Tag Archives: Contributor

You Want Me to Pray for Whom, Lord?

You Want Me to Pray for Whom, Lord?

by Jen Cudmore

pray-for-each-other

Recently a person very close to me began to make some ungodly choices in her life, which grieved me greatly. One day she sat beside me in church, and while it was a bit uncomfortable, I did my best to focus on the lesson. Then, as the pastor prayed to end the service, I felt the Lord tap me on the shoulder.

“You feel this negative energy right here beside you? You can fix that.”

“What?” I said. “It’s not my problem. It’s hers.”

“Yes, but I’ve been telling you for months to get on your knees for her and you haven’t done it. Remember that verse:

I found no one to stand in the gap (Ez 22:30)?

Seriously chastised, I pondered those words for the rest of the day, and in the morning during my prayer time I asked God for help. You see, I had actually said a few prayers for my friend, but I never focused on fighting for her. I was too annoyed by her bad choices. I was so disgusted with her behavior that I didn’t want anything to do with her. And that is a very bad place to be.

Once when I was in high school, I mentioned to my mother a situation with a girl I really didn’t like. Her response was to pray for this girl, to which I’m sure I scowled. Why would I pray for someone I planned to avoid?

Mama told me about the verse that says we are to pray for our enemies (Matt 5:44). When I responded, that technically this girl wasn’t my enemy, Mama was armed with an answer. “You dislike this girl just as much as you would someone who mistreats you. You don’t like to be around her and cringe when she comes near. Same concept.”

So I begrudgingly began to pray for the girl, and to my surprise, it only took a couple months before we became friends!

God changed my heart, but I had to take the first step.

The same thing happened in recent months. As I began to pray for my backslidden friend, God began to soften my heart toward her and helped me see her as He saw her, a lost and confused soul who just needed someone’s support.  Now, she’s growing closer to the Lord, and there is much less weirdness between us. All because I was obedient and prayed.

The Bible tells us to pray for each other (James 5:16).

Don’t hold back because you have negative feelings toward someone!

Your prayers are powerful. No matter who God lays on your heart, be sure to be consistent. Then sit back and watch Him work!

Tweetables:

You want me to pray for whom, Lord? (tweet this)

Don’t hold back because you have negative feelings toward someone! (tweet this)

Why pray for someone you don’t like? (tweet this)

Jen Cudmore

Jen Creek small

Jen grew up on the Columbia River Gorge and currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and two cats. Her goal is to write novels that encourage women to look for positive qualities in a life partner, and to foster an environment of real romance, rather than fantasy, as they grow old with their spouse. For more, visit her website at http://www.jencudmore.com/. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.

How to Pray Through Memory

How to Pray Through Memory

by Kimberley Payne

Praying with a Memory

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

And now, O Lord our God, who hast brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast made Thee a name, as at this day (Daniel 9:15 NIV).

In the Bible, we see that Daniel was a righteous man who prayed regularly to God. He spent time reading the scriptures and talking with God.

Daniel knew that God kept His promises and fulfilled prophecies.

When Daniel prayed, he reminded God of the mighty acts He’d performed.

Has God moved in your life with answered prayer?

When you pray, do you rehearse the great acts that God has performed in the past as you ask for His intervention in the present?

Next time you make a request in prayer, start by recalling all that God has done in the past. Include His miracles from the Bible as well as from your own life.

Praying with a memory will help grow your faith.

Tweetables:

Has God moved in your life with answered prayer? (tweet this)

Do you know how to pray with a memory? (tweet this)

Kimberley Payne

Kimberley is a motivational speaker and author. Her writings relate raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire people to live lives that glorify God. You can visit her website at www.kimberleypayne.com

Is God Working Through Me?

Is God Working Through Me?

by Janis Cox

Because-you-prayed

I read an interesting statement in The Prayer of Jabez?

If God is working through us that doesn’t mean in association with us.

Through is an interesting term. It reminds me of the scripture in Zechariah where we are told that not by might nor by power but by My Spirit will God work through us.

Our God specializes in working through normal people who believe in a supernatural God who will do this work through them.

This will be my path for the next months – to spend more time in prayer – as I beg for more influence and responsibility so I can honour God.

If I want to be a follower of Jesus I need to trust Him to do miracles; to open doors; to make divine appointments.

So I am praying and believing.

You will know beyond doubt that God has opened heaven’s storehouses because you prayed.

I would love to pray with you or for you.
Please contact me at Under the Cover of Prayer.

Here is a wonderful reminder that God will open heaven’s gates if we pray and believe.

Here are a few words from this song Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? by Matt Redman.

Fling wide, you heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

And here is the video.

Prayer:

Lord, I know that I have to allow you to work through me. For that reason I give you my whole life to do as you wish. Lead me, guide me, push me. Open those gates and may I expand my territory for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetables:

God has opened heaven’s storehouses because you prayed. Find out how. (tweet this)

Do you want God to open heaven’s gates? (tweet this)

All quotes today come from The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis Cox

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship..

 

Prayer is About Believing Too!

Prayer is About Believing Too!

by Tanya

Prayer Includes Believing

From Free Digital Photos.Net

A lot of times when we think about prayer, we think about it as asking God for something.

When we are sick… a loved one is sick… we need financial assistance… we have family problems… these are all times when we turn to prayer.

But a lot of times we stop here.

Have you heard the story about the little girl whose family prayed for rain? She was the only one who left with her umbrella.

SHE BELIEVED.

When we pray, sure we might as God for something, but prayer doesn’t stop with the asking.

Prayer also includes believing.

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you (Mark 11:24, NASB).

When we pray, let us also believe in the power of our infinite God of love and grace, to grant us that which is best for us. If we truly believe, just like that little girl who took the umbrella because she believed that the rain would fall, we will confidently step out in faith PREPARED for our “rain” to fall.

Tweetables:

Prayer includes believing. Mark 11:24 (tweet this)

 

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 is Meditation on God’s Law?

What is Meditation on God’s Law?

by Janet Sketchley

What-is-meditation-

Thanks to Free Digital Photos.net

 

But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night (Psalm 1:2, NLT*).

Surely the psalmist doesn’t expect us to go around mentally reciting the Ten Commandments and all the extra bits of legalese that Moses added?

That doesn’t sound like something we could delight in. It sounds… like cramming for a test. Dry. To be honest, it sounds boring. And discouraging. After all, looking at all those requirements, knowing we’re human and can never satisfy the Law… not a good scene. It reminds me of another verse:

The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit (Proverbs 18:14, NLT*)?

Let’s think for a minute.

What is the law of the Lord?

If it’s not the list of dos and don’ts, what is it?

I think in this context, it’s the very character of God. It’s who He is, how He conducts Himself, and yes, what He requires of us if we’re living for His glory.

Doesn’t that change the picture? Doesn’t it sound like prayer? Like something we can delight in?

There’s no hardship in spending time thinking about the God who loves us, remembering different aspects of who He is and what He’s done for us. It leads naturally into worship and prayer. It draws us nearer to Him and strengthens our faith.

Meditating on God can also lead to examining our own lives, seeing where we need to realign ourselves to His ways.

It might even hurt a bit when we recognize how far off-track some parts of our lives may be, but it’s not the spirit-crushing sense of failure I mentioned above.

It can’t be, because we’re also looking at who God is. That means we’ll remember His promise to forgive our sins and clean us up. We’ll remember His faithfulness, and that He’ll never leave us. We’ll remember He loves us.

That kind of meditating on God’s law is something delightful indeed!

Tweetables: 

Meditating on God’s law doesn’t have to be boring. (tweet this)

It’s good to think about the God who loves us. (tweet this)

Meditating on God can also lead to examining our own lives, seeing where we need to realign ourselves to His ways. (tweet this)

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Janet Sketchley

Janet Sketchley facebook 180x180

Janet writes about the tenacity of God. Her novel, Heaven’s Prey, released November 1, 2013 from Choose NOW Publishing. You can find her on her website, Janet Sketchley.

Am I Spinning My Wheels?

Am I Spinning My Wheels?

by Janis Cox

Are-you-spinning-your-wheels-

Thanks to Photo Bucket for the Photo Stuck Vehicle.

With all the snow up north this winter I thought about a time when I became very stuck in that white stuff.

As I went on a mission to find furniture for a group of refugees we worked with, I drove into a parking lot. The snow in the lot didn’t look very deep. However when I tried to back up, I became stuck.

I couldn’t go forward or backward – I kept spinning my wheels.

People came to help. I would put the car into low gear and then they would push. I would put the car into reverse and they would push from the front. I tried rocking the car back and forth using the gears. Nothing – the car kept spinning.

Suddenly I remembered my hubby’s words, “Don’t forget you have automatic traction on this car. If you have trouble on a hill, take off the traction.”

Well this wasn’t a hill but I needed to take off the auto track, because every time I would slip a little, the car automatically braked. I took off the auto track and with one push out I came.

Do we carry an auto tracking device? Do we spin our wheels?

I think we do. I think my auto track device keeps me from moving by keeping me doing the same old thing. I am going nowhere and spinning my wheels.

What keeps me from moving forward?
What keeps me from following my dreams?
What keeps me from following Jesus’ leading?

In the next few weeks I plan to share what I have been hearing from God for my own life and maybe what is keeping me from expanding my territory?

Satan always want to distract us from the work God wants us to do.

Have you noticed this? Do you have an auto traction device that keeps putting brakes on God’s plans for your life?

Let’s start a discussion either here in the comments or on Facebook or on Twitter.

Answer the question:

Are you spinning your wheels?

Let’s find out what auto track we have turned on that is keeping us from moving with God.

If you want God to move, sometimes you have to make a move. ~ Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker

But Mark also says this:

If you keep trying, you are not failing … God is honored when you don’t give up. ~ Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker

Prayer:

Lord, there is something holding me back from expanding my territory for Your glory. Show me what it is. Release it – if it is something that you need me to do. Take off the auto brakes. Help me to move forward and follow your plans and lead. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetables:

Do we carry an auto tracking device? Do we spin our wheels? (tweet this)

There should be nothing holding me back from fulfilling the plans you have for me. (tweet this)

What keeps me from following my dreams? What keeps me from following Jesus’ leading? (tweet this)

Here is one of my favourite praise songs. Holding Nothing Back by Jesus Culture.

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Janis Cox

Janis Cox

Janis, a former public school teacher and small business owner found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A believer since 2001 and a writer since 2003, Janis blogs at Growing Through God’s Word. She also podcasts on HopeStreamRadio once a week. She loves to paint and tap dance.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website, Facebook and Twitter. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

Am I Responsible?

Am I Responsible?

by Susan Hitchman

Am-I-Responsible

Wikipedia picture

A twinge of conscience pricked my heart as I walked past the older woman. The street was thronging with people coming and going from Seattle’s Pike Street Market, and panhandlers were everywhere. But as I stepped past her and stood with my family waiting for the crosswalk light to turn, I saw her wearily rest her head against the light pole.

Was it a ploy?

The other panhandlers were bold, flaunting cardboard signs linking love for God with supporting their marijuana habits. It was easier walking past them than her. But as our walk light lit up, I stepped out and crossed the street with my family. I was a visitor to Seattle.

Was I responsible?

The next morning as I sat reading my Bible and praying in a quiet corner of the hotel lobby, the picture of the street woman kept filling my mind. I saw myself doing what I should have done, my arm reaching across her shoulders as I simply asked, “Are you O.K?” I was looking into her eyes, granting her the dignity of comfort in human suffering.

I was overwhelmed with the awareness of my selfishness.

As I inwardly moaned in repentance, I asked for forgiveness. That opportunity to show God’s love to an aching heart was gone. Would God’s mercy grant me another opportunity to do it right?

The young King Josiah was in a predicament not unlike mine. Upon hearing the recently discovered ‘Book of the Law’ read to him, he too was overwhelmed with an awareness of sin. Visions of the idolatries and cruelties his kingly forbears had committed rose in his mind.  He was more expressive than me, tearing his robes and weeping, taking steps to inquire through a prophetess the LORD’s verdict.

In this story we’re given an incredible glimpse of God’s perspective. We’re told that God observed that Josiah’s “heart was responsive and (he) humbled (him)self before the LORD”.

“Because you…wept in my presence, I have heard you”, God declares (2 Kings 22:19, NIV).

We’re not told that Josiah had actually prayed in so many words, yet God heard him. Josiah had wept in remorse and repentance. He had been responsive to God’s Spirit revealing Himself and His commands through His Word. He had humbled himself and took steps to repair the situation.

Perhaps you too have wept a tear or two over your awareness of failings in your life. Take heart. That is one form of prayer. If your heart is responsive to His convicting Word and you humble yourself in repentance, there is great hope. God has heard you and is willing to help you turn your tears into actions of obedience.

“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NIV).

Go ahead and cry; it speaks volumes to God.

Tweetables:

Go ahead and cry; it speaks volumes to God. (tweet this)

I was overwhelmed with the awareness of my selfishness. (tweet this)

Sue Hitchman

Susan Hitchman

Sue  seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker.  She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God.  Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh

What Passage of Scripture Has God Put on Your Heart?

What Passage of Scripture Has God Put on Your Heart?

by Janis Cox

God-Speaks-Through-Scripture

A number of years ago I attended a Spirit-Filled weekend retreat with 40 women. We went away to a monastery, with our speaker, Ruth Conard. I knew that God wanted to use this time to speak to me. I had been praying for this. And He answered me.

God spoke through Ruth’s talks, through friendships and through our quiet times.

But He also talked through a Scripture passage.

After one break time we returned to the conference area to find slips of paper upside down on each chair. As I chose a chair, I discovered this passage on my slip of paper, “Feed my lambs”, John 21:15.

I had just begun to journal and this Scripture spurred me on to start writing for Jesus. After this conference I started my first blog. I have continued to blog ever since.

In order to feed His lambs:

I needed to go deeper into His Word;
I needed to read more and more;
I needed to pray more.

I continue my early morning daily study patterns because Jesus has called me to FEED HIS LAMBS.

What passage has God put on your heart?

