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10 entries from July 2019

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*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Could This Be The Answer You've Been Waiting For?

Hey SUM family, Tiffany here!

I have worked for my employer for a little over three years now. I do the same thing all day everyday. Monday through Friday, eight hours a day. I see the same computer screen as I fingerprint the numerous people who come into my office. The other day Holy Spirit alerted me to listen and pay attention to people's reactions to seeing their fingerprints on the computer screen, many of them for the first time:

Wow, that is so cool!

I have never seen this before!

Sorry, I am just amazed by this!

Look at that!

Can you believe that we all have different finger prints? No two prints are the same!?

Was I looking at the same machine? It is cool to see the detail, I guess.....

There are some of us who have forgotten how to be in love with and romanced by our King. Groom help bride up sillouetteWe have been on this journey for a long time.  Our eyes have adjusted to the normalcy of life. We've braced for life's storms for too long that we've gone into self-preservation mode. We have forgotten what is like to have childlike faith. This isn't a rebuke but a call to see things from God's perspective. Be refreshed! Be renewed! Be invigorated again!

I felt a strong impression from our Daddy God to lavish you with love today. If anything today resonates with you, my challenge is for you to take it and meditate on it. Don't allow the familiar to blur your vision of God's great love relationship with you. Don't doubt that you aren't good enough to receive it. Don't think, "He must be talking to someone else..."  This word is for you...yes YOU!

I have loved you, [insert your name here], with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I will make you, [insert your name here], my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord. (Hosea 2:19-20)

My thoughts of you are countless for you are very precious to Me. (Psalm 139:17)

You can give me all of your worries and cares. They are not meant to be carried by you. I love you so much! (1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22)

I am for you. You are my beloved and I am yours. (Song of Solomon 6:3)

I will give you everything that you need. You mean that much to me. (Romans 8:31)

There is nothing that can separate you from My love. (Romans 8:38-39)

I will rescue you. I will protect you. You can trust me. When you call on Me I am there. (Psalm 91)

One of my favorite things to do is watch over you as you sleep. (Psalm 3:5)

I will show you my goodness in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

I will never forsake you. I will never cast you off. (Psalm 94:14)

You are my masterpiece. My workmanship. I am so proud of you! (Ephesians 2:10)

You are my special treasure. You are so valuable to me! (Exodus 19:5, 1 Peter 2:9)

There is so much more that I could share. Every word in the Bible is dripping with His sweet love for you.

Beloved, stop striving. Stop trying to meet unattainable expectations of yourself...they're not from Him. Daddy God is so pleased with you. He delights in you so much that He breaks out in song over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I want to wrap up with this song. This is one to sit and soak in the love of your Daddy.

Let's share in the comments - sometimes life gives us a hard beating! What are some things that you do in order to remember the love God has for you? What are some things we can share with one another to fan the flames of our heart and fill us with hope? What keeps you standing firm and grounded in your relationship with Daddy God, Jesus and Holy Spirit?

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


A Community Question

Hi Lynn!
Can you post this question to get feedback from the SUM community (this has been on my heart for awhile now)??:

- how do you handle praying aloud with children when your spouse feels uncomfortable or threatened by it?

Thank you!
Hillary

Warriors, help a SUMite out. Share your successes and advice in the comments!!

For more helpful tips to raise your children in faith, check out our book. Interestingly, this title is having a resurgence currently and is selling successfully. God is good!

The advice and perspective in this book, is true, it's real and it is encouraging. Hugs. Lynn

Raising Godly Kids

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Rainbow Prayers

Hi everyone, Ann here!

We’ve recently been discussing the power of words here and on the Facebook group, and these conversations have brought back something that happened to me three years ago. I thought I would share the story. It was a time when God showed me two alternative scenarios in terms of how I use words: One scenario was awesome, the other sobering. With words being a theme, I'll have a go at telling it. Mum's Rainbow Prayers

I’ll start with the awesome, which is the best bit. It was a bright February day, and God showed me something that gave me warm fuzzies. He gave me a vision of rainbows coming out of a person’s mouth, accompanied by these words:

The prayers of a faithful person are like fountains of rainbows pouring over the one(s) for whom they pray. 

