Truths or Excuses?

Screenshot_2018-12-05-23-38-32-1

It’s been too long since I have last blogged, I sure hope you all are still out there and ready to tune in 😜

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today, a former high school teacher who I keep in contact with. I was checking in on him and letting him know my family and I were thinking of him and also how I missed chatting with him through messenger. You see, I have gotten rid of my Facebook for probably a year now and he also rid himself of it as well, but I still have the messenger part. He and I used to chat on messenger regularly, but since he only has a computer and no cell phone, he can’t have messenger if he doesn’t have Facebook. This brought up the subject of Facebook and how we are (personally) completely fine without using. There was a point that I brought up in the discussion and I said, why not blog on this topic!

In the conversation I said, “Imagine how different the world could be if we used all the time, energy and passion we give to Facebook and instead put it all back out into our world.” We all crave change. We all crave a better world. We are ALL equipped with some specific and unique God-given gift to make a difference in this world, yet we give excuses for not being the change we want to see. Trust me, some of the excuses we give are legitimate. We are too tired, too busy and we don’t have enough time in the day. While all those excuses may hold some degree of truth in our lives, are they more of an excuse than a truth? If we didn’t have enough time, like many of us claim, then how can we spend hours on social media? How is it that we can binge watch our favorite shows for hours or get lost in a good book and still claim a time issue?

 

Let me speak a little truth…if we truly desire to do something, we see that we do whatever it takes to make it happen and we rise above any obstacle that may stand in our way. Therefore, if we truly desired change, we wouldn’t find as many excuses as we could; we wouldn’t contradict ourselves by claiming there isn’t enough time, yet spend hours on our electronics.

We also spoke about how we found this specific site to provoke so many unnecessary feelings/emotions. My friend mentioned how it felt as if it caused many of us to try to relive our past instead of live in the present. I added that it’s a bit disappointing to see so many people fighting with each other over such insignificant topics, when there are so many other fights worth fighting out there and in much more productive and respectful ways. Imagine all that passion and energy to win arguments on social media  being put to use in whatever cause they are arguing over.

Screenshot_2018-12-05-23-42-57-1

All of this can be said about our attitude towards our relationship with God as well! Many of us like to believe we have a solid relationship with God based on simply believing in Him and speaking well of Him to others, yet we lack that intimate connection. We use all those same, worn out excuses for not sparing an hour, 30 minutes or even 5 minutes to spend with God and His word. It goes back to our priorities and how we organize those in our own lives. Just as we can take a certain amount of time daily to devote to our own personal interests, we can just as easily take the same amount of time or even more and devote it towards bettering our relationship with God, bettering ourselves and bettering the world around us. We can dive into our Bibles instead of the newest best-selling novel. We can talk to God about our day and our problems or simply extend Him our gratitude instead of posting all of it to people who mostly won’t give it a second thought. We can ask Him for guidance in revealing our calling and showing us the way to use it to both please Him and make the biggest, positive impact in our lives and world.

So, as this New Year approaches, let’s try to spend less time on things that hold us back from growth (both spiritually and mentally) and peace. Let us prioritize more time for things that bring about positive changes in our lives and the lives of others around us, all while strengthening our faith and personal bond with God. I pray for anyone reading this, that they may think about how they utilize their time and energy and may they make necessary changes to improve not only their lives, but the lives of all those around them. I pray that everyone realize how special and unique they are in Your eyes and how much they have to share with the world. May we all look to You for guidance in all that we do, especially when it comes to using our God-given gifts to make a difference. Thank You for giving me this outlet to share my thoughts and personal beliefs with others! I pray all of this in Your name, Amen!

Screenshot_2018-12-05-23-50-50-1

Much Love and God Bless 💚

110%

philippians+4+13

Have you ever felt like you’ve given your all and you don’t have any more to give?

But God! How can I possibly keep going when I have put all my strength and energy into this, yet I haven’t seemed to make any progress? 

A little over 2 weeks ago I was having trouble sleeping, as pregnant women normally do in their 39th week of pregnancy, and I told my husband I am going to take this as a sign that we need to make our way to the birth house. In our state home birth is still technically illegal, so we travel a couple of hours into a nearby state to give birth (thus the term, birth house).

