Monthly Archives: September 2016

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LIVING A LIFE OF PRAYER

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Two decades ago, my prayers seemed to be last resort petitions and my relationship with Christ had become complacent due mostly to an over-committed lifestyle. I was a thirty-one-year-old mom when I plummeted to the lowest point of my life.

While trying to be some sort of superwoman, I stayed up all hours of the night making homemade tiaras and princess wands for my daughter’s seventh birthday party. With my people-pleasing skills, it appeared that I had it all together. In reality, I was terrified and carrying the weight of many problems on my shoulders.

Shortly after my daughter’s extravagant birthday party, my self-sufficient strength imploded. Hopeless words in my journal from that dark season revealed my depressed state.

I vividly remember the night when I sat at my dining room table and began sobbing. In a puddle of tears, I thought about my broken marriage, our financial struggles, and how all the stress was affecting my daughter, Christa. With another child soon to be born, it all seemed like more than I could handle.

In my desperation, I requested prayer from a counselor at church and turned to my loved ones for encouragement. My mother and grandmother prayed for me and encouraged me to stand firm in my faith. With their encouragement, I took baby steps toward a consistent prayer life and I eventually began praying and meditating on Scriptures persistently.

With a renewed confidence in Christ, I realized that my need to forgive some offenses was hindering my closeness with Him. I was reminded that the Bible says, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions “(Mark 11:25, New American Standard Bible).

After choosing forgiveness, my hopeless feelings didn’t linger very long. I gave birth to a baby boy, and by the time my son, Thomas, was five months old, I was feeling like a new person.

As the darkness dissipated, I realized the prayers of my mother and grandmother had carried me through my immature years. I truly believe I wouldn’t have made it through such a tumultuous season without their prayers.

The dark season I experienced during my thirties was a catalyst for me to renew my spirit and turn to Christ wholeheartedly. Through prayer, I began to see the unfailing love and never-ending faithfulness of God.

With a rekindled prayer life, I prayed and waited for Jesus to restore the broken pieces of my heart. He began restoring my life step by step, and filled my soul with peace and joy. He healed my hurting marriage and restored our finances by leading my husband to a stable career.

During the hardships, I learned to pray passionately for my children in the same way my mother and grandmother prayed for me. As I released Christa and Thomas to Christ through prayer, I watched them grow into thriving adults.

A life without prayer is like a sailboat without sails. Without prayer, we get disconnected from Christ’s guiding voice, and without His guidance, we end up in desperate places. Desperation drives us to our knees more than anything else.

It’s interesting how, as humans, we need adversity to push us toward God and prayer. When things are going well, we sometimes think we don’t need to pray. Perhaps we need to pray the most during our best days.

Living a life of prayer connects us to God so that we can hear His still, small voice and live peacefully in the midst of life’s challenges.

Are you in a dark season? Don’t lose heart. Trust that Christ’s love for you is deeper than you can imagine (Ephesians 3: 17-18). Knowing Christ’s love for you is necessary to pray with faith. Simple, faith-filled prayers will move God’s heart to do what seems impossible.

Jesus teaches us to never give up praying (Luke 18: 1-8). If we persistently pray with pure motives and forgiving hearts, we will not only see Christ’s power working in the most amazing ways, but most importantly, we will continue growing closer to His heart. As we fix our eyes on Christ, prayer becomes as natural as breathing and we become transformed into God’s image in the process of waiting for His good plans to be established in our lives.

If you would like more encouragement for living a life of prayer download a FREE copy of the Prayers of a Mother’s Heart eBook through Monday, October 3rd.

REMEMBERING 9-11-2001

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I will never forget the morning of September 11, 2001. I was home with my four-year-old son when the phone rang. I answered the call and I gasped when Michael began telling me what had happened in New York City. In a state of shock, I listened to news reporters tell story after story about the loss and tragedy that happened in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Five days later, I sat in a church that didn’t seem to have a vacant seat. People were afraid and they wanted to hear assuring words. I remember the sense of urgency I was feeling during that season. At the time, I did not have the spiritual maturity to realize that my prayers could have actually prevented such a tragedy. It was all I could do to pray and trust Christ to take care of my own family’s needs.

Now, I have the maturity to realize my prayers matter. I have seen enough supernatural intervention in my family’s life to know Christ can change a nation, and He will change it if we pray and trust Him to do it.

My confidence in Christ has grown through the years as I have cried out to Him in prayer and studied the Scriptures. As I’ve sought for answers in the Bible, there are verses that have stood out more than others. God speaks to me the most when I read an entire chapter of the Bible at one sitting. The words make more sense to me when I read in larger segments instead of reading a few verses here and there.

In 2005, I was reading the book of Zechariah and was inspired by Zechariah’s words about the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. There were many verses that stood out to me, but one practically jumped off the page while I was reading. As I read the words in Zechariah 9:8, it was as though God was telling me that He would protect me and never again let a marauding force overrun my family. I have shared this verse with friends time and time again. It has become a defining verse in my life.

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A dark force tried to destroy my life, and it came mighty close to destroying me. But Jesus came to my rescue as I cried out to Him. Now, I stand boldly on the truth of God’s Word and believe He is all I need and all this country needs.

We are living in dark times, and it’s obvious our nation is in danger. However, the Lord is teaching me to trust Him more and I am choosing to trust Him with our country. Will you please join me in praying faithfully for God to keep His hand upon this nation?

Let us never forget what happened on September 11, 2001. Let us remember to pray passionately for our cities, our communities, and our nation.

Father,

Thank You for Your never-ending mercy and grace. Help us to never forget the heroes of this country and help us remember the ones who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Please keep Your hand upon the United States and let us be an undivided nation. We repent from our complacency and ask You to bless and protect America. Please keep watch over us and never again let a marauding force overrun our country. Let our nation be a strong and mighty group of united people. Let us return to You wholeheartedly and help us trust You to restore our nation to what You desire for it to be. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“But I will encamp at my temple to guard it against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch.”

Zechariah 9:8