Tag Archives: Prayer Book

A MOTHER’S PRAYER IS POWERFUL

A Mother's Prayer is Powerful

My mothering instincts kicked into high gear and a flood of concern rushed into my mind when I heard the ring of the phone after midnight. I was thinking: What if something is wrong with my daughter?

Christa was seventeen at the time and in Mexico on a mission trip for the purpose of constructing a house for a homeless family. She and a large group of students were camping in tents in an open field area.

I grabbed my phone as quickly as possible and heard my daughter’s sullen voice on the other end of the line.

“Mommy, I’m afraid I have a bad virus. I feel very nauseous. Everyone is asleep, and I don’t know what to do.”

There were chaperones sleeping in other tents, but understandably she was apprehensive about searching in the dark for one of the adults.

As a protective mother, I felt helpless while I listened to my daughter. In the midst of trying to push away my fearful thoughts, I accepted that the power of prayer was our only option.

“Let me get your daddy. He and I will pray for you.”

I encouraged Christa as calmly as I knew how. After awakening Michael, he and I prayed for healing for our daughter. In that moment, I felt peace wash over me.

Even though Christa was still feeling very sick, I mustered up enough faith to assure her that she would be okay and said, “Goodbye; I love you and I’ll be praying.”

After laying the phone down, I was tempted to let fear consume me, but there was truly no other choice than to trust Christ completely. I could not transport myself thousands of miles instantaneously to take care of my sick daughter. The situation was out of my control.

I could either fret or choose to believe God’s promises in the Bible. Christ promised if we believe that we have received it, it will be ours (Mark 11:24).

After my conversation with Christa, I struggled in the beginning to completely shake my worries, but eventually I let go and released my daughter to the Lord. During the following days, I tried to call Christa’s cell phone multiple times to check on her, but I never could reach her.

Eight days later, Michael and I excitedly hurried to the airport to pick up our daughter. In the baggage claim area, I looked intently for Christa’s face in the crowd. My heart was overjoyed when I saw my daughter’s beaming smile. I knew the moment I saw her glowing face, the Lord had heard our prayers and healed her.

As I stood there in awe, I asked, “Why didn’t you answer my calls?”  She replied, “There was no cell phone reception other than the night I was sick.”

Then I remembered that her youth leader had told us previously there would be no cell phone reception where they were staying.

I couldn’t deny God’s supernatural intervention. Already knowing the answer, I asked, “Did you get well after we prayed?”

“The nausea went away about ten minutes after we prayed together. I never felt sick again the entire trip.” Christa was radiating joy as she shared the testimony of God’s faithfulness.

 

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Not only had God touched my daughter’s sick body—He had enabled her to get in touch with me in a place where cell phone reception is usually impossible.

Sometimes there are predicaments that only Jesus has the power to change. When we release our children to God through faith-filled prayer, miracles begin to happen.

Is your child in a situation that’s out of your control? If you’re struggling to release your children’s problems to the Lord, remember that with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible (Matthew 17: 20).

As a mother falls to her knees, crying out desperately for a divine intervention, Christ comes to the rescue. A mother’s heart aches when her child aches and the heavens are shaken with her love. The power of a mother’s fervent prayer moves the heart of God to do what only He can do.

If you need more encouragement as a praying mother, you can get a FREE download of the Prayers of a Mother’s Heart eBook today through July 13th.

 

 

PRAYER: BEING STILL IN GOD’S PRESENCE

Be Still, and Know That I Am God

Without hearing God’s voice or knowing His direction, life would be like a train running free without an engineer. My life looked like a train wreck during a season of busyness that pulled me away from a life of prayer. After desperation set in, I got back on the path with God; and things in my life began turning around.

In Proverbs 3: 5 and 6, it says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.”

There is no better shepherd than Christ. He directs our paths perfectly, leading us to the destinies He planned for us before we were born. When we are on the path with Him, life becomes the journey we were meant to live. I’ve had to learn this the hard way. If only my mistakes will help another soul stay on the path with Jesus, it will be worth all the times I drifted off track with God.

