463 posts categorized "Prayer"

Sumite Prayer Partners

Image James 5

Hi Sumite prayer family, Christy Edney here!

My heart has been swirling around Lynn's idea of seeking the wonder in Christmas. I'll admit, I've been struggling with the hustle and bustle of this month. So, I asked God to shift my focus, to move my heart back to the person of Jesus, our Messiah. I once heard someone say they choose to look for the finger prints of God in every moment, even in the mundane. That sounded lovely and poetic but I wondered how would I put that into practice? For me that has been waking up earlier to spend a little more time in the Word, or reaching out to my godly friend, or choosing to overlook a minor offense, or smiling at the grocery store clerk, or pausing to admire the twinkling Christmas lights, or reminding my kids of the real meaning behind the baby lying in the manager. One thing that continues to bring me joy is reading your stories of success within the prayer partnerships. Stories of an encouraging email received at just the right moment and tangible ways that God has answered your prayers. Thank you for sharing these precious stories with me! It's never too late to get a partner. If you'd like to sign up then send me an email by clicking this link: Prayer Partnerships

Tonight, my prayer for us comes from Romans 15:13 "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."

Father, thank you for gently shifting my focus. It's only by your mercy and influence that I can experience the abundant life you have planned for me. God thank you for the gift of Jesus. My human words cannot begin to express the magnitude of his birth, life, death and resurrection. But I do know that I am lost without him. Please teach us all to focus on that baby in the manger, fill us with joy and peace as we begin to trust him more and more. Lord, continue to walk hand in hand with Lynn and Dineen. Providing for their every need, covering their homes with your fierce protection and filling their days with love. I bless them and all who would read this in the mighty and matchless name of the savior, Jesus Christ, amen!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Second Week of Advent: JOY!

IMG_5524Hello, SUM Family! We’re moving closer and closer to Christmas, and like you, I want to be intentional in enjoying the details of Christmas. Yesterday morning I went into my prayer room to pray for my own family and our SUM family here. I continue to pray and declare Jeremiah 24:7 over our spouses and am praying the Scriptures written on the beams of this house over you. They are such good words!

JOY is also a very good word, my friends. And it’s the theme of the second week of Advent. As I searched for the word JOY in the Bible, I was struck by several verses that spoke of JOY. Then the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see a beautiful flow and connection in these Scriptures. 

And connection is so instrumental to our relationship with God. As you can see in my picture I’ve lit the second candle. I love taking a picture each week and sharing it with my daughters, which helps create a more intimate connection between us for Christmas as the days draw closer to their arrival. I love that we can share these traditions despite the 3,000 miles that separate us. It closes the gap.

And that is what Jesus did when He entered this world—closed the gap between God and His people and connected us together as His body, the church. What’s more, Jesus arrived with the declaration of great JOY!

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. — Luke 2:10 

Jesus entered the world as joy and to bring us joy. Joy is the status quo in Heaven. Isn’t that an amazing thought? 

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. — Luke 15:7

Our intended state of being is meant to be joyful. Like He taught us to pray, “on earth as it is in Heaven,” Jesus came to give us His joy, the JOY of the Lord to strengthen and uphold us.

While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. — Luke 24:51-53

And here’s the connection from the cradle to the cross, my friends. It is rich with God’s love and our Savior’s heart for us.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. — Hebrews 12:1-3 

As Jesus is our joy, we are His joy—the joy set before Him as He endured the cross. In other words, as our Savior suffered and died, He had us on His mind and heart. The very same very reason He entered this world as a helpless child to save us.

I pray this resonates deeper into your spirit than my words can convey. It is a full circle story of love and salvation that is almost incomprehensible in its brilliant perfection. We could spend a lifetime and beyond learning to understand it—and that’s exactly what we get to do!

My friends, as I shared, I went into prayer, seeking the Father’s heart for us now. I waited to hear Him yet only sensed to share this beautiful picture of JOY. But as I sat down to write, the Holy Spirit’s voice broke through and this is what I heard:

He who is faithful has said a good word.

Another Scripture search ensued as I knew I’d heard this before but couldn’t remember exactly where. The Scriptures I found are the very same verses that God has been showing me over the last year or so. I was surprised and delighted to see what He’d spoken to me at separate times come together in one profound word. So like the JOY of Christ’s birth and death…

SUMites, soak these in and apply them to our SALVATION word and promise and to any other promise God has given you.

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. — 1 Thes. 5:25

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. — Heb 10:23

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. — Psalm 33:4

The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” — Jer 1:12

My friends, He is faithful to His Word. He watches diligently to perform it.

And what struck me most powerfully in this word to us, is that it is past tense. Our Lord has “said a good word.” In my spirit I sense that to mean “it is done.” Just like His journey from the cradle led to the cross and His words…

It is finished. 

It is done.

We can rejoice!

We have JOY!

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that we are the JOY set before you. That Your JOY is intended to be ours and our natural state of heart, mind, soul and spirit. We rejoice in You. We rejoice in the promises You have given us and have already fulfilled. Even the ones we are waiting to see fully manifest here on earth as You have said a good word in Heaven. In the name of Jesus, amen!

I love you, SUM family, so much. I am overcome by the Lord’s heart and love for us. I pray you are too.
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Waiting on the Promises with Hope

IMG_5515
My advent wreath—the first candle lit represents hope.

Hello, SUM Family! Life at the new Miller Home has been crazy busy and hectic to say the least.  We’re mostly settled in with just a few boxes here and there.My daughters and son-in-love will soon arrive to spend Christmas with us—our first Christmas in our new home. Needless to say hubby and I have been busy little bees getting things put in place and finishing some projects ourselves like towel bars and and a few light fixtures.

Then, of course, decorating the house for Christmas, gift shopping, social events…my list is growing, my friends. How about yours? I think we all share this common challenge of managing the business of the season while trying not to lose the heart and hope of what it truly means.

Christmas is all about promise. Our Messiah Jesus was/is the greatest promise given to us. The Old Testament is all about that promise. God moves and weaves Himself into the lives of His people with great care, often giving us just a glimpse into a picture too large for us to fully comprehend. But every story points to His faithfulness to His promises. 

Here’s are two translations of a verse that captured my heart this week:

This is why I wait upon you, expecting your breakthrough, for your word brings me hope. — Psalm 130:5 (TPT)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; — Psalm 130:5 (ESV)

The first version from the Passion Translation brings to light the position of waiting, to wait expectantly for God to bring breakthrough. Sometimes we can get tired in this place of waiting and give up right before that breakthrough comes. The key here, my friends, is to be tenacious and one of the best ways to do this is to have a support system. This is one reason why having a church home, small group or prayer partner is vital. 

Last Sunday I went to church weary from a lot of spiritual warfare. The enemy targeted my daughters and family to try to undermine my choice to stand in a place of peace. I went up for prayer at the end of the service. A friend spoke wise words to my heart, “to speak what I know, not what I see.” 

In other words, I could speak the trouble and chaos I was witnessing in my children’s lives, or I would speak the truth of God’s Word and promises into the situations and into their lives. 

Both of these translations also contain “word,” which means promise. The Bible is God’s promise to us, and Jesus is the manifestation of those promises as He is the Word become flesh (John 1). That kind of blows me away, SUMites. That’s a huge promise and God fulfilled it. Nothing is impossible with Him.

My friends, like you there are promises that I have prayed into all year long (like my daughter’s health and restoration so she can work again) that I’m still waiting to see manifest. Those are the ones that put our faith to the test. Will we continue to contend for what God has promised us no matter how long it takes? These are the waiting places that require us to guard our hearts from doubt and encourage ourselves in the Lord. His love conquers everything! 

As Ian shared in his beautiful post Wednesday, we are a people who wait. We know this position well, my friends. SUMites, we are all standing and praying for the promise of salvation for our spouses—a promise God spoke to my heart specifically for this community at the beginning of the year. I know He continues to work in our spouses in ways we can’t even see yet. Seeds are being planted and divine appointments put in place. I believe God is “setting-up” our spouses to walk into belief in ways we can’t even imagine right now. I am contending for this for my own spouse and yours. And I have been asking God for testimonies.

Well, I have a story to share with you that I think will strengthen your faith and reenergize your prayers. Last week we received a testimony from Jamie about her marriage and her husband. This is a stunning story of God working in the most unexpected ways. All evidence pointed to this marriage ending in divorce, my friends, BUT GOD… It’s powerful, awe-inspiring and beautiful. All things are possible with God.

Read ‘God Saved Our Marriage…and My Husband’ here. I pray it encourages you and ignites a new hope in your spirit. That is the promise we hold within, the hope of Jesus, and it’s the focus of this first week of Advent.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. — Romans 5:1-5

SUMites, I bless you with a fresh anointing of hope that will ignite your faith to a whole new level as we close this year well. 

I love you all so much,
Dineen

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Sumite Prayer Partners

Image James 5

Hi prayer family, Christy Edney here!

As I think about our community, one phrase continues to bounce around in my head. That phrase is authentic friendships. Many of you have accepted the invitation to form prayer partnerships and you have shared how God is working through those bonds. It's not too late to receive a prayer partner! If you would like a partner then please send me an email by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partners

Today I want to share a quick story from Sumites Melissa and Anne. They are prayer partners that can actually meet in person because Melissa used the Community Map to look up her hometown and noticed another Sumite in her area.  I want to encourage you to do the same thing! Click on the Community Map, add a dot to your location and email Lynn or Dineen if you see another dot in your area. This is a fabulous way to build authentic friendships and maybe even community within your own city! 

