Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Pray, Prayer, Praying!

I have hit my bible and looked up a bunch of scriptures concerned with praying!  One can never have too much information when it comes out of the Word.  Bearing in mind these are hardly all the verses with regards to praying, lets do this thing!

PRAY - entreat - call on - implore - beseech - supplicate - petition - PRAY

For me praying implies conversation with God.  It is often when we beg God for something we want, something we need, something we want to change, have done, etc.  It is often times very "me" focused.  But prayer is also about praising the Lord, worshiping Him, thanking Him, spending time in His presence, waiting on Him in faith that He will speak into your heart.  It is also about lifting OTHER people and their concerns up in prayer to the Lord.  Outwardly focused!

In my last post, Let us Pray, I laid out the Lord's prayer, a prayer Jesus gave His followers as a template of how we should pray.  It has two focuses to it.  Firstly, the focus is on Who God is, and desiring His will on earth, and the second focus is on our earthly needs.

Today I am going to just roll out some prayer scriptures and expand on each as I understand them.  I would love for you to comment and clarify anything you wish to add, that adds value and transparency and also helps us all have a greater understanding on what the Word says on prayer.



So here goes:

1 Sam 12 vs 23:  Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
A few things stand out for me here, firstly, to fail to pray for someone as you feel led to pray would be sinning against the Lord.  Secondly, the focus is on obedience to God, and thirdly, praying for someone else other than oneself.

Daniel 9 vs 4:  And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments...
Daniel first acknowledged how great and awesome our God is, how great He is in mercy and how He remains true to His covenant with those who love Him.  He prayed with humility.

Matthew 5 vs 44:  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
God wants us to pray for those who have hurt us, our enemies.  Those we are least likely to want to lift up in prayer before the Lord.  Why?  In doing so, it is easier to see them through God's eyes, see their hurts and needs, forgive them easier, and come to a place where we could extend grace to them, in the same manner God has extended it to us.  In truth, our enemies are no different than we are!

Luke 18 vs 1: Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart...
Prayer is a place of hope, its a place we come to for the Lord's strength, a place where we renew our faith and place it before the Father we trust.

Romans 8 vs 26:  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
In those moments of sheer terror, sheer helplessness, sheer "end-of-the-rope" moments, when we come before the Father in prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.  Where we have no words, He makes our hearts known before the Father.

1 Thessalonians 5 vs 16 - 18:  (16)Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Never stop praying!  It shows your dependence on God.  It shows your reliance on God.  It shows your faith in God.

Mark 11 vs 25 - 26:   (25)“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  (26) But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Prayer is a place where we can forgive others, lay any offence given or taken at His feet.  We must do that as God says that if we don't forgive others, He won't forgive us.  That to me is terrifying!

Romans 12 vs 10 - 13:  (10) Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;  (11) not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  (12) rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;  (13) distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Prayer should be part of our every day lives.  It should be something we just do as Christians, like serving, rejoicing, patient in tough times, and giving.  Prayer should be a part of, and along side of, all that living we as Christians should be doing.

This is far from an exhaustive list of bible verses pertaining to prayer.  There are many many more.  But I hope that you have been encouraged to include prayer more and more in your day to day living as a child of the Living God.

God bless
Tracy


My SURRENDER verse for this post is:
Psalm 54 vs 2:  Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
I acknowledge that God is the hearer of my prayers.
He and He alone will hear and answer.











Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Let us Pray!

I have been mulling over prayer and how important it is.  The topic comes up occasionally in my devotionals and I always think, I need to dig deeper here.  So, I decided to write out the Lord's prayer, the prayer Jesus gave us as a template of the perfect prayer, and expand on what each part means based on the study notes I find, and what it means to me.

So, here goes:

Matthew 6 vs 5 - 14

The Lord's Prayer

(5) “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  (6) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

(7) “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.  (8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  

(9) Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
God is our Father, we are His children, Holy is His name

(10) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
May Your ways and order come to us, may Your plans and purposes be done, here on earth as it is where You are in heaven.  (May how Your perfect will is experienced in heaven, be experienced here on earth)

(11) Give us this day our daily bread, 
Give (please Lord would you supply) to us our daily needs, not wants.  (We acknowledge that You are our provider and sustainer and we trust You to provide for us daily)

(12) and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgive us all we have done wrong to others, to ourselves and to You, as we should/have/must forgive what others have done to us.  (Restore us to perfect relationship with You)

(13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Please don't allow us to be put into temptations way or be led into temptation by our friends, lifestyle, life, etc, but if we are, help us to recognize that temptation and give us the strength to overcome it in Your name, and deliver us from it and any evil intent connected to it.

