Prayer

Yay….. all we need in the world is someone else giving advice on how or what to pray. Just what the world needs right now. Then again, looking at the world right now, it may be exactly what is needed. I have no magic potion for prayer, but prayer isn’t magic. It’s way, waaaaaaay beyond magic. It is supernatural. It is miraculous. It is God at His very, very best…. and He’s always good. πŸ™‚

I have found that Matthew 6 is a good place to start.

“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.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” – Matthew 6:6-8

Find a quiet place… a quiet room, a mountaintop, a prayer closet, whatever works for you and shut out all distractions. Then open your heart to God. As the verse says, He knows what you need before you ask (but ask Him anyway) and He will reward you. What an awesome promise! Be honest and open without holding back. Strip away the facade. Set aside your masks…. all of them, and talk to God. Open up to God, take your limitations off of Him and what He can and will do for you… and then trust Him. In a with all your heart kind of trust. He already knows what you’re going to ask/say/pray… be honest with Him.

Believe He will do what He says He will do. We have heard and read the verses about asking, believing and receiving many times over to the point of them being committed to memory. But I feel where we fall short most likely is believing He will do them for us.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask… – 1 John 3:21-22a

And there it is… “If our hearts do not condemn us.” We’ve all been hurt by the world and betrayed by people we loved who promised always to be by our sides….. and they’re nowhere to be seen. We go into defense mode and employ whatever survival techniques to get by. We let our hearts condemn us. It’s a trick of the enemy. The battle is in our minds, but the fight is for our hearts. If he takes the heart out of the equation, he has won. Don’t let the enemy win. Your heart is where the Holy Spirit lives. Fight for your heart…. fight for Him. Open up to God in prayer, then turn Him loose.

Again, take your limitations off Him. Don’t start out your prayers with “God, I know I’m not worthy, but…” You are worthy. You are a child of God. Approach the throne with confidence.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

Be bold with your prayers. Pray for yourself. Pray for others. Pray for the world before it blows up or we get swallowed whole by the giant Covid death clouds. πŸ˜‰ Just pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray with thanksgiving. And pray believing a just, merciful and loving Father will answer your prayers in His will and His timing.

Awwww….. why’d I have to go and throw those last two in? Well…. because they’re true. Everything is in His timing and we (as in me) needs to let go of the wheel. But, but God…. I prayed this two minutes, two hours, two days, two weeks, two years ago. Where is the answer to my prayer? What’s taking so long?? Breathe… as in a trust in the Lord with all your heart kind of breath and hope it doesn’t take two decades. Some people wandered for forty years…some people are wandering still. Be still and know. Wait on the Lord. Take courage and wait on the Lord. πŸ™‚ He knows the plans He has for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13

Hmmm…. there’s that all your heart thingy again. It must be important to God. Your heart is important to God. Another reason why it’s important to trust in His timing and His will. Because sometimes the answers aren’t what you expected. Other times they are, but they look different than what you imagined. Sometimes your friend or family member’s healing you prayed so very hard for happened in heaven. Sometimes your friend or family members and the promises they made just walked away. Sometimes the job you had or business you started fell on tough times and you had to adapt and change the life you had envisioned.

Just know they are seasons and they won’t last. Also know that God’s love, mercy and grace will last, He will never leave you and that He keeps His promises…. although they may look a little different than what you thought. They also may take longer than you wanted to get there, but they will happen. Pray without ceasing. Praying with thanksgiving. And pray with hope knowing that God finishes what He has started… exceedingly and abundantly more than you could even begin to imagine in your wildest dreams. So sleep well tonight knowing God has it all under control and you are in His arms. Ask and receive, but most of all…. Believe. Believe (and trust) in the promises of God.

Let God be God

If I were to be honest, and I hope that I am, all of these could be titled Let God be God and/or Trust. Because isn’t that what we all need to do? Trust God… let Him do His thing. Be still and know means to let go and give God everything…E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. He knows the plans He has made for us…. and they’re good!! Don’t we all just need to get out of the way???? I know I do.

But how do we go about doing that? I feel my daily thought processes are equal parts faith and hope mixed with doubt and fear. I know what faith and hope look like and I know at my ripe young age of fiddy-sumpthin that my wants and my needs are two entirely different things and I have a kinda, sorta faith that God will work all that out for me in His timing.

I actually have more than a kinda, sorta faith in God. I just have to be still long enough to remember all the many, many, MANY things He has done for me. I also need to pause and pay attention to what He does daily for me….which is also many, many things, and be grateful, because I have so many things to be thankful for. Otherwise, my patience/impatience in His timing welcomes in doubt and fear, and doubt and fear creep in like a stampeding herd of buffaloes… btw/fyi, stampeding buffaloes don’t creep.

Be still… how does one go about doing that? I know it has something to do with what I said up there ^^^^ about faith, trust, let God be God, etc… but I have trouble doing that. As I’ve said before, I believe wholeheartedly in God, but I have trouble letting go of things long enough to let God be God. I play at being a good Christian and sometimes I succeed at being one. I pray honestly and openly to Him (most of the time) since He knows my heart and what I’m going to say, and I know without a doubt He has protected me throughout my life and guided my steps when I had no idea where I was going. I know He does it still. So why not let go and let God? Why does my faith waver?

