Tag Archives: Acts

Connect – Five Minute Fridays

Connect – Five Minute Fridays

Today’s word for Five Minute Fridays is CONNECT.


I read today from Psalm 145:18:

God’s there, listening for all who pray,
    for all who pray and mean it (The Message).

It is very important that we connect with God. We need that personal connection. We need to both speak and listen. (tweet this)


It hasn’t been easy to do this. The first time I heard about talking to God I didn’t know what to say. That’s when help came in the form of an acronym.



By using these words I can focus on what I am to say. For example:

Adoration: I can use a Psalm to read and then praise the Lord for being who He is.

Confession: I think over my past 24 hours. What changes might I have made if I had been truly in His Spirit.

Thanksgiving: I love this one. Thanking God for things that are happening. Seeing the world around me. Thinking about the food I eat, the clean water I drink, the clean bed I sleep in, the family that loves me. I could go on and on for this one.

Supplication: This is where I think of all those who need God’s help. I say their names. I say the problems and ask for God’s help in whatever they need.

That’s connection.
When I learn to connect with God I find peace and joy in each day. (tweet this)

But there’s more to connection that talking. There is also listening. This took me much longer to do this part and I still struggle with this part of connecting with God.

When I sat still for the first time and tried to listen to God it was difficult. But I persevered for 5 minutes. The next time became easier. But I still have interruptions, thoughts that wander and come in to my thinking that are not of the Lord. So I am working on this.Connect

It’s the first part of L.I.S.T.E.N. – Let God speak – that is the hardest for me. (tweet this)

What about you? How do you connect with God? What part do you have the most trouble with?

Joining Katemotuang.com for Five Minute Fridays – we write for five minutes – no editing.


Find out more about my award winning children’s books at my bookstore. A Growing with God series.




Do Not Be Anxious – Word of God Speak Linkup

Do Not Be Anxious – Word of God Speak Linkup

Today is the second week of prayer scriptures. This week I am looking at my favourite one and the first one I memorized. Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious. That says it all. How can we not worry? How can we not be afraid in this world we are inhabiting? Read on.

do not be anxious

S – Say the passage out loud: Check other versions.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).

Check here for other versions. BibleGateway.

I – Interpretation – Check footnotes, references and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

I memorized this one many years ago. But this week God led me to someone singing it to help us memorize it. Check it out on Youtube. If you haven’t memorized it yet this certainly will help.

Anxiety and prayer are two opposing forces in the Christian experience.

Prayer is the antidote for worry. The best worriers become the best pray-ers. (tweet this)

Peace – an inner peace can be found by letting it all be given to Jesus.

I love this song, I’m Trading my Sorrows. It sings: Prayer is a powerful weapon. Strongholds come tumbling down.

Here are some scriptures to check out:

Matthew 6:25-34 – the Father looks after us
Ephesians 6:18 – Pray in the spirit for all things; keep on praying
1 Timothy 2:1 – make requests for everyone
Isaiah 26:3 – Trust in God and keep at peace
John 14:27 – Jesus left us His peace. Do not let your hearts be troubled
Ephesians 3:19 – Be filled up with God

M- Make a list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

I made this the first scripture to memorize because I was filled with fear and worry. This helped to take away the fear. I kept repeating this passage over and over until it became part of me.

In everything – love those words. It reminds be of the widow woman who gave “everything”. 

It doesn’t say – sometimes, or often, or once in a while, or when I think I need Him.

But in everything I do – always, that means in all ways.

Prayer, Petition and Giving Thanks.

That reminds me of one of the ways we can pray using A.C.T.S.

how to overcome fear

P- Pray for God’s Guidance This is a silent time of prayer, listening to God Speak. When you have finished writing all your thoughts, questions and ideas then take time for prayer.

L- Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (no matter how different from your own thoughts previously).

A few weeks ago I held a contest for a book called Peace for a Lifetime by Lisa Murray. If you are struggling with finding peace in this world this book is for you.

I have always found that taking a deep breath is the first thing I need to do when things are turned upside down. Breathe in deeply. Tell God that You know He is there with you and will remain with you through this trial. God will be there no matter what. He says: I am yours.

Pray for inspiration.

I always wonder how I found this peace that I have now. It is all God. It is all because of Jesus and what He has done for me.

