Tag Archives: Why Pray?

power of prayer

DO WE PLAY MORE THAN WE PRAY?

Do we play more than we pray?

If there is power in prayer – why are we not down on our knees more often? Why do we not prioritize it?

Looking back on a blog from 2011. Yes 6 years ago. I edited it a bit but this could impact your life this morning. I pray it is so.

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado

Do we play more than we pray? There is power in prayer.

And if there is power in prayer – why are we not down on our knees more often? Why do we not prioritize it?

This has reemphasized my need for constant prayer.

Jesus says, “My house will be called a house of prayer” (Mark 11:15-17).

Take a look at our churches:

Are we putting prayer as the focus of our services? Or do we put the sermon, the Scriptures and the music?

Why do most churches get a good turnout to a concert (sometimes with a fee), than a prayer meeting?

How many of your congregants actually come to prayer meetings?

Take a look at ourselves:

We no longer have the physical Tabernacle with the Holy of Holies but we have Jesus inside us. Therefore the house of Jesus is inside us.

Let’s think about our lives and how we do God’s work. In what spirit do we do our work – our job, our relationships, our family, our marriage, our kids, our friends, our neighbours? Are we in sync with the purpose of God’s house? Are we prayerful?

Is what I am doing for the glory of God or for myself? Am I saying and even thinking the things He wants me to think and say? Am I prayerful?

I know when we pray God intervenes because God hears our prayers.

Today we are seeing more marital problems, child rearing problems and strife in the workplace and we know that it is essential that we pray for God to intervene in all these areas. His power and grace are needed – now more that ever before.

There is power in prayer.

If we join together and pray; if we come to the throne of grace and petition for all parts of our lives – what power can be unleashed by our Father in heaven? Scripture says:

“ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2 KJV).

Then let’s ask. Let’s be bold and see how God works in and through us. Let’s be prayerful. (tweet this)

Let’s ask for ourselves, for others and for our world.

My Gratitude List:

84. Great day visiting grandkids
85. Beautiful sunny warm day
86. My daughter preparing a yummy lunch
87. God blessing my writing
88. Daffodils poking through the soil
89. A new camera to try (lots of instructions)
90. All this energy of Christ that so powerfully works in me

Other posts on the power of prayer:

http://www.otherfood-devos.com/2011/05/pure-and-passionate-early-church.html

http://skipperclan.com/2011/04/21/my-house-shall-be-called/

Prayer:

Oh Lord, I pray that we can learn to pray for all things at all times. I pray that you will teach us the power of prayer. Help us to look to you for all our lives. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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Do You Fight for Solitude? @desiringGod

Do You Fight for Solitude? @desiringGod

 

Do you have 6 minutes to listen to Pastor John? With Tim Keller.

Then take the time to be disciplined and pray.

If there is anything you know you got to do – you do. SO PRAY! ~ Tim Keller

Just studying Scripture does not bring us, necessarily, into the presence of God. Stop and pray when you reach something that touches you. Then LISTEN – or MEDITATE on the Word.

 

If you warm your heart through meditation on the Scripture, your heart will start to warm up. Martin Luther.

Check out how to pray and study Scripture together using the S.I.M.P.L.E method.

If you need prayer email Janis.

 

#UTCOP – What is Vital Communion?

What is Vital Communion?

by Joy Lenton

What-is-Vital-Communion

Prayer can be a continual conversation with God as our hearts turn toward Him for help, strength and guidance throughout the day.

Or there may be strict set apart times specifically for Bible reading and prayer as ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication or similar practices.

At other times we can sense an inner call to just simply come and be in His presence. No agenda. No particular purpose other than to love God and be aware that He loves us.

Those moments are to be treasured. They can be hard sought and fought for in a world that cries out for our constant attention.

Any time given to God is time enhanced beyond measure.

The poem below arose while I listened to God recently.

‘Vital Communion’

Make way for mellow moments
Give in to the Now
Yield to soul craving
and find it life-saving

Pause. Breathe. Give thanks.

