November 20, 2012

Living So That: Our Call to Action

 Lesson Two: Pray So That…

Oh, how I LOVE our topic this week: Pray So That! But before we jump in to today’s lesson, thank you, thank you for the comments you have shared this week.  Your sharing has been such a blessing not only to me but to all our sisters in Christ journeying with us through this study.  You asked challenging questions, taught powerful truths, prayed beautiful prayers, and shared honestly from your hearts.  This is what Bible Study is all about!!!

**For those of you who would like a cover sheet for your “Living So That Bible study (if you are using a notebook), please check out my Free Resources section.  You will find a cover sheet there you can print out.  Thank you Heather Bleier for helping me get this on-line!**

God made His power available to us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. This is a precious gift that belongs only to God’s children. The Spirit of the Living God lives in us. God desires that we be filled to the full with that presence. But we have a role in this.

We must actively pray for His Spirit to invade every part of our being. When we truly invite Him to fill us and use us, the supernatural experiences He will grant us, the ways He will use us, will blow our minds!

Friends, my prayer is that we would daily pursue a Spirit-filled, Christ-empowered life, a life Jesus can use to bring hope and healing to His broken and hurting world. May God receive all the praise, glory and honor for the fruit that result from our time together studying  prayer!

Show us your glory this week, Lord, show us your glory!

Video Lesson.

Some of you may not know that I teach this Bible study live here in Charlotte.  We recorded the teaching for this lesson a few weeks ago, so I thought rather than record a new one for you, I would share this teaching.  It lasts 37 minutes, much longer than our usual messages, so I hope you don’t mind the change.  Next week we will go back to the shorter messages from my kitchen.  Also, there is a minute or two period where we lost sound, and I apologize for that, but it does came back.

This Week’s Memory verse:

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

This Week’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of prayer. I invite You to speak a fresh Word to me this week. I don’t want my prayer time to be a religious ritual that I do each day. I don’t want it to be another thing I check off my “to do” list. Teach me to pray with power. I want my prayers to be effective and bring results that will glorify and honor You and You alone. Feed me Your Living and Active Word. Plant it deep in my heart so that I can recall it and pray it with my lips. As I speak Your Word and hold it before You, I trust You to honor it. Thank You that Your Word, when prayed, will not return void but will accomplish what You desire and achieve the purposes for which You sent it. Thank You that it will prosper in everything for which it is sent! Give me the courage to come boldly before Your throne of grace. When I arrive, Father, meet me there. Shower me with the presence of Your Holy Spirit. Make Yourself known to me. Be at work in my prayers. Show me Your glory, Lord! Show me Your glory! I love You so much. I ask all this in the Name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Homework Questions:

A.  Share a bit about your own prayer life.  Do you pray? If so, describe your prayer life (time of day, frequency, manner of prayer –written, oral). If you don’t pray, share why.

 

What is prayer? Prayer is a love relationship with the God Who created us. Prayer is a gift. Prayer is a great privilege. Prayer is two-way communication. Prayer is cultivated. Prayer requires faith and action.

B. Read Hebrews 10:19-22 and Matthew 27:51.  Because of what Jesus has done, opening the way for us to enter into His presence, we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence.” When you sit before the Lord in prayer, do you approach Him confidently? If you answered “no,” share why you find it hard to pray with confidence.

 

Friend, Jesus gave up His life so that you could be in relationship with Him, so that you could enter into His presence and fellowship with Him. If you are one who feels uncomfortable praying or feels unworthy to pray, spend time thanking Jesus for what He has done and ask Him to make His sacrifice a reality in your life. BELIEVE He did this just for you in prayer. Remember, He gave up His life to make it happen. He desires to hear your praises, your hopes, your dreams, and the cry of your heart.

Pray with me: Sweet Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross at Calvary, for tearing the curtain in two and making a way for me to be united as one with You. Help me to fully accept this gift. Open my heart to know You more intimately and to know how much You value me and find me worthy of Your love and Your time. Fill my heart with prayers of praise and thanksgiving and teach me to pray powerfully and effectively to make a difference in my life and the life of Your Kingdom.

C. Let’s look at Jesus’ teaching on prayer found in Luke 11:1-13.Read this passage of Scripture. On this occasion when Jesus had finished praying, His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Most of us are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer.  But today we will focus, not on the prayer, but on the verses following the prayer.

1. What do you learn in verses 5-8?

2. What do you learn in verses 9-10?

3. What do you learn in verses 11-13?

Let’s dig a bit more. Thessalonians 5:17 says, pray “continually.” The King James Translation says pray “without ceasing.” Interestingly, in the Greek this word does not speak of something uninterrupted, but of something constantly recurring. We are called to a continual state of prayer of prayer.

Paul does not stop after instructing us to pray continually. Why? Because to pray continually, without purpose and/or direction, is not effective prayer. Paul gives more direction in Colossians 4:2: “be watchful and thankful.” Watchfulness implies activity on our part. Ephesians again confirms this in 6:18, which says,

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, be alert…”

These words speak of watching with purpose, being intent upon something. When we pray, God invites us into a two-way relationship which involves two-way communication. We need to eagerly anticipate answers to our prayers. We need to watch  for Him to be at work. One way to “be watchful” is to look for answers. Open the Word with great expectancy to hear from Him, praying show me, God. Look for a change in your circumstances, praying show me God. Listen to words of wisdom from friends, praying show me, God. Listen for the whispers of the Holy Spirit, praying show me God. By doing this, you are positioning your heart to pray continually.

D. Share a memorable time in your life when you were watchful and experienced answered prayer.

Our church’s women’s ministry leader, Lisa Allen, shared a great way to bring watchfulness alive in your prayer life. She uses “prayer triggers.” When you have a person or group of people for whom God calls you to pray, be creative. Think of something that reminds you of the person for whom you are praying. Invite God to open your eyes to see that trigger and use it to remind you to pray. Lisa loves all things leopard, so whenever I see anything leopard, the Lord reminds me to pray for Lisa. If you assign triggers to special people in your life, think of how many times throughout the day you will pray! Again you are positioning your heart to pray continually.

E. Prayerfully choose someone for whom to pray. Choose a prayer trigger that will remind you to pray. Journal how God worked throughout the week as you faithfully prayed using your prayer trigger.

 

F.  Read Matthew 26:36-45.  What happened here when Jesus asked His disciples to watch and pray?

 

I wonder if Jesus hoped for more from His friends. He only asked for one hour, just one hour of their time. They could not give it. Perhaps if they had truly understood all that He had told them about what was to come, about what He was to suffer, things might have been different. Maybe they would have sacrificed that single hour of sleep. We will never know.

1. What about you? Is Your Savior asking something of you concerning prayer that you are not giving? Take some time to listen and pray before you answer. Share what you hear and feel below.

 

2. Jesus tells the disciples exactly why He wanted them to “watch and pray” in Matthew 26:41. What is the “so that” here?

 

3. What is the temptation of which He speaks?

 

“Temptation” as used here is from the Greek word peirasmos and refers to “trials with a beneficial purpose and effect.” They are divinely permitted trials and temptations. As specifically used here, it refers to trials and temptations entered into by a person’s disobedience or carelessness. Matthew Henry in his commentary writes,

“There was an hour of temptation drawing on, and very near; the troubles of Christ were temptations to his followers to disbelieve and distrust him, to deny and desert him, and renounce all relation to him. There was danger of their entering into the temptation, as into a snare or trap; of their entering into a parley with it, or a good opinion of it, of their being influenced by it, and inclining to comply with it; which is the first step toward being overcome by it.”