We made it to the birth house around 3pm on that Saturday. We unpack our stuff and started to get relaxed around the house. Besides myself and my husband, my mom and 2 young sons (6 and 2) were there with us. Around 5pm my mom started to make dinner and I went to help. About 6pm or a little after it was time to eat. I went to use the restroom before and wouldn’t you know it, I lost my plug. This doesn’t necessarily mean labor will come on right away, but in my previous pregnancy that is exactly what happened right before my labor began and this time was just the same. Later on everyone went to bed. My mom and oldest son first and then my husband and I took our youngest son to get him to sleep, however I obviously could not get comfortable, yet again; this would be no sleep just like the previous night! I didn’t start timing my contractions until about 830pm or so. I text messaged my midwife, who lives not quite an hour from the birth house (this time) and she would ask me about contractions etc. So I kept laboring on my own, while everyone was sleeping because I didn’t want to wake them lol. Maybe 1030pm my midwife asked me if I thought she should come now and I said yes that would probably be of more comfort. My midwife and her assistant arrived and she asked if I wanted her to check my dilation and I said sure. I told her I’m not certain, but from my contractions I’d say I’m about 5 to 6cm. My midwife checked me and she said you’re at 7cm! So I was in great shape. I tend to stand or crouch and rock side to side while in labor and that’s what I was doing and when my midwife got there I still continued to do so. We were talking and joking and laughing all the way up to 10cm! That whole part of labor seemed to progress quicker and easier than previous pregnancies, although this being my 3rd time, I was also more used to the process.

Screenshot_2018-10-30-06-48-12-1

Now it was about that time, my favorite stage of labor…PUSHING! Only this time the pushing would end up not as fun as usual! I pushed for about 2 hrs this time! I also pushed in almost every position imaginable! After an hour of pushing, my daughter still wasn’t able to even be seen a little bit and I knew it. Here I had been pushing for so long, running on 2 days of no sleep and despite all my efforts for the past hour, I knew not much progress was made. That can be a bit discouraging and even more so when you’re exhausted! I remember being at the end of the bed, I had just been pushing on a birthing chair, then did standing lunge position and then just plain standing. I talk to God often in my head through prayer and this time I said, ” God, please give me Your strength because I am running on empty. I have given all I have and then some and still it hasn’t been enough. I need Your strength to help me get my baby out.” Right after praying I ended up moving back onto the bed and then I felt this change in the pushing. I felt my body take over the pushing, it was now pushing FOR me! It was as if someone shook up a soda and now the built up pressure was escaping. Now, instead of me being the main source of the strength and pushing, I was now the helper! I had already given ALL that I had, but somehow I managed to gather even more energy and since my body was now pushing on it’s own, I was able to birth my daughter! I knew from the change that came over after my prayer that THIS WAS IT! I heard this voice say “she’s coming!” Sure enough she made her big debut and come to find out, she was sunny side up or face up and that’s why it was a more difficult and intense pushing! My husband is often annoyed when people say “110%” because he says there’s no such thing! After I gave birth to our daughter, he said, “Now THAT is giving 110%! From now on, you’ll forever be my example of giving 110%!”

Screenshot_2018-10-30-06-48-24-1

I KNOW, without any doubt in my mind, that God was right there in that room! HE gave me the strength and HE protected us (as always) and HE took over for me when I thought I had no more to give! How many times in life do we say,  I can’t! I have given my all and it wasn’t enough! That, my friends, is the position God wants you in! He wants you to be aware that you cannot do everything on your own; WE NEED HIM!  We can do ALL things (not just some things) through CHRIST who strengthens us! 🙌 We need only to remember to call on Him, because He is ALWAYS ready to help us! So, no matter your situation in life, no matter how strongly you feel you cannot get through something, no matter how inadequate you may feel, you can still get by with a little help from your friend 😜 He knows when we need Him, but He waits for us to come to Him and to seek his help and guidance. ❤ Don’t ever forget He is there!

I pray today that we all remember the true source of our strength and courage and that we never forget to ask for God’s help!

