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22 entries from February 2008

Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living-

What Shall We Say?

If you are a visual personal like me, I hope last week’s post, Entering the Throne Room, changed your prayer life. It was awesome to meet you at the steps and bring our requests to the Lord. Praywo


If you want to read this series from the beginning (click here). If you want to read last week’s post (click here). If you want a complete listing of all post in this series (click here).

I have a question. Do you sit down to pray, close your eyes, and then –

Nothing?

Your brain goes blank and you have no idea what to say? I can say with certainty, “You are not alone.”

What do we say when we pray. Many times people tell us, “Just pray. You should pray about it. Life is hard, pray harder.”

Sometimes we simply do not know what to say.

There are several ideas I want to share with you about the actual words we speak. Let’s look at Jesus. Here he teaches us and his disciples how to pray.

Luke 11:1-13 (NIV)
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

He said to them, "When you pray, say: " 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.' "

Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'

"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

This example leads off with Jesus teaching us to offer worship to God. This prayer contains a daily request for provision. It is confessing our offenses, offering forgiveness to others and protection from evil. Then it is followed by an example of persistence. Therein also is a powerful promise. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Pray following Christ example. Always, pray from your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to prompt you. In addition, there are times we need to listen. This is difficult for me. For those of you who know me, I am rarely still or silent. (I hear you saying, Amen, right now). A subject for another post.

When the words will not come there is a simple acrostic which will help get you started. ACTS.

A- Adoration
C- Confession
T- Thanksgiving
S- Supplication

This example will help you bring to mind areas you need covered in prayer. However, I don’t want you to be stuck in a formula. Mostly the Lord desires only our presence and willingness. Talk with him as a friend.

Finally, pray all things in the name of Jesus. Again it is by and through Christ that we approach the throne.

Assignment: Although this post discusses the words we speak in prayer, what I am feeling led to ask of you is to spend 30 whole minutes in silence just listening to the Lord. Have your prayer journal waiting and write down what you hear from the Holy Spirit.

Questions:

  • Look up Romans 8:26. What comfort do you find in this passage?
  • Do you seek provision and protection daily for you and your family?

    Next week we are going to discover how God actually speaks to us during prayer. Just a few more lessons. Thank you for staying with me. You are prayer warriors to be sure.

    Be Blessed, Lynn

  • *****

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    Lost Opportunities

    716045_handsForgive me for running late today. I got word yesterday that my grandmother died. Sixteen years have passed since I saw her last. And that was the one time she met my oldest daughter. We've lived countries and states away in the meantime.

    What saddens me in this situation is the lost opportunity. See, this is a person who shut herself into her own private hell for over forty years. She could have had a better life, one filled with love and happiness. Instead she chose to live alone, disconnected and apart.

    I wish I could have helped her. I wrote letters to her once, trying to share God's love with her. I wanted her to see she didn't have to live like that. I wanted her to know she was truly loved.

    She never answered those letters, so I don't know if she ever understood. And that's what I truly mourn right now because what connection we had in the here and now died long ago. No, what I mourn is not knowing where she is right now.

    Did God reach her in those final days and moments? I want to believe He did. That's what I prayed for, but maybe I didn't pray enough over the years or do enough. I don't know.

    Our 1Peter3Living group will fast again this Thursday for our unbelieving spouses and loved ones. I enter this fast with a different perspective and appreciation for the importance of what this amazing group of people is doing.

    I hope you'll join us. Let us know who you are, if you wish, and who you'll be praying for so we may pray for them as well. Let's not let another opportunity pass us by.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

    *****

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    Laced With Grace

    Spring paid a visit today. Here in Southern California, the early blossoms are peaking out on the fruit trees, and there are hints of daffodils and poppies among the greenery on the surrounding hills.

    In early spring, those of us who are keen enough to be watching will witness a spectacular yet subtle event.....

    Find out at Laced With Grace. Join me for The Next Generation. Have a fantastic week. Priasing the Lord today, Lynn

    *****

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    Weekend Devotion—Letting Go

    951798_fashion_jewellery_2"But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me." —the words of Jesus, John 14:31

    Let me tell you about a story I heard years ago. I can't remember where, so if the author (or songwriter) is out there somewhere and reads this, please take your credit.

    It's about a little girl who constantly carried a set of glass beads. The necklace belonged to her mother who died several years ago. They were worn and tattered, but the little girl never let them out of her sight.

    One day, her father pulled her into his lap. A warm fire blazed in the hearth. Each night before bedtime, her father would tell her a story, but this night he looked at the beads she clutched in her hands. "Will you let me have those beads?"

    The little girl stared at the necklace and shook her head. "No Daddy. I can't."

    The next night, her father tugged her into his lap again. "Tonight will you give me those beads?"

    Again, the little girl stared at her beads, rubbed them between her thumb and fingers. "No Daddy, they mean everything to me. I'm sorry."

    Every night, the same thing happened, but the little girl refused to part with the necklace. She didn't want to disappoint her father though. Perhaps he needed the beads more than she did? Maybe she should let him have her necklace after all.

    So the next night, when her father asked, she handed him the glass beads. "Here Daddy. If it's that important to you, I want you to take my necklace."

    He smiled at her and tossed the necklace into the fireplace.

    The little girl gasped. How could her father throw away something so precious? She'd held onto that necklace for so long. She turned teary eyes to him. "Why did you do that?"

    Her father reached behind his back and pulled out a beautifully wrapped package. "This is for you."

    The little girl admired the pretty bow, then pulled the ribbon and paper off. She opened the box and inside lay a gorgeous set of shiny pearls. The little girl squealed in delight and admired the precious gift from her father.

    The story came to mind, because I had to let go of something dear to me this past week. I didn't want to. This project has been a huge part of my life for the past two years, but now God is asking me to set it aside for the moment to work on something He's calling me to do.

    Stepping out in faith like that isn't easy. Especially when He asks us to release something we've clung to for so long. Change is painful, but it can also be exciting. The trick is taking our eyes off what we're giving up and trusting God to put something even better in it's place. I've never known him to give me less.