Father, I am so encouraged by this community's courage and obedience to Your call. It takes courage to reach out to a stranger and trust them with our hearts. It takes faith to believe your promise that the Holy Spirit will be with us whenever we gather in your name. I hold up these men and women and ask you to bless them with friendships that would bring glory to your name. Lord, we look to our leaders and ask you to cover them with your holy protection, give them feet to run from temptation and a heart filled with love for our savior, Jesus Christ. May your supernatural peace flood our lives like a crisp fall breeze. I ask all of these things in the mighty name of our king, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Reaction Mode

Dear friends, the following is a post I did a few years back. The Holy Spirit has continually reminded me of this post the last week or so, but I wasn't sure if it was a needed subject at the moment. Then on Thursday as I was working on the registration details for the Hope Ignited conference our healing rooms and my church were hosting, I heard the Holy Spirit say over and over again throughout the day, "Don't take offense."

I assumed it was for me, specifically something the Holy Spirit knew I would encounter at some point over the weekend at the conference. Then our worship leader gave a word on this very subject Friday evening. I knew then it was a corporate word. And then Lynn's post yesterday confirmed that! Wow! Don't you just love how the Holy Spirit speaks to us?

God is on the move, my friends, to restore this nation to peace and righteousness. I truly believe we will be astonished in how He does this through His amazing love.

So, I present to you, "Reaction Mode," originally posted in September of 2011. I pray it speaks to your heart and encourages you. I've updated it just a bit for our community needs right now.

 

Reactions Mode

6a00d83451ee9f69e2014e8b804fe8970d-320wiAre you in reaction mode in your marriage?

I remember to this day when I made this revelation about my marriage. I stood in our home office, about to react to something my husband said. I believe at that moment the Holy Spirit stopped me and then gave me a complete picture of the situation. And it wasn’t pretty. If this pattern didn’t stop soon, my marriage would soon crash and burn.

And even more sobering (i.e. convicting)? I was the heart of the problem, because my heart was in a bad shape. Years of resentment toward my husband and unmet expectations had created a barrier between us.

What I call “reaction mode” is this highly destructive and very draining place where you and your spouse are walking in your marriage more like adversaries than partners. Every comment is scrutinized under suspicion and communication has completely broken down.

Though not always true, I find this often starts with women. We stop communicating out of unforgiveness and resentment. Or, like me, we never learned to communicate in a healthy manner.

The saddest part of reaction mode is that it leads to contempt toward one another. And where there is contempt, respect and love no longer exist. They simply can’t coexist. For example, a husband reacts back to his wife harshly, because he’s not receiving his deepest desire, which is to be respected. The wife then retreats or closes herself off, feeling unloved when her deepest desire is to be loved.

Do you see the vicious cycle? That’s the first and most crucial step to breaking reaction mode—seeing this pattern in your marriage. Whether you are male or female, this pattern will not stop until you make the first move. What does this change look like?

  1. Be Careful What You Speak.

You know, there were times that I realized my reactions to my husband bordered on the behavior of a sarcastic teenager. Not a pretty sight but very convicting when recognized. Our words have the power to build or break down. If you’re inclined to speak without thinking first, stop right now and ask God to help control your mouth. This is a biblical principle and He will help you. Trust me on that.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:1

We can also seek the Holy Spirit for the right words to speak as well. If we choose words that are honest and without an agenda to prove we’re right or place blame, we can be instrumental to restoring peace to our marriage.

  1. Dwell on the Positive.

It’s easy to fall into this place where we think our spouse has an ulterior motive to his or her words. Even simple requests can turn into a battleground, because we’ve somehow fallen into the lie that our spouse intends to harm us. This suspicion perpetuates the reaction mode and is its fuel. Suspicion can also be fueled by lies, so the best way to combat this is to counteract with the truth. What does your spouse do well?

Make a list. My husband is great about making sure the garbage goes out every week. I appreciate this even more when he’s out of town and I have to do it. Yuck! He’s also great about going grocery shopping with me, and he’s quick to show his love and affection. Start with small things and your list will grow. Then study it whenever you fall into thinking those negative thoughts about your spouse.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. — Philippians 4:8

A negative thought feeds the enemy and breeds more negativity. This can even evolve into scenarios playing out in your mind of how your spouse could potentially hurt you. Then you wind up hurt and defensive over something that never even happened.

A positive thought feeds the spirit and releases the Holy Spirit to work in your mind for transformation (Romans 12:2). He also works in your heart to help you forgive and allow God’s love to flow more freely to and through you.

Which one do you want to grow “fatter” in your life?

  1. Respect Him Even When You Don’t Want To, Love Her Even When She’s Unlovable.

Our hubbies need to know we will still stand by them when they mess up. And they will mess up, just as we do. We need to extend that hand of grace and acceptance, just as we want it extended to us. I’ve never seen anything quite as destructive to a marriage as contempt. And it is subtle in its presence. This goes right back to number one in how we use our words.

Add to that how you sound. What is your tone? Are you speaking in a way that solicits cooperation or are you condemning and accusing? This was the biggest area that I needed to change, and I know I could not have done it without God’s help. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that our tone and words hurt those we love. Pull out that list you made and go over it again. When it’s hard to show respect to your husband, find the things you can respect and show it to him. Then watch him bloom under your praise.

… and the wife must respect her husband. — Ephesians 5:33b

And loving someone when they are unlovable is one of the most powerful and sacrificial things a person can do. I have watched a woman be astonished by the fact that my church was assisting her out of our own desire to help and we weren’t getting paid by the government to do it. I have been deeply humbled by my husband's love when I was in pain and cranky. Love speaks louder than anything. Anything! Love changes hearts, marriages, families, cities and nations.

God is love so when we love, even when a person hasn’t “earned it,” we display His heart and presence in the most powerful way possible by revealing His very nature. Love (1 John 4).

  1. Keep a “We” Mentality.

Isn’t this really the truth we forget? We enter in to marriage as two “I’s” and suddenly have to figure out what it means to be a “we.” This requires putting our spouse first, this means loving and respecting even when we don’t feel it, this means seeing our marriage truly as a team effort and pulling our weight even when we feel our spouse isn’t. God sees our heart and our efforts. Your actions to honor Him in your marriage are never wasted!

Don’t quit the team. Be the one who stands strong and keeps Christ in the middle—your faith and prayers do that (1 Cor. 7:14). Whatever issues you’re dealing with, remember that you and your spouse are a team. Blame solves nothing. Teamwork always gets the job done.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24

Finally, remember that we can’t make these changes on our own. We need God’s help. Start with prayer and trust that God really can work in you, in your spouse and in your marriage to bring change and healing. It takes time, but when we desire God’s will for our marriage—a partnership built on love and respect—He will give us the desire of our heart (Psalm 37:4).

SUMites, I want to leave you with one final thought here (and this is a new part I'm adding). No matter where we are in our faith journey, God sees us the same way through His love and according to who He created us to be. We are His righteousness through Christ Jesus. And He never changes for He is the God of today, yesterday and tomorrow. He doesn't function within time as we do. He is present in all places—past present and future.

Now this is where it gets really interesting and may blow your mind a bit. Just as He sees us in this way, as who He created us to be, He sees our spouse the same way. He does not define them by their lack of faith but according to the measure of faith He has set aside for them. He sees them as they are intended to be, His children. I believe that is the heart of Eccl. 3:11 too. 

Father God, give us Your eyes, Your perspective of our spouse. Help us see them in the potential and in the light of eternity that You've placed within them so that we can love them according to that image and be part of releasing the truth of Your love in them. Thank You, Lord! Thank You! In the amazing name of Jesus, amen!

Love you so much, SUMites! And God loves you even better. ;-)
Dineen

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


The Times They are a Changin'

My friends, I pray this video encourages you. As I suggested, read Ezra and this amazing story of how God used King Cyrus, the leaders of the Trans Eurphrates, King Artaxerxes and King Darius to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The very people and plans to stop this wound up revealing the original edict by Cyrus to rebuild the Temple. God loves to turn things on end and surprise us, SUMites. Remember, things won't look the way you expect. This is not a time of either or. It's a time of yes and both and AMEN!

So let's be in prayer together for our loved ones.

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. — 2 Kings 6:15-17

Lord Jesus, open the eyes of our spouses and loved ones that they me see YOU! In the name  of Jesus, amen!

I love you so much, SUMites! You are amazing!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Expecting and Dreaming!

IMG_5208
My daughter Leslie's blessing prayer on our entry. :-)


My friends, Mike and I are getting settled into our home. There are still boxes to be unpacked and things to be put away, but I am loving the process. And the promise. There is so much promise coming…

I shared on our Facebook page recently a verse that the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my attention over and over again. I honestly have never had a verse “dog” me this much. 

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. — Romans 16:20

I didn’t fully understand the full “breath” of this word at first until I was in a moment of worship and God overwhelmed me with not just His love but a hope so great it brought me to tears of joy. It’s huge! And then I understood that our Papa God is about to release a greater hope into this world than we have seen before. His promises are true and just—our enemy is destined to be crushed under our feet. That’s where we stand, my friends, for Jesus, and the enemy is crushed. 

And this great hope will accompany His love as never before. It’s absolutely huge. We will be stunned, awestruck and swept over by intense gratitude as it appears and transforms us in ways I can’t even imagine at the moment. I am so full (pregnant?) with expectation.

