The New Year brings on the urge to make resolutions and set goals for ourselves and for our family. We say good-bye to the past and look forward to the future. We reflect on what has gone well the previous year and areas where change is required. Fresh beginnings are welcomed and embraced. One great place to start this process is in prayer. The fervent prayer of a mom does wonders! Here are my Mom Prayers For The New Year.
I was feeling quite accomplished! I was on a roll! I just checked another thing off of my list – that list tends to get pretty long, doesn’t it? However, my satisfaction was incredibly short-lived. That happens sometimes when I think I’ve mastered something and then God says, ‘uhh…nope!’. And He was saying that to me in that moment. I was convicted. I had turned my prayer time into something that had to be checked off of my list. I never meant for it to be that way. It just kind of happened. I am so thankful that God, in His infinite mercy and grace, sent His Holy Spirit to lovingly convict me and bring me back to His arms. I want to share with you about When Our Prayers Are Meaningless and what to do about it.
Making My List, Praying It Twice…
Do you keep a list of people and situations you pray about? I do. I love using my prayer journal.
It is good to have requests documented and written down. Having a list keeps me focused on prayer. But I have found that my lists can hinder my prayers. I used to become bound to my prayer list. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that I had forgotten which room my prayer journal was in and I thought, “Oh, I can’t pray because I do not have my journal!” Thankfully, I took hold of that thought and put it under the authority of Christ. I did not need my journal to pray!
What happens when prayer becomes a list of things to check off instead of fellowship time with our Father God?
We read through our list, checking off each item just as we do when we go to the grocery store. As soon as we cross off the last item, we check out in the express lane.
Let’s look at this another way.
What would happen to our relationships if the only time we spoke with our children or husband was when we had things to check off of a list? What would happen to our marriages if we methodically went through our special list of items to mention and when we were done, we carried on with our day without another word to each other? Our marriages wouldn’t be very healthy, would they?
And our children? What would happen if the only time we talked to them was first thing in the morning, with our trusty list in hand? Well, it wouldn’t take long before the rapport with our kids fades away.
If this kind of communication is not good for our family interactions, why would it be good for our walk with God?
Our relationship with God will begin to waste away if the extent of our interaction with Him is a prayer list.
Prayer Au Naturel
Quality conversation is a natural result of interacting with someone you love. It is about purposefully seeking out the other person to connect with them. 1 Chronicles says we are to seek His face continually.
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
Can you imagine how our relationship with God would change if we went beyond our prayer list and sought His face often throughout the day? If we made sure our prayers did not become rote and meaningless? If we understood that sincerity was what mattered with our prayers instead of checklists, posture, time, star alignment or whatever else we conjure up?
How Not To Pray…
Isaiah gives us an idea of how our prayers should not be. We can give Him lip service through our prayers but our hearts are far from Him.
Oh, friends, may our hearts never be far from our Saviour. May our communion with our Heavenly Father never be based upon human rules or checklists. May we never have any part in simple lip service to our King. May we continuously seek His face and have our hearts woven into His.
Can this be our prayer today and every day? Are you ready to pray this with me? Believe me when I say that this is a prayer He will never ignore.
Back On Track
Maybe your prayer life turned into lip service already. Perhaps you have lost your passionate heart of prayer. Like many of us, you may have found your prayer has been reduced to a list of things to check off every day. If so, ask God to revive your prayer life. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you pray.
If any of this is true for you, please do not condemn yourself. Seriously, I am confident it has happened to all of us at least once…many of us several times! Simply ask God to revive your prayer life and invite the Holy Spirit to help you pray.
A simple way to get back to a heart of prayer can be posting small notes of His attributes throughout your home, car, workplace, etc. When you see them, thank Him for being that particular character. Meditate on the truth of that attribute and be specific on how He has shown that attribute in your life. I have made a printable of 8 attributes of God that I will be including in my “Meeting With The King” ebook and printable packet.
My Meeting With The King: The Ultimate Guide For Prayer is now available! The price is $16! Get yours now! PS – subscribers get this resource for FREE. Sign-up for my newsletter below to get yours!
Grateful For Grace
I think about that moment I thought I needed my journal in order to pray. I contemplate how silly it sounds now. After all of these years, I should know better, shouldn’t I? However, this struggle is a very normal part of the Christian walk.
Through the experience, I also saw the wonder of our Father in His correction. How He welcomed me into His presence once again. Isn’t that what a loving Father does? Show you where you’ve gone wrong and then allows you to come running into His comforting and safe embrace.