    Still my heart aches a bit, but I love and trust God so much that I'm willing to let go and see what he has in mind. What a lot of our unbelieving spouses and the unbelieving world doesn't grasp is that obedience to God isn't punishment. It's a reward in and of itself. It's an act born out of love for our Father, who sacrificed his most precious treasure, his Son, to give us something even better. Salvation.

    God's calling me to let go of my glass beads, so I will. And who knows. Maybe my box with hold a diamond necklace. :-)

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

    *****

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    Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living-

    It's all about Jesus!

    I have been waiting for weeks to share this post with you. What I want for all of us today is to experience Jesus. What I am sharing with you I discovered a year ago. This visual forever changed the way I see myself praying. It changed my approach in prayer and it has propelled my prayers to the very source of power and love, the foot of throne of our Holy God.

    O Father, I approach you with Jesus at my side. With humility I implore you to touch each reader who stops here today. Place your hand upon their spirit. Change them in such a mighty way they will never pray the same old way again.

    Lord, place in us a belief that will not be shaken, broken, or rocked. From this moment forward we know you are anxiously waiting to answer our prayers. Place in us a steadfast assurance your power will be displayed that all may see your splendor. Lord, help us to pray with vigor and persistence. When we pray let the world see your hand move in our lives. In this way your name is honored and many will come to know you as we know you. In Jesus name, I ask all these things, Amen.

    Intercession

    I wonder if we really understand what this means. It always seems to me to be a “churchy” word. Let’s think of intercession as a person who is a go-between.

    Jesus is our go-between. Between us and who? The perfect and Holy God.

    Luke 24:44 (NIV) He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

    He was the ultimate sacrifice. There is power in His spilled blood. Since that day, mankind no longer needed blood sacrifices to gain an audience or favor with God. This is still true today.

    Romans 8:34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

    Read this part again: Jesus….. is…..at God’s right hand, PLEADING for us.

    I am blown away over this. Jesus, himself and the Holy Spirit are pleading for me. Little ole’ me. Blown away, I tell you!!

    What does this really mean? How does this play out when we pray? I want to share what I believe this actually looks like. I wish I could have you close your eyes and allow me to say it out loud to you so you can envision this place.

    But read with me and at the end, close your eyes and take a trip to this place and experience all of it.

    Entering the Throne Room.

    You are about to enter a room. You find yourself at a side door at the front of the room peering in through a window. Through this window you see a white throne atop 12 white marble steps. It is massive. There are millions of people surrounding the throne. They are praying and singing in hushed tones. The crowd stretches out into the distance as far as the eye can see in every direction.

    Jesus is standing at the door. His smile brightens as he opens the door for you to enter. Jesus takes your hand and leads you inside. Jesus continues to hold your hand and escorts you to the bottom of the steps, stopping at the center. You are overwhelmed and your knees weaken.

    Jesus is standing with you. He is there saying something such as: “Father, Lynn is here to speak with you. She isn’t coming on her own merits or righteousness; she is here based on mine. She is here in MY NAME. I’m sure you remember that I’ve gone between you and Lynn and provided her with access to you. She has a few things to ask you.

    Can’t you just hear the Father say in response, “of course, I remember, Son. You’ve made Lynn one of Ours. Because she came through You, Lynn is always welcome here. Then God looks at me with favor and says, “Come boldly to My throne of grace, daughter, and make your requests known.”

    This is where BREAKTHROUGHS happen!

    I often fall on my knees. Prayers uttered at the foot of the throne, with Jesus at our side, are prayers which God cannot deny. When we approach in humility, devotion, and seeking His will, we are in the place where He delights in responding.Entering

    At the foot of the throne we will know God. We will discover His will for our lives. It is at the foot of the throne he will command His angels to accomplish our requests. I believe at the split second we ask He commands supernatural power, dispatches angels, and empowers the Holy Spirit to free us from bondage.

    Even more amazing He will take us on the most adventurous and thrilling life journey. Bigger than we can imagine or dream up.

    Assignment:

    Tomorrow, get up early and enter the throne room. On your knees in the family room or someplace private take that one single request to the Lord through Jesus. Ask it again with Jesus at your side. Ask in Jesus name.
    Questions:

  • Why do we pray in Jesus name?
  • What scripture verse instructs us to pray in the name of Jesus?
  • Can you visualize Jesus at your side when you pray? Will it change the way you approach your prayers tomorrow?

    Next Week: So what do you actually say when you pray? Ever wondered if there are expected words you are suppose to utter?

    Still to come, Interceding for others. Powerful prayers, praying through scripture and dangerous prayers.

    Be Blessed, Lynn

    *This visual was adapted from Getting In God's Face by Dutch Sheets

  • *****

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    Thankful Thursday

    Today it is gloomy, foggy, cold and raining. The winter appears to be relentless. I know many of us hit the winter blues about now. Thoughts of backyard BBQ’s, flowers in the garden and green grass thrill our hearts.

    However, I am not quite ready to release winter. Did you know it is in the winter that a tree’s roots push deeper into the soil? It is strengthened through the months of harsh cold and when spring arrives, the full spender of its leaves is displayed.Wint08_2

    It is also true of our lives. We need the winter.

    Lord, if is often difficult to thank you when we are struggling in the winter. However, it is the beauty of a changed heart, a strengthened character and a wholeness of our spirit that makes winter a season to be thankful for. I thank you for the winter. In Jesus name, Amen.


    Be Blessed, Lynn

    For more Thankful Thursday blessings, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.


    Moments of Glory

    Girls_2The most precious times of our lives can be spent simply around a table, reminiscing the past. My family and I did this last night. We all went out for pizza and dragged my daughter's wonderful boyfriend along with us. I look at her now, around the same age I had started dating my husband, and I praise God that the young man she is dating is a strong man of God. I look at them with eyes of wonder and curiosity. What must it be like to start "in God"?