Wow. Rainbows represent God’s goodness, I loved hearing that. What’s even better is that sometime later I came across an article by an author who had had the same picture: Rainbows coming out of mouths, hitting situations with power. 

That Easter I also found the attached drawing, done by my little boy. There's a rainbow across our family and what looks like a fighter to the left with cape and sword. It reminded me of the rainbows and made me think, “This is how I care for my family -- Through prayer.”

However, it seemed God wanted to show me an alternative perspective, one more sobering. This ‘alternative view’ came on another bright morning but it was a less cheery vision. In this vision I saw some Christians who were doing wonderful work, and, consequently, a man in their life was giving them atheist banter. The Christians began to talk about this man. With good hearts, they weren’t talking that badly but, nonetheless, labels were used. As they spoke, a see-through dome formed around him, a barrier from which he could not escape but could see out of. Outside the barrier was a chocolate Easter egg in foil wrapping. Containment words  2

In the spirit of childlike faith, I’ve constructed a visual of this scenario in the attached picture. I couldn’t find an Easter egg so an evil foil-wrapped Easter Bunny will do. We’re God’s kids, and we’re learning, so a childlike depiction seemed fitting. The Easter bunny will be explained in a minute. 

What this vision told me is that words construct barriers and walls. In this vision, unintentional words were keeping the ‘atheist’ contained to the point that all he could see of the Easter message was chocolate and emptiness.

James 3 tell us that the tongue, though seemingly harmless, is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Yikes, that’s strong. Stronger still, though, is the fact God spoke the universe into existence. Made in God’s image but living in a world where light and dark collide, how powerful, exactly, are our words? Scripture shows examples of God encouraging his children to speak impact. Moses, for example, was told to speak to the rock so that water would come out; Ezekiel was told to speak life into dry bones. But, on the flip side, what power Jesus had to limit the fig tree with one apparently harmless sentence:

And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately, the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19 (NKJV)

As believers, are we saying about any fig tree, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again?” Who in our life do we refer to regularly, for example, as ‘atheist’? Are we even tearing down places, families, and churches with our words? I’ve been sitting with the thought asking myself what degree of ROAR, as a daughter of God, my tongue holds and whether I'm being wise enough.

Finally, what I like about these two visions is that the arch of the rainbow contrasts with the arch of the dome. It’s as if they are two contrasting choices a Christian has when speaking about another person. For us, as friends, I guess it's one more story for our war-chest.

“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 (NKJV)

It'd be interesting to chat about what situations this might apply, keen to hear your thoughts?

In friendship,

Ann

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


A Shiny New Legacy

Hi friends, Ann here! God what's on your heart

It’s my turn to write this week and I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell you a crazy story. I hope it makes you smile.  

Back in April, after our ‘Hear the Roar’ conference, I landed home with a spinning head. So much had happened, and I had a sense that it was truly a new season in this ministry. I was also unwell during that time, so once home I spent hours in bed. Those sick days turned into quality time with God, and I lay with three great things: prayer, pen, and notepad.

On one such day I lay pondering and scribbling when suddenly God interrupted me with the most random phrase. Call me nuts, but this is what I heard:

He was called Snake but his legacy is different.

I’m smiling (Crazy or God?!) It was so random I thought I’d better write the phrase down. In fact, I wrote the phrase slap-bang in the middle of the page, surrounded by other thoughts about the new season and how we are hope carriers. 

Looking at that page now I can see I was, indeed, extremely excited. I don’t normally sit there writing random words onto a blank sheet of paper in such an enthused manner. BUT, I’d just had a free trip to California and ended up hearing Lynn’s testimony. It was a full-on time. The page had words of hope scribbled all over it and, right in the middle, that strange sentence about a changed legacy.

Back to my story. Shortly after writing that phrase down, I turned the page and promptly forgot about it. Forgot, that was, until two days later when a delightful ‘coincidence’ occurred.