My prayers had turned meaningless and just as I didn’t want that, neither did He. He doesn’t want my time with Him to be meaningless and void. He LOVES to be in a relationship with us. He LOVES to spend time with us. He LOVES to talk with us. This is truth, dear sister. Remember this when you question your prayer life.
May your heart never be far from His.
What has helped you in preventing lip service to God? What do you do that continues to ignite the passion for prayer in your life?
The tears flowed freely. I replayed the awful encounter over in my mind, disbelief filling my heart. I couldn’t believe the words she had spoken to me, the things she had said, the accusations…and then the worst of it all…the realization that the last 8 years had not mattered to her. How could she say such things? To me? After everything? I was at a loss. I had no idea what to do next. The grief swallowed my soul and my heart was shattered. All I had to offer in the form of crying out to God was my tears. Have you been there? Yes, I bet you know exactly what I am talking about. Sometimes, our prayers are just that. Tears. That’s all. Nothing more. And we wonder if this is true prayer. I want to share some truth with you for When You Prayers Are Tears.
**I was live on Facebook talking about this post. The recording is at the bottom.**
This particular topic in prayer is one that has always had a very tender spot in my heart. I’m talking about the prayers that can only be expressed with tears. Do you know what I’m talking about? Like those awful times when the pain of brokenness is so great, that the only way to articulate my prayers is through tears of sorrow and grief. Read More
I was sure she could hear my beating heart – it was so loud with fear! I was feeling somewhat anxious about the idea of praying with my dear friend. She had prayed over me in the past and her prayers were always so eloquent and Spirit-filled. I believed that my prayers weren’t nearly as eloquent and I was concerned about how I would sound to her. Despite my feeling of anxiety and doubt, I chose obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit and I asked her if she wanted me to pray with her. See, I am learning to be obedient to the persisting of the Holy Spirit instead of listening to lies! It isn’t easy, especially at first, but it is so worth it! Here is the truth I discovered for when My Prayers Don’t Sound Good.
**I was live TODAY to chat about this post! See bottom of this post for the video!**
Have you ever felt like your prayers were ‘less than’ because you don’t use the wonderful Christian words? Or maybe you stumble over your words…unsure of what to say during prayer. Perhaps you play the words over and over in your mind of the prayer you said at Bible study that morning…wishing you hadn’t sounded so stupid. Yeah, I get it. I’ve been there before, too. And I have learned a few things that I want to share with you to encourage your heart.
The Truth Of His Word
After praying with my friend, I reflected on the experience and scripture verses about prayer came to mind. I am so thankful for the truth of God’s word. It is my Sword, right? It is my only offensive weapon since the other components of our armor are defensive weapons – see my Warrior Princess series OR sign-up for my newsletter and get the PDF version of the series with extras.
The word of God is the best way to combat our enemy, therefore, praying God’s word is absolutely powerful! Imagine what could happen if God’s people started praying His word over their lives and the lives of others!? The results would be incredible…miraculous!
But even just knowing the truth of His word is so good – we need to KNOW His truth when we are fed lies – either lies directly from our enemy or lies from other people…or even lies from ourselves. I was starting to believe the lie that my prayers didn’t sound good enough to pray with my friend, that they weren’t good enough for God.
The Kind Of Prayers That God Hears
So, do our prayers need to be articulate and well-expressed? Does God hear only those kinds of prayers? Let’s go directly to God’s word for the answer to this question.
James 5:15 & 16 says that our prayers are to be said in faith (mustard seed faith!) and the person praying will be effective through righteousness. I like this definition of righteous “used of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in the heart or life”.
James 4:3 talks about having the wrong motive for our petitions – so our motives must be good and right.
Philippians 4:6 advises us to pray with thankfulness. What can you be thankful for? There is so much to be thankful for, isn’t there?
Romans 8:26 says that when we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit will intercede for us. I am sure that any of our words won’t come even close in eloquence to the Holy Spirit’s! Isn’t that a relief? So – let’s not get so caught up in the ‘proper’ Christian words and just let the Holy Spirit intercede and guide our prayers!
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 says that we need to humble ourselves and pray, we must turn from our sin and pray. He promises that He will see and hear us when we are humble and have turned from our sin.
In Psalm 17:1, David says his prayer is not from deceitful lips. We need to be honest in our prayers – God knows the truth anyway.
So far, there is nothing about saying the ‘right’ words in our prayers – yes, our words do matter, but not in the sense of having the perfect Christian words to say.
In fact, Scripture acknowledges the fact that at times we won’t even know what to pray, we won’t have the words and that is when the Holy Spirit petitions God on our behalf – actually, I wonder if He intercedes for us every time we pray! I am thinking that our most eloquent words don’t impress God anyway. To think that human words would make God move faster, that He would be amazed and astounded by our mere words.