Screenshot_2018-10-30-06-47-51-1

Much Love and God Bless! 💚

 

 

Stand Firm

38 weeks pregnant today and slacking on my blog! 😜

I was contemplating what to write about this morning, so I went to my Bible app. Instead of looking at the verse of the day, I clicked the button to take me to the Bible so I could browse through. Interestingly enough, instead of bringing me to Genesis as it usually does, it brought me to Luke and not only that it didn’t start from the top it scrolled itself down to a specific verse and I’ll insert the screen shot if it’ll let me!

Screenshot_2018-09-30-04-28-23

Luke 1:45 is what I was brought to. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” (NIV)

I found it rather curious that I should be brought to this verse when it involves pregnancy. Mary was visited by an angel who explained to her that she would carry the Son of God. Mary went to tell her relative, Elizabeth, about the news she received. Elizabeth herself was in her 6th month of pregnancy and was said to be unable to conceive and those words in Luke 1:45 are Elizabeth speaking, overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit!

At the end of pregnancy it’s natural and “normal” to feel more anxious and apprehensive. You’re tired and worn out and thinking about so much to come. I feel guilty a lot as my anxiety can get the better of my mind at times. Again, my mind works against me a lot of the time, in what can be very cynical ways; the guilt comes from my knowledge of needing to guard my mind yet too often the enemy sneaks in. I can ignore a lot but then at other times I entertain those false and negative thoughts too much which then gives the enemy satisfaction as he has now created doubt. It can be frustrating because I am a firm believer that God can do anything, ANYTHING and that nothing is impossible with Him, yet these negative thoughts cause doubt and that doubt kind of contradicts my firmly planted beliefs. I don’t mean for it to, but when you’re on the outside looking in, I’m sure one would wonder, “how can she believe so strongly, yet allow fear to enter her mind?”

Before I became pregnant this time, as with all the other times I prayed about it. I prayed to God, if I should be blessed with another baby, please only allow it if the baby and I and my family will be safe and healthy-before, during and after for many, many more years to come. I prayed this often. When I became pregnant I took that as a sign of an answered prayer and a promise from God. He heard me and this was Him saying I am blessing you and all will be well, before and during and after; you are protected. I also prayed He would lead me to the best place for me to give birth. I trust that I will end up where I need to be. My last birth was a home birth and I feel led to do this one at home as well and I am confident God will be right with me and reminding me of His promise to me.

I have had some whacky things occur towards the end of this pregnancy and it has thrown me off a bit with the anxiety and I feel as though this is the enemy hearing my confidence in the Lord and trying to rattle me and feed me that doubt. I must admit, he does sometimes get to me, but I know he attacks the most when your faith is strongest! So that in itself is a sign that I am on the right path for myself, this new baby and my family as a whole.

With all of this being said, that is why I was taken aback to have my app bring me straight to verses having to do with pregnancy and tellings of birth promises. When I have viewed this pregnancy as an answered prayer and a promise from God, to see those words and be brought straight to them (when that’s not even the norm for the app) well, I see that as just more reassurance from God who knows how to comfort me 🙌❤

downloadfile

I pray today for those reading this who maybe are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, that they trust in You no matter what they may be told by anyone else.  I pray their minds would be guarded from the enemy and their faith in You unwavering. I pray also for those not pregnant who, like me, struggle with anxiety and guarding their minds. Please helps us all to trust in you fully and ignore the poisonous words planted in our minds by Satan himself. May we realize that the enemy attacks most the closer we are to God! I pray for our faith to be strong, our courage to be plentiful, our doubts to be non-existent and Your protection to be all around us, consuming us. I pray always in Your name, Amen! 🙏🙌

Much Love and God Bless 💚

 

Turn The Tables On Evil!

As most of you who read my blogs can tell, my faith plays a big role in my life; it always has. It helps me through even the darkest of times because I am confident in God and His love for me. I truly believe those words, speak those words and yet on some days I can’t help but feel like such a contradiction.

I know it’s days, like today, when the enemy gets the better of me and invades my mind. Satan loves to use my anxiety/panic disorders against me and he can be so relentless and ruthless. As strong of faith as I believe I have, I get so ashamed of myself when I lose those daily battles in my mind. I am aware that the enemy’s plan is just that; weaken me bit by bit until he gets the majority control over my thought process. You would assume being so aware of those facts would make it easier to fight back, yet sometimes I never see it coming until it’s too late!