Jesus knew the danger and trouble that lie ahead for His disciples. Spending time praying with Jesus and for Him would have not only blessed them but also equipped and empowered them for all they were about to endure.

The same is true for us, sweet friend. Our God is All-Knowing. He alone knows what our future holds. God has given us this gift of prayer. He intends to use it to prepare us. In prayer, God girds us up for the trials, battles and temptations that will come our way.

When you do pray, do you struggle because sometimes it seems God does not hear or answer your prayer? You say, “God, I do believe; help me with my unbelief.” You pray and want to believe that God will answer your prayers. You know that His Word says in Christ all things are possible. (Philippians 4:13) But your circumstances do not change. Your answer does not come.

G. Read Mark 9:14-29.  

1.  Who lacked faith in Mark 9:17-18?

Before we move on, it’s vital you know that in Luke 9:1, Jesus gave the disciples the “power and authority to drive out all demons, and to cure diseases.” So why were they not able to cast the demon out? Did they never actually receive the power? Did Jesus decide they were not worthy of that power and take it back?

The disciples were confused as well. So they asked Jesus why they were unable to drive out the demons. Jesus answered, “This kind can only come out by prayer.” In Matthew’s gospel, He answered, “Because you have so little faith.” Matthew 17:20a. Did the answers Mark and Matthew gave contradict one another? Absolutely not! Faith and prayer go hand in hand. Prayer empowers faith.

Jesus was both disappointed and disturbed by their lack of faith and understanding. Perhaps they had lost confidence because He was not with them. Or maybe they missed the presence of Peter, James and John, their leaders, who had gone with Jesus up the mountain. Or perhaps the teachers of the law and the crowd intimidated them. Were the leaders discouraging them? Was the crowd mocking them? We don’t know.

2.  The disciples were not the only ones who lacked faith in this story. Who else exhibited a lack of faith? Explain his interaction with Jesus, focusing on his words in Mark 9:21-22.

 

Jesus asked the father how long his son had been sick.  In Mark 9:22b, the father began his statement with the word “But.” The use of this word revealed a glimmer of hope. This was all Jesus needed to hear and know there was faith tucked somewhere deep inside this father’s heart.

The father’s next words, “if you can…,”elicited a strong response from Jesus. Jesus repeated the father’s words back to him, almost as if to say Are you kidding me? If I can! Of course I can! Of course Jesus can. He is all authority on heaven and on earth. He is the Healer.

The father’s next words to Jesus were ” do anything.” Jesus’ answer to this father could not have been clearer: “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23b

Not just anything but everything is possible. We must set no limits on God. When we pray and ask, we must pray with full belief that He is able. The quandary is that sometimes what we ask is not what He wills. But He is always able.

3. Jesus’ words to the father were enough for another step of faith. What were the father’s next words to Jesus in Mark 9:24? How long did it take him to come to this conclusion?

 

Jesus had spoken Truth into the father’s heart and mind. And as he looked into Jesus’ eyes, the father believed. He wanted to believe one hundred percent, but he wasn’t quite there, so he cried out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Positionally, this is where Jesus wants us when we pray. He wants us to pray in faith, believing He is able. (James 1:5-7) And when the evil one begins to plant seeds of doubt, He wants us to cry out for His help so that we can take every negative thought, every doubting thought and every lie captive and replace it with Truth. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Read and reread the following statement I found in my research:

“What makes faith valid is not its subjective strength, but the trustworthiness of its object.” Jesus is the object of our faith. It is Him in whom we trust…not ourselves, not our emotions, not our abilities…but in Him alone.

4. Read Hebrews 11:6 and write it below.  What is the author saying to us about faith?

 

When you doubt God is listening, when you doubt He is at work, remember the truths we have studied today. Jesus knows our weaknesses because He was one of us. He is anxious for us to have a deep and abiding faith.  So, when we pray, He will supply what we lack. He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) The disciples failed in their efforts because they had neglected prayer and preparation. The authority Jesus had given them was still effective. But not for them in that moment because they had failed to prepare their hearts and minds to do that which Jesus had authorized them to do. Faith does not just happen. It must be cultivated. We must engage in spiritual disciplines like praying, studying and fasting. Jesus was frustrated because He knew they had been careless with their faith.

H. Read John 14:13.  What is the “so that” in this verse (NIV) and what does it speak to your heart about prayer?

 

Does this verse teach that whatever we pray in Jesus’ name, we get? No, absolutely not. The first part of this verse, “I will do whatever you ask in my name,” is not a magic formula. Praying in Jesus’ name does not guarantee that God will deliver. Praying in Jesus’ name means something far different. It means that when we pray we are asking God for something that aligns with His will, something that would please Him, something that would bring Him glory and further His Kingdom on earth.

I.  Read 1 John 5:14-15. Write this verse in your own words. How does it confirm our “so that” verse?

 

We have enormous spiritual power coursing through our veins. Do we understand it? Do we access it? Do we pray for it to become powerful and effective in our prayers and in our lives? For most of us, the answer is “no.” Writing this lesson convicted me to cry out for more of His power in my prayer life. I want Him to fan the flames of my faith to greater heights! I want to be used to do the “even greater things” because He has gone to be with the Father. (John 14:12)

Speaking His name alone is not enough. We must understand His nature and character. We must know His will. The goal of our prayer must be to honor God and His name, not ourselves.  When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are standing before God in Jesus’ place. We are pleading before the Father not because of who we are, but because of Who Jesus is.

J. At the beginning of the week, you answered questions about your prayer life. Now that you have studied prayer and its role in giving you a bolder faith, will you make changes in your prayer life? If you answered “yes,” share what step(s) you will take and write a prayer committing this to the Lord.

 

My Call to Action:

 If you are not comfortable with praying, take baby steps. Choose one area we have studied this week and apply it in your prayer life. Maybe you need to really know and understand God loves you. Search for verses on His love, study them and even memorize them. Keep them close to your heart until you feel His love seep into the depths of your soul.

 Maybe you struggle with spending time alone with God. Set aside a short time each day with no agenda (maybe just three to five minutes). For example, open your Bible to the book of Psalms and read for just a few minutes. Begin to pray some of the psalms back to God, personalizing them with “I” and “me.” Get a little notebook or journal and record what you learn, hear and feel as you abide in Him.

 If you already have a daily prayer life, apply what you have learned in this lesson and take it to the next level. Select areas in your life (or people) and search for verses that speak to those areas. Study the verses and personalize them for your situation. Commit to pray each verse, fully believing that God will work in and through them just as He promises. Invite Him to be at work. Anticipate His work. Journal what you learn, hear and feel through this process.

If you are struggling with how to take the next step, here are a few examples: If you have circumstances right now that seem impossible, remember God promises in His Word…

* All things are possible. Luke 18:27

*If you feel you are over-committed and so tired that you cannot take another step, remember God promises that He will give you rest and you can do all things through Him who strengthens you. Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:13

*If you feel lost and confused and don’t know what direction to take, remember God gives you a formula that shows you how He will direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6

*If you hold tightly to things from the past, things for which you cannot forgive yourself, remember God’s promise: I forgive you. 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1

*If you worry about your finances or how you will make ends meet, remember He promises to supply all your needs. Philippians 4:19

*If you fear what the future holds for your husband, your marriage, your children, your job, remember He has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

I share these verses as a starting point. Take the verse given and search for more using key words and the concordance in the back of your Bible. Use the notes for each verse found in your margins and at the bottom of each page. Pray for the Lord to lead you through His Word.

