Life-Changing Prayers

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“God listens to those who are godly and who do His will.” – John 9:31

Prayer is a mystery to many of us. Why pray if God already knows what we need? Or, if we do pray, why don’t our prayers get answered? There’s no formula for effective praying, but today I will share some insights others have given me that may be helpful to you, too.

Sitting: Prayer is our response to God’s invitation to be with Him. He wants us to come confidently, joyfully, consistently, knowing we will always be welcomed. So let’s not barge into His presence brashly asking for things. First, we just sit for awhile, enjoying the pleasure of His company.

Confessing: We often will find thoughts coming into our minds during this time about things we do that hurt Him. We have to be willing to give up anything that blocks friendship with God. He knows we will never be perfect, but He requires that we acknowledge our sin and commit to being better. When we confess, He always forgives, makes us clean, and gives us strength.

Asking: Now we are ready to tell Him our troubles, pray for others who concern us, and ask Him to answer as He wishes.

Listening: Then we quietly wait for any message He may give. Sometimes it is a direction or an idea. At other times, a sense of peace, contentment, or joy. Listening, though, is the best part of prayer. Let’s not hurry away without hearing what He may have to say.

Now we are ready to face our day:  refreshed, clean, calm, energized, and prepared to serve Him and others. Let the adventure begin!

“God’s presence calms your spirit, gives you restful sleep, and quiets your mind. But you must give yourself completely to Him.” – Francois Fenelon

 

Good Thinking!

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” . . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

“Grant, Lord, that I may not for one moment admit willingly into my soul any thought contrary to Your love.” (Edward Pusey d. 1882)

What if God answered that prayer? It would mean that certain kinds of thoughts would be eliminated from my mind: complaining, bitterness, anger, envy, self-condemnation, and unnecessary criticism, to be specific.

Getting rid of those thoughts would, of course, would make room for thinking about things that build faith, confidence, and joy – like thankfulness, encouragement, optimism, hopefulness, and contentment.

I’m joining this 19th Century man in his prayer as I ask God to use my will and His to change me so every thought I allow to remain in my mind is consistent with His love. So simple. So hard. I need you here, Holy Spirit.

“Divine love is perfect peace and joy, it is a freedom from all disquiet, it is all content and happiness; and makes everything to rejoice in itself.” – William Law

Being Still

"Do everything with the awareness that you are acting before God and for His sake. At the sight of God's majesty, calmness and well-being should fill your spirit." - Fenelon

“At the sight of God’s majesty, calmness and well-being should fill your spirit.” -Francois de Fenelon

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Have you ever tried being still? It’s hard to do! When I was talking to God about that one day, it felt like He was telling me that I was going at it backwards: I was trying to be still so I could know Him. He wants me to know Him so I can be still.

“When you know that I am God, you will be still.

Behold Me. Look at Me. See Me for who I am.

You will find I am much, infinitely much, bigger than finances, accidents, cancer, relationships with toxic people, or any other problem you face.

I am God. Just stop for a few minutes and think about who I am. Being still is the only possible response to My glory.”

It seems that the secret of being still in God’s presence is beginning to understand who He really is. When we stop to view Him with amazement and wonder; when we accept the mystery of what we do not know of Him; and when we begin to glimpse His holiness, power, and love, the issues of our lives fade away and awed stillness is our only possible reaction.

Try changing your focus from your restlessness to God’s greatness and see what happens. It helps me a lot!

“Collect yourself in His presence with the one purpose and intent of loving Him.” – Michael Molinos

Thinking of Him

 

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“He is the wellspring of everything that has ever romanced your heart. . . What we have sought, what we have tasted in part with our earthly loves, we will come face to face with in our True Love.” – John Eldridge

When the lights grow dim
Are you thinking of Him?
Or is your mind too cluttered
With thoughts un-uttered
And words unspoken
And promises broken?

When the day is at end
Do you talk with your Friend?
Or are you doing the dishes
And pondering wishes
And things yet to do
E’re the evening is through?

When you woke in your bed
Was it His name you said?
Or were you thinking of rights
And yesterday’s fights
And battles to win
When the sun comes again?

Our mind is the measure
Of what we most treasure.
It shows us what holds us
And constantly molds us.
If we’re centered on Jesus
And how He does please us,

The thoughts that disturb us
And tend to perturb us
Will crumble and cower
And lose all their power.
Then when the lights grow dim,
We’ll be thinking of Him.

“Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” – Psalm 91:14