Living God’s Grace – Prayer

Here we are again.

Monday.

Yeah, Monday.

What a week my family has had!

I’ve been on my knees in prayer more this past week than in a very long time.

Not that I don’t try to as the Bible says “pray without ceasing.” You know, that little phrase tucked in to I Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice always,pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

And what about that “rejoice always’.

Sometimes that is hard to do on a Monday.

When you aren’t feeling your best.

abide-in-christWhen the worries of your life seem to mount with each passing moment.

And, “give thanks.”

How do you do that when someone you love is sick.

When a grandchild has a medical issue.

When a son has an important interview.

When dear friends (family really) are overwhelmed with the closing on a new home, the young child who is sick, the hurried pace of their young, busy lives.

When a husband feels like he’s never going to feel better.

But, that’s what I Thessalonians tells me to do.

So, I try.

I give thanks for the 400 kids who attended Vacation Bible School last week at our church and especially for the 42 who came to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

I rejoice that the son passed his interview with flying colors and moves on to the oral boards for the new position he so desperately wants and that would mean so much to his family. (Please, God?)

I give thanks for the prodigal who showed his love and who shared his time with the family who loves him.  (Luke 15:11-32)

I lift him up in prayer, like Hannah lifted Samuel, to the God who gave him to me. (I Samuel 1:10-11)

There's no one else in the world, but you!

There’s no one else in the world, but you!

And.

I pray.

For the man with whom I’ve shared my life these 30 years.

I pray that God will renew his strength (Isaiah 40:31).

I pray for patience for him but more importantly for me (Romans 12:12).

I pray continued blessings on our family as we seek to serve the Father who was and is and always will be. (Colossians 1:1-14)

Prayer.

The single most important tool the we as Christians have. And, the greatest gift of that prayer. The one who sits at the right hand of the father and intercedes. (Romans 8:34).

 

 

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Fruit of the Spirit – Patience

This week I have been trying to practice patience with those around me and with myself.

It hasn’t been easy.

Deadlines have a way of bringing out the worst in people, not the best.

I’ve had to walk away a few times and I’ve had to breathe deep and just pray.

Because when life gets too hectic and patience is wearing thin, there’s only one place to go.

To Him.

So I did, and I am.

Quietly reflecting on the week and waiting patiently for Him to provide the answer.patience

Looking forward to a wonderful weekend.

Hope you are as well.

Lynn

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31.P1020405

Grace for Today – Missing God’s Plan

Have you ever had that feeling? The moment when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you missed God’s plan and you’re left wondering how to make it right?

I had one of those last week and I find myself once again falling on my face before God begging His forgiveness and promising that it won’t happen again.

But it will. I’m human and I know that as much as I proclaim that I want to be, as a friend of mine calls it “smack dab in the middle of God’s plan” there are still times and situations where I haven’t given up the driver’s seat to Him and where I still jump first and see His plan after. I claim the promise of Jeremiah 29:11-14 with my mouth all the time, but I’m not sure I claim it with my heart.

And, in this particular situation, God just went ahead and confirmed His position on the subject through the message of Dr. Charles Stanley on Sunday morning. His sermon was  called “Direction Without Doubt”. I felt the conviction all over me as I realized that God designed that message for me to hear, and as a way for me to know that only when He is the first place I turn for help and advice will my decisions be the best He has in store for me.

I thought about trying to encapsulate Dr. Stanley’s message for you, but I think hearing it from him might be the better course of action. So, I am including it here http://www.intouch.org/broadcast/this-week-on-tv and my prayer is, that if you, like me, sometimes forget where our direction should come from, you can and will have this resource to remind you whose advice and counsel you should seek.

Because no one knows you like He does and no one wants for you the best like the Father who made you.

Lynn

 

The Twelve Gifts of Christmas – Day 8

On the eighth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me, the gift of intercession through Jesus Christ my King.

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. “ Hebrews 7:25

What a gift. Because of my relationship with Jesus, he sits of the right hand of the Father interceding for me and taking my petitions straight to God. There is no longer a need for sacrifices, for the curtain between me and the Holy of Holies because Jesus Christ, who is the Holy of Holies hears my pleas and he stands in for me. As Paul tells us in I Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

But how many of us use this gift expecting there to be an immediate response to our request and for that response to be “yes”? And, further, how many of us use this gift when we don’t want, or need something from God? How many of us use the gift, and then when we don’t get the immediate yes we wanted but rather get a “wait” or even a ” no”  we throw a temper tantrum and stop praying.

I’ve done it. I know you have, too.

The thing about this gift, though, is that God knows what we want AND what we need before we ever bring it to him. He’s waiting to give us the desires of our hearts. The Bible promises this in Matthew 7:7-8

“Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.”

But, the question we have to ask ourselves this Christmas is, do we really believe these words from Matthew or, are we trying to achieve things on our own and only after failing miserably asking, no pleading with Jesus for God to intervene.

James 4:2-3 puts it this way:

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

that second part hurts. Wrong motives. How many times have I asked that I “may spend what (I) you get on (my) your pleasures.” I don’t want to think about that part. I don’t want to believe that I could ask because I am selfish or desirous, but I know I am and you know you are too.

This gift. This intercessor. We must learn to use this gift for things other than our wants. Only when we bring our needs to the Father and only when we realize that without Him we are lost does the price Jesus paid for this gift even begin to make sense.

Think about this. The next time you come before the throne and ask Jesus to go to the Father on your behalf, do it in expectation and in reverence for the gift it is. And then thank Him for both the gift of the intercessor and for the right to petition him for your needs.

It’s more than we deserve.

Lynn

Praying Man