When we do things consistently, they become habit and then they become lifestyle. Even before I decided my word of the year was PRAY, I’d subscribed to the command “pray without ceasing”. I often find myself conversing with God throughout the day on many topics, so much so that I truly FEEL as though He’s a friend walking right beside me.
A couple years ago one of our youth asked me to name someone I’d like to have dinner with that I don’t normally talk with. When I said Mozart, he said I failed… as a youth leader I should have said “Jesus”. At first, I was sad that I “failed” so I pondered why it never occurred to me to say Jesus. Then I realized it’s because I feel as though I talk with Him all the time.. I’ve never talked with Mozart, even in my mind.
I am convinced, more than ever, that the God wants to speak to us and through us, and one of the ways He does this is through prayer time. I’ve been starting my day with devotion and pray and I’ve got to tell you, my prayer list is long!
I can’t imagine starting my day any other way..
I’d like to hear how you pray… do you set specific time aside or do you pray throughout the day? Only at meals? Bedtime?
Early last fall, a pastor friend of mine introduced me to a man named Bob, who has been working on writing his story of deliverance from alcohol addiction. My friend knew I had published a book and thought perhaps I could help Bob navigate the publishing waters, but I felt as if it was a Divine meeting, though I wasn’t sure why.
Bobs story is one of complete deliverance through God the a Father, and God has given him a ministry among those in recovery. Every morning, he sends me a scripture by text. This was today’s.
I’ve shared with him the situation with Rob and asked if he would pray that God would be merciful once more with Rob. He said he would.
As I sit quietly praying, I am struck by a couple of things that I know about God. First is his timing… though sometimes WE think His timing is off, it never is… There are things that God, in His infinite wisdom, can see when we can’t. I think about the 30 years or so I’ve prayed for my husband… the 12 years or so I’ve prayed about a coffee house/music studio… the 10 years or so Rob and I didn’t talk… meeting Bob a month before Rob and I reconnected…. the answers to some of those prayers have happened within the past 12 months.
My obvious immediate prayer is for Rob, for God to allow his mind to return once again.. But bigger than that, my prayer is that He will reveal to me His plan for my life… and the lives of those around me. I believe firmly that God is at work for His ultimate purpose. Im thankful to be part of it. I lay my prayers before Him and wait in expectation for His glory to be revealed.
Good afternoon, God. I’m grateful for a brief respite in my day where I can connect with You – there are so many things I want to talk with you about. After a very hectic day so far, Lord, I quiet my heart to try to hear You, Lord. Speak to me, guide me, let me feel your Presence.
There are so many needs, but I want to specifically pray for my friend, “Rob” now, Lord. There is so much I’ve understood about his life and his struggles, and so much I don’t. Without judging him now, Lord, I lift him up to you and ask humbly for two specific things. 1. That you would bring healing to his mind and body right now and 2. That you would be his advocate as he fights his addictions.
Healing: Lord, I know You are our ultimate physician, and I know we will have ultimate healing in Heaven, but I pray for healing of his mind and body right here on Earth, right now, Lord. I believe Rob knows You as his Savior. You’ve told us in Your Word to make our requests known to You, so I am doing that, Lord. I ‘d like to request that you heal the Urinary Tract infection he has right now that is affecting his ability to comprehend – I pray that you would restore his mind, body and soul to perfect health. I pray for the cancer in his kidneys – that You would touch the tumors and eliminate them. I pray that You would use the medical staff You’ve assembled, and the hospital equipment and/or treatments available – I ask Your blessing on the staff who is caring for my friend – may they feel Your presence and know that You are guiding them. I pray You will continue to guide them as they evaluate test results and monitor my friend – that You would give them wisdom to diagnose all that is going on.
Addictions: Lord, I pray that You would free him from all of his addictions, Lord, whatever they are – I pray that Satan would have no authority in his mind or his body – I know that You are more powerful, and I call upon the name of Jesus. Replace his desire for alcohol for a desire to know You more – put people in his life who walk consistently with you and can help him be accountable. I pray, in the name of Jesus, that his addictions would leave his body like an evil spirits being cast out into a bunch of pigs, and that they would not be able to affect him any more, and I pray specifically that he would be filled with obsession to make You Lord of his life. Draw him to you, Lord.
I pray, Lord, that You would illuminate our path, and the reason You brought our friendship together – if it is to help him, I pray that You would help me help him. I’m in such unfamiliar territory, Lord, please don’t allow me to be fooled by his lies, but to help him find grace, accountability and healing. Equip me to do what You’ve called me to do, and give me courage to continue in the path You set before me. Bring understanding to those around me who need it.
