Category Archives: Prayer

Stop and Take Time to Listen to God

Learn how to Stop and Take Time to Listen to God...

Stop and Take Time to Listen to God

Taking regular time to stop and listen to God is not a strong suit of mine. I do hear from God on a fairly regular basis. I know his voice and how he talks to me. Unfortunately I hate to admit that I kind of stink at being intentional about taking time to listen to God. This topic isn’t what I was going to originally write about this week. It was only because of taking time to listen to God that I decided to write about listening to God!

My notes are lost

I seem to have lost my notes for my original topic. I’m serious – I can’t find them anywhere! I searched my quiet time journal. I’ve looked through my Bible and sermon notes. I looked through my computer documents. I’ve looked through my phone notes. I even looked around for random post-it notes where I may have written some things down. Nothing. Now, I can’t even remember if I even wrote the notes down to begin with, but I could’ve sworn that I did.

After searching around frantically for my notes for well over an hour, I decided to just pray about it and ask God to help me find them. Then I remembered my quiet time about stopping and listening to God. It was about taking time to just stop and be quiet. So I decided to do that after I prayed about losing my notes.

Maybe they were “lost” on purpose

I began to think that maybe my notes were “lost” on purpose because God had other intentions of what he wanted me to write about this week. If I’m right, it’s what he’s been gently correcting me about recently. It’s about making time to stop and listen to him on purpose.

While listening, I had the thought, “Well, maybe they’re lost on purpose because I’m not supposed to write about them. Maybe I’m supposed to write about something else. I usually pray every week about what I’m going to write about, but I don’t think I did this week. I think I just decided last week what this week’s topic would be and then didn’t really spend a whole lot of time in prayer about it. Well, I guess it serves me right!” Leave it to God to conveniently cause my notes to go missing when I try to do things my way without consulting him or listening to him!

Oh, the irony

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A Prayer For Lost Hope: Follow This Example of How to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture

A Prayer For Lost Hope: Follow This Example of How to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture

A Prayer For Lost Hope: Follow This Example of How to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture

I received a nice comment recently on a blog post for a prayer for those who make bad choices. The reader mentioned as a person who struggles with prayer, she was enjoying fill-in-the blank prayers.

It was a nice confirmation to hear that because I had actually been thinking lately that I need to start writing some more of those. I have always loved Stormie Omartian’s prayers like this (i.e. Power of a Praying Wife, Power of a Praying Husband, Power of a Praying Parent, Power of a Praying Grandparent, etc.). If you have never read or used any of her material I HIGHLY recommend it.

I thought today I would take you through the process of how I come up with and write these prayers. It’s easy! Anybody can do it. I’ll show you how by giving you an example of writing a prayer for lost hope.

Take the Same Practical Steps I Take in Order to Write a Prayer Based Off of Scripture with this example of A Prayer for Lost Hope:

Step 1-Decide what I need to pray for and make a list of specifics.

For example, I pray for my students in my college classes each semester. Sometimes there seems to be a theme of what I’m praying for a particular group of students. This semester the word that keeps coming to mind for this group is “hope”. I get a feeling that many of them lack a sense of hope or that they feel hopeless. Therefore, some specifics I’d like to pray for them are:

  • That God would give them a sense of hope
  • I want them to see a hope in me, something that they desire, and I’d even like them to ask me about it, giving me an opportunity to tell them why I can hope even in seemingly hopeless situations
  • That they can see a hope in their future and that they don’t give up

Step 2-Find verses and promises in the bible that correlate with the specifics that I want to pray.

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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