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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

At the suggestion of a friend, I got a battery back up for my smartphone. The older my phone gets (yes, it is paid for) the more quickly the battery runs down. I know the feeling!

Recently, the phone needed charging while I was not at home so I couldn’t use the cord.  I had carried the battery with me. As I plugged the phone into the battery, it occurred to me that I am like that. Sometimes I need recharging. Don’t you?

At any time, we can plug into our source of life, which is God. But sometimes, we don’t feel we are close to the cord. It may be stress, hurt, pain, or a sense of being overwhelmed. That is when we need someone else to pray for us and boost our energy. I honestly think God puts people in our lives for just that purpose.

Interceding for each other is so very important. Being able to honestly discuss what we are going through and where we are in our walk is vital. We all need one or two prayer warriors to plug into, with whom we can be totally vulnerable, knowing that they will not judge or chide us. Instead, they will give godly wisdom and prayer support. We know they are filled with power because they have been in the Word, have spent time with God, and have allowed His Spirit to reign in their lives. Life has not depleted their resources. In other words, because they have been plugged in and are fully powered at the moment, they can boost us in our weakened state.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

There will come a time when we will be the battery saver to someone else. Faith in community works that way. Sure, bearing another’s burden may drain us a bit, but we can always be renewed by plugging into the Source on a regular basis.

And here is what convicted me the most. I should always have power stored up in me  — the same way I try to keep my battery charger ready. If I don’t, then when I run low, I will be drained of energy and in search of something to energize me. If I haven’t brought my battery saver as a backup, or have not plugged my phone in for a while, it dies. It is the same with my soul. I need to plug into God through prayer and His Word often or I’ll become depleted. I’ll either seek a temporary fix such as caffeine, chocolate or comfort carbs, or I will lean on someone else over and over again to boost me, draining them.

It is wise to consistently plug ourselves into God’s power.  We all need a holy battery saver (or should I say Savior) for those dark times when the power of our own strength seems to go out. And doesn’t it always seem that power flickers the most during a storm?

Is your battery fully charged and ready?

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

I found another word twist. I know, I know…but read on. The following two words have the same letters, just in different order. Here they are—

RETIRED
RETRIED

One backs away and quits, the other rolls up the sleeves and gives it another go.

It all depends on where you put the “R” and the “I”. So, what are the “R” and “I”?

I see them as Reason and Interest. Those are the two things that drive us to continue the road we are on or to choose another path. Whatever holds your interest, for whatever reason, will dictate your involvement.  When your interest loses its reason, you give up. But when the reason sparks your interest, you keep trying.

Looking at the verse above (also found in Luke 12:34), I had to ask myself what do I treasure? What piques my interest? What is my passion?  And what is the reason that it does?

Recently I have been questioning and re-evaluating if I should continue to do what I have been doing.  Since most of what I do is writing for Christians, and trying to make a living at it, I questioned if my doubts were from God or the devil. Was God closing a door, or was it being pushed? Should I concentrate on my regular job and ask for a raise or continue to divide my time between the two? Not that I take much stock in astrology, but I’ve been really acting like a Gemini lately. One foot in two worlds.

So, I prayed. I prayed for the reason I write to re-spark my interest. Which, I guess, reveals my heart.

Will I retire from this keyboard or try again?

Perhaps the fact that I am writing this is part of the answer.  Yep, I guess you will be reading these posts a bit longer. May God use them to His glory.

That is reason enough.

Still, I hope they keep you interested.

 

 


I still seeking 20 people who will partner in supporting my digital ministry with the Life Project at $20 a month. If you would like more information on this vital ministry that reaches an average of 600,000 people a month through our two websites, comment and I will respond.

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One hour. 60 minutes. One 24th of a day. We cherish it when it comes to sleep time. We become anxious if we have to wait that long. And often we waste it on things like TV, social media…even worry as we pace the bedroom floor in the moonlight.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:26

Jesus asked the question. How do we answer? If worrying doesn’t consume your time, substitute another phrase – by being proud,  by being angry, by being revengeful, unforgiving, caught up in a video game, vegged out on Netflix…yep, I am stepping on my toes, too.

Yes, we all need down time, but during that time can we spare an hour of talking, reading and listening time with our Lord?

Tonight, Jesus will face his fate with blood sweat and tears. He will kneel face down in the dirt among the scraggly olive trees and cry out to His Father. And His disciples? Snoozing. He’d asked them to stay awake and pray for one hour.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter (Matthew 24:6).

They didn’t, and when the soldiers came, they fled. They didn’t have the strength to stand and stay because they hadn’t been bolstered by God-time.

