Tag: prayer

Do you want to bless and be blessed?

I believe we all want to be blessed.

detective-1424831__340But I don’t know that we really understand what that word means?

Merriam-Webster says it means having a sacred nature, holy, or connected with God. Or very welcome or pleasant.

A Greek word I learned for blessed is “makarios” translated as being supremely fortunate. I remember it because it reminds me of that happy dance that became a craze in the 90s – the macarena.

macarenaBut that too has a connotation of just being happy. And like the difference between happiness and joy – with the one being dependent on your circumstances, and the other being an inner emotion based on something deeper and more meaningful, I think “blessed” means more than just happy.

Several places in the Bible tell us about those who are blessed, or how to be blessed. I want to start off the year focusing on being blessed and blessing others. I’m asking God to help me be attentive to how I can bless those He brings across my path, and to be sure I’m doing what I should to be blessed by Him.

praying-hands-on-bibleYou are invited to pray Psalm 1 with me to step into His blessing as well. Based on Psalm 1:1 from The Voice translation and the Amplified Bible:

Heavenly Father, do not let me follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes, who plan harm to others or act with evil intent. Regardless of what the culture tells me or encourages me to do or think, I want to seek Your wisdom for my life, my actions, my decisions.

Don’t let me hang out at places where people mock You, are judgmental, rude, or sarcastic, belittling others. Guard my speech so I don’t join in with them or even enjoy their company.

And keep me from taking the easy way that temptation and sin offer so I can grow the way You intended…with all I need to be fruitful and hardy, regardless of the circumstances I face.

Thank You for Your blessing on me and on my life. Help me see when You are helping me and blessing me. And show me how to share that blessing with others. Amen

So I may not feel like dancing all the time, but I do want to be blessed. And learn more about being intentional and consistent in blessing others.

SPRINKLE_Prayer-Blessing_COV_RB_10-21-2021 (1)Check out my book, it’s a 40 Day Prayer Guide  – Praying a Blessing for Others: Powerful day-by-day prayers inviting God to forever change a life

In 1 minute a day, you can bless others with the written prayers, or pray them for yourself.

Psalm 1:1-3 The Voice; Psalm 1:1-3 Amplified Bible

Macarena photo by the Australian Paralympic Committee

Waiting on the Lord Part 2

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Are you still waiting?

Chances are you are waiting on something. And yes, it can be encouraging to know that other people are waiting too, that all this waiting is actually part of our being human. But knowing there are some things that just aren’t within our control doesn’t make the waiting any easier.

Can you remember a time before we all had cell phones? I was very pregnant and traveling with our 4 and 8 year olds, coming home from visiting my parents. Very long flight. My husband had said call when we got in to the airport and he would pick us up.

airport-2123274_640I found a pay phone and called to say we were here, and went to get our bags, then we all walked to the passenger pick up and waited with our luggage outside exhausted. The kids were tired and hungry and hot but we waited; standing, sitting, chatting…

After waiting an hour, I was worried. The trip from our house was usually only 45 minutes. At the risk of missing him, I gathered the boys and our bags and went inside to find another pay phone. My husband hadn’t even left yet! I just about collapsed.

Even leaving right then, it would take at least another 45 minutes to get to the airport – then another 45 minutes to get back home!

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Nothing else to do but wait.

So I decided that to keep the boys engaged and in better spirits, we would make up games and silly songs to fill the time. We made up a new song called “It can be fun to wait.” In the song we counted, marched, sang our ABCs. We made a memory.

Now, when I am waiting alongside other people, they all pull out their cell phones and focus on them. Me, I turn to prayer. There are always people or circumstances on my mind that I can talk to the Lord about. And now that we wear masks in many public places where I wait, I can even pray quietly and no one can see my lips moving.

Through this, and so many other times I could tell you about, God showed me that time spent waiting can be purposeful. It can be prayerful. It can be “praise-ful.” And all those things can help us be patient.

blur-1867402_640Later He gave me this song. I still sing it when I’m challenged to “wait on the Lord.” It helps remind me that I need to use whatever time I have to praise Him. For who He is. For what He has done. When I use waiting time to pray, it helps me be patient. I feel like there’s purpose in it.

Try praise and prayer next time you find yourself waiting for something.

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

As I wait I will praise my God

and the wonderful things He has done

I will praise Him for all creation

The earth and the stars and the sun

As I wait I will praise His name

Holy and Mighty is He

I thank Him for sending salvation

Salvation for you and for me

Chorus 2 X:  I can wait patiently

I can wait prayer-fully

I can wait praise-fully

For God knows what I need and He provides for me

And sometimes I even still sing the silly “it can be fun to wait” song too.

Because, sometimes, now, it can be fun to wait!

Are you praying Apples or Potatoes?

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I’ve been praying a LOT lately – maybe you have too.  So many things happening in my life, my family, with Covid-19, in our nation, the world!

