May 26, 2015

There’s Power in Praying God’s Word w/ Giveaway

Praying God’s Word has completely transformed my prayer life. Over the years, I have witnessed specific and powerful answers to prayer. Why? Because when we pray God’s Word back to Him, He must honor it. True to His character, He cannot go back on His Word.

(Be sure to read through to the end to sign up to receive my FREE 5 Day Devotional, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life” and to leave a comment for a chance to enter our giveaway!)

WendyPope.Let'sbeWomenwhoreadGod'sbook

Think about these two questions:

Mom, can I have a piece of candy?

Mom, remember yesterday you promised me a piece of candy? May I have it now, please?

Which statement resonates more strongly in your heart (especially as a parent) … the one in which your child simply asks for a piece of candy, or the one in which your child reminds you of your promise? The latter, of course. When we pray God’s Word back to Him, we’re reminding Him of His promises.

It’s important to realize that God honoring His Word doesn’t always result in a “yes” to our prayers, but we can be assured that His answer will be in line with His Word and true to His character.

When teaching His disciples about abiding and prayer, Jesus spoke these words from John 15:7,

“If you remain in me and my Words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

The key to powerful and effective prayer is knowing and praying God’s Word.

Today I want to share with you how I started praying God’s Word.

First, I thought of something that was weighing heavily on my heart. I then opened my Bible and prayed this prayer: “Father, open the eyes of my heart so I can see what You have to speak into my life about this topic.”

Second, I turned to the concordance at the back of my Bible. A concordance sorts Scripture by topics (fear, worry, peace, forgiveness, anger, peace, joy). If your Bible does not have one, you can do a Google search asking “Scriptures on _________.” I then searched for my topic, chose a few verses and wrote them down. I asked God for ears to hear and a heart to receive what He wanted to speak to me.

Finally, I wrote each verse on a piece of paper and personalized them. I’ll share an example of this below.

At that time, I desperately wanted to pray for my 2 children, Lauren and Bo. But I struggled with exactly how to pray. I thought about what was on my heart for them and found Scriptures addressing those issues.

I started with baby steps and selected a few verses …

Lord, please hide Your Word in Lauren’s heart so her desire is to please You and obey You in all she says and does.(Psalm 119:11)

Help Bo trust in You with all His heart and lean not on his own understanding and to acknowledge You in all his ways.(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Remind Lauren when she feels discouraged and like she cannot accomplish what is set before her that she can do all things through You who strengthens her.(Philippians 4:13)

Clothe Bo in humility and teach him to put others first. (Ephesians 4:2, Luke 18:14)

Grow Lauren and Bo in wisdom, stature, and favor with You and with man.(Luke 2:52, Daniel 1)

Another example. If you struggle with worry, look up the words anxious, worry or peace in the concordance  and read through the verses you find. I found Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (NLT). Then write your prayer.

Your prayer could read like this:

Father, I have so much on my mind right now. I cannot even sleep at night. I feel so anxious. Your Word asks me to pray about everything. So right now, Father, I am coming to You with my worries, especially___________. Father, I thank You that You are in control of all things. I want to experience Your peace. So right now I am giving all of my worries to You claiming Your promise that in doing this, Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding, will guard my heart and mind. I thank You that I will be filled with Your peace from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I trust You for this. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

I trust the Lord brought you here to answer the cry of your heart to pray more effectively. And I would LOVE to hear what verses God speaks to you and/or the prayers He leads you to pray as you seek to pray God’s Word back to Him. Leave a comment today and share the verses or prayers. I will choose two names to win!

One winner will recive a signed copy  Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life, and

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the other a copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story. I will announce the winner this weekend!

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Click here to sign up for my FREE 5 Day Devotional, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.”

Blessings,

May 10, 2015

What’s Hidden in a Mother’s Heart

How thankful I am for each one of you. Although we cannot see each other face-to-face, your friendships bless me more than you know. Your words of encouragement, words of wisdom, and prayers have carried me through some of my hardest times as a mom. A few days ago, my baby girl graduated from the University of Georgia. It doesn’t seem possible that Lauren is now a college graduate, preparing to start her first job.

A few weeks ago as I was reflecting on God closing one chapter of Lauren’s life and opening another, I read these lovely words from one of YOU … words that came at just the perfect time and spoke words my heart needed to hear. I asked my friend if I could share them with you, and thankfully she said “yes.” I pray they will bless you as much as they have blessed me.

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From the heart of my friend Jeffery  Lynn  Pulley Denton

What’s Hidden in A Mothers Heart

Remember seeing those little toes and fingers for the first time?? Remember that first smile, the first word, the first catch of a ball, the first fish caught? How ‘bout the first time I went to wash his little jeans and there in his pocket was a collection of rocks, dead flowers and even bugs. The first date, the first time his heart was broken, and then when you see him take his wife, and know you have to let him go.

Being a Mother to sons has been my greatest accomplishment in this world. Watching them play ball, fly kites, slide in the mud, jump over and in a puddle of water. Watching their faces when their baby girls were born, and seeing the look of pure love written in their eyes.Yesterday they were just little boys with knees out of their jeans from sliding in the grass, and now they are grown men with jobs, and homes, and girls of their own.