The world can wait, you know full well
busyness will capture you soon enough

This is a time for listening
Wait upon Holy Spirit’s touch
Seek a better way than rushing
headlong straight into a new day

Be aware. Be present. Be here.

For this is where earth and heaven collide
This is where rest, joy and peace abide

Vital communion between you and Me
and the very best place for you to be

©JoyLenton2014

As we learn to discern and listen to God’s voice, the more He will speak to our minds and hearts.

Being a Christian is all about the wonder of being brought into relationship with God Himself, our heavenly Father who made and sustains us.

It is a gift of grace to see the Father’s face mirrored in Jesus and get to know Him for ourselves.

And when we come aside, make time, switch off noise and hurry, we find He has been waiting here all along with a heart heavy with love for us.

Maybe He’s whispering an invitation to you today; maybe He’s missing your company; maybe He’s longing to pour blessings out upon you?

Prayer:

Father, We are so easily distracted and impacted by the world around us and its multiple messages we heed, yet you desire us to pay more attention to your voice instead and spend quality time in your presence.

Help us to see our need of you. How vital it is to our spiritual and physical health and strength to be refreshed, restored and renewed by your Spirit.

Speak to us in ways we cannot miss. Encourage us to lay aside all that hinders and prevents us from reaching out to you and receiving all that you long to give us.

Amen

Tweetable:

Any time given to God is time enhanced beyond measure. (Tweet this)

 

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

#UTCOP – Why I Lift My Eyes to Him

We welcome Angie Webb today as a guest on UTCOP. Please read her bio at the bottom of this post.

Why I Lift My Eyes to Him

by Angie Webb

Angie Webb

Over the years, fear has been an easy place for me to find myself. Struggling with panic attack and agoraphobia led me down a road that was often bumpy, lonely as well as less than God intended for me, yet over and over I found myself there again. Round and round I would go with no end in sight.

Prayer was often a forgotten aspect of life, even though I knew God would listen, I did not feel worthy of the desperate prayers I so often needed to have answered. God and I were not best buddies, as I so wanted, not because of Him but because of me. I felt He had more “worthy” folks to help… certainly not me.

Can you relate? Do you feel your prayers are so pointless to God that you never pray?

Do you feel that God won’t listen or care?

Prayer is the lifeline between you and God. Without it, you are like a ship lost at sea.

How do you feel about prayer? Do you want God to know your needs, dreams and wants without ever uttering a word? How can He know your heart if you never open up and willingly share?

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26, NIV).

As Christians, we often get so caught up with life and trying to keep all of the plates spinning, we can forget to remember to rely on Him and open our hearts up for the wonderful blessings He so desperately wants to shower upon us.

We get in our own way because of our pride as well as our doubts.

I doubted I was worthy of the desperate prayer for freedom to be answered; yet I so needed to be heard. Freedom from fear and agoraphobia was often my only thought and only prayer, but I had to be willing to pray. Laying down my doubts and pride was the first step to lifting my eyes to Him.

Without Him, freedom from fear would never be possible.

What are you praying for today? I want to offer you hope in reminding you that God hears each and every prayer we offer to Him. He is waiting for us to be willing to lay down our pride, doubt and fears so He can begin the work in our lives.

Today, take the time to lift your eyes up to Him for all you need, dream and want from this life. He is waiting to listen and perform miracles in your life.

The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18, NIV).

Prayer:

Lord, I come to you today and ask for you to meet each person reading this and to feel in their hearts how much you love them. Help us to always remember none of our prayers are a waste of your time or our time because each day is a new opportunity for an answered prayer. If not today, maybe another day soon.

We are worthy in your eyes of your time, love and new beginnings. We ask for you to forgive us where we fall short and to help us to keep moving toward the call, purpose and plan you have for us. We are forever thankful. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Prayer is the lifeline between you and God. Without it, you are like a ship lost at sea. (tweet this)

Angie Webb photo

Angie Webb can be found at http://angiekaywebb.com.

