Tag Archives: LInks

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SUBMIT – WHO ME?

Submit – who me?

by Jan Cox

Heron between the lakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were talking in our women’s Bible study the other day about submission to our husbands. We studied 1 Peter and there it was in black and white – right out of the Bible:

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. ” (1 Peter 3:1-2).

This brought about much discussion. Some women thought it was for the “olden days” only; others thought that pastors should preach more on the following Scripture:

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

Then I spoke up and related the story of my learning to “submit” to my husband. I am NOT good at it and it is a work in progress.

Before coming to Christ I domineered much of our married life – I wanted my way all the time; I whined when I didn’t get my way; I slammed doors and generally was a pain. When I first became a Christian I joined a Bible study and we  started working on this topic – about 12 years ago – I did NOT like this at all.

I bought a book called “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian. I thought, “Great – here will be the prayers so I can change my husband to understanding me.”

It didn’t work out that way. The book taught me to see myself – really see myself. As I worked through the prayers I started to change. Stormie says her favourite three-word prayer was “Change him, Lord”. Then she says her prayer became, “Change me Lord.”

So anyone who thinks that their husband/wife needs changing had better start to look more closely at themselves. And for the men readers, there is another book called The Power of a Praying Husband, too.

What I can tell you is that this revelation made quite a difference in our marriage. I am not perfect – I make lots of mistakes but I can see myself as the culprit sometimes and ask forgiveness.

Have you asked God to change your attitude? Can you and your husband find the mutual respect that Peter is talking about in this book? It is in humbling ourselves that we can find forgiveness, love and caring in a marriage. You can read the first chapter of Stormie’s book and see for yourself – do you need a changeover? And for the men here is the first chapter of The Power of a Praying Husband.

It is not wrong to pray for someone to change – just check out your motives first. Make sure your request is authentic and not a way to get something from that person. Be real and true with God.

Prayer:

Help us in our marriages, Lord, to see the other person. Help us to act respectfully at all times and to treasure our spouses. Help us to love as Jesus loved. In His name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List – On to the second thousand – I am at 1065

  • Zumba for free at our church
  • A Hot Epsom salts bath after Zumba
  • Seeing the movie Freedom Writers
  • My favourite heron sitting between the lakes
  • Great dinner dance with friends
  • Slow dances with my hubby
  • Dealing with the loss of a friend
  • Great sermon on courage
  • Watching a friend play in her first tennis final
  • Hubby is keeping his cold to himself
  • A tall erect white egret
  • A quiet evening to paint by myself
  • I can play a grade 5 piece called Rhumba on my keyboard
  • Tap dance – good practice to focus
  • Learning insurance pitfalls in Financial Peace
  • My French conversation lesson in the steam room
  • Snowball’s friend, Corbie, came to visit
  • Walk around the lake with new friends
  • A warm evening – only wore a light sweater
  • An “Old Hams” performance – well done

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 is working on a couple children’s books in which she is also the watercolour illustrator.

2012 – THE YEAR OF ?

2012 – the Year of ?

by Jan Cox

As we put away our creche scene for another year, I thought how wonderful that Jesus isn’t “put away” after Christmas; how our Lord lives with us every day. The Christmas Season may be over but “God is with us – we are not alone.”

This is the time to reflect on who we are in Christ. That means our prayers and quiet times before God can be eye opening.

Some people pray for a word for the year. Grace Fox has chosen the word JOY. Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience has picked 2012 as The Year of Koinonia. Koinonia is a Greek word meaning “communion”.

I used to search and ask God for a plan – a goal. Although this might be good, we must remember that our goals may be changed by Him. I wrote this past Tuesday at Inscribe Online about Losing Hope for our Own Solutions.

This year I am praying to TRUST in HIM. I’m praying my body and mind can work together in complete relaxation and peace – knowing that He is at work, even when it feels like everything is crumbling. I want GOD solutions.