The world gets in the way. I do my best to “come unto Him” and pick up my cross daily and follow Him. I try to take my focus off the world and have faith in the unseen, because without faith it is impossible to please God….. impossible. I believe. I’ve seen and remember the things He has done. Big, beautiful, bold things as only God can do. But there are times reality looks completely different than what you remember….. and those times stink. What do we do with those?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart…. right? I know it’s easier said than done. Every day with everything, trust in the Lord. Cast all your cares on Him… Trust Him, He cares. Hope in Him. All the promises are true. Believe them and believe Him.. that is ALL we have to do. And that may be the biggest ALL in the history of ever. As I’ve said before, I believe very strongly in God. But do I trust Him with all my heart? I would like to say yes, but I would by lying. I talk (pray) with Him many times throughout my day… and sometimes I even listen. And I like to believe I lay everything at the cross for Him. All my worries, fears, anxious thoughts about life, love, relationships, kids, work, the world, etc, etc…

As in Matthew 6, I close the door and pray to the Father in private. I’m give thanks to Him and for Him. I share my concerns and worries and thank Him that He’s working in my life and the lives of people I love, and in the lives of people I can’t stand. And I leave it with Him….. or do I? I say my Amen. I go to my truck feeling pretty good about things. I put it in reverse and start to back out. And then I pull back in and put it in park. I go back to the cross (metaphorically speaking) and pick up a couple of those things I just gave Him. Hey God, thanks for everything, but let me do a little more with this kid, this relationship with my best friend/mom/dad/work/brother/sister/significant other/money/fill in the blank…. ugh. Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Remember ALL He has done. Know that the Lord is good…. ALL the time. Be still and know that He is God.

Yes, we all would be better served if we would take the time to remember all He has done for us. Again, we get busy, but if we’re to be honest with ourselves, we stay busy mostly to avoid these things. And sometimes those “things” we ignore are God speaking to us. Not pointing fingers at anyone but myself with that comment. Look back at your life. Would you say you’re where you are on your own… of your own doing? Or can you see where He has been with you and by your side every step of the way? Just trust Him…… speaking to myself again. πŸ™‚

One thing I like to do to help for times like this/all the time is keep some go-to verses on hand whether they be on trust, hope, love, forgiveness, the heart, and so on. Whatever verses you need at times you’re struggling or are feeling anxious, fearful for whatever situation you find yourself in. Take time to read them, commit them to memory, and don’t be afraid to use them. Jesus used them… Don’t be afraid to use “It is written.” Remember them, use themand be grateful for such a kind and loving God that will shower us with grace if we let Him. Like all gifts, we just have to open our hands and our hearts and accept them.

If you’re still here, thanks for reading this far. I started this blog over a little over four years ago….. it was about a girl (I will write more on that in my next blog), and accomplished what it set out to do…more on that also. I wrote over seventy blogs in a two month period and my writing got better in time. I hope the same happens now. What used to take two hours to write now takes two weeks and feels disjointed, repetitive and out of sorts…. kinda like the author. Of course I agree with what I’ve written thus far because I wrote it. πŸ™‚ But I’ve said all that up there ^^^^ to say this.

It’s a good thing to have faith and hope and trust in God. It’s good to pray and take time daily to remember all He has done for you. But I feel the most important thing to do in letting God be God is to let God in. He stands at the door and knocks… All we have to do is let Him in. I believe too many times we talk to God through the closed door. Occasionally, we may open it a little taking care to keep the chain in place (you all remember those, don’t you?), but still won’t let Him in. And even rarer are the times we let Him in. He sits. We have a meal together as friends. But after an hour or two, we let the busyness back in. We look at the clock and begin to clear the table. We say something about tomorrow’s a school day and the kids still need a bath or we need to check their homework or both. And God is gracious enough to go back outside the door and wait until next time. Let Him in. Let Him stay in. All in with God isn’t a bad place to be.

I could add a hundred verses to this post/blog, but I think this encompasses all of them… and I mean ALL of them. πŸ™‚

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in ALL your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Let God be God

A Living Hope

Happy Tuesday everybody. Has to be happy, right? It’s not Monday. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š
We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. – Hebrews 6:18b-19a

First things first before a God story or God wink about hope. Encourage one another. Again and again and again, sprinkle that stuff everywhere!! Speak words of kindness and compassion. Love each other as He has loved you. Live by the fruit of the Spirit and the golden rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. Yes, I know… people can be all people-y sometimes, but we can be all people-y, too. I can be stubborn, hard headed, difficult to get along with and unlovable at times. I don’t mean to be. None of us do, but it’s truth. Just be kind. I’ll go back to what my mother told me…If you can’t think of anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. But if you can… if at all possible….
Speak what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29

Now hope… one of the BIG three. Faith, hope and love. I’m pretty full in the faith reservoir. The love one could always be better. But my hope reservoir has been drying up for a while now. I’m really, really trying to persevere, but dang! So last week I’m driving along talking to God.. a very common occurrence these days. He’s talking, I’m listening. What I do say He already knows, but still I talk and the subject is hope.

My life is good. God has blessed me greatly and I’m thankful, yet there are areas of my life I would like to be better. I know God isn’t a genie and the Bible isn’t a wish book, but still I wish and dream and hope…. I pour out my heart to God. Again He already knows, but He likes His children to ask. So I ask. Then what happens? I look up at that exact moment when He would answer… and He did.

I know where I’m at and where I’m driving to, so I wasn’t paying much attention to the roads I’m going by. But at that exact moment, I look up and notice I’m passing Hope road. It’s not a big road. It’s not one I’ll ever need to drive on, but there it was. You can say it’s just a road or that it was a coincidence, but I know in my heart it was much, much more.

Nothing is random, and coincidences or happenstance are also much more than that. God gave me an answer. God gave me himself. Don’t know if my hope bucket is full, but it’s darn close and filling up fast. And there’s more than enough to go around. Help yourself to hope, my friends. Have a blessed and wonderful and wonderfully blessed day. πŸ™‚

#choosejoy
#choosehope
#chooselove
#chooselife
#choosefaith
#choosetrust
#chooseGod
p.s. Hint: If you choose that last one first, all the others are included. πŸ™‚
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
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