Tag Archives: Contributor

#UTCOP – How to Have a Day Marked by Prayer

How to Have A Day Marked by Prayer

by Stephanie Nickel

How-to-Have-a-Day-Marked-by-Prayer

Public Domain Pixabay.com

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

As I sat in the evening church service, I recommitted myself to beginning the day with prayer even before I roll out of bed. Then I thought about the prayers that could be inspired by my day-to-day life.

The following prayers can act as springboards throughout the day.

Prayer of Commitment

It could be as simple as saying, “Lord, thank You for the day before me. May I honour and glorify You, and may I bless those I come in contact with.”

Prayer of Protection

As we go about our morning routine, we can pray through the armour of God.

Lord, no matter what the enemy throws at me, may I stand . . . the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness and firm footing of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Your Word), and prayer all firmly in place. (See Ephesians 6.)

Prayer of Empowerment

Whether we’re students, stay-at-home parents, blue collar workers making minimum wage, or corporate execs, we all face daily challenges. And God is there to help. And we must remember God’s command to do everything as unto Him, which includes schoolwork, housework, and paperwork (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“Dear Lord, may I honour You as I face this day’s joys and challenges. May I accomplish each task to the best of my ability, leaning on You for wisdom, strength, and direction.”

Prayer of Connection

Each individual we come in contact with—in person, on the phone, or online—is someone we can pray for. It may be especially difficult to pray for those people who give us nothing but grief, but it’s important for them—and for us—that we do so.

“Dear Lord, I pray that in all my interactions I will glorify You. And today, Lord, I pray that You will bless each person I come in contact with. If they don’t know You, please draw them to Yourself. And if they do, draw them ever closer. May I be a blessing in each life. May I be a Christlike example.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Even after a particularly difficult day, there are many things to be thankful for: God’s provision, family, friends, a home, clothes to wear, food to eat, the abilities He has given us, and so much more. And there will be days that the first thing we thank Him for is that it’s over. Hopefully those days are few and far between.

“Dear God, I have so many reasons to thank You. It’s harder to remember that some days, but help me to do so. Thank You that You are unchanging, that You love me on my good days—and on the days I’d just as soon forget. Lord, even if I blew it today, thank You that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start. Please bring to mind the things I have to be thankful for, especially when the negativity presses in.”

Prayer of Release

The end of the day is a wonderful time to release our worries, doubts, and fears to Him. Remember “he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2 ESV).

A good night’s rest is a gift from God.

There may be family concerns, problems at work, or health issues to contend with when we awaken, but if we open our hands and hearts and release our cares to the Lord, we can rest assured that He, indeed, cares for us.

“Lord, thank You that Your Word assures us of Your love and care. May I trust You to take care of me and all those I love. Even when things aren’t as I’d like them to be, may I rest in You. May I have confidence that You are working all things together for my good. May I enjoy the sleep You’ve promised to Your beloved. May I wake refreshed, ready to begin again for Your glory. Amen.”

Tweetable

Lord, may each moment of my day be marked by prayer. (tweet this)

 

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, photography, 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 available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

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

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

#UTCOP – How God Answers Prayer

How God Answers Prayer

by  Brenda j Wood

how-does-God-answer-prayers

According to the experts, several things have to line up before God is able to give a yes answer to our prayers.

I always think of a NO as God saying “Don’t hurt your self. This isn’t good for you right now.” Think of a five-year-old praying for a driving license and getting it!

Sometimes we have to GROW before we can handle the change.

I was already a public speaker when I first came to know Jesus. I prayed to go out and tell the world about him. The trouble is I didn’t know anything! God wisely kept that prayer aside for many a year.

When the circumstances aren’t right the answer is SLOW! You might be ready, but the rest of the world isn’t. Look at Paul ready to go to into Asia or Bithynia but forbidden to do so. However Macedonia was ready; Paul was ready and God said “GO.”

And Paul and Silas passed through the territory of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word in [the province of] Asia. And when they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.  [There] a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from Macedonia stood pleading with him and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us (Acts 16:6-9, AMP)!

That GO is God’s yes. Let us not be discouraged by what God tells us. He is all-knowing and His answer is always for our best.

Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah) (Colossians 3:24, AMP).

 

Prayer:

Lord, we pray that you always respect the prayers of your servants and our supplications. O Lord our God, listen to the cry and the prayer which we your servants pray before you. In Christ’s name. Amen (from 2 Chronicles 6:19-AMP)

Tweetable:

Sometimes we have to grow before we can handle the change. (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:
http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker

How to Rediscover Prayer Walking

How to Rediscover Prayer Walking

by Stephanie Nickel

how-to-rediscover-prayer-walking

A few months back we began fostering a friend’s German Shepherd. This led to 15-30 minute walks each day. Since I’m not a huge fan of cardio exercise, the daily walk was a benefit to me. But even more importantly, I rediscovered the joy of prayer walking.

Below are some suggestions you might want to incorporate into your own prayer life.

Give Thanks

I thank God for many things while I walk.
For the ability to walk
For eyesight
For hearing
For physical health
For the ability to think
For the invitation to commune with Him

Once I begin to give thanks, one thing leads to the next, which leads to the next, which leads to the next.

Prayer for Strangers

I pray for the residents in the houses along the route I walk.
I pray for the owners, the employees, and the patrons of the businesses I pass.
I pray for the motorists and pedestrians I encounter.

Prayer for Replacement

I pray that God would replace negatives with positives in the lives of those along my route.
Doubt with saving faith
Darkness with light
Despair with hope
Loneliness with companionship
Turmoil with peace
Woundedness with healing
Lies with truth
Spiritual blindness with spiritual eyesight

The Opportunity to Listen

As I observe the beauty of the Creator’s handiwork, He reveals more about Himself. Oh, that I would have ears to “hear”!

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20, ESV).

I admit that I am easily distracted. The physical activity of walking actually helps to keep me focused. Plus, of course, I do thank the Lord for things and pray for individuals I am less likely to pray for during my prayer time at home.

What advantages of prayer walking have you discovered?

Tweetable:

God invites you to discover the wonders of prayer walking. (tweet this)

 

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, photography, 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 available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

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

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

by Joy Lenton

how-can-i-have-a-conversation-with-God

Have you ever thought that you wouldn’t bother God with your concerns?

Maybe they feel too small or huge to hand over to Him and you wonder if it might be wasting His time; and isn’t He just too busy taking care of really important things/people to be free to take care of me? Thankfully, no and no.

Nothing matters more to our loving heavenly Father
than being available to us ~ all of the time.

There are no constraints. No limits to His love, patience, kindness and compassion. We can take every concern to Him in prayer and be reassured that He hears, will take it seriously and respond appropriately.

There are promises in His word reminding us of God’s faithfulness, steadfastness and fatherly care, yet we so often feel we cannot share This _ fill in the blank.. with Him. Maybe shame or fear hold us back, or anxiety about how to pray and what to say. Because we are apt to forget how much He loves us, how we are no surprise to our Creator, how He has paid the price to set us free from the worst of ourselves to become our best true selves in Christ.

Sometimes we get lost in the silence and fail to listen for the gentle whispered reply. Sometimes we draw back because prayers seem to go unanswered and we are just too hurt to pray again. Sometimes God speaks clearly but we don’t like what He is saying.

No matter the cause, God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic,
simple and natural to our lives as breathing.

Long words and pious speech are not necessary. We can say nothing or chat just as we would to our best friend, because that’s just what He is. In everyday conversation with those we love and are comfortable around there will be times of sitting in a companionable silence, times of non-stop exuberant chatter, times of leaning on the other where tears alone speak volumes. So it is with God.

He invites us to come just as we are.

To share our moments and our days, be caught up in His will and ways, and to let our hearts break with what breaks His. We have all of heaven’s resources at our disposal, Holy Spirit interceding for us when words fail, an alertly attentive Father above whose heart spills with tremendous grace and love, so what’s stopping us?

Come to Him today.

He won’t rebuke you for any delay but He will welcome you and me with arms wide open.

Prayer:

Father, forgive us for making prayer a thing to fear, a chore, ritual or dutiful habit rather than a conversation with The One who loves us beyond measure and rejoices over us with singing. Help us to make time to talk to you and time for you to speak to us, knowing our lives will be greatly enriched, our journey of life and faith enhanced and our hearts rewarded by peace and joy for every minute we offer to you. Amen.

Tweetables:

 God invites us to come just as we are. (tweet this)

God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic, simple and natural. (tweet this)

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

How to Hang On

How to Hang On

by Brenda Wood 

How-to-Hang-On---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.

Prayer:

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

Tweetable:

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:
http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker

 

What’s Waiting Around the Corner?

What’s Waiting Around the Corner?

by T. L. Wiens

What's-waiting-around-the-corner-

I pulled up to our local convenience store and was about to head inside to grab a snack when I noticed something crouching by the door. It was a baby badger and he wasn’t happy. I decided to wait in my car until he figured out that he wasn’t where he needed to be. I was very glad I did so because mama badger came along.

From my position, I could see mom and baby, neither looking very happy being out in the open on the hard pavement. The young girl making her way down the street towards the store had no clue she was about to come face to face with a wild animal. I was about to warn her when the badger pair decided to find more shade. They slipped around the corner of the building.

How many times in life have there been snares and dangers around the corners of my life and the prayers of fellow believers kept me from ever knowing the pain I’ve been spared?

I’m thankful I have prayer warriors I don’t
even know, that are putting my needs before God.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you ( 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18, AKJV).

 

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for your love. Help us remember You see around the corners of life. Show us the path You’ve set for us. Prepare us for those things that lay in wait to snare us. Keep us strong in faith and word.

In Jesus name, amen.

Tweetable:

Are there prayer warriors praying for you? (tweet this)

Who is helping to keep the snares and dangers away from you? (tweet this)

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.

 

How Our Heavenly Father Doesn’t Miss a Thing

How Our Heavenly Father Doesn’t Miss a Thing

by Joy Lenton

How our Heavenly Father

Everyone needs compassion, love that’s never failing; let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness, the kindness of a Saviour~ Hillsong ‘Mighty to Save’

Life can alter in a day. My husband’s minor cold symptoms escalated to major. Quarantined with a continual cough, weakness and pain, he hacked and sneezed his way through several days and nights.

Co-incidentally, cupboards were almost bare, cash flow practically non existent, and I was forced into acting as nurse and carer to him instead. I rang for help. My brother-in-law shopped for us. A neighbour fetched necessary medication.

We survived, able to cope due to the kindness of family and friends. God ensured I could keep going, providing increased energy and strength to match the needs.

And as I set about preparing the simplest of fare to keep us fed and watered, my heart was filled with deep gratitude to God.

For our heavenly Father doesn’t miss a thing.

He is always looking out for us. His mercies, loving kindness and compassion are new every morning.

Yes, we lived on snacks (Christmas party food, anyone?), lots of toast, pre-prepared, microwaveable meals for a while. Dust collected in corners, dirty laundry piled up, but we managed.

Each person has gifts which bless and benefit others.

Kindness, like encouragement, is within the reach of all.

Learning to give and receive is both art and grace. 

Prayer:

Lord,
Help us learn to be both generous givers and grateful recipients of your grace and goodness as it reaches us through the hands of others. May we trust you to meet all our needs day by day. Amen.

Tweetables:

Kindness, like encouragement, is within the reach of all. (tweet this)

Our heavenly Father doesn’t miss a thing; He is always looking out for us. (tweet this)

Here is the wonderful Hillsong praise song Mighty to Save.

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of my days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

How Does God Prompt Us to Pray?

How Does God Prompt Us to Pray?

by Sandi Somers

praying-hands-http-__www.freedigitalphotos.net_images_Religion_g302-Praying_Hands_p26194
Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy,

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them (1 Timothy 2:1 NLT).

Mr. Meller came to our church only occasionally, and I didn’t know him well. However, I did know that his first wife and children had been killed in a plane crash many years before.

On one particular Sunday when he visited our church, I wondered if he still had open wounds or unhealed memories from that tragic loss. Later during the service, he stood up to share the story of his family’s accident. Choking back tears, he said that this day was the anniversary of their deaths and that losing them was still a painful memory for him.

This was a powerful experience for me. It was no coincidence that I had thought of his loss before he mentioned it.

God had been nudging me to pray.

I became convinced that God brings specific people to mind because we are meant to pray for them.