After enduring anxiety and panic most of my 30 years, I can still be ambushed. It may not come as easily as it once did, as I have learned to fight back and hold my own, but still it happens more than I’d care to admit. I feel like a walking contradiction because here I am always speaking words of hope and encouragement to others who are in need of them, and yet I can’t even take my own advice when I truly need to! I also can sit and hear myself ask, “How can you call yourself a true believer if you let so much doubt consume you in certain times!?” The doubt, in any form, is probably what causes me the most remorse. You can try to call it anything else, but in all honesty it is doubt. If I have so much faith in God, why then do I allow the enemy to get me to ask myself questions like the one previously stated or to fill my mind with nothing but worst case scenarios? It truly is frustrating.

I pray quite a bit, especially in my most anxious moments. I ask God to guard my mind and allow only good and pleasing thoughts in. I often pray for overall protection, both physically and mentally. I honestly don’t know where I would be without my faith because many times I feel as if that’s all I have on my side; definitely not a bad thing to have God on my side though! When you have anxiety/panic not many people can relate personally, so you feel even more isolated. When you’re often viewed as a person of positivity, you feel like a fraud when you become lost in the disorders you have. It can truly be disheartening.

I have so many worries, fears and stresses currently that I have become overwhelmed and Satan has been lurking in the corner waiting to take advantage. Today has been a tough day for me and I contemplated what I could do to turn it around, if only just for a moment. How could I turn the tables on Satan and his lies? Blog. Share your raw feelings, emotions and thoughts with your readers and let them see you vulnerable. Allow them to see that faith in God does NOT mean you get an easy pass in life; it does not mean you will not have to endure hard times, but it allows you peace, comfort and hope for the future!

My mind can be an extremely cruel and merciless place at times and obviously I can’t just get away from myself. I have to focus more on God’s words and promises and trust that He is already ahead of me and has protected me and carried me through! He is working all together for good and He will lead me where I need to be and allow all to unfold just when it needs to, I need only to be still.

I pray tonight for anyone out there who is struggling with anxiety, panic, fear, worry, stress, depression etc, whether they’re reading this or not, may they find comfort in knowing God is on their side and He will go with them wherever they go. May we all realize, no matter how alone and isolated we feel, we are never alone!

Much Love and God Bless ❤

P.s. Use your struggles as weapons of good against evil. Use your dark times to help reach more people! Don’t be silent about your hard times; be open so that others know they aren’t alone in how they feel!

The Importance of Intercessory Prayer

Today I was able to listen to the last sermon in the short series on the importance of prayer, and can share my notes and pass along the message! While all prayer is of the utmost importance, intercessory prayer may just be the most important type of prayer!

If you do a simple search on the definition of the word intercession, you’ll see that it is defined as follows: To plead or make a request on behalf of another person. When we come before God in intercessory prayer, we are in agreement with God on not only the situation, but also on the solution to the situation. We agree on what the person’s needs are and we agree that God has the power to turn their situation around for good.

A big problem is, not many Christians take the time to intercede for others. When we come before God in intercession, we have an influence greater than we know! In Genesis 18 & 19, Abraham interceded for his nephew Lot; he prayed for his nephew to be spared. In Exodus 32:11-14, Moses interceded for the nation of Israel; he prayed for change and believed God had the power to change. In Ezekiel 22, we know God was going to bring judgement upon Israel, but we know God was looking for someone to come and intercede! It’s a simple task with a monumental reward! I can think of no greater reward than to know I am the reason someone came to know and believe in God!

Salvation is much more than just deliverance from sin; it also promotes us to sons and daughters of Christ and also kings and priests! We are priests in relation to God and kings in relation to satan. Priests represented the people before God; traditionally a priest was a man chosen by God who had authority we didn’t. There were certain rituals and places only priests were allowed to venture, but now we can all come before God on another’s behalf! As priests, we have the privilege of going before the Father and interceding for others, claiming the provision and power of His blood! We can ALL come before God not only on behalf of ourselves, but for others…especially those who don’t believe in God. Now, we take authority over satan! Not many of us really realize that fact; we tend to let satan bully us. Ultimately though, we are kings in relation to Satan. Kings exercise power and authority. Kings defeat their enemies and establish their will or desire in their kingdom. They are in control! In the same way, we rule over satan and we control what he can and cannot do in our lives, and by intercessory prayer we can come before God and do our part to stop satan in other’s lives and in the world around us. Some people will say, “Pray for me, Satan won’t leave me alone.” Nothing wrong with asking for prayer, but as believers we can also stop running, turn around and start chasing him! Satan will only do what you allow him to do in your life; if you give him the key, he will come in! God has given us a key to His kingdom and we can open doors we want open and close doors we want closed!

