Musical Prayers

Do you include music in your prayer time?  I do.  Years ago I heard a Bible Teacher say she used her dog walking time as Praise time by singing her favorites while she walked.  I thought, Hey! I can do that.  Click on the picture to enjoy some of my favorites:

Ancient Words

Ancient Words

 

Better Than A Hallelujah - Amy Grant

Better Than A Hallelujah – Amy Grant

God of This City - Chris Tomlin

God of This City – Chris Tomlin

Here’s another idea for your quiet time.  Copy your favorite hymn lyrics and pray through them.  Example:

On Bended knee I come, with a humble heart I come, bowing down before Your holy throne.   Lifting holy hands to You As I pledge my love anew.  I worship You in spirit.  I worship You in truth.  Make my life a holy praise unto You. (On Bended Knee I Come by Don Moen)

(Prayer for On Bended Knee)  Heavenly Father I come before the Throne, bowing before Your majesty and greatness.  I lift my hands in praise and worship, giving You all of me.  My life.  My love.  My everything. Lord, You are all the truth I need.  Fill me with Your Spirit.  Only You are worthy of my praise and I give it will all my heart.

Or, choose some of your favorite solo guitar, piano, harp, orchestra, whatever instrument(s) you like best, put your earbuds in, sit in your favorite chair or place, and BE STILL.

Instrumental Songs of Worship for Quiet Moments (Piano)

Acoustic Guitar Instrumental Worship Songs

Many hours of Christian Instrumental Music

 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Friday Faves

I haven’t done a list of my top 3 favorite blog posts for quite some time.  As I read the title of Melanie’s article I was intrigued.  One of the members of the Sunday School class I teach likes to try to get me going with the question, ‘If God knows everything, why bother?’ Or something similar to that. God knows what choice we’ll make in every situation but we still have a choice. Check out Why Should We Pray (if God Already Knows Everything Anyway)?

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary to Deb Wolf and her husband!  They’ve made it to 45 years and are looking into the future.  Her 10 tips are among the same life concepts that have helped Ray and I in our 45-year journey. (April 8th we will celebrate that milestone, too.)  Enjoy this article from one of my favorite bloggers!

 

 

 

 

Finally! A review of The Shack that doesn’t bash it to pieces because it isn’t theology accurate.  Finally!  WooHoo!  I’ve read the book and loved it.  Why? Because it attempts to show God the way I believe Him to be.  The Creator of both men and women in His image. (see Genesis 1:27)  I loved it because it shows what mercy and forgiveness are meant to look like.  And I fully expect the movie to be totally awesome.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Transform Your Troubles

cloud-705728_960_720Life is full of challenges and some of them we simply can’t handle ourselves.  So what do we do?  Call a friend… Think it through… Plan revenge… Perhaps but there is a better way.  Read on, I think you’ll find that if you practice these steps your issues/troubles/challenges will end up where they need too, at the feet of Jesus.

 

First and always run to Jesus.  Not walk, not crawl, run!  Get there as fast as you can.  David says it so clearly in Psalm 31:1

                                                                    psalm-31

Then, cast your cares on Him.  He wants us to give Him our problems and challenges. Why? Because He cares.  Because He truly knows what is best for us and will provide for us.                                                                                                                                 1-peter-5

Although we tend to discount fasting as a way to overcome there is nothing wrong with giving up a meal and spending that time totally focused on Him.  Luke 4 tells us Jesus fasted for 40 days.  Moses fasted.  Daniel fasted.  Paul fasted.  Why?  Because they needed answers and they needed them from God.

And pray!  I could leave it there but prayer is the real answer.  Whenever we’re talking to God/Jesus we’re praying.  We are told 121 times in the NIV to pray.  311 in the King James.  122 times in the RSV.  I don’t think He could have made it any clearer.  We are to pray!!!                                                                                                                                            pray

Then, and finally, listen.  Listen to the sweet, satisfying voice of the Spirit.  Listen and respond.  Follow His leading.  Don’t hesitate.  Be still and know that He is God! (Psalm 46:10)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

No Options To Love

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How often do we pray, “Father, let (help) me love everyone today,” then walk out of our ‘prayer spot’ and totally forget we’ve asked?

Then, someone irritates us with their words…

Then, something happens that wasn’t planned…

Then, another person tells us what someone else has said about us…

Then we feel slighted by someone, in some way…

When we are commanded in John 13:34 to love one another like HE loves us there are no ifs, there are no buts.  One almost might say there are no options.  But there are actually two,  right choices and wrong choices.  The above ‘thens’ have options.  We can choose to respond as HE would with kindness, love, patience, gentleness and self-control.  We can choose to be hateful, gossipy, malicious, or controlling.  What choice we make shows others Whose we are.