I was on Facebook, accepting a friend request from a fellow believer. I closed Facebook straight after that, but then opened it later. When I opened it, there was an article she had shared, staring me in the face. I did a double take. The words in front of me said this:

“They used to call him Snake – Not any more!”

My mouth dropped open, eyebrows shot up. I shook my head, blinked, and then thought I’d better read. I carried on to see this:

“Snake Colson: Proof God can do anything. How God transformed a mean, no-good drunk into a mighty man of God.”

At this point I was beaming. This was becoming a super-cool God moment. In fact, I’m posting the link to it the article itself, so you can read it. It's a goodie: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=1905811983070894&story_fbid=2278722972446458

“Snake Colson” was, in fact, Donnie Colson, a pastor from Community Chapel Church, Illinois. “Snake” was his nickname from his years of adulthood as a troubled drunk. He was bad news, and known for it. But then he encountered Jesus, and became good news. Now he is widely loved as a mighty man of prayer.

What a great reminder that no situation is beyond change. But, dusting off my piece of paper, I wonder if there is more to learn from this? The phrase I heard from God specifically pointed me to the issue of legacy. In writing today’s post, then, it occurred to me to go back to the Facebook article and see what people had to say about Donnie Colson. Their comments reveal a man’s beautiful legacy, and one that’s celebrated. Here are a few comments, copied:

“I absolutely love him!!! He baptised me.”

“He used to drink with my dad many, many years ago and led my dad to the Lord. I just love him.”

“He is simply and quietly there for so many. His prayers are often answered.”

“He’s a fine person. He does a lot. Hospital. Daily or Weekly. He’s always there. God made him special.”

“What a man of God!”

“I’ve known this man all my life. I’m proud to be able to call him my Brother in Christ, and proud to say he is my cousin!”

“Love this pastor so much. Once had a pastor tell me no matter what time I get to the hospital to pray for the sick Donnie has already been there.”

All I can say is, Praise God! And, there are even more legacy comments on that Facebook link. When God comes into someone's life it's a new day and their whole legacy is made new. Reading his story thoroughly inspired me -- Inspired me to run this race ever better.  

How about you? How does this story speak to you?

Nice chatting!

Ann

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


This IS A REALLY BIG DAY!

SUMite Nation:

Will you join me today and celebrate several birthdays? Today, Dineen and I are celebrating the launch of our first signed author to our publishing company, Three Keys Publishing.

FB postCONGRATULATIONS SHAYLA ORTIZ on her first book, Praying Through Singleness. 

This book turned out so cute and is powerful devotional for young women in their late teen and early twenties. It leads young women to embrace their season of single living and to thrive with Jesus while they prepare for their future. It’s powerful. I felt the Holy Spirit move upon me several times while reading it. 

It’s a FANTASTIC book for a mom to tuck into her daughter’s bag as she heads off to college next month.

We are giving away a few copies. To enter for a free copy, leave your name in the comments with, "I will!" We will send you a book with the caveat that you will post a quick review on Amazon. We are trying to get to 50 reviews.

So, SUM Nation, Dineen and I need you. We would be so thankful. And if you are at all able, please order a book to support both Shayla and our new Publishing House. Then give the copy to your youth leader at church. I’m giving copies to my church youth leaders.

Who knew God would put the zany team of Donovan & Miller together as publishers?

Every day is an adventure with the King!

Love you, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Travel the Road From Healing to Influencer

Puzzle

By Martha Bush

“You, lady, as she pointed her finger at me, the Lord said, ‘Sometimes we are looking for a closer relationship for our loved one, when at the moment He is looking for a closer relationship with us.’”

I squirmed in my seat, and whispered to myself, “This prophetess has missed it. She doesn’t even know me! I am the Christian in my family; the Lord needs to be going after His prodigal son. His prodigal son’s wife is doing JUST FINE!”

Before going further, let me backtrack to my post Monday, The Influencer Trophy Reward  in which I related how the Lord was admonishing Jeremiah as he complained about being mistreated by sinful people around him. “Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you continue as my spokesman. You are to influence them, not let them influence you! (Jeremiah 15:19)

Judging from the comments, several of you personally picked up on the admonishment. Becky said: “It’s funny how I've spent so much time praying for my husband when all along, there is much work to be done in me. Could it be that that for many, the only Jesus others may know is through us? A sobering thought.” 

