Wednesday, August 19, 2015

pray for me

"I'll be praying for you!" "You're in my prayers!"

I've often wondered if people actually pray for me when I ask them to. do ever you wonder the same? Are you REALLY praying for what you say you are? I must confess, I haven't always prayed when I said I would. my intention would be to pray, but I would forget. get side tracked. lose focus. the list could. go. on. I've thankfully gotten really good at praying when asked, but it took me some time.

I've written down some ideas on how to combat the forgetfulness of praying for others. these things have helped shape my prayer time immensely! I hope they urge you to do the same.

1.) PRAY RIGHT NOW - stop what you're doing & pray! I know it seems so hard to stop what you're doing with how busy all of us are, but praying can take just a few minutes. we don't have to pray lengthy prayers for God to hear us! I have prayed several times today for my family. this morning, I was texting my sister-in-law in PA & I told her that I would be praying for my brother-in-law. & ya know what? I did it right then! I find it so much easier to stop what I'm doing for a minute or two to lift up a brother or sister in Christ. because if I only prayed at night before I went to sleep, there is the potential that I would be praying for so long. I might even forget to pray for some people. or maybe I'd fall asleep! show of hands for who hasn't been guilty of that before?! hah! later today, my mom texted me to pray for my brother. I prayed out loud the moment I read that text. I even asked Ava to pray for Uncle Josh. again this evening I texted my sister-in-law in Cali to let her know that I had just prayed for her. I believe that it is so important to pray in the moment when someone asks. just 2 weeks ago my sister woke up from a dream & felt God telling her to pray for me! how awesome is that?! sometimes God prompts us to pray without even being asked by the person.

2.) WRITE THEM DOWN - when we write prayers down we can look back at them. ponder them. it will help us to keep the prayers in the forefront of our minds. in our small group, we sometimes write down the prayer requests & send them out mid-week to help us to remember to pray. but we can also look back to the prayers that God has answered! I love love LOVE reading in my journals all the prayers that God has answered from years passed. it is such a faith booster! God is so faithful!

3.) PRAY WITH THEM IN PERSON - if you have time, pray with the person who is asking for prayer. do it right then. simply take their hand. or put your hand on their shoulder. & pray. this could be with a perfect stranger! scary, I know! but God sometimes leads us to pray with people we've never met before. last year while in the OBX I felt God telling me to pray for this girl working at a shop. it was very scary at first, but what's more scary is the consequence if I hadn't listened to God telling me to pray with her.

4.) PRAY WITH THEM OVER THE PHONE - if you're on the phone & someone asks for prayer, don't hang up that phone until you pray with them! {side note --- we don't have to be asked to pray for someone in order to pray with them. if we feel God leading us to pray because of the things the person has said, then go for it!} praying can put your friend or family member at such peace knowing that you have just taken the time to pray with them. I know talking on the phone is somewhat of a past time, but a few minutes of prayer can change someone's life!

5.) PRAY BY ADDING THEM TO A PRAYER BOARD - a prayer board can be whatever you make it. a picture collage on the fridge. a picture collage at the office. people's names written on a board. adding a picture or the name of who you're praying for is a great idea especially when you place it in a room where you will see it daily.

do you have any other ways that help you to remember to pray for others when they ask you? I'd love to hear it! I hope these help you to remember to keep your family, friends, & even strangers in prayer! let's be movers & shakers! people who call on the name of the Lord on behalf of others. people who pray when others don't have the strength too. people who pray even when it's uncomfortable. pray pray pray!! God is listening!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer & petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful & thankful." Colossians 4:2


Saturday, August 15, 2015

who God says you are

let me just start off by saying that I fail. oh my goodness have I failed. for starters, I've failed miserably at writing a blog. {it's been how many months since my last post?!?!} I fail each and everyday in being the perfect wife. mother. friend. I am not perfect. nor do I pretend to be. I say things that I don't mean. or in a way that can hurt. I hurt others and others hurt me. I make mistakes. and most of the time I own up to them. I try. I try to get back up and move forward. I try to make things right. I forgive. I apologize. I need grace just as much as you do. sure, it's undeserved, but I need it just the same. I try to be a great wife. a great mother. and a great friend. and that's what matters most. and even though I fail I know that it does NOT make me a failure! I'd like to think that through my failures I can still make a difference in the world. and that's what I try to do. to show the love of Jesus Christ to others.

but sometimes we listen to what the enemy has to say about us. why do we DO this to ourselves?!? we start believing the lies. that we have failed. that we're never going to be able to fulfill our dreams. or God's plan in our lives. the list could go on. and on.

but you see, God swoops down and whispers great things in our ear!!! we just have to sit still long enough and listen!

and this, this is about who GOD says you are. not about who YOU say you are.

// you say I'm a failure
~ God says you can do all things through Him because he gives you strength (Philippians 4:13)

// you say I'm broken 
~ God says that you are fearfully, wonderfully, perfectly made (Psalm 139:14)
~ God says that he heals the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3)

// you say I'm weak
~ God says I am your strength and your shield (Psalm 28:7)

// you say I'm fat 
~ God says that you are beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

// you say I'm alone 
~ God says I will never leave you nor forsake you (Joshua 1:5)

// you say I'm stupid 
~ God says that you are always learning (2 Timothy 3:7)

// you say I'm sick 
~ God says I am your healer. the Great Physician (Jeremiah 17:14) (Isaiah 53:4-5)

// you say I'm scared 
~ God says I have given you a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
~ God says you are strong & courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6)

// you say I'm unloveable
~ God says you are loved. he loved you so much that he died for you (Romans 5:8)

// you say I can't be forgiven
~ God says you are forgiven (1 John 1:9)

// you say I'm a lost cause 
~ God says it's not too late to trust and follow Him (Romans 10:9) (Romans 6:23) (Romans 10:13)

open up our eyes, God. help us to see ourselves the way you see us. that we would see beauty. that we can look past our mistakes and our failures. and trust that you are always with us. that we are better with you by our side.

Colossians 3:14 "and above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."