How do we effectively intercede?

1. We pray that God draws them (the non-believers) to Him. We pray He creates a desire in them.

2. We should pray that they would pursue God and seek Him out!

3. Pray for someone to tell them about Jesus; whether it be us or someone else! They cannot believe what they never hear about and they will never hear unless we become the messengers we are called to be and share the gospel with them!

4. Pray their spiritual eyes are open! For those who don’t understand, allow their eyes to open and for what they hear to make sense in their minds, hearts and lives.

5. Finally, pray they believe in Christ as their savior! Don’t just pray for them to simply open their eyes and believe, but pray for them to make the most important decision in their lives; to accept God as their personal savior so they may never be condemned but live eternally. Pray for them to get to that point where they can exercise their will to choose belief. God doesn’t want anyone perish; He always gives us a way out. One thing He will not do is violate a person’s free will! Everyone has been given the freedom to choose and we must pray for others who may not believe, to get to the point in their lives where they use their free will to choose belief in God. There should be no reason any of us Christians aren’t actively practicing intercessory prayer. We ALL have important people in our lives who aren’t saved. We should be concerned and care for them and all other non-believers the same! We should be excited to tell others about God and to share our story with them!

What if the only reason someone doesn’t make it to Heaven with us, is because you or I did not take the time to care enough to intercede on their behalf? What if we didn’t take our role and responsibilities as Christians seriously enough and it costs someone eternity? Intercessory prayer doesn’t take much effort, but it can have a huge return! What do you have to lose? As Christians, possibly not much…but what do non-believers you know or come in contact with have to lose? Eternity! Don’t cheat others out of what we have in God! Pray for the power to share with others and open doors for them! We have the key to the kingdom, let’s let them in!

God, we come before you today as believers in You, interceding for all non-believers we know well, have come in contact with or those we will come into contact with! Let us share our story of Your goodness with them, and may their eyes be open! May You draw them near and create in them a desire to pursue You and seek you out. We also pray if we aren’t the person who witnesses to them, that someone else finds them and does! Thank You for allowing is to come in front of You and intercede for ourselves and others! May we all make time for intercessory prayer in our lives! AMEN!

Remember it’s as easy as A·B·C!

·Admit to God we have sinned.

·Believe Jesus is God’s Son who was sent to save us and die for our sins on the cross.

·Confess your belief to God and allow Him into your heart and life.

Screenshot_2018-06-18-18-21-10-1

Much Love and God Bless 💚

The Importance of Prayer Continued

Today’s blog will build upon a previous blog called The Importance of Prayer. As I mentioned in the first post, I have been listening to a short sermon series on Prayer and I have been sharing what I take away from the sermons.

Screenshot_2018-06-11-11-53-47-1

Many are familiar with the verses above; they are often referred to as The Lord’s Prayer. It offers us insight to how we should strive to pray. Every prayer doesn’t have to sound perfect or be about the same things, but we should always pray for His kingdom and His will to be done in any and every circumstance. Prayer to us spiritually is like oxygen to us physically; we NEED it to thrive! Many Christians today are great at identifying problems around them, yet we aren’t taking steps to change our atmosphere! I’m willing to bet that most everyone reading this has two things in their homes right now: a thermometer and a thermostat. Many of us Christians are the thermometer, we help identify the issue yet we aren’t being the thermostat which actually changes the atmosphere around us. The thermometer will tell us the temperature, but it will not change the temperature. In other words, pointing out what’s wrong around us shouldn’t be our main focus; our main focus should be coming up with a process to better what’s around us. A major key to being a strong Christian is setting priorities in our life. These spiritual priorities come from our beliefs and values and they determine the direction or course of our life. We should be asking God what His priorities for our life are and making it a point to achieve them. By nature most of us tend to think of ourselves, but we should remember to always put God and His will first in our lives.

