Posted in Joy, Prayer

Is This Really My Life?

(A repost, but in light of Covid, I couldn’t resist resharing)

There are days when it seems I can’t get over the fact that this is not the life I signed up for…

I signed up for a marriage that was going to last forever…

I signed up to be a crunchy, homeschooling mom of a half dozen or more kids who respected their elders, said please and thank you and NEVER talked back.

I signed up for the house with the white picket fence and enough rooms for everyone we know to visit.

I signed up for kids who wouldn’t know heartache and pain and who would grow up being empathetic without having to go through tragedy to get there.

And I signed up for all that planning to do it with the same man for the rest of my life…

the man who affirmed me every day of our marriage and who without sometimes I don’t know how to survive this parenting gig…

BUT somehow that contract got lost in the mail and what I got instead was a quiet house with too many empty rooms,

kids who have been through more then their share of pain…

(And talk back every chance they get…)

Kids who have had more than enough sugar and processed food the past two years to make up for the five years of deprivation,

And who went to public school last year so that I have time to work to pay the extra bills that come along with being a single mom…

And now, in the midst of a pandemic, we have come back around full circle and I am having to pray and trust God all over again with every decision and every move that I make…

I didn’t sign up for this!

I’m Making the Most of It

But this life that I didn’t imagine… the one I didn’t expect or think I deserved… has forced  me to trust God more than I ever have before…

I have learned to bathe every decision I make in prayer and faith.

I got the kids that talk back so I would remember to ask Jesus to help me with them every single day,

I got the empty house so that I will have quiet nights to pray and seek God’s help daily…

I got the kids who have truly suffered a loss so that God could show me how to handle pain, both mine and theirs, especially now.

This is not what I signed up for, but because it isn’t the life I wanted, I have to trust the Lord to bring about His purpose and plan every single day. 

Momma, if this isn’t the life you expected or deserve, I’m praying for you… that you will be able to let go of what you think should have been and make every minute of what is count too…

Posted in Challenge, Joy, Prayer

Pray about it, don’t just talk about it!

I listened as my friend detailed her troubles with her husband and her children and when she finished I told her I would be praying for her.  We hung up the phone and I sat convicted, why didn’t I just go ahead and pray for her?

Too often I find myself saying I will be praying for you when I hear about a situation that could use prayer, but I realized that most of the time I forget to actually do it.  At the time, I always think I will remember to pray for them later, but in reality, I forget before my prayer time rolls around.  What about you?  Do you remember to pray for people when you promise you will?  Do you have a good system in place to remember when you promise to pray for someone?

This summer, I went to a Christian writing conference and God spoke to me through an unexpected encounter with a fellow conference goer.  She heard my story and walked to my hotel room one afternoon to pray for me.  She was one of the first people I have met who didn’t just say I will pray for you, she actually stopped what she was doing, and sat down with me and did it!  She told me that she had learned that if you offer to pray for someone, very rarely will they turn you down.

If you say you are going to pray for someone, why not do it right then?

I developed an entirely new outlook on prayer that trip and I am determined to do more praying, and less talking about it.  I put a notebook in my purse for prayer requests and anytime that someone mentions a need, I write it down.  If I am in a place where I can, I am trying to step out of my comfort zone and lift the prayer up right then!

  • James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and produces wonderful results.”

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I want to challenge you to get a prayer notebook.  Write down any and every prayer you can think of.  When you hear a need, write it down.  When someone asks you to pray for them, do it right then and there (and then write it down so you can continue to lift it up in prayer!).  Even if you never speak your prayers out loud in a group setting, take the time to sit down and pray before the Lord; lifting up every prayer that you have written before you.  You can even leave space in there to notate when a prayer is answered.  How amazing is it to see the prayers that you have prayed answered and to have them documented in front of you to continue to see how God has moved over time!

If you decide to start a prayer notebook (or if you already have a system in place for prayer) I would love to hear about it!  Feel free to message me or comment and share what you have found works for you!

Posted in Prayer

Every One of Us Is a Prayer Warrior…

A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to work on being a prayer warrior.  Ben had gone through his first brain surgery and was in the best health of his life.  We were incredibly thankful for the hundreds of people who had been praying for him and we both longed to be able to pray for others in return.  He asked me one day why I always referred to others as prayer warriors, but didn’t think of myself as one.  And he encouraged me to step out in faith and change my mind about myself!

So I heard about an opening for someone to head the prayer team at PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) at the post we were living at and I volunteered to fill the roll.  It was definitely a step outside the box for me and was a growing experience in my faith and in my prayer life.  No matter how much practice I got I still worried that I wasn’t good enough and God really stretched me that year.

Then I moved to Ohio, and started a Bible study with my sister in law and realized I wasn’t the only one afraid of praying in front of other people.  The problem with having a Bible study at your house and understanding people’s fear of public prayer is that you can’t force someone else to pray… you don’t even want to push them!  So, I jumped back in with both feet and as the weeks have gone by, I have started to get more comfortable with praying aloud (even though it isn’t something I would say I am good at)!

Did you know believers are supposed to pray?

The Bible tells us that all believers are supposed to pray, not just the pastors, the powerful prayer warriors, and the Bible study leaders.  Your prayers don’t have to be public prayers and there is nothing that says that you even have to pray them aloud, but scripture does tell us that we all should be praying.  Acts 2:42 says, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer.”

Job 11:13 says, “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to Him in prayer.”  How hard is it to just lift our hands in prayer to Him, speaking to Him alone?  I realized that I could do that in a room by myself, or in a room full of people… but the important thing was I needed to be doing it.

This year has been a year full of prayer for me.  I went to bed every night after laying hands on and praying for my husband with frankincense and Melissa oils.  I was stretched beyond belief as I prayed for things that only God could do.  And he answered.  The Bible says, “devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” (Colossians 4:2).

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I am thankful that He answered.  I am confident that He will continue to answer my prayers, and my children’s prayers.  And as Romans 12:12 says I will “Rejoice in our confident hope.  Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” God’s not finished with my story yet.

Praying didn’t come easy for me in the beginning.  I still worry when praying in groups of people, but I am trying to set aside that fear and embrace all that God is teaching me through every prayer opportunity that I have!  You can do the same.  The more you pray in private, the more God will grow your confidence to pray in public!  I’m praying that you find the strength to embrace every opportunity that He gives you as well!

Posted in Prayer

God Doesn’t Rank Our Prayers… Even if We Do

I looked around the room at the women gathered and tried desperately not to make eye contact with the leader.  There was no way I was going to let her put me on the spot by asking me to pray in this huge group of ladies.  Maybe if I kept my head down long enough someone else would volunteer before I felt the pressure.  Does this sound familiar or is it just me?

I am the first to admit that I am not very comfortable praying aloud.  I have never felt like it was something I am good at and honestly, I have always felt intimidated by people who I felt were “holier” than I am.

When we would do circle prayers in high school and college, I always tried to be one of the last to pray (in hope that they would run out of time before it was my turn).  As I got older I aimed to be the last to pray because anytime someone prayed after me I would spend their whole prayer comparing mine to theirs… and feeling like mine came up short.

What about you?  Are you comfortable praying aloud?  Or do you avoid it like the plague?

I can remember meeting people who I thought were amazing prayer warriors and wishing that I could be more like them.  When struggles came up in my life or in our marriage, I would get on the phone, calling those people and asking them to pray.  They sounded so comfortable when they prayed; surely their prayers would hold greater weight, right?

NEWS FLASH: God doesn’t rank our prayers!

Despite my need to rank the prayers of the people in my life, God does NOT look at us and choose which ones He is going to answer based on how powerful our prayers are (or how many people turn to us for prayer).  All through Scripture we hear over and over about normal everyday people crying out to God and that He answered their prayer:

  • Genesis 25:21- “Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.
  • Genesis 30:17- “and God answered Leah’s prayers.”
  • 1 Kings 17:22- “the Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!”
  • Psalm 120:1- “I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.”
  • Psalm 118:21- “I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory.”
  • Psalm 116:1- “I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.”
  • Psalm 102:17- “He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas.”
  • James 5:17- “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.”

You don’t have to be someone special (although in His eyes we all are) in order to pray a prayer that the Lord will hear.  The only thing it takes in order to pray a powerful prayer is belief.  You need to believe that He will answer; believe that He will meet the need; and believe that He is the all-knowing and powerful Father who knows which needs need to be met.

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  • Matthew 21:22-“and all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

My prayer life is not perfect, but I am trying desperately to trust in the all-knowing Father when I take my prayers to Him.  I still am not very comfortable lifting prayers up in public, but God is working on me in that area as well.  Likewise, your prayers can be just as powerful as the most amazing prayer warrior you know.  They can make just as big an impact and our heavenly Father hears them just as loud!

Do you struggle with believing that the Lord will answer your prayers?  Do you know that you can ask Him to meet your need on your own?  Do you have a need that you want others to intercede on your behalf for?  If you do, I would be happy to help encourage you.  Feel free to message me or comment below and I would be happy to lift your prayer up with you!