I am praying for you, sweet friend…praying for God to do big things this week! Please, please share what God is teaching you throughout the week!

Blessings,


Comments

  1. Wendy, you transformed my prayer life through your study “Cultivating a Heart of Prayer” (which is under the link “Bible Studies”… I HIGHLY recommend it!). There have been times when I’m called to pray for someone and I don’t quite have God’s Word to back up my authority and power. An easy online reference is http://www.openbible.info/topics/ to search by topic. For me, I’ve been praying Matt. 5:6 over our daughter: Abba, let Sierra be blessed… let her hunger and thirst for righteousness and she will be filled! He is honoring those prayers. She still has typical 9 year-old issues, but I’m watching her heart grow in the Lord.

    Where I’ve put added focus lately is praying while I’m moving about… asking God how He wants to use my body as a living sacrifice. Sometimes it means sincere eye contact with a stranger, or letting Jesus hug my husband through my arms. When I’m intentional knowing it’s the Holy Spirit, and not me, I can truly see the difference in the recipient.

    I cannot thank you enough for the wisdom you share. And I LOVED being a part of your Charlotte group! I soaked in every minute… and I know I’ll watch again 🙂 God bless all of you girls this Thanksgiving week. I am beyond grateful for Wendy, this study and all of you Christ-seeking, Christ-centered girlfriends! You ALL bless me beyond measure!

    • Noelle,
      Our pastor has been preaching thru the sermon on the mount…what a great idea to pray that verse for your daughter!

      This lesson on prayer takes me back a few years…I was part of a women’s retreat leadership team and we decided to pray specifically for the attendees. We “randomly” put each woman’s name with a fruit of the spirit and prayed for them in the weeks leading up to the event and were blown away by how God used and answered those prayers. Honestly it was probably the most powerful part of the event.

      But in the days following the event I was convicted…I’d made the commitment to pray specifically for women, many I didn’t know, but yet how much time did I devote to praying for those I know best and love the most? God had opened my eyes to the power of specific scripture based prayer and really encouraged me to do the same consistently for my husband, children and ones I love. His Word is powerful and when we pray it our prayers are powerful. I’m thankful for that lesson and looking forward to the one He teaches me thru this study!!

      Praying for each of you as you dig into His Word and asking Him to bless your Thanksgiving week! May we all give thanks to the Lord for He is good!!!

      • Hi Jill!
        Your comments kept coming up in my mind this morning. I love the idea of praying the fruits of the spirit over my believing family members and friends… one fruit per person. I’m eagerly anticipating the miracles which will inevitably follow! I’m also returning your prayer to you… praying that as YOU dig into His Word, you will be abundantly blessed this Thanksgiving! xo

      • What a wonderful idea…to pray the fruit of the spirit over someone we love. I have never done that before, but definitely will incorporate this in my prayer time!

        Blessings,
        Wendy

    • Me too! Wendy … I highly recommend “Cultivating a Heart of Prayer” !

      This is what drew me to want to be a part of your beautiful studies, Wendy! I so love PRAYER and hearts of people that PRAY but more those that teach and share with others through their prayers! I know I’m going to LOVE this week’s topic!

      I kinda sneaked ahead (when you added the video at YouTube I watched and I was so blessed by being a part of your Charlotte group)! Made me feel so at home.

      And I love Noelle (and the way she openly and freely prays here. God bless her and her prayers! I especially love Noelle that you pray Matthew 5:6 over Sierra!
      WOW how beautiful the heart of a mother that prays God’s Word and promises over their children (no matter their age)! Never too late to start either, even if they are grown up and you’re just learning the importance of prayer SO THAT each child of the King of kings would bow and acknowledge Him!

      More soon… reading, meditating and ever so gratefully praying for YOU and giving thanks for you and the GIFT you both are to me, Wendy and Noelle above and beyond the gifts you’ve blessed me with, the gifts you graciously share with us.
      Truly women of God to model and learn from, more and more to be like Jesus!

      Love you and may each of us be “transformed by truth”and LIVE that Truth as we pray … in Jesus’ name and His authority …
      Peggy

    • Noelle,

      God has given you a serious gift of prayer, girlfriend! Your prayers bring the Word alive in my heart as I read them and speak them. Thank you for sharing creative ways for us to add praying to our everyday lives. That is exactly how God wants our communication with Him to be…not just at night or in the morning or at a meal but all day long!!

      Sweet Noelle, you HAVE been Transformed by Truth!!! I am nearing the end of your book, and I have loved every page. I can hear your voice as I read it, and i LOVE that!!!

      Blessings,

      me

  2. My prayer life is under construction 🙂

    For years I have prayed as the Pharisees pray, in the church, with those wonderful words and phrases and cliches. But my heart was not connecting with God. I was going through the motions because it’s what we did in church and I was often called upon.. My Word for the year this year is Pray and what a blessing. God has shown Himself to me this year through my one word and this study is the icing on the cake to complete this year. I am longing for a renewed prayer life, I don’t want to just speak Words that don’t mirror my heart, I long to talk to my Father in a more personal way. So to reshape my prayer life I’ve begun writing my prayers in a journal. I haven’t been consistent and this is a challenge for me because I am a kneel and prayer gal but the lessons I am learning now have liberated me, so that I am prayerful throughout the day. But I am a work in progress! And I am learning all over how to pray with words from my heart. I am also learning how to pray His Word and that has become very powerful in my walk. It’s my desire to be a woman of prayer. Please keep me in prayer as I grow in the knowledge of Christ and as I approach His throne of grace boldly.

    • Abba,
      Thank You for Lakeisha’s beautifully transparent heart! Thank You for her love for You and for her longing to know You in a more personal way. You tell her that when she asks, she’ll receive… when she knocks, the door will be open for her. Bless her prayer time with You like never before. In Jesus’ Name, let her melt into Your presence… let her see Your eyes of compassion… let her feel Your arms wrapped around her… let her hear Your voice whispering just how much You love her! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
      xoxoxo Big hugs to you girl!

      • Lakeisha Bing says:

        You are so sweet Noelle,

        Thank you for your sweet prayer, I receive it completely and I will pray this prayer over myself.
        I appreciate your response so much :)))))

        (((Tight Hugs)))
        ~Lakeisha

    • LaKeisha, if you want to be a woman of prayer, God will make you one. He grants the desires of our heart when they align with His Will and PRAYER DEFINITELY ALIGNS WITH HIS WILL. Noelle is a perfect example of what the Lord will do in the life of one woman who craves more of Him and more prayer in her life. I am so thankful He brought you here to connect with other women who share the same desire and passion. Can’t wait to see what He does over the next few weeks!

      W

  3. Wow!!! What a fulfulling lesson and Wendy you are an amazing teacher. This was the perfect way to spend my lunch hour. Praying does not come easy for me because I feel like I don’t have the “right” words but if I turn it into a conversation with God then it seems so much easier. I also find that if I write my prayers I don’t have trouble telling God what is on my mind and heart.

    Thanks again Wendy for this study!!

    • Congratulations!!!

    • Eloisa, how wonderful you spend your lunch hour with the Lord. That time you spend in the Word fills you up and allows you to pour out God’s love, mercy, and grace to those around you at work. It probably looks different every time you do it, but they see it and feel it.

      What a blessing to everyone in your office!!

      W

  4. Blessings Wendy and sisters in Christ (OBS buddies);

    Going DEEPER and this is my favorite life TOPIC and DESIRE: PRAYER!

