Tag Archives: praise

60 Promises to Pray Over Your Children – book review

60 Promises to Pray Over Your Children – book review60 Promises to Pray Over Your Children

by Roy Lessin (Summerside Press, 2012)

Reviewed by Janet Sketchley

This hard-bound gift book is a great resource for any praying parent. Each prayer is matched with a Scripture verse and a brief inspirational quote, and a green satin ribbon lets you mark your progress through the pages.

Nine sections focus prayers in the areas of blessing, protection, character, community, praise, growth, courage, purpose and knowing God. The prayers are written from a point of view that says “my children” but are easily customizable to “our” and/or “child” … or, for that matter, “grandchild” or “niece/nephew.”

I made a point in each prayer to include my children’s names, and when I reached the end of the book, I began again. The prayers apply to any age of child as well, and again, are customizable. For example, if a reader has a child who’s ignoring the Lord, instead of thanking God for a faith relationship, the reader could thank Him for desiring such a relationship with the child, and pray for the Holy Spirit to draw him/her.

I’ve long been a fan of Roy Lessin’s verse and his devotional website, Meet Me in the Meadow. His words in these carefully-crafted prayers can aid us in regular prayer for the children (of all ages) in our lives.

Amazon link 

[Review copy from my personal library. Amazon link is an affiliate link for The Word Guild.]

Janet Sketchley

Janet Sketchley facebook 180x180

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

Do We Enter His Gates with Praise?

Do We Enter His Gates with Praise?

by Rose Spillenaar Harmer

English: The gates to St Deiniol's church, Haw...

I love you dearly!

I know how much you love hearing of my love each day.

It is the same in the throne room of God.
Your praises and love are like perfume in our courts.

We receive many petitions and requests each day.

But, many people have not chosen to “enter into my gates
with thanksgiving and into my courts with praise.”

Remembering to be thankful and loving is the key.

If you practice this formula in your daily interactions,
you will find relationships grow sweeter and richer.

Let’s read:

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good: his mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generation (Psalm 100:4-5, KJV).

Many years ago, when I read the book “The Hour That Changes the World,” by Dick Eastman, I determined to always begin daily devotions by praising God for who He is.

Continue to read Rose’s post at Listening to Hear.

Rose Spillenaar Harmer

Rose was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, and speaks on subjects related to marriage, family and mental health.  Her travels take her throughout North America and she winters in Cape Coral, Florida.

Her published words include a short biography in Clayton’s Kids (2009) and a column entitled “Listening” which will be part of a forth-coming book.  Contact Rose.

Sunday Stillness – Matthew 19:24

Sunday Stillness – Matthew 19:24

Matthew 19:24Watercolour of Camel by Janis Cox

I love the word “gallop” in The Message version of this Scripture. Not only does the camel have to fit but he gallops through. Right? A tough verse. It sure tells me that my money is NOT my money but belongs to the Lord. I need to be a good steward of that money.

Why a camel? Camels were used to transport goods, jewelry, fine oils, and those who traded in these things were considered rich. I finished reading a trilogy, Acts of Faith, by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn – I learned much about camels and caravans; storms; rebels; Romans; Samaritans.

Then I read from Isaiah:

And then streams of camel caravans as far as the eye can see,
young camels of nomads in Midian and Ephah,
Pouring in from the south from Sheba,
loaded with gold and frankincense,
preaching the praises of God (Isaiah 60:1-7, The Message).

God will bring riches – maybe on camels. But it will be His riches and people will be praising God, not themselves.

Even thinking back to Jesus’ birth – the wise men arrived on camels carrying gifts. Oh this is rather exciting isn’t it?

Another picture to paint – a caravan of camels bringing riches to praise God.

Have a great Sunday – “be still and know that I am God” – Remember what God said.


For those visiting please check out the posts that are linked below. And everyone loves comments.

If you write about God’s Word, join us in providing your link about what God has spoken to you about this week. Thanks so much to the wonderful contributors.

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

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community

Still Saturday


Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Scripture and Snapshot

The Weekend Brew




Lift High the Name of Jesus

by Janis Cox

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Lift high the name of Jesus
Glory be to God
In the name of the Father
Be true, virtuous, full of life
Sing a new song
High and lifted up
Soaring among the eagles.

Lest you forget:

“I am here,” says the Lord.
“There is no fear
I am in control,” says the Lord.

He is above all things,
over things, in all things,
controls all things.

Wherefore art thou, my God?

“Speaking to you.
Are you listening to me?” says the Lord.
“Go forth in peace,
in triumph, in justice.”

