Category Archives: Prayer

Do you use Prayer Cues?

Do you use prayer cues?  Try some of these reminders to use throughout your day...

Do you use Prayer Cues?

The bible instructs us to pray constantly…

“Pray constantly.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (HCSB)

Previously, I wrote about when and where to pray and several posts on how to pray. Sometimes this can be difficult to remember to do throughout your day unless you have reminders. I know some people who set reminder alerts on their phones to pray at specific times of the day. I think this is a great idea. Something that I have found to be extremely helpful though is to use prayer cues.

Prayer cues are simply visual or auditory reminders to pray for something as you see or hear it. These can be specific things or topics on that you have a heart for, certain people in your life, emergency or crisis situations, or even things that frustrate or annoy you. 

A few examples of prayer cues I use

My kids and I started using sirens, emergency vehicles, and/or accident scenes as prayer cues to pray for the potential victims and emergency responders. When we hear sirens or see flashing lights or drive past an accident we say a short prayer for the safety of all involved. We pray for wisdom and guidance for the responders to act quickly and to know exactly what to do. We also pray that God’s presence is evident to those involved.

Some other prayer cues I use are Continue reading

Sometimes I Thank God For Answered Un-Prayers

Sometimes I Thank God For Answered Un-Prayers... Ever had God give you something that you wanted but never even prayed for?

Sometimes I Thank God For Answered Un-Prayers

Do you guys remember that old Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers”? The song tells a story about a man and his wife bumping into an old high school girlfriend. Years before he would pray that that old girlfriend would one day be his wife. Then he goes on to say that some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. Well, today I’m not actually going to talk about unanswered prayers but about another gift from God: answered un-prayers.

I’ve discovered that God often answers “prayers” that we’ve never actually even prayed. I often look back and see how God has worked things out, and I didn’t even have to pray! I don’t know why I get so shocked by it sometimes. 

A potential scheduling fiasco

The Story of Christmas...as told by kids!

The Nativity Story…as retold by the kids!

Recently, I experience some answered un-prayers. My mom had asked me to get a hold of my siblings and arrange a date to do our family Christmas party. We do a separate gift exchange for the adults where the adults get together and play Dirty Santa. While the adults are playing all of the kids get together and organize a play or a retelling of the Nativity Story (ALWAYS entertaining).

Dirty Santa invite

My family Dirty Santa invite I sent out

Sometimes it can be a bit stressful trying to arrange a function that accommodates everyone. I was having trouble trying to find a date that would work for everyone. We had already been struggling to find a day and time to do the annual Christmas pictures of all the grandkids. Then it’s also occasionally difficult to work around families with shared custody with ex-spouses in order to work with what weekends they have the kids.

On top of that, it’s hunting season, so we have to accommodate the hunters in the family. Then we also have to schedule around volunteering for the church Christmas functions, attending church Christmas services and the rest of the holiday obligations (Christmas concerts, work parties, other family gatherings, gatherings with friends, and so on). It’s a lot to try to fit in this time of year!

The dilemma 

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Prewritten Prayers Are Not Less Heartfelt

Learn how Prewritten Prayers Are Not Less Heartfelt...

Prewritten Prayers Are Not Less Heartfelt

I mentioned previously that I get some negative comments and emails from time to time. One that I had received was criticizing a post that I had written on how to pray for your unsaved loved ones. I had made an image graphic where you could just plug in a name into prewritten prayers. It’s been pretty popular on Pinterest which is where this particular individual ran across it.

This person claimed to be an atheist and found my image/prayer offensive. Since engaging in debates and arguments like this are not typically very productive, I didn’t respond to their comment. I just deleted it (per my policy). However, there was a statement this person had made about prewritten prayers that I wanted to address here. An accusation like this could cause some people to question whether their prayer is truly genuine. So I’d like to share my two cents on the matter to hopefully alleviate some doubts.

“Prewritten prayers are hardly from the heart.

This commenter stated “Prewritten prayers are hardly from the heart.” I think that there might be a lot of people who would buy into this theory. I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT. Therefore, I would like to address why prewritten prayers are not only okay but often beneficial.

