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: Part 2

Welcome back to Time in the Word! Last week we started our 2022 Healthy Spiritual Habits adventure talking about Bible Reading and Bible Study. You can catch part 1 here. Today we will take a deeper dive into reading and studying the Bible by discussing a few “helps” you can use to make your time enjoyable and enriching.

We are privileged to be blessed with multiple Bibles in our homes. At one time having your own Bible was unheard of. Being able to read was in itself, a luxury, afforded to the wealthy. Many European churches chained the Bible to the pulpit; if you wanted to read it, if you could read, it was to be read right there.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Bible as THE BEST SELLING NON-FICTION BOOK. The Bible has its own rich history that goes behind its age, authors, and development.

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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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Avoiding Spiritual Drift

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 6:19-20

Drifting from safety

When my children were small, my greatest fear was taking them shopping. My son stayed right by my side, but my daughter was the curious type. She wanted to see everything. And it would only take a moment for her to wander away from me. She was a tiny thing and could get easily hidden within a rack of clothes. I would be frantic.

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How Are Christians the Salt of the Earth?

Jesus said [with confidence] {my words}

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Matthew 5:13-16
Salt of the Earth
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Salt

The shaker on our table is what we bring to mind, but in Jesus’ day, salt was a valuable commodity. It was sometimes even used to pay one’s salary. Jesus called the disciples salt because they were as important to the Gospel as salt was to the society. Have you ever eaten a French fry without salt? Just a little salt makes a world of difference!

Impact

Consider the impact the disciples made on the world once they were anointed with God’s power through His Holy Spirit. Just twelve men initiated worldwide change as a result of God’s power! (Acts 2)

Savor

As powerful as salt is, it can lose its savor if it is mixed with other additives. RealSalt.com says salt will never go bad, but common table salt has agents added which degrade over time causing the salt to lose its savor. Society in Jesus’ day was mixed with many sinful impurities. If Christ-followers were not careful, their lives would be overrun with the effects of sinful choices.

Preservation

This leads to a need for preservation! In ancient times, salt was added to prevent food from spoiling. When the disciples began spreading the Gospel, they were keeping the world from decaying without the Hope offered through Jesus’ offer of forgiveness. Salt can go both ways. If we allow society to rub off on us, we will lose our savor; but if we rub off on society, we hold out the life-giving freedom of Christ! 

How can you and I effectively be Salt of the Earth?

By choosing to engage those around us with the hope of Christ! If we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our lives, we HAVE Christ’s power in us to be salt to the world and we will WANT to season the world. 

Examine Your Heart

If you don’t have the deep desire to be a Salt of the Earth disciple, it would be wise to follow the apostle Paul’s teaching and examine your hearts “to see whether we are in the faith.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-6) 

Have you ever known a person who rubbed you the wrong way? Comparatively, have you known someone who always blesses a room when they enter? This is how we season the world. A preacher once asked, “If you record yourself, what would you see/hear?” This challenged me and still does, to take special care in what I do and I say, making sure I’m surrendering myself to the Spirit’s power alive in me. 

Showing love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness is how believers share their Salt with the Earth. (Ephesians 4:29-32)

Let’s begin our days with King David’s prayer,

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord. My Rock and my Redeemer.” 

*excerpted from my writings at Gracefully Truthful

click the image below to read about “Being a Light to the World”

gracefully truthful
www.gracefullytruthful.com/blog

Sources

Enduring Word Commentary by David Guzik

7 Steps Toward Regaining Your Strength

But God is my strength. Oh, what a promise! I’m writing devotionals this month on scriptures that use the phrase, “BUT GOD”. It’s been an awesome journey. You can follow along by subscribing in the pop-up.

god is my strength

I’m ten years and going into my journey with chronic pain. (Read my story here) Not far into this journey, God brought this scripture to life for me. This verse sounds good when you are healthy and living well, but have a turn of events, and this verse comes alive.

Some would be tempted to turn away from God when struck with struggles that seem too hard to bear. But I found greater hope in God because of my pain.

David said, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.”

Psalm 119:71

I laid flat on my back for over a month. And after that, I was only moving about because of the large doses of steroids I was taking until receiving my diagnosis. I spent much of that time reading the scriptures and falling more deeply in love with my Lord.

Indeed I found that God was the only thing I needed. He was and is my strength and my song.

Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Psalm 34:8

Steps Toward Gaining Your Strength

regaining yoru strength
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Accept Your Weakness

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10


Just like Paul, I had several conversations with God about removing my pain. And, just like Paul, God said, “I am enough”. We talked many times about my busy-ness “for Him” and how I had forgotten to let Him lead in my ministry. He asked me, “If I take away your pain, do you think you would keep your eyes on Me?” Truthfully, I had to admit, probably not.