    Such memories we recalled of our years living abroad, when both our girls were young. Tales of mishaps, memories of creeks, bees, and rollerblading. Our time there holds a mix of pain and joy, of struggles that pushed me to edge of my faith and forced me into the arms of God's faithfulness. During this time, the seeds of my girls' faith journeys were planted and have now sprouted and continue to grow. Already I see God working in their lives and using their fledgling faith to further his kingdom.

    As I type these words, I realize it's not so much how we start, but how we finish. As we run the race Paul talks about, are we continually moving forward toward the finish line? Are we straining to run not for the crowd but for our Master Trainer, who waits cheering us on?

    I think these moments are the rest points. Reminders that the race is worth running. I see my daughters' growing faith, and am in awe of how God has transformed my entire family. He started with me, then went to my daughters. Since then He's strengthened my father's faith is the face of a cancer battle and brought my mother to know him personally.

    When I doubt that God is working, all I have to do is look back and reminisce. God's fingerprints are all over it.

    And so is his glory.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

    *The photo is of my girls (ages 5 and 9) right after we moved to Switzerland in 1999. It was a special day of exploring our new surroundings and the nearby lake, Türlersee.

    *****

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    As I Wait by Vanessa Tang

    Soareagle
    In January 2007, I found myself, for the first time ever, frustrated that I could not share my faith with my husband.

    While we were dating and in our early years of marriage, my husband had always shown such support of my faith. We had talked about how I would teach our children about Jesus. Yet when our daughter was born, things changed.

    I felt alone. The more my daughter grew, the greater my sense of God’s presence became. But I couldn’t share my joy with my husband. I wanted to dedicate our daughter to the Lord at the church I had been visiting, but I was afraid how they’d react when they heard that I, a devout Christian since age 2, had married a nonbeliever. I feared they would see me as blatantly disobedient to God’s warning in the Bible not to be “unequally yoked,” when that wasn’t totally the case. When I was dating my then-boyfriend, I was constantly warned by my church youth leaders about being “unequally yoked” and I was fully aware of what the Bible had to say about marrying a nonbeliever, but yet I knew I was seeking God’s will and felt God’s calling on my boyfriend’s life. Yes, I was in love, but I was also at the peak of my hunger and passion for God. And I knew this man loved me. He protected me. And it seemed that every prayer that I had for my family and my life was coming to fruition through him. I asked others to pray that God would guide me. I knew that God had a purpose for me. I tried to break up with him multiple times because of my faith, but it was always impossible beyond even my desire.

    It wasn’t until one day in 2000 when I went to the park that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had God’s blessing to marry my husband. I begged like a little girl to her daddy for something she couldn't have. I cried out for God to show himself to my boyfriend - because I wanted him badly. I told God that I didn't want to marry anyone else. I then found my hands being led to Scriptures completely pertinent to my situation. And I heard His voice say to me, "Vanessa, be at peace” and “If you really want [him] - trust me."

    So I did… or so I thought.

    I felt the Lord’s presence on our wedding day and I felt His hand forming our daughter inside of me when I was pregnant.

    So as I lay crying in our family room, I asked God what went wrong, why I was suddenly feeling the weight of my yoke, that He would provide someone from my visiting church who would accept my decision to marry my husband in the same way I felt His acceptance, and to change my husband’s heart.

    When I pulled myself together, I realized that there had to be someone out there who was blessed like me with a wonderful husband who provided for, cared for, and loved her as any woman would dream of – and with whom she shared everything with – except her faith.

    That’s when I began searching the Internet and I found Lynn’s Spiritually Unequal Marriage website. I was comforted by her testimony and e-mailed her to let her know how her site had touched me. I was amazed that she wrote me back and offered to lift my family up in prayer for seven days and invited me to join an online group, 1Peter3Living, where other women were also praying for their husband’s salvation.

    It was in those seven days that God led me to a woman in my church prayed with me for guidance. God also showed me in this time that it wasn’t my husband who needed to change – it was me! I felt that God restored his covenant with me that Allan's heart would change as long as I waited on Him.

    As 2007 progressed, it became apparent to me that God was teaching me how to wait on Him and for Him. And he was showing me where I went wrong in my past. He confirmed to me that He’d been alongside me even before He promised that He’d bless our marriage, but that I hadn’t kept my end of the bargain up by waiting on Him. My definition of waiting on the Lord was doing my own thing and entrusting that He’d somehow intervene and make my mess work with His plan. I became increasingly convicted that from the time of God’s promise to me in 2000, until my pregnancy, I had not been living with God as the center of my life. And if I wanted my husband and my daughter to understand and have a relationship with Jesus as their Savior, I would need to get my life back aligned with Him to be the best example I could be.

    I began to ask Jesus to be my husband in the way that my earthly husband couldn’t. And everyday He’d fill me in some new way.

    God showed me that my marriage was weakening because I had hurt my husband as a result of my own laziness. The Lord confirmed this by bringing me back to a previous word of knowledge spoken over my life at my old church a few months after I began dating my husband, "The Lord says that you have been given much, but you will also be required of much. Be prepared for stops and changes along the way. However, do not worry - HE is in control and will take care of it. Stay faithful and seek Him." At the time, I had no idea what this meant. But now I see that God was gently calling me to wait on him by using all of my resources, talents, and blessings that I’d been given to the fullest. I wasn’t just supposed to sit there, I was supposed to DO.

    But instead, I had forced my husband with my actions to go the opposite direction in our yoke. Just like unequally yoked oxen, we were running in circles and our necks were tired.

    I just heard on the radio yesterday that another meaning for the word “yoke” is “well-fitted” and that oxen were actually fitted with easy yokes so that they’d fit like a glove. For awhile, I was beginning to think that because I had chosen to marry my husband, that I might have to accept the discomfort of our “yoke,” but I’m here to tell you that Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, that his “yoke is easy and [his] burden is light." And after I repented of my failure to wait on the Lord, it was as if He literally took the uncomfortable yoke I was wearing with my husband and adjusted it to make us a team again! It has been so worth waiting on the Lord! His yoke IS easy!