Memorized and recited prayers can indeed be less than heartfelt at times. However, that does not mean that they are automatically or always lacking sincerity. Just because somebody else wrote the words doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the exact same way. Sometimes I can look at a prayer and think, “that describes my thoughts and feelings exactly”. 

Prewritten prayers have changed MY life

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Scriptures About Speaking To Others And Knowing What To Say

Here are some scriptures about speaking that will help you with what to say to others.  Use these scriptures as a prayer for help on figuring out the right thing to say or as a positive affirmation that you will say the right things at the right time.

Scriptures About Speaking To Others And Knowing What To Say

Sometimes not knowing what to say to others can be very intimidating. Often we find ourselves in situations where we might have to have a difficult conversation or confrontation. Occasionally, we might even have to defend ourselves from time to time. Some situations are less serious, and we just need some wisdom or guidance on saying the right thing or clearly communicating a message. Fortunately, I have found some scriptures about speaking that I like to turn into a prayer request depending on my need at the time.

Personally, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in prayer using these scriptures about speaking to ask for God’s help to say the right thing at the right time. They also help me to ask for help to clearly explain something. Actually, I pray many of these verses before I write a blog post as well because I truly want my posts to be God-led, clearly explained and contain information that will help anyone who reads them. I also use these scriptures before a difficult conversation or confrontation when I know I’ll need to tread lightly and when the right words are so important. I even use them to help me discern when to keep my mouth shut! Lastly, I always want the words that come out of my mouth to only mirror what God would say.

I’d like to share some of my go-to scriptures for speaking that I use when I’m in these types of situations. Some I have found on my own with research on the topic. Others have been shared with me by close friends when I’ve reached out for prayer. My hope and prayer is that you might find a few go-to verses for yourself that help you know what to say when you are at a loss for words or need a little help. 

Scriptures about speaking the right words and having the right timing: Continue reading

Help From God Might Come As Help From Others

Help From God Might Come As Help From Others

Help From God Might Come As Help From Others

To wrap up our recent talks about “help”, I thought I’d leave you with a reminder. Help from God might come as help from others. So often many of us pray to God for help, and for some reason we get these ideas of how that help will appear. We think God will somehow miraculously intervene. We think that God might empower and strengthen us to handle situations on our own. It doesn’t always come the way we imagine though. Occasionally, it’s much more humbling than we imagine.

Our prayers for help may come in the form of help from others. Frequently we may find ourselves having to admit that we need other people to help fix things we are dealing with or going through. Our gut reaction may be to decline that help because we trick ourselves into believing that we are somehow “less” if we accept help from others. However, we may be refusing God’s help when we don’t accept help from others that He may have sent on our behalf. 

It reminds me of a fable or parable I heard years ago… 

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Prayer for When You’re Verbally Attacked

Prayer for When You’re Verbally Attacked

Prayer for When You’re Verbally Attacked

Do you ever just feel attacked?  Sometimes it can seem relentless!  I think it’s high time that we just get fed up with being attacked and start doing something about it!  Recently I wrote a post for scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted.  These scriptures are helpful and comforting to let us know that we’re not alone, that God is our avenger, and that we will be blessed and graced when enduring persecution.  Today I’d like to go on the offensive a little more.  I’d like to give you a prayer that you can pray when you feel like you’re being verbally attacked by people. 

 

I do believe there is a time and a place to endure attacks, but I also firmly believe that God never intended for us to be doormats to be walked on by people.  When we’re being verbally attacked, there ARE times when it’s okay to fight back…just not always in the way your natural instincts might want to! 😉  It’s okay to go to war.  We don’t have to hide until Jesus comes.  We don’t have to be wimpy, spineless, victimized Christians!  We don’t always need to head for cover when we’re verbally attacked by people.

We need to be fighters!

We need to be warriors!

We need to be strong and put on the full armor of God to stand up to the devil and his schemes and strategies!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

During a bible study in college, Continue reading

Prayer For Those Who Make Bad Choices

Do you have children or people that you care for that are making bad choices? Try this Prayer For Those Who Make Bad Choices...