Tweetables:

God speaks through Scripture passages. What passage has God put on your heart? (tweet this)

I needed to go deeper into His Word;
I needed to read more and more;
I needed to pray more. (tweet this)

Would love you to come with me and my He Cares for You Community by joining my newsletter.

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Janis Cox Newsletter

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

When Do We Pray?

When Do We Pray?

by Janis Cox

Ukraine-Russia

This week has been a time when all Christians need to be praying for peace between Ukraine and Russia. News reports make things seem terrifying. But we know that our God is in control.

Rather than fear, we need to pray for all of those involved in the situation.

Since I am a short term missionary with International Messengers I received urgent messages that our friends, who work in the Ukraine, would appreciate our prayers. And I know that all of my readers are interested in praying for others.

When you read news items, hear of conflicts, know of someone who is sick – these are calls to prayer. If you don’t think you will remember, write them down. But do make sure you pray.

But you, God, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to God,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain (Psalm 3:3-4, The Message).

We can call to our God, who hears our prayers. Let’s lift our voices together so a peaceful resolution to this problem can be found. Protect all those in both countries, Russia and the Ukraine.

Be watchful – God will show you when and how to pray.

Prayer:

Lord, please give a calmness of spirit to our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine and Russia. Speak into the hearts of leaders so they know that a peaceful resolution works best for all concerned. Bring wisdom to all those involved. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetables:

Be watchful – God will show you when and how to pray. (click to tweet)

Calls to prayer:  news items,  conflicts,  someone who is sick. #UTCOP (click to tweet)

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

What Does ‘Anything Against Anyone’ Mean?

What Does ‘Anything Against Anyone’ Mean?

bevere-quote

by Jen Cudmore

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:25 , NIV).

What did Jesus mean when he said, “anything against anyone”?

I believe he wasn’t just talking about big issues like being badmouthed, lied to, stolen from, or physically injured. He also meant those little barbs that annoy us. I heard a preacher say recently that holding onto an offense is the beginning of bitterness and unforgiveness. The small issues will eventually compound into bigger issues that are harder to deal with.

We often tend to look at the little things as no big deal and brush it aside without really letting go.

If we weren’t truly injured, just a bit annoyed, then what is there to forgive?

For example, we may be annoyed that the preacher doesn’t use the King James Bible or that the music leader incorporates too many hymns, so we contemplate leaving the church. We don’t like that a parent snapped at us when picking up their child from Sunday School, so we stop being loving to that child, or even stop teaching the class altogether. A coworker didn’t follow through on a project and we had to pick up the slack, so we avoid them for the next week because they were so rude. We just can’t believe good people would behave in such horrible ways!

But it’s not just about forgiving. It’s about applying grace when others make mistakes and truly letting the issue go. Don’t give it another thought. Or if you do think about it, not feeling a catch of negative emotion in your spirit, such as irritation or hurt.

The Bible is clear that we are to live at peace with those around us.

Accept what happened and honestly move on.

A friend, at the prompting of the Lord, showed me a book last year that changed my life. The author discussed the trap of offense and encouraged the reader to dig deep. Each day I had to do some soul searching and write out a prayer. God showed me several areas where I’d been holding onto little things that I didn’t realize were causing me problems. A neighbor who judged me as being a liberal parent, a boy who said something despicable to my son, a classmate from church who for years hasn’t bothered to acknowledge me – small things I should’ve just let roll off my back.

So how do we keep from being offended, so we have fewer issues of ‘anything against anyone’ that must be forgiven? During this study, God showed me:

    • I was much too quick to be offended and pass judgment on others when they messed up. I asked God to show me how to apply grace and let the small issues go.
    • I had high standards and expectations of others. I asked God to help me realign them with His standards and expectations based on His Word.
    • It is ungodly to assert my rights. I asked God to teach me to choose to be treated badly rather than stir up strife by demanding what I deserve.
    • I complained too much about situations that didn’t go my way. I asked God to teach me to guard my mouth and speak only positive words.

So the challenge is this: Before you pray, search your heart and see if there is anything hiding in there that doesn’t belong. Ask God to show you things you’ve brushed aside but never dealt with. Choose to let the little things go so they don’t grow into bitterness and unforgiveness.

Be sure that when you pray, you no longer hold ‘anything against anyone.’

Tweetables:

What did Jesus mean when he said, “anything against anyone”? (click to tweet)

Be sure that when you pray, you no longer hold ‘anything against anyone.’ (click to tweet)

Jen Cudmore

Jen Creek small

Jen grew up on the Columbia River Gorge and currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and two cats. Her goal is to write novels that encourage women to look for positive qualities in a life partner, and to foster an environment of real romance, rather than fantasy, as they grow old with their spouse. For more, visit her website at http://www.jencudmore.com/. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.