    At the time, I had no idea what I was waiting for, but as I diligently pressed into Him, I found my steps guided. I was welcomed as a member of my church. My daughter’s baby dedication was orchestrated in a way that I could have never planned. And though I can’t yet see my husband’s salvation in the flesh, my spirit has become pregnant with growing faith that eagerly awaits its birth in the natural. In my sleep, new dreams have been given to me. My prayer has changed. My marriage has changed. My family is growing closer. Old Christian friends have been brought back into my life. And now it has become clear that God was preparing me in my waiting so that I could be a rock for my husband now as we are entering financially hard times.

    I’m an impatient person and waiting has never been easy for me. But it feels so good to know I’m walking in God’s will for my life. I don’t need to worry, because He’s taking care of me while I rest.

    Waiting on the Lord is not about what the Lord will do in our lives, it’s about how we seek Him while we’re waiting. It’s about pressing in to Jesus. Finding out WHO He is, what His purpose is for you, asking His Holy Spirit to govern our lives, and daily – no constantly – discerning His will for our lives.

    I’m still waiting and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

    “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31(NRS)

    Vanessa

    *****

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    Weekend Devotion - I am afraid!

    I am afraid.

    It happened on October 20th, 2004. My husband purchased his one and only bible. This was such a momentous day in my mind that I recorded this occasion in my daily bible. I wanted to remember the exact day that my husband began his journey home.

    There are several events that lead up to this purchase. First, it took my husband weeks to find the perfect bible. He researched the many versions available and considered all of the study supports which were included. Finally after two weeks, he ordered a Quest Study Bible, NIV version – The Question and Answer Bible.

    Hallelujah!! I could already hear the angels singing. It wont be long now………

    My husband started on a journey of discovery all on his own. He telephoned a buddy of his who went to my church. He wanted to meet with him to talk about his faith???? He didn’t tell me a thing about the call nor the lunch they scheduled.

    My husband subsequently met his friend for lunch and the two of them decided it would be a good thing to attend the skeptics class offered at church. Well, guess what? My husband attended every class.

    Fast forward and here we are today, 2008. The carefully researched bible resides in a drawer, untouched for a couple of years now. Sporadic church attendance stopped completely with the opening kick of the first NFL game last fall. Today my husband remains an unbeliever.

    I am afraid. Could it be he actually read the gospel and didn’t get it? It is possible my husband studied and asked questions in a bible class and discounts the truth of God’s word?

    From time-to-time I fret over this development or lack thereof. I am caught up in the what-ifs. Did he reject the truth or merely satisfied a curiosity? What if he never discovers there is a God? What if he dies????

    I know I am not alone. All of us who are married to a nonbeliever worry. We know we shouldn’t but in weak moments we are overcome with fear.

    But…….

    I want to tell you about the rider of the white horse. The Prince who swoops away my doubts and rescues me from fear. It is the Lord, Jesus Christ.

    He reminds me that my prayers are not in vain.
    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    He assures me and gives me peace in what appears a hopeless situation.
    Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    He empowers me to continue to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.
    Proverbs 18:10 10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

    He graces me with patience as I wait for the miracle that is sure to come.
    Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

    He is all-powerful, all knowing, all consuming and will proclaim victory one day in the battle for my husband’s soul. I will trust Him. I will follow Him and I will never ever surrender my hope. I serve the God of the Universe. Why should I fear?

    Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    I believe!!!!

    Have a strong and hope filled weekend! Lynn

    *****

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    Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living-

    Praying Within the Will of God!

    Womjump
    There are hundreds of books written about prayer and praying within God’s will. I do not pretend to be an expert in this matter but I can share with you my experience of praying within the will of God. I believe this entire series of posts about prayer is leading us to praying with belief and praying the of God.

    What is God’s will and how can we KNOW we are praying within it. Let’s understand this mystery. When we grasp this concept we will find ourselves at the throne of God. It is on these steps where the Lord hears and answers our prayers. It is here we will experience a breakthrough.

    To read this series from the beginning (click here). To view a list of all the articles in this series (click here).

    There are two important components of breakthrough praying. The first is learning to discern God’s will. How can a believer actually discern God’s will?

    The answer is simple yet complex. We learn the will of God when we learn to listen to His voice. One way we hear His voice is through reading His word.* It is crucial to understand reading God’s word, reveals His character. Comprehension of His word leads to understanding the “why” of His purposes. Our love and respect grows as we discover the depth of His love and concern for us.

    Grasping God’s character, through the study of the Bible is key to knowing His will.

    The second component of praying within the will of God is –SELF.

    James 4:3 (NIV) When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

    Do you remember from last week’s post I talked about asking God for a Cadillac? Side Note: I really don’t want a Cadillac. However, would there ever be a time when praying for one is within the will of God?

    The answer is yes. When you know the Lord has orchestrated specific events leading to its acquisition. However, asking for a new car out of pride, to impress others, is likely a sin and is asking with the wrong motives.

    If you are like me, it is a daily struggle to surrender my selfish motives. How do we surrender our selfish desires to pray honestly and wholly for God’s purposes?

    WwjdW.W.J.D?

    Although this slogan is overly used, God placed it on my heart. It actually is a powerful question. What would Jesus Do? When you bring your requests before God, would you find Jesus standing by your side echoing every word? Let this thought guide you as you pray.

    Next week I have a powerful visual of Jesus that I want to share with you. You will experience Jesus as He stands at your side while you pray. I am praying God will radically alter your prayer life because of it.

    Finally, I leave you with a sentence. Lord, more of you and less of me.

    When we utter these words to God, it changes our motives. Pray this sentence before you speak your requests, then watch as it transforms your heart and prayers.

    Learning to pray in the will of the Father takes effort and time. Prayer requests change as you grow in your relationship with God. If you are willing to seek His will, He will surely reveal it.