There she shares her journey out of fear, anxiety and agoraphobia as well as how her life changed after the loss of her grandparents to a murder/suicide.

Angie offers hope and encouragement to others in similar situations. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Mike for 30 years. They have two grown sons and three grandchildren.

You Want Me to Pray for Whom, Lord?

You Want Me to Pray for Whom, Lord?

by Jen Cudmore

pray-for-each-other

Recently a person very close to me began to make some ungodly choices in her life, which grieved me greatly. One day she sat beside me in church, and while it was a bit uncomfortable, I did my best to focus on the lesson. Then, as the pastor prayed to end the service, I felt the Lord tap me on the shoulder.

“You feel this negative energy right here beside you? You can fix that.”

“What?” I said. “It’s not my problem. It’s hers.”

“Yes, but I’ve been telling you for months to get on your knees for her and you haven’t done it. Remember that verse:

I found no one to stand in the gap (Ez 22:30)?

Seriously chastised, I pondered those words for the rest of the day, and in the morning during my prayer time I asked God for help. You see, I had actually said a few prayers for my friend, but I never focused on fighting for her. I was too annoyed by her bad choices. I was so disgusted with her behavior that I didn’t want anything to do with her. And that is a very bad place to be.

Once when I was in high school, I mentioned to my mother a situation with a girl I really didn’t like. Her response was to pray for this girl, to which I’m sure I scowled. Why would I pray for someone I planned to avoid?

Mama told me about the verse that says we are to pray for our enemies (Matt 5:44). When I responded, that technically this girl wasn’t my enemy, Mama was armed with an answer. “You dislike this girl just as much as you would someone who mistreats you. You don’t like to be around her and cringe when she comes near. Same concept.”

So I begrudgingly began to pray for the girl, and to my surprise, it only took a couple months before we became friends!

God changed my heart, but I had to take the first step.

The same thing happened in recent months. As I began to pray for my backslidden friend, God began to soften my heart toward her and helped me see her as He saw her, a lost and confused soul who just needed someone’s support.  Now, she’s growing closer to the Lord, and there is much less weirdness between us. All because I was obedient and prayed.

The Bible tells us to pray for each other (James 5:16).

Don’t hold back because you have negative feelings toward someone!

Your prayers are powerful. No matter who God lays on your heart, be sure to be consistent. Then sit back and watch Him work!

Tweetables:

You want me to pray for whom, Lord? (tweet this)

Don’t hold back because you have negative feelings toward someone! (tweet this)

Why pray for someone you don’t like? (tweet this)

Jen Cudmore

Jen Creek small

Jen grew up on the Columbia River Gorge and currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and two cats. Her goal is to write novels that encourage women to look for positive qualities in a life partner, and to foster an environment of real romance, rather than fantasy, as they grow old with their spouse. For more, visit her website at http://www.jencudmore.com/. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.

Is God Working Through Me?

Is God Working Through Me?

by Janis Cox

Because-you-prayed

I read an interesting statement in The Prayer of Jabez?

If God is working through us that doesn’t mean in association with us.

Through is an interesting term. It reminds me of the scripture in Zechariah where we are told that not by might nor by power but by My Spirit will God work through us.

Our God specializes in working through normal people who believe in a supernatural God who will do this work through them.

This will be my path for the next months – to spend more time in prayer – as I beg for more influence and responsibility so I can honour God.

If I want to be a follower of Jesus I need to trust Him to do miracles; to open doors; to make divine appointments.

So I am praying and believing.

You will know beyond doubt that God has opened heaven’s storehouses because you prayed.

I would love to pray with you or for you.
Please contact me at Under the Cover of Prayer.

Here is a wonderful reminder that God will open heaven’s gates if we pray and believe.

Here are a few words from this song Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? by Matt Redman.

Fling wide, you heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

And here is the video.

