Category Archives: prayer

Stay Connected to the True Vine: Prayer

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV)

J E S U S. He is the Source that gives us life. When we are connected to Him, we bear fruit. Fruit that will last. Fruit that will make a true difference. While Jesus was here on Earth, He set a great example for us by showing us how He stayed connected to the Father.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NIV)

Jesus realized that regular communication with the Father through prayer, was the way to stay focused and empowered. It’s no different for us. We need to have our special quiet times where we can spend time alone with God in prayer. However, we also can say short prayers throughout our day. Our Father is always available to us, no matter where we are. He tells us to pray continuously (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Prayer has many benefits but here are some that I have experienced:

Prayer

1. Keeps us aware of God’s presence.

2. Keeps us sensitive to the leading of The Holy Spirit.

3. Keeps us focused on what matters most.

4. Builds our trust and faith in God.

5. Gives us peace.

6. Helps us to walk in love.

7. Brings healing to our lives where needed.

Because of Christ we have direct 24/7 access to our Heavenly Father through prayer.

What are some of the ways you have seen prayer work in your life?

Praying Over Our Emotions

Our emotions can change like the weather. They can fluctuate depending on things that are happening in our lives. You can start off fine, and then someone can come along and say something to make you angry or sad. Or you can be having a bad day, and someone can say something that makes you happy or hopeful. There can even be days where maybe it doesn’t have to do with people or outside influences at all, you just don’t feel like yourself for some reason. You may not even know what the reason is.

Regardless of what emotions we feel, we should always give our emotions to the Lord. When amazing things happen, we should praise Him. When not-so-amazing things happen we should still thank Him for being God and let Him know we are hurting. This is what I’m learning to do, because on good days I want to glorify Him for His blessings. However on bad days, instead of just trying to work through things myself, I am learning to make prayer my first response. I am noticing that in talking to God about my emotions rather good or bad, it brings me peace. He said that’s what would happen in Philippians 4:6-7. He said to give Him our prayers and He would in turn give us His peace.

Asking God to help us manage our emotions is a humbling experience, because we are basically acknowledging that how we feel may be right or it maybe wrong. But in either case, we are putting our trust in Him to teach us how to act when life happens. He’s God. He always has been God. He always will be God. I can’t even begin to imagine the depth of His wisdom. He can handle our emotions and teach us how to do the same.

Is God Listening?

Psalm 34:17(NIV), “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

Has anyone besides me ever asked themselves this question, “Is God Listening?” I know I’ve asked myself this question more times than I can even remember throughout my relationship with Jesus. Usually for me, as a Christian, one of the most helpful ways to remind myself that God is listening, is to reminisce about His past faithfulness to me and my family. Psalm 77:12(NIV) says, “I will consider all your works, and meditate on all your mighty deeds”. When I meditate on His deeds, it’s evidence of His love and His presence in my life. Looking back on what God has done, gives me confidence in Him now in the present,  and helps me to put my hope in Him for my future.

But still, how do I know He is listening? How do we know He is listening, at that very moment when we cry out for help?

I have come to know that God is listening because…

He gives me peace as I talk to Him (Philippians 4:7). He carries my burdens and gives me rest (Matthew 11:28). He gives me strength when I feel weak (2 Corinthians 12:9). He reminds me of His words in scripture or He will speak to my heart about what He wants me to do in my situation (Hebrews 4:12).  Usually when He speaks, His words will resonate with me.

When I cry out to God, I simply do it by faith. Then I wait in expectation for what He will do for me (Psalm 5:3).

Psalm 34:17 says that He hears us and will deliver us. Our struggle comes when we have to wait to be delivered, because sometimes God comes quickly, but other times we must wait. The good news is that if we must wait, He is still with us everyday giving us exactly what we need. I can remember going through a season of difficulties on a particular job, and God spoke to me and told me that as long as I was there, He would take care of me, and He absolutely did!  Even though God spoke those words to me years ago, I have found them to be a comfort on every job I have had since then.

When we must wait for His deliverance, He will always hold us up with His strength if we trust Him to. He will always fight on our behalf. He will make a way, but the when’s and the how’s we have to leave in His hands.

Is God really listening? Yes, He is listening to you, He is listening to me. He cares deeply about our needs.  When doubt tries to steal our peace, let’s remind ourselves of Psalm 34:17. Our Heavenly Father not only listens, but He answers, and His answers are always right.

trees in park

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Prayer to Trust God

Father,

Thank you for allowing us to see this day. We pray that You will show us how to trust You, even when we do not understand what is going on. Learning to trust You is not always easy, but it is something that develops as our relationship with You grows. As we trust You, we know that You promised to give us peace of mind and direct our paths. Help us not to be afraid to trust You, because You also promised us that You will never fail us.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

A New Year’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

We are thankful that You have allowed us to enter into a brand new year. We give ourselves to You, just as we are. Any worries we have we commit them to You right now and we choose to trust in You, our all powerful, all knowing, ever present God. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) we are reminded that…”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

As we journey into this new year, we are excited about all You have prepared for us. Help us to embrace the unconditional love You have for us. It is learning to accept Your unconditional love and depend on You that will see us through. When we understand that You love us, choose to receive that love, and share it with others, we will make a difference in the world around us. The more of Your love that we have in our hearts the better and more fulfilling our lives will be. Teach us to love. We love because You first loved us (1 John 4:19).

