Tag Archives: prayers

What can we learn from a tiny seed?

It’s wonderful what Creation can teach us.

Did you know that from one of the smallest seeds grows one of the largest trees? The seed of the sequoia is only ¼ the size of a grain of uncooked rice. And yet it grows into the biggest tree, having roots that can cover over 2-4 acres and bark that can be 2 feet thick.

seed

I find that amazing!

And can you imagine our earth without seeds? There would be very little plant growth.

In Genesis 1:11-13,

God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”
And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
all varieties,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Three.

Jesus told this parable: From Matthew 13:31-32

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Have you looked at a seed lately?

As I planted my garden this spring, I marvelled that the tiny beet seed would produce luscious red beets;tomato seeds would grow into tall tomato plants; bean seeds into edible beans.

seed

But the parable of the tiny mustard seed:

– that makes more sense when I understand the miracle of a tiny seed growing into a large plant like the Sequoia seed turning into the largest tree.

And that our faith can be like that – small, unassuming, but powerful because we enlist the aid of God.

seed

Mark Batterson in his book study called Draw the Circle, reminds us of the miracle of that tiny seed and also how we need to go slow and wait expectantly for our prayers to be answered.

He says:

Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations…. So even when we die our prayers don’t.

In this world we want quick fixes, and instant solutions.

Mark says:

We want God to microwave solutions, MapQuest directions and Twitter instructions.

We forget, yes forget, that we serve a powerful awesome God.

 

In Psalm 50 we hear that God owns the cattle of a thousand hills.

 

We need to remember that we can’t let fear dictate our decisions.

 

Mark Batterson also says:

When Jesus walked out of the tomb, the word impossible was removed from our vocabulary.

Our God who can make a humungous tree grow from a tiny seed,
can surely answer our prayers.

 

Is your God big enough to answer your prayers? Remember you need to ask. So dream big and ask our awesome God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, You came to earth to show us the way. You came to teach us about God. You talked about Who God is and you showed miracles to show us how big our God is. Please help us to have that mustard seed of faith to put our trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, think about your prayer time. Are you spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word?

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I Crave Dignity for all

I Crave Dignity for all – Five Minute Friday

Can’t resist – I found 5 minutes and the word is CRAVE.

Oh that word used to mean that I wanted something myself. I would crave recognition. I would crave friends.

Thankfully that all changed when I met Jesus – He really showed me that all I needed was to crave a relationship with God and everything else would fall into place. I have more energy, more joy, more peace and more friends. I enjoy every moment of every day wondering where He will lead me, what door He will open up. And if He doesn’t open doors I rest in waiting for that to happen.

crave

This year my craving has turned to love of others. I support two groups, Save the Mothers, with my stuffed dolls to go with my children’s book. And I have been wearing a dress – started yesterday – every day in December to raise awareness and fundraise against #humantrafficking. It is called Dress for Dunamis – Dress for Dignity.

crave

I crave for God to arise and bring justice. I cry out the Psalm 9:18-19.

No longer will the poor be nameless—
    no more humiliation for the humble.
Up, God! Aren’t you fed up with their empty strutting?
    Expose these grand pretensions!
Shake them up, God! (from the Message)

crave

I am shouting “Up, God! Expose these perpetrators. Shake them up, God.”

I am praying every day against human trafficking. I am using the 31 day prayer verses from Street Hope. Here is the page.

Here is a video about The Dunamis Foundation. We are fundraising for a shelter and a van. We are wearing a dress every day. Or men are sporting a bow tie. Let’s talk about this.

This is what I CRAVE – justice, safety and dignity for all women. (and men) (tweet this)

Time’s up.

Here is the FAcebook link. 

Your turn to write for 5 minutes without editing. Or read wonderful posts about the word “crave”.Surrender

Today I joined Kate Motaung at Five Minute Fridays. 

#UTCOP – A Month of Prayer – Where’s the Love?

Where’s the Love?

by Patricia Day

Where's-the-love

“Silhouette Life” by arztsamui Digital Photos.net

 

I pray for tried and true discipline and respect to return to human hearts.

I am filled with anguish for the ordinary folk. The mothers, fathers, and siblings deeply impacted by terrorism, war, and famine. This world can be an ugly place; made so by the greed and cruelty of vicious individuals who show no caring traits. Filled only with a salacious appetite for power they destroy anyone and anything standing in their way.

