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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

He Hears

“In my distress, I called upon the Lord. And cried to my God for help: He heard my voice out of His temple and my cry for help before came into his ears.” Psalm 18:6

Who better to pray to than the LORD? It’s so hard though. Why? My typical excuse is I need the flesh and blood to talk to.

This verse promises that He hears me when I cry out to  Him. What it doesn’t say is there may be silence in the waiting.

Why silence?

Maybe to teach me more about being dependent on Him. Maybe to challenge my faith and trust.

Sometimes the answer will be no.

Why no?

Some of the same reasons for the possible silence. Paul called out for help in his distress and God said no, “My grace is sufficient. So no’s maybe a way to keep me humble.

How comforting is that? The God of the universe has an awesome plan and He is working it through the hard times. Take heart my friend. Be assured He hears, He knows, He sees and there is a wonderful plan at the end of the darkness that will be more glorious than we can imagine. God doesn’t waste a single incident, or silence or no.

Psalm 18:6 | Quotes to Inspire | Pinterest

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Solitude is refreshing.

I can almost hear your groans.  Solitude is not an easy discipline.  Like I said in an earlier post, silence is not easy for me.  Solitude is even harder.

Webster’s defines solitude as:  “1. The state of being or living alone.  2.  Remoteness from habitations, a lonely unfrequented place.”  It sounds depressing.  And yet Jesus took time to seek solitude.  (Mark 1:35)

It goes beyond being quiet, before God. Solitude means getting away from everything. You would think that for a homemaker with three children attending school it wouldn’t be a challenge; all I have to do is go to the home office and sit.  But even in the office there are many distractions such as the dog, telephone, and mental reminders of all that needs to be done.  So I started praying for a place I could get away to, with no distractions.

One day a missionary friend posted a picture on Facebook of a place she likes to go when she is home from the field, The House of Prayer.  I found the hours of operation and decided to go.DSCF4086

I confess, it was a little uncomfortable at first, because it wasn’t in my own church.  I almost turned around and left.  Well, that excuse doesn’t work, because the church is not a building but believers.

It was beautiful and peaceful with soft instrumental music played and a water fountain flowing.  With only my Bible, notebook and pencil, I chose one of the little rooms to the side, and closed the curtain.  It was God with me, alone together.

By the time I left, the sense of being in His presence was overwhelming.  The amazing thing was how the Holy Spirit brought scripture to mind and spoke to my heart.

It was not the building but what it provided; It was a precious time being alone with my Creator, Redeemer and Heavenly Father.

A few days later, I longed to have that time again.  I finally understood the scripture that says,

             “As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you. Oh God”   Psalm 42:1  (NIV 1984)

My challenge to you is: to pray about a day and place that you can schedule time for solitude.  It doesn’t have to be a “church” building.  For you it may be a park or beach.  Be intentional.

You will be glad you did.

“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 1984)

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Last year I attended the Experiencing God Bible Study at our church. I would highly recommend it to anyone. One of the exercises was to do a “God walk”.  We were to go to a park or beach and talk to Him and listen for His voice. By the way, listening is hard.

While I walked and prayed I met up with my niece and her third grade class. I had forgotten that they would be there. My niece had asked if I would go and I told her no. The leaders asked if I wanted to join them and again I said no, that I was there for a Bible Study assignment, a prayer walk. The leaders were gracious. One even said, “Tell Him I will talk to Him later.”

I didn’t get more than a few yards, and guilt overwhelmed me. I felt God prodding me back to the group. I didn’t want to. He reminded me that I had asked a few minutes prior why I was doing this. What did He want me to do or say? I gave in and turned back. In the end I apologized to my Father and the leaders for my prideful response. I also made my niece’s day.

I tried to do a “God Walk” every month. Needless to say it went by the way side.

Fast forward a year. A few months ago, I was struggling in every area of my life; my priorities, being  a mother, a wife and as a writer. I felt in my spirit I needed to take a “God Walk”. Strange how God works, the day I made the decision, I started a new Bible study entitled “The Circle Maker”. That night the assignment was to find a place, and time to pray every day for twenty-one days and pray for one situation or person (my personality won’t let me do that so there were several people/issues I chose).  Through this study we learned how to pray hard (persistence), bold (asking for the impossible) and pray for God’s sovereign will.

I chose seven in the morning and to walk around the block (less likely to be distracted). It reminded me of Genesis, and how God walked with Adam and Eve and the intimacy they had with the Father. The first time I poured my heart out. When I got back I felt renewed and excited to see how the Father would answer in unexpected ways.

The “God Walk” is becoming a new habit. When I don’t do it, I find that my day is miserable. It has provided me a new way of connecting with God. I am beginning to recognize His voice, praying scripture and trusting My Father will answer even if it is the impossible.

Do you spend time just praying and listening? He desires time with us to grow our relationship with Him.

Set up a time or place (it doesn’t have to be a walk) to just talk to the Father.

“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 saints.”
Ephesians 6:18

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For me the hardest discipline in my spiritual walk is prayer. Sitting down to read His word is easy. Of course when God uses it like a 2×4 then it’s not that easy, but to see words on the page is like sitting and reading a book. Why is prayer so hard? I think for me it’s because God is not here in flesh and blood and the “prayer programs” become, after awhile, impersonal.

Let me take you on the journey of my prayer life. I have done the prayer programs such as ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) or the prayer journal with all the different sections. Then I would get side tracked easily due to a lack of focus so I started to write my prayers out in letter form. I even had my calendar organized on what to pray for each day.
Prayer soon became meaningless to a point there was no joy. Then I read Diane Moody’s Confessions of a Prayer Slacker. She likened her prayer time to that of visiting Jesus in a father’s office to talk to Him.

Friend, I tell you I felt freed. First because I had started a year prior to write a series of pieces called The Father’s Study. These are allegories of conversations between the Christian as a child talking with their Heavenly Father as if He were in flesh and blood. I doubted that these were even “theologically” correct. She confirmed that I was on the right path.

Secondly, I became aware that the Father wants a relationship with me His child, so why not talk to Him in that way? The most important thing He desires is for me to talk to Him and share my heart and be myself. I let the Spirit lead me in what to pray for.

I like praying out loud. When I was angry or upset I found myself pacing while I prayed. There were other times I would talk to a chair just to have a focus point so I wouldn’t get distracted.
Does that mean the other tools are wrong? Absolutely not. For some, that is they way they pray everyday. Tools–like the Lord’s Prayer — are guidelines for me. God bless them who use them all the time. Others like to pray with the old English ‘Thou”, “hast”. That is not me. I would rather say “Help me, please!” I do need to be careful that my prayers are not just asking the “Divine Genie” for things but thanking and praising Him too.

But does the order matter? I don’t think so. I do confess first, because I don’t want sin standing in the way of Him answering. However, I have found that sometimes half way through my prayer time He impresses on my heart a sin I need to confess or reminds me of a blessing to thank Him for.

Do I still struggle even now that I have found a way to pray that fits me? You bet. Prayer requires intentionally taking the time. He wants to hear from me.

Do you struggle with prayer time? Are you intimidated or not sure where to start?

Tell it to your Heavenly Father allow Him to guide the conversation. In fact, let Him teach you how He wants you pray.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Philippians 4:6 (NIV 1984)

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