Screenshot_2018-06-11-11-34-04-1.png

A kingdom can be described as a king’s domain. The kingdom of God refers to God’s sovereign rule in the hearts of man. We should pray for His will to be carried out by all of us, including those who lead over our country. In the United States, we obviously don’t have a king or queen to rule over us, but a President and Vice President; we also have Congressman and Mayors etc. Whether we are for or against any leader, we should alway pray that they lead us in a way pleasing to God. It is easy for us to place blame on this leader or that leader, but prayer can cause change! Not much, if anything at all, will change until our leaders operate on Godly wisdom instead of political benefit! Pray for your cities as well! One of our responsibilities as Christians is to BE the change we want to see; stop reporting the issues and go out and make the difference. We are called to influence our communities and come against the negatives/evil in prayer.  I personally believe prayer can change anything and that includes our country! Nothing is impossible with God!

Screenshot_2018-06-11-11-38-50-1

In addition to praying for our leaders, we should remember to pray for our families. We should continually pray for any problems we have within our families and especially remember those who don’t know the word of God. Pray to make an impact on those who don’t believe, as we may be the only form of Jesus they ever experience.  May we pray for direction and guidance from God on how to handle any issues within our families and know that it may not always be pleasing to everyone involved, but in the end it will work together for the good of everyone involved.

We should also be praying for our spouse. Pray for our relationship in general; that we are working together to build one another up and to help each other recognize our gifts/talents and encouraging each other to use those skills to reach others and strengthen our relationship with God. We should always want our spouse to excel!

Screenshot_2018-06-11-11-35-18-1

Of course we can’t forget to pray for our children! One thing we can never pray enough for in these crazy times is protection over our children. Let us remember to pray for children to have wisdom in their choices, especially when it comes to the friends they choose etc. May they always have wisdom to tell the difference between people who will help them grow and those who will cause them to wilt. May we pray for the salvation of our children that they may grow in their very own personal relationship with God.

Pray for your church. Whether it’s a church you visit or are a member of. Pray for the other believers and pastors to have spiritual wisdom and understanding and that they all continue to grow in their faith.

Last, but not least, remember to pray for yourself as well.

Screenshot_2018-06-11-11-39-43-1

Pray for your struggles, relationships, fears/anxieties/ stresses; don’t just pray for change in everyone else, but for change in yourself and your life as well. Pray to become more like Jesus and let our joy be our strength! Pray to be the “real deal” showing others through your actions and not just your words! Let others see Him in our lives. As I said before, we may just be the one and only contact someone else has with God! May all we do reflect God’s love, peace and joy so that non-believers question what makes us tick. 💚🙌

Screenshot_2018-06-11-11-41-48-1

I want to pray for everyone reading this, that you all may progress in your own faith and personal relationship with God. I pray we all recognize that we are the body of Christ and in order for the body to move and reach others, we must do more than just speak about the problems, we must become the solution!

Much love and God Bless! 💚

If any of you reading this have any prayer requests, PLEASE don’t hesitate to comment on this blog and I guarantee we will have several people praying for you. Also, if anyone just wants me to pray with them over their comment they leave, please let me know and I would absolutely be willing to do so. My words aren’t perfect, they’re not always the most sophisticated but thankfully our God doesn’t care about that, but only the sincerity of our words. 🙌

The Importance of Prayer

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sundays were always a day I looked forward to growing up, because it would mean attending church. Sunday mornings would be for Sunday School followed by the actual church service with the whole congregation coming together to hear one sermon. My church was definitely one of a kind and I have never found another that can even come close to comparing. It has actually caused me a lot of aggravation and sadness, now that I’m older and living in another state, that I cannot find a church that lives up to my standards and idea of what a church is or can be. Our church was small, but close-knit. It was like a second family for me. Of course not every one person will get along wonderfully in any kind of group, but for the majority I felt we all truly cared for one another. Also, not everyone in a church is non-judgmental, but that also shows they are not extending their faith in the correct way. If you ever encounter people like that in a church while you’re visiting or even outside of a church, please don’t assume that everyone in that church or anyone  that associates with that person is the same. Don’t let one or two cracked eggs ruin the whole dozen!