I’m not talking about religious rituals here. I am talking about being still in the presence of God and letting His voice lead every step. This is the path that leads to the abundant life Jesus promised us.

In my eBook, I shared some of the struggles that arose when I stopped seeking God wholeheartedly.  In the following excerpt, you will see how my life got off track during a season when being still and prayer had become less of a priority in my life.

The book excerpt begins here.

As a child, it’s easier to admit weakness and bow down to God. But there’s something that happens as we grow older: our hearts change, and our way of thinking changes. It becomes harder to enter into the place of total submission to God and it seems natural to begin seeking out other ways to find comfort. This is what happened to me. By the time I was eighteen years old, I was going to my secret place with God less and less. Yet I still desired to be close to Him.

This same year, I met and fell in love with a young man who loved God. Michael and I got married when I was nineteen with the hopes and dreams of following Christ together. I wrote a prayer in 1985, the year I got married, that truly reveals the desire in my heart to live for Christ.

Dear Lord,

I need You so badly. It seems like the only time I’m desperately crying out to You is at the lowest times in my life. And I’m sorry for that. I know You want me to learn to depend on You like an infant with its mother. But oh, dear God, it’s so hard. I always think I can do it on my own. Please help me and make me what You want me to be—make me the kind of friend, daughter, and wife You want me to be.

Please give me the desire in my heart to pray more and read Your Word more. Please fill me with Your Spirit and really change my heart. Make me new inside. I know You love me more than I could ever imagine. And I couldn’t live without Your love. Thank You for loving me no matter what I do to reject You. I pray in Your name. Amen.

During the twelve years after I had written that prayer, I settled comfortably into my marriage and became complacent in my spiritual journey. I was consumed with other things—allowing my marriage to come before God, working a corporate job for a number of years, and volunteering many hours in our church. These things were all distracting me from the passionate desire I once had to wholeheartedly follow Christ. Michael and I were going through all the Christian motions by tithing and attending as many church activities as we could fit into our already full schedule. From a religious standpoint, we were doing everything right as a young, Christian couple. The most vital thing was missing though. My passion toward God had been replaced with a shallow faith. The love relationship I once had with Him was a distant memory. And it all culminated into a depressed state when my life seemed hopeless.

After that Wednesday night when I finally broke down, my eyes were opened and I could see what I had lost with the Lord. I realized my deep need for Him, and I began writing prayers more regularly in my journal. These entries reveal the desperation in my heart and spirit.

February 11, 1997

Lord, I’m really frustrated. I need to go to sleep, but I just keep thinking about everything that’s going on in my life. Please bring me rest and peace.

February 12, 1997

Lord, I really need You. It’s 3:15 a.m. and I woke up feeling uptight. I need Your peace. Now Christa is awake and she said she’s afraid. Please make her feel comfortable and able to get some rest. Please give me rest. Please help me to feel peace and comfort beyond all understanding. I know I need to trust You.

February 28, 1997

Lord, I love You and I give all my burdens to You. I surrender all to You. Please give me peace in my mind and let this struggle end.

March 5, 1997

Lord, I’m waiting for some relief. Why can’t I relax and sleep well? Are You hearing me? Please keep me well and give me the rest I need. I’m willing to do whatever it is that You want me to do. Lord, please hear my prayers.

May 22, 1997

God, do You hate me? I feel so helpless. Please show me Your love. Please make a way for me out of this.

In those desperate moments, I began to pray like I never had before. Desperation drives us to our knees like nothing else. While praying, God revealed to me that I needed to forgive my husband for some things I hadn’t been able to let go of. The words of a Scripture verse came to mind where Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21–22). Over and over, the Lord kept bringing up these Scripture verses to me, but I couldn’t locate the verses in my Bible, even though they were some of my favorite Scriptures and very familiar to me. I wrote in my journal at the beginning of February how my inability to sleep was linked with my need to forgive. It felt as though I was doing everything in my power to choose forgiveness.