My friends, will you dream with me? I believe God is about to do some amazing things right in this SUM community. I’m asking Him personally for something I never could have thought of without His loving inspiration and this budding hope working in me. It’s just not something I would have thought of asking on my own. And when the words first left my lips I was shocked to hear them.

I’m asking that Abba move in my daughter Leslie to want to be baptized. I’m asking Him to put this on her heart and that she’ll ask me to baptize her in our pool in our new home while she is here for Christmas. I believe God will move in this, and it may not happen as soon as I’m asking, but I believe it will happen. 

Why? Because I believe this dream is from Him. And why would He give me a dream He didn’t plan to fulfill?

So, SUM family, it’s dreaming day. What are you dreaming of? Here’s one I want to ask God for now, with your agreement, dear friends. 

Lord, we are dreaming of homes that are spiritually matched! We ask that our House of SUM become a House of SEM—Spiritually Equal Marriages! In the name of Jesus, amen!

I love you so much, my friends! I can’t wait to read about your dreams, to bless them and pray with you.
Dineen

A few more of the Scriptures written on the beams...XOXO!

IMG_5213

IMG_5218

IMG_5209

IMG_5211


*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Sumite Prayer Partners

Good morning Sumite brothers and sisters!

Image James 5

It is hard to believe that we're two months into these newly formed prayer partnerships! I would love to hear stories about how the Spirit is working and growing these into authentic friendships. Feel free to email me with stories or prayer requests at any time. Also, if this is the first time you've heard of prayer partnerships, then please click this link to learn more: Sumite Prayer Partnerships. If you would like to receive a prayer partner, then please click this link to email me: Email Sumite Prayer Partners

Now, please pray with me:

Heavenly Father, thank you for this loving community. This place to come, to hear your words and rest among other like minded followers of Jesus Christ. Today we lift up our ministry leaders, Lynn and Dineen. We ask you to provide an angel army that would fight the spiritual battles on their behalf. Place a hedge of protection around these women, their husbands and their children. In the name of Jesus Christ, we bless them with a blanket of love and encouragement. Please remind them to seek your will and rest in your loving embrace. Provide them with the time and energy to continue on with the tasks that you place before them. We ask these things in the name of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, amen! 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


The Tale of Two Houses

NewHouseMy friends, I pray you are still discovering sweet revelations and blessings from last week's fasting and praying for Rosh Hashanah. Dawn did an amazing job leading us. Thank you, my friend! We love you so much! 

And my friends, your comments were moving and inspiring. If you didn't read Ann's comment about her revelation dream for us that she posted on Thursday, please go read it in the comments. It's very encouraging and confirmed many things for me. In fact, God used her comment and Dawn's story about her house to show me what I was to share with you next. 

Can I just say, I love our Father's heart for us and our spouses? He is so passionate about us, my friends! I'm overwhelmed by His love and heart for us.

Now about our house...we are just 16 days away from closing. We have watched our house transform from a cement slab and framed walls to a nearly completed home full of details—cabinets, counters, painted walls and landscaping. My husband and I are so excited that we go by our house about twice a day just to see what new things have been done that day.

Now something happened early on in this process that came full circle just a week ago and God has show me it's a word for us. But first, I need to tell you a story of how this all began.

Back in 2004...

My husband and I decided it was time to buy a house. We'd moved back to the U.S. (to California) from Switzerland two years prior and had rented a house so we could get acquainted with the area and figure out where we wanted to settle. However, as you may or may not know, the housing prices in California were/are quite high. And the houses that were in our budget sold fast, usually through bidding wars.

One Sunday I went to church full of despair. We'd not found a house and had decided we would continue renting. I asked my Sunday school group to pray for us. We planned to check one more area that afternoon, but if that didn't pan out, we'd call our landlord and negotiate another lease.

That afternoon we drove to the area a friend had suggested but didn't find it. We had a fairly small area to work in because of our oldest daughter's high school district. When we reached that outer street, we resigned ourselves to just go home.

Just a few blocks down, we saw an open house sign on a house that was just renovated and hadn't even been officially listed yet. We debated stopping and finally did. 

My friends, I kid you not, as I walked into that house and barely saw more than just the front living area, I said to my husband, "This is our house."

We contacted our realtor, who was (is) a believer and told her to make an offer. And then we went to war. Several offers came in for that house. We'd offered the full asking price but knew the chances were slim to get it. Mike and discussed offering more and decided we'd take the risk. Our budget would be stretched, and we weren't sure how we'd do it, but my ever-optimist husband said we'd figure out a way. 

I called our realtor and asked if we should offer more. She asked for a little time to pray about it. A half hour later she called and agreed it was a good plan. Then we waited. 

The next day my husband came home with a story of his own. He'd received an unexpected raise that day, and it was exactly what we would need to afford the higher price mortgage. 

We got the house. SUMites, every time I looked at our house after that, all I saw in my mind was this big red bow around it, because it was a gift from God. We walked through a lot in that house (including the miracles of my daughter’s cancer recovery) and God us blessed us richly, even in the sale of the home to a sweet family with a little boy.

Now, fast forward to our house we are building now. As I shared in my post in July, God showed me this new house is a also a gift from His hand and that I was to rejoice in it. 

On September 8th, God led me to the book of Haggai. 

"'The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” — Haggai 2:9 ESV

As I read this, I began to tremble, my friends. That may sound crazy, but I knew that God had spoken something very deep to my spirit. And He reminded me of two other times this Word was spoken over me in the last year and half. Now He was affirming that the house He was giving us  ow and all that He has planned and purposed for it (which He's given me just a glimpse of His kingdom plans there and let me just say, "WOW!") will be greater than our former house.

SUMites, as I have shared in this past, this new house has become a monument of God's presence, provision and plans for this community. Our SUM family.

This word, that our latter "home" will be greater than our former one is for all of us. Ann's comment last week confirmed this for me. And showed me now was the time to share it as we near the completion of this home.

But God has given me another specific word, my friends. One that starts with an event that would require me to forgive someone connected to the completion of this home for lying and breaking our trust. It's a crazy story of God's unexpected justice and protection of His provision and plans. You will be utterly amazed.

Please be sure to come back for the rest of this story on Friday and to hear God's heart for us right now. This is a message you don’t want to miss, straight from the Father’s heart.

We are on the precipice, my friends. I know it's challenging to be on the mountain top with an assuredness and determination to pray into what God reveals to us, then to wait and pray, wait and pray, wait and pray and not see any visible change. But let me be the voice of truth to you and reassure you that our God is working diligently to bring forth His promise in reply to our prayers. 

Today I'm asking you to make a new declaration in the comments that you trust the Lord for all that He has promised you because He is your God.

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” — Psalms 31:14

Declare what you are trusting Him for too, my friends. Let's speak out into the natural what God is setting into place in the heavens! (Heb. 11:3)

I love you, SUM family. Please know that I am faithfully praying Jer. 24:7 and the Scriptures you sent me over you and your spouse. God is faithful to His Word!
~ Dineen

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


A Testimony of Fasting - Day 1 of SUM Community Fast

SUMRoshHashanah

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

Lyrics from “My Story” Big Daddy Weave

The words to that song are the words to my song – my story.  And to tell you my story is to tell of Him.  My story of the last year is one filled with hope, love, victory and abundance.  It has been a jubilee year indeed and it all started with the Rosh Hashanah community fast here in our Sum Community. 

It was Monday, September 14th.  I had not fasted in a quite a while and I was actually at a very stagnant, even stale, place in my prayer life.  I was disappointed with God for not moving in my timeline, I was stressed out from the contentious relationship with my ex-husband and I was doing this fast because I just needed to feel that closeness with the Lord that I had not felt in a very long time.  And the thought of a Jubilee year on the heels of one of the hardest 3 years of my life sounded very appealing too.  While it was not my driving force, a breakthrough would definitely have been welcome.

It would be very hard to fit an entire year of blessings into a blog post, so I will start with that day.  On that day, everything with my ex-husband (for whom I have been standing for over 4 years with no hope in sight) turned on a dime.  It started with him calling me about his sick grandfather (shocking in itself) and since that conversation we have become friends, gone on family outings, helped each other out and even attended church together on Easter Sunday– ALL a result of that one day of fasting when everything turned around. And I believe that every day since then has brought us closer to restoration – no minor miracle, my friends!

For our first day of fasting, I will tell you of one other amazing story to bookend this past Jubilee year.  It ended as grand (grand as only God can do) as it started.  As you are reading this, I am moving into a house I purchased for me and my girls.  I had been renting a house for the last 4 years, but my daughter was starting high school and wanted to attend a particular school in a different area.  I decided I needed to go ahead and buy a house in that district.  So we started praying back in March for a ranch style house (just a personal preference), within our budget and with a school bus for both girls. 

The housing market in Denver is just crazy, so after getting outbid on every house we liked, I decided a new build was the only way to go.  Upon inquiring about new builds, I found out ranch style houses are VERY popular and there were none of those models available.  Apparently they were the first to sell.  So I settled on a 2 story house, significantly out of my comfortable price point and decided this was just the way it was meant to be.  At least both girls would have a bus to and from school. 

Fast forward to Sunday June 19th… I got a call from the sales office saying that our house completion had been pushed back to next year instead of the original Oct/Nov date I had been told.  Oh – and did I mention my lease was up in July and we had moved into my sister’s basement for what we assumed would be a short amount of time?  This news was devastating, BUT GOD!  As I am in tears with the poor sales lady, she says “We do have a ranch that is available and finished.  The family who originally intended to buy it was transferred out of state. If you’d like to come see it, we’d be willing to work with you on the price and transfer your earnest money.”