Are we any different?

Will you carve out an hour today, or tomorrow on Good Friday, to reflect (and thankfully praise God) over what Jesus did for you?

 

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If it hasn’t happened to you, it will.

Hackers are on the rampage. FaceBook posts, emails, tweets are compromised. Safe “share” posts have lewd images hidden in them, or links that illegally access your profile. Banks, hospitals, even government entities are not immuned. It seems there is no firewall strong enough.

Our souls are not immuned to being hacked, either.  Call him what you will…the devil, the evil one, satan, the father of lies. He leans in and whispers into our brains –interrupting our thoughts and warping around blessings.

You aren’t strong enough to resist.  

You’ll never achieve that goal.

You don’t serve God’s favor.

God has walked away because He’s mad at you.

You’ll never get back in His good graces after this.

Everyone does it, it’s not so bad. 

The Bible is outdated. That verse doesn’t matter anymore in today’s world.

 

And the worst of all.…I’m a good Christian. Nothing big can tempt me.

C.S. Lewis said in his book, Mere Christianity, “A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.”

….When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  John 8:44b

This hacker know the places where our “firewall” is the weakest.  He knows what words to say that will crack our will and get to us emotionally. Then He wiggles in with a negative suggestion and clouds our positive viewpoint. Soon, like a virus, it begins to affect all of our thoughts and actions, even our prayers or desire to pray. Step by step, we become more and more vulnerable to his wiles. Trust me, as soon as you begin to do God’s will, this hacker will show up. Big time!  You got it wrong. God didn’t mean for you to take this on. That’s why this is so hard. You misunderstood.

Where is your firewall the most vulnerable?  How can you make sure your soul is “unhack-able”? Paul shared the algorithm two millennia ago: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer  (Romans 12:12).   Jesus used Scripture to keep Satan from seeping into his thoughts while he was in the wilderness being tested. (Matthew 4:1-11) Remaining joyful and counting your blessings no matter your feelings at the moment keeps your attitude up and running. (Philippians 4:6)

Prayer is the best defense against becoming compromised. Scripture is the best method to detect hacked messages, and a joy-filled attitude that knows without a doubt that God is faithful, true and loves you is the best way to have uninterrupted power.

 

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wool-1142177_640You want to pull it, but you know you shouldn’t. That dangling thread on the seam of your clothes is bugging you. Does that describe your life?

I looked down and saw it. Arghh. Now would everyone see it? Would it snag on things through the day?  A broken strand of thread dangled out of the seam. And I was running late.

Do I pull it? Is it worth the risk unraveling the whole hem?

Tape it? Most likely it wouldn’t hold very long.

Snip it? A temporary fix, but that wouldn’t solve the issue of the broken thread unraveling again. I knew the integrity of the stitch had been compromised. But it might give me time to deal with it later…when I get the chance.

Things in our lives can feel as if they are starting to unravel. What we have carefully hemmed together is starting to tear. What do we do about it?  Do we yank at the problem to get rid of it quickly and take the chance of it all falling apart? If we tug, it might reveal more and more that has become untied.

Do we tape it and hide the issue from others, hoping it will stay beneath the surface. Then go one about our business as if it is fixed?

Or do we snip at it each time it appears, never really investing the time to dealing with it properly?

Do we rush to discard that piece of clothing, put on something else, and toss it in the to-be-meded pile?

Or do we actually stop, take time to tie it, stitch it back, and secure it so it doesn’t happen anymore?

I once heard that a day knotted with prayer at both ends won’t unravel. Paul says it this way:

The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope. I Colossians 1:5 (MSG)

When something snags in our lives, we need to deal with that equilibrist-1831016_640dangling thread lest it unravel us. Hope, bolstered by prayer, is the best way to re-anchor our faith.  We need to allow our Lord to be the needle which can guide the wayward thread and knot it so it doesn’t affect the rest of the hem that is our life.

That may mean stopping what we are doing in order to handle it. It may involve a few pricks of our conscience as His needle deals with the transgression, anger or guilt. Perhaps it will cause us to halt in our tracks and not go further until we are sure it is dealt with properly.

But unless it is resolved correctly, that dangling thread tickling our conscience will bother us over and over until we are forced to deal with it. And by that time, the things hemming our lives might be starting to unravel enough that it shows.

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low-batteryMy tablet gave me a soft beep-beep. A warning came on the screen. Low battery. Time to plug it into the charger. If only our spirits came with such a warning…perhaps they do.

I hate for my phone or my tablet’s battery to get low. What if it dies just when I need it most? So I have made a habit of plugging them in when I get home each night. Usually. I forgot last night, and got the warning signal today. Oops.

