What is Prayer and Why Does it Matter?

The Gift of Prayer

Prayer.

Every believer knows the word ‘prayer’. We understand the importance of communication with our Father. But there can be a lot of mystery, doubt, even fear surrounding the act of prayer. We all have many of the same questions and struggles, and Jesus has already given us the answers (just like He always does!). So, let’s look at what it means to pray.

 What is Prayer?

Prayer is simply communication, talking with God. He doesn’t expect fancy words or polished speeches. He doesn’t want memorized words. He wants to hear your heart, and mine, cry out to Him. He desires us to know Him more, and prayer is the open door, the invitation into a deeper, closer relationship.

To understand prayer, it’s important to understand Who we’re talking to. It’s equally important to know He is listening, and He cares. Meaningful prayer requires faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.(Hebrews 11:6)

Prayer is about having a close, personal relationship with God, coming to Him in our excitement, in our pain, with requests, and with thanksgiving…coming to Him with all that we are and trusting Him with the details.

Why Should We Pray?

God doesn’t need us and He doesn’t need to hear our prayers. But He loves us, He desires a relationship with us, and prayer is the communication that keeps us connected.

Prayer is for you and me to grow closer to our Lord, to know Him more, and learn how deeply He loves us. God already knows everything there is to know, about you, me, the world, everything. Nothing is secret from Him and nothing takes Him by surprise. He wants you, and me, to know Him.

Prayer is for you and me to grow closer to our Lord, to know Him more, and learn how deeply He loves us.

Yet, you desire truth and sincerity. Deep down inside me you teach me wisdom. (Psalm 51:6)

When Should We Pray?

The simple answer, always! We should “never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We should “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (Ephesians 6:18a). We should “always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1b).

 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:18)

Prayer is an ongoing, constant dialogue between Creator and created, Father and child, Lord and servant, God and His people. It is a choice to personally remember God in every thought, in every situation and maintain an open, constant, relationship with Him—to put Him first, to seek Him first, and to love Him most.

Where Should We Pray?

If we are to pray always, then we are to pray everywhere. God is everywhere and He is always with us. There is nowhere in creation that we cannot or should not pray. We must pray in private and we must pray everywhere we go—always.

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

Prayer should not be a public display of piety or righteousness. For the greatest reward, His powerful, comforting, overwhelming presence, we must spend time with Him. Just as we would crave time with our best friend, our deepest inner need is time with God. Choose to silence the world for a time and enter into His presence—no expectation other than to meet with Him. He is our greatest reward.

We are called to pray privately, and we are called to “pray without ceasing”, so praying in public is inevitable, and even appropriate, but we must guard our hearts and intentions. We must not pray to be seen praying. If we are seeking the attention of man, then that will be our only reward. But when we pray to God from a sincere heart, our reward is more of Him. Our intentions and attitude matter to God.

How Should We Pray?

Abraham fell on his face before God (Genesis 17:3). Moses spread out his hands in prayer to the LORD. (Exodus 9:29). David cried out for forgiveness, (Psalm 51:1), sat down and prayed (1 Chronicles 17:16), and even danced before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:14). Solomon knelt before God with hands spread toward Heaven.

Jesus often knelt in prayer, often going off to be alone with the Father. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)

The Bible offers many examples of what our physical posture can be. Jesus even gives us the perfect model of prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 when He taught His disciples how to pray.

God does not want religious piety, memorized words, and dead hearts. He wants our heart cry, our passionate plea to Him for whatever it is we need—forgiveness, restoration, refreshing, help, protection…the list of our need is endless. Thankfully, our God is limitless!

Just Pray!The Gift of Prayer

Prayer is one of the many gifts from God. It is a blessing that, when we grab hold of it, it will change us and change our lives.

Don’t miss out on even a single moment of what God has for you. Spend time with Him right now, today. Let Him sing over you, rejoice over you, and change you from the inside out. He will fill you, renew you, and transform you through His love and peace, and not a single moment in His presence will you ever regret.

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm 18:6

The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

 

Do you have a special place to pray?

I would love to hear from you, pray for you, rejoice with you, or just get to know you! Sign up for email, follow me on facebook, and leave me a comment, and I pray God abundantly blesses you as you spend time at His feet.

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(You may find this post at some of these great linkups where you will find more great information. I hope you will go visit some of these other great blogs!)

 

The Fulfillment of our Greatest Need–The Mercy of God

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

We all need mercy, each and every one of us. We are all sinners. Even Paul, the great missionary, confessed to being the worst!

When we lose sight of our own need for mercy, we become less merciful to others. Our pride leads to judgmental attitudes and feelings of superiority, and pride always goes before a fall!

Pride is a sin that gives birth to a host of other sins. Only when we remember how broken, unrighteous, and unholy we are can we begin to grasp the depth of our greatest need–God’s mercy.

Only through Jesus can we be redeemed and cleansed. Only in Jesus can we be forgiven. Jesus is love and mercy.

Once we are forgiven, it’s easy to forget that we didn’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, and it’s all to easy to forget how much we needed it…and still need it every moment!

Today, pause to reflect on God’s mercy. Do you have it? Or, do you need it?

If you have it, be grateful and remember to extend it to others in the full measure it has been given to you.

If you need it, today is the perfect day to run to God and get a brand new, fresh start in forgiveness, mercy, and grace!

Lord, I need Your mercy and am thankful for it. Make me a person who offers mercy to others. No one is deserving, but we all are in need. Help me extend mercy just as You have given it to me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

mercifulmercy

Undivided

Teach me your way, LORD, 
that I may rely on your faithfulness; 
give me an undivided heart, 
that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11) 
 



So many things pulling at my heart,my time, my life– some good, some not, but countless things demand my attention, scream for my focus.

I am called, just as every believer is, to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength—all of it! Not pieces, not half, not most, not what’s left…but all!  Undivided, complete, whole–all for God!

~~*~~
So how do we accomplish everything on our to-do list without becoming divided, distracted, and exhausted?  How do we honor God and bring him glory through dirty dishes, laundry, and “normal” day-to-day responsibilities?
We remember Who we are doing it for!
Actions and tasks are only as important as the One we do them for!  What we do becomes important because of Who we serve!  As followers of Christ, we have the glorious opportunity to do “all things for His glory”! (1 Cor. 10:31).
The mundane and ordinary become extraordinary when we follow God and live for Him!
When we seek Him first, He equips us with strength and perseverance.

God has been incredibly faithful to me and I am learning to rely in Him in every situation. I want my heart to be completely whole, without even a tiny piece divided, but I can’t do this on my own—only in His strength can I learn to love God completely.

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Father, teach me to trust You and rely on You—You are faithful! I admit my heart is divided and distracted. Create in me a pure heart that is whole and teach me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen!



photo credit: Retro Tree via photopin (license)  (edited)

But God!

I can’t do this. But God can!

This is true for absolutely everything we do.  But, the bigger the dream, the loftier the goal, the harder the challenge, the more we realize just how true it is!

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give  you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, NASB). 

 

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This verse does NOT mean He gives us everything we want.  We can’t claim this verse for a new car, or quote it when we want new shoes.  “Well, God wants me to have the desires of my heart and I really want these shoes so He must want me to have them.”  No!  This is twisted and selfish thinking that we all, at one time or another, are guilty of.  God’s main desire for us is not our comfort.  Yes, He loves to bless His children and often does give us material things to enjoy.  But those things are never to replace our desire for Him!

So what do we delight in?  We don’t have to go searching for something to delight in  God gives us desires, dreams, passions.  He gives us what He knows will bring Him the most glory!  He–and He alone–is to be our delight.  And He (and He alone) can place that desire in us.  He gives us the dreams, passions, the longings for Who we are to be, and what we are to do.  He gives us what He knows will bring Him the most glory. And then…He gives us the strength and wisdom to fulfill them!

  I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13).
 

 

God takes our questions and gives us answers

God takes our fears and gives us confidence
God takes our worry and gives us peace
God takes our pain and gives us endurance
God takes our weakness and gives us strength
God takes our hopelessness and gives us hope
God takes our doubts and gives us faith
God takes our death and gives us life!
Yes, I will delight myself in the LORD! 
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God desires to make us like His Son Jesus.  He has never promised to make us comfortable. He has never promised to give us every material possession we could ever want.  But, He has promised to love us, to provide for us, and to never, ever leave us! Delight in Him!

 

 
Thank You Lord for placing hopes, 
dreams and desires in my heart,
and for the opportunity to bring You glory.  
Strengthen and equip me 
to fulfill all that You have called me to do.  
I will delight in You always!  
What desire has God placed in your heart?
Trust Him and He will amaze you with indescribable joy!

Please leave a comment~ I would love to hear from you!

For prayer
If you would like prayer for any reason, it would be my joy and delight to lift you to the Father.


For encouragement
I would love to hear from you and know your thoughts on this post.  I am grateful for your encouragement, and I would love to encourage you in any way I can!

For fellowship
I would just love to “meet” you!

photo credit: heart on the top of tree_retouched via photopin (license)  (edited)

New Focus through Prayerful Perseverance

Prayerful Perseverance…

I attended a homeschool conference this past weekend–speakers, encouragement, and books as far as the eye can see.  College reps, curriculum sales, and Bible studies, all tempting in shiny new packages, all calling out as the perfect solution to our every need, each claiming to be the best.  Most are wonderful, but with limited time and a predetermined budget, I had to be choosy.  Each different booth offered wonderful resources.

But, things can be powerful tools, or they can be powerful distractions–depending on my focus.

One of the speakers, Rachael Carman of Apologia,, discussed the importance of “prayerful perseverance.”  This phrase has stuck with me and is realigning my homeschool direction and our family focus.  In many ways, we have lost focus, become distracted, forgotten the main thing–the goal.

But God in His mercy always offers us grace, a second chance, third chance, unlimited opportunities to fix our eyes and adjust our direction toward Him!

~***~

Prayerful Perseverance…

Prayerful–I will seek God, choosing to spend my time in His presence, putting Him first above the to-do list screaming for my attention.  I will choose to hear His still, small voice until it is all I hear.

Then, I will be amazed at how much more productive I can be when I live in His strength rather than my own! But that is not the goal.  The goal is life-changing fellowship with my Lord.

Prayer is not a quick word in the morning, or a few words before I go to sleep.  Prayer is fellowship, it is communication with our Creator.  It is freeing, equipping, encouraging, uplifting, strengthening…a readily available invitation into His presence.  He is always with us and He is always listening.  He is always speaking too, when we stop and listen.

Perseverance–I will stand strong, steadfast, and faithful to my Lord and do my best to stay on the path He has chosen for me.  I will not look to the left or right; I will not envy someone else’s path.  I will rejoice and enjoy my own, knowing He has already chosen the best way for each one of us…including me!

~***~

So, today, with prayerful perseverance, I face my day with focus–focus on God and His strength, focus on God and His love.  And when I begin to lose focus, I will prayerfully persevere asking God to bring me back to what matters, to re-focus!



I Will…

I will not do this life perfectly, but I will do it with my perfect Savior!

I will become distracted, but I will seek God daily to adjust my priorities and set my gaze on Him.

I will lose focus, but I will seek the Lord and trust His Word.  I will joyfully follow Him back to the path He has chosen for me.

I will be tempted by the next shiny new curriculum, the next, best…(fill in the blank), but I will not stray from the path He has chosen for me.  The grass is NOT always greener on the other side.  “The grass is greener where we water it.”  (I’ve heard this saying before, but I don’t know who to credit with this simple, powerful truth!)

I will wonder if I’m doing the best for my family, am I teaching my kids enough,…am I enough? Well, no, I’m not.  But I serve the One who is, and in Him, I have all I need!

Thank You Jesus that in You, I am enough.  In You, I have the strength to persevere.  In You, I can do all things because You give equip, lead and direct my steps.  Direct and redirect my focus to You.  In all things, in every moment, shift my focus to what matters and help me to prayerfully persevere to always bring You glory.  In Your name, amen!

Linked with: Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Linkup

photo credit: #morningview {a wing and a prayer//longing of the soul} #distance via photopin (license)

Growing Pains

My son spent a few days in the hospital last week. He has rare and potentially serious health risks so his doctors tend to be extremely cautious, and because of his symptoms, he was admitted to the hospital .  Thankfully, it wasn’t serious and he was able to come home yesterday where he is recovering quickly.  We rejoice and praise God!

There is nothing I have experienced in life harder than watching my child, my son, suffer in pain, endure medical tests, procedures, and surgeries, and fight for his life.  He has battled many, many times and we have faced the very real possibility of having to say goodbye.

Thankfully, through prayer and amazing medical miracles, God has brought healing.  He has also brought strength!Enduring through these health scares has deepened my faith exponentially.  It has strengthened my husband’s faith, our family’s faith, even friends have shared how much they have learned to trust God as they have prayed for our son!  We rejoice and praise God!

Throughout every challenge in life, health, financial, emotional, you name it, God is faithful!  He never leaves us, never forsakes us, and never, ever abandons us to face trials on our own.  His powerful, comforting presence is always with us.  But He doesn’t always remove the challenge right away.  And, we must accept that He may not remove it at all.

We’ve heard the saying that sometimes He calms the storm, and sometimes He calms His child.  This is true, and, either way, He wants deeper, stronger faith that can withstand any storm.

My best friend recently shared a tender moment between her and her daughter that has touched my heart and reminded me about the importance of growing spiritually.  She has been experiencing horrible aches and growing pains that keep her awake at night.  One night, recently, she asked her mom…

“Why can’t I just grow peacefully?”  

She understood that the pain was a result of the growing process.  She would be taller, stronger, more mature, but first she had to go through the process.  She had to grow.  She just wished it could be peaceful rather than painful.

But growth it seems is never peaceful.  We earn our character, stature, height, wisdom…our maturity comes from growing, and growing almost always hurts! And just like a child who is getting bigger, we must earn our spiritual growth too.

God wants our faith to be stronger, and our understanding of Him to continually grow deeper.  He desires for us to grow in wisdom and love. But He also knows that to receive the full benefits, to reap the full rewards, we have to endure the growing process.  And, that often means growing pains.

When hardships and trials come or tragedy blindsides us, we may be tempted to cry out in anger and ask God “Why? Why did this happen?  Why did You allow this?”  And in these moments of heartache, in the midst of suffering, and during the struggle, we are faced with a choice.  And it is a huge choice with life-changing consequences–eternal consequences!

 

We Must Choose

 

Option 1~~We can trust God, remembering His faithfulness, reminding ourselves that if He has allowed this pain, then He will use it for good.  We can choose to trust God and allow Him to bring comfort, love and peace through the growing process, understanding and remembering that we will reap the benefits of a more mature, enduring faith, even in the pain and suffering of the moment.

Option 2~~We can get angry, allowing unforgiveness and bitterness to take root and grow.  We can focus on our pain and the situation, only looking inward at ourselves and our own feelings.  We can run from God and unwittingly choose to live in agony.  Our pain will grow, and the hope inside us will begin to die.

And make no mistake, we will make a choice.  And if we are not intentional to choose God and move toward Him, we will slip and slide away from Him–not choosing God is choosing to leave Him! And we will reap the consequences of our choice.

One choice leads to peace, comfort, and unbelievable growth.
The other only leads to more pain.

One choice offers hope.
The other removes all hope.

One choice leads to life.
The other only leads to death.

The choice is completely ours to make.  We must choose wisely and we must be intentional about our choice. God will never force us to Himself, but He will call us and empower us with wisdom…if we ask.  So how do we choose correctly?  How do we ensure that in the hardest moments of our life, our faith will stand?

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Ideally, we will begin to prepare our hearts and minds before tragedy strikes.  Jesus has warned us that we will face trials of every kind, hardships, even persecution.  We need to live aware of the risks, but even more aware of the power of God which is in us.  Choose right now, today, how you want to react to the next struggle.  The trial will come, but Jesus has already overcome!

 

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Prayer is a powerful weapon and essential to living on purpose.  God is fully aware of what He will allow in our lives.  He is also fully prepared to help us, lead us, guide us, and teach us through every situation if we let Him.  Spend time in His presence before, during, and after hardships–in every moment, God’s Spirit is with us and He will use all things for good–let Him!

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Transparency and humility will make all the difference! We must put aside our pride, stop trying to “have it all together”, and we must recognize the sin of relying on our own strength to persevere.

We tend to respect and reward stoic, “I can do this” attitudes, forgetting that it is God who is the true source of strength. We weep in private and smile in public. We fake endurance and decline help when it is offered.  And we are not only robbing ourselves of the true healing strength that God offers, we deprive others the joy of serving God and loving His bride.

 

We must learn to be transparent with our brothers and sisters in the faith. And, we must learn to love others above ourselves. Sometimes we will be in need, and other times, we can offer comfort.  We must learn to do both in joy and humility!

~~*~~

We know we can’t always control our circumstances, but we can decide how we will react to them. And in every moment of life, we have a life or death choice to make.

Will we grow, or will we wither and die?  

 

The Holy Spirit has been given to us, and through Him, God’s love has been poured into our hearts. We have peace in abundance and incredible hope, even in times of trial.  Our sufferings begin a growing process in us that leads to endurance, character, and hope.  In our suffering, we have the opportunity for growth, the chance to develop a mature faith that will never fall or stumble, but will stand triumphantly no matter what storm is raging around us.

 

So can we grow peacefully?  Can we ever say a prayer or do a good work, and poof, instantly be more mature, stronger in our faith and trust?  Well, God can do anything, and in Christ, we can do all things, but, for lasting growth, for true, deep strong maturity, we almost always must go through the process, and endure growing pains.

 

This is how we learn endurance, develop character, and increase in hope.  This is how we become unshakable.  This is how we come to know, without a doubt, no matter what, that God is faithful and loves us.  Always!And this is why we can rejoice in all things–even our suffering! Not because we enjoy suffering, but because we know it will lead to a deeper, more intimate relationship with God!

 

So often, we want immediate healing, instant answers to our prayers, quick results.  But God wants deeper faith, complete trust, and stronger followers.  So today, whatever you are facing, trust God. Ask for healing, pray for miracles, and trust Him that His answer–and His timing are perfect!  And remember, even though the process hurts, there are amazing, unbelievable, eternal rewards when we trust God!
~~*~~
Father, You are faithful.  You are good.  You love me.  Help me trust You completely and rejoice in all things, even in my suffering.  You will grow me, and develop my faith as I learn to overcome and find strength in You.  Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who comforts me, sustains me, and fills me with Your love.  I choose to trust You and let You grow my faith in You until I am unshakable.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!
 
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

 

photo credit: Growing Shrub via photopin (license)

Jesus Peace



Now available in paperback and Kindle!

Come experience the incredible, life-changing peace that only Jesus can give.  This 31-Day Devotional will transform you as you trust in Jesus and find His perfect peace.

In every situation and every season, we can find peace, strength, and rest in the comforting presence of Jesus.

Peace has nothing to do with our circumstances.  It has everything to do with Jesus!

 

Order Jesus Peace~

Resurrection Power

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:19-20)


Easter week is a special time to focus on Christ.  It is an opportunity to reflect on His sacrifice, and remember His pain, suffering, and death.  But even more so, it is a wonderful time to rejoice over His resurrection and His victory over sin and death!  We celebrate Jesus and remember that because of His great sacrifice and resurrection, we are forgiven, we are washed clean, and we are declared righteous—not because of anything we have done or ever could do, but simply as a gift to reunite us with our Creator and make us holy—thank You Jesus!

The Spirit of God, which raised Jesus from the dead, is also alive in His followers.  The “incredible greatness of God’s power”, “the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…”, this power is in us, available for all who believe Him.  I want to understand the incredible greatness of God’s power–this same power that raised Christ and is available to every believer.  I want to live with this power working in me and through me!  

Inside every believer, we have an endless supply of life changing, world changing, death defying power, and yet we so often live in defeat and despair because we allow the Spirit to become dormant and quiet inside us, drowned out by the noise of this world.  The Holy Spirit must be so frustrated with me and with so many other believers as we wallow in silly, changeable things rather than take up our sword of the Spirit, armed with truth and knowledge and faith and fight!  Fight for our mental health, our physical health, our friends and family who are lost and hurting, and a dying world!  It is so much easier and comfortable to live in my tiny world and never look up and out—but God is calling every believer to a world changing, life changing faith and strength in Him and I don’t want to miss it!

So I’m wondering, where is the power to change lives and change the world that we see in the New Testament?  Those believers were simple people, fishermen and women who were scared, normal people until the power of Jesus’ resurrection!  Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Christ from the dead, they changed the world!  And this power is still available to us today.  It hasn’t diminished or changed–our desire and our focus has!  Where is the hunger for God’s word and a desire to be changed by it?  Where is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so great that thousands of lives are changed in a moment and then the revolution spreads throughout the world and changes it?   
The life changing, resurrecting, lift giving power is available but we have to live it and use it!  We can’t just play church and go about our lives in a comfortable fog, ignoring the pain and hopelessness around us—every single person who calls themselves “Christian” MUST begin to actually follow, mimic, look like, sound like, and imitate Christ and be changed from the inside out! 
The Holy Spirit is in us and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us!  He is here and waiting for us to jump in and be part of something amazing and world changing—it is time to stop bickering among ourselves inside beautiful stained glass sanctuaries and pristine fellowship halls that keep the hurting world out.  POWER is found in the Holy Spirit and the world needs Him—needs to see Him in us and needs to feel that love!
God is a God of abundance, but too often I wallow in mediocrity.  God is a God of love, yet too often I sink to irritation and annoyance.  God is a God of peace, yet too often I am in turmoil with worry and fear.  God is a God of forgiveness, yet too often I squirm in guilt and self condemnation.  NO MORE!  My God is bigger and stronger and more powerful than anything this world or the enemy can throw at me, and I refuse to live a moment longer accepting anything less than His unequaled, unending, limitless power reigning in me! 
So this Easter week, as I remember the sacrifice and celebrate the resurrection, my prayer for myself and every other believer is that we would be completely changed and so incredibly full of the Spirit that we simply can’t be stopped!  That we would unite as the Body of Christ, His beautiful bride, and show a hurting, dying world that there is hope, love, healing, forgiveness and an eternal joy that only comes through Christ Jesus! And He is coming back for His bride!

Lord Jesus, help me live with Your power in my life.  May Your love and peace be so evident and strong in me that others see it too.  Empower me and equip me to not only be changed, but to create change around me and may Your Word go forth and thousands upon thousands be transformed by You!  Fill me and transform me Holy Spirit and use me to Your glory!!
Happy Resurrection!

Peace… No Matter What!

Peace

What does it mean to you?  Do you enjoy it or are you currently longing for it?

Often, the answer depends on our understanding of peace. We tend to confuse peace with comfort or the absence of problems.  But this is false peace. It isn’t real and it never lasts.  This world is full of scary situations, loss, grief, and pain–tragedies to deal with and trials to face.

But even in the midst of our pain, our peace can be constant, complete, and unending.

But how?  How do we hold onto peace when life is painful.  How do we keep our joy and security when life is scary and the future is unknown?

Only Jesus!  His Peace is a gift and it changes absolutely everything!

Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, ESV, emphasis mine).  

Jesus has given us His peace and it is not like anything of this world.  His peace guards us, and is so perfect, complete, and unconditional, we can’t even fully understand it! (Philippians 4:7).  His peace does not depend on our behavior, our situation, or our circumstances.  His peace is always available in endless supply and gives us the power to live in security with freedom from all fear and anxiety. 

So how do we accept His gift and hold onto it during times of crisis, while confronted with problems and seemingly impossible situations?  How do face our circumstances with courage, joy and peace in times of trial, pain, or loss?

* Trust  

We must choose to trust God and intentionally “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Our emotions and feelings will mislead us, our thoughts will confuse us, and our hearts will doubt, but we have the power through the Holy Spirit to decide that no matter what, “I will trust God!”

* Prayer

We have the incredible gift of prayer!  We have the opportunity and ability to talk with God, and know that He hears us!  This divine communication should never be taken for granted or ignored.  God tells us to come “boldly before His throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:16, ESV).  And we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:16).   In our pain, in our joy, in our trials, and in our celebrations, we should maintain an open, ongoing dialogue with God, and never stop!

* Fellowship

Our pride can get in the way of an amazing source of comfort and strength that God has given us–His people.  We are to be transparent with each other and love one another, just as Christ loves us. All too often our pride blocks us from the blessing of true fellowship and encouragement.  No one can encourage us if they don’t even know we are discouraged!  As brothers and sisters in the faith, we are to “…encourage one another and build each other up.”  (1 Thess. 5:11).  The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts to bless one another, but it is up to us to use them.  Imagine what would happen if we all stop pretending we have it all together, admit our needs, and truly encourage and love one another as Christ loves us–it would be so beautiful! 

* Faith

  “For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7).  Do we believe God loves us?  Do we believe He is faithful?  Can He handle our problem?  To maintain peace in the trials of life, we must remember we live by faith in God.  The problems, struggles and pain are temporary and we need faith in God to see beyond them, to the bigger, better plan God has for us.  And when our faith falters, we can go to Him in prayer and ask for more.  We can say, “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:20).  And He is faithful.  He will never leave us nor forsake us, (Heb. 13:5).  


Lord, strengthen me to rise above my circumstances, to focus on You, and remember that my peace comes from You.  You know my struggles, my pain, and my trials, and You are with me.  Help me find peace in You, increase my faith, and teach me to love You, trust You, and rely on You completely, in all things.  In the name of Jesus, amen!


Do you need prayer or encouragement?  Leave a comment (even just your name) and I would be delighted to lift you in prayer!