    Assignment: This is an opportunity to learn from each other how we can become self-less before the Lord. Give me an example how you practice; More of you Lord and less of me.

    Questions:

  • Think about what you prayed for this morning. Ask yourself if Jesus would pray for the same?
  • Look at your long-term prayer request, your most important prayer in your life today. Now say, “Lord, more of You and less of me. Father, does this request accomplish your purposes?
  • Every day this week, ask the Lord to increase your spiritual understanding and to help you seek His will when you pray.

    *Reading and praying through God’s word will be covered in a later post.

    Scripture References:

    Ephesians 5:17 (NIV) do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

    Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer 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.

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    What is the will of God:
    John 6:35-40
    1 Thessalonians 4:2-7
    1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
    1 Peter 2:13-15
    Romans 8:26-27
    Galatians 1:3-4
    Ephesians 1:3-11

    There are many more. However, part of the fun of our journey here on earth is experiencing the discovery. Let the Lord lead you through His word and discover His perfect will for a purposeful and fulfilling life.

    Be Blessed, Lynn

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    Thankful Thursday

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

    This scripture reference by Iris is perfect for this Valentines Day, Thursday. This verse is over used and referenced so frequently that I think we fail to be amazed by the profound truth of these words. Let us rejoice in the love our Savior.

    I rejoice and am thankful for the love of Jesus that has set me free. I can’t begin to tell you about the many chains of bondage this love has broken.

    Thank you Jesus, Thank you.

    Be Blessed, Lynn

    For more Thankful Thursday blessings, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.


    Sacrificial Giving

    708892_insipite_storms_1With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I'm wracking my brain about what to give my dear hubby. I'd love to surprise him with something special, something out of the ordinary.

    The usuals, like chocolates and a romantic card are always great fallbacks. I like those myself, but could I do something more? Maybe something that would even reflect the love God holds for him?

    What could I give sacrificially to show how much I love him? This line of thinking led me down a unique path. Instead of what I can do, maybe I should think about what I shouldn’t do.

    No nagging. If I’ve asked him to do something several times, instead of bugging him, I’ll ask him if it’s okay if I remind him again. When I ask permission first, he seems much more receptive.

    No expectations. I find this usually happens when I make the very self-centered assumption that he thinks like I do. (Let me know when you’ve stopped laughing.) I’m currently reading For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn so I can understand my hubby’s inner life and thought processes better.

    No wrong assumptions. If we have a miscommunication, I don’t want to jump to the wrong conclusion and assume he meant one thing when in actuality, he meant something else. I want to assume the best instead of the worst.

    No resentment. It’s so easy to hang on to the past and believe the patterns of the past will be the patterns of the present. This is definitely my weakness. I don’t want to dredge up the past when a conflict arises and assume (there’s that word again) that it will turn out the same. I will choose to believe the best outcome is possible.

    Human nature doesn’t make these situations any easier. And the enemy uses them very strategically to attack our relationships and marriages. It’s so easy to fall into these patterns and find we are controlled by the ensuing chaos instead of being in control of our reactions, thoughts, and beliefs. We become reactive instead of proactive.

    So, it boils down to this. Am I willing to move my own selfish wants and desires out of the middle of the equation and put my husband in that place? To really put him first? Am I willing to sacrifice my selfishness and let the light of Christ shine through to this lost soul?

    Let’s just say I’m working on it. I’m a work in progress. We all are. We won’t reach perfection, by no means, but a willing heart seems a good place to start.

    And I’ll leave the results to God.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

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    A Day for Love

    The History of Valentines Day:

    Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending Valentine's cards, or offering candy. It is very common to present flowers on Valentine's Day. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

    The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines." Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The mid-nineteenth century Valentine's Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow. The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.-- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    699d6valentine

    Valentines Day is Thursday. This day is an opportunity to celebrate romantic love. It can also be a time of deep pain. This day brings with it the word “expectation.”

    In the early years of our marriage, I would find myself disappointed because my husband did not meet my expectations of how I wanted Valentines Day to play out. It was difficult for me to receive “just a card” when I wanted a room filled with roses. Okay, I was young. Poor Guy!

    I feel silly now that I was hurt because I “only” received a card. There are thousands of women who would give much to receive a card on V-day.

    As this day approaches let’s think about a couple of things to help us maintain our perspective.

    First, it is okay to drop your guy a hint so that he remembers this day for you and for your children. I have found a couple of ways to do this without embarrassing my husband and without causing a confrontation. Always, give him a heads-up several days in advance. I have left a written note on his desk. I have sent him an email. I have forwarded an email from 1800-FLOWERS. I have also reminded him to purchase a valentine for his daughter (Little girls, need valentines from their Daddies).

    Another way I always get my husband’s attention is to ask him if he would like me to buy new lingerie for Valentines Day and model it. This has proven highly motivating! *grin*

    I know we want our man to want to remember us without our intervention. We want our spouse to be so “in love” with us that they are compelled to rush over to the florist with only his beautiful wife on his mind. It doesn’t play out like this. Some men need help to be prepared for these sentimental moments.

    Secondly, have reasonable expectations.

    Thirdly, seize the day. Don’t wait for you husband to make the day special. Some of the best Valentine’s Day memories I have are because I made the plans.

    This March my husband and I will be married 16 years. He is a man after my own heart.65b02valentineHe always remembers Valentines Day, birthdays, anniversaries and will surprise me with flowers or cards for no reason at all. He honors our love and marriage.

    I do the same but it took us a while to get to this place of mutual respect and love.

    One more thing. If you do find yourself disappointed this year, remember our Lord is the lover of our soul.

    The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
    "I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
    Jeremiah 31:3 (New International Version)

    Be blessed, Lynn

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    Weekend Devotion - Love Notes

    You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. — Isaiah 26:3

    187578_finding_the_perfect_oneHave you ever noticed how God sends you love notes? I received this verse today in a church-wide e-mail from my pastor today, giving encouragement during a time when our church really needs it. I found the timing especially poignant after the day of prayer and fasting the 1Peter3Living participated in yesterday. God moved in mighty ways among us, touched hearts and restored hope as we prayed for our spouses and each other.