And I plan – yes I plan to work toward openness and trust that will move me closer to God. But I can’t do it on my own. NO – I CANNOT DO IT. I will rely on God to move me forward as I pray, no longer for “THE PLAN” but for the “knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding”.

Once again I see my problem is an issue of CONTROL. I make a plan. I want it to move forward. I do everything to make it work. WHAM@!! Something hits and I fall apart.

Do you see the “I’s” in that plan?

This year – I will still plan – but knowing that the plan made be side-lined according to His will. I will be praying to be ready to bend, to turn around, to stop … as He orchestrates my life’s symphony.

For me this year 2012 – is the YEAR OF TRUST.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Prayer:

Father, I acknowledge I like my own way. I know that is not necessarily Your way. I will try to learn this year to have less of me and more of You. But I know I need Your help to do that. Fill me with the knowledge of Your will. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

What will this year be for you? Ask God to reveal a word, a Scripture or idea for your personal growth.

Counting My Gifts from Him – Counting to 1000 – I am at 889

  • Starting my day praying, journalling and studying God’s Word and listening to Him
  • Good visit with family – hugs from grandchildren
  • Walking in drizzle in Toronto where it was warmer than in Mesa
  • Snowball is a good traveller on airplane, train and car
  • Decorated Christmas trees
  • The first snowfall – a white winter wonderland
  • Being able to help family
  • A loving understanding husband
  • Grandkids’ laughter
  • Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs
  • God’s Holy Spirit keeping me calm
  • The Alphabet prayer when I can’t sleep
  • Playing games with grandchildren
  • Remembering to have a Mary heart in a Martha world
  • My grandson’s 6th birthday – donations to Free the Children instead of gifts. Feel free to help.
  •  A God-incident where I can speak His Word to someone
  • Peace, and joy found through Jesus
  • Knowing God has a plan and learning to trust in Him
  • Wayne gaining confidence to drive after his accident
  • A concerned sister – who is always there and trusts in God
  • Equal opportunity health care in Canada
  • Encouraging notes from friends
  • De-icing machines for airplanes
  • Warmth of Arizona on our return
  • Making Russian Borscht in a crockpot
  • Putting away the creche but knowing He is always with us – we are not alone.

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 is working on a couple children’s books in which she is also the watercolour illustrator.

HAVE YOU NOT BEEN LISTENING?

Have you not been listening?

by Jan Cox

We have a small malti-poo named Snowball. She is almost two years old. Although I took her to puppy training she was still – what shall I say – less obedient than I wanted. I know she looks innocent in this picture.

This fall we tried out Trick Classes. As she learned to do her tricks, Snowball learned to focus – to watch my eyes, my hands and listen to my voice. She began to pay attention to me. We have more to learn and we will attend intermediate classes in the new year, but I have her attention now.

God wants our attention. In many ways He works to get us to focus on Him. His Word, the Bible, is the best way to learn about Him. Our circumstances, other people and nudges from the Holy Spirit are ways God speaks to us, as well.

But do I LISTEN? My prayer has been, “Help me to focus on You, Lord.” Slowly I can let all the other stuff that floats around in my mind be pushed aside. And then I can LISTEN to His Word.

When I read the Bible I have a notepad to record my thoughts and I underline in my Bible passages that SPEAK to me.

This morning I read from 2 Peter:

“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love…” (2 Peter 1:5 The Message).

I know I can’t do those things by myself. I know I need to pray for all of those character qualities to manifest themselves in me.

So my personal prayer is:

Lord help me to build a good character, have spiritual understanding and an alert discipline. Build in me passionate patience and reverent wonder. Help me to show warm friendliness and generous love.

Can you see how listening to His Word helps me to apply this to my life?

When I focus; when I become more obedient – I learn, I grow.

As I have Snowball’s attention so now God has my attention. I continue to LISTEN to Him.

“Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening?” (Isaiah 40:21-24 The Message).

It is time – as we head towards Christmas – Let us LISTEN to God.

