May 26, 2015

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

****UPDATE: WINNERS OF THIS GIVEAWAY FOUND AT THE END OF THE COMMENTS****

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!)

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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,

April 2, 2015

An Easter Gift from My Heart to Yours

Easter Quiet Time

Guided Abiding Time with Jesus 

 

Easter is such a precious time in our faith. One of my favorite ways to celebrate is to simply sit and soak in God’s Word. Below please find a guided quite time that I pray tenderly leads you to a sacred meeting place with Jesus in the Holy of Holies tucked inside your heart. There are no rules…you can do it in one sitting or over several days.

Hear the Word of the Lord

Psalm 33:1-11

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Praise our Abba Father…

a. Psalm 27:4

 

b. Psalm 84

 

c. Psalm 90:1-2

 

d. Psalm 145, especially 14, 17-20

 

e. Isaiah 43:1-7

 

Do you know He has called you by name, created you for His glory? Do you know He and He alone is your dwelling place? Journal your thoughts.

 

See how great is the love of God…

a. Isaiah 1:18 and Isaiah 53:1-12

 

b. Psalm 51

 

c. Psalm 139

 

d. John 8:36

 

e. Romans 8:1

 

f. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

g. 1 John 1:8-9

 

 Spend a few moments praising God and receive the unfailing love of our awesome God.  Journal your thoughts.

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Our Savior’s sacrifice…

Jesus Christ… the Son of God…the Author of Life…the Anointed, Chosen One, stepped out of heaven and into our earthly realm, choosing to leave His honored place in heaven.  He was born into poverty.  He learned obedience.  He was hated by His own people, ridiculed and persecuted.  His own creation arrested Him, stripped Him naked, and forced a crown of thorns into His head.  They beat Him and knelt before Him, mocking: “Hail, King of the Jews.”

When He was so weak He could barely stand, they forced Him to the ground and onto the cross.  They stretched out His arms and drove nails into His hands and feet.  His blood poured forth onto the ground.  Upon crucifying Him, they divided His clothes and kept watch over Him through the night. As He hang dying, many stood at the base of the cross hurling insults at Him, mocking Him.

After hours of agony, darkness fell over the land.  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me!”  At that moment, the curtain of the Temple ripped in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook, rocks split.  Tombs broke open.  Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands, I commit my Spirit.”  Upon speaking these words, our Lord and Savior breathed His last breath.

God could have stopped this scene. Jesus could have lifted Himself off the cross, but He chose not to because He saw my name.  He saw your name.  He saw my sin.  He saw your sin.  He knew the only price to pay for that sin was death.

Jeremiah 31:3

 

Romans 8:38-39

 

Pray this prayer:  Lord, Your Word says the sacrifices You desire are a broken and contrite spirit, and a contrite heart You will not despise. Today, I confess my sin, especially _______________. Thank You that Your Word promises that when I confess my sin, You are faithful and just and will forgive my sin and purify me from all unrighteousness. Thank You that Your blood, the blood You shed on the cross sets me free and Your Word promises that when You set me free, I am free indeed! Thank You that according to Your Word there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Thank You that You see me through the blood of Your Son Jesus. Thank You that all things old are gone and the new has come. Thank You that You have washed me white as snow and that my sins are as far away as the east is from the west! Today I receive Your forgiveness and cannot wait to live in the fullness of all You have to offer. AMEN.

Do you understand the depth of this love God has for you, the depth of the sacrifice He made for you and for me?  Tell Him so now.

 

The gift of new life…

As if forgiveness of sins was not enough, God gave us another gift.

The Resurrection

Three days later, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, His appearance like lightning, His clothes white as snow.  He rolled back the stone at the tomb.  The tomb was empty!  The angel said, “Jesus of Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.”  After Jesus appeared to His friends, He was taken up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, His father.

Because of this gift, you and I receive the opportunity for new life and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.

Read these powerful words from the Lord:

a. Ezekiel 36:26-27

 

b. John 14:16-21

 

c. John 16:13-15

 

d. Galatians 5:22-23

 

e. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Do you know the joy of having the power and presence of the living God residing within you?  Speak to the Spirit and ask Him to fill you with the fullness of God at this moment, to receive all God has for you.

 

Spend time with the Lord and draw near to His heart…

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a. Proverbs 2:1-15

 

b. Proverbs 4:20-27

 

c. Isaiah 55:1-3, 6

 

d. Hebrews 10:19-25

 

e. Phil 3:7-10

 

What do you need to consider loss, what do you cling to that keeps you from fully surrendering to Christ?  Ask Him to take it from you now.

 

Sit and soak in God’s presence…just you and His Word…

Scripture teaches that one day at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

a. Joshua 1:8-9

 

b. Psalm 1:1-6

 

c. Psalm 63:1-8

 

d. Isaiah 30:15-18

 

e. Isaiah 40:28-31

 

f. Exodus 33:14

 

Close in prayer…

 Thank you, Father, for this precious time to be still and know that You are God.  Father, take this time, bless it, take what I have offered to You, and continually remind me of what You have taught me and spoken to my heart.  To You alone I give all glory, majesty, power, and authority now and forevermore.  Amen

 

My heart fills with gratitude as I thank God for you! You are the most amazing community of women. Thank you for your prayers and your sweet words of encouragement through the years. I pray that each one of you will experience God in very deep, rich and personal ways as you sit at His feet during this Holy week.