Let’s choose loving one another!!!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Originally published on October 8, 2011

Survivor

 

Oh

The most difficult words I have ever heard from a doctor are, YOU HAVE CANCER.       At first, I’m not sure I really heard what he said.  I had been ill for several years and was told by my doctor he could find nothing wrong, it was just a woman ‘thing’.  The problem was he wasn’t looking in the right place for the answer.  A dear, dear friend watched me go through days of terrible pain each month, saw my abdomen swell like I was pregnant, knew that it was very difficult for me to stand from a sitting position, and said this has to stop.  Please make an appointment with my doctor for a second opinion.  So I did.  The doctor’s first words were are you pregnant?  I knew I wasn’t but she determined to do an ultrasound.  During the ultrasound, where I could see the screen, the specialist asked if I could see the surface of a very large tumor.  Yes, I could but I didn’t really know what I was seeing.  He explained that what looked like chicken fat was actually cancer growing. Still numb from that experience, I got dressed and sat down in his office with my husband and waited for more information and a plan of action.

Life changed rapidly for me in the next few minutes.  His first question was, is your life in order?  Do you have a living will?  Will your job allow 3 months off?  On a Tuesday I went for a simple ultrasound so see what was going on.  The next Friday I would have major surgery.  I had 3 days to prepare.

After Ray and I digested, discussed, and yes, denied, we contacted our pastor, family, and close friends to let them know what was happening and to start lifting us up in prayer.  At 5:30 AM, that Friday, I was at the hospital, ready to go. (Well kind of…) The surgery lasted around 5 hours and when all was said and done he came out to speak with Ray. His sense of humor was evident when he said he had successfully delivered an 8 and 1/2 pound tumor and the patient was doing well.

I’m not even going to talk about the pain from that type of invasive surgery.  Let’s just say it was intense.

The next morning I was ready to start recovering.  That my friends was a long, slow, road. Lifting anything heavier than a glass of orange juice was forbidden for several weeks. Since the pressure had finally been released from my spine I would have to begin the process of walking.  Since we live a small community, the neighbors would wait and congratulate me as I was able to walk to another driveway each week.  I was not allowed to be alone for long periods of time and driving was out of the question.

God allowed me to go through this so that I could help others who would face the same diagnosis.  Here are some things I learned in the process of healing.  A listening, non-judgemental ear is an awesome, healing gift.  Don’t tell someone you understand unless you’ve experienced the same struggle.  Sometimes, your presence is all that’s needed. Silence can be the greatest gift of all.

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Bad things do happen to good people, but God really doesn’t give us more than we can handle together. More than 20 years ago I discovered His strength is there when I have none of my own.  Our God is an awesome God!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Friday Faves

Friday Faves

I’ve found some really great posts for you to check out this week.  I’ve been jetting all over the internet.  Can’t help myself.  There’s so much good writing out there! 🙂

10-Tips-to-Teach-True-Contentment-post-e1467123813358My word for the year is content and I was delighted to find this post at the Little Light On A Hill blog.  I’m very much a proponent of writing down my blessings, thanks to reading Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts”, and that’s just one of the 10 tips.

 

 

downloadRay and I have been hand holders from the day we met.  After many years of marriage, we still hold hands at every opportunity.  Sometimes it’s because we want to connect through touch, others it’s to show support.  This sweet article, HOLDING HANDS is a delightful story of a sweet couple who have been holding hands for many more years than we have!

 

 

 

 

4-640x823I came across this article in the Grace and Truth Link-Up at Like A Bubbling Brook.  I’m always looking for encouragement in my prayer life and this short article fits the bill perfectly.  From making time to choosing a journal it’s definitely worth the read.

 

 

My heart is breaking for the people of France.  Please lift a prayer with me…

Heavenly Father, it’s such a scary time we live in.  Give us strength and courage to move forward and share the Gospel of Peace.  For those who have lost loved ones, let them know Your Presence as the grieve.  For those who are injured, heal them completely.  Give the leaders of France and of other countries around the world wisdom and discernment in dealing with terrorism.  Soften the hearts of those who would harm the innocent.  Oh, LORD, You have promised to be always there for us and we know You are. Keep us safe in Your loving arms.  I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of Jesus.             Make it so!

 

 

 

 

 

If My People

praying-1319101_960_720One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It calms my heart every time I hear a new report of violence, shooting, terrorism, election rhetoric, job loss, sickness… I fully believe that God can do what He says He can do.  In this verse, He gives us the privilege of knowing what He will do if we follow His command.

