Tag Archives: Prayer

 

All of us have dreams of what we want to do with our lives. Sometimes those dreams get sidetracked by the reality of life. Sometimes they’re so long in coming that we tend to give up and think, “What’s the use?”

How do we make those dreams come true? Whether the dream is about a career choice, a place you want to visit, or something you would really like to do, the dream can come true.

Fulfillment depends on attitude and faith. By attitude, I mean surrounding ourselves with the resources or the tools and information we need to pursue the dream. Faith, of course, means trusting the Lord.

Dreams don’t come true overnight. Often life gets in the way and dreams go by the wayside. We make excuses for not following through and keep putting off doing something about it.

To follow your dream, stay focused on that dream and what the Lord wants you do. Don’t let age, insecurity, or doubt creep in and rob you of the desire God has placed in your heart. Grab it, hold on to it, and never stop dreaming. God has plans for you! Remember that those plans are not to harm you but to give you hope and a future (see Jeremiah 29:11). He won’t steer you wrong.

Four “P’s” to success: prayer, planning, patience, and perseverance. Without these, we will have a more difficult time seeing our dreams fulfilled. It’s time to stop making excuses and start looking at what we can do to help that dream along. When we bathe our plans in prayer and we have the patience to persevere in pursuit of those plans, they will succeed in God’s timing. Maybe they won’t be exactly what we expected, but the result will be the best—because it’s God’s plan for us.

Martha Rogers, a multi-published author, writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. She and her husband Rex live in Houston, Texas. They have three sons, eleven grandchildren, and four (soon to be five) great-grandchildren. Martha is a retired teacher with twenty-eight years experience teaching home economics and English at the secondary level and eight years at the college level, supervising student teachers and teaching freshman English. She is director of the Texas Christian Writers Conference held in Houston each August, a member of ACFW, ACFW WOTS chapter in Houston, and a member of the writers’ group, Inspirational Writers Alive. Find Martha at www.marthawrogers.com or www.hhhistory.com. Twitter: @martharogers2; Facebook: Martha Rogers Author.

 

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The Canaanite woman knew what she wanted.

She was a woman on a mission.

Her name isn’t given. It doesn’t need to be. She is every mother.

“Lord, son of David, have mercy on me!” She cried out in agony.

Like you and me, she physically experienced her child’s misery. “My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Or “My child is suffering terribly from a broken relationship, an illness, an injury.”

She would not be dissuaded. The disciples urged the Lord to send her away. The men whined, “She keeps crying after us.”

That motley crew of twelve was not going to get in her way. She knew who and what she needed. This mom persisted in her passionate brokenhearted cries.

But Jesus was quiet.

Isn’t that the hardest part? We cry, beg, and chase after him.  And we are met with silence.

Even when Jesus said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” she didn’t give up. Instead of withdrawing, she came closer kneeling before him determined not to leave his presence empty-handed.

“Lord, help me!”

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” He continued to test her faith.

“Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Tenaciously she pressed on.

“Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” The Lord healed her daughter that very hour.

Having faith when life is messy is difficult. I want to trust like that Canaanite mother; to persistently petition on my kids’ behalf, to persevere with hope, and to have confidence that I will be heard even if I need to wait.

Because like the Canaanite woman, I know my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

Lori Wildenberg, mom of four and national speaker, is passionate about helping families build connections that last a lifetime. As a licensed parent-family educator she is professionally equipped to encourage and empower moms and dads to be the parents their children need. She’s author of Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home and Messy Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections. She’s co-author of three additional books. Lori co-founded the 1st Corinthians 13 Parenting Ministry, a resource site for parents and those who work with families. She’s the lead mentor mom at Moms Together Facebook Community and a freelance writer for Christian parenting magazines. www.loriwildenberg.com.
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Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving . . . 

(Colossians 4:2 NASB)

We travel, and we really appreciate the hotels that have the small peak holes so that when someone knocks you can look out and see who’s there. That is what prayer is like. People usually aren’t phony when praying because it is a time of vulnerability before God.

Couples that pray together get a window into each other’s hearts.

Prayer is a window to the heart

You might feel irritated at your spouse all day, you might not understand why she did or said something, but during prayer, you get to see what was really going on in their life, their thoughts and in their heart. Prayer gives us a deeper understanding of our mate. Anything that gives a deeper understanding will deepen intimacy. Deeper intimacy creates the safety net for a nakedness of the soul, and if you are in a place where you both feel comfortable when your soul is naked before each other, then the physical nakedness with in marriage is the next logical step in the sharing of your live.

Reading the Bible is intimate:

The Bible is God’s love letter to each of us. If you know your spouse is listening to God, your trust level will grow.  If you notice that your spouse is seeking to follow the commands of God, you will feel more relaxed when you are together. God has a complete love for you and when God has your mate’s attention, God will steer your spouse into making more loving choices toward you.

As a result, the nagging rate naturally diminishes. And less nagging and negative corrective language and more positive affirming language is the cultivated, fertile ground for marital intimacy.

The influence does not stop with your spouse, however. If you are reading the Bible and praying, God will have your attention and make you a better lover. His love will flow through you to a grateful spouse.