    Later that evening (after the fast had ended), my oldest daughter surprised me by pulling out old family videos. The first one she watched was my wedding. I don't think I've looked at that video for a good fifteen years. We marveled at how young her dad and I looked, (way young, good grief!) and much the styles have changed in 20 years. Hey, it was the eighties!

    Then my sweet hubby came home and joined us. At that point the pastor was giving us our vows and praying, a lot. I honestly didn't remember the ceremony being so steeped in prayer and verse. I wondered what my husband was thinking to watch himself as a very young man, bow his head in prayer and recite the Lord's prayer. Needless to say, I watched myself as a young woman do the very same thing, and I realized how little I knew God at that time.

    One part struck me especially. The pastor spoke of marriage as a covenant, and that ours would be blessed if we lived in obedience to God. How I could appreciate these words, because I know them to be true. God has blessed my marriage and honored my obedience to him, my commitment to my marriage, and my determination to honor my husband.

    But I know more is coming and that my marriage will become a true image of what God intended. Watching that video was like God saying, "See, I've been there all along. Just wait and see what I do next."

    I don't think it was an accident that my daughter chose this particular day to pull that video out. I believe God sent me a very special love note. A reminder of what only He can do as I trust in him.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

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    Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living-

    Believing Prayer!

    Biblehands

    It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believingly continue in prayer, until we obtain an answer; and further, we have not only to continue in prayer unto the end, but we have also to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained, and in not expecting the blessing. ---George Mueller

    The Lord has such a sense of humor. Just this morning I found myself in tears, weary from praying for my husband’s salvation. I wanted to give up. I was feeling defeated. So what is a believer to do when the desire to persevere is exhausted? Well, I emailed a few friends and guess what? They prayed for me.

    Intercessory prayer is selfless, pure, and extremely powerful in the ears of our Lord. I have much to share with you about this kind of prayer along with an unforgettable visual. Watch for that post in a few weeks. To read this series from the beginning (click here).

    What I want to share today has been rolling around in my brain now for a week, believing prayer. What does believing prayer look like, feel like? What is it?

    It is faith. It is an assurance of the truth of the scriptures and it is of the heart. Now, I am not talking about positive thinking or convincing ourselves that our prayers are going to come to pass. That kind of nonsense is unscriptural. Biblical faith is grown in our heart. Our belief grows as we read the Word of God and as we pray. This is why the first two posts in this series covered the basics. Believing prayer grows out of understanding scriptures. The understanding I speak of is given to us by the Holy Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

    This is what makes the Bible, God’s Living Word --live! The scriptures are revealed as truth through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is through our faith that we can pray believing God will answer.

    There is a fascinating portion of scripture that directly addresses this: Mark 6: 1-6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

    "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.

    Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.

    Now get this….. Even God, himself, could do little in the way of miracles in this town because the people did not believe.

    Perhaps you know other Christians who can pray down heaven. You wonder why you can’t do the same and ask yourself, ‘what is wrong with me. Why does God hear their prayers and ignore mine?’

    Take heart and hear this now. You may see spiritual fruit in another person’s life and wonder why you don’t experience the same. Spiritual truth arrives in our lives in small measures. What you do with a seed of truth is what determines the fruit that will grow from it. Growing fruit takes time….

    Don’t fret because you feel you want to believe God will answer but your faith is weak. Growing faith takes time.

    One other scripture that gives me comfort is the story of the possessed boy who is brought to Jesus by the boy’s father. This story is poignant and powerful. (Read it here). This is what we read at the end of the exchange: Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

    Ask the Lord to begin to grow your faith. Ask God to help you overcome your unbelief. It really all comes down to this simple statement: Do we really believe what the Word of God says? Can you imagine what a different world it would be if we did?

    Believing prayer is crucial but it must be coupled with praying in God’s will.

    I can pray for a new Cadillac believing God wants to give it to me but if a new car is not in God’s will my prayers are just words.

    It is possible- necessary- to understand God’s will for our prayer life. It is in praying smack dab in the middle of God’s will where breakthroughs occur. Next week we will bring all of this together into the powerful prayers that God is waiting for us to utter. Prayers that save souls, heal bodies, rescue us from unfulfilling work, revitalize marriages, topples governments, and defeat Satan.

    Assignment: Ask the Lord to grow your faith. Trust Him that he will stretch you as far as you can handle but to bring you to a new place of faith. (This can be a scary request)

    Question:

  • Do you think praying with faith and belief empowers us to pray with conviction?
  • Does it give us perseverance in prayer?
  • Does it cause us to pray longer?

    More….much more, Praying within God’s will. What is intercession? Who is interceding Anyway? Dangerous Prayers, Kneeling Before the Throne, Recognizing God’s answers to prayer, The Work of Fasting.

    "If we would pray aright, the first thing we should do is to see to it that we really get an audience with God, that we really get into His very presence. Before a word of petition is offered, we should have the definite consciousness that we are talking to God, and should believe that He is listening and is going to grant the thing that we ask of Him." ---R.A. Torrey

    Be Blessed, Lynn

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    Thankful Thursday -
    The Privilege of Prayer and Fasting

    Prayerbill_2

    I am overwhelmed by the power of prayer. It is a mystery that mere mortals can talk directly to our perfect and holy Father. I am astonished He listens. Further still, He goes about answering prayer sometime in such incredible ways there can be no doubt God is moving in our midst.

    Today, Thursday, February 7, 2008, 1Peter3Living will be praying and fasting. I have been so moved by this online community who are willing to fast and pray, many for the first time. We invite you to join us. We are fasting today from sunrise to sunset. Join in even if you have had breakfast. If you want to follow our prayer conversation, the scriptures we share, the answers to prayer, please log in. You are welcome and among friends.

    It is our desire to only seek God’s will and to worship Him. We expect to meet Him in the throne room to experience a new closeness through the Holy Spirit and to bring others before Him who need His hand in their lives.