Prayer:

Father, we do desire to be obedient to Your Word. We know we lose focus – forgive us. Help us to learn to LISTEN to Your voice. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

My Gratitude List for this week. I am counting to 1000 and I am at 767.

  • Wayne is extending the hours between painkillers
  • The auto adjuster is willing to wait for a quote for underwriter for our medical insurance
  • Decision made not to travel to Israel this spring
  • We will go on another trip to Israel another time
  • Getting words of wisdom from Holy Spirit about what to write
  • Learning more about Holy Spirit through Charles Stanley’s book
  • A beautiful card from Carissa – wow!
  • Ideas, ideas and more ideas
  • The Hope of Christ – Hallelujah!
  • A wow story of God’s healing both physical and spiritual
  • How Ann Voskamp’s book is impacting my Bible study group
  • Watching You, Lord, work in people’s lives
  • A wise, loving, understanding Naturopath
  • Ability to learn new skills
  • Patience while dealing with Bell Canada
  • Driving in the rain in a golf cart – in Arizona
  • Seeing rain in the desert
  • Seeing Snowball graduate from Trick Class – with a hat and certificate – too funny!
  • Mom’s cold getting better
  • Kathy’s back getting better
  • Cooler temperatures – actually cold in the desert
  • Fog – in the desert

  • Getting Facebook to work for Under the Cover of Prayer
  • Christmas carols with a band for Sunday service

Contributors

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 written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it some day.

SIDELINED BUT BACK ON TRACK

Sidelined but Back on Track

by Jan Cox

Last Friday I wrote about my husband’s car accident and how he was t-boned at an intersection. This definitely set our lives on a slightly different course for a while. Our time has been spent in hospitals, giving medications, resting and much paper work. Regular routines have been sidelined for a time. But God is good and it has been a good time for reflection.

This week I received an announcement of a Liebster Award for my writing on this blog from Dawn Blanchard. She wrote:

I met Jan on the Facebook web page Colossians in a Year where we support one another in memorization of the book of Colossians. Jan’s site is about prayer. If you go there you can leave requests, but the best part is her extensive coverage of each nation in the world and how to pray specifically for that nation. She travels to do mission in the world and at home. If you need some help with prayer or want to help Jan, I know she’d be glad to have you.

Oh my – I have been sidelined. The two things that Dawn wrote about I had stopped doing. And just this week, before the award, I had come to the conclusion that the Praying for the World part of my ministry had come to a halt somewhere in the “m” category. I don’t know how it happened. I used to have my Operation World book at the breakfast table and I would read and pray as I ate – yes I had lost my focus on this ministry.

Earlier this week I signed up for a daily email for each country and started to pray again. If I feel a strong nudge for a country I have my Operation World book handy for more intensive prayer. This email will keep me steadier in my prayers and I can pray while travelling, when routines get changed and even if I feel “out-of-sorts”. That email will be my reminder to pray.

Dawn reminded me of something else I had let go – the memorization of Colossians – that left me sometime during the summer. What I did memorize has been a definite blessing – especially in the past two weeks. These two passages were a blessing:

“being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:11-12 NIV).

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2: 6 NIV).

It was in the counting His gifts during this time that has brought joy to each moment of each day.

I thank God for nudging me and for Dawn in her blessings me with the Liebster Award.

And I don’t feel guilty about being pulled off the line I had travelled. I do feel thankful that  the Holy Spirit reminded me that getting back on track is good, too.

Here are four wonderful blogs/websites that I think deserve this award: And remember to check out Dawn Blanchard’s Dschondog’s Blog.

Storygal by Carolyn Wilker – Carolyn wrote about milk bags for Haiti last year. She is still getting comments on this post. She writes from her heart and her experiences in writing and speaking.

 Precious Moments by Sulo Vinayagamoorthy – Just found this blog from a fellow Inscribe member. She wrote a wonderful post on prayer called Precious link to God-P-R-A-Y-E-R.