About a month later, I was still struggling to sleep so I went to the altar at my church to ask for prayer. A team of prayer counselors was available to stay after the worship service for those in need of a one-on-one prayer time. A sweet woman named Cindy walked over to me and began speaking softly, saying, “Would you like to come to the counseling room for more prayer?” I’m sure she could see the sadness in my eyes.

“Yes,” I said, with a pitiful tone in my voice.

Cindy and I walked into a room, we sat down together, and she began asking me questions like: “What’s going on in your life?” I was in such a place of turmoil that I could only speak a few words.

I said, “My daughter and I are having trouble sleeping.” And that was all I felt like saying. She prayed with me, told me that she was teaching a Sunday school class about forgiveness, and handed me a piece of paper with some Scriptures she wanted me to look up when I had the chance.

Even though nothing earth-shaking seemed to happen in that moment of praying with Cindy, my spirit felt a difference. After I returned home, I opened my Bible to the Scriptures she had written down for me. As my eyes focused onto the words, I began to weep. It was Matthew 18:21–35. She had written down the exact Scriptures the Lord had already been bringing up in my prayer time. That was a pivotal moment for me and I saw the realness of Jesus in a way I had never seen Him before in my life. I couldn’t deny that the Lord was working mightily in this situation, especially since this happened in a church where the gifts of the Spirit were not prevalent or widely accepted. I knew that only God Himself could orchestrate it for someone I had never met to give me a word of knowledge straight from the heart of Christ.

Two days later, I received a note of encouragement from Cindy.

Amy,

I was praying for you and your family this morning and Psalm 4:8 is very encouraging… “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” May God grant rest and peace to you and your daughter. Stand firm in your faith. Keep praying until God answers. Wait on the Lord!

Love in Christ,
Cindy A.

I wept again as I read her words—I knew it was a direct message of hope from God for me. The very thing I had prayed for and written in my prayer journal in the weeks prior to meeting Cindy was in her note. “May God grant ‘rest and peace’ to you…” This was a sign to me that God had heard my prayers and that He would answer them. Until this day, I have kept that note tucked inside my Bible as a reminder of where I once was and how Christ redeemed my broken past.

I never saw Cindy again after our prayer time together—mainly because the church has over 14,000 members. I found her address in the church directory and wrote her a long letter thanking her for the compassion she had showed to me, and I shared how her words had strengthened my faith. It’s amazing how God can use a complete stranger in such a powerful way to bring lifelong positive effects.

That was the beginning of a new kind of faith for me. The closeness I had felt to Christ during my youth was restored as I began seeking Him more. God rekindled the flame I had as a teenage girl. He restored me to an innocent girl—one who is fully dependent on her Creator. I returned to the place I was meant to be. I returned to my first love.

My problems had not disappeared, but I began to see God working in the midst of the struggles. A defining moment for me was on a day that I heard a still, small voice in my spirit for the first time in such a distinct way. Holy Spirit goose bumps rose all over my arms as I heard God saying, “I created the universe. I can certainly fix the problems in your life.” I knew without a shadow of doubt that the voice I heard in my heart was God. In a miraculous way, my anxiety left that day as I focused on God’s Word and continued to pray.

My close friend Bonnie encouraged me to listen to worship music continually and to meditate on Bible verses every day. Bonnie’s words of encouragement were a reminder of the faith steps my mother and grandmother had already taught me. With the encouragement of my loved ones and by communing with Christ, I was able to begin walking in forgiveness toward my husband. The walls that were separating our hearts began to come down brick by brick. It was the beginning of a deep healing in our marriage that ultimately took years to complete. Our marriage is a true miracle. It’s not perfect—no marriage is flawless. But because of the redemptive power in the blood of Christ, we love and forgive each other daily, so that we may remain close to God and to one another.