Prayer:

Lord, I know that I have to allow you to work through me. For that reason I give you my whole life to do as you wish. Lead me, guide me, push me. Open those gates and may I expand my territory for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetables:

God has opened heaven’s storehouses because you prayed. Find out how. (tweet this)

Do you want God to open heaven’s gates? (tweet this)

All quotes today come from The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis Cox

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 and Inscribe Writers Fellowship..

 

Do You Put God First?

Do You Put God First?

by Janis Cox

Psalm-40-8

I delight to do Thy will, O my God (Psalm 40:8, NIV).

As I joined a blog hop for writers, most of whom are Christians, I was surprised to find their goals were directed at doing things and not listening to the Holy Spirit first. Maybe they do listen first but didn’t write about it. I don’t know the answer to that. I truly believe that we could make such inroads into the lives of others if we would only start with God first.

My writing started after I had lived quite a few years – so maybe that is why I truly believe that God needs to be in our lives every minute. I loved how one writer put it today – that no matter what she does God is a part of it.

I always start with a prayer for wisdom, and courage both when I write and when I paint. And when I talk to someone, when something is lost, when I work on any project – just anytime.

If we claim to be Christ followers and not fans (a great resource for this concept is Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman), then why don’t we start with our Leader. Every time – could we do this?

I don’t think it matters whether we are writing Christians, or Christians writing, we need to begin with Him.

I paint my best when I don’t try hard, think too much – but when I relax, ask for His guidance and rely on Him.

As I do this more and more, I find He never leaves me – He is always there right beside me.  His love never fails.

If you are trying to do life on your own – stop and think a bit and start looking to your Creator, the one who knows you and can help you do your very best.

God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions ~ Oswald Chambers.

Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way? ~ Oswald Chambers.

Here is an acronym to help us remember: OPEN

O – Open your eyes

P – Pray first

E – Enter His Presence

N – Nearness – now you can do His will

Let’s connect with Jesus. Right now. Would you pray with me.

Prayer:

Lord, we want to do it our way. We sometimes think we can do everything on our own. But when we realize the path is less steep, less rocky and straighter with you, we will put down ourselves and join You in every pursuit. Help us to remember that. Help us to be followers and not fans of Jesus. In His Name. AMEN.

Tweetables:

No matter what I do, let me ask God to be a part of it.

Are you a fan of Jesus or a follower of Him?

Contributors

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 and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

Prayer for Our Enemies? Really?

Pray for Our Enemies? Really?

by Janet Sketchley

prayer_requests-1024x768 www.teampossabilities.org

With permission from Team Possibilities

Do news stories cause you to pray for people? For the hurt, the poor, the oppressed? Even just a quick “God, please help them know Your presence”?

Sometimes the need is so great.

When I hear about an accident or crime, as well as praying for the victim I often pray for the one who did it. In some cases I relate to the fear of “what if I messed up and something awful happened?” Other times, the deliberate offender and offense are so bad that if God doesn’t get through to the person, he or she is lost.

The human response is “S/he deserves it. Good riddance.” But Jesus would pray for them all. He didn’t come to save the “pretty good” and let the “rejects” go to eternal darkness. We were all rejects.

So sometimes I pray for the bad guys as well as the good guys. It’s easy when they’re locked away in prison somewhere, or when we’re safe at home watching the news. We don’t have to meet their eyes, hear their venom, risk emotional or physical danger.

But what if we did meet them face to face? The Bible does say to demonstrate  Christ’s love even to our enemies, but could we?

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44, KJV).

What if? This came to me as a story idea, almost 20 years ago: a woman abducted by the serial killer she’d been praying for. I didn’t want it in my head, so I wrote it out. Over time, it expanded, changed, and became my novel, Heaven’s Prey.

In the novel, Ruth and Tony Warner are devastated when their niece, Susan, becomes the victim of a serial rapist-murderer. Ruth only survives her grief through prayer: first for Susan’s family and for the families of the other victims. She refuses her pastor’s advice to pray for the killer, Harry Silver. Who wouldn’t?

