s heart, my own heart is pricked.

Do I Pray with Deep Anguish?

First, while I had a great desire to have children, I don’t know this kind of pain of waiting years to be blessed and seeing others around me having children when I did not, however, I do know about pain of a different kinds=. I have actual pain from my chronic illness, I have aching pain for family members that are far from God, I know the pain of rejection.

But I wonder at times if my pain has been deep enough for me to cry out to God in “deep anguish”. I wonder if I have ever fallen before God begging him to work in my life or in the lives of others. Do I fall prostrate before God, asking and fasting while I pray for Him to intervene?

When we say that we are praying for someone, do we really pray for them or do we just hope that things will get better for them? Do we actually take the time to stop and focus on God and ask Him to intervene?  I have recently made an effort to always place the person’s name in my prayer journal app. (See Prayer Popper) I don’t say I will pray unless I place them in this journal. This brings them to my mind occasionally and I do lift them up in prayer for a moment. But I still wonder if I am praying or just wishing and wanting. Do I get serious about intercession?

Secondly, Do I Believe God will Answer?

After Eli blessed her and asked God to grant her request she “went and ate with her family and was no longer sad.” She accepted with confidence that God would now answer her prayers. She was no longer distraught over her situation. She left it in God’s hands.

When we are distraught over our situation, do we take it and lay our concern on the altar and then go away “no longer sad”? Or do we pick up our concerns and take them with us?

Are we content to trust Him no matter what His answer may be?

Hannah was able to leave her request at the altar. She went home and was happy. She had not received her heart’s desire yet but she now found joy in her God. Her faith held her up.

Our hope should be in God not in our desires.

Are we devoted to God regardless of whether God has met those desires? Are we willing to give back to God the very things for which we are praying?

I challenge you to lay your burdens on the altar of God and leave them there. Remember, he promises to give rest to our souls if we bring them to Him and let Him do the work.

 

 

Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.

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.

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. Continue reading

Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.

Lies I Believed About Buttering Up God

 I believed several lies about prayer and buttering up God.

Over the course of the last three years, we have experienced some hard “stuff” both professionally and personally. We would unanimously use the word “robbed”.  Robbed of co-workers through their untimely deaths.  Robbed of time with our daughter.  Through those experiences, I believed the lie that I wasn’t praying “good enough”. From that standpoint, I began “buttering up God” by using more flowery words, going on about His greatness, increasing the time spent in prayer.  However, the more things spiraled downward the less I felt heard, the more I felt the need to “butter up”.   Finally, in frustration with seeing very little change, I decided to give up on prayer.  Prayer was obviously not working the way I was praying.

I would ask myself questions like…

Continue reading

Exactly What Does it Mean for God to “Answer Prayer”

What does it mean for God to “answer prayer”?

jessie-bongiorno

 

Guest Writer: Jessie Bongiorno

Jessie was a piano student of mine years ago. I love to watch the children under my direction blossom into beautiful Christian adults. Jessie wrote this on Facebook not too long ago and I felt it deserved more coverage.  She has a good lesson here for us all.

We limit God when we define His “answers” as only the ones we want.

– The promotion at work

– the relationship status

– healing from illness.

We forget that God allows ALL things to be worked together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

What does it mean for God to bless a person?

So much of today is defined in a moment

We don’t know something… Google it-

We want to watch a show but it isn’t on tv at the moment… Netflix, Hulu, Amazon.

We can buy anything at the touch of a finger …..  instant gratification … but with God… There isn’t an “app for that”.

 

photo credit: Timothy Uza : modified by GGMandy

photo credit: Timothy Uza: modified by Mandy

 

So much of our lives are gratification- quick, simple…

Just a touch away to find almost any answer to any question

But God doesn’t work that way.

Maybe it is because of what I have been going through

– lots of doubt, struggle, failure… And the silence from God.

I have often wondered, “Where is the blessing in my life?”

Where are the answers to these prayers I have prayed

– WHERE are You, God?!

And what did I do – where was the first wrong turn?

And every time I have these thoughts He reminds me…

He reminds me what I asked for years ago…

Brokenness.

 

Every pastor will tell you,  “Be ready when you pray for that!!

I WASN’T!

And in this silence, I hear that still, small voice tell me…

I have learned so much in this place

– yet struggled the most…

They are the ones we need

– to teach us to depend on Him

– to teach us that on our own we can’t make it

– we were never meant to

They are the ones we need…

…to teach us

…WHO really matters and WHAT really matters.

And to teach me…..

….. what an answer to prayer – what a blessing – is.

It isn’t what we want…

…. it is what He knows we need…

Because He can work ALL things

  • all failures, all mistakes, all character flaws,
  • all of the broken places in our hearts that limit us from experiencing life and life to the FULL
  • all let downs,
  • all regrets…

He can work ALL things together for the good…

For those who love Him…

For those who are called according to His purpose.

-Jessie Bongiorno

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Author Biography

Jessie Bongiorno, 29. I grew up in a Christian home, as they say; my dad became a Christian when I was really young and he shared the gospel with me and when I was seven- I accepted that I was a sinner who desperately needed the blood of Christ and ever since then I lived my relationship with Christ.

God- being the faithful God He is– stuck by me throughout all kinds of doubts- a slight time of “rebellion” when I was a teenager and by the time I was college bound- Christ spoke to me- yes He did. One day- I was driving down the main road in front of my community college- trying to figure out my future- my career choice- my friendship choices- relationship choices- pretty much just trying to figure out who I was and as drove down that road in a car all by myself a thought popped into my mind.

It sucks trying to figure out life alone. You don’t have to do it alone.

Those were the words I heard back after the words I only merely thought. I remember thinking there is only One Person who could say those words and really mean it. All of my life, my entire childhood spent studying the words of life and these words suddenly… came to life. I knew in my heart Who Jesus was… Who He is- He is the way the Truth and the Life- I thought to myself. Then the next thought popped into my mind.

I have a choice- I can choose to believe these words- that they are true- put my…. Faith into these words…. Or I can continue driving down this road… alone. I chose my faith- and I asked Christ again to join me on my journey in life- and for the first time in my life- Christ- the Bible all of it really became not just words on a page- or rules to follow- but for the first time… this was personal- and to me, I began to see that the Christian walk- is a relationship with Christ.

I’d like to say everything was all nice and happy ever since then- but things actually got really hard…. My faith was tested throughout my years as a college student on a secular campus- but my faith grew all the more because of it! And while so many my age are chasing happiness- I am chasing wholeness and I like to share some of my pursuits along the way to encourage others. Because if there ever were a time to share good news- if there ever were a time we need to be bold in proclamation- now is that time.

With love, Jessie