The girls and I went to see it that day.  It was everything we wanted and we fell in love with it immediately. It even had the same finishes (white cabinets, gray quartz countertops) that we had picked out for the other house.  We closed on September 30 and best of all; the price they gave us was well within the budget I had prayed for.  Wow – don’t you just LOVE how God rolls!?!

The kind of fast I am choosing to do this week is solid food from sun up to sun down Monday – Friday.  The breakthrough(s) I am particularly praying for are the usual ones I’ve been praying for years – that J will come to know the love of Christ first hand and know true unconditional love for the first time in his life and that my marriage and our family would be restored.  I would love to hear the breakthroughs you are all fasting for so we can pray for each other during this special time.  What mountains do you want to see moved as a result of your fast this week?

I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be leading this fast and doing it with all of you. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about obstacles to fasting and how we can stand strong against them.  “See” you then!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Rosh Hashanah and SUM Community Fasting

SUMRoshHashanah
Hello, SUMites! I’m excited to tell you about what will be happening next week and who will be leading it. 

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2nd and ends at nightfall on October 4th and means “head of the year” in Hebrew. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, which in Hebrew means day of shouting and blasting and is sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. Thus why the Shofar is a symbol of the holiday (as well as the eating of symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year”) and is blown as part of the celebration.

The significance of this horn is very symbolic as well. Remember the story of Jericho and how the seven priests bore seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord? They were to blow the horns as they marched around the city. Have you heard the sound of a Shofar?

Rosh Hashanah is then followed by Yom Kippur, which is a time reflection, repentance and fasting. So, my friends, next week our very own, Dawn Billesbach, will be leading us each day in community fasting and praying with stories and encouragement of how God has moved in her life through the observance of this Jewish holiday and its traditions.

Lynn and I are so very grateful to have her leadership for this. We’ve already read the first installment, and we both wound up in tears. It is a stunning and ongoing story of God’s goodness and faithfulness to a woman’s prayers and intercession for her for her marriage, her family and even herself. 

So, dear SUMites, be prepared to be blessed and encouraged greatly by this wonderful woman of God who’s heart for Jesus is steadfast and faithful. Lynn and I have had the honor and pleasure of standing with her for years in prayer and have witnessed her grow in her faith walk in ways we never imagined. God is so good!

Here’s a little about Dawn:

Bio_picI live in Broomfield, Co with my 2 girls.  I have a teen and a tween and needless to say, lots of gray hair. We enjoy camping and all things outdoors. If I can’t be outside, my 2nd favorite place is in the kitchen. I love feeding people. Food is definitely my love language. I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of, but one my greatest (besides raising 2 amazing kiddos) is learning to back up my pop-up camper. Funny, but true!

I am divorced, but standing in faith for a restoration of my marriage and family. I am in AWE every single day of the faithfulness of God and His promises to work ALL things for our good.   As I watch His plans unfold, I can’t help but be absolutely blown away. In recent years, I have learned the difference in knowing God and knowing God. HE has met me on every step of this journey whether I was face down on the floor, immobile from grief or learning to back up a camper so I could take my kids camping. For this, I wouldn’t trade a single tear or heartache.  

I joined the SUM community about 4 years ago when my husband and I were first separated. The encouragement has been a lifeline to me since.  

Dear friends, here are some links to help you determine how and what kind of fast is best for you. Please consider this next week prayerfully and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.

Why Should You Fast

How to Fast Safely

How Long and What Type of Fast is Right for You

SUMites, I’m excited about and expectant of what God is going to do next week. A verse I have prayed for years showed up yesterday, and I knew in my spirit right away this is for us right now.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. — Jeremiah 33:3

Lord, we call out to You and wait expectantly for You to answer. Tell us great and hidden things about this next year, Lord, as we ask to know Your heart for ourselves, our spouses and our family. We commit this next week to You and rejoice in knowing that You are always working for our good (Rom. 8:28) and have a future and a hope set in place for us all (Jer. 29:11). We rejoice, Lord! We rejoice in You! For You are our inheritance and we are Yours. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Our Expectations And Answers To Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

As we conclude this study, I have an astonishing story to share with you about how our prayers can remain unanswered or answers are delayed and how what we expect is usually not what the Lord has in mind. Let me take you to a very old passage.

Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

Don’t let the familiarity of this story steal the outrageousness of what happens here. God tells the Israelites to do something seemingly ridiculous. I’m mean absolutely absurd. Can you imagine coming against a city and instead of piling up dirt and stones to scale the walls, instead of practicing warfare and battle tactics, God instructs them to march.

And get this. On day seven march in silence.

Say what?????

In the reality of it all, it is stupid! At least in the eyes of men. Ahhhhh, but that is what is so cool with God. When God moves, you KNOW it’s Him.

And that is exactly the same when it comes to our prayers. We have certain expectations that God should answer our prayer in such and such a way. In all my years of praying and receiving answers from the Lord, RARELY does God answer my prayers in the ways I expect. Typically, His answers are always slow. He rarely answers the way I expect or hope or in my timeline. But, when He does move, it’s always spectacular and in ways that are so much better and bigger than I could even dream up. And I can dream up some pretty big stuff.

God may ask of us to believe and follow up on the belief with actions and faith that feels absurd at times. And in response to our faith, He is likely to answer in absolutely unexpected and miraculous provision. The story of the Walls of Jericho is a historic reference for us living today. 

My friends, prayer is at the core, a conversation between two “in love” hearts. Prayer is devotion and time together. It’s a relationship of consideration, respect, honor, and peace. It’s love and friendship. It’s worship and teaching. It’s a Father and His child whom He gave so much to bring into His life forever.

I pray today that your prayer life is enriched with all the prayer strategies we have covered. I pray you see astonishing answers and that lives are changed because you prayed. I hope you bear witness to supernatural healing and that your spouse falls to his or her knees in surrender. I pray with conviction and belief that you will experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and that your life is forever changed because you pray. In Jesus name.

I love you, my friends. Now go and pray…. And change the world for the cause of Christ! Hugs, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


A Stunning Revelation of My Authority

LOVE
My friends, today I want to share a something God is showing me in my own life. And as God is so perfect in His ways, this ties into the series I’ve been writing about regarding words, the power of God’s Word, and the authority we walk in as His children. And I’ve no doubt this is something many in our community here (and this country) need to know as it’s something that affects the majority of women today in all ranges of ages.

First, let me set the stage. Last week I was listening to a podcast by a pastor and teacher I very much respect and he said something that I knew was true but didn’t fully understand in the moment how very deeply this truth can run.

His words were, “We can’t take authority over what we don’t love.”

When I heard it, my heart, soul, mind and spirit nodded in agreement. I believe God has planted the truth of 1 Corinthians 14:1 deep inside me since I was a child.

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. — 1 Corinthians 14:1

Love must always be our motivator, sustainer and final goal. I firmly believe that. And hearing these words from this pastor brought this truth to a whole new level for me. It’s also made me examine the places where I have have taken authority in my prayers, yet haven’t seen a shift or change. 

As Lynn shared Friday, there can be things that block our prayers, and perhaps this could be one of them. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If our heart isn’t filled with love for what we’re praying for, how can our prayers be? And I do believe this kind of love has to come from our Lord Jesus and our intimacy with Him. He pours His love into and through us.

So, what did I discover? I can best explain by sharing how this translated into a revelation for me the very next day.

I have had a love hate relationship with food, my weight and my appearance for as long as I can remember. God has brought me a long way over the years, but I still long for complete freedom. I know there are many of you reading this right now, SUMites, that get this. You’ve most likely struggled with it in some way, shape or form too.

And I am determined. I know my prayers are powerful, so I have blessed my body with divine health, perfect function as God designed my body to work and blessed areas that I know I need healing physically. But I’m not seeing the results I so desire. 

As I said, the application of this pastor’s words that the Holy Spirit wanted me to grasp came the next day. He showed me that yes, I have attempted to take authority over my body, but how can I stand in that authority when I don’t love my body and the way God created me?

I have whined and complained about my appearance, my health issues and weight for a long time. I have spoken and thought negatively about myself in more ways than I probably know. And please forgive me if I’m being a little too real and honest here, but I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to share this, because I do believe it is the answer I have sought for a long time to understand what the core issue is.

So now I am changing this. I am seeking God daily to help me love myself in all ways. I’m not talking about anything bordering on vanity or pride here. Just simple appreciation and acceptance of who God created me to be and look like. (Psalm 139:13-18, Luke 12:7, Ephesians 2:10—share more verses in the comments!)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Because I firmly believe that this issue begins in the heart and mind. And I believe as I partner with the Holy Spirit to transform my mind in this area and break old thought patterns too, I will begin too see the results of a healthy mind and body manifest more and more. 

As a person thinks, they are and do, right? (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV)

My friends, can you relate to this? Is this a truth you’ve wanted or needed and didn’t even realize it, like me? What area can you see applying to your life right now? Please share if you’re able. I truly sense this will be a revelation day for many of us and the beginning of new healing and freedom in places we have prayed and longed for.

I love you, SUMites. So very much. I want all God has for you, every single thing He has written down in the pages of His book about you—I pray He pours out every word, blessings, gift and provision He has written down for you today and that His presence is the greatest gift He reveals to you. I pray for more revelation of who you are to Him and who He created you to be, so that you walk in complete confidence in your identity and relationship with your Papa God. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!