He prompts us, sometimes with a thought or question about their welfare.

Who is God prompting you to pray for?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, guide us today to pray when we think of specific people. Teach us that thoughts of people are a call to pray for them. Amen.

Tweetables:

God brings specific people to mind because we are meant to pray for them. (tweet this)

Who is God prompting you to pray for? (tweet this)

Sandi Somers

Sandi Somers

Sandi  is a former teacher and Instructor of English as a Second Language. She has lived in Colombia, South America, and has travelled widely. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Her current passion is writing about faith, prayer and the writing life. Sandi also enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, walking and connecting with friends and her extended family.  She belongs to the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild.

 

Are You Spiritually Obese?

Are you Spiritually Obese?

by Tanya Are-you-spiritually-obese-By-Tanay We sit in church and listen attentively to the wonderful sermon that was preached and feel so refreshed by it. We go online and read a wonderful blog about how some person has been working for the Lord. We read the word of God and gain wonderful insights into the meaning of the passage of scripture.

Yet…we sit and do nothing.

Life happens. Work happens. Children happen . And so you find yourself too tired to play an active role in working for the Lord. And each week you return to church to receive another blessing from the service. And so we take in and take in, but we don’t do any spiritual work.

And so we become…spiritually obese.

Well today, I want to tell us all, to get up and get moving spiritually. Let us work the work of faith.

Let us shake off the spiritual lethargy that has us failing to work in service to God in sharing God’s love with others.

As we receive the truth, let us say like Jesus:

 

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4, King James Version).

We don’t need any special qualifications to work for God.
We don’t need money to work for God.
We don’t need a special time to work for God.

 

What we need to do is to get up in faith, and share a smile, a word of encouragement, a prayer…

Then it will be that we will stop only being fed, but also share and feed others the spiritual Bread which we have received.

Prayer:

Oh Lord, help us to share Your word with others, that they too may be blessed, as we have been by receiving Your Word. In Jesus’ Name we pray. AMEN.

 Tanya – from God’s Character

Tanya is a child of God, wife, stay at home mom and homeschooler. She loves the Lord and loves telling people about who He is. By God’s grace her husband and she intend to live out Joshua’s statement “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And so her greatest desire is to see her Lord face to face and along with her family, join in the joyous strains of triumphant voices praising our Lord and King. Check out her blog at God’s Character.

What I Want to Learn about Prayer

What I Want to Learn about Prayer

by Janis Cox

renew---Acronym

I started Under the Cover of Prayer in 2010 because I felt God calling me to bring pray-ers together; to teach more about all the facets of prayer; and to make me a better pray-er.

He has done more than that. He has built a community, what I have started to call a Tribe of Jesus. I have started to use something called a hashtag (#) which helps people locate everything to do with this blog. I am using:

#TribeofJesus

#UTCOP

I have read many prayer books. I study the Bible. I focus on what I hear and see.

Today’s reading from Oswald Chambers really struck me.

How does God view our prayers and our pray-ers?

Worship and intercession must go together, one is impossible without the other (Oswald Chambers, March 30)

And from the Bible:

Your attitude should be the same as Christ (Philippians 2:5, NIV).

Now that makes me think long and hard and ask myself some questions.

      • Am I pleading without being with the mind of Christ?
      • Am I thinking of myself and my feelings, and my agenda when I pray?
      • Do I question God and ask how can I do this?
      • Do I let tell Him, ‘it is impossible’?
      • Do I decide for Him whether something will work or not?

Oswald Chambers says we need to aim to:

live in a holy relationship with God … having such intimate contact with Him that we know His mind about the ones for whom we pray.

For that reason I need a blogging holiday – not just one week, but at least one month away from blogging.

relationship-with-God

Please pray for me while I take this time to renew, refresh and rekindle that intimate relationship that I crave.

From April 10 – May 10th. I want to R.E.N.E.W.

renew---Acronym

If you need to contact me during this time please email Under the Cover of Prayer.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, you have told me to take this time away to renew. Please help me to hear clearly what is important to you. In Your name, AMEN.

Blessings,

Janis

Tweetables:

I want to RENEW my relationship with Jesus (tweet this)

Why am I taking a blogging holiday? (tweet this)