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Prayer and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), Week 4

Welcome back to our 4th week of prayer and what Jesus has to say about it. Last week we looked at Mark 9. Jesus showed us how we need prayer and that we need to rely on God not on our own strength. Besides reminding us how much we need to rely on God, prayer also recharges us when we are running on empty. Prayers give us hope at the end of our rope.

My husband said this to me about prayer. He said, “Prayer allows you to tie a knot in the end of that rope so that we can keep hanging on”. Prayers give us strength when we are weak, wisdom when we are not sure what to do and, comfort in the hardest times.

In Luke 6:12, Jesus prays the whole night and like Jesus there will be times that our prayers will require long periods of time. My husband and I have a prayer closet and there have been times that we have spent hours contending for things in our little room.

Jesus talks about going into your room and closing the door to pray in Matthew 6:6. Now not everyone has a prayer closet and that is fine. What Jesus is teaching us is that he doesn’t want us to make a public spectacle of ourselves. Standing on a corner praying for all to hear puts the focus on us and not on God. Now I understand that there will be times when you do pray in public. Jesus doesn’t want our prayers to be a “look at me, I am praying for all of you to see” kind of thing.

Also, we can look to Jesus as our example of how much we should pray. Luke 5:16 says “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. Notice it says OFTEN. It doesn’t say occasionally. Just like Jesus prayed often so should we.

This week pleases take some time to sit quietly with Jesus. Go to a place where you can close the door and step away from all distraction and all people. Spill your heart to the Lord. God loves you and he hears every prayer. I look forward to one more week with you on the subject of prayer.

Have a “Simply Blessed” day.

For more of my heartfelt ramblings pre-order your copy “Simply Blessed” and help fight hunger. $1 for every pre-order between now and December 31 will be donated to Generation Alive and $1 covers the cost of 4 meals.

Simply Blessed is a 31-day devotional for women. The thirty-one light-hearted short stories tackle real life issues that all women face. From fear, control, gossip, their identity in Christ and for some women, abuse. Simply Blessed reminds us that God is not a God of religion, he is a God of relationship. He is comfortable like our favorite Saturday sweat pants. Grab your favorite warm beverage, curl up with a blanket and let the words of Simply Blessed bring you joy.

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Prayer and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), Week 2

Hello and welcome back to the Prayer and WWJD series.

Mark 14:32 says, “They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray””

Jesus prayed for all kinds of things and if the Son of God needs to pray than how much more do we? There are so many examples of how Jesus prayed throughout the bible but I can’t cover them all…today let’s look at two things Jesus teaches us about prayer.

We see that in Mark 14:32 that I shared with you at the beginning of this lesson that Jesus knew the importance of praying along. He told his disciple to “sit here while I pray”.  In Luke 9:28 Jesus took Peter and John with him to pray. By praying with Peter and John, He also demonstrates the importance of praying with others. Just as Jesus prayed alone and prayed with others, so should we. Having people to pray with is so important. God never intended for us to go it alone so please make sure to have a few people who you can turn to for prayer when you need it and always be willing to pray for them when they need it.

Second, in Matthew 19:14-15 Jesus asks that the children come to him so that he can lay hands on them and pray. As a parent I cannot stress enough the importance of praying for your children. I have prayed since my children were little for their spouses. God answered my prayers for my son and he has an amazing wife. I continue to pray for my daughter to find the perfect someone in God’s perfect timing.

As the body of Christ we should pray for all the children. We can stand in the gap with intercessory prayer for the lost and broken youth of our communities.

This week if you don’t have a prayer partner or two, please ask a friend who knows the Lord and who you can trust to keep your prayers private to be your prayer partner. Also take some time to pray for the children in your family, your church and your community. Until next week ladies, may the joy of the Lord fill you to overflowing.

For more of my heartfelt ramblings pre-order your copy “Simply Blessed” and help fight hunger. $1 for every pre-order between now and December 31 will be donated to Generation Alive and $1 covers the cost of 4 meals.

Simply Blessed is a 31-day devotional for women. The thirty-one light hearted short stories tackle real life issues that all women face. From fear, control, gossip, their identity in Christ and for some women, abuse. Simply Blessed reminds us that God is not a God of religion, he is a God of relationship. He is comfortable like our favorite Saturday sweat pants. Grab your favorite warm beverage, curl up with a blanket and let the words of Simply Blessed bring you joy.

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Keep Your Eyes on Him

I hope that your day is off to a fantastic start. I pray that in all you do keep your eyes, mind, and heart on the Lord. You can count on Him to go before you through the valleys and to the mountain top moments. You just need to stay focused on Him. Proverbs 4:25-27 is the perfect reminder of this…

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

Just like we keep our eyes on the road when we drive, we also need to keep our eyes on God for direction.

Today my payer is this.

