Tag Archives: Ron Hughes

Sunday Stillness – God tells us to Sit Still

Sunday Stillness – God tells us to Sit Still

God-tells-us-to-sit-still

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lately I have been having a hard time settling into a quiet time with the Lord. Does that happen to you?

This morning I finally said, “SIT STILL, Jan.” And I did. I sat so still I fell asleep. But that’s not bad either. At least I stopped. I felt a stillness I haven’t felt in a while.

It reminded me of my first time trying to sit still. Really I couldn’t sit for more than 5 minutes. Now I could sit still but I always feel like there are other things pressing on my time.

Really? – other things more pressing than being with God, Himself?

Oh no. That’s not good.

I felt a peace and calmness that I haven’t reached for a while.

Lately have been reading, studying, and thinking. Praying, petitioning. I’ve had an active brain.

I recalled reading Ron Hughes’ terrific book, called Refresh.

refresh-promo

What’s been going on in my life Ron calls a “mental racket”.

My brain has played a rock concert for the past month.

At least now I know what I have been missing. I need to stop after praying and reading the Bible. I need to focus on Jesus. Get Still.

I must take that time – to quieten my thoughts before God.

Here is an acronym to help you and me to remember what being still and in God’s presence really means

PEACE

P – Put

E – Everything

A – Aside

C – Calm

E – Ensues

Take time with Jesus today. You will be glad you did.

Tweetable:

I must take that time – to quieten my thoughts before God. (click to tweet)

I found this video to express exactly what I have been feeling. We sang it on Sunday.

The words in the second first really meant a lot to me:

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

Today is Sunday Stillness.

Last week my post was called Quiet Moments and I posted a picture of a deer. Here is my latest meeting with a deer. I hope you enjoy.

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request. Janis also is a contributor to Hope Stream Radio. Join her on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING
PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS
THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART
TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS
THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA
SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
MOTIVATION MONDAYS – @EMBRACINGHISWILLSHARING HIS BEAUTY – @THEBEAUTYINHISGRIP

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#UTCOP – How to Pray Anyway

How to Pray Anyway

by Ron Hughes

Pray,-regardless-of-how-you-feel-Albrecht

by Albrecht Durer



The other day I took note that biblical writers used two different verbs relative to the believer’s communication with God. In Numbers 11, we read of the judgment of the Lord coming among His people because of their complaining. They appealed to Moses and verse 2 records that “when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched.” (NKJV)

Most Christians have found themselves in roughly similar situations—ones where someone’s distress moves them to bring that person’s predicament to the Lord for resolution. Note that Moses seemed to be somewhat detached from the circumstances. The people were desperate, but we see Moses “praying,” no doubt fervently, but apparently dispassionately.

In the next chapter, judgment fell specifically on Miriam, Moses’ sister, because of her speaking against her brother. This time, we find Scripture using a different word regarding his approach to the Lord: “So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘Please heal her, O God, I pray!’” (Nu 12:13 NKJV) In due course, Miriam was restored to her place in the community.

Most of us have also found ourselves in situations where our emotional involvement with a sufferer intensifies our prayer to the point of “crying out to the Lord.” (Perhaps too many of us only pray when we are in the throes of emotional turmoil because of suffering that afflicts us or those we love.)

As I read of the constant stream of misery regarding our Christian brothers and sisters in troubled parts of the world, I shake my head in disbelief that such cruelty can be perpetrated against the innocent and harmless and the rest of the world be untouched by it. Now, you may be preparing yourself for a lecture on how we should identify with these suffering saints and be moved to cry out to the Lord on their behalf. Certainly, I commend that to you.

However, let me point out that in both scenarios in Moses’ life,
the Lord answered his prayer.

Many of us in the West cannot relate to the kind of suffering we encounter in the news. Some of us shut down as to avoid entering into emotional turmoil at the hideous images.  

May I urge the Lord’s people to pray,
regardless of their personal emotional response.

If you are deeply moved and cry out to God on behalf of the suffering, wonderful! The Lord hears and responds to those heart cries. But if you find yourself, for whatever reason, less emotionally involved, having a more cerebral response, pray anyway. The Lord also hears and responds to prayer that arises in the mind.

  Pray, regardless of how you feel.

Prayer:

Father, I confess that I often pray capriciously. Forgive me for neglecting prayer for justice to be done and righteousness to prevail in the world around me. Today, I specifically lift up my suffering brothers and sisters, wherever they are. Stimulate my mind. Stir my emotions.  Let me not rest in intercession, today. In Jesus name, amen.