    I have been privileged to be a witness to miraculous prayer. I have experienced the Lord in ways I cannot explain. Prayer is the sweetest of blessings next to forgiveness and my salvation.

    Thank you Lord for teaching us to pray and placing an urgency in our spirit to fast. Lord, let us only pray within your perfect will. Thank you Father, In Jesus name, Amen.

    Be blessed, Lynn

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    The Battle We Can’t See

    572269_armorIf you’re like me, you most likely get pulled in multiple directions on a daily basis. Interruptions abound and your self-identity is as apparent and flittering as the steam on the bathroom mirror. And that’s if you even got a shower that day. You’re a mother, a wife, someone’s assistant-boss-you fill in the blank, the maid, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. My job changes according to what time of day it is. Yes, I can see the bobbing heads already. You know exactly what I mean.

    So often our lives become more about what’s going wrong than what’s going right. How can it not when we are barraged moment by moment by the same circumstances or new ones compounding the old? By the end of the day, our brains feel like a battlefield and our hearts have the holes to show for it.

    How much longer can we continue, we wonder? What would happen if we just stopped? Or maybe you’re standing there having one of those “Christmas Story” daydreams where your family falls weeping at your feet when they realize your current death sentence is due to their lack of help, understanding, and appreciation. (I’m laughing as I type this because I did this very thing as I emptied the dryer last night.)

    During this briefest of pity parties, I realized it was time to step back, time to retreat and find shelter in the only One who can bring relief to our war-weary hearts and restore our strength for the next battle. And to do all this, we need our armor. And boy, do I need my armor.

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.—Ephesians 6:12-17

    There are two parts to this that I seem to continually forget. The first is that very first verse about what or whom we’re battling. It’s hard to fight something we can’t outright see. You swing a baseball bat at me, I’m gonna duck. You insult me, I’m gonna get mad. But how do we battle an enemy we can’t see, touch, or just kick? (Now there’s a great mental image. Come here, Satan, and meet my foot.)

    The second is the standing part. Did you miss that like I did? These verses don’t tell us to don our armor and rush into battle. They don’t tell us to slash wildly and leave a wake of destruction. No, God tells us to stand firm. In fact, the word “stand” is used three times and in close proximity.

    Why?

    I did some searching, and this is what I think. God is our commander. He’s the one directing the battle, our lives, everything. If we’re racing into battle with only the sound of our raging voices in our ears, how on earth will we hear him tell us when to strike and when to fall back? He has the big picture. He knows the lay of the land. He’s the one who’s going to get us through the war alive. And kicking I might add.

    Of all the calls to the Christian life, I think this is the most challenging. It falls into that faith and trusting area. We have to trust God is there, and we have to believe the battle is all around us. We can walk blindly through and let the repercussions knock us off our feet, or we can go into battle prepared and armored.

    And with that final note (or should I say explosion?), I gotta ask. Anybody got any silver polish?

    *****

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    Marriage Monday - Valentines Day

    Marriagemonday3
    Marriage Monday meets at Chrysalis the first Monday of every month. This month, you can choose one of the following:

    1. "Top Ten Tips For the Ultimate Valentine's Celebration"
    2. "My Most Memorable Valentine's Day Ever"

    Don’t Wait for Him……

    Last year my husband and I enjoyed a unique Valentines Day and had a blast! We attended a cooking class. Now if you knew my guy, this never would have happened in a million years if I had left the planning up to him. However, I have learned a few things over the years.

    I learned if I wanted flowers or a card or anything for Valentines Day, I needed to drop a simple yet direct hint to my guy and do it at least a week ahead of time. Now, I know this is unromantic. However, if I set my expectations right before hand and got over myself it turned out to be wonderfully romantic. When I gave a hint, I was never disappointed!

    I set this adventure up with our neighbors. For Christmas I gave our neighbors a gift certificate to the cooking class as their gift. Because we are great friends, I asked them if we could join in for the Couplehands
    Valentines Day event. They thought it was a great idea.

    The cooking class would never have developed on my husband’s radar. Even if it had, he probably would have balked about attending a class with strangers. My man is painfully shy. However, when his best friend and his wife were going and it was all planned, he signed on with excitement.

    The class was phenomenal. The Chef was fun and the food fabulous! We had such a great time that this year, our neighbors bought a gift certificate for us.

    Valentine
    Happy Valentines Day! Be Blessed, Lynn

    *****

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    Weekend Devotion - Leave 'em Speechless!

    Feetde
    An executive hirer, a “head-hunter” who goes out and hires corporate executive for other firms, once told Josh McDowell, “When I get an executive that I’m trying to hire for someone else, I like to disarm him. I offer him a drink, take my coat off, then my vest, undo my tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball, football, family, whatever, until he’s all relaxed. Then, when I think I’ve got him relaxed, I lean over, look him square in the eye and say, ‘What’s your purpose in life?’ It’s amazing how top executives fall apart at that question.

    “Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with me feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, ‘What’s your purpose in life, Bob?’ And he said, without blinking an eye, ‘To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.’ For the first time in my career I was speechless.”

    I pray that you will leave someone speechless! Be Blessed, Lynn

    *****

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    She Speaks

    Shespeaks
    Speaking, Writing and Leadership Conference! (With special sessions for Bloggers!) Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries has asked Shannon, Melanie and Boo Mama to lead a couple of sessions on blogging at this summer’s She Speaks Conference in Concord, North Carolina. The conference is scheduled for June 20-22, 2008 ! Lysa is also giving someone the opportunity to earn a scholarship to attend the conference.

    This conference opportunity would allow the Lord to continue to work in the ministry to unequally yoked spouses. Many of you arrive here through an online search desperately seeking encouragement as well as practical help to survive the unique issues of a Spiritual Mismatch. There is little in the way of written resources available to help the thousands of us who are struggling. The modern church, however unintentional, fails to see the vast needs the spiritually mismatch.