Seek God

Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the Lord’s word.

Amos 8:13


But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:4


I found I now had plenty of time to read and I spent much of this time reading the Word of God. That summer I signed up for a study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119 is all about the importance of God’s Word. This verse spoke out clearly to me,

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn your statutes.

Psalm 119:71

Take Refuge in Him – Rest

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matt 11:28-30

My pain and suffering gave me a chance to rest. I needed it desperately. And through it, I was given His rest.


Hope in the Lord

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

    They will soar high on wings like eagles.

run and not grow weary.

    They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 –

This was always one of my favorite verses. Perhaps because I struggled with fatigue long before we ever realized there was a health problem. But this verse became, even more, real to me as I struggled with my illness. My hope in Him alone has given me the strength to live each day

Look for Joy

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

Nehemiah 8:10

We often think that the blessings of life are the good things like family, success, lots of stuff. But I have learned that if we take advantage of the troubled times, they become blessings in disguise because they draw us closer to God.

Not too far into this journey with pain, I was introduced to Ann Voskamp and her story with depression. Someone challenged her to start making a list of 1000 blessings. In accepting this challenge she journaled each day at least three blessings she found from God. Soon her depression had taken a back seat to joy.

It’s true, you know, laughter is good medicine. When we start focusing on all the good God has done for us, we find joy in the journey, even when it’s a hard journey.

Laughter is Good MEdicine

Prayer

King David said, “On the day I called, You answered me; You emboldened me and strengthened my soul.”

Psalm 138:3.

They say that talking about it is very therapeutic. Now if only we would realize that if we talked to the Lord about it and listened to His answers we could probably save ourselves a lot of money spent on counselors.


Philippians 4:6-7 says Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Praise God

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!

Exodus 15:2; Psalm 59:17;

O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.

Psalm 59:17;

I know sometimes, it is very difficult to praise God. Our words seem to just get stuck in your throat. But trust me, praising God and singing to Him will lift your spirits. If you can’t do it, at least play some praise music and turn it up. Soon you will find yourself singing along.

Connect with Others

Then Judas and Silas, both being prophets, spoke at length to the believers, encouraging and strengthening their faith.

Acts 15:32

There is nothing better than connecting with other believers. That is why we are instructed to come together to worship.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:25


Meeting together is difficult in the midst of this pandemic; however, most of us have cell phones and internet access. Be sure you are regularly attending church and visiting with fellow believers. There are thousands of opportunities to participate in worship if your own church doesn’t offer its services online. My husband and I have really enjoyed the preaching of Greg Laurie at Harvest at Home.

On top of that, connect individually with fellow believers to encourage one another. If you are lonely, for heaven’s sake, pick up your phone and call someone. They might need some encouragement from you and in the process, you will find yourself encouraged and strengthened.

My blog has connected me with so many believers and also believers that suffer from chronic illness. I have met some wonderful friends and we encourage one another regularly. You may not have a blog, but we have so many social media opportunities. Get on one of them and start commenting on every else’s posts. I’ll list some groups on Facebook that uplift me.

Strengthened in Christ,

Mandy

Facebook Groups that Encourage


intercede

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)

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Savannah, GA

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becoming sage

Midlife Crisis: Becoming Sage

There’s a lot to deal with in midlife. That empty nest syndrome for one can really take you for a loop. But that is not the only crisis you are looking at as you are “becoming sage”.

What does that even mean? “to become sage“. You might have thought about the herb. But the first definition listed by Webster is actually “wise through reflection and experience“. My thought was similar to this …something like Michelle Van Loon said”to cultivate fresh growth and ongoing fruitfulness for those of us growing through the latter seasons of our lives.

becoming Sage

So, What is Becoming Sage?

As our children grow up and leave the nest, we find ourselves struggling to figure out just what or who we are. We have spent the past 18-20 (or more) years raising kids. Life has pretty much encircled our children. So now, if we haven’t been careful, we end up asking ourselves, “Now What?” We may not really even know that guy sitting on the couch across the room, typically referred to as our husband.

At church, we may feel lost because we have spent all our time in the children’s department. Honestly, though I was a children’s director most our my ministry years, I believe that we have got cdoing church all wrong. We separate out into age groups; never intermingling with others and having no intergenerational contact. How can we learn or grow if we are never around older people?