Tweetable:

May I urge the Lord’s people to pray, regardless of their personal emotional response. (tweet this)

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts. Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

How One Labours in Prayer

How One Labours in Prayer

He labours in prayer. Watch carefully. The old man rises while it is still dark. Gathering a worn robe around his thin shoulders, he glides, silent as a shadow, to the kitchen table.

by Ron Hughes

labours in prayer

 

This is his time to work.

From between the back page and cover of his Bible, he withdraws several pieces of paper and a map, and spreads them strategically before him. When everything is in its place, he picks up the stub of a pencil and begins to review their contents.

His lips move silently as he makes notes beside names. Sometimes a smile tugs at his lips. At other times, a tear slips unheeded from his eye. Occasionally, a deep groan breaks the silence. Dots, checkmarks, and underscores reveal his careful attention to every person, project, and passion on the pages before him.

Once-strong fingers flutter over the map as he remembers fellow-servants of His Lord seeking to make a difference in the strongholds of enemy territory. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear him speaking aloud now — challenging the evil one to remember his ultimate defeat and beseeching the Spirit to move in power in the lives of His people and in the communities where they live.

We didn’t notice the mounting tension in the small frame, but intensity grew from the moment he sat down.

Now suddenly, we are aware of release.

His face leaves the cluttered surface of the table and rises to see beyond the confines of the room. Shoulders relax. His face beams. Upturned hands resting on the table turn palm-up to receive the invisible strength refreshing him after his labours.

They say he is too old to work now. He knows he has never worked harder.

He labours in prayer.

Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12 NKJV)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me that spiritual work is done by your Spirit.  Thank you for giving me a part to play through prayer even when the people and situations in which You are working are far away.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tweetable:

How one man can seek to make a difference in the strongholds of enemy territory. (Tweet this)

 

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

 

A Round up of Prayer Posts

A Round up of Prayer Posts

While I am on a one month blogging holiday I thought I would leave you with a round-up of most read posts from Under the Cover of Prayer in the past year. I am taking off the comments but anytime you need to reach me please email Under the Cover of Prayer. I hope you enjoy these:

Peace by Janis Cox

peace

At our church we have a song we sing at the end of most services called “Go Now in Peace”. That is so important – to remain at peace – even in the middle of a storm. Read More.

How Do I Pray When Words Fail? by Mark D. Roberts

Prayer

“O LORD, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning” (Psalm 5:1 NLT).

 What is prayer?

The most basic answer says that prayer is talking to God. Sometimes we talk to God through singing. Sometimes we talk silently with words that are not actually expressed. But, for most of us, most of the time, prayer is talking to GodRead more

How Can We Learn from the First Prayer in the Bible? Ron Hughes

Bible If you accept the idea that prayer is a conversation with God, the first prayer recorded in the Bible is found in Genesis. The context suggests that human/divine interaction “in the cool of the day” was a regular feature of life in Eden. Read more.

 Tweetables:

A round up  #UTCOP prayer posts. @markdroberts @ronhugheswrites @authorjaniscox (tweet this)

How do I pray when words fail? @markdroberts (tweet this)

What can we learn from the first prayer in the Bible? @ronhugheswrites (tweet this)

What is prayer? @markdroberts  (tweet this)

@markdroberts

 

@markdroberts

Wow! What Happened?

Wow! What Happened?

by Ron Hughes

Psalm-37-4

For those of us who resolutely subscribe to the “we pray to align ourselves with God’s agenda, not to get Him to do our will” philosophy, answered prayer can come as a bit of a shock. There we are, earnestly seeking the Lord and trying our best not to tell Him what to do when, all of a sudden, the outcome we were inwardly hoping for becomes reality.

I have come to understand these situations as evidence of the Lord drawing close to us as we seek Him.

As we know Him better, our will is more perfectly lined up with His so that the outcome He ordains is the very one we have come to desire.

Example: A man whose son was not walking with the Lord prayed frequently and longed for an opportunity to talk to him. Entirely unexpectedly, the Lord arranged for them to be alone together for 2 hours and got things started by prompting the son to raise the very spiritual issues the father wanted to address with him.

But there’s more.

Let us never forget that God delights in blessing His children beyond the limits of their imaginations.

I suspect that sometimes we think God has not answered our prayer because He gives us something so far beyond what we expected that we fail to make the connection.

Example: a friend went to emergency over the Christmas break with a severe lung infection. The attending physician ordered tests and x-rays which revealed a chronic condition with which the woman had been living as a symptom of advancing age. The doctor was able to treat both the acute and the chronic problems and now my friend is rejoicing in the goodness of God experienced in a way she hadn’t even considered.