This made me recall the prophetic word I had received years ago, and that's what I want to expand on today.

As time went on, I started having some valley experiences. The pressure from these experiences brought out some junk inside of me I had no idea was there. I then had to admit–God's prodigal son's wife was the one who needed a make-over in order to have a closer relationship with the Lord. So, I said, “Bring it on! Let’s get this healing process over with." 

As my journey toward healing began, my first realization was, “this ain’t gonna happen overnight; it's going to be a process.” As my ten-year-old grandson, Zach, said to his mom when she told him she believed the Lord was trying to tell her something: “You better buckle up buttercup!”

Today, I want to share pieces of a puzzle God began putting together in my life to bring about spiritual and emotional healing from past hurts, attitudes, and behavior.  Though the pieces are briefly stated, each one traveled down a long muddy road involving much prayer, study, and tears.

1. Unresolved Issues From Childhood: MY unresolved issues became OUR issues when we married. I learned that I had to leave my birth home emotionally before I could cleave to my husband.  (Genesis 2:24)

2. My Temperament; His Temperament: Along with all the pity parties I had because my husband wasn't saved, I also had to deal with his full-blown choleric personality: opinionated, stubborn, strong-will, perfectionist. I am Miss Pleasing Phlegmatic: easy-going, don’t rock the boat, peace at all extremes. My thinking was if only this man would get saved, that would solve our problems. It was here I discovered that not every problem in my marriage was a result of being unequally yoked. Since both of us were "fearfully and wonderfully made," temperament issues had to be resolved. Guess who the Lord started with first? (Psalm 139:14)

3. Seek to Understand, Not To Be Understood: I could hear the Lord admonishing me, “You spend so much time judging him that you have no idea he might be hurting also. Have compassion; seek to find out about his childhood and life experiences.” (Matthew 7:1)

4. Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God:  I was a church pew warmer until God began leading me down a new path to follow His will. That direction did not sit well at home. It brought me to the place of having to decide who was first in my life, my husband or my God. As a life-long people pleaser, I had to go through a spiritual rehabilitation. (Matthew 6:33)

5. Study to Show Yourself Approved: Being rehabilitated from being a people pleaser brought about unexpected behavior in my already full-blown choleric husband. Since my puppet strings could no longer be pulled, the Lord had to teach me how to respond to persecution attacks against my faith, and still be pleasing to Him. (2 Timothy 2:15)

*****      

As you probably noticed, there was no mention of physical abuse, addictions, or adultery within my family. But, issues are issues and pain is pain! That is why the Lord wants to heal the broken-hearted in order for influence to flow out of us freely toward others. (Luke 4:18)

Yep, as my grandson Zach advised, this buttercup had to buckle up for the ride toward healing. However, I believe there will always be one healing piece missing in the puzzle until we step into Heaven’s Gates. If it were complete, we wouldn’t need our Savior.

What about you? As a testimony to our Lord, share in the comments a little about your journey, and what you have learned.

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


The Influencer Trophy Reward

Influencers-3151032_1280By Martha Bush

Come with me to the 15th chapter of Jeremiah, and read along as this well-known prophet is having a conversation with the Lord. I warn you in advance, he is not in a good mood.

15 Jeremiah: “Lord, you know it is for your sake that I am suffering. They are persecuting me because I have proclaimed your word to them. Don’t let them kill me! Rescue me from their clutches, and give them what they deserve! 16 Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me. How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord.

17-18 I have not joined the people in their merry feasts. I sit alone beneath the hand of God. I burst with indignation at their sins. Yet you have failed me in my time of need! You have let them keep right on with all their persecutions. Will they never stop hurting me? Your help is as uncertain as a seasonal mountain brook—sometimes a flood, sometimes as dry as a bone.”

