Back to Prayer

Thanksgiving & Prayer for Love to
 Abound in Knowledge & Depth of Insight
On Monday April 14th, I wrote about the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus. He prayed for their spiritual strength to comprehend God’s love for them. This is one of the ways that I am to pray for fellow believers. In today’s blog, I am looking at the Paul’s prayers for believers in Philippi. 
What I notice, first, is that Paul gives thanks for them (vs. 3) with joy because they partnered with him in the gospel. Paul is confident that God who began a good work in them will be faithful to complete it (vs. 6). For me, I am to give thanks other believers like my pastor, those who teach and preach the gospel, and my friends. I am to trust God to finish what He began.
Second, Paul prayed that their love would abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight (vs.9) so that they would be able to discern the best and be blameless until the day of Christ (vs. 10). He desired for them to be filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Christ (Vs. 11). Paul had a heart for believers to grow in the knowledge of Christ so much so that it was reflected in their love for one another. I especially like how it reads in the Amplified version (see link above).
In conclusion, I have gathered from what I have studied so far is that my attitude toward prayer needs to be of a humble spirit. I am to pray for the spiritual strength of fellow believers and friends in Christ. I am also to give thanks for them and pray that their love would abound more and more from a knowledge of Christ to overflowing and to be filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes from Christ. With this knowledge, I can no longer say that I do not know what to pray for or how to pray. There is power in prayer just read James 5:16. From this verse we are encouraged to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another.
I hope that this knowledge helps you also to know how to pray for fellow believers in Christ.
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I give thanks to You for the many friends that I am blessed to know and for those who read my blog. Father, may they grow in knowledge of You so that they are blameless til Jesus’ return. Increase their spiritual strength to be able to fully comprehend You amazing love for them. Amen.
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Giving Thanks for …

God’s Promises


I am thankful that God is true to His promises and for the willingness to push through on something that I kept putting off. God cares about every detail of my life and yours. If I put Him first He will direct my path and order my days. This has happened more than once in my life. Yet, I get lazy and forget and then wonder why chaos has ensued again. Praise God that He has not given up on me. I need not put off to tomorrow what I can do today because tomorrow will have enough troubles of its own. I am to take things one day at a time.
Matthew 6:33 (AMP)
33 But seek ([a]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([b]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [c]taken together will be given you besides.

 

Proverbs 3:6 (AMP)
 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Take God at His Word and see how He blesses you with order and increase your time. Prioritize your life.
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I give thanks that You are true to Your word. Forgive me for the times that I have not always put You first. Help me to get my priorities right.   Use me to draw others to You. Amen.


 Footnotes:
  1. Matthew 6:33 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  2. Matthew 6:33 Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation.
  3. Matthew 6:33 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
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Dealing with Disappoinment

Not My Favorite Topic But…
Nevertheless It Happens

Yesterday, I had to work through some disappointment over a request that was turned down. It was not easy for I wanted to resort to old patterns which were passive-aggressive. I struggled with various feelings and talked myself out of the old habits because I knew that they would not accomplish anything. I fumed and I cried. Then I came to the realization that 
1. I set my expectations too high, 
2. I thought too highly of myself, like I deserved it, and 
3. I had the right to be angry.

Well, this morning with time to think it over. God brought to my mind Philippians 2:3-4, Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Who am I to think that I was so special that my request had to be met? It turned out that my request could not be met due to schedule conflict. It was not a rejection.
Next, He brought to mind Luke 6:31, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Would I want someone to mistreat me over something that I could not do for them? Of course not, I would hope the other person would understand. Therefore, I should not mistreat others when I am disappointed.
Thirdly, I can be angry but I am not to sin nor let the sun go down on my anger (Ephesians 4:26-27). Thankfully, I had let my husband know that I was disappointed and before going to bed last night my anger had subsided. God graciously gave me another option to look into to reach my goal. Philippians 4:19 reads,  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Working through my feelings and letting God know how I felt and asking Him to help me work it all out, I have come out stronger and I am not resentful over it. Again, God’s Word has been my resource to help me in my daily life.
May you be encouraged to look to God’s Word for answers that you are looking for.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, forgive me for thinking too highly of myself. Thank You for Your Word that has lead me to see the error in my ways. Inspire me to do better and  to seek You first in all that I do. Amen.
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Sharing My Story with You.

Where I am Today.