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We are His people, called by His name.  He wants us to humble ourselves, to remember that we are not God.  We cannot do anything without Him.

We are to pray.  That’s the one thing He desires most by those called His.  He wants us to communicate with Him.  He really doesn’t care how.  He simply wants to hear from us.

We are to seek His face.  Every nuance of facial expression tells the listener what the speaker intends.  Since all scripture is God’s (2 Timothy 3:16) it stands to reason that He wants us to know His word.  Unless we know His word we cannot know what is sinful or in the words of this verse, wicked.

Once these are part of our life fabric we can expect some really powerful things to happen.  Remember, God can do what He says He can do.

First, He will hear us.  Is your prayer for healing…He hears it.  Is your prayer for no more violence…He hears it.  Is your prayer for forgiveness…He hears it.  No matter what our prayer is, if we are humble, turn away from our sins, and seek His guidance HE HEARS IT!

Second, He will forgive our wickedness, our sins, any way we fall short.  It really doesn’t matter to Him how big or small our sin is, He can and will forgive it.

Then, He says, “(I) will heal their land.”  With our country in the condition it’s in, with families falling apart, with trust at an all-time low, with…  He will heal this land.

It’s definitely time to get on our knees, to humble ourselves, and to pray (fervently) for his forgiveness and healing.  He, alone, can do what no human can.  He, alone, can forgive.  We can totally trust Him.  He loves us!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

church-768613_960_720Check out this beautiful song that uses the words of this scripture.  (Just click on the picture.)

 

I’m Praying For You

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today I’m praying for you.  I may not know you personally or you may be among my group of besties but I AM PRAYING for you.  Here are the requests I am making before the Throne:

Father in Heaven, grant every man and woman the ability to know You more and more.  Open hearts, minds, and souls to Your incredible love for each of us.  Make us aware that in Your Word we were not only created by You but created in Your image. (Genesis 1:27)

Creator of all that is, was, and is to come, help us know the great value You place in each of us.  Help us understand deeply in every cell of our bodies that You take great joy in Your sons and daughters.  You are the Redeemer of not only our souls, but our lives, our pasts, and our futures.  You see us during our times of deepest fear and greatest joy.  Help us know and understand Your great love for us.  (Psalm 31:7)

Abba, Father, I know You hear each of us.  You hear our praise. You hear our needs. You hear our nearly silent pleas for mercy. You hear us when we regret our sins. You hear us when we have no one but You.  Oh, Lord, hear this prayer.  Grant each of us the ability to totally trust in You. (I Chronicles 5:20)

I lift this prayer before the Throne of Grace, in the Precious Name of Jesus, my Lord, my Provider, my Savior…     Make it so!

This post is linked to Literacy Musing Monday’s.

5 Prayer Prompts

holding-hands-752878_960_720

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

Signs

Sign Collage

Look around!  They’re everywhere!  Stop signs.  Sale signs.  Billboards.  Not just ‘man’ signs.  God did some pretty spectacular ones.  The rainbow.  The Babe in the manger.  Reversing the sun.  What?  Take a look at Isaiah 38:7-8.

Here’s the story in a nutshell.

~Hezekiah got sick.  Isaiah went to visit him and told him he was going to die.

~Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed, pointing out his righteous life.  He asked for nothing.

~God heard his prayer and gave him 15 more years.

~God said he would give Hezekiah a sign to assure Hezekiah He could and would do what He said He could.  God moved the sun’s shadow 10 notches backward on the sundial.  The near impossibility of that happening then or even now is astronomical.   Even though the people of that time believed the sun moved around the earth it was till going to be a really big event.

Are you watching for His signs?  (I’m not really referring to end times here.)  When God wants our attention He can use several ways to get it.  Working/speaking through other believers – Isaiah spoke God’s message to Hezekiah.  Motivation to pray and seek answers – Hezekiah turned to the wall, toward God in prayer.  Everyday activities, like watching television or listening to music, will start pointing you in the direction God wants you to go.  Discomfort/sickness – Hezekiah was on his death bed.  God signs are visible but we must be watching, waiting, and ready.  All we have to do is look!

Ah, Lord God, open my eyes, my ears, my heart, my mind to where You are working and what You want me to see.  Give me the ability to take all that is going on around me and see it through Your eyes.  Let me hear Your voice as I try to determine the right response.  Give me wisdom and knowledge to see it Your way.  Make it so in Jesus Name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I am a part of Holly Garth’s Launch Team for her new book, You’re Already Amazing.  From time to time you will see some of her work in this spot on the blog.  Enjoy it with me.  She is a very gifted writer for such a time as this.

With Jesus

You can also find this post in Pondering and Prayer.