 19 The Lord replied: “Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you continue as my spokesman. You are to influence them, not let them influence you! 20 They will fight against you like  a besieging army against a high city wall. But they will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and deliver you, says the Lord. (Jeremiah 15:15-20 TLB)

How well I remember running smack dab into that scripture years ago when things were pretty heated at my house! I was being persecuted just like Jeremiah for being obedient to the Lord. And I, too, felt that the Lord was just sitting there doing nothing about it! I kind of let it be known to the Lord that is how I felt.  (ugh)

Was the Lord saying to me like He did to Jeremiah, “Stop it, Martha! Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! You are to influence them, not let them influence you. (By them, I knew He meant my husband, the one who was persecuting me for my faith.) Influence him? I can’t even get my head off the pillow, and You want me to influence him?

Influence is defined as: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Obviously, I needed help in that corner, so I went on a search. For starters, I looked at the life of Paul. A statement from the Apostle Paul shocked me: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).

Paul’s words sounded brassy, almost arrogant. How could Paul possibly suggest that people follow his example? Wasn’t Paul flawed just like me?

As I continued studying Paul’s life, I came to see this statement in a more positive light. As you know, Paul had a dramatic conversion experience and was transformed by Christ. I think he was simply saying, “I am trying to follow the example of Christ so closely, that you can look at me and know how to influence lives as Jesus did.”

And thus my journey took a shift. Instead of whining about my persecutor, I made an all-out effort through prayer and study to change my attitude, my behavior, and grow in knowledge of my identity in Christ.

Was I now influencing my husband with this transformation in me? Let me put it this way. I still have days like Jeremiah, (though fewer in number) but like Paul, I am giving it my best shot to follow the example of Christ, so I can positively influence the man I live with.

*****

Fast forward to 2019– another teacher, author, prophetess–our own Lynn Donovan, entered the arena calling for another shift in how to influence our mate.

Quote:  

When we categorize a person, Muslim, unbeliever, looser, etc., unbeknownst to us, in the spiritual, we asserted an accusation against them. Upon doing so, we unknowingly lose all influence in their life because a wall of accusation is constructed.

We can’t consider them properly. We are unable to see them through the eyes of Christ because we haven’t honored them for who they are currently.

Let’s catch our words and ask the Lord, “God, who is this person? How do you see them?” And when we choose to let go and reject any residue of religion, societal protocols, family history, and cultural constructs, the walls crumble and we see the truest part of the human in front of us. And when we catch a glimpse of what God beholds and adores. This intentionality changes our heart and our prayers. It opens up influence.

And with that, she showed us how to pray Marriage Prayers of Influence.

*******  
Sumites, our journey may be long, even hard at times, but I believe that we have been chosen for such a time as this.  

I’d also like to believe that when we get to heaven and Jesus is passing out rewards, we will hear Him say: “Sumites, come forward, and bring your spouse with you.”

And then, He presents us with an engraved trophy.

 

Trophy 300

 

Can you say Amen for being an influencer??

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


It's Worth The Waiting! Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

1 Corinthians 13Hello SUMite Nation!

Lynn here. I’m coming to you from my prayer room on a beautiful and somewhat unusually cool July morning here in southern California. It’s peaceful and a breeze is drifting in the front window. Oh, how I wish you were sitting here with me. I long to sit with each of you and listen to your story. I will one day. And it will be GLORY!

I just clicked off the phone after talking to my mother who called to check in on the job search, the book progress but mainly to tell me, I love you.

But as we talked about the book she said, “Lynn, I’ve shared that story with nearly everyone I meet. I tell it over and over.” She’s talking about Mike’s baptism story. “I tell them to NEVER give up praying.”

Never give up praying.

Don’t stop hoping.

Always lean into the impossible.

Twenty-seven years. I won’t look back at the years with longing for what might have been. I look back at the decades and see Jesus in every turn along the journey. I view the Father’s hand of favor and love and I feel the peace of the Holy Spirit as the Trinity lived within.

It was worth the price of waiting.

To all the weary SUMites, who linger in prayer and continue loving Jesus and your unsaved spouse, words from my beloved mother who has lived with the Lord for nearly eighty years, “Don’t give up hope. Don’t stop praying.”