Father God, Today I pray that you will remove the distractions from in front of us so that all we see is you. Guide us and keep us from evil. Bring us from glory to glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have a “Simply Blessed” Day and I hope you pre-order you copy of “Simply Blessed” and help fight hunger. $1 for every pre-order between now and December 31 will be donated to Generation Alive and $1 covers the cost of 4 meals.

 

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Change Your Perspective.

I love to take pictures of my daisies.

While photographing them, I felt drawn to look at some the daisies from another angle. The simple beauty of the daisies stretching towards the setting sun spoke to my heart. The word “perspective” rolled around in my head as I looked at the picture I had taken.

Perspective…what you see depends not only on what you look at, but also, on where you look from. -Author unknown.

Sometimes we need to change our perspective to see things more clearly. To change your perspective…”set your mind on things above and not on things that are on earth” Colossians 3:2. In other-words, set your eyes on God.

If you find yourself looking at things through the eyes of the world change your perspective and look at things through God‘s eyes.

Father God, I pray that you would give each one of us a new perspective where it is needed.  Help us to see things as you see them.  Help us to see the beauty in the hardest trials. Father, help us to always keep our eyes and our minds focused on you, not on what the world wants us to see. In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

Have a “Simply Blessed” day.

Pre-order your copy “Simply Blessed”  a 31 day devotional and help fight hunger. $1 for every pre-order between now and December 31 will be donated to Generation Alive and $1 covers the cost of 4 meals.

 

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The gift that will not fade …

10665930_10152750701973749_4060286779736131217_nGuest Post by Joe Duenich

What is the gift that will not fade?

My two daughters are grown and experiencing their very own adventure of life. While my wife and I are excited about being empty nesters and watching them blossom, it is kind of sad. We miss taking care of them and seeing them each and every day. But in the eternal scheme of things, not seeing them for days, weeks, or even months apart is really nothing. The day is coming when I who entered this world at one point will face eternity. That day is also coming for my kids…yours too. Our sons and daughters will hear from a just and holy, loving God about an eternal destiny. The thought of missing one of my kids in eternity is just unbearable for me.

So, if you’re a parent, I’m telling you, do whatever you need to do. Talk to your kids about their faith and about their futures and about God. And if it’s awkward or hard or embarrassing or you feel like you don’t have all the answers, talk to them anyway! You’re the parent. In addition to talking to them, allow them to see into your heart and your own walk with God. Teach them through your example. Be a great role model.

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It took a lot for this UW husky fan had within her to post this photo of WSU fans on her page.

Role modeling is one of the best ways to reach our kids. What is the example that we are to use to have our kids model after? Here’s an idea from Ephesians 5:1-4. “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks.”

This is not an exhaustive list but what a powerful place to start. Paul is encouraging us to imitate God…in other words, let your kids see you acting like Jesus by walking in love! Model purity…they need to see this from us as parents because they are hard pressed to see it from anyone else. And our mouths…the words that come out of our mouth have immense power to give life or death. We should choose words wisely around our children.

Lastly, make the commitment to pray for your kids every day. We live in a world where parents think so much about parenting and work hard to give so many gifts to their kids that are going to fade. There’s only one gift we can give to our kids that will never fade, and that will last for all eternity, so give it. Give it the best you can!

For more posts by men you can go to Dirt, Trucks, and Faith

Looking for a speaker?  view my profile at Christian Women Speakers or go to Christian Women in Media Speakers Bureau

 

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Can You Trust Me with your Children?

Guest post by Karli Reed, licensed minister with the Assemblies of God.

Parenting is one of the most honorable responsibilities given to us to discourage with grace and love. From the moment that they are born and take their first breath, we are scared out our wits – oh my word! What have we here!?! What am I doing and have I lost my mind? What do I do next? Next, we take a deep breath and say “Lord God, teach us each day every step we need to take to raise this one up for your Kingdom.

IMG_0214When each of my children were born, I would wait until everyone has left to go home for the night and then stand before the hospital window facing Spokane twinkling in the night. I would raise up each one and pray and give thanks for this promised child. “You gave me the vision of three children and you have kept your promise. Here is this one. Guide me to raise them for you and for the calling that You have destined to.” You would ask me if it was all piece of cake and I would say no it wasn’t. Each child you have is uniquely different and need to be raised according to who they are. As Parents, we will have moments we regret and wish we could do it over again but, we can’t. I just have to remind myself that parenting doesn’t end even after they’ve starting their family.

There is always an opportunity to change your parenting if necessary as long as we surrender it all into His hands. As we face the days ahead of us, it becomes necessary to teach your children how to walk and live the Godlike life. Teach them how to pray along side you so they learn how to communicate with the Lord.Teach them how to worship before God to learn intimacy with God.Teach them the word of God and how to read it, study it like a student with a Teacher beside you. Never underestimate your children. They can do it. Teach them ministry with you but be wise on how they can handle ministry and guard them from the harm done in ministry. Tell them about the hard stuff when they are ready. Let them see you walk it out and the teach them that it is ok to ask us about why things happen the way they do. Always keep Jesus in the center of everything you say and do.

