Tag Archives: busy

When Do I Pray?

When Do I Pray?

by Stephanie Nickel

 English: Oil painting, "Praying Hands&quo...

There is always so much to do:

      • Get up – often before we want to.
      • Get ready for work.
      • Drive to work . . . or plop down in our home office.
      • Perhaps, pop by the gym on the way to work (or on the way home).
      • Accomplish what is laid out for that particular day – or, at least, do the best we can.
      • Pop onto our social networks from time to time. (Certainly not everyone can or does do this during the day, but it is increasingly common.)
      • Drive home . . . or close the door of our home office.
      • Prepare supper, eat, and clean-up.
      • Prepare for the following day.
      • Snatch a few minutes for ourselves.
      • Get up and start again.
      • Head to bed.

Of course, your day may look different. Perhaps you’re a student with classes, exams, and projects or, like I was, you are a stay-at-home mom and your work entails caring for your precious sons and daughters. You may not leave home, but you understand busy.

Some of you are even disciplined enough to include daily devotions in your routine. Kudos!

No matter what your day looks like, I encourage you to add two specific times of prayer, if you haven’t already done so.

When you awaken, commit your day to the Lord.

Offer every aspect of it to Him. Ask Him to have His way in and through you. Pray for those people you will encounter, particularly those you find difficult. Take a deep breath – and thank Him that you can do just that. Deliberately, give thanks and you will find your attitude will be immediately more positive. You are now ready to get up – hopefully.

Of course, you can offer up prayers throughout the day – and it’s a wonderful way to deal with each and every situation and individual you encounter, but that’s a topic for another time.

The second time of prayer I want to mention is as you lie in bed at night.

(I admire those who still take the time to kneel beside their bed before crawling under the covers.) It’s OK if you fall asleep while praising and thanking Him and taking your needs and the needs of others before the Lord. Prayer is also a much better alternative to tossing and turning when you are having trouble falling asleep. (This never used to be a problem for me, but I find I am restless a lot more these days.)

Beginning and ending each day with prayer is not a magic pill. It doesn’t ensure that everything will go our way or that our attitude will always be as it should be.

Beginning and ending each day with prayer enables us
to focus on the Lord.
(tweetable)

Since we are to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), this is an effective way to do so. It reminds us we are not alone. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). It reminds us there are things beyond our control – and that’s all right. Our sovereign God will not be surprised by anything that comes our way – and He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

Begin and end your day with prayer. The results may amaze you. (Tweetable)

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.

HOW ELSE CAN SATAN DISTRACT US?

This will be the end of my last week in Poland with International Messengers. I fly home next Tuesday.

For the past two weeks I have been showing you how Satan can steal our time and relationship with Jesus. First  What are you Tin Gods? Next How Busy are You?

This week:

How Else Can Satan Distract Us?

by Jan Cox

Satah

Satan Wants to Distract us from God

We have seen the ways that Satan tries to keep us away from God – in the past two weeks I have been posting a letter called Satan’s Meeting. This is the last part of that letter today.

Can Satan Distract Your Children from knowing God?

Satan continues to talk to his helpers. He discusses ways to keep our children from knowing the true God and Jesus.

“Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about His resurrection and power over sin and death.”

Then he discusses what children do in their “free” time. Can they relax and talk to God?

“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.”

Do your Children have time to Relax and Talk to God?

Satan wants them to have no TIME to seek God.

He says: “Keep them busy, busy, busy!”

What is Distracting you and your Children from God?

Then he asks us about our church and our church talk. This is a serious question. Are we concerned for one another or do we have ulterior motives?

Satan really hits us hard here.

He says, “And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences.”

Do we actually know Our Church Sisters and Brothers? Do we care for them?

“Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health andfamily for the good of the cause.”

And what do we Do at Church? Really?

And then Satan ends with:

It will work! It will work!

Can we stop him? Can we put blinders on and ignore all that Satan has to distract us? Can we find the time to connect with our God?

Prayer:

Father, we want to know you more. We realize that Satan is up to no good. He wants to distract us from a relationship with You. Help us we pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

What do you think?

We would love to hear from you?

I will be back next week with a long list of my blessings – Counting my blessings.

Jan Cox

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. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

HOW BUSY ARE YOU?

At this moment when you are reading this I am on a mission trip to Poland with International Messengers. Please pray for our team and the Polish people we work with.

Airport to Poland

Our IM Team in airport 2011

How Busy are You?

by Jan Cox

Continuing from last week  – What are your tin gods? We were reading a letter from Satan’s Meeting. I left you with these words:

“This is what I want you to do, said the devil: “DISTRACT them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

Continued from last week:

“HOW SHALL WE DO THIS?” his demons shouted.

“KEEP THEM BUSY in the NONESSENTIALS of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.

Are there things in your life that keep you from God? Are you running and running and never have time to listen to Him?

“TEMPT them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 to 7 days each week, 10 to 12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!”