So, as I am older and living in another state I did not grow up in, I find it difficult to find that kind of church family again. People who welcome you with open arms and love you for who you are and want to help you grow in your faith. Since I have yet to find a church family, I often listen to sermons online from a church I used to attend back home…not one I was a member of and not my original church, but one I did enjoy going to. Today I listened to the beginning of a sermon series on prayer and the importance of it in our lives. I always like to share the message I received with others, so you can guess what this blog will be about!

Many of us believe in praying. We pray before meals, we pray before traveling, we pray when we have problems in our lives…but are we truly putting ourselves into those prayers, or just going through the motions? Are we sincere or has our prayer life become more of a tradition than anything else? Most of us have all learned a prayer or two as a child. “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food, Amen!” “As I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…” We all have learned those prayers or some versions of those prayers and have even memorized our own unique family prayers for bed time and meal times. I am not knocking any child’s prayers or saying we shouldn’t hand those down, but there comes a point in our lives where we need to break free from the routine prayer and speak more from our hearts. God isn’t interested in big words and fancy speech, He is more concerned about sincerity, honesty and humility. In other words, He craves us to be REAL with Him. He knows everything about us, but He wants us to come to Him and express our concerns or thankfulness. Of course He knows how we feel, but He wants to hear it from us!

Prayer plays a tremendous role in our lives; more than we give it credit for. Prayer can determine the level we rise in all areas of our lives. We can only go as far as our prayers take us. Prayer should be taken seriously and it should make a difference in our daily lives. When we treat prayer as some sort of tradition, we aren’t letting it make a difference in our lives after the prayer is over. Prayer should be of great importance and a top priority in our lives and after we pray it should change how we go about our days; it should impact how we interact with others, how we approach our problems and how we live life in general! It should be helping us grow as a person and also grow in our faith.

Taking the act of prayer seriously allows us not to lose heart. When we lose heart we want to just give up and give in and this is something that pleases Satan! He would love for that to happen to us! If Satan can get us to lose heart, he can get us to doubt and in turn lose faith, which makes him closer to his goal of destroying the gospel! Steal, kill and destroy, that’s what Satan wants to do. Prayer enables us to not only identify Satan in our lives, but it can help us to evade and escape from whatever he is attempting to do in our lives. It shines a light on his deceitfulness!

As I have blogged about before, prayer had helped me (and still does) during my extreme anxiety break downs. I always say I believe in the power of prayer! When we pray we should believe our own words and that God is there to hear us and answer our prayers according to His will and what is best for our lives. I’ll be the first to say that unanswered prayers can sometimes be the biggest blessings! It doesn’t mean we weren’t heard, it means God said no because He had something better for you and your life. We cannot see it at the time, so we wonder why God isn’t listening to us…but He is! Now anxiety and worry can consume us! We are in a constant fight whether we want to be or not and the enemy keeps on attacking; he’s relentless! We experience more worry and stress due to our wanting to be in control and believing we are in ultimate control of our lives. We take on all of our issues alone and forget that our God waits for us to bring that baggage to Him! We shouldn’t be carrying any of our own baggage! We should be going to God in prayer and handing it all over to Him to handle. He isn’t like a friend who says vent and unload to me and then they too become overwhelmed; He can truly carry your burdens now just as He did at the cross! He wants to take that weight from us and allow us to breathe easier and stress less. When we go to God in prayer we shouldn’t give Him our problems only to take then right back after we’re done praying; we should have faith that when we give those things to God, He is solving our problems for us and we no longer have to worry about them. It’s not saying to never come to Him over the same concerns, but we should believe that He is working for us! We don’t have to fight alone; God is our strength!

Prayer will allow us to become closer to God and that is a huge reason we should make a point to make prayer a point! Let prayer be a part of you and your daily life! Come to Him with words from your heart and not just words of tradition or routine. Come to Him in good times and bad. Prayer isn’t just about coming to God in times of need, but also coming to Him with thankfulness of all He has blessed you with! I pray that all of us take charge of our prayer lives and make prayer an important habit that we treat with respect. Let us not just go through the motions, but really put our whole hearts into our prayers to God. I pray even families start a prayer time together and put emphasis on the subject. May we all grow closer to God through our prayer life!

Much love and God Bless!