Sometimes God wants to use our circumstances to shape us into the very image of Jesus — something that most of us can’t see very well in ourselves at all.

Example: An elderly widower who has lost much of his vision, hearing, mobility, and independence, had a health crisis. When he was discharged from the hospital and well enough to get back to his beloved church family, he was overwhelmed as one after another confided in him how much they had benefited from his spiritual interest and care for them over the years.

The examples mentioned here all took place in the lives of believers I know personally in the last six weeks. God’s promise to respond to us when we delight ourselves in him and leave the outcomes Him is still good.

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4 NKJV).

Tweetables:

As we know Him better, our will is more perfectly lined up with His.  (tweet this)

God wants to use our circumstances to shape us into the very image of Jesus. (tweet this)

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

Am I Praying with My Whole Heart?

Am I Praying with My Whole Heart?

by Ron Hughes

Am-I-Praying-with-my-Whole-Heart

One of the great things about prayer is that it can be informal and intimate. Because Jesus opened the way for us into the throne room of God, we come with confidence to our Father. Our spontaneous outbursts of dismay or sorrow are heeded just as our more eloquent, well thought out expressions of thanksgiving or worship.

Occasionally, spiritual dryness prompts me to reflect on my relationship with God. Often at such times, I discover that the informal and intimate moments of prayer are entirely about me. To be honest, though my vocabulary may be that of a grown-up, my attitude is more like that of a whining child.

The sense of distance from God comes, not from His withdrawal from me, but my self-absorption.

I’m not really so much praying, as talking to myself. I’m not seeking God with all my heart to express my concerns and hear from Him; I’m just having a personal gripe session.

While many of us love, and rely on the truth of Jeremiah 29:13:

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (NIV).

we overlook Proverbs 1:28:

Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me (NIV).

When is the “then” of this statement? It is when we ignore what God is saying to us, when we will not accept His rebuke, when we exchange seeking Him for seeking our comfort and pleasure.

Today we can be thankful that God not only gives us His promise to reveal himself when we seek him with all our heart, he also helps us understand what that is.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, the influence of the world around me and the distraction of my own troubles often draw me away from seeking you with my whole heart. Open my heart to respond to You wholeheartedly. Be Thou my vision. Because of Jesus, amen.

 Tweetables:

One of the great things about prayer is that it can be informal and intimate.

The sense of distance from God comes, not from His withdrawal from me, but my self-absorption.

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

HOW CAN I PRAY MY WAY THROUGH THE DAY

How Can I Pray My Way Through the Day?

by Ron Hughes at FBH International

prayer Hands

“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17 – NKJV).

Many of us were taught to “say our prayers” before going to bed, giving us an opportunity to reflect on the cares, challenges, successes and failures of the day.  Releasing them to our loving heavenly Father allows us to slide into slumber with forgiveness and thankfulness in our hearts.

With yesterday’s issues dealt with the evening before, our morning prayer invites the Lord to open our minds to see what He sees as we traverse the opportunities and challenges of the new day.  This broadens our focus to include the spiritual realm before we launch into the demands ahead.

I suspect that our prayer during the day depends on whether or not we engaged in morning prayer.  When we’ve done that, we find our conversation with God expanding throughout the day as we include Him in the decisions that confront us.

By now, you’ll have noticed that prayer is a cycle
with each phase affected by the one before. (tweet)

Evening prayer closes our attention on the day that is past and clears our mind for rest. Morning prayer, refreshed by the peace of God through the night, keeps us aware of His presence as we begin the new day.  Noon prayer, keeps us in constant touch with our Father and conscious of His guidance as we respond to the situations that arise around us.

Today, I’m remembering that:

      • prayer sets my orientation toward God and
      • enhances my awareness of His presence

as I make my way through this day.

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

 

HOW CAN WE LEARN FROM THE FIRST PRAYER IN THE BIBLE?

How Can We Learn from the First Prayer in the Bible?

by Ron Hughes

Bible

If you accept the idea that prayer is a conversation with God, the first prayer recorded in the Bible is found in Genesis. The context suggests that human/divine interaction “in the cool of the day” was a regular feature of life in Eden.

However, this conversation was different. It was the first one to take place after Adam and Eve’s disobedience. If you’re unfamiliar with it, take a moment to read it. Genesis 3:8-13.

What strikes me here is that God was the initiator of the exchange. And I suspect that God is the one who prompts prayer in our lives, too. We may think it is our love for Him, our concerns for people and situations, our fears, our pain, our hopes, our desires, or some other personal motivation that drives us to open the conversation. However,

it is the Holy Spirit who moves us to cry out
“Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6)
. (Tweet this.)