Don’t fall aside.

“Remember and remember.
Listen when I call.
For I am God. I made you,” says the Lord.


Ashamed to Pray

by Jennifer Slattery (reprinted with permission)

Are You Too Ashamed to Pray?

Each day, we are engaged in a cosmic battle, a battle over self. It is a war between entitlement and sacrifice, between self-love and sacrificial love. And each day, God gives us a choice–to squelch His Spirit, His love, His still small voice as we fight for our rights, or to lay it down, allowing Him to reign and love others through us.

Most of the time, I believe we’re oblivious to the consequences. Consumed with ourselves, we don’t even notice the woman in the grocery aisle, the man at the gas station, or perhaps our spouse coming home from work discouraged and exhausted.

In each encounter, God is whispering, tugging, urging us on as His ambassadors. Unfortunately, (if you’re anything like me) the inner voice of self-love often screams louder.

Two weeks ago, our family took a trip to Odenton, Maryland to visit family. It was a wonderful time of fun and exploration–a time for me to see my brother, whom I hadn’t in over five years. But amidst our fun, I soon found myself on a cosmic battleground.

All week, God had impressed on my heart the need to lay myself down, to seek not my own glory, not my will, but His. To be like a wildflower tucked in a nook in the valley, ever-growing, reaching for the sun, even if no one notices.

And then Friday came–our last day in Maryland. I started the day at a surrender zenith, ready to die to myself and be an active instrument of God’s mercy and grace. I was determined to live out the truth God had showed me one morning in 1 Peter chapter four.

“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God”  (1 Peter 4:1-2, NLT). (Emphasis mine.)

As I read the passage, I thought of a dear sister in Christ dying of brain cancer. She’s going through a rough time. She’s lost her sight, and her speech has become difficult. But through it all, her heart remains centered in Christ. Each day, her life shouts out His praises and points everyone around her to the cross.

I wanted to be like her! To praise God regardless of what I faced, to be so surrendered to Him, so focused on His love and purposes, that my life radiates His love and glory.

My determination was quickly undone, not by a fight against cancer but instead, something as trivial as crab cakes. And because of my quickly rising self-love, I tainted Christ’s name.

That afternoon, we decided to begin a search for crab-cakes. My husband had heard Baltimore was famous for them. This was the one thing he’d been looking for, the one thing he longed to do before we headed home. Being the loving, supportive, self-sacrificing … (uh-hem. I shift uncomfortably and avoid your gaze) wife I … long to be, I wholeheartedly agreed, and we all climbed into vehicles and headed downtown.

Stepping out of the van and into a dingy and smelly parking lot, my grumble meter sky-rocketed. When we reached street level, things–and the smell–got worse. I clutched my purse to my chest, and my sister and I exchanged glances.

“Can we go somewhere else?” I’m sure my voice held a pleading tone.

All the women agreed. So, we clamored back into our vehicles and drove to the harbor, filled with numerous clean restaurants–any one of which would mesh well with my germo-phobe preferences. Yes, I was pleased. This would do quite nicely.

But unfortunately, we kept walking, past the  trendy harbor area with its cute shops and alluring smells to a busy intersection lined with brick buildings. Memories of Lexington Street still fresh in my mind, I watched the clean–did I mention clean?–restaurants face behind us, my agitation growing. Snippets of my morning devotion came to mind, calling me to die to myself, embracing each moment (bacteria and all) in full surrender. Relinquishing all rights and expectations.

But I wasn’t listening. I was too focused on me.

The restaurant we ended up at was anything but five-star. The bathroom smelled as if it had been doused in urine. The carpet looked as if it’d been splotched with car grease, and the menus needed to be soaked in sanitizer. It was three o’clock, well past lunchtime, and I was starved … and a bit queasy, as my germo-phobiness waged war with my hunger.

Sitting with a firm scowl, arms crossed, nose wrinkled, I didn’t hide my disgust well. Oh, what a role model I was for my daughter!

And then it came time to pray.

The reality of my witness–or lack there of–hit me in the gut. I thought of the waitress who watched me, frumping, wanting to be anywhere else but there. Did I want her to know I was a Christian? Or would it be better, for Christ’s sake, if she didn’t?

Last Thursday, Nikki Arana asked a powerful question:

“Would you share your faith if it cost you your life?” (You can read her post here.)

I’ve often wondered about that–how I would respond if I lived in a country filled with persecution. If, because of my faith, I faced unemployment, physical pain, or even death. I don’t have an answer, but I do know, in the day-to-day when I am called to *live out* my faith as Christ’s ambassador, I often fall short. Not in the face of extreme danger, but instead, in the face of self, over something as trivial as crab cakes.