For I am not ashamed to admit that I am a believer in Christ Jesus. Without my faith, I am sure that I would not be where I am today. Having had a number of struggles and tragic losses, I could very well have ended up being dependent on other things to cover my pain. Or I could  possibly even made an attempt to end my life. It has not always been easy. There have been times when I was persecuted for what I believe. Yet, God has been ever faithful and His word has been a comfort and my mainstay. Sharing is what I am called to do.
I have not always gotten it right and there were times when my life did not reflect Christ. Yet, I returned to my first love that of Christ. Now, I delight myself in the Lord and his word as often as I can.
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:12b
Furthermore, I rejoice in the fact that my husband cherishes me. Our children that are strong independent individuals. God has blessed me with a number of wonderful fellow Christian friends. I attend church regularly as well as Bible study. I am active with Williamson County Christian Women’s Connection.
Moreover, God has helped me to reconcile with my mother and we have a beautiful new relationship. I attend Celebrate Recovery to continue to work on my hurts, hang-ups, and habits. God is still at work in my life. He is faithful to complete the good work He began in me and will complete at the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

 My Purpose in Sharing with You

After all, I share my story with you so that you may know where I am coming from and trust what I say to be true to the best of my ability. God has called me to testify to His goodness. (Acts 20:24, However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.)
Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for this venue to testify to You and the good news of Jesus Christ. Continue to work in me and through me so that I may a blessing to those around me. The glory and honor be Yours now and forevermore. Amen.
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Prayer for Spiritual Strength

The Apostle Paul’s Prayer for the Believers in Ephesus
 
Ephesians 3:14-21,
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The Apostle Paul was a man of prayer. For I find his prayers for fellow believers in a number of place in the new testament. Today I will focus on the prayer in Ephesians. I fall very short of being like Paul when it comes to praying for others. Yet, I desire to be a woman of prayer.
From this example, I see Paul’s attitude toward prayer in the fact that he bows his knees before God. He humbles himself before God. Paul is specific in his prayers too. He prays for believers to be strengthened with the power of God’s Spirit so that, they, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length height and depth, and to know that love of Christ that surpasses knowledge and to be filled with all the fulness of God. For God is more than able to do abundantly more than all we can ask for or think. He acknowledges that God is at work and the glory is His.

What does this mean to me? I am to humble myself before God Almighty, first. Then I need to be specific in my prayers, praying for my friends in Christ to be strengthened by God’s power so that they may know the surpassing greatness of the love of Christ. I am to pray according to their specific needs trusting that God will do more than I can ask or think.
May you also be encouraged to become a prayer warrior for your family and friends.

My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, hear my prayer. I desire to become Your woman of prayer. Place on my heart those I need to pray for and bring me to my knees so that I can bring them before You.To You be all the glory and honor. Amen.
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Today’s Acronym

B.I.B.L.E.
Basic
Instructions
Before
Leaving
Earth
Basic means fundamental.  It is where we should begin. Proverbs 1 verse 7 states that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. We learn to fear – reverential awe or respect –  God from reading about Him in His word. He is the creator of all things. Isaiah 40:28, Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Instructions meaning knowledge or information imparted. God instructs us to forgive has He in Christ has forgiven us (Colossians 3:13). We are instructed to bear with one another and to be patient with each other. In John 13:34-35 we read, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Before Leaving Earth, there is a saying that there are two things that are inevitable death and taxes. As we come into this world our days are numbered. John 3:16-18, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish by have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Here is the rub. Those who believe in Jesus die and spend eternity with Him and those who do not believe die and spend eternity without Him in hell.

This is the truth. This is what I believe to be true and accept for myself. I want others to know Jesus because spending eternity without Him will not be pleasant. 
Do you believe?

My Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, I do believe in the cross of Christ. May I be Your instrument to bring the good news to others so that in believing they to may know You and have eternal life. Amen
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One of The Seasons of Life!

It is Well with My Soul!
Horatio G Spafford, 1873 
Verse 1
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

  • Refrain:

    It is well with my soul,
    It is well, it is well with my soul
    .


This is one of my many Favorite Hymns. I read that he wrote this hymn in the midst of his grief. I am in the season of grief in my life. I, especially, like the first verse when it sings of grief like sea billows roll. This year so far I have lost a cousin to suicide, followed shortly by my father’s death last month, and today my son’s paternal grandmother died. I am saddened by her death because in her grief she could not bear to embrace her grandson. They both missed out on shared memories. Even so, it is well with my soul.
Isaiah49:13,
Shout for joy, you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;
    burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
God, in His time, comforts His people according to their need. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He knows my pain and His heart aches for my loss. He is a God of compassion for His people which includes me. He knows my needs and will supply all I need in His time. He will be my comfort and my mainstay.

In Ecclesiastes chapter 3 it is beautifully written about the times in our lives. Verse 4 reads, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. I guess it is my time to weep and to mourn for now but there will come a time when I will laugh and dance again.

Take time today and remember to show love to those closest to you for our days are numbered and we do not know when we may not have the chance again to let them know how much that they matter to us.

My prayer: Dear Father, though my heart is heavy I know that You are near and in time You will comfort me. Please be with those who were the closest to those I lost and comfort them as You know best. Strengthen all of us by Your grace and in the comfort of knowing You. Help me to treasure the memories that I have and to love those around me. Amen.

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Giving Thanks to God!