Father, I also pray for those who have consistently prayed with me in this entire circumstance with my friend – they are friends who are as close as family – and they’ve been so faithful to me as I’ve struggled to understand all of these circumstances – I pray that You would meet their needs, too, Lord, some of which I am aware, and some I am not, but You are. I pray you would bless their families and their circumstances.
I love You, Lord, and know that You are good. I trust You completely.
In 2012, my husband had a life-changing medical event and was off work for nearly a year. At Christmas-time that year, he got word that there was a package for him at his place of employment. He stopped one day to pick up it up, and brought home two enormous gift bags the size of large garbage bags. The folks at his shop said only that one of their customers, who had heard about Rich’s injury, stopped by with the package – they didn’t know who it was or weren’t telling.
We gathered the entire family around to open the gift. We were awestruck by what we saw. Though not knowing us at all, someone had tried to find gifts appropriate for each person in the family. There were games, and blankets, and candles, and decorative pillows, and treats, and all kinds of goodies. In addition to the thoughtful trinkets, there was a devotional book along with a Christmas card about the Savior of the World.
We were all completely humbled that someone we didn’t know would have taken the time and effort to have so elaborately put together as thoughtful of a package as they possibly could without knowing the family. All they knew was that Rich was out of work – and they felt his family should get to have a Christmas.
We tried to find out who had left the gift so that we could properly thank them, but were never able to. In reality, I don’t believe they did it to receive a thank you.
I wept hard that night at the thought of the compassion bestowed upon us. I vowed to always do my best to do similar for other families, and every year, now, I look for opportunities to be a blessing to others
Just a few weeks ago, one of the store managers where Rich works had a heart attack, and is off work for 8 weeks. Almost immediately after it happened, Rich asked if we could organize a financial gift for him and his family. He said he’d like to ask the other guys in the shop to contribute but didn’t know what kind of response he’d get. I assured him that we’d be happy to not only organize, but fill the gap to make it a good financial blessing for his family. He got to work collecting money, and we put the final amount into a card last Friday and gave it to the man, who was overwhelmed with emotion.
The following day, Rich found out that the company had achieved a sales target it had been trying to achieve for 4 years, and so gave everyone in the company a bonus – it happened to be the exact amount that we had put into the envelope for the manager. My husband was surprised about this. When he told me about it, I simply smiled and thought, “you can’t out-give God.” This is a principal I’ve long known, and it is a such a blessing for me to see that others can see it as well.
Be Blessed today, my friends!
copyright 2018 Journey For Life All Rights Reserved
12 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! 14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.
This passage of the Bible has confused me my whole life. To be perfectly honest, I believe that if I were the shepherd and one of my 100 sheep wandered away, I would not leave the ninety-nine to find the one. I would cut my losses and move on. I would evaluate the risk of leaving the 99 in pursuit of the one – that I might lose more of the 99 and not end up with the one anyway. In truth, as I look back on different opportunities that I’ve had to share Jesus with people throughout my life, and some heard the news and some didn’t, there came a point with those who didn’t where I simply gave up. The good news is that God’s ways are not my ways, and He will relentless pursue us, not giving up on us until we have found the Peace that Passes all understanding.
A few months ago, we studied this passage of the Bible in our youth group. In our discussion, our youth pastor pointed out that when Jesus began this discussion to put out that it IS a ridiculous thought to leave the 99 too pursue the one. Jesus used the ridiculousness of this thought to grab the attention of those to whom He was speaking so that he could share the truth with them. They all knew that it is silly to leave the majority to pursue the one. Yet, this is exactly what God does sometimes.
In my discussion a few weeks ago with my new-found friend, Bob (the recovering alcoholic who is writing a book about his journey), we wondered outloud why it seems there are certain people that God pursues relentlessly, and why there are certain people who have a predisposition to really hear God’s voice and others could seemingly care less. Although I don’t have the answer, I know it’s true. I have seen God relentlessly pursuing people, and continuing to give them opportunities to return to Him like the prodigal’s son.
For Bob, that moment occurred when God leaned over and said to him in an inaudible but unmistakable voice that He would let Bob die if he didn’t get his life straightened out. In my life, that moment occurred when I truly heard the words of Jeremiah 29:11 for the first time. In Rich’s life, the crushing of his spinal cord was an “ah-ha” moment for us that God was in reckless pursuit of his soul.
God will allow heartache and even physical pain into our lives to get our attention. He IS pursuing you. He is reaching his hand out to you today to ask you to join Him for all eternity. All it takes is for your to acknowledge Him as your Savior and make him Lord of your life. He will take the ugliness in you – your sin and your filth – and make you beautiful in His eyes – it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done, or how unworthy you think you are.