    Day 1 [A. Share a bit about your own prayer life. Do you pray? If so, describe your prayer life (time of day, frequency, manner of prayer –written, oral). If you don’t pray, share why.]

    My prayer life is my life; from the beginning of my day throughout and ending of my day, it is my everything and every waking moment, because I depend and rely on an open line of communication with my Father Abba! It is my ongoing conversation that I am afforded to LIVE now and do daily without previous life interruptions of work, family, service, responsibilities, although even during those times,it was a priority.

    I so agree with what Wendy shared and it deserves repeating and bold CAPITALS:
    “Prayer is a love relationship with the God Who created us.
    Prayer is a gift.
    Prayer is a great privilege.
    Prayer is two-way communication.
    Prayer is cultivated.
    Prayer requires faith and action.”

    It’s taken me awhile to incorporate all of these aspects, especially pausing to LISTEN and HEAR the voice of God.But the more you are in His Word and saturate your life with WAITING to hear from Him, the sweeter and gentler His whisper.

    I wish I could say I journal (but there was a time when I did) so I guess mine is basically oral! However I do think journal written prayers are important and the best way to focus. My prayers are very personal and very different for different kinds. My dates with the Lord, are my times set aside(Fri.) that I ASK nothing of Him (no petitions on that day) just adoration, praise,thanks and soaking in His love, dancing with Him, worship and Holy Spirit filled. Moments of surrender
    and relishing His Presence. I need to learn to BE STILL and wait to let God speak.
    I love books and people that write what they hear God say to them. That’s my next step as I too want to grow in my PRAYER journey and come boldly to His Throne of grace on behalf of others and myself. Too often we failed to seek His face and we come seeking His hand.

    I’m far from where I want to be in my prayer life still so I don’t want to sound all pious and altogether. There are phases when I don’t hear God and I think He’s not listening and my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling; or I grow ever so weary and those are times when I probably need to press in more with my prayers but instead they becomes moments of “If you don’t pray, share why.” Perhaps it’s lack of believing or thinking I’m unworthy and God has much more important matters to take care of and then I see His marvelous hand reach down and touch me or hear an almost audible answer that is mind blogging … and I ask for forgiveness for any doubt or unbelief or lack or pride issues that have kept me distant when I should have drawn nearer… but I’m learning and I’m clinging to the one who taught us to pray, dear Jesus!!! When I go on and on, I catch myself and stop and tell Him, I’m sorry that I don’t let Him get a word in edgewise, that He would calm my restless spirit,tame my tongue and help me to listen twice as much as I speak or even write.

    Good thing I’m only do the first question of Day 1,huh? I LOVE PRAYER! Prayer triggers … surround me. I need Him every minute and the moment I forget,there’s a clear signal from Him of my desperate need to be in communication with My Lord,My Creator,My King! (usually would end with a prayer now but I’ll just say
    Thank You Heavenly Father! Open the gates of heaven and our hearts, minds, and lives to more of You and less of me… Amen to each Word of Wendy’s prayer “ditto” and bless Wendy and each sister here as we bow this week in humbleness to give You thanks and deepen our lives with PRAYER in Jesus’ Name.

    • Here was another part to A. If you pray, what is your goal in prayer? which I really like this question. Some of mine are given above but overall it’s to KNOW, LOVE and KEEP in TOUCH with God bowing in adoration, praise and thanks for who He is,what He’s done and all He is in the process of doing (in me and others)

      So ladies: what is your goal in prayer?

    • Plus I love your idea of prayer triggers!!!

    • B. When you sit before the Lord in prayer, do you approach Him confidently? If you answered “no,” share why you find it hard to pray with confidence.

      Yes! In Christ’s authority and the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray confidently and boldly: “In Him and through faith in Him (we may) I approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12 New International Version (©1984)
      “Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”New Living Translation (©2007)
      “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

      When I pray from Scriptures, I am even more bold and confident because I know that they will not return void as Cherie Hill helped me learn at SCRIPTURE NOW
      http://scripturenow.com

      And just like when learning another language, the more you use the language and practice it, the better and more fluent you become. That helps with confidence.

      • I found this that I wanted to share on “Holding On To Our Confidence” (from Berean Ministries, 21 Days to … Holy Spirit Series Part 10, Prayer Starters)

        “THE SETTLED CONFIDENCE OF A DEEP CONVICTION.
        The New Testament Greek word peítho, which is the base on which the word for faith is built, carries the meaning of “to be persuaded with deep conviction; to be confident of.”

        “THE CONFIDENCE THAT MAKES US BOLD AND FREE IN OUR TESTIMONY AND IN OUR PRAYING—The Greek word we find here is parrhesía which means “bold confidence.” It describes the confidence of one who is free from shame. With it we can speak and move freely and without hesitation, both before God and before man.” I think it’s for Hebrews 11:1

        • Girl… you are so rich with wisdom and grace… you have blessed me beyond measure within this short amount of time knowing you! I’m going to re-read your posts. Specifically when you said, “But the more you are in His Word and saturate your life with WAITING to hear from Him, the sweeter and gentler His whisper.” That really grabbed my heart. Thank you for YOU! xoxo

    • Peggy, your story reminds me of the monk, Brother Lawrence, who turned his entire day into a prayer offering…praying through the day, through every task performed. His set his heart upon the Lord from the time he awakened until the time he went to sleep. I have some days where I do this and feel so close to the Lord and other days where I go, go, go and don’t stop until I get home and realize how much I missed not sharing my day with the Lord.

      And thanks for sharing the snippets on confidence.

      Blessings to you,

      Wendy

  5. I am totally with Noelle and Jill about your “Cultivating a Heart of Prayer” study, it was incredible! Between that and chapter 9 on prayer in “Hidden Joy”, my prayer life has gone to deeper places than ever before!

    I can probably speak for anyone here who watches this video…ANY time you want to share your Charlotte lesson with us, PLEASE do!! I started watching it last night, just now I watched it all from the beginning, and then rewound it to listen again.

    Thank you so much for sharing how God spoke into your life with Lendy. The Word of God and the stories passed down are powerful, but oh how truly wonderful it is when we hear how God has worked in and through someone’s life today!! It’s Hebrews 4:12 in the flesh, so to speak.

    I’m excited about diving in tonight. Love you!

    • I too LOVE hearing testimonies. There is nothing more powerful or encouraging than hearing how God specifically answered a prayer, moved in a mighty way, made Himself known, or clearly spoke into a situation. Stories like this give me hope when I am waiting on Him to answer the cry of my heart. As you said, “It’s Hebrews 4:12 in the flesh!”

      W

  6. A. Do you pray?

    YES! I have no “set” time each day that I pray {way too flighty for that}, though there are times I will set aside time just for prayer it’s not a regular thing. I’m more of a pray-the-whole-day kinda girl. I also mix it up as far as manner.

    I used to write my prayers in a journal, but like with many things, I did it for a while and then I stopped, then started again…and stopped again. Now if I’m writing a prayer it’s generally because I’m sending it to someone else. When I pray for someone else and I know I’m sending it to them, I pre-pray. I talk with God and ask for the right words to strengthen and encourage that person, no matter what words He leads me to write. At that point, though the prayer is lifted to God, it’s really His words that are being spoken over that person. Kind of like what Wendy was saying Lendy did. Though Lendy didn’t realize the impact of her words, God certainly knew what needed to be heard at that moment. It’s incredible when you listen to God’s prompting and send someone a prayer at random, even if it’s a simple text telling them you prayed for them. It’s happened time and time again that the person I prayed over will come back almost immediately to say just how much they needed those words. Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit moving through you to pray for someone at random!