I would hope that the Holy Spirit petitions the Father on my behalf every time I pray.
What Does Matter In Prayer?
What moves God is when our hearts are in the right place, we have to be humble. Broken and contrite spirits are the sacrifices that please God (Psalm 51). Being humble before God means to bow before Him, fear Him, submit to His authority.
Part of being humble is acknowledging sin in your life and dealing with it. That isn’t easy, is it? We don’t like to deal with sin. But if we want Him to hear us, then Dealing with sin requires us to be humble, and being humble requires us to deal with sin. But I can honestly say that when that sin is dealt with and you are doing something to change it, there is freedom in your life and more freedom in your prayer life.
We need to have a heart of thankfulness and gratitude. Just the fact that we can talk to God, the Creator of the entire universe is reason enough to be thankful. The song below explains exactly why we ought to be thankful. If that is the only reason, it is reason enough.
So, Just Pray, Friend
I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to pray with my friend. I would have missed out on such a blessing if I had quenched the prompting of the Holy Spirit’s leading to pray with her. And, believe me, she was not concerned about what my prayer sounded like. She was so thankful and appreciative that I had taken the time right then and there to pray over her.
Our enemy would love for us to believe that our prayers are not good enough for the Father – if he can get us to believe his lie, then we just might not pray, or our prayer life will slowly dwindle and die. God just wants us to talk to Him like we talk to a close friend.
To help you remember the truth about our words and praying, I made a set of printable bookmarks. They are included in my prayer packet. To help you in your prayer journey, I put together a gorgeous prayer pack which includes these bookmarks – which were INCREDIBLY popular before I put them in my packet – over 200 downloads in one month!
So, just pray, friend.
My Meeting With The King: The Ultimate Guide For Prayer is now available! PS – subscribers get this resource FREE. Sign-up for my newsletter here for your copy!
I was struggling…again…doubting God. Why was He just sitting idly by, watching me suffer? Does He even hear my prayers? Does He not see me slipping further into that pit of despair? Will He not reach down to grab hold of me before I slither so far down that He can’t see me anymore? Does He not see me trying to claw my way back up? Trying to survive? Maybe He doesn’t even care? He did before…I know He did. He has rescued me many times before. Perhaps this was one time too many for me, though. Was He tired of saving me? I keep looking for His hand, for His saving grace…just like the times before. But there is nothing…at least not where I am searching. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever struggled with this doubt? Have you ever looked for God to save you again…in the very same way He did before? Yes? I am so glad I wasn’t the only one! And do I have some truth to share with you for When God Doesn’t Answer The Same Way Twice.
**I was on Facebook live talking about this post. See below for the recording! I got a bit emotional**
Where Are You?
The year was 2008. I was struggling with some things in life and I was wondering why God wasn’t rescuing me again just like the previous time. I kept calling out to Him, begging Him to come, and yet I felt so distant and unheard. Words cannot describe what it felt like to live in such a dark, oppressive pit. I think about it now and I wonder how I could’ve survived but by the grace of God.
I didn’t see it then, though. But as I stare down into that pit…I see that it would’ve been impossible to survive such a place without God.
I remember hunting for answers to my doubts…it seemed like a fruitless pursuit when my hands would come up empty. It seemed like I was alone in my uncertainty.
You see, it wasn’t that I didn’t believe that God couldn’t save me. I just didn’t believe He wanted to.
I didn’t believe Him.
Family Movie Night
I love movies. Good movies. Movies that stir the soul.
Those kinds of movies are so hard to come by these days!
I was looking forward to watching “Prince Caspian” since I had enjoyed the first one so much.
We get to the theater, order our snacks and find the perfect seats. I am sitting in my seat, munching on popcorn and sipping my pop, completely enthralled with the movie.
Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart through a movie? It doesn’t happen all that often to me…but this turned out to be one of those times.
Lucy goes to find Aslan just as the battle between the Narnians and the Telmarines ensues. He has not appeared to the children yet, however, they have been waiting for Him to come. Finally, Lucy decides that she must go find Him herself. She must seek Him out instead of waiting for Him to come to her. The others have even doubted that Aslan was in Narnia.
But not Lucy. She never doubts Aslan. Never.
She is on horseback and she is riding as fast as she can. The enemy is after her and she is almost overtaken when suddenly Aslan appears to save her.
She is so happy to see Him. However, she was struggling with the same question I had been struggling with for so long.
Where has He been? Why didn’t He come?
Why Didn’t You Come?