Today is all there is, yesterday flew away, and tomorrow may never come. I have the peace of knowing my boys have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; I have the peace of knowing I will spend eternity with them in Heaven. Little boys who once kicked the ball in the house, hid candy wrappers under the bed, picked weeds for flowers and brought them to me with big smiles on their faces. Young men who got their first jobs, one at a grocery store, the other at a car wash. But they worked. Both of them have always had good work ethics. Young men who got their hearts broken in high school, and this Momma wanted to go and wring the girls’ necks. Not much later they broke girls’ hearts, and I wanted to wring their necks!  Watching them earn their high school diplomas. Teaching them to drive, which made me one nervous Mom, then watching them drive away on their own that first time … all the while praying for God to take care of them and bring them safely back.I have been there to see the hurt in their hearts when experiencing death for the first time and to see them cry over losing their favorite pet.

No one can prepare you for, or explain to you all that happens in a Mothers heart. It just happens! It happens much faster than you think it will.  One day they’re in diapers, and the next, they’re in their first tux heading to prom. Leaving one at college, and watching the other move into his first apartment broke my heart. But, oh, the joy of seeing Scotty’s face when Chere came down that isle to marry him! Seeing the tears he shed because he loves her so much. Seeing them both play with their girls, laugh with them, and cry with them. My boys are great Daddies, with big ole hearts who love big. I am one proud lady. God gave them to me. God had me to raise them to love Him. This is just what my husband and I have strived to do.

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Oh, these boys did things that worried me and broke my heart on occasion. My heart wanted to ask why, but I know all works for the good of those who love the Lord. I pray for my boys every day. I ask for their protection, for them to be broken for Jesus, and to love Jesus like He loves them. I pray for them to be daddies who will take their girls to church and teach them about God.

My cup runneth over with thanksgiving to God for giving me the honor of being Scotty Denton and Toby Denton’s mother.

Thank you to my sweet friend for giving us a glimpse into a mother’s heart.

Blessings,

April 21, 2015

Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Peace

PEACE

 “state of tranquility or serenity, cessation or freedom from strife and dissension”

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

But are we ever truly at peace?

Oh, how I want to be. But it’s so easy for circumstances and people to steal my peace.  Some days their actions, or lack thereof, make me grumble and complain. Other days their words cause me to scowl and roll my eyes. And sometimes I completely lose it.

Notice my word choice: “they make me.” I blame my husband, my sassy teenager, the irritating people on the highway, the rude clerk at the store, the demanding boss for stealing my peace. It feels better that way. Justified.

Yet after the looks flash across my face or the words spew forth from my lips, I hate it! I wished I hadn’t. I want to stop, to be kind, to be patient. But I can’t. I just can’t. Something in me just can’t stop myself! My heart cries, What is wrong with me??

Can you identify?

My comfort comes; my hope for peace returns when I read Paul’s words in Romans 7:15,

Listen, I can’t explain my actions. Here’s why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise. (NIV)

Wow! Even Paul felt this way. The greatest evangelist that ever lived struggled with walking fully in God’s peace. He got angry. He lost his temper. People irritated him.

It’s called sin!

It’s our natural bent. Without Jesus we would live this way every day, every hour, every minute.

To overcome that natural bent, we must feed our spirit.

We forget that as saved children of God, we have two natures. Physical AND spiritual.

Without Jesus, we walk in the physical. We respond in the physical. We allow our sin nature to lead us.

When I lose my patience easily; when my tongue lets loose quickly, when I feel devoid of peace, it’s because I am allowing my physical self to control my thoughts, emotions and speech. And looking back, it’s those times that I’m not sitting at the feet of my Father … really spending time reading and absorbing His Word. Consequently, my peace dissipates, and I end up  angry. Restless. Impatient. Intolerant.

Jesus, our Great Shepherd, did not live a divided life. His physical and spirit united as one. And His Spirit controlled His physical. He allowed it to lead in all He said and did. He offered His total life to His Father. Scripture tells us

I have come down from heaven not to pursue My own agenda but to do what He desires. I am here on behalf of the Father who sent Me. John 6:38 (The Voice)

Jesus did His Father’s will … always.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31

Whatever you do—whether you eat or drink or not—do it all to the glory of God! (The Voice)

Jesus desired to glorify God in everything He said and did. And so should we. Really, every act of our lives should reflect His peace, His love, and His character.

Friend, let’s pray together with one heart to unite our natural self  with our spiritual self so that God’s peace and His presence will permeate our every word and deed.

Not perfectly. But consistently.

So when we lose it, and we will, our hearts are more prepared and open to repenting and asking forgiveness, thereby modeling again our Father’s character.

We must PRACTICE living a life of peace.

We must invite God into our every day. It’s when we include Him in our daily activities that peace will permeate our hearts and homes.

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IN CHRIST WE CAN DO THIS!! Not in our own strength, but in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have days like mine? Times where you can’t explain the lack of peace? Share them with us today and share how you find your peace again. It helps to know we are not alone!!

Sweet Blessings to you today!