He loves us, my friends. Oh how He loves us…
Dineen

(P.S. Later the same day I noticed the toenail on my left foot—I have unsuccessfully treated it for three years so I began blessing it weeks ago—is now clearing up and growing normal again. Thank You, Lord, for Your sweet confirmations! You are so holy and wonderful!)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Sumite Prayer Partners

Good morning prayer family! Christy Edney here!

It has been one month since we invited you to embark upon this journey of Prayer Partnerships! I expected to receive a handful of requests but God has far exceeded my wildest expectations. Today, we have over sixty women in prayer relationships! Now, I'm calling on the male members of our community. I know you're out there and this invitation is also open to you. If any of you (male or female) would like to receive a partner then please click here: Sumite Prayer Partners

Image James 5

Now, please join me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for these hearts that have called out for a deeper fellowship with you and each other. In the name of Jesus Christ, I bless them with authentic friendships that will achieve your purpose in each of their lives. Lord, I focus our attention on the leaders of this community, Lynn and Dineen. I ask you to assign a host of angels to fight the spiritual battles on their behalf. Cover them with love and encouragement from the most unexpected places. Please provide an abundance of time, material and motivation as they continue to work on this new book that you have placed upon their hearts. Holy Spirit, fill this community with your presence and reinvent us in your image. Thank you for being more than my human words can express. I pray these things in the name of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, amen!
 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


The Power of God’s Words

SwordCloud
"Jesus is your sword."

One of the things I love about living in Florida is the cloud formations. They are tall and fluffy, filling the sky with a terrain of fluffy like cotton. Then other times they are imposing and dark, flashing with lighting and pouring down rain. Rarely is the sky completely devoid of these puffy wonders.

One bright and humid Florida morning, I went for a walk to worship and pray. My conversation with God that day was about prayer and words. I wanted to understand more about what He seemed to be impressing upon my heart to understand.

I looked up in the sky and noticed a could that looked just like a sword, which I thought was so interesting. But what made it relevant was what the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I looked at this simple formation.

“Jesus is your sword.”

My friends, this truth clicked into place in my heart and then my mind and the Scriptures I’d ready many times seemed to take on even deeper meaning. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:1-5

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14

This truth already blew my mind, SUMites, but then to think of it in terms of our spiritual armor, brings a whole new level of awe. 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, — Ephesians 6:17

Jesus is the Word and the sword of the Spirit is God’s Word, so Jesus truly is our sword! So what does that mean?

The Ezekiel Model

In the book of Ezekiel, God tells Ezekiel to prophesy over dry bones to hear the word of the Lord. First of all, prophesy simply means to speak by inspiration. We are all call to do this and since we have the Holy Spirit living in us, it makes sense that we can do this. (That’s a whole other series best saved for another time.)

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! — Ezekiel 37:4

So Ezekiel is told by the Spirit of God to speak God’s words of life over these bones. The word ‘hear’ in Hebrew is šâma’ and holds such meanings as to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.), declare, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear(-ken, tell), listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim(-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, tell, understand, whosoever (heareth), witness. And that’s the edited down version. 

In similar intensity, ‘word’ means ḏâḇâr in Hebrew and translates to such meanings as a word; by implication, a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially, a cause: act, advice, affair, answer, commandment, commune(-ication), concern(-ing), confer, counsel, decree, deed, duty, effect, eloquent, errand, glory, manner, matter, message, portion, power, promise, provision, purpose, question, rate, reason, report, request. Again, the edited down version.

These are two hefty words that hold a lot of meaning and impact. Which then led me to Jeremiah 1:12 where God asks Aaron what he sees. 

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” — Jeremiah 1:12

Did you know that word ‘watching’ means to be alert i.e. sleepless? Now look at Isaiah 55:11

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:10-11

My friends, this is like a double promise. God decrees (shall) His Word will not only be life giving but also powerful and effective to accomplish His purposes. So, think about this in context of praying Scriptures, which are God’s Word and are thus in alignment with His heart and purposes, and what could happen as a result of doing so. And I mean literally praying Scriptures out loud, word for word. 

For example, our salvation word this year is Jeremiah 24:7. Almost every day I am praying this:

Lord, thank you for giving every one of our SUMite spouses a heart that knows You are God. Thank You that You have declared they will be your sons and daughters and You will be their God. Thank You that they are returning to You wholeheartedly and will follow You all the days of their lives.

We can do this with any Scripture in the Bible, SUMites. Speak God’s Word out as truth. 

Lord, Your Word says that by the stripes of Jesus Christ I am healed, therefore I declare that I am healed of (name specific illnesses, diseases and conditions). (Isaiah 53:5). And I declare the blood of Jesus over my entire body and declare I walk in divine health. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Lord, you are not willing that any should be lost so I rejoice and thank You that You are pursuing my spouse, my children, my family members with your relentless love and I stand in agreement with You that me and and my entire household will be saved. In the name of Jesus, amen! (Matthew 18:14, Acts 16.31).

My friends, whenever you read your Bible and find yourself stopped or stuck on a piece of God’s Word, ask the Holy Spirit what it means, what you need to know about it, and how you are to pray into it, believe it and then decree it. 

One last story…

In my post last Friday I talked about Isaiah six and how the praises of the seraphim shook the place. Did you know this happened in the New Testament too, with the disciples? The disciples were faced with great opposition, so they joined together and prayed.

And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness. — Acts 4:29-31

What did they pray for, my friends? Boldness to share His Word. They asked for healing power, miracles and wonders (what Jesus had taught and sent them out to do), all done in the name of Jesus. And what did God do? He shook the place with His presence! They prayed according to His Word (Jesus) and God answered.

So, my friends, I’m not saying that every time we pray, our houses are supposed to shake, but what if they did? What if we asked God for that kind of boldness and courage to pray and share Him with others and walked in miracles and wonders as the evidence of it? What if we already are?

I believe our prayers “shake” the heavens more than we realize. And the more boldness and courage we have, the more we shake the rafters!

O Lord, give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching Your word. Stretch out You hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. Amen!

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Why Isn't My Spouse Saved Already? Unanswered Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comAre you new to walking this unequally yoked journey? Did you search the Internet and stumble upon our website? Every week new readers arrive here looking for help. They are seeking suggestions, wisdom and practical instruction on how to deal with tithing, raising kids in faith, standing strong in their marriage when they feel fragmented because of differing faith beliefs.

You may be puzzled as to why Dineen and I write and share instruction about growing in our faith. You may wonder why I’ve spent a month talking about prayer when you need to know if you should ask your husband about giving to church. Well, my friends, Dineen and I have walked this unequally yoked road for 25+ years. And out of our year in and year out experience we have learned a foundational truth about thriving in an unequally yoked marriage.

Are you ready? This is it: When we grow in our faith life our earthly life becomes easier. Life with our spouse becomes more peaceful. Living on planet earth in powerful faith makes the difference in every positive and hopeful way in all aspects of relationships and living.

That is why I’m spending so much time in developing our prayer lives. When we pray with the prayer strategies I’ve covered, you bring heaven into your home, marriage and life. (You can search the archives for practical advice on all issues related to being unequally yoked. I’m pretty sure we have written about all of them multiple times. *grin*.)

UNANSWERED PRAYER

We have covered many aspects of creating a powerful prayer life. But today I want to chat about what we do with our confusion and disappointment when our prayers remain unanswered. And specifically, why isn’t my spouse saved?

Gang, as I mentioned my husband and I have been together for more than 25 years. I have prayed, pleaded, bargained, begged and everything and anything else to convince God to save my husband. And save him yesterday, already.

Anyone else in this place with me???? Anyone????

Well, there are a few things to bring before the Lord when you are praying and not receiving an answer. We first must ask, “Am I praying within the will of God?”

This is an easy question and one that is also difficult. When it comes to God’s will to save our spouse, the Word is clear. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

So, you gotta wonder, if I’m praying with sincerity with a heart full of love and hope, and within the Will of my Father, WHY IN THE WORLD ISN’T THIS MAN SAVED?

Yep, I know I’m not alone in asking this question.

Here are my thoughts. I believe the Word and that I AM praying in faith and conviction using my will. Thus God sends me to this statement in His Word:

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” -Acts 16:29-31 (NIV)

My friends, I believe that my husband will be saved. My husband has already been sanctified (made holy) because of my faith in Jesus. If you read our book, Winning Him Without Words, you will remember my story of my husband praying the prayer of salvation with Joe on our driveway.

So…… It has been accomplished. I will live believing that God will honor His Word and that my husband will find his way to heaven. However, right now my reality is that my husband is not living for Jesus.

I’m bummed out about it all. My husband is missing so much that God has for his life. So much blessing, wonder, adventure and peace. Our marriage has missed out on many things that I truly have wanted to share but didn’t because of our faith differences. These are sacrifices I have laid down on the altar of love for my Savior.

I know that like me, you are also laying down many of your hopes about your marriage on the altar. But, I will be the voice to tell you that all we have laid down, God will pour back into our lives in other ways. Now and into eternity.

What is difficult for us is that God’s timing is not our timing. God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). And we have such great difficulty surrendering our expectations and timelines. Sometimes I think the best prayer we can pray for our spouse’s salvation is this:

Lord, have your way with me. I surrender all my expectations and limitations. Fill me with your wisdom and revelation. Place contentment within my spirit and supernatural love in my heart. Let me turn my eyes fully to you and believe without doubt, you have my utmost best and greatest plans and intentions for my life, family and marriage. I trust you and will live intentionally to draw near to Thee. In Jesus name. AMEN

Today, let’s become “lay-down lovers of Jesus.” Let’s turn our face fully toward Him and allow His love to fill our hearts and trust Him to fulfill His Word toward our spouse and children.