She asks Aslan, “Why won’t you show yourself? Why didn’t you jump in and save us, like last time?”
Aslan replies, “Things never happen the same way twice, dear one.”
WOW!! I was glued to this scene! I was right there, in that forest with Lucy and Aslan.
Things never happen the same way twice.
In that moment, tears falling down my cheeks, I realized that God was rescuing me, just in a different way. It all looks different, but He is rescuing me again all the same. I then understood in a more profound way the promise God gave to me in the preceding months that is found in Isaiah.
Doubting Our Choices
The scene continues with Lucy uncertain of the choices she has made. She is referring to the attack on the Talmarine castle earlier on in the movie where the Narnians failed and many had died.
She asks Aslan, “If I’d have come earlier (to see Him), would everyone who died… could I have stopped that?”
How often have you doubted your choices? How often have you wondered if life would’ve turned out ‘better’ if you had made a different decision? What if I had done something differently? Would I have been in the same frame of mind? Would I be struggling with being depressed? So many questions…and Aslan’s reply brought comfort to my heart.
“We can never know what would have happened, Lucy. But what will happen is another matter entirely.”
While I believe God is All-knowing and He knows the outcome of every possible decision we make, WE don’t know and it is not for us to know what might have been. But, the choices we make from now on are something entirely different! Another chance to make good choices and to follow the guiding of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the point here is to not keep focusing on the past, but look forward to what is new.
He is going to do a new thing!
Help Is On Its Way – With Help
The conversation between the two continues with Lucy asking Aslan, “You mean you’ll help?”
She is full of hope, she longs for Him to bring victory. He is so powerful and valiant – He is magnificent. Scripture says that the Lion is majestic on pace, stately in walk and mighty among beasts. The Lion does not turn away from any, He retreats before nothing! Our Savior will help us. Believe it. Know it. He will never back down.
This is our King Jesus, Lion of the Tribe of Judah! He retreats before nothing!
A Stirring Response
Aslan responds to Lucy’s question. His reply stirs her heart. “Of course. As will you.”
“Of course. As will you.”
Lucy doubts her courage, “Oh, I wish I was braver.”
Aslan’s reassurance made my heart feel so much courage! I felt like I was being prepared for battle! And I was going to have victory! But along with courage, comes doubt. And I had work to do. He wasn’t going to allow me to just sit by while He obliterated the enemy. He could of course, in fact, He already did. But what good would that do me? This is Aslan’s response:
“If you were any braver, you’d be a lioness.”
Don’t you just love that? That line just gets me every time. We are so much braver than we think we are. We have the courage of the Lord. What kind of courage could be better? Dear sister, if you were any braver, you’d be a lioness! Never forget that!
The very short scene ends with Aslan’s incredible, fierce roar. So much spiritual truth packed into less than a minute of film. My heart was satisfied. I knew everything would be ok. And He is faithful in His promises – even the ones He speaks through a children’s movie.
Our God is not predictable, just as Mr. Tumnus describes Aslan at the end of the first movie – He is not a tame lion, but He is safe. Our God can be trusted with our entire life. We can believe Him, believe that he answers our prayers, answers our cries for help – not always in the way we expect Him to, not always in the exact same way He did before. But He is faithful to save.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? Has God ever used a movie or a book to speak His truth to you? Have you ever had a response from God that was both terrifying, yet heart-stirring? Like you were frightened to take that step, but you knew that if you didn’t, you’d regret it for the rest of your life? And this response brought life into your soul? Like an awakening…
I included the movie clip for you to enjoy.
My Meeting With The King: The Ultimate Guide For Prayer is now available! PS – subscribers get theirs for FREE. Sign-up for my newsletter below for your copy!
The plan wasn’t working out as we’d hoped. Our dreams came crashing down…again. I had a choice. I could wallow in the disappointment…or I could help my husband pick up the pieces and move on to Plan B (or plan W since there have probably been that many!). I was even more bothered by the other person who would be impacted by the business plans that fell through. She wasn’t handling the disappointment well at all and she was even becoming angry with me for not being as crushed as she was. She went as far as wondering if I hadn’t prayed hard enough for the plan to be fruitful. Really? Thankfully, I had a lot more wisdom at that point than she did. Have you ever wondered why God answers some prayers but not others? Maybe you are looking for some much-needed truth for When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers.