    There are times I will personalize scripture for someone or use a prayer trigger. Most of the time, I just pray. I don’t really wait for a certain time, I simply pray in the moment. Since I am a bit flighty, I do have a prayer App {don’t laugh, it works for me} and I put long term prayers in it and pray through them throughout the day or when my heart is prompted: http://bit.ly/PrayerNotes.

    • I do the exact same thing, Heather. I go through times of journaling faithfully…Scriptures, daily prayers, notes from quiet time, special prayer requests, sermon notes. And then I may go weeks without writing in my journal. It used to make me feel guilty. But not anymore because I am still doing all the same things…just not writing them down. But I will save prayers I write for others or note in margin of my Bible verses that speak to me. Journaling is still by far the best way to keep up with the Lord’s work in our lives because we can SEE with our eyes and REMEMBER where God has been faithful.

      Makes me feel good to know that I am not the only one that does not faithfully journal everyday!! 🙂

      Blessings,

      me

      • Charlotte Askew says:

        Add me to the list of starting and stopping the journaling.

        I love it when I do journal my prayers because when I am writing, my mind remains totally focused on the prayer I am praying. My most intense prayers, where I remain totally focused, is when I pray out loud; prayers of praise and prayers of agony. My mind tends to wander when I am praying otherwise.

        In my journal or on my “to do list in my phone”, I jot down the names of people who need prayer because I can’t trust it to memory, then I go back during the day and pray over that individual and their needs. Sometime, I will pray a specific prayer for each individual and then at other times during the day, I just place my hand over the names and pray for them as a whole.

        Learning, always learning when doing a study with Wendy.

  7. Only Heather would have a prayer app 🙂 I’m doing the nerd dance Heather… want to join? And just so the girls know, Elosia is celebrating her recent engagement… WOOHOO!

  8. Do I Pray? Yes, I do. But it is more simple short prayers, Thank You God, or Help Me God, my little petitions. I have a hard time remembering to really pray for others.

    Do I pray confidently? Sometimes. At times I know that I can pray and God will answer that request, but at other times, I find that I am much more hesitant to pray and believe that I will receive an answer.

    At times I don’t feel that I pray right. I used to keep a prayer journal, but over time I fell away from that. I also have rarely used scripture to pray.

    • Heaven help me… my flightiness is taking over… that’s what I get when I decide to make a nerd joke at my friend’s expense, right Heather?! Anyhow, Deanna- when I participated in the “Cultivating a Heart of Prayer” study, that was one of my frustrations that surfaced… how many times did I say, “I’ll pray for you!” and then I’d forget. Through Wendy’s leadership, I changed a couple of things. First, when I’d tell someone I’d pray for them, I’d do it on the spot- either pray for them in person with them, or I’d write it out… even if it is super short. It takes just as long for me to say what I’ll be praying as it does to clear my mind and lift them to Jesus right then and there! Also, after the study was over, Wendy led us on a 30 day prayer challenge. We put who we were praying for on our calendars. For me, Monday= family, Tues= friends, Wed = my ministry, Th= Bible study friends/Prayer partners, F= nation, my city, Sat= work, Sun= praise. I kept my regular prayer life, but I committed to those different categories at some point in my day. Just an idea 🙂

      • Thanks Noelle. I have tried to say a prayer at that time for the person. But I never thought about the calendar. That would be helpful!! I also need to get back to writing my prayers out. I did much better when I did that.

    • Deanna,
      I get your words about feeling like you don’t pray right…been there and at times still feel that way, but what is the “right” way? Pray from your heart. And start where you are…10 years ago I would have never prayed out loud, 5 years ago I didn’t pray scripture, but one step at a time God’s changed things and I look forward to the changes yet to come. I’d encourage you to keep your ears open to what God has to say to you about your prayer life…He will move you forward.

    • Deanna, just remember, there is no right way to pray…just talk to the Lord and share your heart. As you grow and mature in prayer and the Word, God will fill your prayers with His Word. Practicing with a few of your favorite verses is a great way to help yourself begin the spiritual discipline of praying the Word. That is how I started. And Noelle has shared some other great ways to deepen and stretch your prayer life. God will be faithful!!!

      W

  9. Wendy,
    Thank you, thank you for sharing the video on your blog…honestly I sat here in tears and know I would have been one of the women needing prayer. I’ve never really experienced the spirit flowing from someone thru my computer screen, but it happened. The passage from Jeremiah is one God used powerfully in my life 6 years ago and has been bringing up again the past 6 months…you didn’t know that but He did. And He spoke so powerfully as you shared…the Word is alive.

    Thank you so much for sharing the story of your friend and being real with your feelings of unworthiness Wendy, I can relate and have to believe I’m not the only one. If we would all listen to God and live as who He says we are…I know I’d be so much more secure, content and joyful. Truly a vessel who would bring Him glory! May we all draw from the power He provides and walk in the authority He has given.

    Looking forward to digging into the study questions for this week and hearing what He has to say…

    • Wow!! Love how you described how the spirit touched you through our lesson this week, “spirit flowing through my computer screen.” Those words mean so much to me. Sometimes when I stand in my kitchen, it seems so impersonal and you all seem so far away that I wonder if there can be a heart connection. But I pray God takes each message and uses it to penetrate and speak into the hearts of the women He has drawn. Your words show answered prayer!!!

      And let me say, you, sweet friend, are a vessel who brings Him glory. You are such a gift in my life and in the life of so many women. You have a true gift of encouragement, and so many of us at P31 have been beneficiaries of that gift. I am so thankful you are a part of this study and these women can experience your sweet spirit!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  10. Wow Wendy, what an amazing lesson, I am on my 2nd viewing, love the longer version so packed full you are truly a tranparent, honest, caring, amazing teacher and we are all so blessed to be a part of your ministry.

    OK I need some of you power prayer warriors to share what i know you have shared before but I need, want, desire to be able to memorize and share and learn Scripture in a bold new way. As a young child/adult Scripture wasn’t our focus, it was the rosary and Bible readings but not so much memorization. Satan is attacking every aspect of my life and I am feeling hopeless and helpless, completely overwhelmed, I feel like a sinking ship. Please give me some guidance on plans that have worked for you (anyone of you wonderful sisters in Christ. You are all such a blessing, I sit behind the scenes, trying to steal a moment here and a moment there to read comments and when I do, I am so encouraged! If someone would rather a direct email let me know I certainly will share my email address.
    Thank you, have a wonderful Thanksgiving to all, Wendy thank you, many Blessings to all,

    kareng

    • Blessings kareng… I was waiting for others to jump in and give you guidance of how to go about scripture memorization but it looks like you need some Scripture prayers now as the enemy attacks you with hopelessness and helplessness (which you know you are neither when you have Jesus and His Holy Spirit living inside).