Whether we are experiencing feelings of joy or distress, it is the Spirit within us who initiates our prayer—in a sense with the same words of Genesis 3:9 “Where are you?” Hiding in fear? We need to talk. Struggling with a relationship? Tell me about it. Flying high? I’m here. Concerned about a friend or a situation? Me, too.

In Adam’s response (the first recorded words of a human directed to God) we find the recognition of God’s presence, a confession of fear, a statement about his condition and his personal response to the situation.

Adam had things figured out. His initial response to the situation was fear. I think he really expected God to take him out on the spot. When that didn’t happen, he tried to shift the blame, first to Eve, then to God.

God let both Adam and Eve have their say, then, unperturbed, He set in motion the whole plan of redemption, something that Adam and Eve couldn’t possibly have conceived of. I can’t help but think they were left shaking their heads and asking each other: “What just happened?”

We are surrounded by a humanistic world-view that makes each of us responsible—responsible for everything from the condition of the planet to getting positive outcomes in our personal lives. These days it’s easy to get the idea that the Christian’s job is to engage in “prevailing prayer” with God to get things done.

Perhaps we take too much on ourselves. Maybe we try to hard.

Possibly we get in the way with our insistence
on getting our will done. 
(Tweet this.)

God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. He is the One who helps us in our weaknesses and takes over when words fail us. (Romans 8:26)

How much credit do we give God for what we sense
as the desire for prayer in our lives? (Tweet this.)

Today, when you respond to the urge to cry out to God, rest in the conviction that He is the One who started the conversation. He is the One with the plan. He is the One with the power to make things right.

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

CAN GOD BE MY FRIEND?

Can God be My Friend?

by Ron Hughes

QUESTION

CAN GOD BE MY FRIEND?

I’m always nervous when I talk about my friendship with God because it seems so presumptuous.  Talking about God as my King, Master, Teacher, Judge, Creator, or Father is easy because those relationships are clearly defined and nicely hierarchical—the way a relationship with God should be. Somehow to call God my “friend,” even though I’ve known him for more than 50 years, may strike some as taking liberties.

Yet, I have to say that God is the truest and best friend I’ve ever had. It’s not that my human friends have been a bunch of flaky people who continually betray and disappoint me.

But compared to God – as a friend -,
nobody comes close to measuring up.  Tweet this.

Of course, I realize that part of God’s provision for me has been the human friends He has brought into my life.

In various stages in life they have offered me encouragement when I desperately needed it. I credit some good friends with saving my life because they pulled me back from the brink of doing exceedingly stupid things. But God, my great Friend, sent them along as “friends with skin on” so that they could speak to my heart in a way I couldn’t hear any other way.

I have experienced some alienation in my life and I thank God that He’s been there in those times, because having that relationship has kept me from doing hurtful things in response to being hurt. Sometimes when I’ve been let down, I have longed for the sweet taste of revenge—to settle the score and make things right, by my standards.

Knowing God accepts me even though I’m a broken human being, allows me to accept that those who hurt me are made in the image of God.
Tweet this.

That fact alone makes them deserving of the same acceptance and love that God offers me, though I don’t deserve it.

To read the entire post please go to FBH International

Ron Hughes

Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences.  Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.

Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976.  They have four children, one of whom is married.  They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.

HOW CAN I REFRESH MY FAITH? Live Simply

How Can I Refresh My Faith? Live Simply

refresh-promo

I have been reading through a book by Ron Hughes called Refresh – 19 Ways to Boost Your Spiritual Life.

This past week I have meditated on a chapter called, Live Simply.

Live Simply

For the past few years both my hubby and myself have tried to work toward a more simplified life style. That doesn’t mean we are lazy or idle. It means that we try to stick with what is important. We don’t look through ads trying to see what is out there to buy. We are content with what we have. When we shop we always take a list (of what we need).

Here are a few of the principles I have pulled out of this chapter:

        • Simplicity is a life-style of reduced needs.
        • It involves learning to want less.
        • Simplicity challenges the ethos of our culture.
        • Watch how many activities I am involved with – pull back if the pace of life impacts my time with God.
        • Don’t be a slave to anything I own. Be ready and willing to give it up.

“In the end nothing is “ours” so we should hesitate to consider ourselves anything more than the stewards of the resources God has placed in our hands.”

        • Remember that God is enough.

In the future, think twice, buy once. The bigger the purchase the longer you should spend deciding if you need it. Ask hard questions about he motives behind the desire for the things you want. Pay more attention to “needs” and less to “wants”.

Are you leading a simplified life? Take an inventory of your resources, including your time, money, talent and energy. How are these being invested?

What do you think?