Encouragement to strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness.
Gwen Thielges resides in North Dakota where she is an author, blogger, and worship leader. Her devotional for athletes, All In For Him, was published in 2017. She and her husband, Darren, are blessed above and beyond with three sons, one daughter, two daughters-in-law, and two grandsons. Her heartfelt desire is to encourage readers to strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness. Her inspiration comes from the Word of God, strong coffee, and the love of her amazing family.
The God who parts waters, conquers graves, and closes lions’ mouths is much higher and holier than us. And He is perfect, pure, faithful, and flawless, and none of that prevents Him from lovingly connecting the colossal chasm between us.
Recently, I have been thinking about how vastly different we are from God and how important it is to keep that fact at the forefront of our minds. Not so we dwell on our lowly position, but so we marvel at how incredible He is. Unfortunately, if we minimize the magnitude of the divide between God and us, we reduce Him to some sort of super-human being instead of remembering He is not in the same realm as us. At all.
Jeremiah 5:22a says, “Do you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Do you not tremble before me?”(ESV) The first portion of the ten commandments in Exodus 20:2-3 says: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. (ESV) Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)
Even though we continually choose to separate ourselves from Him through sin, His Word says He is not willing that anyone should perish. Jesus obediently died on Calvary; a gift offered to all of us regarding all of our sins. The God who parts waters, conquers graves, and closes lions’ mouths is much higher and holier than us. And He is perfect, pure, faithful, and flawless, and none of that prevents Him from lovingly connecting the colossal chasm between us.
We can’t truly appreciate how amazing God is without acknowledging the distance between us and recognizing how far He will readily go to reach us.
During this Christmas season, let’s take time to thank God for sending Jesus to bridge the enormous gap between us.
Hello, Friends. Isn’t it a blessing when you discover that someone is praying for you?
When it comes to marriage, I firmly believe praying for each other (and with each other) plays a vital part in strengthening the husband-wife bond.
My hope is that these prayers will bless and encourage you and your spouse!
Below you will find prayers based on Ephesians 4. Print them and use them as a bookmark, put them in your home where you’ll see them during your prayer time, or give them to friends. (Here is the link for the printout.) Prayers for Your Husband (Ephesians 4)
This is what the printout looks like:
I’d love to hear from you if you pray these prayers for your husband…or if you are a husband who prays these prayers for your wife! Thank you!
Also, please go to the Printables page to access additional prayers for your husband from Ephesians 1, 2, 3, and James 1!
Prayers for Your Husband Based on Ephesians 4
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; Ephesians 4:2-4 (NIV)
Dear Lord, reignite in my husband a yearning to pursue You above everything. May Christlike patience, gentleness, and humility radiate from him, and may the people he associates with be motivated to emulate those characteristics in their lives. Awaken him to the eternal impact he can have on others when he demonstrates Your love. Reveal to him how to be a unifying presence in all situations. Entrust him with the ability to exemplify Your perfect peace in a world that is desperate to experience it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built upuntil we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves,and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:11-15 (NIV)
Dear Lord, thank You for granting spiritual gifts to all of Your children. Give us Godly courage to use our gifts to point the world to You and to invigorate the body of Christ. Strengthen my husband’s confidence in You and help him have unshakeable faith, especially when he grapples with adversity. May Your Spirit encourage him to selflessly and actively love people the way You do. May the love with which he uses his gifts bring unity to Your family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:21-24, 29, 31-32 (NIV)
Dear Lord, thank You for graciously offering new life to anyone willing to receive it. I pray for my husband to joyfully accept Your gift and wholeheartedly rid his life of former mindsets or activities that do not glorify You. May he be ethical and diligent, bringing honor to You in his family life and career as well. Motivate him to be a man whose conduct is not dictated by anger, but by Your love. Speak through him with language saturated in unity, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God knew that Gideon needed to hear God-authored words regarding who he genuinely was and the amazing things he could accomplish with His help.
I can’t imagine anything casual about an angel making an appearance in the Old Testament, but the angel account recorded in the 6th chapter of Judges begins pretty nonchalantly. God’s messenger was patiently sitting under an oak tree, as Gideon was threshing wheat nearby. He was assumedly waiting for an opportune time to approach Gideon and deliver life-altering news.
Judges chapter 6:12 says, “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “the Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior.” Other Bible translations record equally distinguished titles such as Mighty Man of Valor, Powerful Soldier, and Valiant Warrior. Perhaps Gideon momentarily thought the angel had appeared to the wrong man because he did not feel like he lived up to any of those names. He quickly reminded the angel that he was the youngest child from the weakest clan in Manasseh.
The next thing Gideon knew, the angel charged him with a seemingly impossible assignment: to lead a group of men to conquer a large, powerful Midianite army of more than 100,000 men. (In a fascinating aspect of the story, God was about to thin the Gideon-led army down from 32,000 to 300 men.)
Gideon took some time to ask for a sign that God sent the angel, and he received it. Eventually, his doubts about the message and the messenger vanished, and he realized he was going to be an integral component in a remarkable victory – a victory that could only be orchestrated by God.
Do you ever have a little bit of Gideonish doubt about yourself? Do you ever see yourself as less-than or unworthy? Do you ever doubt your ability to carry out the tasks God has assigned to you? If you answered yes to those questions, then your impression of yourself is different from His opinion of you. Allow me to boldly suggest that you promptly silence all other views and align yourself with His.
God knew that Gideon needed to hear God-authored words regarding who he genuinely was and the amazing things he could accomplish with His help.