For those struggling, I know it doesn’t seem possible but God can and will pull you through. Let Him wrap you up in His arms. Allow God to give you His love. Allow God to fill you with peace.

In Genesis 2:7 we hear that God breathed life into Adam and he became a living being. Jesus can do the same for us. Let Him breathe life back into you.

Jesus came to save us from worry and fear. Let Him help you. Let Him help you to say: Do not be anxious.

E- Exit with a prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Father, thank You for Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding as Jesus guards and protects our hearts and minds from the cares of this world. Help us to remember that prayer can combat worry. Let us breathe in the Holy Spirit and exhale all strife. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Coming Up

Then starting April 11, I will be joining in with 17 New Testament Books in 17 Weeks. Join me by clicking here. I am excited to see what others are saying on these books as I study each passage using the S.I.M.P.L.E. Method of Bible Study.


do not be anxiousdo not be anxious

Today is the Linkup for Word of God Speak

Please add your links for any posts that are faith-based.

How to Hang On

How to Hang On

by Brenda Wood 


Have you ever been in a hopeless situation?
People pray but God doesn’t respond. 

That’s where Peter was. In Acts 12:1-5, Herod beheaded James and arrested Peter. People prayed but Peter was still in prison.

Just in the nick of time, an angel arrived to ‘save the day.’ This is not as wonderful as it sounds. The angel swatted him awake, and told him to get a move on. (Verse 6-8)

Peter thought it was a dream or a vision. Surely God didn’t answer prayer like this? Did He? (Verse 9)

Peter had trouble convincing others that he was free. (Verse 13-17)

In spite of the miracle of freedom, Peter is still in danger. See how carefully the writer couches the truth in verse 17b. ‘Then he left and went to some other place.’

Prayer isn’t answered where, why, when, or how we think it will be.

Our job is to pray, hang on through the situation, recognise the answers when they come and move forward into obedience.


Lord, remind us to pray fervently and persistently no matter what your answers might be. Amen (From Acts 12:5)


Do you think prayer is answered exactly how we think it should be answered? (Tweet this)

Brenda J. Wood

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
The Pregnant Pause of Grief: the first trimester of widowhood

Read more at:
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker


Sunday Stillness – What is a miracle?

Sunday Stillness – What is a miracle?


This week has been another week of praying the Jabez prayer.

I have been writing at Under the Cover of Prayer for the past two weeks about my struggle to find out where God wants me to put my time.

Am I Spinning my Wheels?

Is God Working Through Me?

I enjoy writing on my blogs but I am getting nothing else done. My painting is sporadic; my writing projects are on hold; I am learning more about Twitter but I feel like an infant just learning to sit up.

God says He will do the big things and I have to be confident and do the little things that He asks. When He is ready He will make the way for me to do His work and enlarge my territory for His glory.

I am looking forward to the enlargement of my territory.

But I am also aware that this could change how I do things. It could change my blogging. I am ready to do as He asks.

I am looking forward to my month sabbatical that starts on April 10th – the day we fly back to Canada. I feel that He will show me things that don’t normally happen. And I think He will do this for 3 reasons:

  1. I am watching where God is going and what He is doing.
  2. I am praying more and more – persistent prayers and circling them (as Mark Batterson from The Circle Maker suggests).
  3. I am reading through the New Testament for Lent and learning lots.

As I read through Acts I saw the miracles that the disciples were able to accomplish. They believed and they watched God at work. Miracles do happen nowadays too. But we need to focus more on God and less on the world in order to see the miracles.


What is a miracle? Join #SundayStillness for great posts about God. (tweet this)

The disciples believed that God could work through them. Can we believe that? (tweet this)


I hope you consider joining me with my new newsletter. My first one went out last week.

Join He Cares for You

To contact me at any time please email Janis.

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Do you have a Scripture that spoke to you this week? Please link below. If you post to Twitter use #sundaystillness and @authorjaniscox.

Feel free to pin the picture. Follow me at AuthorJanisCox on Pinterest.

And join me on Facebook at AuthorJanisCox.

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.


Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community

Still Saturday

 Sharing His Beauty

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Scripture and Snapshot


The Weekend Brew

Your turn:

Add your link below. Don’t forget to copy the specific URL from your post.