The most important lesson to learn is this : “Can you trust Me with your children? Trust me enough to leave them in my hands so that I may do a work in their lives before I release them?”

Parenting goes through its different seasons and each season affects the next one. Each season has its sunrises and sunsets along with it changes. Parenting also goes through its storms such as bullying, suicides, death, rejection…..this list goes on. By trusting in God to carry us through the storms, we become seasoned parents ready to come along side with younger, new parents. Parenting is a life cycle with God walking beside you every step of the way.

Looking for a speaker?  view my profile at Christian Women Speakers or go to Christian Women in Media Speakers Bureau

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Finding Your Prayer Closet

Praying is such an important part of our growth as Christians and it is our best defense35446842_s when life throws a sucker punch at us. It is very important to have place we call our own to pray. I have a favorite chair in my living room where I do my study but there is a window by the chair and when it comes to my prayer time, that doesn’t work for me. I see one thing out of the corner of my eye and “Squirrel!!” I am off track. If I see the dishes in my sink, I feel like I need to get up and wash them. So many things in my home can easily distract me. After watching the movie, War Room, I knew I needed to make a place to pray.

Not everyone has a closet big enough to turn into a prayer closet. I understand how valuable closet space is but even more valuable is your time with God. Every one of us needs to find some uninterrupted time where we can be open and truly honest with God. I encourage you to find a place in your house where you can do that.

Being empty nesters our son no longer needs his closet. My husband and I moved in and set up shop. Your prayer closet doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You may not even have room to put a chair in there but a pillow and a blanket on the floor can make your closet feel cozy.

Be creative. Do you have a spare bedroom that you could go in, close the door, and step away from everything? Do you have a storage room that has room for a chair? Maybe there’s an empty shelf to put your Bible and your prayer journals. If you have a little light and an extension cord, put the light in there. Turning off the overhead light keeps your eyes from being distracted by what you are storing in that room. We keep post-it notes in our prayer room. We can write short prayers or a scripture that really speak to us and stick them on the wall. Using the blue sticky material for hanging posters keeps our post-it notes on the wall.

Maybe your laundry room has no windows but has room to put a chair. Put a little light near the chair and turn the overhead light OFF so you’re not distracted by any laundry that needs to be done. Don’t run your laundry while you’re there either. You don’t need to be distracted by the sound of the washer and dryer. For that matter, turn your chair away from any laundry that needs to be done. If that means looking at the wall, so be it. Use the wall in front of you for a few pictures of your family and sticky notes with prayers and scriptures. Do you remember the lesson about Mary and Martha?

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:39-42 (NIV)

Be a Mary, not a Martha. Your laundry can be started after you spend time with God. God is not asking for anything fancy. Uninterrupted time is what he’s seeking. Find a place in your home where you can step away from everything and spend a little time with God. I have found that when I step away from all the distractions I really feel the peace of God. I’m excited to step into my prayer closet. Every day I step in with the expectation that God will give me just what I need. He has blown my mind with what He has shown me during our quiet time together and I believe He will do the same for you.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

 Posted on The Whatever Girls and Living Better 50 Magazine

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#WhenMomsPray: A Call to Moms to Pray for Their Daughters


By:
Erin Bishop

The world seems to be getting darker with each new generation. Kids are engaging in reckless behaviors and are becoming entangled in the enemy’s snares at an alarming rate.

None of our daughters are immune to peer pressure and temptations.

It can be daunting.

As a result, mothers can feel hopeless and weary. Exactly where the enemy wants them.

I know what hopeless and weary feel like.

I know what not wanting to pray feels like, too.

But a mother plagued by hopelessness and weariness is a distracted and ineffective warrior.

When we keep our eyes on God, not the storm, we have hope.

And hope is the birthplace of victory.

How do we get there?

On our knees.

When Moms Pray SquareYou see, a mother’s most effective battle position is on her knees before the throne room of King Jesus.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Last summer, when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenges were all over social media I found myself wondering:

What if moms prayed for their daughters? Not just the quick ‘help her_________, Lord’ type of prayers, or the afterthought prayers I feel so guilty about praying, but really prayed? If all these people are willing to throw ice water on themselves to raise awareness for a horrible disease, surely there must be some moms out there who would be up for a prayer challenge.”

And I was right. Hundreds of moms from around the world joined us and prayed for their daughters every day of the school year.

As I was organizing the prayer challenge last year, I came across a verse in Paul’s letter to the Romans (1:8) that I could not stop thinking about. I still can’t.