In that tumultuous season, we came to realize that prayer was the only thing that could permanently change our lives. We began to pray together as a family every night. One by one, Michael, Christa, and I would take turns praying out loud with each other. It wasn’t long before the debilitating darkness began to dissipate. A few weeks after my son Thomas was born, Christa could sleep in her own bed and not feel panicked without me by her side. By the time Thomas was eight months old, I had gone from physical and mental exhaustion to training for and running my first half-marathon race. The difference prayer had made truly was miraculous.

That was a small beginning for me in the discipline of prayer. It’s amazing how, as humans, we need adversity to push us toward God and prayer. It seems that when things are going well, we think we don’t need to pray. Perhaps that’s when we need to pray the most.

I’ve discovered that a life without prayer is like taking a sailboat out to sea and dismantling the sails. Prayer is what brings God’s power into full sail in our lives. Even though I haven’t always been faithful to pray, the Lord has been faithful to guide me and show me the need for prayer in beautiful and mysterious ways.

This is the end of the book excerpt.

Every time I think about my past, I am reminded that a life without prayer is a life without real peace.

Prayer connects us to God so that we can hear His still, small voice in our hearts. His voice soothes. His voice comforts. His voice is the anchor of our souls.

Lord,

Let us be drawn to Your heart each day. Cleanse our hearts of any iniquities that could be hindering us from hearing Your voice clearly. Let us walk daily in humility and with kindness toward all people. Let us be still and know that You are God and that You have good plans for all your children. I pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

The Proverbs Scripture reference was taken from The Message.

PRAYER eBOOK: 99¢ UNTIL 4/8 AND GIVING BUNK BEDS TO ORPHANS

Hands of Love Bunk Beds

I was inspired by the power of prayer working in my life and in the lives of my children to write Prayers of a Mother’s Heart: For a Chosen Generation, an eBook about faith-filled prayer with several personal stories and over twenty-five actual prayers.

One of my goals for the book was to use it as a fundraiser for our plans to adopt a Ugandan child. During the process of writing and publishing my eBook, our plans to adopt shifted. We listened to God’s voice guiding us to postpone the adoption plans until after our youngest child graduates from high school in 2015.

Although, we postponed our adoption plans, my passion for the Ugandan people has only gotten stronger. A beloved friend introduced me to Hands of Love, a ministry that cares for over 1,400 orphans. My husband and I partnered with this ministry because we love how they’re meeting the needs of children who would otherwise be living on the streets, struggling to survive.

This past year, we were over-the-top excited to buy a bicycle for our sponsored staff member at Hands of Love and to provide money that helped fund bunk beds for the children who aren’t sponsored. I’m sharing this only to testify of Christ’s goodness for restoring our finances so that we may bless others.

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The staff members at Hands of Love are ecstatic about their new bicycles because they don’t have to walk miles to work and to church anymore. I can only imagine the relief they are feeling.

So, what does a prayer eBook have to do with giving bunk beds to orphans and providing bicycles to the staff members at the orphanage?

Prayers of a Mother’s Heart will be .99 cents through April 8th as a special promotion. I plan to use the proceeds from this promotion to help purchase more bunk beds or whatever the children at Hands of Love may need.

Can you imagine sleeping every night on a hard floor? A child’s world is changed when they are given a comfortable bed and provided with safe shelter. My heart is rejoicing to be able to make a difference in a child’s life so that he or she will one day make a difference in the world.

Prayers of a Mother’s Heart was written with a divine purpose to bless children and can be downloaded at Amazon.com.

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May Jesus use each of us to make a difference every day in the lives of those in need.

The photos were taken at one of the Hands of Love orphanages.

FREE E-BOOK UNTIL 1/29/14

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I’m excited to share that my eBook Prayers of a Mother’s Heart is being offered free through January 29th. I hope you’ll grab yourself a copy at Amazon.com.

Lord,

Help us to be filled to overflowing with a desire to pray passionately for our children until we see every promise fulfilled and every prayer answered. Let Christ prepare His chosen generation, His royal priesthood to be a people for His own. Let our children bring forth the praises of the One who has brought them out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (King James 2000 Bible)