Tickling Won’t Do by Tammy Wiens – I didn’t know that T. L. Wiens, one of Under the Cover of Prayer’s writers had a blog. Discovered it in my hunt for blogs this morning. Tammy always has a clear understanding of God’s word and explains it well for the reader.

A Woman’s Voice by Dolores Ayotte – Dolores has written a couple of books and her third one comes out next month. She speaks from her heart and her faith. One can learn a lot by listening to her words of wisdom.

My Gratitude List for this week: I am getting closer to 1000 – I am at 745.

  • Prayer warriors
  • Hot tub to lessen Wayne’s pain
  • Rest for Wayne
  • The arresting sound of an owl’s call at night
  • Pictures of my family by email
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Time – a good healer
  • Finding Operation World has an email option
  • Links through blogs to grow me spiritually
  • Holy Spirit nudges, emails and God-incidents
  • My connection to Poland
  • Peace while waiting for a replacement card
  • Strength and stamina to do “double duty”
  • Wayne is able to reduce his medication
  • A Christmas piano book for $1.00
  • Praying for someone about their father’s operation
  • Feeling and understanding the Holy Spirit at a different level (reading Charles Stanley’s A Wonderful Spirit Filled Life)
  • Snowball loves to ride in the golf cart
  • Stars shining above the palm trees
  • Learning to speak French with a friend at the pool
  • Bible verses that come to mind
  • Service on generosity (Unleashed Generosity)
  • Wild bunnies
  • The beating of my heart
  • First Sunday in Advent – God our Hope
  • Facebook chat with a friend
  • Watching Snowball jump through a hoop
  • Painting a live parrot – beautiful colours – awesome
  • Being personally awarded the Liebster Award
  • We put up our Manger Scene in front of our house

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 written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it some day.

A POWERFUL PRAYER

A Powerful Prayer

by Jan Cox

How many of you have friends and family that have not received Christ? I know of many who are suffering or not reaching their godly potential as Christ is not their “all in all”.

I would like everyone to know Jesus. As I study and gain more insight for myself I want to reach out to others so they, too, can have Christ in their lives.

Today as I read from Colossians I saw Paul’s prayer in a new light. I know he meant it for the Christians in Colossae, but I saw it as a prayer for all people. Paul writes:

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9 NIV).

Paul’s prayer is powerful! By asking God to fill our friends and family with knowing Him – He can reveal to them all that He is about. We can leave it to God to grow them. Our job is to pray for that door to be opened.

When I started my journey towards knowing Christ, I found out later that during this time my Christian friends were praying for me – and they did not stop praying for me either, until I opened my heart to Jesus. Even now I know they continue to pray for me as I continue to pray for them.

When I came to know Christ from my heart it was from a prayer that I had said, “Jesus, reveal Yourself to me.”

You see I had the head part of Jesus. I knew that, yes, He is the Son of God. I knew from my studying that He really lived, died and rose again. But my heart could NOT claim it. I had to cry out to Christ to be “in” me – in my mind, my heart and my soul.

Paul’s prayer for others does that too. It asks God to reveal Himself to my family and friends. It takes the pressure off me, as I know that God does the pursuing.

So here is my prayer:

Pursue my friends”, Lord. Capture them. Bring them into the knowledge of Who You are. Awake in them a desire to clamour for You. Make them want to cry out, “Show Yourself to me”. Make Yourself a part of their lives. Help them to be free – free in Christ to be who God created them to be. Lord, fill them up with the knowledge of Your will, through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Be a part of their lives.

