Is Your Struggle Beyond Your ABILITY to Pray?

iH3_QIEMPhilippians 4:6; “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

We go through a lot of things in life; we meet a lot of challenges, and face many disappointments. We chase after the wrong things and find ourselves on the wrong side of progress…  Welcome to the human experience! There is not one among us who isn’t going to be angered, disappointed, cheated, wronged, overlooked or is going to do everything right.

So, you are going through somethings right now; I want you to answer the question I asked above, is your circumstance beyond your ability to pray?

I am not asking is it beyond your desire to pray. The truth is, nothing is beyond your ABILITY to pray unless you are not alive. If you can talk about your situation, or cry about it, or worry about it, you can pray about it.

God does really hear every prayer, and receives every praise. No matter what your life looks like right now do those two things, PRAY AND PRAISE. Even if your prayer is, “God, I don’t know how to pray,” he understands that. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in and helps out.   When you are at your wits end, when you are burned out, bitter, tired of dead ends, when none of your words are right, the Holy Spirit has the right words, and the right answer- PRAY for help. When nothing about going forward seems worth it, PRAY. God will help you see value in your circumstance, if even to just draw YOU closer to him. God never wastes a struggle. Sometimes the solution to the problem we face, is the change God is trying to make in US, not someone or something else. (That revelation made me pause for a second too!)

There is nothing too hard for God, not even your situation. There is no problem too big for God, not even yours, but while you are sitting there trying to figure out how things went so wrong, or why you cant seem to create the change you want to see, remember that the change, the blessing, the breakthrough, the elevation and promotion come AFTER you pray. It is not your job to change people. It is not your business to hold all the answers. It will never be up to you to control all things. It IS up to you to PRAY if you want true victory in your situation. The God of Armies (Jehovah Sabaoth), the God who desires to fight for you, wants to hear from you today. He is a healer, he is a helper, he is a peacemaker, he is a provider, he is a protector, he is a way maker, he is a burden lifter, he is a yoke destroyer…Yes, there IS power in the name JESUS to break every chain!

Will you stop now and pray?

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ARE YOU BOLD ENOUGH?

 

living-with-boldness

Mark 11:22-24 encourages us: “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

This morning it was raining when I woke; raining hard. Normally, this would be a welcomed event because I love the rain and the sound it makes on the roof. But today, I was concerned because my husband has a long commute for which he uses public transportation which means that for part of the time, he is standing outside waiting. And, it’s February. Rain in February is not a warm soothing rain, it’s a cold chilling disturbance. My prayer was, “Lord, stop the rain for the 2 hours he has to be on the way home.”  

Are you bold enough to believe that God can answer such a prayer?  I am.  My husband reported that it was raining when he left work, but by the time he got home about two hours later, the rain had stopped and he didn’t have to walk 5 blocks in the hard rain. As I am writing this, my husband is home and the rain has not resumed, though the forecast calls for rain through the day.

On another occasion, my husband was on his way to work.  The second leg of his commute was running very late, which meant he was likely to miss his last connection, which would mean he’d have to miss work. My prayer, “Lord, cause everyone to run late so he can get to his job tonight.”   Are you bold enough to pray such a prayer? I was.  At the point I think he was about to give up and come home, the train came. At the other end, the connecting ride was also running late according to the group that had gathered to wait.

Do I really believe these things happened because I prayed? YES! I believe because the Word of God says I have what I ask for if I believe. I know, many will say it’s just a coincidence, but nothing about this life is happenstance.  You don’t have to believe in the grace, mercy, and favor of  God, but as for me, I know my God hears me and will answer me. He will do the same for you if you let him. My husband’s comfort is important to me, and I want all to go well with him at work, on the way to and from work, at home…you see, when things are well with him, things are well with me. 

Trust God with all aspects of your life, he will bless you, and all will be well with you.

 

Still We Are Called

 

Twins“If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.” Vincent Van Gogh

What would you say to the women who has waited seemingly forever to have children and the children never come? I write this a bit pessimistically and hesitantly, but also with sincerity.  It just occurred to me that I am now a statistic. I am one of thousands of women anxious to have children, but sadly without. I want children, it just hasn’t happened yet. What is a woman to do or think as she slips ever so slowly, farther into mid-life? Society and culture expect newlyweds to pop out babies within the first year, and if they don’t, friends and associates with children become scarce, because, “You don’t understand what it’s like to have kids,” and the rumor mill cranks into action… “What are they waiting for? … Maybe they don’t want children… maybe one of them can’t have children … maybe one does and the other doesn’t…” the questions and wondering don’t end, but the truth of the matter is, it’s no one’s business. There are many people who don’t want to have children, and others have made their peace with the notion of it never happening for them. But for those of us who still desire to have children and cannot, or have not, the burden is far from light. For those of us who waited a long time for the right man to marry and start a family, the agony is sometimes inconsolable. A man finds great pride and significance in being able to provide for his family. But what comforts the woman who has not borne him the family?