(14) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, (15) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

PLEASE NOTE:  notes in BLUE are mine and what I believe the Lord's prayer means to me.  If I am wrong, I trust the Lord will open my eyes to it as it is my heart's desire to know what it is God's word would have me know!


My ESV notes state that the Lord's prayer has 6 petitions, the first 3 petitions focus on the superiority of God, and the next 3 petitions focus on our personal needs.  

I think this is a great passage of scripture for when one does not know how to pray.  It is a great start which emphasizes God's holiness and authority over our lives.  He is the source of anything good we have or need, and it is He who protects us from the evil one.  

There are many scriptures about prayer and I will seek them out and do another post on prayer so that I dig deeper into what the Word, God's manual to us, leads us to do and how to do it!

I would love to hear from you and what the Lord's prayer means to you.

God bless
Tracy



 My SURRENDER verse for this post is:
Matthew 6 vs 11:  And give us this day our daily bread.  
We are completely reliant and dependent on God for everything!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Time to be more Intentional!

The word of the Lord, our bible, is full of wisdom, guidance, conviction, love, and is a powerful tool the Lord gives us to live our lives.  If we are to grow in the Lord, be overcomers in Him, we have to be more INTENTIONAL in our seeking the Lord with all our hearts.

God says in Proverbs 2 vs 1 - 6:  My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, (2) So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;  (3 ) Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding,  (4 ) If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures;  (5 ) then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.  (6 ) For the Lord gives wisdom;  from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Reading the word is one thing, receiving it, treasuring it, listening to it, applying it, crying out for it, voicing it, seeking widsom, and searching for it.... all these things will lead us to a much deeper understanding of what it is the Lord wants us to know, and do in our lives.  We will have a better understanding of our place in the world and in God's kingdom.  

God says in Jeremiah 29 vs 13:  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

God says He will be found if we search for Him with all our hearts.  

Well, how does one do this?  I think the answer is to be intentional.  Not haphazard, not habitual, but intentional - on purpose - about seeking Him. 



Last year I tried to make it a habit to start each day in the word.  This year, I want to continue doing that, but, dig deeper.  Take more time, mull over the word as I read it.  Research what the study notes say and if they do not satisfy with clarity my questions, then, dig deeper.  For me, its not about getting through the bible in a year, its more about understanding it as a whole as I read through it. 

I also am trying to surrender my emotions, the things that take up too much of my time idols (if I put these things before God, they are idols, not so?), and my fears and anxieties that come with my days and the circumstances we find ourselves in.  I am working on surrender!  Surrender to God - dependence on my Lord and Saviour! 

I'm trying to put into action what I read in the word into my day to day life, and I think by being more intentional about how I read the word, what I understand, and what it all means, I think that I will start being able to apply these principles to my life intentionally, and I believe my life will never be the same again.  Jesus will not allow anyone who strives to seek Him, to not be able to find Him! 

I encourage you today to be more intentional in your relationship with the Lord, and I have no doubt your life will never be the same again.

God bless
Tracy



My SURRENDER scripture for today is:
Jeremiah 29 vs 13:  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

My Word for 2019!

For 2018 my One Word for the year has been ABIDE, and truly, I have tried very hard to abide in God's word.  I would say I did okay, but of course, being human, I did fail occasionally!  Do I think it made a huge difference in my life?  Well, on a day to day basis, maybe not in ways that I can see but certainly overall, I have noticed some changes.

For example, as I go through the Bible again, I am reading stuff in there that NEVER caught my attention before.  Just the other day, I was reading about Moses giving the 10 Commandments from God to the Israelites.  I always assumed Moses brought these to the people.  I never realized that God actually spoke the 10 Commandments to the people, prior to Moses bringing the tablets down to them (Exodus 20). That astounded me.

Another example, someone close to me told me off and said some really mean things, for something they felt I should have done, or handled differently and in how I did things, this person felt rejected and hurt.  I knew that they were speaking out of their own experiences and their own hurts.  They were trying to wound with things that would have wounded me in the past, with the intention of moving me to act as they would have me, or make me do something rash to make them feel differently about me.  But, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.  I did not feel manipulated into an unwise action, even though I believe that was their intent.  I did not believe what they said about me to be true.  I had confidence in that moment, that what they were saying was not truth and I truly felt unmoved.  I mean unmoved in being hurt and manipulated and in my belief of who I am in Christ.  Not unmoved, in feeling no sympathy for them and their response.  I was not wounded by their words.  THAT, I believe, has come from ABIDING in God's word.  It is nothing that I have done differently.  I have not been telling myself in the mirror every day that I am acceptable and worthy, no!  It has come from abiding in God's word, and He has wrought that change from inside.



So, another new year is just around the corner and I see others are posting their "One Word for the Year" posts and it got me to thinking about what it is that I feel needs the most attention spiritually in my life...  I mulled over it for a bit.  I considered where I am standing right now in my walk.  What goes on in my thoughts?  What unnerves me and ties me up in knots?

