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, three daughters-in-law, and three 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.
Ever since I can remember, I have had a comfortable, continual conversation with Jesus. Engaging in silent prayer regardless of where I am or what I am doing has been a natural part of my daily rhythm – most of the time.
However, there have been brief periods when intense emotional pain disrupted that rhythm and rendered me speechless before Jesus. When I have been unable to articulate a prayer amid hardship, a particular Bible verse has become a lifeline. Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.” Friends, in our silence, the Holy Spirit lifts our burdens to the throne of Jesus on our behalf! Thank the Lord there is no communication gap when our pain temporarily prevents us from expressing our needs.
When we do not have the strength to pray, be encouraged – the Holy Spirit has us covered.
It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions such as anger and sadness from time to time. Let’s be honest: our world is full of complex people and complex situations, so it is understandable when we experience and express complicated emotions. However, it is essential to remember that we are not required to stay stuck in that state! In other words, we do not have to wait for challenging people to start treating us better or for difficult situations to improve before we start reacting in a Christlike manner. (I’m sure we can agree that in some cases, we would be waiting a lifetime!) Therefore, choosing whether or not to let negative emotions have control over how we live is our own decision to make.
When we dwell on anger or sadness, we lose the opportunity to move forward in expectation of what God has in store for us. We may also miss chances to reflect Christ – which is an integral part of our mission on this earth.
So, what can we do when we find ourselves stuck in that unwanted state? Spend time with Him by reading His Word and praying. The Bible is chock-full of treasures for all of us, such as peace, comfort, and love. Talking to God reminds us that He is relational, and He understands what we are going through. Spending time with Him will help us view our circumstances with a fresh set of eyes and a renewed perspective.
The next time we feel stuck in negativity, let us open His Word and remind ourselves of His many promises. Let us ask God to help us stop wallowing in negative emotions and start welcoming new ones that He is eager to offer us.
Dear Lord, when we experience negative emotions, help us exchange them for a new, better alternative. We are grateful that You bless us by replacing our anger and sadness with Your extraordinary peace. Thank You for being ready and willing to come alongside us and help us become the people You want us to be. Amen.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Friends, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. If you can relate to that feeling, allow me to assure you that God wants us to reach out to Him. He is listening and He cares.
I wrote a couple of prayers that I want to share with you; one in this post and one in the previous one. The prayer below is based on Romans 5:1-5
Dear Lord, life seems complicated right now, and I am physically and mentally exhausted. I know You hear my prayer and see my situation. It is an unimaginable blessing that You are a relational God who knows and cares how I feel. I am deeply grateful for Your Holy Spirit’s outpouring of love and divine encouragement. Your Word says I can rejoice in my sufferings because I will develop endurance, character, and hope – traits that will help me become more like You. Bring to my mind Your promise to not only give me hope but to be my hope. Instead of focusing on the problems I am experiencing, enable me to focus on You and what You are teaching me through them. Lord, help me to surrender to You and to embrace Your plan for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Romans 5 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Friends, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. If you can relate to that feeling, allow me to assure you that God wants us to reach out to Him. He is listening and He cares.
I wrote a couple of prayers that I want to share with you; one in this post and one in the next one. The prayer below is based on Psalm 34:1-9.
Dear Lord, I feel overwhelmed by the numerous goals, commitments, and responsibilities vying for my attention and time. Please open my eyes to Your countless gifts, especially those found in the challenges I am presently facing. Strengthen in me the determination to continually praise You, especially when life is difficult. Help me to thank You daily for Your unwavering mercy and constant love. Remind me that You are right beside me, eager to reach out as I take refuge in Your arms. Thank You for the times You have rescued me in the past, and for the times You will save me in the future. Bless me with a renewed sense of awe as I consider Your incredible glory and power. Please grant me a brand new perspective of my situation and a fresh appreciation of Your matchless peace as I draw closer to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Psalm 341 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
Think about how you feel when you discover that someone is praying for you. I firmly believe praying for (and with) your husband plays a vital role in encouraging and empowering him!
I am sharing six prayers based on chapters 5 and 6 from the book of Ephesians. You will find the prayers (and the verses they are based on) below. You will also find a link to go right to the printout. 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.
My hope is that these prayers will bless your marriage!
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.
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.