Oswald Chambers speaks of the importance of having a deep abiding faith in Jesus:

Until we know Jesus, God is a mere abstraction, we cannot have faith in Him; but immediately we hear Jesus say – “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,” we have something that is real, and faith is boundless. Faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (Oswald Chambers, October 30)

This will be my prayer for each person I meet. It will be my prayer for my family, friends and acquaintances. I will remember:

  • To not stop praying
  • To ask God to fill them with the knowledge of His will
  • For God to make sure that they know what He wants
  • For them to know Jesus – mind, heart and soul
  • To expect to see a change

Prayer:

Father we all have friends and family who don’t know You. We want them to get closer to Jesus in order to know You fully. Open those doors so they can see You, ask about You and finally claim Your leadership in their lives. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week: Counting up to 1000 – I am at 528.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Snowball went to a Hallowe’en party as a ladybug (she still has the label on the costume)
  • Frozen yogurt with stevia
  • Great sermon on Grace and Truth
  • Learning a new watercolour technique
  • Wonderful massage – for an aching shoulder
  • Watching Harry Potter because my granddaughter “loves Harry Potter”
  • Dealing with Bell Canada calmly
  • Understanding a former pastor through his book, My Fanatical, Regrettable, Tour of Ministry
  • God speaking to me through His Word
  • Learning to open my eyes and ears to my surroundings
  • Unexpected guests – fun!
  • Beef without antibiotics
  • Encouragement
  • Painting a picture of a turtle

Liebster Award

Excitement – Liebster Award

Under the Cover of Prayer has been awarded the Liebster Award by Stephanie Nickel. Thank you, Stephanie. You can find her blog at Free2Soar.

The Criteria: The Liebster Blog Award is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward.

The Rules: You must mention and link to the person who awarded you the Liebster and mention 5 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers you think worthy of the Liebster.

I had quite the problem finding people who wanted to continue this. So I have only chosen three. These are wonderfully written blogs and I encourage you to check them out.

Congratulations to the following:

Violet Nesdoly

Violet blogs at Other Food. This blog contains daily devotionals for adults. Violet writes: “If one of your resolutions is to begin having a daily quiet time, you’ve come to the right place. You will find a new meditation posted here each morning.”

Judith Lawrence

Judith blogs at Contemplatives Without a Cloister.

Judith writes: “I am a contemplative without a cloister and will be writing about various aspects of prayer and relationship with God. Join me, Judith Lawrence, and share a moment or two in entering God’s open door.”

Brenda Wood

Brenda blogs at Heart Felt Devotionals.

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda J Wood 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.


YES – PRAYER IS A CHAT WITH GOD

Yes – Prayer is a Chat with God

by Jan Cox

Prayer can be such a private thing. I guess on this blog we are more open about it. However as we open ourselves to the struggle – and it is indeed a struggle – hopefully with Christ’s help we can get better and therefore closer to God.

God is looking for honesty. There are still hidden misconceptions that God wants fancy language, flowing words, and a fine sounding voice. Wrong – just not true. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at our hearts. [1 Samuel 16:7]

There is a battle of our wills that takes place in order to pray. We use excuses why we don’t pray:

  • I don’t feel like it.
  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I don’t know what to say.
  • I don’t need to bother God – I can figure it out myself.
  • My thoughts get in the way.

But God wants this relationship with us. In order to win this spiritual battle we must push past excuses and use our wills to take the time to talk to God.

And God does yearn jealously after us.

Can you see the battle – our independence and our self versus obedience to God?

A wonderful old hymn, called Take Time to be Holy by William D. Longstaff (1882), can help us see that we need to push through – to pray in private – to go away to a spot and really have a chat with God. Here are some of the words of this lovely old hymn:

Take time to be holy,
speak oft with thy Lord;
abide in him always,
and feed on his word.

Take time to be holy,
the world rushes on;
spend much time in secret
with Jesus alone.

I encourage you this week to make time with God – have a chat – be yourself. Ask Him to help you make prayer a habit.

Prayer:

Help us Lord Jesus, to become wonderful pray-ers. Help us to battle the Evil one who doesn’t want us to have this fabulous connection with God. Show us and guide us to connect with Him. We pray in your precious name, Jesus. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week. I’m up to 292.

  • Babysitting with my husband our 2 youngest grandchildren
  • Walks by the beach, to the park and to the canal
  • Explaining the lock system to a 4-year old
  • Watching a boat descend in the lock
  • A visit to the Peterborough Zoo
  • Camels, monkeys and llamas
  • A train rider through a tunnel with screaming kids

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 written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.