 

One of my greatest joys as a child was to fantasize about my future. My husband, first and foremost would have to be tall with a mustache… (God did honor that request).   I had names for my children, the boys and the girls; I made a list of every combination of names for twins and triplets, and then I waited with great anticipation for Mr. Right. Much later than expected, I was married. Then the looks started, women trying to spy the baby-bump and analyzing every hint of morning sickness. It’s heartbreaking to have to meet their expectation with continued disappointment.  People say, be happy for others, celebrate with others and people will celebrate with you.  I believe that, I truly do.  I attend birthday parties and naming ceremonies with genuine joy for those parents. But a little part of my heart aches each time I am invited to celebrate the birth of someone else’s children.

 

There are many reasons why God blesses some and not others. I don’t know what his reason is for my life, but I know he has one, and I know his ways are not mine; Isaiah 55:8.  Most days, I am carefree about it, and then there are days like today, when it really weighs on my heart.  I asked myself this question today… “What would make me feel better if someone were trying to comfort me right now?”  I’ve read books, and I have had conversations… I’ve prayed and tried to praise God through my pain, and I have read the story of Hannah and Sarah a hundred times but it’s not every day those passages give me peace.  It’s hard to sing when we are weeping inside. Sometimes the longing is just too much.  I wasn’t even going to discuss this, but one of the headlines for today says, “Childless Couples More Likely to Die Young.”  I’m not sure why people feel compelled to participate in this research and then share such findings, but it’s out there.

 

So, what do you do?  First, understand that only a woman knows a woman’s pain. Secondly, if you don’t know what to say…say nothing, just be available for prayer and expression. Sometimes we want to talk about it, sometimes, we don’t. The platitudes and clichés are an easy way out of really connecting with someone and it’s very transparent. Don’t toss around the story of Sarah bearing a child at the age of 100 for lack of something meaningful to say. A woman waiting for a “now” experience and advancing toward the end of childbearing years does not wish to hear she ought wait another 50 years to be fruitful!  It’s a valuable story of hope, favor, and the faithful word of God, but to the distressed Believer, the story is not helpful in the moment. 

 

And last, pray for us and with us, and remind us of our greatness and purposes. Encourage us to pray without ceasing, and stay expectant. We have significance beyond the possibility of having children and our plan includes more than just being a parent.  God is close to the broken-hearted…Psalm 34:18 – this we need to know and remember because the Word of God says he will save us and our crushed spirit. How? That is not for us to know…we just need to know he cares enough to do it. Remind us of 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, which says, God will comfort us for the purpose of helping someone else going through the same thing. We need to know that our experience is not in vain. Even now, in our barrenness, we have a purpose if only to let others know they are not alone and God still wants to use them for something more significant than their pain. Encourage us to exercise a mustard seed sized faith; Matthew 17:20. We need to know and remember that even a little faith can produce results.  Don’t just recite the references, speak the words; read the verses out loud, let the message sink deep.

 

I don’t appreciate the questions asked behind my back, or those slyly directed at my husband from well-meaning people, but I can’t blame them for being curious. Everyone just needs to remember only God has the answers.

 

I have activated my mustard seed… I reject the article and its findings, and choose to believe that I have what I have asked for by faith and in Jesus’ name!! Mark 11:24.

 

 

RELATED SCRIPTURES

 

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. KJV

 

John 14:13-14 – Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. ESV

 

John 16:24 – Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. ESV

 

1 John 5:14 – And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. ESV

 

 

 Related Link

 http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2012/12/05/15703712-having-kids-doesnt-kill-you-after-all?lite

 

 

11 Important Thoughts for Right Now

1. You must accept your season. It is for you, for now.

2. Wait patiently in your faith as you go through.

3. Give all your cares, worries, and wonders, to God.

4. God does see you, and he does hear you, and he will help you.

5. Get your hand out of the bowl.  God does not need your help figuring things out for you.

6. Take the limits off God. His ways are not your ways, and he will not move the way you expect him to.

7. Get out!  Go somewhere. Staying home only magnifies the issue. Visit someone, walk somewhere, focus on something else.

8. Persevere under the pressure. You’ve got to keep moving; that is the only way to win.

9. Pray and Praise.  I get that it’s hard. But praise silences the voices of the enemy, and prayer ensure that he stays quiet.

10. Expect the greatness of  God. When you feel blinded by the “doom and gloom”, you have to believe that God will burst the darkness in a way only he can.

11. Remember the things God has already done in your life.  If he could do it then, there is NO reason to believe he cannot do it now.

Just Be Quiet

Mark 6:31 “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Have you been to your quiet place lately?

 Many times we read in the Bible about Jesus going off to a quiet place. Mark one says that in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus went to a solitary (secluded, desolate) place to pray.  And this is a good practice to follow. In my opinion, there is nothing like the quiet of morning or the still of late night. There are no sounds of the many children on my block, or the rush of commuters on the road just one block away. There is peace; nothing is moving except my mind. There are no distractions, no phones to jolt me into the reality of a work day….just peace. This is where I am closest to God, in my solitude.