      So for now I will just add the link again that I did above and you can choose an area that will help you (be sure to look up the actual scripture besides pray the prayer): http://scripturenow.com/3.html BUILD YOUR FAITH

      And here are some other helps:
      http://bible.org/article/advanced-scripture-memory-program
      http://www.unlockingthebible.org/how-to-memorize-scripture-bible-verses/
      http://fighterverses.com/set-2-core-esv/week-47/
      http://scripturetyper.com/scripture-memory/

      When you feel attacked in one way as you wrote hopeless, look for Bible Verses for the opposite of this which would be HOPE or HOPEFUL and at this site
      http://www.biblegateway.com/
      *** http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/
      (and there are others) put in the Key Word and Which Bible version you’d prefer, click search and Wah-la

      FOR HOPE:
      http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=hope&version1=NIV&searchtype=all&resultspp=50

      Bible verses about Delayed Hope:
      Psalm 6:3, 6; Psalm 18:4-6; Psalm 18:4-6; Psalm 25:16-21; Psalm 42; Psalm 43; Psalm 73:1-9

      Bible verses about Hope Fulfilled:
      Psalm 31:24; Psalm 33:18, 20, 22; Psalm 34:1-8, 17-18; Psalm 38:15; Psalm 62:5-6; Psalm 119:81; Psalm 130; Psalm 146:5-6; Psalm 147:3; Proverbs 23:18; Jeremiah 29:11; Lamentations 3:19-24; Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

      HOPELESSNESS (100 verses) http://www.openbible.info/topics/hopelessness

      Then start phrase by phrase of a verse that you want to claim. Say it. Break it down into bite size. Write it on an index card, carry it with you, pull it out and work on it when ever you’re waiting or feeling hopeless!

      I should have prayed once again but this is already too long and I’m beginning to feel like a “blog hog”… but I did not want you to go through this holiday week, hopeless and helpless. I recently have felt like that too! I’ll be praying for you (even though I should have written one out here)! Having learned rote prayers for much of your early years (rosary), it’s now time to go a step beyond and form a new pattern of prayer. “For God knows the plans He has for you, kareng, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE kareng” (Jer. 29:11) Personalize the verses!!! May God richly draw you near and lift you up on wings like eagles!

    • I could not have shared it any better!! Thank you, Peggy, for the great words of wisdom as well as all the resources. Praying God’s Word is so powerful because God must honor His Word. When we pray His Word, we pray His will and His will WILL be done on heaven and on earth.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  11. Ok, I wanted to share my most recent, memorable answered prayer…but I love words a little too much, so instead of posting it here, I posted it on my blog.

    I love how God works and I hope this encourages you as you keep your heart open to the little ways God answers prayer…over and over again…

    http://bit.ly/Ph413

    <3

    • Praise God Heather! Praying Phil. 4:13 for you and with you and standing on it as you move forward with your(s) decision naturally. God be with you and strengthen you. I’m a no pain kinda gal so I admire you (perhaps that’s why my two were adopted-lol)!!! Love to you and love how you shared God confirming this through others.

      Y’all better go read Heather’s “Transformed” blog post on Phil. 4:13!!!

  12. Happy Thanksgiving All! Thanking God for this study and YOU ALL! I was listening to an interview and this was alongside of it so I was not looking for anything. I just came across it and am sure it’s a GODincidence meant for us!

    from Petra– Prayer from Beyond Belief.
    Prayer
    Words and music by Bob Hartman and John Elefante
    Based on 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, Ephesians 6:18-19, Matthew 6:9-13

    First I want to thank You Lord for being who You are
    For coming to the rescue of a man who’s drifted far
    For calling me to be Your son and calling me to serve
    Lord the way You’ve blessed my life is more than I deserve

    Keep the ones I love so dearly
    Fill their emptiness while I am gone
    And fill the loneliness in me

    (Chorus)
    This is my prayer
    Lifted to You
    Knowing You care even more than I do
    This is my prayer
    Lifted in Your name
    Your will be done I humbly pray

    Let me be the evidence of what Your grace can do
    To a generations struggling to find themselves in You
    May they come to know the love of God
    May their eyes be made to see
    Give me the opportunity to share the truth that sets them free
    And may unity in all things
    Be the banner of Your church
    And let revival’s fire begin to burn

    As we face the last and final hours
    Turn a wayward country back to You
    And keep us from the evil that devours
    Keep us on the path and lead us through
    Keep us in Your light until Your kingdom comes
    And our work is done

    This is my prayer
    Lifted to You
    Knowing You care so much more than I do
    This is my prayer
    In Jesus’ name
    Your will be done I humbly pray
    This is my prayer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z711qB5yziI

  13. Thank you so much for the video Wendy and your honesty in sharing your feelings of unworthiness. It means so much to have you open up even though I’m sure all of us cannot understand how you could feel this way when you are so gifted – I hope your friend’s prayers helped.

    I struggle so much with prayer, sometimes I feel God’s presence so intimately and other times I wander off in my thinking. When I was recently at the hospital waiting to find out if my daughter would survive, I had one of the most incredible experiences with prayer that I thought I would share. Long story, but my newly adopted daughter (2 weeks) had a cardiac arrest and I was literally in the waiting room of ICU waiting to find out if they could revive her. As you can likely imagine it was one of the worst moments of my life. It was very early in the a.m., about 1:30 and my husband was on his way to the hospital. All I remember was rocking back and forth saying “Please, please, please” to God over and over again. A few women approached me as I cried and asked me if they could pray with me. Remember this is 1:30 a.m., why are there women in the waiting room? Ends up that they had a family member with a daughter with cancer and they were with her but had never stayed this late before. Well, when I say they prayed, I mean they PRAYED. They laid hands on me as I wept and called out to God to save my daughter and yelled at Satan to back off. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and as they were finishing one of the ladies looked right into my eyes and said “you need to believe that God will save her”. Moments later the doctors came to get me and let me know they had stabilized her but she had actually been without oxygen for 27 minutes.

    Our journey continues but that experience reminded me so much of your story Wendy because I realized then that I was living in fear. Because of difficult events over the last 3 years where God has literally ripped something out of my hands, causing so much pain and hurt, I am afraid to believe that he will answer prayer at times because i don’t want to get my hopes up and experience that pain all over again. I find that balancing His ultimate sovereignty with rying to believe he will answer prayer so difficult – what if He doesn’t?? I know in the end its about trust and being able to believe that He knows best but when she said that to me I realized that I have definitely built up some guards to feel safer. I know that this fear is not of God so I am continually on my knees asking him to build my trust and to feel peace no matter what the outcome.

    Those ladies kept telling me that they had never stayed at the hospital that late and that obviously God had a reason – boy, were they right!

    • Lori, I am also struggling with guarding my heart against being hurt again. You are in my prayers and I appreciate you sharing.

    • What an amazing God appointment! Thank you for sharing. Such a wonderful example of God’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake us and that when we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him. God knew your heart and knew just what you needed!

      Also a lesson for us to LISTEN AND OBEY when we hear the Lord tell us to remain or go or speak or pray. Isn’t it wonderful that those women made themselves available to you that night? It changed your life forever!!!!

      Love you,

      Wendy

  14. I wanted to share this before I dug deep into the study for this week. About a few months back I lost my twin pregnancy (pre-term labour @ 26 weeks) and it was a horrifying experience to say the least. I have shared previously about my struggle with infertility and marriage issues so I won’t go into it again so I was so happy when I discovered I was pregnant and carrying twins (it was an answered prayer). As I was in labour in the hospital all alone around 5am, a thought came into my mind that God doesn’t answer prayers and He probably couldn’t hear me, because I was in pain and I cried out to God over and over to save my babies and I still lost them. For weeks after that I couldn’t bring myself to pray, till now I still struggle with prayer on my own – find it easier to pray with people around. So I am taking my time with this study this week and as Wendy prayed, asking God to meet me here.

    • Olayinka, thank you for sharing that painful story. I had a similar one, after 4 years of trying to get pregnant with our second child and lots of fertility treatments, I was finally pregnant, answered prayer. On my son’s 5th birthday (he was at the appointment with me), they couldn’t find the heart beat. I was 15 weeks and told it was one in a hundred chance. For a long time I struggled with why God would take our baby after so long and then to do it on my son’s birthday – how much more pain could I take? It took a long time but one of the things I read stuck with me, “God could have saved my baby but he didn’t”. I cried over that for a long time and it definitely lead to my fear of loss. I still don’t completely understand but I know that every year when my son’s birthday comes around its hard to be sad when see how blessed we are. And now I look at my little chinese daughter and see His plan for us to adopt her.