SPIRITUALLY FIT?

Spiritually Fit?

by Janis Cox 

Kimberley Payne, from Fit for Faith, always has a focus on fitness. She reminds us to eat properly, get the right amount of exercise and take time with God.

Yes, taking time with God is spiritual fitness and should be at the top of our list.

When we start our days in prayer (talking with God) we are building a firm foundation.

Oswald Chambers compares this time to a workshop. He tells us we can be the real thing before God.

Why you ask? Why do we need to be spiritually fit?

“When the crisis comes instead of being revealed as fit, you will be revealed as unfit.”1

But if we have built a good private relationship with God then:

“when the strain comes you can be relied upon by God.”2

When we do physical exercise we build heart muscles, lungs and bones – and probably a lot more parts that we don’t even know.

The same is true in worshipping God. As we read the Bible, study, pray and listen to Him we are building spiritual muscles. When we are in a crisis mode we will call upon those muscles, and all the other underlying parts we don’t know about, to help us stand for Christ.

Don’t think that in a crisis we can start developing spiritual fitness. It starts today – no excuses. Here are some of the excuses Oswald Chambers relates:

“I can’t be expected to live the sanctified life in the circumstances I am in; I have no time for praying just now, no time for Bible reading, my opportunity hasn’t come yet; when it does, of course I shall be all right.”3

and Oswald answers these excuses:

“No, you will not. If you have not been worshipping as occasion serves, when you get into work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you.”4

 Take the time. Make the time. Build a relationship with God. Be ready. Be fit. Fitness is a continuing process. But we have to start somewhere.

1, 2, 3, 4 – Quotes from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 10, 2011.

Prayer:

Help us, Lord, to take the time to know You better. Help us to come to You and talk it out. Help to build this relationship and grow spiritually. In Jesus’ name. AMEM

My Gratitude List for this week:

  • babysitting our two youngest grandchildren with my hubby
  • walks to the beach, the park and the canal
  • explaining the lock system to a 4-year old
  • watching a boat descend in the lock from the eyes of a 4-year old
  • a visit to the Peterborough Zoo
  • camels, monkeys and llamas
  • train ride through a tunnel with screaming kids
  • great visit with friends

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 written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.



CAN PRAYER BE GOOD FOR ME?

Can Prayer be Good for Me?

by Jan Cox

In the past few weeks I have challenged myself to be more disciplined in prayer. Then I asked myself – why? Why do I pray?

The “self” part of me says:

“I can do everything. I can cope. I do not need help. But if I need help, I will ask.”

Have you heard yourself say that? And I also get busy doing things and forget to talk to God even when I get into trouble. I say to myself, “I can work this out.”

“As long as you are self-sufficient you do not need to ask God for anything.” 1

Then what is prayer for? Is it to get things, be blessed, or get out of sticky situations? Obviously when we are needy our lack of self-sufficiency might drive us to prayer. “Oh, Lord, help me!” But is that why God created this way to communicate?

I have pondered about this for awhile. I think God created prayer as a means of communication to get to know Him. It is a relationship builder. As we pray – we change. Our dispositions can change and then we can, in our new frame of mind, relate to our circumstances differently.

“”It is not so true “prayer changes things” as that prayer changes me and I change things.””2

So this week I will try again to open my relationship with God to a new level. I want to know Him more; I need to talk to Him about me, who I am and how He and I can work together.

“Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished [in me]. “3

1, 2, 3 All quotes come from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 28.

Prayer:

As I work on my prayer life, help me to open myself to hear Your words. Help me to open myself and talk to You about the real me. Help me to be still before You. Help me NOT to be afraid to say, “change me, Lord”. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week: I am at 280

  • a fun-filled week at a cottage with kids and grandkids
  • watching my granddaughter take pictures – she is 4
  • watching my family enjoy each other
  • lots of food
  • many games and laughter
  • swimming in the lake
  • campfire with smores
  • nighttime stars above the trees

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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 written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.