If you feel led to share how the Lord speaks to you through your time alone with Him, I would love to hear from you!

Blessings,

March 3, 2015

A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son (New Book & Giveaway)

You know my heart for prayer, and I know your hearts for prayer, so I could not wait to share this book with you!

Last year, I received an e-mail from a friend inviting me to contribute to Rob and Joanna’s new book, “A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son.” I couldn’t say yes fast enough because prayer, and more specifically, praying God’s Word, completely transformed my mother’s heart and changed our home.

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A few months ago, I shared with you Rob’s first book, “A Dad’s Prayers for His Daughter.” And I am even more excited to share today’s book because now you have a matched set…whether you have a son or daughter, a grandson or grandaughter, or a niece or nephew, you have access to beautiful, powerful prayers to pray.

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So many times we want to pray for our children, but we just don’t know how to pray or what to pray. This book teaches us how to pray for every area of their lives. And they fill the pages not only with prayer but also with stories (like the one I share about praying for my son, Bo) that help bring those prayers alive so you can see them at work in a real family.

I invited Joanna to stop by and share a message from her heart so that you could get to know her. So below, find a message from her heart to yours. At the end of her message, I invite you to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of their book, “A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son.”

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Joanna, thank you for stopping by today.

Grab a Plate!

 A huge part of my life as a mom revolves around preparing food for the seven of us in my family. I create the shopping lists, shop the aisles of the grocery store, drive home and put it all away, and then create meals to put on the table from day to day. I try to keep each of the kid’s cravings in mind as I shop—chocolate milk, Honeycrisp apples, frozen fruit bars—because in some mysterious way, food says “love” to each of them.

We celebrate life together over food, too. Thanksgiving turkey and pie, Superbowl pizza and wings, birthday cake and ice cream–it’s impossible to separate our family’s connection with each other from the meals that we share.

This past summer we were thrilled to adopt our little boy. If we have ever had a reason to celebrate, it’s him! What’s tough, though, is that he has sensory processing issues with his mouth and food allergies as well. As much as we’ve embraced him into the heart of our family, he’s still on the outside looking in when it comes to sharing in our meals together. So many foods bring anxiety, tears, gagging, vomiting, itchy skin, or dangerous allergic reactions. The food=love equation isn’t working out so well for us!

As his mom I can become frustrated. His daily diet is better suited to a toddler than a big kid. His menu isn’t growing at the same pace as the rest of him. Even with therapy and persistence, progress is slow. He’s constantly hungry because hearty, filling foods are the hardest to swallow. I worry about the nutrients he’s missing out on, whether he’ll fit in at school, or if he’ll get sick. I worry that it will stay this way forever.

Watching him struggle reminds me, though, that I have areas where I’m slow to progress. Parts of my life and character that seem stuck in immaturity. Does a new social opportunity send me running back to the safety of familiar friends? Does humbling myself to admit my part in a marriage conflict make me choke? Do I hoard what’s on my “plate”, because fears about finances keep me from sharing what I have? Is the Bible so complex or confusing that I stick with simple, feel-good devotionals instead of in-depth study?

Just like I am eager to nourish my son and help him grow, God is eager to feed me—his daughter—and grow me into a woman of faith, wisdom, and love. The “food” he provides is the truth of his Word.

“…you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

What are you hungry for today? A sense of purpose? A closer, more intimate marriage? A breakthrough with your stubborn teenager? A deeper knowledge of your gifts and talents and where to use them? Relief from the pain of injury or disease? Peace despite the wounds of abuse in your past? Freedom from addiction to food, social media, shopping, or a destructive relationship? God holds out his Word, with all of his power to transform, heal, and satisfy every longing in our hearts. He invites us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)

The big question is this: What is keeping us from feasting at God’s table? Let’s pray today for an eager appetite for his Word. A new palate that savors the deeper truths of Christ. The courage to pick up our forks and knives and dig into the meat God has for us.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)

Joanna, it has been a blessing to hear from your heart today. Thank you!

Friends, we would love to give away a copy of her new book, A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son,” so please leave a comment today sharing  what keeps you from “feasting at God’s table,” from spending a few minutes in quiet time with Him. And then share one step you can take toward changing that (getting up a few minutes earlier, taking the first five minutes of lunch hour to open God’s Word, bringing you Bible to carpool line, etc.). We will choose one name to win a copy of her book.

** Joanna Teigen and her husband, Rob, are the co-authors of 88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates, A Dad’s Prayers for His Daughter, and A Mom’s Prayers for Her Son. She enjoys homeschooling, marriage mentoring, and life and laughter with their five children. She makes her home in West Michigan.

Blessings,