Prayer For Those Who Make Bad Choices

I was recently talking with a friend about the bad choices our kids make sometimes.  We talked about how it breaks our hearts as parents to have to not only see them make bad choices but then to have to watch them experience the consequences.  Then we discussed how similar God must feel when He has to do this with us when we make bad choices.  I remembered journaling about this very thing a few years back.  I went back through my journals, and here is what I had written: 

August 3, 2010

A Good But Just Parent…

My sister and I were just talking tonight about how I was frustrated with my kids lately.  They seem to be misbehaving a little more than usual.  I think they may be having a bit of cabin fever.  Summer is nearly over and school is going to start soon.  We haven’t been able to do as many of our usual activities as I would like due to the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing.  It’s been miserable to do outside activities like the zoo, Big Splash, the pool, the park, golf, etc.  Anyhow, I’ve been planning and wanting to do some fun stuff with them before the summer gets out, but it never fails that when I have a fun activity planned, they misbehave.  I end up canceling and postponing our fun.  I don’t really want to reward them when they’re behavior is bad, but at the same time it makes me so sad because I really want to do nice things for them and fun things with them.  All of a sudden I had the thought, “I bet God feels like this sometimes.”  It made me laugh because of how true it was.  How many times has God wanted to bless us or do nice things for us, and we’ve just tied his hands?  As much as we love and want to bless our children, our heavenly Father wants to do even more for us. 

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:11 (NLT)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

He’s a better parent than we are, yet still very just.  Our sin separates us from God.  His hands are tied by OUR wrongdoing. 

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing…” Habakkuk 1:13a (NIV)

We need to rid our lives of sin and be obedient to God’s word.  In return, God can shower us with blessings.  God’s will is to bless those who do right.  God wants more for us than we can ask or even imagine for ourselves.  Our job is to obey and follow his guidance and directions and to make good choices, not bad choices. 

“You bless all those who follow your commands from deep in their hearts.” Psalm 119:2 (CEV)

“Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.” Psalm 106:3 (NIV)

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

We have to make choices, between good and bad/life and death, every day.  Who we are depends on the choices we make.  We are also where we are now because of the choices we have made in the past.  The choices we make will determine the circumstances we end up with in our future.  Our choices will hold responsibility and consequences.  We will be held accountable for the choices we make.  We are not victims.  We are not a product of our environment–We are a product of our choices.  So how can we help people we care about that are making bad choices? 

 

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When Somebody Makes a Prayer Request

When Somebody Makes a Prayer Request ...

When Somebody Makes a Prayer Request

I think a lot of times people just flippantly say “I’m praying for you” or “I’ll pray for you”, but more often than not, it’s just lip-service.  They may truly mean it at the time, but then they might forget later or not make it a priority.  Sometimes people just don’t know WHAT or HOW to pray for the other person making the prayer request.  Today I’d like to help you out with this by giving you some suggestions for not just offering lip-service when a prayer request is made of you and for how to actually pray for that person when they ask.

To address the first issue, I’ll give you some tips for how to actually pray for them and not just say that you will.  The first and best piece of advice that I can give you is what works for me.  Stop whatever you are doing, and pray for them right then and there.  You can’t forget to do it later if you do it right now.  It should only take you a couple of minutes, if that.  You don’t even have to pray out loud or even with them if that makes you uncomfortable.  Just take a second to say a silent prayer on their behalf.

The next thing you can do is to make yourself a note to pray for them.  Write yourself a reminder to pray for that person later and/or to check on them again to see how they are doing.  I’ve found myself writing things on post-it notes, index cards, adding a note to my phone or setting a reminder alarm, and I even have a prayer request app on my phone that I use from time to time.  I also write prayers in my quiet time journal.  One thing that I haven’t started yet that I would like to start is a separate prayer journal.  I’d like to have a place where I can write my own prayer requests to God along with others as a physical and tangible list and reminder.  Then I’ll also be able to go back and mark when they were answered.   Maybe a prayer journal would be a good idea for you too?  The point is, when you write things down, it’s easier to remember to do them.  Plus, you have a tangible reminder to do so.

As far as HOW to pray for them… Continue reading