Lord Jesus, help me to die to myself, not just in the big, courageous moments, but in those day-to-day encounters–standing in line at a grocery store or eating at a dirty restaurant. Help me, in all things, to be alert to my witness. Help me to radiate your sacrificial love–the love that drove you to a cross, for me.



The 4 Nows

by Jan Cox

Early Morning Time with God

“God You are my God … and I will ever praise You… I will seek You in the morning and I will learn to walk in Your ways… step by step you’ll lead me and I’ll follow You all of my days.” Step by Step by Michael W. Smith

I sing that. And then I forget what it means.

This is NOT what I have been doing. Other things get crammed into my early mornings – my IPOD, ideas, my new book, surfing the Net. All these things seep into my time – this early morning time – with You.

It has happened before and I know it will happen again. But I am sorry. I have forgotten that You must be first.

So, I have come up with:


NOW (this morning time) is a time for PRAYER.

I have not been vigilant. I do pray whenever the Spirit leads me but I have been lax lifting those people, whom I have promised to pray for, to You on a regular basis. So this morning time will be for that.

NOW (this morning time) is a time for PRAISE.

Whether it is through music or words – I want to sing Your praises. I have not done this enough. The Psalms would be a good place to start. Music too. My drive to Peterborough and back reminded me how much I love to sing praise to You.

NOW (this morning time) is a time for STUDY.

That means studying Your Word. I have been doing my Bible Study on returning from Poland – but not regularly. I have been back almost a month and I am not finished yet. I want to delve into the Word and hear what You want to tell me.

NOW (this morning time) is a time for YOU.

Yes, I want to remember to still my mind before You. I want to take this time to stop thinking and talking and start listening. I need this – it focuses me; it refreshes me; it gives me peace.

So here it a new start (once again). May my mornings be for You. May this time not be wasted with other “things”.

How about you? Do you live with God in the NOW? Can you take time, whether it is morning, afternoons, evening or the middle of the night – to meet with our God? It doesn’t matter how long but it does matter if you do it.

What do you think?

Here is Michael Smith singing Step by Step.

Counting My Blessings – to 2000 – I am at 1666

        • God’s peace
        • Great prayers
        • Good thoughts
        • Working on Tadeo Revision
        • Being asked to speak about my trip to Poland to the UCW
        • Playing in pool with grandchildren and watching to see what great swimmers they are
        • Bath time with grandchildren
        • Storytime with grandchildren
        • Thanks for keeping me awake, Lord, on the way home
        • Singing Your praises while I drive
        • Conversation with You while I drive
        • A stressful situation finished
        • Great swim in the lake from our boat
        • Knowing it was NOT the right digital piano
        • The love of my hubby
        • Excitement felt in my daughter as she gets ready for her Kindergarten class
        • Life growing inside my daughter
        • Questions are good
        • Debates are good
        • Scripture is powerful
        • “Wages of sin is death: the Gift of God is eternal life in Jesus” (Romans 6:23)
        • The morning sunshine

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis 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.


Haunted by God

by Jan Cox 

Haunted by God

“God-friendship is for God-worshipers; They are the ones he confides in. If I keep my eyes on God, I won’t trip over my own feet” (Psalm 25:14-15 The Message).

As I thought over this passage it reminded me of the story of Peter walking out to meet Jesus – on the water. Yes, he walked on the water. Why? Because his focus was Jesus, and Him alone. When did he falter? When he looked down at the water.

When I choose to look at circumstances or happenings around me, instead of God – I can be swept downstream. I can lose my footing; stumble; trip; fall.

When I choose to focus on God – thanking Him, counting His blessings, laughing, enjoying little things – there is peace in my soul.

“The whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the presence of God” (Oswald Chambers, June 2).

That’s why I continue to count the gifts that God gives me – each day, I write down one or two or sometimes more, gifts with which God has blessed me.

That is my focus – SEEING Him.

Ann Voskamp took the dare to count to 1000 in her book One Thousand Gifts. I am now counting to 2000. Counting these gifts helps me focus on GOD – leading me closer to being haunted by Him.

“If we are haunted by God, nothing else can get in, no cares, no tribulation, no anxieties. … To be haunted by God is to have an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the enemy” (Oswald Chambers, June 2).

Counting Gifts

                        Thanking Him

                                                Praising Him

All these things lead to FOCUSING on God.

I want to be HAUNTED by God.

Do you?

“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!” (Philippians 4:4-5, The Message).