Tempt Them

Do you need to rethink your priorities? Do you need to find a balance? Are you playing a catch up game? Or are you content where you are?

“OVER-STIMULATE their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small Voice.”

Over-stimulate Them

Do you always have the radio or music playing? Do you take time just to sit – and listen to your heart, your soul and your God?

“Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. To keep the TV. VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it they every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.”

What Music Do you Listen To?

What type of music do you listen to? Do you play praise and worship songs so you can fill up with the Holy Spirit?

“Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards.”

“Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every king of newsletter, and promotional, offering free products services and false hopes.”

Are you listening to the World or God?

Are you listening to the world? Or the Word of God? How much do you read your Bible? One verse a day would be a good start? One little bit can counteract much of the worldly on slot.

Prayer:

Father I know I am tempted to get too busy. Help me to plan my time so I can remember to take time with You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Write and tell me what you think? Is this true? Is Satan happy about pulling us away from God? Is he keeping you so busy that you forget your Creator?

Counting my blessings while in Poland and I will have a huge list when I return in two weeks.

Some other posts on the topic of BUSY:

Looking Back   Rest    Connected   Time is Flying By  – Last Year’s Planned Trip to Poland

 Jan Cox

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. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

WHAT ARE YOUR TIN GODS?

What are Your Tin Gods?

by Jan Cox

Tin gods

What are your tin gods?

We read about the kings of the Bible in the Old Testament. We see how some of them follow God – at first – then turn their backs on Him. They turn away and start to worship alien gods or tin gods such as the Baals.

“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals” (1 Kings 18:18 NIV).

God waits until they are desperate and calling for Him. Then God answers. They come back to worship Him.

But this cycle repeats itself over and over again.

We think, “How can they be so stupid turning to those tin gods or alien gods?”.

Then I look at my life and your life and think –

Do we have tin gods?

What pulls me away from studying His Word?

What pulls me away from praying?

What pulls me away from helping others?

There was an email circulating years ago called Satan’s Meeting. In it Satan wrote to his devil helpers. He encouraged them to keep humans busy, all the time … doing and doing and doing.  In that way humans became so focused on themselves and all their activities they forgot about God.

That letter had an impact on my life.

Today I will reprint part it here so you can pray about anything that might be your “tin god” – something that keeps you away from connecting with God.

Next week I will continue…

It is called Satan’s Meeting:

SATAN’S MEETING

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said:

“We can’t keep Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Saviour. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.”

PAUSE

“So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, but STEAL THEIR TIME, so they don’t have time to DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ.”

He continues:

“This is what I want you to do,” said the devil: “DISTRACT them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

Do you have anything that distracts from your connection to God? If so, what can you do about it? Any ideas. I would love to hear from you.

Prayer:

Father, we want to connect with you. Show us our tin gods so we can turn away from them and to You. Help us to find time to connect with You. Show us how. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Gratitude List:

My Gratitude list for this week: Counting to 2000 and connecting to Ann Voskamp’s Multitude of Mondays.

          • What a VIBE (VBS) week!
VIBE

Our VBS – VIBE

          • early morning sunshine; stillness
          • great dollar store in town called Needful Things
          • endorsements for my children’s book, Tadeo Turtle
          • made 3 little pigs puppets and 1 big bad wolf puppet for Poland

My 3 Little Pigs

          • beautiful walking weather
          • going out on the boat with my hubby 
          • saw a loon very close to our boat
          • saw a seagull dive and come up with a fish in its mouth
          • saw a heron land in the marsh and then walk along
          • oh that I would remember my camera but thankful for my memory

Jan Cox

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. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

BUSY – ??

BUSY – ??

“if the Devil can’t make us feel really bad, then he’ll try to make us really busy.” – anonymous

That quote reminded me of Satan’s Meeting.

SATAN’S MEETING: (Read especially if you’re busy) – original author unknown

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church.”

“We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.” “We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Saviour.”

“Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.”

“So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

“This is what I want you to do,” said the devil:

“Distract them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!

“How shall we do this?” his demons shouted.

“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.

“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.” “Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.”

“Keep them from spending time with their children.”

“As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!”

“Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice.”

“Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive.”

“To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly.”

“This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.”

“Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers.”

“Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.”

“Invade their driving moments with billboards.”

“Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes..”

“Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives.”

“Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night.”

“Give them headaches too! ”

“If they don’t give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere.”

“That will fragment their families quickly!”

“Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas.

“Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death.”

“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive.”

“Have them return from their recreation exhausted.”

“Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation. “Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.”

“Keep them busy, busy, busy!”

“And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences.”

“Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus.”

“Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”

“It will work!” “It will work!”

It was quite a plan!

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there. Having little time for their God or their families. Having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives.

I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his schemes? You be the judge!

Does “BUSY” mean: B-eing U-nder S-atan’s Y-oke?

What do you think? Have you made time for God? Have you put Him FIRST?