In the comments, write your spouse’s name, children’s name and follow it by 1 Corinthians 7:14 & Acts 16:29 as a statement of faith. I’ll start us out.

Mike, Caitie, Brad and granddaughters – 1 Corinthians 7:14 & Acts 16:29. They are sanctified and saved. It is written. I believe. It is done. In Jesus name. AMEN

I love you my friends. I’m praying for your family in the comments. In His Grace, Lynn

Next posts: The blocks of prayer.

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


This Prayer Strategy Can Change Your Heart

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comI am excited about sharing a few thoughts about what to do when prayer remains unanswered but I think we also must focus on a key prayer strategy that is very powerful and leads to breakthrough.

Worship and Thanksgiving.

My friends, sometimes our prayers can turn into a laundry list. We pray on and on with names and needs that are truly important but we can become restlessly caught up in our pain, need and daily life that it's possible to slip into a place of prayer where we lose our perspective. SUMites, it’s imperative that our primary focus in prayer is to remain fully aware that we are having a love conversation with our Father, with our Bridegroom-Prince, Jesus.

The Lord truly knows our needs and yes, I believe we must pray and speak our concerns to His heart. But can you just take a minute here and imagine our Papa God, waiting, hoping even longing for us to approach the Throne of Grace and just hang out?  To listen to Him? To ask Him what He's doing on earth? What thrills His heart? What makes Him smile?

My friends, let’s turn our affection toward our Lord and our Father. Let’s take time to be intentional about worship and thanksgiving. In my prayer time, I try to begin with what I call my “Three thankfuls”. I write down in my prayer journal: 3 thankfuls: Followed by three things that come to my mind and simply acknowledge that everything good in my life is from my Papa.

I once heard a pastor teaching on this aspect of intimacy in prayer. He said that he rarely brings a list before the Lord but brings his affection. He said something like this, “God already knows my heart and my needs. So I am intentional to bring my affection to Him. And He usually moves on my heart requests.”

Interesting.

I believe there is a time to petition and there is also time to just be (Psalm 46:10)! It’s wisdom and discernment fueled by relationship that takes us perfectly into each.

So this week I have a challenge for you, when you lay down to go to sleep, rest quietly and turn your affection toward the Lord. In your imagination or quiet prayers, give Him your heart and then let Him love on you.

Today in the comments, share with me your three thankfuls for today:

I love you my friends. You LOVE well. You love God and you love people. Well done good and faithful servant!!!!!!!!!!!!!  See you in the comments. Hugs. Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Our Place of Authority and Power

IStock_000007310932XSmallDear friends, two weeks ago I wrote a post about seeing the gold in our spouses and calling it out. Since then the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about the power of our words, which seems to dovetail perfectly with what Lynn has been teaching us, specifically about praying with confidence. And that is what I feel like the Holy Spirit has been teaching me recently.

But not in the way one would expect. (There's that word again that things won't look the way we expect them to.) As I've shared before, God seems to want to take my perceptions of the truth and turn them on end to see them in a different way. An empowering way.

I'm going to share with you what the Holy Spirit told me as I was out for a walk to worship and pray. 

"You have nothing to lose, and the enemy has lost everything."

I asked for my clarity and understanding and this is what the Holy Spirit impressed upon me, my friends. We, as God's children, have gained everything through Jesus. Thus we can't lose. No matter what the enemy wants us to think or the lies he tries to throw at us, we win. We are called the victors in this life and whatever comes our way. We are even declared to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). 

And the enemy has everything to lose. In fact, according to Scripture, he's already lost everything.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. — Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV)

So let me say this as the complete thought the Holy Spirit impressed upon me. 

We have everything and nothing to lose. The enemy has nothing and everything to lose.

Plays with your mind a bit, doesn't it? But think about it, truly wrap your brain around this. Then think about the place of confidence and power this positions you in with your prayer life. Think about the impact your words can have when spoken out loud in prayers and in alignment with God's heart. That's empowered confidence in who we are as children of God and what He given us. As Christ said we would do the things He did and more.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. — John 14:12-14 (NIV)

SUMites, ponder this powerful truth and begin to apply it to the places in your life that you are waging war. This is what I've been doing this last week and I believe breakthroughs are coming as a result. 

But there's more to this journey I'm on that I'm looking forward to sharing with you and it has to do with our words. The power of our words and prayers. But not the way you think...not the way you expect...yes, God's turning this one upside down a bit for me too. Helping me see things in a whole new way. His way.

And in case your confused as to why I'm on the blog today instead of Lynn, we're changing things up a bit to give us more time to write and create new resources. We'll be sharing more about that in the days and weeks ahead so stay tuned. 

So tell me, SUMites, what do you think about your place of authority now? You have everything and nothing to lose.

I love you, my friends, so very much. Know that my prayers are with you for our pre-believers as we stand for God's salvation for them—Jeremiah 24:7! Amen!

Hugs!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Praying Our Power Passage - A MUST Read

If you don’t read any other post on prayer in this series, PLEASE READ THIS ONE.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMy friends, there are many more aspects of prayer that we could cover. We won’t get to them all in this series but I have covered what I sense the Holy Spirit is wanting to impart to the church in this season about powerful prayer.

Today, I want to speak to one more area that is very specific to those of us who are unequally yoked. And next week we will cover the “blocks” to prayer and what to do with unanswered prayers.

About a year ago I was doing some study about defeating the demonic. Because I’m married to a pre-believer and so are you, the spiritual warfare in which we engage is right in our own homes and it can be relentless. So, I began studying as many things as possible about how to have victory in my prayers and in spiritual warfare just so I could maintain peace in my home and so my home would be a place where the Holy Spirit lives and not the demons. Anyone want that as well?

Okay, so I learned a lot. But one of the most powerful things I learned was specific to those of us married to unbelievers. First let me state that the spiritual realm is governed by laws. These are spiritual principals and regulations that were instituted by God. Just as in the natural, there is the law of gravity, there are laws the angelic and demonic must abide by and these laws are meticulously followed. The demonic relentlessly search for ways to gain access into our lives through laws that have been violated. A violation occurs when we believe a lie about God or about who we are in Christ. The devils can gain access.

So, why am I giving you a lesson in spiritual laws today. Because we must understand how authority works. There is a structure to authority in the spiritual realm. God has ultimate authority, in the Bible teaches us that God has given all authority to Christ. We, as joint heirs with Christ, receive authority in some manner or degree. We access that authority through our prayers. All this to say: The structure of the family is a system of authority. It says in the Word that the husband has authority over his wife (Ephesians 5:23). And thus, parents have authority over their children.

Why does this matter. Because men who are Christians can pray for protections over their wife and children and the demonic realm MUST listen. But in our mismatched marriages, our spouse is not under the authority of Christ so we could be left vulnerable. But….. we are not.

This is the secret the demonic does not want you to know. We are empowered in a special way to pray protection, favor, blessing and much more over our unbelieving spouse through, 1 Corinthians 7:14.

THIS IS OUR VERSE OF POWER AND AUTHORITY.

And let me tell you I use this passage often. And I see results.

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. – 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV)

My friends, this is our authority to pray away things that are not of God in our spouse’s life and over our children. The rules of familial authority in this passage apply to the spiritual realm. I don’t know how to explain this well other than to just pray and show you how I use this passage in my prayers for my home and family.

Often, almost daily, I will pray something like this:

In the name of Jesus, I take authority over my home through the power of the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 7:14. I stand in faith over my home and it is now holy as stated in this verse. My husband is now covered with the holiness of Christ and covered by His blood. My children are holy and they will walk in glorious plans and purposes designed for them since before time began and declared by God. They, my children and husband and myself, will experience the abundance of the Lord today in our schools, ministry, workplace and anywhere else we go.

I say that any unclean spirit that is in my house MUST go right now into the pit. (I will name any here as the Holy Spirit leads me. The demonic gains access to my home at times through the television my husband watches at night.) Lord, in Jesus name and by the authority as the believing spouse, I command all demonic spirits, fear, pride, unbelief, political spirit, religious spirit, etc to leave right now. I state clearly that they cannot come back nor can replacement spirits come in. I bless my husband to receive the love of God through me and all darkness is forbidden to be in my home. In Jesus name.

Father, I take authority over my children through 1 Corinthians 7:14 as their mother. I say they are blessed and will receive today, every spiritual gift you have prepared for them. They will experience Your joy, peace and goodness (Romans 14:17) as this is Your loving and lavish provision for them. And Lord as I speak this blessing over them, I claim it for myself and my husband. In Jesus name.

Thank you Lord for the angels that you have stationed around and in my house. I stand with them - in your power and authority through Jesus as the protector and guard against evil. I declare today my family and home is a safe zone and nothing unclean can enter in. I declare today that blessings and peace and grace rest here in the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. I stand with my armor fully on and in faith under the truth of 1 Corinthians 7:14. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ my Lord. AMEN… Hallelujah!!!

Okay, do you all need some authority in your home? Well now you have it. Say this prayer out loud and give me an amen in the comments. Let’s release the Kingdom of God into your family line and sanctify hour home, spouse and children. AMEN…

We love you Jesus. Thank you.