Like my tablet, there are signs that indicate when I am running low on faith.  Perhaps I just don’t feel a s forgiving of others today, or as tolerant of their behavior. Personalities rub me wrong, like a towel dried without softener.  Frustration bubbles into my throat and a sense of anxiety nibbles at my psyche. I find my teeth keep clenching.

Faith, like energy, needs to be replenished. It is used all the time, sometimes more days than others if we are honest,  and I think it can run out if it is not continually renewed. Of course we have an initial faith in God, which prompted us to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and that I am sure it never runs completely dry once we have the Holy Spirit alive in us.

Am I as diligent about plugging into God as I am plugging in my phone?

I know there are times, like my tablet or phone, I have felt as if I was running on empty.  Dragging through my emptyday, zombie-like, and not due to lack of sleep, I felt drained of energy.  At times like these, I can almost hear a small beep-beep sounding in my soul. “Come back to the charger. Return to my Word. Fill up on my promises and love. Renew your strength. Pray.”

God taps my shoulder in many ways. If you have been reading this blog a while, or have read my book, Experiencing the Present of His Presence, you know His message can come to me in something I’ve spotted in nature, in a household item, a verse in Scripture, words to a hymn…His ways to communicate with us are endless.  I have learned those taps are like the beeps on my tablet. Time to plug back in to the Source. I need God’s power to fill me up again and fuel my faith. Through prayer and study of Scripture, I need to reconnect to the Almighty.

You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! Psalm 68:35

Prudence dictates I should never let my faith run low, because I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I made need all of the spiritual energy I have inside to make it through that day. But God knows.  As He prompted Joseph in Egypt to store up grain, before the famine hits in the form of an unforeseen tragedy, illness or stressful event, I need to store up my spiritual energy and keep it full, day by day. That comes through reading His Word and prayer.

the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel…   Colossians 1:5

If you are run down, anxious, easily irritated, or short tempered as of late, perhaps the Holy Spirit is prompting you to re-connect to the Word of God. Maybe you need more prayer time to refuel your faith and energize your spiritual life.

After dedicating several hours of God-and-me time to read, reflect and pray in order to to fill you up,  you can stay full if you return to the charger each day. As little as a half hour a day can help to keep that indicator near full.

So go ahead. Plug in.

 

 

 

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Okay- I admit it. My cats are driving me NUTS! But God taught me a vital lesson through them.

12359888_1173304076020731_5338883072486770344_nOne is a gorger. He starved as a stray and the Vet thinks his “no longer hungry” switch permanently turned off.  He will eat and eat until he pops…or hack it up.

The other is a grazer. The runt, he always has been passive and easily bullied out of his portion.  He would prefer I guard his bowl for two hours each meal so he can slurp two or three bites, walk away and return later. In the meantime, gorger hovers close by, licking his chops. If I turn my head, he starts to chomp the grazer’s portion down.

The Vet says to pick up the grazer’s bowl after twenty minutes. The cat is just not getting the message, so he meows and meows for me to give him back his food. It breaks my heart.  The gorger cowers when I raise my voice and tell him no, but is not deterred. We are talking about cats after all… Tough love is,well, tough.

I have prayed for over a year for God to change them. I’d love to put food down and they eat when it is presented so we can all go about our day. I would love to be able to go out of town without burdening a close friend or relative with this cat bowl guard duty. Today, God interrupted my prayer. He told me, “Pray for your attitude to change, and leave the rest to me.”

How often do our prayers concentrate on changing someone else?

Perhaps a spouse who seems distant or a child who is headed down the wrong path. A coworker that grates on our nerves or a friend who has wounded us with their selfishness.  We tearfully wear out our knees in pleas. Our tummies knot. We pray again, and again. It is always on the forefront of our minds and we mull over it like a cow chewing on cud. It is the last thought that whirls in our brains before we sleep. God, aren’t you listening? Do something. The anxiousness builds.

Here is truth: It is our attitude we are in charge of changing, not anyone else’s. Be not anxious about your life…Matthew 6:25.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

We cannot will anyone to change. Yes, we can pray for them and leave our concerns at the foot of the cross, and we should.  But perhaps our Lord is calling us to change our attitude about the situation and to give it to Him in exchange for His peace. I read that stress is not trusting God to be in control. I have been stressing over my furry beasts and I am sure they are picking up on my angst.  My kitties are my joy- when did I forget that? When did they become my pain instead? When was the last time I thanked God for them?

Tonight, I will change my prayer.  Is there one you should change as well?

 

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