    • I am so sorry for this painful journey you have walked, sweet sister. My prayer is that the God of all Comfort will continue to comfort you and shower you with His love and compassion during those dark times of loss and mourning. He says “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” It is His promise!!!

      It touches my heart to know that your time with us has connected you back to prayer and praying. God will meet you in those prayers and do a mighty healing work!!!

      Blessings to you,

      Wendy

    • Olayinka and Lori,
      I too am sorry for your loss and wanted to take a minute to share a possible source of Truth and encouragement with you…a friend has walked thru the pain of child loss and miscarriage, but God has led her to start a wonderful ministry, Mommies with Hope, http://mommieswithhope.com/ and she’s just released an amazing book – Hope for Today, Promises for Tomorrow – Finding Light beyond the Shadow of Miscarriage and Infant Loss. It might be something you want to look into…praying for you both.

    • Thanks so much sisters for your words of encouragement and prayers. I have been introduced to the website mommies with hope and it was a huge blessing to me and my family. I have truly been blessed by fellowshiping with you all. I am saving this study on my hard drive because I am sure I will keep going back to it again and again.

  15. Hi Wendy
    I thought I’d just encourage you with how far this message you have faithful taught has impacted the world. We live in Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa and I was really drawn to this “so that” idea when I found your pro-mo video. So decided to tune in to your teaching videos. My daughter (19) has gone with a team of girls from her church on mission to Taiwan and she asked me to be one of her prayer partners and although I pray often for her, I really wanted to pray with power, not only for her, but the team as the minister into the lives of those they meet there. And then I listened to your message yesterday… Since then God has been literally pouring out Scriptures onto the page to pray for them. So thank you for that key reminder to pray Scripture back to God…. Also before she left, God gave me Jeremiah 1: 7-8 and 12 in my heart for her, and when I heard you teach those verses I my heart danced with joy for our Faithful God. Hugs across the ocean

    • Shelley, what a cool story!! I could not have even imagined God would use our time together in this study to touch lives in Cape Town and Taiwan and even reach young girls who are not directly participating. This is such a living example of God’s Ephesians 3:20 answer to our prayers. I just love that He is pouring His Word into you to encourage and equip these girls!!! Thank you for sharing.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  16. Sweet Wendy,

    I just finally had the chance to listen to your video. Unworthy, oh how I can relate to that, for years due to circumstances I can’t share on this blog, I felt unworthy. So unworthy. Unworthy of love, acceptance, at times unworthy of life. Many years I struggled with this. But God, has helped me overtime to realize that wasn’t true. It took a long time before I really grasped that. But today, I can say I don’t struggle as often with feeling unworthy.

    I have spent years battling depression, among other things. Getting so severe at times that I thought of taking my life, multiple times. However, God always seemed to stop me. It was a long hard walk, and still something I have to guard against, because old habits come easy. But now I see that I have a purpose, and that even when I can’t figure out what it is, or how I can make a difference. I know that God can.

    God has really grown me over the last few years and my social anxiety has even diminished as I realize that you don’t have to like me, for everything to be ok, because God loves me. Oh, I still long to be liked and accepted, but I have learned that not receiving that from others, is also Ok.

    I need to seriously work on my prayer life. But I know that like with everything else it comes in little baby steps of growth. Looking forward to what I can learn about that this week.

    God is so good, and so faithful to protect us, even when we don’t always realize his protection at the time. I am so glad that He spoke to you through your friend, letting you know how special and worthy that you are. Blessings sweet sister.

    • How precious that God is growing you to understand that your identity is found in Him and Him alone. We all like to “be liked.” It is when we let that control how we see ourselves that is becomes dangerous. So proud of you for taking those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ…for going to the Word for your truth and identity. You are so right, baby steps is what it takes. Lots and lots of patience but God is faithful!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  17. As I’ve worked thru the questions this week I was struck with the idea that God uses prayer to prepare us…hadn’t thought much about that, but God’s reminded me He’s done just that in my life. Shared the story on my blog –
    http://titus24u.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-picture-of-prayer-as-preparation.html
    Prayers for all of you as you wrap the week up!

  18. Wendy,

    As I was looking for verses to pray this morning I came across one I wanted to share with you.

    My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love. (Acts 20:24 NLT)

  19. Charlotte Askew says:

    Wendy, I just want to tell you what a beautiful, empowering blessing that your video message gave me this afternoon. I come away enriched by your words. Thank you

  20. Ladies,

    I want to ask for your prayers. I walked away from church for over 2 years, not God, but the church itself. I have been back for about a month. But last week I skipped going to church, and I didn’t make it today either. I’m finding it really hard to get back into going regularly, and fighting the laziness of the flesh. It’s not that I don’t want to go. I have enjoyed being back at church. It’s just getting my flesh in line with my wants. Its a bit to easy to sleep in, or stay home, than to make myself go out and be social. Could you pray for me, that I can get back in line, and do what I know to do, instead of allowing myself to do what is at the moment easier?

    I appreciate all of you.

  21. Wendy,
    I loved your video lesson this week! I felt my eyes opening with your explanations of authority and power. Wow, I am learning so much & truly appreciate this OBS! Thank you for teaching us!

  22. Prayer triggers are great! I like to use people’s birthdays and when I see those numbers, like time on a digital clock, i will lift them up in prayer at that moment. It really works & makes you think to pray! Thanks Wendy for the cover page….printed it out …. Love it!

  23. Shannon Wardlow says:

    Wow! What a wonderful week of study. I am committing to working towards a transformed prayer life. I loved every aspect of this week’s study! The thing that really clicked with me was the idea of “prayer triggers.” I struggle with maintaining my prayer life throughout the day. But, this idea has already helped me stay focused throughout today. I love it and am praying for revelations of more prayer triggers in my life. Thank you, Wendy, for an awesome, transforming week of study! I can hardly wait for week 3!!

  24. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    I guess if one has a non stop conversation with God going on in her head that may be counted as “praying without ceasing”? I decided long ago it was not beneficial to talk to myself or let my own thoughts take over so now I just have one long discussion with God. Sometimes it makes me smile as I think about a Daddy’s and their little girls listening to them talk and talk and talk…that’s me and God. I also have a small index binder of index cards (can be purchased at office supply stores) the index cards are on big rings so I can add to the cards. The set of cards are my prayer cards that I have had for at least 5 years now. The sections are colored coded, the first is prayers for me, mixed with prayers of acknowledging Who God Is. Then prayers for my college age daughter and son, husband (family and friends) then prayers for who I don’t really want to pray for but know God ask me to. (Pray for my enemies). On each card is written a Scripture based prayer; for example the one I use for everyone including me “LORD, may my walk with You be so close that my ears shall hear a voice behind me saying “This is the Way walk in it” when I turn to the right or when I turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21. I substitute my name for another’s. I take these cards everywhere, even on walks around the neighborhood. One time a man doing yard work, asked me how can you walk and read at the same time? I replied it’s easy they are Scripture prayers and God helps me stay in a straight line. 🙂 Some of my cards have encouraging quotes like this one: “Put your hands in the hands of the One who can part the seas; Thy love Lord, Thy Sweetness Lord, Thy help Lord, Thy wisdom Lord, Lord __________.” filling in the blank for the specific request. One card has One Word….Jesus.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this Yanna – what a wonderful idea!