BIG hugs, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Fasting
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:14

(You know what is so weird. Every time I try to re-post this list, something doesn't come through when I paste it into the composer. Today is was number four -confidence. And half way through my prayer as I was typing it out, half of it disappeared.---DEVIL YOU DO NOT WIN. JESUS WINS ALWAYS. So there.)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Breaking The Principalities

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHello SUMers, can you believe its September?

Say What?

It’s back to school. Back to church. Does your church start a whole ton of stuff this month? There are tremendous opportunities in the fall in which to participate. Just remember to find balance and not over commit yourself and leave your husband/wife feeling left out. Choose wisely!

In the last few weeks I’ve shared six prayer strategies. I absolutely believe that our prayers are magnified and moved upon by the Lord. And as I was considering wrapping up this series, the Lord reminded me about a tactic of prayer that I’ve yet to discuss: Fasting

There are times when we have prayed and prayed. Employed our will, the Word, etc., etc. And…. Nothing.

This brings me to the wild story in the book of Daniel. Chapter 10, let’s listen in to this conversation:

Daniel speaking: Then I heard the man speak, and when I heard the sound of his voice, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground.

Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. And the man said to me, (Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision): “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling.

Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.”

There are so many things about this exchange that blow my mind but I want to point out something that most of us miss when reading this passage. Notice that it says since the first day you began to pray. What is amazing, beautiful and loving is that God heard Daniel on the very first day… And even better, God sent an answer immediately.

My friends, I’m fully convinced that this is true today for us. God listens and wants to give us our answers. But here is where it gets really interesting.

Answers are delayed, thwarted by our own words remember, and can be amended if we change our prayer or God has another plan in motion. But in my heart I’m convinced that His love and goodness moves Him to reply with immediate answers to our heart-felt prayers.

Let’s listen into the rest of this astonishing conversation with Daniel and the angel Gabriel.

Gabriel: I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”

WHOA!

God replied to Daniel immediately but there was an epic battle in the spiritual realm for 21 days! SUMites, this passage is in the Word so we can understand that this is how prayer and answers to prayer unfolds. We must know that contending in relentless prayer is often needed. Prayer when combined with fasting is needed to break a block in the spiritual realm.

We could spend months on the study of prayer with fasting. But we won’t as we cover fasting every January during our powerful community fast. We will be fasting again as a community, next month and it’s going to be amazing, stay tuned. More to come on that.

When you fast to gain access to the Father’s heart and to hear His voice, can facilitate an answer so commanding that it can breakthrough powerful principalities of the dark realm.

Wow and Wow!!!

I wonder if any of you have sensed that you were battling in prayer on the spiritual plane, against a strong darkness, right before a breakthrough? Things that make you go, hmmmmm.

I would love to hear any fasting stories from you, SUMites. I know this can be a confusing area for those who have never fasted. So, if you have a testimony about prayer and fasting and how you saw God move, please, PLEASE share it in the comments. Someone may need to read it. And that someone could be me.

I love you deeply my friends. I’m praying for our community and I’m expecting breakthrough!!!  BIG HUGS, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


What Does It Look Like To Pray With Courage?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comDo you believe God wants courageous kids?

I convinced He does. Just take a look in the Word. The Lord commands us to be courageous and to “Fear Not.”

Yep, easy to say. But what does a life of courage look like in 2016? What does it mean to pray without fear?

I’m convinced that the attributes we have studied over the past several weeks, praying the Word, belief, confidence, engaging your will, all lead up to courageous praying. Prayers that ROCK the heavens and defeat the demonic realms.

All of these attributes lead us into the supernatural realm of powerful prayers, fueled by unwavering faith.

There comes a day when you have settled your doubt and truly believe. There is a moment in time when the Word of God comes alive and is truly a sharp, two-edged sword that you wield. There is a season after walking in step with Jesus that you become a courageous, sold-out, Jesus-freak. That is the moment where love over takes fear of defeat, fear of man, fear of failure, fear of condemnation, guilt, shame and comparison. You step into the reality that you are a Child of The Most High God and are empowered and enthroned as royalty. When you speak you have the power of life and death upon your tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)

(Wow, when I grow up, I want to become this person.) I hope I’m mostly there! *grin*

Those who arrive at this place in their faith walk are intercessors clothed in humility and also of, …… great power! They are the Believers who have spent time in the Presence, in the secret place, alone with God. Believers who know the Word and how to pray it and when the Word is aptly spoken, it’s as beautiful as baskets of fruit of silver and gold (Proverbs 25:11)

You may think that these intercessors are the “Big Names” in our Christian communities such as Beth Moore and Tony Evans. And they likely are but I’m more impressed with the ordinary mom who rises early to pray for her little ones by name. I’m moved by the Dad and husband who prays every day on his way to work for his family and for the Kingdom of God to advance in his workplace. I’m undone to consider the ordinary widow who is alone at home, but not truly alone because at the utterance of her small voice, literally thousands of angels are sent on assignment to save this world and shape culture.

Oh how I want to be one of THESE believers. I want to pray and see people healed emotionally and physically. I want to pray and see America return to her Christian roots. I want to pray and see those who are tormented by fear and illness set free. I’m moved to pray and see this:

The name of Jesus, glorified!!!

If you are a SUMite, you are already headed toward this purpose. God chose you to know how to pray with power and to bear witness to the salvation of your family. You were chosen to bring love, forgiveness, healing and hope to many people through your prayers.

So, right now all you need to do is say this: I BELIEVE.

I believe in God our Father.
I believe in Christ the Son.
I believe in the Holy Spirit.
I believe I can pray with power.
I believe I can utter words and angels move.
I believe that I was born for such a time as this to bring the Kingdom of God into its rightful place in our world.
I believe God listens and loves to answer my prayers, even the outlandish stuff.
I believe I am commissioned to be an intercessory, a prayer warrior and a powerful servant of the Most High.
Today, I will pray with purpose, power, belief, using the Word, with conviction and confidence and finally with unfailing courage. I will not relent or give up or give in. I will stand for goodness, honesty, integrity and truth. I will love lavishly and forgive easily. I will offer hope and a hand to those who I can and I will always forever remain loyally in love with my Jesus.

This is my high and holy calling and I will believe nothing less. In the name of Jesus. Amen and Hallelujah!!!

Stand tall SUMite because your prayers are bringing His Kingdom to earth. Now can I get an amen in the comments? And share a courageous, outlandish prayer, dream, hope, request in the comments. And let’s pray with courage for ourselves, our families and for one another.

Woo Hoo!!!

My Prayer: I pray for every nation to come to the truth that Jesus is the son of God and through Him they have the abundant life now and for all eternity. I approach the Throne of Grace with boldness to contend for the full salvation of my husband and family members. I pray that the fire of the Holy Spirit falls on me with such intensity that I can pray for others and they are healed, delivered and receive a powerful encounter with the love of our Father. I pray for everyone here that this day, they see the goodness of the Lord in that land of the living. In Jesus name. AMEN

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating six essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence.
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Pray with Courage!

Have an amazing encounter with our King. I Love you. Lynn

Okay, your turn! Hugs.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


My Husband Entered My World, part 2

Mike&NeenHello, SUMites! I have to say I’m so excited to share the rest of this story for you. God did some pretty awesome things during the week of the ACFW conference. I was so blessed to hug old friends I hadn’t seen since last year and to make some new friends as well. Since I serve there as head of registration, I come in contact with so many of the attendees, and let me tell you, the Holy Spirit always has a plan for each year. And He never tells me until He puts me in action! 

This year, He randomly told me to pray for people, usually as they shared a simple concern or health issue. The Holy Spirit would nudge me to pray with them, so I would ask if I could pray for them, right there. Do you know, that not one person declined? And every time, we both wound up so blessed and encouraged. God is so amazing!

Now back to my story…

As I shared on Tuesday, my sweet hubby seemed to connect with my friend, Jim. Seeing Mike so warmly congratulate Jim just about burst my heart with pure joy. I still get teary eye to think of my husband that night. He was warm, caring and full of humor. I watched him intentionally engage with those at our table, and he even made one of my shy friends sitting next to him feel more comfortable. I’m so proud of this guy.

The next day, Mike left early to drive home. I would fly out later in the day once we had the conference office packed and shipped out for next year. Later that morning, I saw Jim in the lobby and headed his direction, curious to hear what he thought of Mike’s intentionality to congratulate Jim on his awards.

What Jim shared confirmed all the prayers I’ve been praying over the years according to God’s leading and also confirmed what God has spoken to my heart about Mike and what’s coming.

Jim said something like this, “Your husband wasn’t at all what I expected. When I looked at him, I saw Jesus. He is right there, shining out of your husband already. And what’s so amazing is, he doesn’t even realize it yet.”

My friends, we’ve prayed for years for our spouses. We’ve stood in the gap for them with our prayers and love. We’ve called out the gold iGod has placed in them. And your comments from Tuesday are part of the confirmation God so lovingly has given me through all this that He is moving in our spouses more than we realize. And sometimes it takes someone outside of the day-in and day-out to help us see it.

SUMites, ask God to show you what He wants you to know about your spouse right now and then pray it in truth, out loud whenever you can. At night when they are sleeping. In the house while they are at work. From your car as you drive to work or in the carpool. I’ve even prayed the Scriptures God has given me and declared them over my husband as I looked at him through a window in the house while he was outside on the porch.

