Pray for the church

Attention Believers: Pray for the Church

PRAY FOR THE CHURCH, CHURCH!


A few weeks ago as I sat down in the early morning with my cup of coffee, my Bible(s), my devotional books, and my notebook, the Lord spoke very loudly to me in the quietness. The scripture for that particular morning was Ephesians 3:14-21. I read it over and over, in two versions: New International and New Living.

Wow!

What a powerful, powerful prayer Paul wrote in this letter to the church at Ephesus!

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2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits: Part 4 Pray with A.C.T.S.

Welcome back to Time in the Word! Three weeks ago we started our 2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits adventure talking about Bible Reading and Bible Study. You can catch Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Last week, in part 3, we tackled learning how to be faithful in praying daily. A great way to pray is by using the A.C.T.S method. Today we will finish with the letters “T” and “S”; in the A.C.T.S. method for prayer.

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2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits: Part 3 Prayer

Welcome back to Time in the Word! Two weeks ago we started our 2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits adventure talking about Bible Reading and Bible Study. You can catch part 1 here and part 2 here. Last week, in part 2, we tackled learning how to be a student of the Bible. A great way to study the Bible is to use the S.O.A.P. method. We coved S, O, and A. Today we will cover P, for prayer.

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2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits

Welcome to 2022 Time in the Word! I’m glad that you’ve dropped in and I look forward to the adventure that awaits. Whether our lives in 2022 will be white water rafting or floating on the lazy river, we’ve got Jesus to see us through. I thought it was important to get 2022 off on the right foot and form some healthy spiritual habits.

This time of year we hear about “healthy eating” and “forming healthy eating habits”. I think emphasizing healthy spiritual habits needs to be done as well. Healthy spiritual habits are key to growing spiritually. Without spiritual growth, we become stagnant and lose our spiritual edge.

In this series we will focus on:

  1. Bible reading and Bible study
  2. Prayer
  3. Living the life
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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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back to school

Back to School How NOT to worry about your Kids

Here we are! It’s time for school again. It’s easy to worry about all the things our children can face attending school. But God doesn’t want us worrying. So I thought it would be a good time to share some helpful resources. I polled some blogging friends for help. (NOTE: There are some affiliate links in this post.)

Teach Your Children Truth

I’d have to say that even before praying for your children, which is highly important, we must teach them daily from the Word. Proverbs says,

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. train up a child.

Proverbs 22:6
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How to Have Confidence That God is Enough

How can we know in our hearts that God is enough

Life is hard.  It’s tough. And it’s definitely not fair. 

God is Enough

Life seems to be tearing so many of us apart inside. Somehow, we must learn that our God is enough for all our needs. I know in my own life, that God’s graces are the only thing that has brought me through. In recent years, I have been fighting auto-immune diseases that are causing me great pain. But through it all, God’s graces have been enough for me. (My story was written several years ago HERE.. However, I am planning an update of that series beginning in May.) 

Certainly, there are times that I am discouraged  

I wonder how much more I can bear, but then if I get my eyes back on Jesus and His graces, He carries me through. Just like the poem, “Footprints” says when things are the toughest, that is when Jesus carries me! Then when we look back, we can say as Jacob did, “God was here, and I didn’t even know it!” (Genesis 28

God is Enough Genesis 28:16

One of the Best Gifts from God is Faith 

One of God’s greatest graces to me has been the gift of faith. Thankfully, through every trial, my faith has pulled me through. I have been able to rest in his sheltering arms to get to the other side of the mountain. 

You can take a test to find your spiritual gifts and find that faith is not your strongest gift, but we all have a bit of faith. 

To begin with, we have enough faith to believe that God exists. 

Secondly, we took the step of faith to believe He sent His Son to pay our debts. 

And now we just have to grow that faith until we have a victorious life. Just as the hymn by John H. Yates says… “Faith is the Victory that Overcomes the World!” 