    I am convinced through this training the Lord would expand the awareness of this unique and large population of the church. The Lord is waiting to help those of us who found ourselves living with a nonbeliever. He will use this ministry to show love to spouses and families, change hearts, and bring many to the cross and gift spouses and children with eternal life.

    The training in speaking and writing would open up such opportunity to serve many people. Thank you.

    *****

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    Was My Face Red?

    Scroll Down For: Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living


    It all happened last Sunday and IT IS TRUE!

    Join me today at Laced With Grace. (Click here)

    Have a blessed week. Love and hugs, Lynn

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    Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living

    Prayingwoman

    “One day George Mueller began praying for five of his friends. After many months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Mueller persevered in prayer until his death for the fifth friend, and throughout those 52 years he never gave up hoping that he would accept Christ! His faith was rewarded, for soon after Mueller’s funeral the last one was saved.”

    Pray with conviction! Pray with perseverance!

    I want you to think about something as we get started today. Conviction: Do you understand why our prayers are vital to the purposes of God? Do you now understand that God waits anxiously for us to pray? I can assure you He is restlessly pacing back and forth in throne room waiting for us to ask Him to move in our lives. To read more about praying with conviction read the previous post (click here). To read this series from the beginning (click here).

    NEWS FLASH: God is slow!

    In our fast paced, drive-up, disposable world we have become demanding of instant gratification. Just this week a young woman in my parenting group was honest enough to admit this; I want what I want, when I want it. If we are honest with ourselves we feel the same way most of the time.

    Our God is slow, deliberate, and desires lasting change in us. Lasting change in our hearts develops in the hours, days, months, and years of persistent prayer. How do I know?

    Let me tell you about 5,763 days. I have been praying the same prayer for 5,763 days. Fifteen years, ten months and thirteen days as of today, February 1, 2008. This is how long I have been praying for my husband’s salvation.

    Do you think after all these years God failed to answer this prayer? My husband is not saved today. Well I can tell you without a doubt the Lord has answered this prayer over and again and will continue to provide answers and ultimately the salvation of my husband.

    The Lord has answered this prayer by working through me. My persistent prayers have brought me to the throne room to plead for my husband’s salvation. My consistent prayers have grown my relationship with Him. God has worked out multiple impurities in me through the prayers for my husband’s conversion.

    Much fruit has come from my persistence. My heart has softened, my character has been crafted in His likeness, I argue less, I don’t need to always be right. My desire for material things has decreased. Our marriage is the best it has ever been. I am happy and so is my family. And to top it all off, a ministry was born. God is so abundantly good!

    Let me share with you how this actually works.

    My Prayer Life through the Years:

    Year One: Lord will you please save this man. He is driving me crazy. I want him to do this and I want him to do that but he just ignores me or argues. Lord, if you save him, I just know everything will be perfect for me.

    Several Years Later: Lord, I ask for the salvation of my husband. I know his changed heart and my changed heart would allow us to get along better. Lord, I am very worried where my husband might live out eternity. Father, I ask you to bring about the circumstances to change him. Bring him to the cross.

    Today: O Holy and Almighty Lord God, I approach your throne with Jesus by my side. I come before You seeking Your will so that I may know how to pray for my husband. Lord, I ask for my husband’s eternal life. I know that this request is within your will as Your word confirms Your desire that no man should perish. Lord, I ask You to pursue my husband with your relentless love. Please bring about a Holy Spirit conversion to change his whole heart that he may know you. Father, never allow me to get in the way or be a stumbling block. I ask this Lord by the power and blood of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer. Amen

    I hope it is obvious the changes that occurred – that needed to occur – in my life. I had to get out of the way. My first prayers were uttered with a genuine pleading but they would only serve my self-centeredness. It would not serve God’s purposes. Do you know why? God had other plans for me such as a ministry to unequally yoked spouses. More important than anything, however, it the fact that the Lord wanted a changed heart. My changed heart. Heart change takes time and lots of it.

    It is probable that you are stubborn just as I am and lessons from God’s classroom sometimes require much effort and even a repeat or two. So settle into your prayer life and realize the Lord has something to teach you about His will and something about your character. Most often God works with those who freely make themselves available and if you are praying God will work in you. It’s a promise.

    One other note, most of my lessons from the Lord are only understood as I take them to God in prayer and ask for understanding.

    The next logical question to follow is this. Knowing that we are praying for one thing and getting another doesn’t motivate us to pray with conviction does it?

    This would be true except we have assurances in God’s word that He will answer. Our next segment will cover believing prayer. It is this kind of prayer, believing prayer, that I KNOW, without a doubt, my husband will be saved before he dies.

    Now I want to leave with several scripture references regarding God’s timing and persistent prayer. Your assignment this week is to pick a single prayer that you have been praying for a long time and dedicate it to this process. I want you to write down the prayer in your daily bible on the page dated February 1, 2008 and the number of years, moths, days you have been praying this same prayer.

    Also, time permitting read and understand the scriptures here. They are vital truths from God about how he works through our prayers. Priceless treasures.

    Questions:
    What specific prayer request have you been bringing to God for a long time?
    Have you prayed persistently?
    Have you seen glimpses of God in the answering of this prayer?
    Finally, pick a new prayer request. Write it also on your bible and begin to pray for it consistently. I want to prove to you that the Lord will answer you. I will check in with you in fifteen years or so. *giggle*

    2 Peter 3:8 (NLT)But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

    2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
    The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

    Luke 18:1-8 The Persistent Widow (click here) This is a fantastic example of persistence. By the way, Jesus, himself taught this parable.

    Romans 12:11-12 (NIV)
    Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

    The Lord God wants us to pray with persistence. He also wants us to pray within His will. Now that may be a bit trickier.

    Next week: How do we know, without a doubt, we are praying within the will of God? It is possible to know.

    I have so much more….. praying dangerous prayers, recognizing God’s answers, what do we say in prayer…… Keep on prayin’ The Lord is anxious to do great things! Be Blessed, Lynn

    *****

    Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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