I’ve been asked why I’m so passionate to be a servant of the Lord and put myself out there to a world that doesn’t care. My only response is this quote from Charles Spurgeon:
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”
My prayer for you today, my friend, is that the Holy Spirit will flood your entire being with the reckless pursuit of the Heavenly Father, who is calling you home to Him. May you hear His voice and obey His calling.
Make a difference for just one today…
copyright 2018 – Journey For Life – All Rights Reserved
To Bring You Back – Paul Alan
Are you thirsty Standing in the rain? Not sure where you are Or how you lost your way? Are you drowning In some bar outside of town? Searching for something given not found? A crowd of people But totally alone? At the front door But worlds away from home?
Light up the nights last regret and Burn your only safety net Step to the edge It’s such a long way down
Chorus: I left the ninety-nine to find the one And you’re the one I walked a thousand miles In this desert sun Only to bring you back Only to bring you back
Are you tired Of chasing the wind under water? Do you aspire to breath again? Are you dying? Is that the best that you can do? Cause you can’t find your place In a world that wasn’t meant for you?
Hello it’s Me I couldn’t sleep I was just counting sheep And I’m missing you, Hello it’s Me I couldn’t sleep I was just counting sheep.
If I shared with you all the miracles I’m seeing unfold in my life right now, it would almost seem like a motion-picture. In due time, I will share them all with all of you, but for now, I’ve been sharing them with some of my closest prayer warriors that I refer to as my personal “board of directors.”
By the way, if you don’t have a personal Board of Directors, I would encourage you to fine one. Not just anyone can serve on your board of directors – they’ve got to be tried and true friends – friends who will keep you confidential discussions confidential. The Board of Directors is likely to be very small, but very powerful – they are friends who will encourage you to take a leap when you need to; to take a step back when you need to; they always have your back. My personal recommendation is to have a Godly Board of Directors as well – those who have an active prayer life, and will not hesitate to go to prayer on your behalf – and you’d do the same for them.
On Saturday night, I texted the members of my Board of Directors to tell them about a miracle that was unfolding right before my eyes in the life of someone very close to me. At the same time, said individual said to me, “you know, I’m watching for miracles to happen.”
My only response to that person was, “Can you not see them happening right before our eyes??”
I think we can miss miracles if we aren’t watching through the lens of expectation.
Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life abundantly.” I’ve lived long enough and had enough ups and downs in my life to know that doesn’t mean “have Jesus and have prosperity”.. but I’ve lived long enough to know that if you have Jesus, you have prosperity in life – perhaps not in material wealth, but in other areas of our lives.
The coolest thing about sharing miracles is that it helps other people grow. I have one special friend with whom I’ve shared these some of the events of the past few months. Last week, they said to me, “you know, this is pretty incredible to watch from my side.” In part because of the things that have been happening, this person has stepped out in faith to begin a journey of their own – and I’m expecting miracles for them as well.
My cup runneth over.
Blessings to you all, my friends.
Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved.
If you have faith as big as a mustard seed, you can move mountains (Matthew 17:20) or mulberry trees (Luke 17:6). Faith is believing in something you cannot see, but know is real.
My faith has been tested many times throughout my life, and the more it is tested, the more I know that God is not only real, but cares about even the smallest details of my life.
A few weeks ago, my husband told me that I have enough faith for both of us. He meant it as a compliment, but on the other hand, it makes me sad. I want the world to know what an awesome God we have, and to have faith that can move mountains and mulberry trees.
As miracles unfold before my eyes, I am convinced more than ever that God has a plan. Our job really is simply to get to know Him and recognize His voice, and follow His lead.
I am learning that, the bigger our dreams, the bigger the opportunity we give to God to work miracles in our lives. I’ve always been a dreamer – I love thinking of possibilities – and I see treasure where others see trash.
The feature image is a screen shot of an on-line spiritual gift test I took a few years ago. Though I wasn’t surprised about Faith and Leadership, I must admit, I was a bit surprised by “Pastoring” being my number 3. I’ve never thought of myself as a pastor, however, I have a unique opportunity to coach people, both through my day-job as a manager, and in my hobby-job as a piano teacher. It is my sincerest desire that people come to know Jesus as their friend…. so I guess that means “pastoring” to some degree.
It’s an awesome responsibility, and an awesome opportunity all at the same time.
I’ve asked you all to join me in praying for a really big miracle – and I’d like to ask you to keep praying.
If you have ordered the book, Masquerade, I want to thank you very much for your support! If you haven’t yet, I’d like to encourage you to do so – it’s a story about a spiritual battle faced by a career driven mother of 3. It’s not a fairy tale story, but one of hope during dark times.
If you like my journey, please follow my blog!
Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved.