Tag Archives: prayer

Prayer Journal

Spending time with God through prayer and His Word is a prerequisite for having a great life and fulfilling your purpose. -Joyce Meyer
Prayer Journal
 

I’ve had several requests to share my prayer journal. This is my first year to make a prayer journal like this, but I think I’m going to start this at the beginning of each year.  I’ve had many (oh, so many) journals over the past 20 years, and I’ve had a few in those first few years of my young Christian walk that were more organized like this. I love the idea of making a new prayer journal for each year. I’ve included some photos and links of what I’ve done, and at the end I have included a video I made so you can see it! Have a blessed day!

 

Goals, schedule, routine

What you see when you first open prayer journal.

 

table of contents

Prayer for spousePrayer for Spouse

prayer for sons and daughters

Prayer for son

Prayer for son & daughter

prayer pocket 2

back of pocket

soak

Soak- Bible study method <—Click here to find more details about the SOAK method from Good Morning Girls

God SaysYou Say… God Says..

I am prayersI Am

Here’s the video: My prayer Journal    

If you have a prayer journal or want to start one, I would love to hear about it!

Here’s my board on Pinterest for a lot of great ideas for your prayer journal- Pinterest Prayer Journals

Seeing God in Answered Prayer

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Exodus 17:12- When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

There was a battle going on against the Amalekites. Moses sent Joshua to fight against them while he, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the Hill. Exodus 17:11 says, “ As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” And that’s when verse 12 comes in to play, when Moses’s hands grew tired Aaron held up one and Hur held up the other, and they won the battle.

Yesterday, I could tell that my husband was wearing thin from the countless hours of mowing, weed eating, koi pond work, and his many other jobs. He was short with us and a bit on edge but I didn’t take it personal because I knew he was just exhausted.

As I woke this morning I got down on my knees and I was very specific in my prayers. Lord, please send someone to be like Aaron and Hur to my husband to hold his hands up…please. I specifically asked for someone to help with all of the mowing- that was my prayer.

As the day went on he mentioned that an old friend (not old, but, like, they’ve been friends for a long time) was coming over for lunch. This friend lives in Frisco, Texas and was in town for a business meeting, but his meeting got rescheduled for the next day. I believe God orchestrated this, I really do. And so I didn’t think much of it and went about my day.

And then as I was driving out to pick up my daughter from school, I saw my husband’s friend, Julio… on the lawn mower. I said hi as I drove by and the Holy Spirit quickly reminded me of my prayer earlier today, and I just about lost it.

This friend could have done anything he wanted on this day. He could have hung out by the pool or watched movies all day! It’s his day. And he had NO IDEA how much my husband needed this encouragement.

I saw God in my answered prayer. Word for word what I prayed for and on the exact same day. He sent my husband someone to be Aaron and Hur and lift up not only my husband’s arms, but his spirits. Here’s the post tonight from my husband:

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You just never know, you might be the answer to someone elses prayers. As I end this day I am once again reminded that God not only hears our prayers, but answers them too.

Thank you Lord, and thank you Julio.

Psalms 66:19-20 (NASB) But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer nor His loving-kindness from me.

Back To School Prayer

 

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1 Peter 5:7- Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

Lord, as we send our kids off to school, we say today that we trust You. Ultimately, they are in Your hands. Calm our anxious thoughts; speak peace to our emotions. We surrender them into your care. Protect them and give them peace. Help them to be a friend to others and to make some new friendships. Help them to not feel overwhelmed with so much new information. Give them things throughout the day to bring them joy. Give them favor with their peers and all of their teachers. Help them to not get distracted and to be good listeners. May this be the best year yet- a year of growth, a year of strength, a year of learning to trust You more, and a year of surrendering fears and overcoming much.

We also pray for the teachers today. May you fill their hearts with joy and give them all that they need to start this new year. Instead of seeing a child as disruptive or a troublemaker, may you give them eyes to see each child how you see them, with compassion and grace. We pray that these teachers will feel appreciated, encouraged, and loved. We pray that You, Lord, would help them to connect to each student individually. Give them wisdom for each situation that they might encounter and give them patience.

Give the students and the teachers strength- praying that this truly would be the best year yet! We surrender our schedules, our plans, and our agendas, and say, Lord, have Your way. Help us all, students, teachers, and parents, to work together for one common goal. Help us all to communicate effectively and to have grace for one another, knowing that even though we all have different roles, we are working together to make this a great year.

You are good Lord, and we know that there’s nothing that will happen this year that You can’t handle. You are the One who calms our anxious hearts and gives us exactly what we need when we need it. We look to You to be our helper for this new school year. Every project, every homework assignment, every tough situation, every challenge- You’ve got this and we put our hope and our trust in You, and You alone. In Jesus name, Amen.

He will keep watch over our children and keep them from harm (paraphrased from Psalm 121:7).

The Lord protects and preserves them– they are counted among the blessed in the land– he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. Psalms 41:2

 

 

 

Changed in the Closet

Young caucasian woman praying 

2 Kings 4:33- He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the Lord.

Are you hot or cold? I’ve been following the Lord for 20 years now. It seems like just yesterday I was being water baptized by my dad in a swimming pool, yet it also feels like it’s a million miles away in my memory. And through the years my relationship with the Lord has gone through many seasons and many valleys. I often found myself frustrated that I could be so on fire for the Lord in one season and grow icicles the next. Why do I sometimes feel so fickle in my faith? Is this normal? Do many of us experience a similar struggle and feel shame in admitting it?

It’s like when you’re a teenager and you go to youth camp. You come back with such a fire and fervency for the Lord. You just spent four days hearing message after message, singing song after song, praying and being prayed for. It’s a spiritual high. But then you come back- down from that mountain. And weeks turn into months and you find yourself yet again wandering in the wilderness. What happened? I’ve heard it called the roller coaster of faith. We go up and we go down. Can we ever just stay up? Or perhaps somewhere near the middle? I am going to admit something to you today…

the struggle is real.

I admittedly have my mountain top moments where I feel incredibly close to Jesus. These moments where every time I sing a worship song at church I feel as if I might explode, or where every time I read the scripture I am just in awe. But then there’s the quiet meadows of my faith, where I am wrestling, sometimes struggling. It’s in these meadows that I ask myself, “God, are you still there?” “God, do you still hear my prayers?” “Lord, I need to know you’re with me.” And it’s in the meadows of my faith that I find Him. We need the mountain top experiences just as much as we need the meadows.

Think about a strong marriage. Some of the strongest marriages I’ve admired will tell you this secret- they’ve had to fight for their marriage. It didn’t come easy and it only got harder when they stopped working on it and hit cruise control. These couples have fought, wrestled, and struggled together- but as they worked through their marriage they found a deeper intimacy; a new level of trust. That’s how it is in our walk with the Lord. On the other side of our struggle we find out He really is faithful. As we wrestle with our faith our intimacy in Him grows and we learn to trust Him even more.

My Secret. I could tell you my top five quiet time ideas, I could give you a list of Bible reading plans, or I could even give you a quiet time formula that might work for you. But honestly, there’s one thing, one place that I keep going back to after all of these years. And that is my closet. I know, you were hoping for something a little deeper, right? But my closet is where He reveals the deep things to me. My closet is where I sit in the quiet and in the dark and wrestle with God. When I come out, I’m changed. Literally. But doesn’t God hear us no matter where we pray? Of course. But there’s something about going in and closing the door behind you, where it’s just you and God. A place where there are no distractions and you line yourself up to listen once again to that still small voice.

He continues to draw me in. Through my 20-year journey of walking with God, I have lived in many different places and I’ve had many different prayer spots. And lately, for the first time in a long time, I’ve had the whole house to myself in the mornings. But I keep going back to my closet. He draws me in. Sometimes I read my Bible in there. Sometimes I listen to worship music on my IPhone. Most times I pray and cry out to Him. Sometimes I ask the Lord to speak to my heart and then just sit and wait. I’ve done the ugly cry where I confess that I am just desperate for more of Him and I don’t want to leave until He shows up. The closet is a place of changing more than your clothes. It’s not only a place where my outer man gets changed, but it’s also a place where my inner man is transformed and renewed.

The Secret Place. Matthew 6:6- But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Most of your most intimate moments will be done in secret. We tend to think that the most important parts of our lives are the parts that everyone sees- meetings, church events, social media stuff, sporting events, conferences, public ministry stuff, etc. But truly, the most important stuff happens when it’s just you and God. Everything in our life will flow from that.

Distractions are real. Now just entering your secret place isn’t going to be without a fight in itself. We all struggle with the distractions going on in our thoughts, things going on in our lives, or perhaps even our to-do lists. Sometimes I feel like I’m the queen of distractions! It takes discipline and not being so hard on yourself when you loose focus. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in my prayer closet and my mind starts to wander, and I’m like, “Lord, I am so sorry… where were we?” “Help me to re-focus on you.” Here’s the thing- He already knows us and knows we are easily distracted. He understands us. Isn’t that cool? He gets us. He knows our hearts. He loves us, and even more than we want to spend time with Him, He wants to spend time with us. We are His and He loves us so much! We were created for intimacy with Him.

And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Truly, our reward for seeking Him in that secret place is intimacy with Him. (CLICK TO TWEET) There’s nothing better. That’s the reward for the struggle. He says in His Word that He will reward us. Our secret life is so important to God- He sees everything. Everything. And He loves us so much that it pleases Him to reward us. He knows it takes faith in Him to come to Him. Hebrews 11:6- And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Matthew 6:4 (NLT) Give your gifts in private (secret), and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 

Matthew 6:5 (NLT)- When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.

Matthew 6:18 (NLT)- Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private (secret). And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says this about being rewarded for what we do in secret, “When we take least notice of our good deeds ourselves, God takes most notice of them. He will reward thee; not as a master who gives his servant what he earns, and no more, but as a Father who gives abundantly to his son that serves him.”

So today, I encourage you in your faith. Get away with Him and get changed!

Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not where you want to be in your walk with Him.

We all go through rivers and valleys. If it’s been a while since you’ve snuck away just to talk to God, today is good day. He loves you with an everlasting love. He is waiting with opens arms.

Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #livefreethursday

How to Change Your Spouse

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Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife. Proverbs 21:9 (HCSB)

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Proverbs 21:19

I still remember those early years of marriage. While my husband and I agree, those years weren’t nearly as hard as others’ had warned us about, I still had much to learn about this whole wifey thing. I had a gift right from the start. I was actually a natural at this particular thing. It came so easy for me. I sounded something like this… “drip… drip.” Unfortunately I had mistaken the fine art of communication for the gift to nag. Whenever my husband would come up short, I mastered the art of huffing and puffing and, well, nagging about what he was or wasn’t doing and all the ways he was frustrating me. Crazy confession- I didn’t even realize I was doing it. As I look back at those years, I realize I wasted so much time and energy and emotion complaining to him about all the ways I wished he would do things differently. In my young, Christian head I thought I was the one who was in the right (self-righteousness anyone?!). But for some reason unbeknownst to me, all my complaining wasn’t changing him! huh.

Through the years and at times, tears, I have learned a powerful lesson. Guess who knows my husband even more than I do? That’s right, God. He formed him, He made Him in his mother’s womb, and He knows him inside and out. And guess who’s the only one that can make someone have a lasting heart change? That’s right- God. Sometimes we let stuff build and fester and then just like in that movie ‘Mean Girls’, we have word vomit. And once we get it out, there’s just no taking it back. And ladies, you might think that if you just get on to him enough, then he’ll get the point and somehow, dramatically change. And he might. But if God doesn’t convict and mold and shape the heart, it’s not going to stick. It will just be temporary. We must learn to take our frustrations and disappointments to God. Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  I have learned to take my stuff to God first! Sometimes, through prayer, I realize it’s not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be and other times God just gives me peace, reminding me that He’s in control.

I read an article recently that got me thinking about my role as a wife. Some of you may have heard about this a few weeks ago. It was an apology letter from Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church. I’m not going to go into my opinion on that whole controversy, there are plenty of blogs that are already doing that. Something jumped out at me as I was reading the letter. (Mark Driscoll’s apology letter).  Here’s the part about his discussion with his wife:

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Guess what? God heard her prayers and began working on him. If she had nagged about his schedule and the lack of time he spent with the family, because he’s a good guy, he might have made some changes to say ‘no’ more often to some events and try to spend more time with his family to please his wife. But we all know that when we change to appease someone else, it’s often short lived. It lasts maybe a few weeks and we get back into our same routines and habits as before. And the cycle continues.