How Do I Have a Conversation with God?

by Janis Cox

How do I have a conversation with God?

How do I have a conversation with God?

How do your conversations with God go? Mine have been weird lately. I had that “cluttered mind” that could not seem to focus on anything in particular. I said my routine prayers for my different groups (family, friends, writers’ groups). But something was missing.

I found I needed to go back to the basics. I needed to find some way to keep my mind focused on Him.

Here are three ways I tried in the past week:

1. Three Word Prayers

Margaret Feinberg, in her book Wonderstruck, has a great chapter on prayer. I recalled that she found that 3 word prayers made her focus more on exactly what she was trying to say. For instance, as I had concerns this week over a friend I found myself saying:


  • help, give, peace
  • surround with love
  • bring family near


2.  An Acronym for Prayer – ACTS

This is one of the first planned prayers that I learned. A – Adoration; C -Confession; T- Thanksgiving; S – Supplication (asking).

Here is what I wrote in my journal:

Adoration: Oh Father, I know You are there. I believe in Jesus. I see Your hand everywhere. I feel Your touch. You are so BIG, POWERFUL, CARING AND COMPASSIONATE. I am starting to breathe. Thank you.

Confession: Oh I need to get the bottom of my problem. Obsession – yes I have an obsession with the computer at the moment. I need to find a way to time myself for what I need to do. Keep me organized so I don’t over do the computer time.

Thankfulness: Yes yes I am so thankful. I am thankful for my fingers, my toes, my eyes, my ear, and the rest of my body. I am thankful for my friends and family; for our finances (Your money God); for our home, our food, our every day blessings; for my writing friends (and I named those who mean so much to me).

Supplication: Although I really miss my family and friends in Canada help me to make new ones here. Show me how to do the blogging effectively and how to enjoy life outside of the computer.

Thank you for lifting me up Lord – and I know You will continue to do that.


3. Make a poem to express how you feel.

So I did.

Rise up
Spread your wings
Be filled with the Spirit

All that you do is life
So choose wisely

I seek You
Reveal Yourself to me
Help me see Your wonder
Help me aware of it.

Related articles

Jan Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Jan’s Website.



Forgetting to Pray

by Jan Cox

I talk about prayer; I teach about prayer; and then I forget to pray.

Certainly it is a discipline that we can get better at – isn’t it?

I tell others to remember to pray before they start any job and then I start writing this and forget to pray.

The best communication I have with God happens when I am walking alone or driving by myself. The other day I had a wonderful conversation with God while driving to see my Mom. The peace that came over me as I drove reminded me of His presence.

Thanking Him for gentle breezes, dancing shadows of the leaves, blue skies; thanking Him for clear thoughts, good fingers to type, good eyes to see the screen; these are prayers. – being grateful. Check out Ann’s Gratitude Community.

We have discussed prayer methods, with PATH and ACTS.

Of course we also have the Holy Spirit who teaches us when and what to pray. It is those urgings in our spirits that can prompt us to pray for others.

What I want to talk about today is – Can we talk to Him all the time?

Yesterday we needed to take the boat out of the garage. It is a very tight squeeze – very very tight. My hubby is in the truck – I am the eyes checking that the boat will make it out safely. I yelled … STOP many times. Finally I remembered – PRAY – I did and then inspiration – and out the boat came.

Why couldn’t I pray first – and not when I needed help? When will I get to that point? When can I say a quick – be there through this?

Is it just a case of acknowledging that He is here all the time – is that all I need to know? Can I think, act, and live with Him right inside me?

That certainly would help when I come up against trouble, wouldn’t it? At that moment, in that time period – I would automatically reach out and whisper, “stay with me, and thanks for being here.”

My Gratitude List

    • HP warrantees their printers (quite a story)
    • wonderful women in my Bible study groups
    • a garden roto-tiller
    • a good dinner – fast quick pizza that I didn’t have to prepare
    • white blossoms on our trees – they don’t last long
    • nice technicians at HP
    • my sister’s wonderful sense of humour
    • cottonball blossoms on another tree
    • rain that makes the air fresh
    • hot porridge with blueberries, raisins and bran – my morning purple delight
    • friends praying together


Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.