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And I trust and thank God that He hears all of my prayers, and your prayers too. Whether we are singing out in praise, calling out thanksgiving, whispering out our needs, or crying out in brokenness, I know that God hears and answers every time.

I love it when I can see God’s hand at work in the relationship or situation I’m praying about.  It’s so encouraging! It’s like watching an apple tree:  you can see the leaves appear, then the buds come, the blossoms open and then fall off, and you can see the tiny fruit form.  The apple grows and matures on the tree right before your eyes.

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An apple farmer can see his harvest before he ever starts collecting it.

Some prayers are like that. You get to see how God is working and preparing the answer for you right before your eyes. You can see change in the person or the situation, or in yourself.  It is so rewarding.

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Other prayers are like potatoes. We keep praying and praying for a person, relationship, or situation but see no change, no growth, no hint of an answer on the way. The potato plant is like that: the leafy vine can be seen.

But the fruit or tuber, the part we eat, is formed underground. The vine remains unchanged above the ground as we water and fertilize. All the while the fruit, the tubers are developing and maturing under the ground where we can’t see.

digging-for-potatoes-1319302-640x480It is only by faith that a potato farmer begins the harvest, trusting there is a crop there under the ground!

Potato prayers are harder because you feel like nothing is happening in the situation you’re praying about.  When the truth is God is surely at work answering your prayer, just not in ways visible to the human eye.

Both kinds of prayers yield an amazing and fulfilling harvest. Both have the same promise of an answer from God. And both will build our faith.  If you are praying an Apple Prayer, thank God that He is allowing you to see His hand at work in the person or situation. Be encouraged.

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If you have been praying a Potato Prayer, thank God for being at work beneath the surface.  And be encouraged!

Trust in God and in His timing and purpose. We are the workers but the harvest belongs to the Lord!

people-2604834_640And especially for those Potato Prayers, Father, help us wait and not fall into discouragement, self-pity or giving up.  Keep our faith strong and our trust in You solid; so that at the end of the waiting, we will sing of the wonders of the Lord!  Amen

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

What a season!

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What a season we are in! And I don’t mean winter.

question-mark-5470199_640human-5480043_640We are in a season of media frenzy and we have been for some time. Stories pop up on my phone constantly, and call for me to read them. Many inflame and upset my heart and my mind and bring confusion to my thoughts. So many issues seem unjust, unfair, just plain wrong. And they offer no solution.

My solution, is to be still to listen for God’s voice. I take a walk and lift my eyes to the mountains or to the sky. I watch the clouds, or the pine trees bending in the gentle wind. I watch the geese wintering here from Canada.

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I sit quietly and read scripture. Some I read out loud, looking for the truth of who I am, created by God; and who He is and His love for me and every individual He created in the world. And I let the truth wash over me.

praying-5406270_640From within the truth I look out onto the world with compassion and I pray for it: its leaders, its people, the issues that so perplex and confuse us because of the false news and misinformation being propagated.

I pray for the hearts of men and women and children to be turned to the Lord. And for God to speak to those in power who control governments, the media, the militaries, the corporations, the churches, synagogues and mosques, and the field of entertainment – and for those people to listen.

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For me, it has become a season of prayer.  And of listening more intently for God’s Voice.  He does speak.

And especially now, I’m listening.

Need some Traction?

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Ever since I heard the word “Paraclete” I have thought of the Holy Spirit as a “pair of Cleats.”

The Holy Spirit gives us traction in our walk with the Lord.

“Paraclete” is the Greek word that translated, is used to describe the Holy Spirit.  It comes from “para” meaning close or beside, and “kaleo” a legal advocate who makes a right judgment; an advisor, or helper.

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It comes to light in a picturesque way in the verse in James 1 where he says “each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

Pair that with 1 Cor 10:13 where Paul is speaking of temptation and says God will “provide a way of escape.”

Now we have a picture of a believer walking with the Holy Spirit, (their “pair of cleats”).  And when temptation comes along and tries to drag the believer away, God has provided these cleats so the believer can dig in and have the traction and power to resist and not be dragged away.  That’s the Holy Spirit!

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With our “pair of cleats” we can go farther, climb higher, get a better grip on the trail of life.  Our “Pair of Cleats” will take us places we wouldn’t be able to get to on our own.

adventure-1850912_640The Holy Spirit will stick by our side no matter the circumstances – through storms, harsh terrain, cold, heat – more literally challenges, temptations of every kind, hardships, even elections and pandemics.

All these things can make our way seem dark and slippery.  But we have a partner on the journey – teaching us, guiding, course correcting, encouraging, strengthening us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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Praying for you, that you will make use of your Pair of Cleats in your daily walk.  That you will listen to the Holy Spirit and dig in when temptations and challenges come.

That as you walk through life, you will recognize your walking partner’s voice and knowing that you are never alone, you will be encouraged, instructed, equipped, advised, counseled, guided, strengthened and protected.