And here’s another one I’ve started to do. Scripture is full of examples of angels delivering God’s Word. When my husband is away, I command the angels assigned to him to speak those same truths that I have over him. So God’s Word and truth are constantly being spoken to my sweet hubby. And I am watching his spirit awakening (Eph 5:14).

And when you see that gold in them, point it out and confirm it to your spouse. Then watch them grow and become more and more like the amazing man or woman of God they’ve been created to be. This is what our prayers do, my friends. God’s truth spoken by the righteous is powerful (James 5:16).

Lord Jesus, give every SUMite a Word and promise for their spouse and give them boldness, faith and opportunities to pray and speak it out loud. And we command the angels assigned to our pre-believers to speak these very same truths over them, to call their spirits to arise and wake up for Christ is giving them light! In the powerful name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites! We are going to be amazed by what God doing.
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


My Husband Entered My World

Mike&NeenI shared the week before last that I would be in Nashville for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. What I didn't tell you is that my sweet hubby agreed to come for part of the week. Yes, my friends, he entered my world of fiction and met some amazing people on fire for Jesus, who, like Him, share hope and redemption through story (parables).

One of those people he met was our very own Ian Acheson. And forgive me for not having photos. I’ve been kicking myself since the airport yesterday for not taking any pictures of us. I even had the pleasure and blessing of meeting Ian’s lovely wife, Fiona. She is beautiful, gentle in heart and I sense a strength in her that is enduring and precious. God is laying a precious foundation in her. 

And Ian is everything you glean from his writing and more—humble, honest and authentic. We both received some amazing confirmations from God about our writing, and I am so excited about the path God is revealing to Ian. I will let him share that as he feels led to. Amazing!

Another friend my husband met was Jim Rubart. I share his name in case you want to check out his amazing books and see his heart for Jesus. Jim is an easy going guy, much like my husband. I’d shared with Jim earlier in the week some of the things God has been doing in and around Mike. Jim has been a great friend for years and has prayed for my hubby over those  years too.

Now I hadn’t planned a meeting between them, but God obviously did.

We’d just returned to the hotel Friday evening after having dinner with some friends who live near Nashville. As we walked in I spotted Jim and told Mike I wanted to introduce him. 

We approached Jim, who was talking to a group of ACFWers, and I tapped his shoulder. “Jim, I’d like you to meet my husband, Mike.”

Jim spun around with a big smile and welcomed my husband, saying he’d heard so much about him. Then Jim stepped back, said something like he wasn’t sure how Mike would feel about this, then proceeded to wrap my husband in a bear hug.

It gets even better. My husband hugged him back with equal enthusiasm and laughter. A few minutes later we said our goodbyes. Mike laughed and said, “I don’t know why he thought I’d be uncomfortable with that.”

I just smiled. Glowed inside. My friends, this was a precious exchange of God’s love. Little did I know there was more to come.

The next evening we attended the Gala—a dinner and awards ceremony—my book The Soul Saver won the Carol Award at this event in 2013. It’s kind of like the Oscars for Christian writers and authors (unpublished and published).

We sat down at our table with the rest of the ACFW staff—dear friends of mine who I’ve known for years, who have prayed with me and who I knew would just be themselves with my dear hubby. I noticed Mike looking around and asked him what he was searching for. 

“Just looking for Jim,” he answered. I could only smile. Joy!

Our meal was filled with good food and conversation. I have to say I am so proud of the man  my husband has become. His compassion and humor easily and readily came across. Then dinner ended and the awards began. Later in the ceremony, Jim’s book (The Five Times I Met Myself) won his category. At the end of the evening, Mike said he wanted to go over and congratulate Jim. Inside I was doing a jig! Wow!

We managed to find Jim in the bustle of congratulations and pictures being taken of the winners. Mike shook Jim’s hand and expressed his happiness for Jim. I made eye contact with Jim and mouthed, “his idea” as I pointed to my hubby. Again, I was so touched and proud of this man and how he showed his heart. 

A heart I have prayed over for years, to be the man of God he was created to be, for the the eternity in his heart to be released (Ecc 3:11) and for him to love me as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25)—all this I was seeing this very night.

There’s more to the story, my friends. I will share that on Thursday. Please do come back because it’s the culmination of a beautiful confirmation from God that He is very much at work in my husband’s heart. He is so faithfully answering all those prayers in ways I never imagined (Eph 3:20).

And God is working in your spouse’s heart too, SUMites, in answer to all your prayers. Our prayers. So much more than we realize and can see…but sometimes others can…

Can’t wait to share the rest with you. Love you!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Our Free Will Is Powerful In Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWell, I wonder how many of you had an “opportunity” to exercise your confidence and take a step of faith in love and out of fear this past few days?

I will tell you one thing, when you pray in confidence, the devils are afraid and you bear witness to some pretty astonishing things in the Kingdom of God!

Hallelujah and AMEN!

So here is the next component of powerful prayer.

WILL

Our will. Our free will.

Christians like to debate, free will. And we, who are married to pre-believers, live daily praying that our spouse will engage their free will and turn to Jesus. But what many believers don’t realize is that our will, when engaged in prayer is powerful.

I’m struggling with how to explain this. Because it is similar to engaging confidence and belief. But there is something more.

What I believe is that as God’s kids, we are to pray heaven to earth, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What makes powerful intercession is when His will and our will are aligned and then we stand in conviction.

We are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the Lord’s purposes to bring about the fulfilment of your prayers. It is God’s will and thus your will to pray and see people freed and healed.

The only way I can think to explain is to provide two examples.

One: O Lord, I humbly ask that you would be kind to me. I have had a headache and it won’t go away. Lord, if it is your will, please heal me. Amen

Two: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I state clearly right now that Jesus died for my complete healing. I come before the Throne of Grace to be healed completely and permanently by the blood of Jesus. Holy Spirit right now, in Jesus name, I command this pain in my head to leave and never return. And in the place of pain I speak peace, joy and healing. I praise you Lord that you love me so much to provide my healing. I will walk in your love and healing right now. In Your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

I wonder, can you discern the difference?

Do I believe God can and does respond to both prayers? Absolutely. Yet, I KNOW that when we pray within our authority, exerting our full conviction (our will) in belief with confidence. The heavenly realm responds. First, angels move under this kind of direction and second, demons flee as they are afraid of what you might say next and it scars the crap out of them.

When I pray and demand that the demonic leave someone for whom I’m praying or for myself, I go on to set the demons on fire and chain them in the pit, never to return. They don’t want to mess with me, my friends. *grin* (Could it be that I am a small-but giant badass in the Kingdom? Can I say that on a Christian blog? *sheepish grin*)

So, I have a question for you. Have you prayed in this manner, in full belief, with confidence and exerting your full will? Have you had someone pray over you who prays with these convictions?

Share your stories in the comments. I can’t wait to read them. And please take a minute to share because the Holy Spirit is impressing upon me that your testimonies are going to help another reader to find healing, hope and transformation.

Let’s be a community of badasses for the Kingdom of God and start kicking butts and taking names and chaining the demonic in the pit!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

You are amazing prayer warriors, SUMites…

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books


Here's The Rub With Prayer Strategies

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOkay, how is this prayer series feeling for you? Are you walking in belief today? I know so many of you are on this amazing journey to become prayer warriors that scare the crap out of the demonic. Wahooooo! So, let’s work on another component of effective prayer.

Confidence.

Yep, this is a public and private thing. Confidence is crucial for effective prayer.

Confidence follows right on the heels of belief. But it’s a BIG jump off the cliff to believe and then follow through in confidence. But our Father greatly desires that we develop into people of Godly confidence.

Let me give you an example of what I think this looks like in real life.

My local church offers a once a month “Overflow Worship” night. We come together on a Sunday night and the service is all worship. I LOVE these. My most intimate moments with the Lord occur in worship. About a year ago during one of these sessions, the worship leader got up and said this, “Anyone who wants an extra touch tonight from the Lord, come on down to the front.”

At first no one moved. No one wanted to be the first. No one wanted all eyes on them. The people in the audience were more fearful of the opinions of people than to receive a touch from God. I can tell you there were people in the audience that REALLY wanted to go forward. They ached to go up front on the chance God would see them and help them, but fear kept them pinned to their seat.

NOT this girl. I decided in a moment I didn’t care what people thought, I wanted God more. I moved out of the seats and walked straight up to the very front. Finally, a few more people also went up front. But many remained seated.

This is what I believe God is looking at. He is waiting on the edge of His seat, hoping, cheering and urging our spirit to respond to Him. And it’s often in the public square that God does this. He wants you to take a step of faith to receive His blessing, healing and more. He’s speaking over you, “Come on baby girl. You can do this. Take one confident step out of the shadows, out of the fear. Show me you are willing to take a step for me and I will throw the floodgates of heaven open over you.”

Love is a choice. Much of our life is decided as we choose between love and fear. Choose love. God is calling His children to choose love. Choose to believe. Choose to be confident in what we know is true.

Confidence is a compelling attribute in a believer.

BTW, do you know what I received because I stepped out of the shadows and went down front? I’m convinced I saw an angle that night. It’s an astonishing story but alas I’m way over word count. I will have to share it another time.

Okay, now here is the rub. Because you just read this post, God is going to place before you a moment to step out in faith with confidence and choose Him, choose love. It’s gonna happen and likely in the next few days and probably it will require a public display of faith. So pray now to be ready and respond when He does. Then come back here and tell all of us about it.

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating four essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence

Have an amazing encounter with our King. I Love you. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Covers Three Books