I think, for me, its that I don't feel like my faith, what I read in God's word, the truth that I know from past experience, is translating into my attitude.  I'm not sure if that makes sense.  What I mean is, if everything feels as though it is going wrong today, my go to emotion is frustration, anger at the Lord, annoyance, feeling that my little problems are obviously NOT important to God (and thus I am unimportant to Him).... See where I am going with this?  My attitude sucks!!!  

I thought then that maybe "attitude" ought to be my word for the year.  But I felt God wanted me to press in deeper.  Changing my attitude is/can be an act of my will, something I can practice and that is not a bad thing.  But, I want that change to come from inside and become part of who I am.  So that, when circumstances suck - my attitude doesn't!  The word that came to mind is......

SURRENDER

I can only imagine SURRENDER is not going to be easy!  But I also feel in surrendering myself to God, surrendering myself to His truth, to His faithfulness, to His grace and mercy, surrendering myself to His will, will have changes so monumental in me, that my attitude will be forever changed.

So, my "One Word" for the previous years have been:
2018 - Abide
2017 - Consistency
2016 - Choice
2015 - Wisdom
2014 - Joy
2013 - Trust
2012 - Content

And now, for 2019, my "One Word for the Year" is SURRENDER!

Surrender encompasses so many facets
  • Trust
  • Faith
  • Dependence
  • Humility
  • Speaking what is truth despite what is circumstance
I am sure there is more to this list.  My goal for 2019 is to work on SURRENDERING all to Christ and learning all the facets of that because my relationship with Jesus is what gives me life and I want my life and how I live it to bring attention to Christ and His saving grace.  I can't do that with a bad attitude!

What is your one word for 2019?

God bless
Tracy







Friday, 2 November 2018

Seek ye first - And He will do the Rest!

Historically (I am getting that old 👀) I either have a sort of shoulder length bob, or short short cropped hair.  It alternates depending on all those unreasonable things we women base our hairdo's on 😊.

But every time I cut my hair short, especially in the last 7 years or so, I just see someone else looking back at me in the mirror!  Since I was a teenager I didn't like being told I look like her.  Just a childish thing that stuck deep down in my brain for some reason.

So, as per usual, in an attempt to right this perception, I began growing my hair again.  I was 4 months in - you know that horrendous period of hair growth that just becomes ONE LONG BAD hair day?  I was feeling strong!  I was pushing through!  I was getting past this irritating ugly stage!  I had thissss!

However,

In the last week, just before I went to sleep one evening, I thought about my hair rationally.  I went to sleep thinking, "tomorrow I will write down a pro's and cons list for short and longer hair."  With that I went to sleep.  I woke thinking about my hair and had sort of decided I wanted to keep my hair short, but regardless, I still did my pro's and cons list.  To be fair, they evened out.  But the most important pro for me for short hair is the simplicity and lack of hassle.  I'm a hassle free kinda gal I tell ya!

So, immediately, I phoned and made an appointment to cut my hair short again.  With much eye-rolling from my hairdresser, she complied.  I got home, checked out my hair.  And you know what?!  I did not see this person staring back at me.  It was weird.  It was interesting.  It was.... something I needed to think about!

So, this interesting turn of events has been rolling around in my mind for the last few days.  And this is what I have come up with:
  • I have made it my goal to start every day with a quiet time (my word for 2018 - ABIDE)  I get it right 95% of the time, but regardless of how I feel, regardless of if I get anything out of it, I do it in obedience to Christ, because obedience is better than sacrifice.
  • Because of this obedience, because I am seeking Him first, He is doing the rest!  He has taken this silly obsession, this silly perception of mine, and - simply - removed it!

I truly cannot fathom any other reason why, something that has hassled me for as long as I can remember, just vanished!  I look every morning, just to check!  I see me!  It is awesome!

My point is this, although we are to keep growing in the Lord, and although we are to be overcomers in Christ, He wants us to do this by looking at Him!  Look up, not at the problems within or around us!  He says in His word:  Matt 6 vs 33:  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  I feel that this week, in this little mental hiccup of mine, I have experienced an "all these things shall be added to you" moment!  I did not need to "overcome" this on my own.  In fact, I did no "overcoming"!  I just continued in my daily quiet time just to spend time with God!  In seeking God daily, just to learn from His word, just to sit in His presence, just to do so regardless, God overcame this thing in me, He simply removed it!

I now move forward, knowing that all the other "stuff" in my life that needs to be dealt with, will be dealt with as I seek Him first daily!

God bless
Tracy


My ABIDE scripture for today is:
Romans 8 vs 37:  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

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