The Holy Spirit is intimate.

Pray together
Stay together

When we know Christ personally, the Holy Spirit resides in us and gives us the supernatural power to love. It is a supernatural power so that we can love, not just with our power, but with God’s ability. And since the Holy Spirit indwells anyone who asks Jesus into his life and He knows the way your spouse was designed to be loved, you have the ability to become a great lover for your mate. You will notice that the Holy Spirit gives very specific instructions. He makes it simple enough that your only choice is to obey or disobey. In our life, it may sound something like this:

“Pam, what you said just now to Bill was unkind. He is really good man and he deserves a gentle response.”

“Bill, go home. Pam does really need you right now. Do not do that next task, leave right now.”

By reading the Word and praying, you will develop the ability to listen for God’s Holy Spirit whisper, and those whispers will help you become a better person and a better partner. These spiritual disciplines will also draw you two closer if you make daily use of them as individuals.

 

Lord, help us make time for prayer, Bible reading and listening to Your Spirit as we do these things so we might hear Your voice louder than any other, Amen 

Pam and Bill Farrel have been happily married 38 years and credit praying

A Couple’s Journey
with God
Harvest House
Publishers

together through out each day as the key that unlock’s love. Read more about what makes for lasting love in one of their 45 books, like A Couple’s Journey with God. www.Love-Wise.com

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Gracious God,

thank you for the smell of pencil shavings,

the elegance of a good fountain pen,

and the click-clack of ancient typewriter keys…

for the intoxication of creative juices,

the sweetness of a well-turned phrase…

for the creak of the office chair,

and the surprise of a catch in the throat

and the salty track of a tear on the cheek…

for the hum of a computer,

for the thrum of a printer,

for the agony of the blank page,

the ecstasy of the last line,

the terror of hitting “send”

and the fragrance of fresh ink on crisp new pages.

Thank you, Lord, for these gifts and graces,

and for the many others I am too dull to sense,

in Jesus’ name, amen.

Bob Hostetler is the author of fifty books, including The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional, and Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door (coauthored with Josh McDowell). He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award. He is the founding pastor of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He and his wife Robin have two grown children, Aubrey and Aaron, and five grandchildren. You can find out more on his website: http://www.bobhostetler.com.

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In today’s world with frightening headlines blasting the worst possible scenarios into our homes, and the stress of the daily responsibility of providing for ourselves and our families weighing heavy on our hearts, coupled with the unpredictable, unwelcome, unwanted, unbelievably hard or harsh circumstances like floods, fires, relationship strife, death and disease it is very easy to get depressed, discouraged and down-trodden.

But God has a solution for our despairing hearts!

Discovering Hope in the Psalms: Creative Bible Study Experience

While writing my newest book (co-authored with Bible teacher Jean E Jones and artist Karla Dornacher), Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience, Jean, in passing said, “Psalm 71:14 I think could be the theme verse for this study.” Intrigued, I immediately looked up Psalms 71:14:

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)

The word hope is a verb, so it is an action we choose, to wait expectantly for God to move. I like to say, “trust while you tarry” , or to wait patiently (and sometimes painfully long) for God

Psalm 71:14 Bible Art by Pam Farrel

to show up and show off! After doing a word study, to summarize the meaning, this hoping is to be exercised: surpassingly, repeatedly, increasingly, intensely, exceedingly, continuously, regularly, consistently, and perpetually! When I drew the verse in my Bible art journal, I pictured a geyser of ever-flowing hope!

My contribution to Discovering Hope in the Psalms is a series of inspirational devotionals that help women apply the psalms to their everyday lives and keep HOPE ALIVE. To help me keep HOPE ALIVE, in my bullet journal, I have pages I write my “God-Sized” hopes and dreams and I wrap them with scripture so I can pray the Word over my life.

Bullet Journal prayer page
from Pam Farrel

The key to securing a hope like an eternal spring is also in this same verse, “praise you more and more”. The “more and more” means to accumulate or gather praise—and in doing this gathering we fuel hope. One way to picture accumulating or gathering praise would be how you might walk through a garden to gather flowers to create a beautiful bouquet or through a mall gathering gifts for family and friends that will bring joy!

So to capture praises to fan the flame on hope, in my bullet journal, I have pages to accumulate praises. One looks like the sun with praises written on each ray. Another is a vase with praises on each flower petal. Accumulated praise could also be drawn as gift bags collected while shopping, presents under a Christmas tree, waves on the ocean, or shells on the beach– use your imagination to personalize your record of praise! 

(Download your Prayer and Praise sheet to keep Hope Alive!)

 

Pam Farrel hopes to help people around the world keep hope alive. She is and her husband Bill are international speakers, authors of 45 books including her newest Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience. Stay connected with Pam at www.Love-Wise.com Learn more about Discovering Hope In the Psalms, and find numerous free downloads on creative Bible study at www.DiscoveringHopeinthePsalms.com

Pam Farrel with Kay Arthur

What an incredibly unique and creative Bible study Pam, Jean, and Karla have created! It’s multilayered, dimensional, theologically rich, touching the senses—enlightening the mind, capturing the heart. Well done, beloved Sisters! Thank you for this gift.

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