But What Does God Say?

Quick thought for today:

“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.

What Can We Do?

When disagreement or controversy arises, I am usually a “Hey, I can see it from both sides,” person because A. I detest conflict lol and B. because I honestly can usually see both sides, or at least see valid points from both perspectives.

With this Covid-19 situation, we’ve heard numerous people say things to the effect of, “I don’t know what/who to believe,” and many of us have been forced to make difficult decisions and feel like we are “picking a side,” based on biased sources, differing views, and incomplete data.

What can we do?

1. Ask God for wisdom. There is a verse that flat-out says that we can ask God for wisdom and He will give it to us. Maybe you knew that already, but I finally discovered that verse existed when I was well into my 40’s, and now I sometimes wonder how I got this far in life not knowing it! James 1:5 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  Wow – If we ask Him, He doesn’t just give us wisdom, He gives it generously!

If we took time to ask God for His wisdom while sifting through the information we are being bombarded with, what might happen? We may feel compelled to research something further, we may decide to reserve judgment on other news, and/or we may feel led to share some information with others. Whatever the case may be, God is willing to give us His wisdom on how to process and deal with it. He is also willing to pour His peace into our lives even in the midst of the conflict and division surrounding these circumstances. This crazy time in our world would be a perfect time to consider taking advantage of Godly wisdom and “beyond-anything-we’ve-ever-felt-before” brand of peace.

2. “And let all that you do be done in love,” 1 Corinthians 16:14.  Sometimes we need reminders that the love this verse is referring to is the Christlike,  sacrificial, genuine love that God created and personifies. It’s deciding if the way we treat others, the words we speak to others, and the tone we post on social media with follows that Christlike kind of love example. Side note: calling people idiots or uneducated or saying that they have no compassion aren’t words that fit in the “Let all that you do be done in love” category.  Friends, all of it….how we present ourselves to the world, and Who we represent to the world…all of it should be done in love. I know we can get through this without questioning people’s hearts and intelligence.

I hope and pray that we can all choose to believe the best about everyone’s motives. And if you see me failing at that, please call me out – in a kind, considerate manner, of course. 😉

Dear Lord, help us to take a deep breath and put forth a genuine effort to see where people with differing views are coming from. Please give us Your wisdom to help us discern truth. Lord, help our actions and our words to be dictated by our relationship with You instead of fear, resentment or negativity. Grant us Your perspective as we navigate through this time and show us how to display Your love to others. In Your name we pray, Amen.

Prayer During a Confusing Time

Lord, thank You for being right beside us as we walk this unknown territory, and remind us that You are also in front of us. We don’t know how this situation is going to pan out, but You do. Help us to focus our minds on what we do know: that You are in control, You love us, and You have a plan. Help us to increase our trust in You as we watch You work through these circumstances as only You can.

Your Word says we can ask You for wisdom and You will give it to us. Please give us Your wisdom as we navigate how to make the best decisions concerning our families, our jobs, and our daily lives. Reveal to us how we can best reflect You in our words and our actions during this trying time. 

Your Word also says that You keep in perfect peace all those who fix their thoughts on You. Lord, please help us focus on who You are – on Your power and Your purpose. Help us obtain clarity as we pursue Your perspective. We ask You to replace our doubts and fears with Your matchless peace.  

We ask in expectancy, knowing You hear our prayers and that You love us more than we can imagine. Lord, increase our trust in You and help us follow You every step of the way.

In Your holy name we pray. Amen.

New Prayers for a New Year

As we prepare to begin a new year, it is a perfect time to thank God for being a God of new starts, second chances, and redemption. How incredibly blessed we are to be loved and protected by Him!

For the New Year, I would like to share three passages and a prayer that goes with each one of them. I’m including a printable for you as well: Click here

Happy New Year, Friends! May you strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness!

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Dear Lord, I thank You for making me a new creation. In Your strength, I can choose to let go of old behaviors, thoughts, and mindsets that do not glorify You. With Your help, I can embrace the new heart You have given me –  a heart that longs to put You first in my life, to proclaim Your power to a hurting world, and to make known Your love through my words and actions. In Your holy name I pray, 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. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  Lamentations 3:22-24

Dear Lord, I cannot fully express my gratitude to You for loving me with a steadfast love. Your love is perfect, and though I am not worthy to receive it, You declare that I am worth it. I am thankful for Your mercies being new every morning and that I can depend upon Your grace and Your second chances. Your faithfulness is beyond compare, and I ask You to help me to trust You more fully. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

Dear Lord, when I am weary and cannot clearly see how You are working in my life, help me to trust Your love and Your desire to refresh and revitalize my life. I thank You for being a God who pursues my heart. You are not a passive God – You play an active role in our lives and desire to make a way for all of us. Open my eyes and heart to Your Presence and Your guidance. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Your Loved Ones (Free Printable)

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

I am sharing a Thanksgiving prayer for your loved ones. Let someone know you are thinking of them and praying for them this Thanksgiving season!

You can download a free printable of this prayer right here!

Have a great day, and may you strive toward a deeper faith and a wider witness today!

For her:

Dear Lord, please touch my loved one in a special way this Thanksgiving season. Give her a grateful spirit as she counts her blessings and thanks You, the Giver of each one. 

Remind her how important she is to you. Help her to believe that her life holds sacred value. May she know in the very depths of her soul that You have entrusted her with Your purpose, Your power, and Your peace.