**Facebook LIVE video is at the end of this post! Don’t miss it!**
Have you been disappointed that God hasn’t answered prayers exactly how we pray them? Did you believe that it’s because your prayers weren’t good enough? Or that you used the ‘wrong’ words? Maybe you didn’t pray long enough? Or ask enough times? Or, **GASP**, you did not have enough faith?! Has anyone ever said those allegations to you when a prayer hasn’t been answered? You hope that none of them are true, but a part of you wonders if they are. Maybe if you had had just a pinch more faith, He would have answered. Maybe if you had prayed just 5 more minutes, he would have listened. Well, sweet sister, I have some truth for you today.
Those questions above give the assumption that you have the power to control what God does or doesn’t do. Sure, scripture says that our prayers can be hindered when we are carrying on with sin and when our hearts aren’t right with God. But, I believe a lot of the time, there is something else going on when we feel like our prayers are not being answered. Read More
I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was a hard day. A day that I had to be strong for my husband. A day that I could not bend to my fear or emotions. A day that I had to remain level-headed and reasonable. Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever had a day like that before…it is always him that is my rock, my strength – my voice of reason. But this was not one of those days. I couldn’t fix the problem, but I could pray for him right then and there because that is what he needed from me. I offered him my support through encouraging words, words that built him up as a man and through the strength of my prayers when he couldn’t pray. This was my job and if that isn’t enough, then here are 7 Reasons Why You Should Pray For Your Husband.
Don’t miss the Facebook Live video I did with my hubby!!! He answers some questions about prayer!
It Is A Privilege And An Honor
Praying for my husband is such a privilege and an honor. I don’t think there is anyone else on this earth who can pray for my husband like I can. I know his heart, his fears, his worries…his joy. I am his best friend. I know him like no one else. And I can storm the gates of heaven on his behalf. Read More
Father’s Day is quickly approaching…but what do you get the guy who has everything he wants. I just bought a selfie stick…so, my hubby is happy 😛 . There is, of course, his favorite snacks to munch on while relaxing on the patio in the afternoon. He’d be pretty happy with just that. But I’d like to take it a bit further this year. I’d like to have something that will have an impact in the eternal. So, I made these prayer cards for my kids to use during their prayer time over their daddy. Isn’t that really the best gift ever? Having your kids pray for their daddy on a daily basis? You have now found The Best Father’s Day Gift!
I want to kick off my new prayer series with this post about having the kids pray for daddy. Next week, I’ll share some ways that you, as a wife, can pray for your hubby. If you aren’t married yet, you can certainly still pray over your man – even if he isn’t in your life yet!
Why would you want your kids to pray for their daddy? Well… Read More
I casually flipped through the local paper on Sunday morning before church. I got to the beginning of the classified section – which always begins with the obituaries. I saw the photo of a young man and my heart froze. I started to read what was written in his obituary and my heart was broken and deeply grieved. I glanced back at his picture, thinking how handsome he was, closed the paper and finished getting ready for church. My thoughts kept drifting back to this boy, “He was only 15. One year older than my daughter. How could such a thing happen?” I knew that my heart would be heavy about the circumstances for some time. I knew that I would be burden bearing for this family. I needed to remember what I had to do in order to deal with this in a healthy manner. Here are my 6 Critical Tips For Healthy Burden Bearing.
What Is A Burden Bearer And Am I One?
Before we get into those 6 tips, maybe we should go through what a burden bearer is. You may not have even heard the term before.
Ever since I was little, I was shamed for being sensitive…or ‘over-sensitive’. I would cry easily, I would feel grief deeply within my soul. I would hear things like “You need to toughen up” or “You need thicker skin”. A parent should never say these words to a sensitive child. There was a reason why God created me to be so sensitive.
A sensitive person is more likely to be extraordinarily sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Read More
Do you struggle in your prayer life? Do you find it difficult to force yourself to have time set aside for prayer? And then feel guilt and condemnation when your head hits the pillow and you realize you didn’t say your daily prayer? Or weekly prayer…again? I don’t think there is a Christian out there who can honestly say they have never struggled in their prayer life. How many of us can say that at some point (many points for me) and in varying seasons of life, we have struggled with prayer? I have developed a prayer journal for myself and I’d like to share with you How To Create A Simple Prayer Journal.
Keep It Simple…Silly
I think this is one main key to finding success in prayer life. Instead of a bunch of rules and pages to flip through, a simple method will help to encourage us to continue on with prayer. I’ve seen binders with about 15 different tabs – more than enough to overwhelm me! If it works for that person then that’s terrific…but it won’t work for me.
**Don’t miss the Facebook Live video showing my journal – it’s at the end of this post!!**
I also want to have some creativity with my journal. A neatly lined up and ‘organized’ prayer journal isn’t what I was wanting. I wanted some freedom in how I added requests and praise items. I have enjoyed gluing little papers and cardstock into my binder and writing requests on those. Read More