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!
Words from a song that comes to mind when I think about giving thanks.
I give thanks for Celebrate Recovery (CR), a twelve step Christ-centered recovery program. It is not just for those with a chemical addiction but for anyone with hurts, hang-ups and habits and we all have them because life hurts all of us at some point in time. My first sponsor is one reason I am thankful for CR. She, with the help of God, helped me to change my “stinking thinking.” She also encouraged me to get connected with others outside of my extended family. This was a huge step in my recovery over my hurts, hang-ups and habits. God helped me to see past myself and get connected with healthy people.  
1 Peter 5:10, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. This verse was a big encouragement to me. I came to understand that God uses the trails in my life to shape me and make me strong, firm, and steadfast.
I am thankful for my husband. He is my heart’s desire. Psalm 37:4 reads, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  My husband has been my greatest supporter and has challenged me to grow without demanding that I grow and change. He loves me for who I am.
I am thankful to live in a country where I have the freedom to attend Bible study and church. I cannot take this for granted because I know that not everyone has this freedom. I have had a love of God’s word since I was a child. To me the Bible is God’s Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It has the answers to all of life’s questions and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study His word in Bible Study Fellowship and now Community Bible Study. Romans 12:2 is one of my favorite verses. It reads  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. I am grateful for the church that I attend. Our Motto is Know Christ, Live Christ, Make Christ Known.

My Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, there are not enough words to express the thanks I have for the people that you have brought into my life. I am blessed beyond measure to be able to study Your word. Help me to impart its importance to others so others may know You and Your Son, Jesus who You sent to die for us. Amen.
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We Are Called to Be Free!

Galatians 5:13-14,
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b]
 

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he was addressing the conflict over circumcision. He tells them not be bound by the former things because Christ has made all things new. He reminds them that in Christ, we are free but not to use the freedom to indulge the flesh, sinful nature. As believers, we are to serve one another humbly in love. We are to live by the Spirit, therefore, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law Galatians 5:17-18.

This is how we are called to live differently from the world. We are free from the consequences of sin as long as we choose to live according to the Spirit and not the flesh. Yet, if we fall short and we will. God is faithful and when we confess and turn back to Him, He will forgive us and give us a fresh start. I know that I have fallen short many a time and I have experienced God’s grace when I was prompt to admit my wrong.

In 1 Timothy chapter 6:17-18, Paul instructs Timothy to command the rich not to be arrogant or put their hope in their wealth but put their hope in God. They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.I believe that as believers we to are called to do the same, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous. This is pleasing to God. Paul summed it all up in Galatians 5:6b, The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Footnotes: [a] In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verses 16, 17, 19 and 24; and in 6:8. [b] Leviticus 19:18 [c]  Or you do not do what (Bible Gateway) Scriptures taken from the NIV.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, help me to live by the Spirit so that I do not gratify my sinful nature. By Your Spirit, help me to be rich in good deeds, to be generous and willing to share so that in doing so it brings You glory and draws others to You. Give me the desire to humbly serve others in love as You would have me to do not as I would do. Amen.
Disclaimer: I am sharing with you what I am learning and what I desire to add to my life through study of God’s Word and prayer. May you also desire the same.

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Today’s Focus is on the Word “Be”

It is not what you do that is important as it is what you “BE.”
This is what a good friend of mine told me along time ago.
I came across several different scriptures with instructions as to be. 
The first one that came to mind was Psalm26:10, Be still and know that I am God.” 
Be still is not an easy direction to follow. Life is full of activity. How does one be still before God? Stop all activity and find a quiet place to be still and know that He is God.
2. Ephesians 5:1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma (NASB).” 
Here I am instructed to imitate God and walk in love, just as Christ loved me. I am able to do this through prayer and study of His word. God enables me by the power of the Holy Spirit for I live by the law of the Spirit and not of the flesh, my sinful nature.
3. James 1:19-20,My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires (NIV).”
I like the focus here to be quick to listen. How often do I take time to listen to what someone is saying to me? Often is the case I am in a hurry or I am trying to think of what I am going to say next. I need to take the time to listen. The next ones are just as important. I am to take time before I speak and/or become angry. For in my anger, I can do much to hurt or harm the other person. I need to stop and ask God to help me with my words. 

4. Ephesians 4:32, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
I am encouraged to show kindness and being tenderhearted forgive others as  God in Christ forgave me. For I am told in Luke 6:31 to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. 
If I take time to be still before God and confess my sins, He will not only cleanse me from my sins but also enable me to be an imitator of Him, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry as well as be kind and forgiving to others. He does make it all possible. All I need to do is trust and obey.

I will continue more on this theme on Wednesday. I pray that you will take time to BE still and know that God is God. Come and know Him better.
Disclaimer: This is what I have experienced and learned for myself. I share it with you so that you can know what I know. God’s grace and peace be yours.
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