Tag Archives: stodge


Praying What I want?

by Jan Cox 

It is easy to get petulant and plead to God to change my circumstances or the circumstances of others. But I know that life is not about ME. Oh – It is hard to get rid of ME.

Last Friday I wrote on my personal blog about the word “perspective”, linking to The Gypsy Mama.

As I thought more about this, I thought more about prayer and how we pray. What is my perspective when I pray?

Jesus prayed for us.

“that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21 NIV).

Jesus prayed for us to be one with God. How can I be one with God when I am thinking only about me? Or even when I am thinking about others?

If I am going to be one with God my perspective better be His and not mine.

“The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God.” (Oswald Chambers May 22)

How we react in our circumstances either moves us closer or further away from God.

That is why I work on diminishing ME. The smaller me gives more room for God.

I like to think of the “whack a mole” game where you bash the mole when he pops up. Well each time I get in the way of what God is doing I need to whack that thought back down.

How are you doing in the “me” department? As you can see I am still chipping away at the Stodge.


Lord, help me to live a life of faith in You. Help me to grow closer to You, willing to let “me” go. Help me know Your mind and Your ways. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

I love the song It is the Cry of my Heart.

Here are the words and the video sung by Terry Butler. 

It is the cry of my heart
To follow You
It is the cry of my heart
To be close to You
It is the cry of my heart
To follow all of the days of my life

Teach me Your holy ways oh Lord
So I can walk in Your truth
Teach me Your holy ways oh Lord
And make me wholly devoted to You

Open my eyes so I can see
The wonderful things that You do
Open my heart up more and more
And make it wholly devoted to You

My Gratitude List – Counting to 2000 – I am at 1402

      • conversation and dinner with friends
      • still energy and 5 minutes to write at Five-Minute Fridays; My Blog
      • going for first boat ride of the season on the Trent Canal

      • gorgeous day – no clouds – and 25 degrees C.
      • walks around the trailer park pushing grandbaby in a stroller
      • Snowball sitting with strangers – lots and lots of dogs – she loved it

      • babbling baby
      • successful launch and pulling out of boat back out of water (not my strong point)
      • I remained calm
      • good exhaustion – once again

One of my book’s activities

      • almost finished children’s book
      • lovely boat ride in awesome weather and fantastic break
      • the greens of spring

      • tea from Poland

      • new scatter rugs for bathroom to keep my toes warm agains the cold of the new tile

      • a perfect frame and matting for a painting
      • getting story almost ready for printing
      • on-line prayer with and for others
      • first test publishing of my new children’s book
      • Oh no, “Tommy Turtle” – name is taken
      • thanks to hubby, I figured it out in time
      • good customer service with Shutterfly – they cancelled the order
      • relief – thank You, God
      • finding a new name for turtle – Tadeo (TAHD-ay-OH)
      • Tadeo means “praise” – Oh Lord, thank You.
      • help from family copy editing story
      • excitement of friends
      • my hands picking weeds in the earth
      • talking with young women at the pregnancy centre
      • spending time with a friend
      • meeting other community partners who care about others in our town

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.


Effective Prayer – Chipping away at the Stodge

by Jan Cox

Growing my soul

I always wonder how effective I am at praying for others.

When I pray for others am I identified with the ways of Christ?

Last week someone in my Bible study said something very profound. She said she thinks we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we give our lives to Christ but then she believes, and I tend to agree, He takes us residence in us along with a whole bunch of other stuff.

Oswald Chambers calls is STODGE. And until we can chip away at the stodge we aren’t solely filled with the Holy Spirit.

“We have the notion that there are certain right and virtuous things in us which do not need to be based on the Atonement, and just in the domain of “stodge” that is produced by this idea we cannot intercede” (Oswald Chambers, May 4)

Now I have to ask myself – “So what stodge is there with the Holy Spirit in me?” “What needs to be cleaned out or thrown out?” “Where do I need to start chipping?”

Me – feeling of superiority – thinking I know it all and can do the best job and so am critical of others. I know this is getting better – it is decreasing, melting away. And if it does rear its ugly head I can whack it down quickly.

Me – my wanting to fix things. I have lots of good ideas. But I need to let God lead and let Him work it out first – and tell me when I can help or begin something. God has the best ideas.

“We do not identify ourselves with God’s interests in others, we get petulant with God; we are always ready with our own ideas, and intercession becomes the glorification of our own natural sympathies” (Oswald Chambers, May 4)

Now when it comes to praying – interceding for my friends – I need to see it in God’s eyes and through my friend’s life. No hidden agenda of mine. My words have to change. I can’t get emotionally involved. I can’t let my empathy for them get in the way of God working through them. Help me pray, Lord, for your will in their lives.

I ask the Holy Spirit to help me identify the STODGE in me. Then I can listen and work at chipping it away to make more room for the Holy Spirit to live in me.

It reminds me of The Grinch who Stole Christmas. Remember how the Grinch’s heart was so small and how it grew three times that day. Right now I see my soul as small – filled with the Spirit – but small. And as I get rid of the STODGE, my soul grows a little bigger. I see things differently, react differently, love wider and stronger.

I picture instead of a HEART – a CROSS. I see it growing bigger as I get to know God better.

I have to remind myself life is all about God – not about ME. And when I put God’s interests into my prayers – my prayer life changes. I try to see it as God sees it and give Him all the glory.

Praise be to God.


Father, I know I like things my way – but I know that I need to stop doing that. I want to start listening to the Holy Spirit and how you, Lord, want things to proceed. I am learning to trust in your wisdom. Help me when I pray for others to listen to You and ask for what You want for them. Give me boldness in my prayers and help me to use Scripture in my requests. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List  – counting to 2000 – I am at 1366

  • Grace is “aggressive forgiveness” (Romans 5:20-21 The Message)
  • “Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed” (May 11, Oswald Chambers)
  • My Mom’s secretary is now in my living room
  • I am now sitting in her recliner chair
  • writing some words to say at the cemetery
  • connecting with my granddaughter on my IPOD
  • spaghetti dinner at the church – they made gluten free – yahoo
  • excitement to visit grandchildren and go to the zoo

The climber.

  • watching grandchildren at park go up and down a long slide a zillion times
  • walking in perfect weather
  • the peacocks, the butterfly

A Swallowtail Butterfly

  • playing hockey and then basketball with a 5 year old
  • watching grandpa and grandson work on the digger

The Digger

  • bath time with my 2 grandkids
  • exhausted – in a good way
  • naps in car on the way home (I wasn’t driving)
  • great sermon on “Labour and Deliverance” Video Post Cast 1, Video Pod Cast 2
  • first boat ride of the season
  • a snake swimming in the water (fascinating but yucky)
  • smooth water because not many boats on lake
  • a man at the docks to help us
  • remembering the important little things for the boat (put plug back in; trim up)
  • hearing from all 3 kids on Mother’s Day
  • sunny weather for driving to daughter’s
  • Delicious lunch at my sister’s – a feast of salmon, veggies and rice

What a feast for lunch!!

  • too cute – my grandson

Too cute!

  • just talking to God – awesome
  • little bird landing so close to me while I sat on the porch

Bird in the tree

  • smiles of recognition from 2 month old grandbaby
  • sounds of a grandbaby – hiccups, toots and babbling
  • messaging oldest granddaughter
  • “let the word of God be living and active in you.” (Oswald Chambers, May 14)
  • amazing new bathroom floor (Hard working hubby)
  • a great neighbourhood to live in

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.