Enable her to have an enjoyable and memorable Thanksgiving. In the midst of potential differences of opinion and belief, may she be a shining example of positivity and unity. May she sense Your love and Your presence going before her, guiding her with every step. 

May others see You in all she says and does. 

In Your holy name I pray, Amen. 

 

For him:

Dear Lord, please touch my loved one in a special way this Thanksgiving season. Give him a grateful spirit as he counts his blessings and thanks You, the Giver of each one. 

Remind him how important he is to you. Help him to believe that his life holds sacred value. May he know in the very depths of his soul that You have entrusted him with Your purpose, Your power, and Your peace.

Enable him to have an enjoyable and memorable Thanksgiving. In the midst of potential differences of opinion and belief, may he be a shining example of positivity and unity. May he sense Your love and Your presence going before him, guiding him with every step. 

May others see You in all he says and does. 

In Your holy name I pray, Amen. 

Miles of Blessings

When my alarm sounded that May morning, I strongly considered rolling over and going back to sleep. A quick check of the weather app on my phone confirmed that I, along with a few thousand other participants, would be competing in our respective races in the rain coupled with a brisk temperature that I usually avoid running in. However, I pep-talked myself out of my comfortable bed and made the hour-long drive to the event location, motivated by the rewards of checking off another running goal, the dryness, warmth, and variety of sugary treats found at the indoor finish line, and sipping a steaming cup of coffee on the drive home. 

When the 10k race began, I settled into my pace and eagerly anticipated the aforementioned rewards. Usually, the finish line is where my focus remains fixated, but on this particular day, God opened my eyes to blessings along the route.

The first blessing was being able to spend time in prayer as I ran. I prayed for endurance, thanked God for recent answers to prayer only He could orchestrate, lifted requests to Him, and listened for His voice. The second blessing was perseverance. He provided strength and stamina for each step through less-than-ideal conditions. The third blessing was the people God placed in my path. I appreciated the supportive fans who cheered for us, particularly the children who enthusiastically offered high-fives as participants passed.

If I had concentrated only on the finish, I would have missed miles of blessings along the way. The truth is, whether we are running a 10k or experiencing a challenging waiting season in life, we will fail to appreciate God-sent gifts along the journey if we aim all of our attention at attainment.

The blessings God provided while I ran can be found in life’s waiting seasons as well. Just as the 10k was a perfect time to enjoy the blessing of prayer, waiting seasons are also a perfect time to spend meaningful time in prayer, drawing us closer to God. Similar to how He blessed me with the gift of perseverance as I ran, He will also develop perseverance in us when we are sustaining a waiting season. Perseverance proves to us that His strength is all we need in the present and gives us confidence that it is all we need for our future. And the 10k blessing of appreciating the people God placed in my path can likewise be experienced during waiting seasons when we intentionally take our eyes off ourselves. Consequently, our relationships are enhanced, and we have more opportunities to display the love of Jesus to a world in desperate need of more of it.

While we wait for the blessing, let’s not miss the blessing in the wait. Next time we are in the midst of a waiting season, may we not become so focused on the finish that we miss out on the miles of blessings God lovingly provides along our route. 

Monday Morning Prayer

Dear Lord, it’s a new day and a new week, and I look to You to be Lord over all of it. I thank You for being not only able, but also willing to supply the strength, courage, and wisdom I need for new challenges. You promise to be beside me, and You are also before me, making a way. Help Your indescribable love to overflow out of my life. Help it to touch the people You have placed in my path. Direct my words and my actions so that they are a reflection of that same love. Continue reading “Monday Morning Prayer”

Prayers For Your Husband (Based on Ephesians 2)

Earlier this month, I shared some prayers for husbands (or wives!) from Ephesians 1, Click here for the link, and now I would like to share some based on Ephesians 2. Prayers for Your Husband Ephesians 2

(In May and June, I shared some prayers from the book of James, chapter 1. Here are the links for all three of the PDFs – PDF #1 Prayers from James,   PDF #2 Prayers from James,    PDF #3 Prayers from James)

Have you enjoyed these prayers? Have you printed them out to use as bookmarks or to tape up somewhere that will remind you to keep your husband in prayer? I would love to hear from you! Continue reading “Prayers For Your Husband (Based on Ephesians 2)”

Prayers for Your Husband (based on Ephesians 1)

Marriage can be full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. But it is a team effort (husband, wife, and Jesus!) and nothing can match how rewarding a marriage relationship is.

Praying with and for your spouse can make a powerful difference. Personally, I would describe it as a gamechanger for my husband and me.

In May and June, I shared some prayers from the book of James, chapter 1. Here are the links for all three of the PDFs – PDF #1 Prayers from James,   PDF #2 Prayers from James,    PDF #3 Prayers from James

Now I would like to share with you some prayers that you can pray for your spouse based on Ephesians chapter 1. But before you scroll down to read them, here is a prayer for each one of you:  Lord, I pray for the people who read these prayers and lift their spouses up in prayer. Touch their marriages, Lord. Reveal to them a way where they previously thought a way did not exist. Renew their hope in You and Your ability to strengthen their relationship. Give them a fresh perspective on how to celebrate You, celebrate each other, and celebrate the gift of marriage. In Your name, Amen.


Below you will find three sections of Ephesians 1 and a prayer that goes with each one. Click here for a PDF containing these prayers! You can print them out to use as a bookmark or tape them to your mirror, etc.  (More prayers based on Ephesians will be coming, so be looking for those.) Continue reading “Prayers for Your Husband (based on Ephesians 1)”