Now, before you start wagging a finger fussing about how this is so good and easy for me because I don’t have the demands of family, let me say this…you are right, that reality does not apply to me right now. But Jesus had a lot to do too, more than any of us will ever have to do, and he still found time to get away and pray. There can be no excuses. God expects to hear from us each day, no matter what our schedule holds.  It may be necessary to create that quiet place.  From midmorning through sunset, my home office is anything but tranquil, but before everyone else wakes up, it is my quiet place. It’s a place where God and I commune.  I read and study his word, and he speaks to me. When all I can do is cry, He  comforts me, and reminds me that no matter what, I am loved unconditionally. He reminds me that I am experiencing those moments with him because I am worthy to be called his own, and that he has an assignment for me for the day.  Yes, he sometimes uses those moments to rebuke me, and get me refocused on him and not myself or my circumstance, but that time is never wasted time.

I don’t spend enough time just being quiet. I realized today, that my time with the Lord has been scarce only because I have allowed other things to get in the way, and I am very guilty of sleeping through that time because I stayed too long in an activity the night before.  Think of it this way, when you are in a group of people, but want to speak to one person alone, what do you do?  You go with them to a quieter place, a place where you both can be heard, right? 

God wants that intimacy with you too. Not only to hear you, but to speak and be heard. He has something to share with each and every one of us, but if we never allow time to sit and listen in solitude, we will certainly miss it. What happens then, is that we become frustrated with how thing are going in our lives and we start to blame God  instead of blessings him with praises and thanksgiving.

If your quiet time needs to come in the middle of the day, so be it, just make the time. God wants to bless you, but something things will only come to you in a quiet voice, in a quiet place away from the rest of  life’s demands. Read your Bible, study the Word of God, and spend time alone with Him.

May the blessings of the Lord find you today, and accompany you through the week.

4 Steps to Spiritual Growth

Study to show yourself approved II Timothy 2:15

Step 1 – Read your Bible every day.  The easiest way to truly “grow up” in the faith is to make Bible reading a priority.

Step 2 – Attend church services regularly. The Bible encourages us to meet together regularly with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). This is also fundamental to spiritual growth.

Step 3 – Get involved in a ministry group. Most churches offer small groups and many ministry opportunities. Pray and ask God where you should get involved Those who become active in ministry find their purpose more quickly and accelerate their walk with the Lord. Most churches offer classes or counseling to help you find the place that’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to try different avenues.

Step 4 – Pray often about all things. A prayer is just a simple conversation with God. There are no special formulas, and they don’t have to be poetic; just talk.  Remember to give thanks and praise to God, repent of yours sins. Include the needs of others and pray for protection and direction for yourself. Make prayer a regular part of your day.

[3] Assurance of Guidance

Assurance:

The confidence of being free from doubt or uncertainty; the state of being secure.

 

Do you have any idea where you are going?

Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I have to say, that scripture is becoming more and more a source of comfort. As time goes on, and the ministry of my life unfolds, I seem to understand less and less. What a comfort to know that God knows all and already has the best ending written. He sees all and directs all.  The uncertainties of the future, the knowledge of God’s good and perfect will…they are in the palm of God’s hand.  This verse is God’s promise to direct our lives and there is no way for us to go wrong trusting him. God’s amazing plan is to prosper us, not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future, (Jeremiah 29:11).

Not one of us can outdo God, so it stands to good reason that we should follow up and trust him with all; our hearts, our lives, our plans…etc.  Friends, God’s ways are not our ways; his thoughts are not our thoughts. There is nothing we can think of that he cannot exceed. There is no height to which we can climb that will keep him from going higher. Whatever you stand in need of, it behooves us to trust him wholly. Trust him to take you farther, lift you higher and bless you more abundantly. In doing so you can rest assured that God will instruct you, counsel you, and watch over as you are blessed and busy about his business. (Psalm 32:8).

Now, keep in mind that if you don’t want the things of God, do not worry about trusting him. Feel free to try and find security in your own efforts, but if you want to be blessed, truly blessed, it is in your best interest to trust him and put your confidence in him.  It is so easy to stand and wonder why people are getting blessed over and over, and while the goodness of God rains on the just and the unjust, those who are truly blessed are those who put there trust and confidence in him.  Don’t limit yourself to your own understanding. If you need wisdom, ask for it. If you need understanding, ask for it. If you need vision…ask for it. When you ask, do so believing that you have what you ask for.

ACTION:   Write down the areas in which you need to trust God more,

ACTION: According to James 1:6-7, how should you express your trust in God in your current situation?

Check in again next week when i will discuss the Assurance of Forgiveness.

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Brought to you by Shaunna Jackson & SPEAKing Life Ministries

http://www.speakinglifeministries.org