I pray for God’s peace in this world.   I pray for each of us to be impacted so deeply by the distress of others that we do something to help them. In any way we can. That we do not stand by as good people are eliminated simply because they choose what is right and refute what is wrong.

I pray that world leaders will stand up to the perpetrators of terrorism and determine to seek and bring to justice the monsters wreaking havoc on earth.

My prayer is that love: respect: compassion and integrity rule once again, and evil acts are overcome quickly and effectively.

Tweetable:

Make a difference – pray. Join us for a month of prayer.

Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Writing has always been a passion of Patricia’s. She believes that she expresses herself better in writing. Patricia enjoys creating short stories and devotionals. Other favourite past-times include family-time; gardening; reading; walking and listening to good music.

Patricia is married and the mother of two sons and stepmom to a son & daughter. Best of all, she is Nana to ten grandchildren. Look for her devotionals at Pepe Prays  and her blog Patricia E. Day .

Patricia recently completed her first novel – Eleanor, A Stolen Childhood . she is currently at work on second novel, Priscilla – Hidden in the Shadows.

 

Sunday Stillness – How is your prayer a time capsule?

Sunday Stillness – How is your prayer a time capsule?

Every-prayer---time-capsule-Mark-Batterson

As I read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson I pray more. I see my prayers answered. I see God working. I love this statement that Mark makes in this book:

Every prayer is a time capsule. You never know when or where or how God is going to answer it, but He will answer it (page 204, The Circle Maker).

As I started my faith walk with Jesus I remember someone explain to me that God always answers. The answer may be: YES. NO. or MAYBE.

If you haven’t had an answer of no – then persist in praying. The answer of YES may be just around the bend.

You won’t know if God will answer unless you keep praying.

That’s why prayers are like an incense to our Father – the aroma of our cries, our pleas and our questions. We watch and wait for the answers. That is exciting. But we need to pray in order to get answers.

Our prayers build before the Lord.

Our prayers don’t dissipate over time; our prayers accumulate through eternity (page 204, The Circle Maker).

Join me over at #UTCOP, Under the Cover of Prayer, as we grapple with all facets of talking and listening to God.

Tweetables:

Our prayers build before the Lord. ~ @MarkBatterson. (tweet this)

You won’t know if God will answer unless you keep praying. (tweet this)

Today is Sunday Stillness.

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JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY – 
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

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

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Scripture and Snapshot

http://christianmommyblogger.com

The Weekend Brew

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How to Pray the Psalms

How to Pray the Psalms

by Janis Cox

Pray-the-Psalms

As I read Mark Buchanan’s book, Your God is Too Safe, I learned to pray the Psalms.

Centuries of wisdom tells us that the Psalms give form to and language for the fullness of our lives. ~ Mark Buchanan

Pray a Psalm each day. Take them in order. Don’t worry if it affects us today because we do know that it has either affected us in the past or will certainly affect us in the future.

Also remember as you pray a Psalm that you are not just praying for yourself – you are praying for others.

Praying the Psalms is:

incense in God’s throne room, raw material for bombs.  (Mark Buchanan, Your God is Too Safe, p. 233)

In the hands of God, … through these prayers, the fire will fall and everything will become as it was meant to be. (Mark Buchanan, Your God is Too Safe, p.234

So let’s start with the first Psalm today. I chose The Living Bible as I don’t often read that version and sometimes a new version speaks different wisdom to me.

Prayer:

Thanks Lord for showing me to look to You and not to the advice of men

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God.

I enjoy my morning time with You, Jesus. I love learning more about You in Your Word. It helps to keep me grounded through the day when the world enters into my sanctuary.

 But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.

Keep me filled with the water of Your Word. Help me learn to soak up Your wisdom. In that way I can be useful to others when they need some of Your wisdom.

They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.

I pray for those who don’t know You, Jesus. I pray that they can be touched by Your love. I pray that I can lead them to follow You.

 But for sinners, what a different story! They blow away like chaff before the wind. They are not safe on Judgment Day; they shall not stand among the godly.

Thank You for watching over me and my family. Thank You for inspiration and joy at learning about this beautiful world and Your creation.

For the Lord watches over all the plans and paths of godly men, but the paths of the godless lead to doom.

Tweetables:

Thanks Lord for showing me to look to You and not to the advice of men

I pray for those who don’t know You, Jesus. I pray that they can be touched by Your love.

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.

HOW CAN I PRAY USING SCRIPTURE?