    • Yanna,
      I like your index card idea. I have wire bound index cards that I keep all the memory verses and “so that” verses on, so I can keep them all together.
      Also, you can print out the cover page from Wendy under Free Resources above.
      Happy studying this week!

  25. Dearest Wendy and Noelle, I am so blessed by both of you!!!

    Even though I was in the “Hidden Joy” study (I only had the sample chapter) until a very gracious team and Noelle were kind enough to give in a Grand Giveaway… however due to the fire and me not being home, I had not yet been able to read your “Hidden Joy”. Noelle richly gifted me a copy to my Kindle for PC so I opened it over Thanksgiving to read and just looked at the Content page and saw Chapter 9 was on PRAYER so because we are on PRAYER I went directly there! WOW! and awesome! (I read what you shared on Brother Lawrence there also- it stood out because of your comment above and I wasn’t sure if you were comparing me to a monk or a monkey-lol-but what an awesome compliment and honor)! For some reason, perhaps my Catholic upbringing and almost a theology degree in a Catholic College for nuns, I seem to vaguely recall him and the Presence of God book… so it’s in me, although I’m now a pentecostal/charismatic AG, my foundations are there. In retrospect, maybe I should have gone the route of a monk/nun. But this is where I felt so UNWORTHY! That is also why your video touched me so deeply too because of your open, honest, vulnerability, which many of us, could relate to in some part.

    I now have a better understanding why Noelle spoke so highly of YOU transforming her prayer life (hallelujah- maybe even gave her the inspiration for her great book too!!!)… but as I stated and agreed along with her, your study on “Cultivating a Heart of Prayer” (which I did on my own not with your group but when I saw it in your drop down menu) has deeply enriched me as well. Whenever I read your prayers, I knew that drew me to follow your teachings.
    You are worthy Wendy, so very humbly worthy of teaching us and we have much to gain from you and your teachings. I cannot emphasize enough that if someone needs help in their PRAYER LIFE, that they should really do your study and get a copy of “Hidden Joy” for Chapter 9 plus all the rest… Such rich, beautiful examples of how to pray and transform God’s Word into our own prayers for our needs. I could SOAK in PRAYER teaching like this right up until CHRISTmas. I am being stretched and claiming as you wrote. Thank you Wendy!
    (and thank you Noelle)! “Little by little, God will transform my will, my heart and my prayers to be more like Him.” Perhaps this will help me as we prepare to DIVE into TRIALS SO THAT… as you know I desperately need …

    Keeping it honest with God and you as I pray, read and study to be transformed like a beautiful present for Christmas with more of Jesus’ Presence shining (I HOPE…) Peggy

    • Forgot to add… I think that is why after I opened my 1st regular blog that this links to, I and another blogger friend started an interactive blog with a small team now called “The Lighthouse of Prayer”. http://thelighthouseofprayer.blogspot.mx/

      I keep it going but not without some devout prayer warriors who come and pray as a team for the many that need prayer in blogland. No comments are allowed; they must be a prayer. I’m not as active on the blog itself in leaving my written prayers as much but I always pray for the needs and requests and stand with the others. All of you are welcome … anytime!

    • Wow! What a blessing to read your words today. I am humbled and thank you for sharing how God has used the teachings He has given me to speak into your life and bring transformation. I LOVE that, and it is why I keep doing what I am doing.

      And what a wonderful web site you shared….a website of warriors!!! 🙂 I trust God will do many mighty works through that web site and the hearts banding together in prayer.

      Blessings,

      W

  26. Caroline McGinnis says:

    I am afraid to admit that I have fallen behind in the study and I will remain behind because I know that for me prayer is a weakness and I want it to be a strength and I also know that this is what Jesus wants for me too. I have already read through the 47 blogs and know that I will remain behind for a while so that I can take this study slow and get all I can from it. Thank you Wendy for your heart devoted to God, and for sharing your heart with so many believing sisters of Christ. May God continue to bless your heart to share what He puts on it with others. I found the blogs to be inspiring and powerful and I already received so much from them and I didn’t even begin the study yet (as of saturday the 24th). Thank you to all the sisters who have shared, you all have hearts devoted to God and prayer. I look forward to ending my year the same way I began it with a Proverbs 31 Ministry study. In the beginning of the year I did A Confident Heart with Rene Swope and I enjoyed it so much. May god continue to bless the Proverbs 31 Ministry. It is now Monday the 26th and I have bugun the study and have learned so much and seeing things in a new light, I look forward to learning much more as I am not even 1/2 way through it yet. May God bless all that are doing this study and happy praying I find I am doing more of this already.

    • Caroline, we are so excited you are joining us! Thank you for your prayers and sweet words of encouragement. Go as slowly as you feel led to go. That is what is so great about on-line studies. You can go at your own pace. I pray that as you open God’s Word, He will take what you learn and plant it deep in your heart so that it will take root and take you deeper still with Him. Keep sharing because I can’t wait to see what God does with your time in His Word and with us.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  27. Hi Wendy!
    I just watched the video again for lesson 2, it was just as powerful the 2nd time as the first. As I listen to you speak, an excitement fills my spirit. As you pour out Gods Word into my spirit I come alive. I believe this is true for you Wendy, God will help you speak and will teach you what to say. Please continue to speak and teach as God leads you, your studies have so blessed me and continue to grow me. I have much room to grow in my prayer life. To pray continually, without purpose and or direction, is not effective prayer. I want my prayers to be effective!

  28. Caroline McGinnis says:

    WOW, What a powerful lesson Wendy thank you so much. I learned so much from it, so much that I would not even begin to know where to start from, it was all a new and powerful outlook on prayer that I never saw. I never connected the two Gardens with prayer either but I do however see the connection. I will need to review this lesson often and share it with many others.Thank you again you are a wonderful teacher and worthy to teach.

  29. I meant to share this when we were studying Prayer since PRAYER is so vital to my daily walk, I have many prayer tools in addition to God’s Word. And until I met Wendy, did her “Cultivating a Heart Prayer, my very favorite was Stormie Omartian. She has so many great books on various “Power of Praying…” but my life line book is “The Prayer that changes Everything” (only mine is in Spanish, because I really want to be able to pray in Spanish like I do in English). When I met anyone (spanish speaking) and wanted to pray with or for them, I want it to flow with the Holy Spirit (which I usually start with anyway) … as freely and as powerfully as I pray in English. Of course, it also is great to memorize verses in Spanish as well so that becomes integrated. It’s a beautiful way to learn a language through God’s Word.

    “The Prayer that Changes…” is the BEST book that I constantly go back to! She now has another edition of this with just the Prayers from the first. Beth Moore has a good one too”Praying God’s Word” but without a doubt Stormie gave me a new fire until Wendy cultivated my heart!!! and the power of the Holy Spirit utters when I am unable to pray. Like I wrote above, I could spend from now until Christmas and beyond studying under Wendy’s wonderful teaching and example just on PRAYER alone. Thank you Wendy!

  30. I know I am a little behind on our study but I just finished this week right after using a wonderful resource given to me by a very wonderful servant of the Lord from my church. It is a book called THE BIBLE PROMISE BOOK. This book has over 1,000 promises from the Bible arranged in alphabetical order according to the subject of the scripture. This book is awesome for looking up verses for specific needs! Thank you all so much for being sisters in this Christian journey with me and thank you Wendy for helping us dig deeper into the scriptures in such a powerful and rewarding way!

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