 But when we pray…

When we pray and God starts to work, that is when heart change starts to happen. As we read in his letter, Mark’s wife didn’t want to discourage him, so when he came to her and began to share what God was doing, that’s when the tears of joy started. God answered her prayers.

We need to pray to God about the deep things in our heart and ask Him to bring about the right time to talk with our spouse about those things. And then we talk. But when we talk, let’s not attack because no one responds well when they feel like they’re being attacked. But share openly about those things close to our heart (after we’ve prayed about them). And then, we go back into our prayer closets and pray for Gods will to be done in our marriage. I have seen this happen over and over. And here’s the cool thing- while God is working on our spouse, guess what? He’s also changing us.

So let’s commit to lower the drip so our spouse doesn’t have to move to the roof or the desert.  Lets pray for a release of His Spirit in our marriage and in our lives. We’ve tried doing this thing on our own, and we all know that doesn’t work. How about releasing it to the inventor of marriage Himself?  His ways are always higher than our ways.

Lord, we come to you today and ask that our marriage would be all that you’ve called it to be. Forgive us for trying to take matters into our own hands. We surrender and ask that your will would be done. We ask for wisdom. And as we lift up our requests to you, we pray that you would not only touch our spouse, but that you would change us in the process. Help us to be quick to forgive and to be an encourager to our spouse. And Lord, remind us today that our spouse is never our enemy but that there is an enemy that would love nothing more than to divide and conquer. Protect and bless our marriage. Amen.

1 John 5:14-15- And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

The Gift Of Prayer

She was a young mother. It was in the early 60’s. She was by all means a hippie. Experimented with drugs. Went to Greatful Dead concerts and had the peace symbol around her neck. She already had a two year old son and divorce for her was right around the corner. Her husband was in the army. Now, when she and her husband met, they were very young. Both came from two broken worlds and together tried to make a whole. He was young, built, and serving his country. She was young, slender, long straight hair- and beautiful. They were both passionate and wild. Sometimes toxic. Their lives broken and shattered, were not fit to raise a family.
Then, change began to takes it place in him. He was serving in the army and a chaplain befriended him. The chaplain knew his life was spiraling out of control. He was in need of some good news. The chaplain told him about his Jesus. The man shortly after received his Jesus as his own. And forever changed the course of his life.
Now, the young woman had a decision to make. Her young groom was now different. His heart had changed. Would she follow his Jesus and accept Him as her own? Or would she choose the path that is-although painful- comfortable? There is one more twist in this story. She is now with child. She is by all means at a crucial fork in the road. Will she seek to make a better life for her young son and this unborn child or will she continue in her path of destruction?
She made a decision. One that was filled with heartache and grief. One that I  wonder if she ever regretted. She chose what she knew and it resulted in all that she had ever known. Pain. She couldn’t live with her young soldier and the choice he had made. She wasn’t ready to follow this Jesus. And in her own way- felt he had betrayed her. After all, when they met, they were young and in love and wild- together. She had not changed. But he had. Don’t get me wrong. He was still passionate. Just passionate about other things. He still loved his young bride, but knew he had to choose Jesus. He knew his life was broken and in need of a Savior- but couldn’t seem to reach deep enough to pull her out of her own drowning sea. Jesus could have pulled her out, but she never could quite reach her own hand out to ask for His help.
The young mother made her own path in life. She tried the best she knew how to mend her own broken world and to heal her shattered life. She raised her two children the best that she knew how to. Each of them struggled in their own way, seeking their own personal refuge from a life of pain and confusion.
I would have to tell you that I am thankful for the decision that the young soldier made on that day when he asked Jesus into his heart. You see, that young soldier, although not quite as young anymore, made a  choice that will forever impact my life. He chose Jesus. And he prayed for those two young children. The second of which is me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God heard his prayers for me and was faithful to answer them. I like my mother, was choosing a life that took me into many dark alleys. But no matter where I turned, there continued to be a light. I am thankful for the gift of prayer that my father gave to me. He and his new family prayed for both my brother and I. And I know that God had a plan for that baby girl. Here I am, thirty five years later. And when I was in my mothers womb, God had already predestined a life and a future for me.

Psalm 139:13-16 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mothers womb 14- I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15- my frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth 16- Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me where written in your book before one of them came to be.

This year, why not give someone the gift of prayer.
You just might be interceding on behalf of Heaven.

And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.

Matthew 21:22