But a string of nightmares push her to pray for him, and that’s where the healing really happens, as she learns to forgive. Not to forget, but not to let the hurt keep poisoning her. If you met Ruth as the story opens, she’d tell you that God led her into prayer for this killer for her own healing. She hopes Harry will somehow open his heart to the Lord, but that’s out of her control.

She has no idea that God is preparing Harry’s heart and is also preparing her to meet him. In person. Alone.

Heavens_Prey_Front_Cover 302x468

Heaven’s Prey is about a villain’s last chance at redemption and a vulnerable woman’s obedience to pray for her enemy—not the gentle inspirational read many associate with the Christian genre. Even though the subject matter makes it pretty intense in places, at the core it’s about God’s tenacity—in reaching out, and in holding onto His own.

Tweetable:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you ~ Matthew 5:44

Janet Sketchley

Janet Sketchley facebook 180x180

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

Do You Have Dusty Knees?

Do You Have Dusty Knees?

by Brenda Wood

prayer-kneel

Dust always surprises me at the worst possible time. I’ve been living with it but didn’t realize it. Honestly, I hadn’t dusted in a while because everything looked okay to me. That’s because I never moved the mantel clock or the corner shelf stuff. I decided that if that dust didn’t bother me than I wouldn’t bother it.

Then the maintenance guy arrived to check out the fireplace for the winter. Of course he had to kneel on the hearth. When he got up…his knees were dusty and a knee size spot gleamed dust free on the hearth. Embarrassing or what!

How long has it been since we did some spiritual dusting? (tweetable)

When did we last pour our heart out to God? Are we thinking that if God doesn’t bother us, we won’t bother him?

When desperation hits us, we’ll be happy enough to get on our knees. (tweetable)

I have been driven many times to my knees, by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go ~ Abraham Lincoln.

Wouldn’t it be polite to build a good relationship with Him long before we beg for help?

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between our knees and the floor” (Pastor Charles F. Stanley).

Prayer:

Lord, forgive us for not taking time to get to know you. Thank you that you already know us so well, that you forgive us. So, God, while I am here…I’d like to tell you about………..

For Christ’s Sake. Amen

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, 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.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
Read more at:
http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker

Why Pray for our Leaders?

Why Pray for our Leaders?

by Janet Sketchley

English: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the...

Do you ever look at world or civic government leaders and despair that things will never change?

The Bible instructs us to pray for our leaders, but do we? And if so, do we have any hope it’ll make a difference?

God can influence leaders, even those who don’t know Him. Scripture gives us some examples:

  •  Pharaoh Neco of Egypt brought his armies near the territory of Judah, claiming he was on a mission from God to fight another nation. King Josiah, a godly man, didn’t believe him, fought him, and died. (Read the account in 2 Chronicles 35:20-23 including verse 22, which begins “But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken.”)
  • Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon saw God’s power protecting the prophet Daniel as well as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (fiery furnace) but then he got distracted by his own sense of greatness. God sent him into madness until he could realize the truth—and then brought him to his senses. (Daniel 4 tells the story.)
  • King Cyrus of Babylon is mentioned in prophecy as the restorer of the Temple over 100 years in advance (Isaiah 45:13, before Jeremiah even prophesied the 70 years of exile). The Book of Ezra says God put it in Cyrus’ heart to do this, and then moved the hearts of the Babylonian citizens, and then of the exiled Israelites themselves, to support the work.

These stories encourage me to pray regularly for our leaders (as the Bible urges), and to pray with more confidence that God can and may influence them. If He doesn’t, we can trust Him to work in and through the situations, however bad they may be.

Our job is to pray. (tweetable)

For world leaders, national, local, even down to leaders in business, education and health care. Instead of getting cynical or hopeless, we can make a difference by inviting God into the mess.

If God can change the heart of a heathen king and use him for His purposes, how much more scope will He have to work in the hearts of leaders if we’re praying for them?

Other related posts:

Praying for Governments
Supplications for Governing Authorities
Prayers for Governing Authorities
Thanksgiving for Governing Authorities

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.