“…your faith is being reported all over the world.” There is such significance in these nine words.

This letter is said to have been written around A.D. 57, and was likely transported by ship to Rome by someone Paul knew. This was long before mail, phones, email, YouTube, texting, Twitter and Facebook.

Yet, he wrote:

“…your faith is being reported all-over-the-world.

I just took a quick writing break to comment on a friend’s video that she took today in Israel and posted on Facebook. She replied to my comment within minutes. From Washington State to Israel and back. It’s astounding how much communication methods have transformed since Paul wrote to the Romans.

An Invitation:

“Whatever ground is gained for Christianity in one generation can be totally lost in the next if the former generation fails to impart passion for the things of God to their children. So parenthood is a great blessing-not only to us but to God as well-because through our children the hope of God’s people taking dominion and advancing His kingdom in the earth can live on, growing with each generation. “ Mike Shreve

Will you join me, and hundreds of moms across the world in praying over and activating God’s promises for our daughters? May news of our faith and intentional prayers for our daughters be reported all over the world.

“Once promises are known, believers do not need to beg God to
do those things He has already pledged to do.”
– Mike Shreve

This year’s prayer challenge will be launched on September 1 and go through June 17.

How it Works:

We make it easy to participate by providing you with daily, guided prayers for the duration of the prayer challenge. You can sign up to receive the daily prayer challenges emailed to you, by clicking “HERE”, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to view these prayers daily. You can also join our private prayer group community where you will receive encouragement and prayer.

Will You Share and Invite?

Please invite all the moms of daughters you know to join us in this sacred place. Let’s pray that the words Paul wrote to the Romans will be used to describe our prayer movement. The our faith would be heard of all over the world, and that Jesus’s name would be glorified for generations to come.

Recommended Resource:

65 Promises from God for Your Child: Powerful Prayers for Supernatural Results by Mike Shreve

 

Erin Bishop is the founder and president of the Whatever Girls MinistryThe Whatever Girls mission isScreen Shot 2014-06-17 at 1.34.33 PM
“intentional moms and intentional daughters”. They strive to empower teen girls to choose God’s best for their lives by exemplifying the pillars of Philippians 4:8. Erin lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and their two children.

 

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Are You In A Dead Zone?

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 2.05.23 PMCan you hear me now? How about now? Those words are spoken from time to time by anyone who has ever used a cell phone. Even with more and more cell towers going up and the latest coverage offered, there are still many dead zones.

At our family lake cabin, there is a clear difference between which carrier has the better coverage. I have watched many people holding their phones with an outstretched arm on our patio looking for a bar of coverage to make a call or send a text. It’s entertaining to watch.

When I have not been able to get service, I have been bothered about it. How about you? In reality, is having no phone coverage for a little bit really a bad thing? We are so worried about checking our text messages, our Instagram, Facebook, and emails that the idea of being stuck in a dead zone seems to be cause for alarm.

In our desire to be connected to the world with our phones, we have become slaves to technology. Just before I started writing this, I was working on my Bible study and I got a text. I was going to reach for my phone to tell my husband, yes, I can talk now, and then it hit me… I was in my quiet time with God. There was not an emergency and my husband would understand if I finished my study before I called him. I almost chose to set God aside to answer a text.

That knee-jerk reaction to grab my phone and forget about my time with God was a reality check. How many times a day do I reach for my phone to check social media? Am I more concerned about how many bars I have, who is posting what, and what is trending than I am with God? What about you? Are you more concerned with those things than your relationship with God?

Finding the best coverage when it comes to our cell phone seems to be an important thing. However, shouldn’t we be more concerned about finding the best coverage for ourselves? It should be much moreScreen Shot 2015-02-03 at 2.12.47 PM alarming to be in a dead zone that applies to our salvation rather than our phone, and sadly for many, that is not the case. At the end of our lives, the number of bars we had, the number of texts, tweets, and posts will mean nothing. What will matter is, are you covered in the saving blood of Jesus?

He offers the best coverage for us in the long run and His coverage is free to all who seek Him. There is unlimited coverage and you will never experience a dropped prayer like you do a dropped call. With Jesus we all become sons and daughters of God, which means as far as plans go, there is no other family plan like His. Okay, maybe that is a bit cheesy, but it’s true… Jesus is the only way to avoid the dead zone. In John 14:6-7, Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” (NIV)

I challenge you to put your phone down for a while each day and spend time with the Lord. Dig into your Bible, take time to pray, go to church, and fellowship with other believers. Get to really know Jesus so that you will know the Father as well. Being covered in the saving blood of Jesus Christ is the best coverage there is. It is the only way to avoid a dead zone. Put God first! I am not saying to avoid your phone and social media just that God should be our first priority. And, by all means, share that coverage with others. Don’t let those you know and love be lost in a dead zone when they could have eternal life.

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