The past year has given us many experiences, some pleasant and some unpleasant, but either way we have learned valuable lessons along the way and have grown in wisdom. Yesterday, today and forever You remain the same (Hebrews 13:8). The fact that You never change gives us a solid foundation. We all have needs and desires and You promised to meet our needs and grant our desires as we delight ourselves in You (Philippians 4:19 & Psalm 37:4). We all have areas where we need to improve, but we’re thankful that you’re patient with us as we continue to learn and grow. The mercy you show toward us is amazing. Help us to find contentment in walking with You daily.  Guide our steps and deliver us from evil, keep us safe each day.

We ask that You impart wholeness to those who are broken, comfort to those who are hurting, strength to those who are weak, hope to those who feel hopeless, abundance to those who are in lack, a sense of purpose to those who feel their lives are meaningless, healing to those who are sick, peace to those who are anxious, confidence to those who are tempted to shrink back, and justice for those who are being mistreated. Let Your truth reign over every lie that has been told. May Your Spirit fill those who are empty, but most of all may Your salvation reach those who are lost.

We rejoice in Your goodness and we rest in Your loving kindness. You are our Sovereign God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 2019 is in Your faithful hands and for this we are grateful. We are secure in You.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT),”For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Have a Blessed New Year, Happy 2019!!!

 

 

 

Life is Short, Make Everyday Count

James 4:14(NIV),”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Just about a week ago, I was telling a coworker about the influx of car accidents I’ve been seeing over the last couple of weeks while driving to work. Here in South Florida where I currently reside, the area is heavily populated and therefore there is an abundance of traffic on the road. I guess the allure of beaches and palm trees, combined with the warm tropical climate and endless summers, is a welcome oasis for those looking to relocate. Since relocating here from Michigan several years ago, I myself have definitely enjoyed the beautiful weather and I truly don’t miss Michigan’s snowy winters even though I do miss many of my friends and the peaceful parks that were some of my favorite places to commune with the Lord.

Well while driving to work earlier this week, I unfortunately encountered yet another accident but this time it involved one car and a bicyclist. I was passing by on the opposite side of the street but even from a distance I could see the up and down motion of the woman’s chest who was laying on the ground as she struggled to breathe. I figured her shortness of breath was a combination of injury and fear. The lady who appeared to own the car that was involved, was anxiously pacing back and forth as she talked on her cell phone. There was a man standing over the bicyclist speaking to her, and I could see that although she was very short of breath, she was speaking back to him. As car after car made it’s way around her, I watched as long as I could until my light turned green and the traffic in front of me began to move. As I moved, I could faintly hear the sound of a siren in the distant. I felt scared for her but prayed that God would bring healing to her body and that she would be alright.

As I got up on interstate 95 to continue my drive to work, this incident reminded me just how quickly life can change or even worse, end. As I saw that lady laying on the ground and gasping for breath, I was also reminded how important it is to make everyday count. I’m sure she never imagined that when she left her home that morning she would get hit by a car, but she did. We can be here one day but gone the next. It’s God that watches over us each day, offering His protection as we go about our daily tasks.

photography of people wearing blue shirt

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When we realize how brief our stay here on Earth really is, it makes us want to live life in the best way possible instead of just going through the motions. Living our best life isn’t only about acquiring more material things or accolades for ourselves, but it’s mostly about asking God to use us to be a blessing to others. It’s about the opportunities He allows us to have where we can pursue our purpose and use our gifts to help people and help make the world a better place. There is something special that God planted inside of each one of us. No one can be you or me, except you or me, so let’s make the most of the time God has given us to share His love with those around us.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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In the morning, O Lord, hear my voice

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, hear my voice. In the morning I lay my needs in front of you, and I wait.

Psalm 119:147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.

There is something special about the stillness and the quietness of early Morning Prayer. Because everything is so still and so quiet it seems I am able to sense the presence of the Lord more easily and hear his voice more clearly. I’ve also noticed that since the tasks and concerns of the day haven’t had the chance to clutter my mind yet, I feel more free to just place all my focus on the One who so loving delights in being with me during this time. Once I finish praying there is a peace and assurance that comes because I know I have laid my needs in front of the Lord and asked him to help me, as the Psalmist mentioned. I also love the way he ended by saying, “and I wait”. I believe that there was something that happened inside of his heart during his time in prayer, which gave him the assurance that he could now wait in expectation for the Lord’s answer, because he was confident that the Lord had heard his voice. That’s one of the great things about prayer, as we do it we become more confident in our relationship with Jesus.

In Mark 1:35, it tells us that even Jesus rose early to pray. It says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Of course prayer is something that we can and should do throughout our whole day; we can pray at any time. However making it first place in our day, brings order to the rest of our day and puts our focus in the right place. Even if difficulties arise during the day, which they sometimes do, being covered in prayer helps us to deal with them in a godlier manner. I’ve prayed often and asked God to help me to spend time with him in the morning before I start my day and he has done it. If it’s a struggle for you to do this, don’t hesitate to pray and ask God to help you to do it, because it does make a difference not only in your day but in your relationship with him. Although you can always learn from others, your relationship with the Lord is personal so in asking him to direct your prayer life you can find the specific plan he has for you. Enjoy your time talking with the Master, he is always delighted to hear from you!

Father,

Thank you for the gift of prayer. Please help us to develop and enjoy the prayer life that Jesus died for us to have. It’s an awesome privilege to be able to talk to you anywhere at any time about anything.

In the name of Jesus. Amen