Our perception of ourselves is affected by past experiences, opinions of other people, and our inferiority complexes. God bases His perception of us on the fact that He, the Creator and King, created us on purpose and with a purpose.
May we allow God to work on our hearts, so that eventually, like Gideon, we accept what God wants us to know about our identity. May the truth of our identity always win out over the perception we have of ourselves.
Prayer: Lord, whenever I see myself differently than You see me, may I accept the truth of my identity in You. And may I live according to Your truth rather than my opinion. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I firmly believe that when wives pray for their husbands, those prayers will play a part in strengthening those marriages. It’s been more than a year since I shared “Prayers for Your Husband” based on Ephesians 1 and 2, (here are the links for the free printables!) Prayers for your husband based on Ephesians 1 and Prayers for your husband based on Ephesians 2 and now I would like to share prayers based on the 3rd chapter of Ephesians. You will find them below.
Also, there is a free printable of these verses and corresponding prayers. Cut them out, put them on your mirror, use them as a bookmark etc. and faithfully lift your husband up in prayer! Click here for the link: Prayers for Your Husband Ephesians 3
Here’s what the download looks like:
I pray that your marriage will be blessed and encouraged by these prayers!
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery,which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. Ephesians 3:7-9 (NIV)
Dear Lord, bless my husband with a servant’s heart that recognizes and responds to other people’s needs with Christlike mercy and humility. Pour Your grace into his life, and give him an eagerness to extend that grace freely to others. Increase His faith in Your perfect promises, and intensify His belief in Your unmatched authority. May he be entirely attentive and obedient to Your voice as You guide him in using his God-given gifts to impact our world for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. Ephesians 3:12-15 (NIV)
Dear Lord, we appreciate that Your Word assures us that we can approach You with freedom and confidence. Energize my husband’s prayer life. Reawaken in him a longing for consistent, intimate communication with You. I pray the close relationship You share will empower him to go to You with the boldness, reverence, and awe You are worthy of. Encourage him to be fully transparent with You. Reassure him that You always welcome him with open arms. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17b-21 (NIV)
Dear Lord, embolden my husband’s belief that he is loved by You with a love that is deeper, wider, and stronger than can even be described. May that love spill into every facet of his life and leave a meaningful mark on everyone he comes into contact with. I pray that his security will forever be based on being a cherished son of his Heavenly Father. Remind him that You are capable of more than he can imagine, and that You are continuously working in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ephesians 2:10a says, “For we are God’s masterpiece…” Since God considers us to be His masterpiece, we don’t ever have to wrestle with thoughts of whether we are special or if we have anything to offer that’s different from what other people can offer.
Perhaps it’s a stretch to compare people to sunrises and sunsets, but bear with me…I suppose I could hold a “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,” attitude toward sunrises and sunsets, but I still get excited every time one is within view. Each one is uniquely beautiful. The various colors in the sky, the different ways the sun reflects upon the water, the clouds, trees, and other scenic features all combine to display a stunning example of God’s handiwork. And our unique gifts, personality traits, and perspectives – all of which are valuable – all point to God’s brilliance.
God equipped all of us differently to be an equally significant part of His world.
“It’s time to care a lot less about people agreeing with what we say and a lot more about us agreeing with what God says.”
There’s a part of me that likes to preface conversations or social media posts with, “I think,” or “In my opinion,” and then hope that whoever hears or reads my words agrees with me…
I’m working on this.
I’m trying to shift my perspective. My new goals: 1. Strive to express thoughts and opinions that are in alignment with the authoritative Word of God (In other words, before I form an opinion and rush to share it, check if it is Christlike.) and 2. Be less concerned with the reactions of people and more concerned with being obedient to God. (In other words, double-check my priorities. At the end of the day, I want my words to honor God.)
There will be times when I fail, but I am determined to prayerfully pursue those goals. It’s hard for a person who doesn’t just walk away from controversy…I’m more of a sprint-away-from-disagreement kind of gal. And it’s hard for a person who likes to please people. But I’m renewing my resolve to be a Jesus-pleasing gal above all else.
Maybe this sounds like an opinion,😉 but wouldn’t you agree that this world doesn’t need more opinions, and it could sure use more truth spoken in love instead? Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ.”
If we ask God, He will help us care less about the approval of others and more about lovingly expressing His truth in this world – a world desperate for Him.
We aren’t required to share the same opinions in order to have unity, but we can agree that our shared love for Jesus will dictate how we handle differing views.
Have you noticed that the discussion about practically every headline-making topic in our world today (COVID, racism, statues, masks, opening schools vs. distance learning, to name just a few) creates bitter disagreement, anger, and sometimes even violence? Not just among believers and non-believers – that’s to be expected, because we form our opinions upon very different foundations. I’m talking about ugly division among believers.
Where is the unity?
In John 17:20-26, Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Father about unity. He prayed for future believers to be unified, so that people would be inspired to believe in His Heavenly Father. When we sit with that for a moment, it hits hard. We all have a purpose on this earth: pointing people toward Jesus, and that purpose is benefitted by being a unifying presence. If the beauty of unity shows people who God is and makes Him known, then it’s time to put unifying behavior on the top of our priority list!Continue reading “Where is the Unity?”
We have a choice to make. We can believe the false identity created by the world’s negative opinions of us, or we can read about, reflect upon, and ultimately receive the identity God bestowed upon us. It takes increased patience and intentional prayer to decide we are going to embrace our God-Authored identity, but we are capable of it with His help.
If there are times when we question who we are in the sight of God, it is important to remember He has made the answer available to us. Diving into the Bible is the ideal way to discover how He defines us.
The following truths are directly from the Word of God, and therefore directly from the heart of God!