The Apostle Paul told Timothy that his mother and grandmother had the gift of faith and that he (Timothy) had the same gift and he needed to “fan the flames of that gift“. (2 Tim 1:6). We need to work at building our faith. When God gives us a gift, He plants the seeds in our lives and we must do our part to make them grow. He often places us in situations that make our faith grow IF we take the right actions. 

Let’s consider some actions that will grow our faith. 

F – Fear Not 

(or worry not, or fret not, or doubt not, you fill in the blank) (2 Timothy 1:5-14) 

God is Enough 2 Timoty 1:6
Images created by Mandy in Canva.com

Paul continued in verse 7,  “God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity, but the spirit of power, love and self-discipline.”  We have to use that self-discipline to stop worrying and start believing the God can work it out. God saved us and he has brought us through so many things already. We need to lean on those facts, rather than worrying about the future (which, by the way, we have very little control of). 

So take on the Australian attitude .. “No worries!” or 

maybe the Bahamian idea “No Problem, Mon!”   or 

the retro theme “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” 

Choose what you may, just STOP WORRYING! 

A – Acknowledge our Concern & Ask God for help. 

Did you ever notice that the base word in “confidence” is “confide”?  So … maybe in order to have confidence, we should confide in the Lord about our fears and concerns. God wants to know about our concerns. 1 Peter 5:7 And we can have confidence that God will help us!

God is my helper Hebrews 13:6

Matthew 11 says “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 

It’s true, you know, He really does care.  #confidence #Godisenough Click To Tweet

I – Invoke Your Heart to Praise 

Invoke seems a hard word. Maybe indicating the forcing of something. But isn’t that what we must do? Sometimes praise is hard. Hebrews 13:14-15 says “let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God“. 

Continual Praise .. that means, at times we must praise the Lord, even when it’s hard. 

Even when we don’t want to. 

I am reminded of a time in college. Easter break was coming and I was so ready to get home for a few days. We woke to snow on the ground that Friday and I received a phone call from my father saying I should not come home because the roads between us were too dangerous. I was heart-broken. I went to my final class that morning with a heavy heart. We began class each day with prayer, and guess who the professor called on to pray… ME! 

I didn’t want to pray. 

What could I say to God at this moment? 

I was bummed. 

We bowed our heads and the words came from my mouth. “Thank you for the beautiful snow.” Wow! I really couldn’t believe the words were coming out of my mouth! Where did that come from? But guess what … staying at school brought new opportunities and a wonderful Easter weekend. 

I think if we can muster up a bit of praise and singing, we’ll soon have forgotten the worries and find the joy

T – Trust His Promises 

god is enough Prov 3:5,6
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We’ll never understand what’s going on in the world, but God knows. He sees the whole picture and He knows best. When you feel worries and struggles coming your way. Get into the Word

Better yet, live in The Word always. 

Memorize His promises and lean on them. 

Sadly, too many of us never pick up our Bible, open its pages and read. And those of us who do, do it way too little. There are so many ways to get the Word into your mind. You don’t have to sit down and read it anymore; now you can listen to it on a CD or MP3. You can carry a little scripture card in your pocket. You can tape verses to your mirror or your computer monitor. 

We need to memorize it. Hide God’s Word in our hearts. 

psalm 119:11 God is enough

We can’t trust His promises if we don’t know what they are. 

H – Hide in the Shelter of His Arms 

After we do the aforementioned things, we can then rest in his arms. No Worries

God’s got our back. 

He’s got our future. 

He is in control! 

I love the illustration we were given in the Online Bible Study, A Confident Heart by Renee Swope; we’re in a God Sandwich! The Psalmist said, “You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head.” (Psalm 139:5) 

God Sandwich
This verse is called the God Sandwich!

That’s when we know that GOD IS ENOUGH. 

Rest in this truth today. We can rest knowing that God is all around us taking care of the details.

So How About it? Let’s Start Living By Faith! 

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

This post was inspired by the book, A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope 

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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with free stock

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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