The churches where my husband pastored wanted this type of organization calling this a “family church”. NO! a family church worships together as a family. I altered this with once a month family day where everyone worshiped together and children’s visiting days where we went to visit shut-ins. Oh anyway, I am getting a little off track. 🙂

a FAMILY CHURCH worships together as a family. #worship #intergenerationalworship Click To Tweet

Maturity. Yes spiritual maturity is what I am talking about. It could be that if you were teaching in the children’s department all those years that your faith has become stagnant. ouch! But seriously, how often did you get any real challenging teaching? I might be time to take a look and make some changes.

If we are becoming sage, we are also coming to terms with the fact that filling a church org chart my be a sign of a person’s church commitment, but it is not a measure of their spiritual maturity.

Michelle VonLoon, Becoming Sage

From Teacher to Learner

becoming Sage

As our family relationships re-shape, we must also reshape our personal relationship with God. Yes, it is a little sad to give your daughter away and feel that lonesomeness. But we must find the silver linings. Find those things that make this time in your life even better. Now can be a time where you really focus in on God. I know for me, that I have had much more time to spend in the Word and get close to God. And I am loving it.

Think about how you can make this the best season of your life. First start with this: Ask God to reveal what He wants you to learn in this stage of your life. Remember that verse you taught your kids?

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7, NLT

Here are a few considerations as your search your heart

  • Gratitude. practice it. Look for joy every day. Start a joy journal. Every day, list three things that make you happy or you are grateful for. Offer these things to God in praise. You could even place these things on cards in a big jar. Then when you have a not so joyful day. Just pull a couple of cards out. You’ll be joyful in no time.
  • Consider your Fears. What are your fears during this time? Talk with God about them. Look up some verses about how God deals with our fears. Here is one of my favorites.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

More Ideas

  • Talk with your friends about these changes. It could include marriage issues, divorce, aging, and dying parents, illness, prodigals, grandchildren. You will probably find you have a strong enough group to start a support group. 🙂 Then go out and find the resources you all need.
  • Deal with loneliness head-on. Reach out to friends and recultivate those friendships or make new ones. If we ever get past this pandemic, utilize those coffee shops that are popping up everywhere and make appointments to have “a cuppa” together on a regular basis. Just having something to look forward to can make a world of difference. In the meantime, you can still have meaningful conversations on the phone, texting, messaging. I’m talking private discussions, not with the whole world.
  • Mentoring. Turn around and see who is following you. You have things to offer others, so offer them. There are a lot of young moms who have no one nearby to help them out. Go help. Think back at what would have been a great help to you and then do it. There is one thing I have found that giving is way better than receiving.
Giving is way better than receiving. #mentoring #friendship Click To Tweet

Becoming sage relationally includes learning to be along with God, leaning into times of deep loneliness, remaining open to new connections, and nurturing or renegotiating old friendships in the context of the security we have in our friendship with God.

Michelle VanLoon, Becoming Sage

In Conclusion

Well, friends, these are a few things that inspired me in Michelle Van Loon’s new book, Becoming Sage ~ Cultivating Meaning, Purpose, and Spirituality in Midlife. You might want to go pick up a copy.

Mandy Farmer

Many thanks to Moody Publishers for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

My first impression of this book was not that great. It was almost depressing because I saw where the church is failing its people. But then I looked through again, looking for the answers she offered. She does have much to offer but you might have to read it slower or actually do the activities at the end of each chapter. 🙂 – Mandy



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How Firm a Foundation

Holy Scriptures Are the Foundation of Life

One of the best ways to learn scripture is through song. Think about it. We can recall every word of a song we loved from high school even after decades. Why not build a foundation of scriptures in your mind by setting them to music? There are many songs and choruses already out there. You may not even realize that the words are straight from the scriptures.

hymn of the week foundation
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Here’s a hymn you probably knew years ago. I remember singing it as a child. I understood the idea of the hymn… about God being our foundation but recently I took a closer look at the words and was blown away at the number of scriptures found in this one song. Take a look for yourself…

How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand. [Isaiah 41:10]

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress. [Isaiah 43:2-3]

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, [Isaiah 43:2-3]
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply; [2 Corinthians 12:9]
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine. [Zechariah 13:9]

“The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose, [Proverbs 3:5-6]
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes; [Hebrews 13:5,6]
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.” [Deuteronomy 31:8]

https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/How_Firm_a_Foundation/

Now take a listen

Find the Hymn Story here.

Search out some others

Grab a hymnal or a chorus book and start reading the lyrics as part of your devotions. Build your foundation of faith through song. Trust me you will be blessed.

Singing a foundation!

Mandy Farmer
hymn of the week How Firm a FOundation
Hymn of the Week – How Firm a Foundation Click To Tweet
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.