I adore you my friends. Stay tuned because God is brewing up more fantastical stories in the Donovan Clan. I feel the excitement in the air and can’t wait to share all He brings about in our immediate future.

March on Warrior!!!!  WE WIN!!

Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


The Power of Prayer

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Image courtesy of thepathtraveler at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We’re a praying SUMite army, aren’t we, dear friends? Ian from freezing cold Sydney here. I trust those of you in the northern hemisphere are enjoying the warmer temperatures and having fun on summer vacations.

Prayer. It’s one of those little words that we’re all familiar with, it’s a practice we all do, some of us I expect more than others and for most, if not all of us, it can be hard work.

And it’s powerful. Really powerful. It changes hearts, saves people, heals people, restores people and most significantly it connects our hearts with God. The triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

“Through relationship, we carry and release the Kingdom onto the earth. This is what joy-filled prayer looks like.” – Beni Johnson

Prayer is Relational

It’s completely relational and usually reflects the state of our connection with God. If you’re finding your prayer life has become transactional (‘Help me, God!’ Thanks, God! etc) it probably reflects one’s relationship isn’t very tight, that there’s some distance between you. But if you find you’re always dialoguing with God throughout your day it more than likely reflects a strong relationship that is growing deeper.

Prayer is simply that … communicating with God. Most often it’s just us and God, other times, it’s with two or three of us and God, and other times it’s in bigger groups, like a Church Prayer meeting. 

It’s often hard because of its relational nature with someone invisible. But it becomes easier when our heart desires to be connected to God's heart. He wants to share His heart with us. 

Three Keys

There are lots of great stories in the Bible that provide us with examples of how to posture ourselves in our communications with God. Here are three thoughts that I’ve gleaned through my readings.

  1. Seek to know God’s Will

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:10.

We all know this verse from The Lord’s Prayer. God invites us into His Kingdom, there’s stuff going on that He wants us to participate in, so the more we seek after knowing His will the greater the intimacy we’ll develop with Him. Often we’re guilty of asking for our plans and our desires to be approved by God rather than coming to God and dialoguing with Him about what’s on His heart about a certain matter. Jesus provides the great example of this: at the Garden of Gethsemane the night He is betrayed He pleads with His Father to be freed of His responsibility (“if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me?”). But moments later Jesus determined that His Father’s way was best for him (“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”)

Praying God's Word is a great way of praying His Will. I start many mornings praying Psalm 23 over myself and over others the Lord puts upon my heart.

  1. Praise God Always

“pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of Godin Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NKJV)

Did you catch those words I underlined: “for this is the will of God”. What is? To pray without ceasing and give thanks in everything. Start thanking God immediately, praising Him for the outcome of the prayer you’ve just prayed even though it hasn’t happened yet. Praise God before you receive the answer.

Remember when Paul and Silas were chained up in prison (Acts 16)? What did they do? They sang praises to God. What happened? An earthquake that shook the foundations, doors and chains keeping everyone captive, happened. Paul and Silas were freed.

  1. Continue to Stay Close to God and Follow His Ways

Like any relationship, our connection with God can experience peaks and valleys. Hey, we get distracted. Sometimes very easily. I know I do.

Daniel trusted God even when he had to spend a night in a den full of lions. God rescued Daniel and he continued to follow God’s ways rather than the King’s and we’re told he “prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” (Daniel 6: 28)

The more time we spend with God, in reading His Word, and fellowshipping with other believers, we gain greater understanding of His heart, His mission and His ways. His desire is for us to join Him. But the world has it’s own ways and it’s natural for us to follow those ways. But we’re told in Isaiah 35 that there is a highway called the “Way of Holiness” (v8) and is available for all of us who follow God’s ways. There is neither lion nor ravenous beast to be found on this Way. And those who follow it will “enter Zion with singing and everlasting joy will crown our heads, gladness and joy will overtake us and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (v 10)

Follow His Way and we will pray prayers that reflect both God’s desires and ours.

 

May we encourage each other in our prayer walks by sharing a little in the comments about what works for us in staying connected with God throughout our busy day.

Blessings my friends.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.