How Can I Pray Using Scripture?

by Janis Cox

Real Prayers from Real People

Our Bible Study, better known as the Bible Babes, has started a new study called Rational Worship by Carolyn J. Watts. As we looked closely at Scriptures we were asked our thoughts and feelings. Then we were asked to make a prayer.

Praying using the Scriptures is very powerful. Tweet this.

This week I asked my women friends to share with you their prayers.

The question in our study read:

In the light of your current life situation, what does Romans 11:33 make you want to pray?

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out “(Romans 11:33, NIV)!

Here are real prayers from real people:

God, I need your wisdom and knowledge to lead me to make good decisions each day. Only You see the future and therefore only You can guide me in the right way, the way that glorifies You.

God, You know everything. So from the depth of the riches of Your knowledge and wisdom I know You can be there for me. Show me, guide me, and move the mountains.

O Lord, my Father, my Creator, I give my whole self to You. You know me so well. I thank and praise You for Your glory is everything.

I am so grateful that an all-powerful God would be involved in the details of my life and my plans for the future. Thank You that I can trust You with all my hopes and desires knowing that You will lead me in the right direction.

What prayer would you pray – after reading that Scripture a few times?

Stop. Think. Then pray.

Related articles

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

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. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Jan’s Website.

HOW CAN I RELEASE MY FAMILY TO GOD?

How Can I Release my Family to God?

by Stephanie Nickel

Above the Clouds

Above the Clouds

When sharing at the Lord’s Table with my church family, my pastor referred to God, “the Father giving us His Son”. Now, that is very familiar to any Christian, but because my heart was heavy for my children:

it was good to be reminded that God knows what it’s like to be a parent “surrendering” His child. Tweet this.

In my heart, I released my worries – and my three adult children – to Him, and He lifted me up as only He can.

Above the Clouds

Above the clouds, my heart can soar
The pain has gone
It is no more.

The clenching fist that held it tight
Released its hold
It has no might.

For my kids I was weighed down
Hurt and worry
All around.

The sky has cleared and joy has come
They are His

It’s settled, done.

For I’ve released them to His care
Thus escaping
That great snare…
That held me down, that held be back
That left me open
To attack.

But God is on His throne above
The God of mercy
Peace and love.

This God I worship and adore
First place given
Evermore.

I love my kids so very much
I love their smiles
I love their touch.

But now they have their rightful place
God, they’re yours
O Lord of grace.

You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3 NIV).

 

Related articles

Stephanie Nickel

Stephanie is a wife of over 30 years and has three grown children. She is eclectically interested, to say the least. Among her current pursuits are freelance editing and writing; filling in for her church administrator, who is currently on maternity leave; serving expectant moms as a labour doula; and working toward her Pregnancy Fitness Educator certification. The book she co-authored with Paralympian Deb Willows’ is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2013. Stephanie is a member of The Word Guild and works on Write! On, the news bulletin for guild members. She also posts regularly to TWG’s Facebook faces. To read more of her writing, visit Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.

CAN GOD REALLY HEAR MY PRAYERS?

Can God Really Hear My Prayers?

reprinted from Under the Cover of Prayer by Janis Cox

IMG_0311

A while ago I wrote about whether God could hear our prayers. That has been the most popular post for this blog. Obviously people are asking that question. You can read the post, God Can Hear Our Prayers? by clicking on this link.

As we enter the third week of Advent, I want to reemphasize that God CAN hear your prayers. I thought today about the stories of pets, particularly dogs, who travel astonishing distances to find their masters. Their focus and determination and will surmount incredible odds. Their love for their owners makes this possible.

Well I want to tell you that God’s love is even greater. He cares for us so much that He went to great length to get our attention and become close to us.

God went so far as to become one of us. Yes – He sent His Son as a babe to earth to live among us, teach us, befriend us and actually sacrifice Himself for us so we could be eternally with Him. Now that’s LOVE.

We need only look and His love is there.

“Cast all your anxiety upon Him for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).

Have you asked Him to reveal Himself to you? Just say, “Jesus, reveal Yourself to me”. And He will.

Prayer:

Lord, we know you care. We see it all around us. You leave us wonderstruck. Help us to reach out and seek Your presence in our lives. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 

HOW DID I CHANGE? – Poland Thoughts – Part 2

How Did I Change? Poland Thoughts – Part 2

by Jan Cox

Everything is God – Pray

Last week I talked about the importance of prayer for and on my mission trip to Poland.

Today I want to look at how I changed.

Philippians 4:6 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This has always been one of my favourite Scriptures. And I relied on it the whole time away.

