Stop, Drop and Pray

Hands in PrayerI love prayer. I started a life of prayer when I was about 7 or 8 years old and have prayed every night since then. I grew up in a religion, that at the time didn’t teach that one needs to have a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior; to be reborn through Him. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I accepted Christ and gave my life to him.

While prayer is a spiritual passion of mine, intercession; praying for the needs of others can be overwhelming at times. It is an honor and a privilege to pray for others. Perhaps this is why it can sometimes seem overwhelming because I want to give each request back to God with the same heartfelt desire as the last one. I don’t want to offer up prayers ‘on the fly’ simply because life is busy. I want to take the time to pray for each request according to God’s heart.

Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18 to pray without ceasing because this is God’s will for us through Christ Jesus. And I wonder, what does it look like to pray without 24 hours delivery sign.ceasing? Certainly, I talk with God throughout the day, sometimes, okay many times, out loud!

But, what about times of quietness devoted to the prayer needs for ourselves and others? A few days ago I came across a verse and it has been traipsing through my mind like a new-born doe learning to prance along looking for food.

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon. Acts 3:1.

During this time both Jews and Gentiles observed three times of prayer, everyday, morning, afternoon and at sunset. Peter and John were busy men, teaching and preaching and spreading the gospel was a full-time job for them and they walked everywhere they went, it would take a good days walk and oftentimes it would take days for them to reach one place to deliver the gospel message. Yet, by all accounts, they stopped and prayed three times a day!

world-health-day-background_GyD_LcP_This thought of stopping and devoting time to prayer three times a day intrigues me. God has this in his word for a reason and it gives me hope about the ability to pray without ceasing. What would it look like if we stopped and devoted ourselves to prayer three times a day? What amazing things would our eyes be opened to see? Prayer isn’t just for the benefit of others. Prayer draws us closer into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. God gives us prayer for our spiritual health.

Precious One, here’s to your health!

Shalom!

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The Good Gift Giver

red-gift-box-with-fireworks_zktK5CIO I have a friend who is a great gift giver. She is in tune and aware of and pays attention to the details of the people in her life and always finds something that matches the person’s personality of the gift she is giving. Most of all, she is a good giver of herself; her time and resources.

Today I began studying God’s word in a new way and I love it as much as I love the cross-reference way of studying and if you know me you know that is one of my favorite ways to study my favorite Book! I am reading through the book of Acts one chapter at a time. I’m not rushing through but sitting in the chapter and absorbing all Holy Spirit has to say to me. I’m highlighting what stands out and then journal what I sense and feel He is speaking to me. I won’t move onto the next chapter until I feel led.

This morning I came across a verse that was so subtle yet spoke volumes to me.

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14.

I thought about what it looked like for these believers to be constantly in prayer or always in prayer together with each other. This one verse on prayer speaks so clearly about the importance of prayer in our relationship with God. Holy Spirit also reminded me of the power of prayer and how prayer grows our faith; it encourages us.

I happen to be blessed to run with a few different prayer groups, that’s just how I roll! And, each group fits a specific need.

Earlier today, two of my kids sent me a text each asking for prayer. One prayer, for a lost binder, was answered right away. I asked my other child if I could share their request with some of my prayer groups. As I did, I was reminded of what a good gift from a good Father prayer is and how we can give the beautiful gift of prayer to others. I am also sitting in His lavish love that he would teach me in the morning and then give me a stunning visual of this at work in my life.

Precious One, be a good gift giver it is good for your soul!

Shalom.

Apples In Our Apple Tree

IMG_0027I was talking with one of our favorite little girls the other day, except that she isn’t so little anymore, she is entering the tween season, but none the less, one of our favorite girls! She was telling me about their apple tree and how they had to pick some of the apples off because they were getting big. I told her that our apple tree had grown apples last year but before we could pick them they were gone. We think that the vicious, wild animals, the kind with sharp claws and teeth, (this is where my oldest lovebug would accuse me of watching way too much Mountain Men!), by that I mean, opossums and raccoons, had somehow stolen the fruit in the deep of the night.

Today I went out to look at our apple tree, and, lo and behold, we have apples again! A true miracle considering we are in a severe drought and our community is on mandatory water use reduction. I was immediately reminded of something I read this morning from my favorite book. What I had read stated that trees that are planted by water send out their roots to the water source, they don’t fear the heat, their leaves are always green, they aren’t worried in a year of drought and they never fail to bear fruit!

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7,8.

Precious One, this is one of God’s endless blessings for us; when we choose to trust Him and him alone we are blessed. We are like a tree planted by the water and not just any water, the living water; Jesus Christ. He quenches our spiritual thirst. There isn’t any fear, not even when things get really hot and messy because he is our living hope. When we stay in communion, stay connected to him we are always in perpetual growth, we are always green, regardless of any struggle or challenge. We don’t have to worry about the dry or drought seasons of life because God is always right there in them. And the best part is that when we choose to continually hang out with Jesus we will always bear fruit! So, when the enemy attempts to disqualify you in any aspect of your life, tell him to, “pack sand!” In the name of Jesus.

Shalom!

Link

girls-are-like-apples-on-treesI have been seeing this tree on various social websites. At first glance the statement seems harmless, at the same time there is something about it that breaks my heart.

Surely, as parents we want our daughters to be the apples at the top of the tree; the one’s worth waiting for; the one’s who respect themselves knowing they are worth waiting for. By the same token we want our sons to respect all the young ladies and women in their life, even when those same young ladies or women don’t know how to respect themselves. We want our sons to recognize that the girls and women who reside at the top of the tree are worth working for. When our son was younger we use to tell him AND all his friends that one of their main jobs as young men is to respect the young women in their life, not only because it is the right thing to do but because they may be the only example of what respect looks like.

But, what about the so-called rotten apples on the ground and the boys who go after them? Perhaps the apples on the ground don’t have a positive male voice in their life. Encouraging them, telling them how beautiful they are and that they are the apple of their eye. Maybe the young boys don’t have a positive male influence teaching them to respect ANY young girl or woman regardless of how she see’s herself. This is why my heart breaks while reading the tree.  And, what if your son or daughter were friends with the apples on the ground and the boys who go after them? What would your response be? Would you demand that your son or daughter stop being friends with them? Or, would you trust God that he has chosen your child for such a time as this to be a positive role model in the life of one who seems so desperately to need a friend who resides at the top of the tree?

I heard a song today with these words:

“He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He’s the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, “Dear God won’t you please…
Could you send someone here who will love me?”

“Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
‘Cause nobody has shown me what love
What love really means.”

You see, everyone just wants to feel loved, even the apples on the ground and the boys who go after them.

You can listen to “Love Me” in its entirety here

Photo credit -richgrad.com. Song credit JJ Heller “Love Me”.