Continuing to count the gifts – counting to 2000; I am at 1451

      • buying plants for pots – yellows, purples and whites (deer proof?? we’ll see)
      • inspiration for InscribeOnline post
      • rain for the farmers – all day (can’t plant yet)
      • local home show – meeting everyone from town
      • reacquaintance with a wonderful prayer-filled believer
      • sunshine this morning
      • remembering to focus on God
      • sweet granddaughter hugs
      • sweet grandson smiles and chats
      • watching my daughter do up her daughter’s hair for dance recital

Dance Recital Hairdo

      • putting slippers on my granddaughter at recital
      • great recital
      • wonderful dinner with family
      • a friend who ran a beautiful UCW service at church
      • rain again – but good for farmers
      • getting ready for Write! Canada – I think I like promotion
      • donations for VIBE coming in
      • people willing to help with VIBE
      • new sponsored child – Marie – from Wellington Orphanage in Sierre Leone


One of My Pots

      • call from son and they are coming up in a couple of weeks
      • making stuffed turtles for conference
      • remembering how to sew
      • sewing machine worked
      • seeing a deer on our walk – very close to roadside but no camera
      • Snowball resting after a hard day at play

Snowball Relaxing

      • my happy mess

My Happy Mess

      • Cleaning up my mess – husband is pleased
      • finishing up details for Write!Canada
      • planning Mom’s committal service for Saturday
      • a great event put on by Women’s Day Together – Carol Kent
      • another great study on looking at our fear of rejection from Moving From Fear to Freedom

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.


Names of God in Praise

by Janet Sketchley

One of my favourite stories is the story of Joshua leading the nation of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. You can read about it in Joshua 3.

Here’s the pep talk Joshua gives the people before they set out:

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

Joshua 3:9-13, NIV* Emphasis mine.

In that short passage, look at how Joshua refers to God:  “the LORD your God… the living God… the Lord of all the earth (twice)”.

Knowing and reminding ourselves of the names of God can affirm and strengthen our faith.

Joshua chose traits the people needed to remember for the journey ahead. He knew they needed to keep their faith strong in a land of giants.

I always love it when public prayer goes beyond “Dear God” and the leader picks one or two relevant character attributes to address the need: “God of comfort and grace, All-wise and knowing God, God who formed us and knows our weakness…”

It’s a good way to encourage our faith.

Different aspects of God’s character seem especially appropriate to different prayer needs we face.

Choosing one of God’s descriptive names helps in praise too. I like to pick just one and spend time thinking what it says about His nature, His glory, His honour. They comfort me, encourage me, and inspire me to praise Him.

Some of my favourites:

Ancient of Days (Daniel 7)

Father to the Fatherless (Psalm 68:5)

My Rock and My Redeemer (Psalm19:14)

My Shepherd (Psalm 23)

The Author and Finisher of our Faith (Hebrews 12:22, KJV)

What are some of yours?

Janet Sketchley

Janet is a Canadian writer whose passion is fiction. Her unpublished novel, Praying for the Enemy, was short-listed for the 2008 Best New Canadian Christian Author Award. She’s also a wife, mom, daughter, friend, neighbour… trying to balance relationships and responsibilities, and learning how faith applies to real life. Add that to her quirky imagination and love of fiction, and you get stories about everyday women in suspenseful situations discovering more strength than they would have imagined.

Janet writes weekly book reviews and devotionals at her blog, “God With Us: Finding Joy”, and a quarterly fiction column in FellowScript.  http://janetsketchley.wordpress.com


Praising God

by T. L. Wiens

I recently attended my sister in-law’s wedding. During a lull in the activities, everyone made small talk. We were asked repeatedly how long the drive was. That was followed by the comments about how boring it is to drive across Saskatchewan. There’s nothing to see but flat land.

For me, it’s a comment that gets under my skin—I find plenty to look at. I see fields that are already seeded that I can pray for a bountiful harvest. Fields that have yet to be worked get prayers for strength for the farmers. I know what a tiring season spring is on the farm. Sometimes you see lovely green pastures and I sing for joy that we’ve had rain. Other times even the trees can’t hold onto their leaves in the drying winds and I pray for rain. As we pass by small towns, I see churches, businesses and houses. There are clues on the yards as to the nature of the people dwelling there. I pray for them.

For me, there isn’t a dull moment of driving wherever I am because there is no place that God can’t be seen in the landscape or called upon in the clues left by the ones who reside in those passing places.

 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 KJV).


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, “Vi’s First Christmas” will appear in Christmas Chaos coming out in October of 2010. Visit her website.