Using a Bible Study given to me by International Messengers works so well in preparation, in mission time and on coming home.

In my preparation time I learned:

  • to focus – I was able to make time to do all that needed to be done before I went
  • to get rid of self – I prayed hard about this one
  • everything is God – and one word I learned in Polish is “wszystko” – everything.
  • From my pretrip journal I read my words:

“Having God means everything. He keeps me calm; gives me inspirations; helps me when I falter; He is my shield; He gives me love, defence, protection, refuge and peace.”

During my trip:

We “came along side” our friends in Poland. Just as Jesus came along side his disciples on the road to Emmaus, we came along side and tried to show them Jesus (through our actions and words).

Here was a good prayer for us:

“Father, who can I come along side today? Lead me and guide me to that person. Give me Your words to show Jesus.”

I learned to let go of my agenda – how I expected in my English class to teach beginners to intermediates and ended up with intermediate to advanced. I changed my entire plan. But I loved it.

I had to remember that God had a process in mind and to ask Him to guide and lead me.

Here is an Acronym for my time in Poland:

ALL FOR JESUS

    Accept what occurs
ReLax in Him
    Love fully.

             oFfer thanks
have nO agenda
be Real

   reJoice
bE at peace
     Seek his presence
     Use Prayer
ExiSt in God alone.

Jan Cox

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.

“STEEPED TEA” PRAYERS

“Steeped Tea” Prayers

by Jan Cox 

I am not a perfectionist when it comes to making tea but I do know tea needs to steep before I pour and drink it.

To steep – “to soak in water or other liquid so as to extract its flavour or to soften it.”

As I sipped my tea today I thought about the steeping process and how it compared to my life and to my prayer life.

In my writing I try to let my ideas and thoughts settle in my mind and spirit, possibly before writing down my scattered thoughts (some writers say to write everything down but I like thinking and pondering first). Then I start putting my thoughts into the written word that will make sense to the reader (hopefully).

Even when I write for five minutes for Five-Minute Fridays with The Gyspy Mama, I confess that after I check the word of the week, I let it tumble around through my mind awhile before writing.

In my painting it is also true – I think of an idea; then I let pictures float through my mind before I feel ready to paint. When I do that it makes for a better painting.

In my prayer life I love early mornings. This is my time to get steeped in the Word; to pray and to think about God and His blessings.

And the actually act of praying – that is steeping my soul.

“But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones” (Isaiah 30:18 The Message).

All the thoughts in my head get mixed around with the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God. It is a joining of my mind with God – awesome.

As you know some types of teas take longer to steep – some as long as fifteen minutes. So we, too, need to wait on the right timing with God. He waits for us to be ready. Then He makes things happen. It is in His timing. Oswald Chambers says that:

“you will get to the place where there is no distance between the Father and His child because the Lord has made you one, and “in that day ye shall ask Me no question.”” (May 28).

A wonderful cup of tea – steeped for the right time – tastes wonderful. Prayers and time with God – steeped for the right time – peace, contentment, and trust.

Are you letting your prayers and your time with God be just right? Don’t rush God. He has the perfect timing. Your “prayer tea” will be perfect if you follow His instructions in waiting.

Just as an aside. The idea of steeped tea started in the middle of the night and worked around in my mind until I drank my early morning cup of tea. Hopefully I allowed enough time for my thoughts to steep and be full flavoured to make an interesting post.

My Gratitude List – counting to 2000. I am at 1421.

      • learning that fear and praise cannot live together
      • “prayer is not an exercise, it is the life” (Oswald Chambers, May 26).
      • great drive for workshop for upcoming VIBE (our vacation Bible School)
      • looking after my grandson at a wedding ceremony
      • rocking him back to sleep (mmm good)
         
      • understanding the awesomeness of Pentecost (sermon Part 1, sermon Part 2)
      • listening to birds sing on our morning walk
      • a few butterflies crossing my path
      • reminding myself to slow down
      • thinking how fascinating it is to talk to anyone in the world (mine was to B.C.)
      • sweet message from my granddaughter left on answering machine
      • summer weather in May – swimming in the lakes (Not me!)
      • getting the Apple TV to stream a movie without pausing
      • our 41st Anniversary
      • more butterflies
      • Wayne off to a native community on a fact finding mission to access their situation and see if our church can help
      • ordered 5 more books from Shutterfly at a 40% discount
      • watched Guy Chevreau 1st video sermon on prayer. “Self-directed or Spirit-led Prayer”

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.