Pray & Listen

For many years I have written my prayers.  I have notebooks and journals filled with them. Why? My mind likes to wander and I lose my primary focus – God. So, I write to keep my thoughts centered on the One I am speaking to.

Several years ago my pastor’s wife and still dear friend (They have since moved on.) suggested I use the acronym A.C.T.S.  Acclimation. Contrition. Thanks. Supplication. I still use it but have always sensed something was missing.

As I was reading the book for my next review (L.E.A.R.N. Evangelism Handbook by Dr. Marshall M. Windsor) I found the missing piece. I need to add LISTEN. (Of course, now I’ll have to change the letters of the acronym.) In all the years I’ve been talking with and listening for God’s voice I’ve never included a set aside time for listening in my prayers. Time in every prayer where I say, Holy Spirit speak into my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I do listen and expect answers, I just haven’t been specifically listening during prayer. So, When He speaks, and I know He will, I’ll intentionally listen, and write what He says in my prayer journal.

Will I act on His words? Will I share? In trusting Him and keeping the faith, I have learned if I don’t respond or follow through I lose the blessing He had planned for me.  Things like:

I did come up with a new acronym… G.R.O.W.L. Gratitude (Thanks). Requests. Offense (Forgiveness), Worship, Listen.  The word kind of fits as our prayers go up with ‘utterings and groanings’ before the Lord that might sound like growls if we heard them.

Here’s the bottom line. No matter what or how just keep on praying.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

A List For Life

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Are you a list maker?  I am!  I have lists for daily chores, lists for birthday and Christmas cards, address lists, grocery lists, and so on.  This morning I read 1 Thessalonians and came across what could be one of the most lengthy lists in the Bible of how to live this life with Jesus in command.  Are you ready for this?

There can be no hidden agendas in our lives.

We cannot use God’s Word or our own to create a ‘smoke screen’ that takes advantage of another Believer.

We are not to patronize or be condescending.  We are to simply love and encourage others with every word, action, and deed.

Honor God by taking care of yourself.  This verse is directed to the physical care of your body but I know God means every part of ourselves… physically, emotionally and spiritually.  We are to be as beautiful inside as we try to be outside.

Right in the middle of Chapter 4 Paul tells the Thessalonicans to stay calm, mind your own business, and do your own job. Why? So others will see Jesus in us and want that for themselves.

Be cheerful.  Be thankful.  Pray, all the time.

There are some don’ts in here also.  Most importantly (at least to me), we are not to believe everything we hear or read.  We’re to check it out, research it if necessary, and keep only the good.  When we’re in tune with the Spirit, He tells us when something isn’t right.  (It’s that uncomfortable feeling you get when something is said or done that isn’t quite right.) That’s when we go back to pray often.

There’s some really great stuff here…don’t you agree?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

5 Prayer Prompts

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Do you have times when what to pray evades?  Of course you do.  I do.  Everyone does.  There are many ways and methods of prayer.  Spoken.  Written.  Thought.  There are acronyms to keep us focused and cover all the things we ‘should’.  (ACTS – Acclamation Contrition Thanksgiving Supplication   PRAY – Praise Repent Access Yield)  How about just going before the Throne and giving God all that’s on, or in, your mind/heart.  Here are some ideas:

Tiny Praying HandsA prayer totally devoted to thanks for His provision.  Do one for each letter of the alphabet.  This could become quite long since He gives us EVERYTHING!

Tiny Praying HandsPrayers for someone who is causing you problems.  Not just what is happening on the surface but the whole story.  Dig in and lay it out.  Like King David did in some of the Psalms.  Don’t forget your part in it.

Tiny Praying HandsPray for our country and its leaders, its people, its problems, its challenges…

 

Tiny Praying HandsPraise Him!  Close the door and sing His praise.  Not just one song but maybe a whole CD.  Write a poem.  Take a walk and focus on His creation.  Draw.  Paint.  Sculpt.

Tiny Praying HandsCall a friend! (Matthew 18:19)  Grab your prayer lists, find a quiet place, and lay it all before God.  Agree before hand to stay totally focused on God.

Pray On prayer warriors.  God wants to hear and respond.

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers, incline Your ears, and grant us Your peace.  Help us as we strive to experience Your presence.  Let our prayers and our words be a pleasant fragrance before Your Throne.  Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

A Satisfied Spirit Is Encouraging

Encouragement is an interesting word to break apart.  ‘En’ as a prefix usually gives the root more emphasis, ‘ment’ as the suffix gives action to the word, and the root of this one is courage.  My definition of the word courage is doing something I know I can’t do alone, requiring dependence on God and on others for the event or moment.  So how does that work out in my life?  Glad you asked 🙂

sunflower fieldWhen I am overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2  David knew the solution to those times he had more on his plate than he could handle himself.  In other words…Let go and let God!

 

When you're feeling discouraged...Many, and I do mean many, years ago a friend gave me this little snippet from one of her magazines.   Never stop being encouraging even though you’re not getting any credit.

 

 

sunflower fieldIf discouragement is plaguing you try to identify the root of it.  Is it about wants, needs, haves, have-nots…  Is it about yourself, others, the world…  Can you do anything about it?  Does it require a change of behavior or attitude?

 

 

Do Not FearPray about it!  God will lead you to the answer and the solution.  He does not want His children to  be fearful or discouraged.  I find it interesting that the command ‘Do not fear’ is found 365 times in the Word.  One for every day of the year.

 

 

 

 

“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:9, NLT)

Keep on keeping on!