prayer



                               

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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

“I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them. Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!” Psalm 116:1, 2 (Living Bible)

Can we talk for a minute? 

You’re wearing that pain like a pair of old shoes. Worn low from love…they fit. But they aren’t comfortable. They pinch in odd places and won’t be back in style soon enough to warrant another year of space in an already full closet. Whether from habit or limited choices you’re in a rut. For some reason you keep reaching for the same pair. You think I don’t notice. 

But I do.

I’ve been thinking about you. Laid fresh on the doorstep of my heart, I can’t go another day without picking you up for a closer look. I want to turn the pages and look at the pictures, open the folds, maybe tuck you under my arm to take with me on my way out. This might take a while. 

I’ve always admired you. You’re a thoughtful mother, committed wife and your professional accomplishments are impressive. That you do it all for Christ is a testimony of His faithfulness. It all streams behind you like the most extravagant silk train. An array of jewels, crystals and beads…and pearls. It’s beautiful. But it’s heavy. You should take it off sometimes. 

Those things don’t redeem your worth or increase your value. And sometimes those very wonderful things are what keep you from Christ. Because in the end..you’re just a girl..who needs her God. Now more than ever you realize those things…are adornments. To be clear, they’re all good things. But they don’t matter now…not when your soul’s in crisis. Not when you ran into the bathroom to keep your children from seeing you breakdown…again – not when you schedule time for panic attacks in the ladies room at work. 

It’s that thing, the unspeakable thing, the nameless one…the thing that breaks your heart. It’s your thorn, your secret shame. 

And you aren’t ready to talk about it so let’s do that other thing we do. 

Let’s pray. 

Let’s pray about that thing. 

Whatever you’re going through please know I see it and I care. I want to whisper strength in spaces where you’re weak. Fortify your thin places with the truth of a psalm. Remind you of His promise… the blood bought covenant between you.  Believe with you that when we’ve run out of words, we’ll always have His.   

I want to tell you it won’t always be this way. 

I want to tell you it’s okay to carve out space for self-preservation. To make time for that little thing you love. Just because. It’s okay to say no and mean it. It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to feel the sweet release of a fist shaking rant. And it’s okay to raise your hands to heaven with a cry for help. It’s okay. I want you to know – rest…isn’t wrong. And neither is help. It’s okay to seek professional help.  

It’s okay that we’re here. 

This is a “for women only” zone – a sacred circle for sisters. We’ll hold hands, breathe deep the scent of myrrh and burning candles or sit together over coffee in the food court at a mall. We’ll be quiet. The dangerous, healing, regenerative kind. In the silence, we’ll send hope to heaven on the wings of an exhale. Storm heaven with a hug and the dream of amen.  Our thoughts, crafted as celestial prayers…heaven bound. 

And He’ll hear. He will. 

Come, I’ve been here before. I’ll walk to the altar with you.



                               

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Imperfect Prayers to a Perfect God

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14

How often have we felt our prayers inadequate? How many times have we held back our heart’s cry in a group for fear of being misunderstood? What is our response to the scriptures that remind us repeatedly to  pray always?

I remember my earliest exposure to prayer. It was formal, stiff, ethereal. In a word impersonal.

I never witnessed nor experienced prayer in my formative years in a personal and up close way. Prayer was for the pious, and quite honestly, I didn’t know any truly pious people.

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When Waiting for Answers and the Indwelling of Peace

Winter Sky

I cannot begin to remember and count all the different times I have wanted to know how God is working in and through a particular situation and also wanting to desperately know when I will have answers. I think it was my pattern for life especially as a younger Christian without a lot of spiritual growth under my belt, so to speak.

Too numerous to count are the times answers did not come on my timetable, but as I have walked longer with the Lord, I have learned more about the process of waiting. Learning about waiting is not an easy or pleasant experience.

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Praying and Living with JOY!

photo credit: adwriter via photopin cc

photo credit: adwriter via photopin cc

 “Because prayer happens while we are immersed in the particulars of life, there is no single formula to follow.” Winn Collier

I sat with journal open, seeking to pray but finding that the words were not forthcoming. Praying with my pen has always helped me focus my prayers, clarifying my thoughts and words. But on this morning, I could only sit, quietly staring out the window at the Red Maples in all of their splendor. My thoughts were focused, and on God’s beauty- the wonder of it all. I felt swept up to a heavenly seat, with my Father by my side, but I had no words.

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May I Pray for You?

Prayer

She reaches out weekly. Sometimes through email if we miss our hug at church. And when she asks how I am, I know she wants the honest truth no matter how long it takes me to get it all out. We don’t see each other as often as we’d like, but I know she lifts me up to Our Father in prayer often. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the best kind of friend there is.

I trust her with my heart because she handles it with love and always lifts it up to Jesus for Him to take care of.

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When You Can’t Hold Back

Have you ever been tempted to think of Jesus as one who was so spiritual that He didn’t need to pray?

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Surely He had a special connection with God, an influence because He was God’s son. Right?

Here’s what the Bible has to say about that:

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:7-8 NASB).

We have a glimpse of the depth of Christ’s heart as He prayed.

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When Martha Learns to be Mary

Sometimes it’s hard to keep my mouth shut.

My brain is always working, spewing out thoughts and feelings. When my brain isn’t in conversational overdrive, activity is the name of the game. Doing and productivity push me to want to conquer my never-ending tasks.

Sometimes the better thing is to be still. The better thing is to listen rather than jibber on. The better thing is to step away from the pressure of my day and enter in to sacred secrecy with God.

Jesus said to a frantic and frazzled Martha–the one I know–the one trying to get it all done and get it all right:

… you are worried and upset over all these details!

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Faith to Move Your Mountain

When you need faith to move your mountain…

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This passage has been a challenge to me. It’s easy to feel like somehow we must manufacture mountain-moving faith–as if it is some secret formula only the most devoted can learn.

Sometimes we’re trying to move the wrong mountain.

I struggled with the questions in my heart about how to have faith to move my mountains. But sometimes we’re trying to move the wrong mountain and too often we ask the wrong question.

Jaque Banas of Vision Writer’s International teaches the concept of journalizing, a specific way of meditating on Scripture by taking dictation from the Holy Spirit and writing to capture, assimilate and obey His personal instructions.In her study, Prayer the Power to Possess, she writes:

“If you don’t know the question, ask God.

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