June 16, 2014

Praying for our Husbands

***The winners of Rob Teigen’s gift packs are listed at the bottom of today’s post***

Welcome to all my Encouragement for Today friends!! I’m excited you stopped by today.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner with a young couple soon to be married. They asked for any advice we had to share. After 27 years, surely we had some wisdom!

As my husband shared his advice, which was hilarious by the way, my mind raced. Mine wouldn’t be clever or funny like his. I wanted my words to encourage, but I also wanted to be realistic. Marriage is wonderful, but it’s also hard…very hard. Especially those first few years.

So I spoke honestly. The most spoken word from my lips was “prayer.” But, that’s not how it was early in my marriage. I confessed that I rarely prayed for anything, let alone my marriage. As the years passed, I prayed a bit more. But they were self-centered prayers asking God to change my husband, to give me patience with his annoying habits, and to curb my anger when he ignored my requests and hurt my feelings. But I never really prayed FOR him or for our marriage.

Twenty-seven years later, I cling to prayer. I pray for my husband, my marriage, my children and our family. It’s a staple in my prayer time. It’s often not long and involved, but it is continual. Yes, I set aside specific prayer time for my family, but I also pray throughout the day as the Lord brings each to mind.

Here are some wise words of wisdom from my dear friend and Proverbs 31 sister, Lysa TerKeurst:

Lysa.Praymorethanspeak

Praying for our husbands is the greatest gift we can give them.

Praying with our husbands is even better! Praying together intimately knits our hearts together in a way nothing else can. It creates an impenetrable shield about our hearts and our home that NOTHING can pass…especially the evil one.

Praying for my husband comes easy for me. But I’m not so comfortable praying with my husband. It’s a “me” thing. Anyone else relate? I pray with women all the time…friends, Bible study leaders, speaking event coordinators and leadership teams. But I struggle praying with my husband. Excuses abound. Life is busy. It’s hard to carve out time. I feel a bit uncomfortable. I’ve learned, these are Satan’s tactics. He doesn’t want us to pray together because he knows prayer STRENGTHENS marriages and DEFEATS his schemes.

Sweet friends, the only way to pray is TO DO IT!! To intentionally take a step and pray.

A few days after our dinner with this young couple, I sat down at my computer and wrote a prayer for them. I haven’t given it to them yet, but I thought I would share a portion of it with you.

Heavenly Father, we thank You and praise You that every good and perfect gift is from You. You alone are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You alone are our Redeemer and Savior. You alone are the Lord of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign over ALL things, including our marriage.    

God, I thank You that Your Word says You know the plans You have for our marriage and our family, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give us a hope and a future. What a precious gift  to know that You planned our union before time began! This is Your good, pleasing and perfect will.

Lord, Your Word promises that when we seek You with all our hearts, we will find You. Father, we pray that You will remind us to daily come before You, seeking wisdom about our marriage and our family. And thank You for Your promise that You will generously pour out that wisdom. And thank You, Lord, that there is no good thing that You will withhold from us.

Father, You are El Roi, the God who sees all. As husband and wife, help us honor You each and every day.  Enable us to love each other with Your sacrificial love…to lay aside any hurt, anger, bitterness, resentment, and any other issue, including our wills, that would prevent You from being at work in and through our marriage.

Release the power of Your Word and Your Spirit into our marriage and our home. We are asking You to do as You promise—to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.

We ask that from Your glorious storehouses of riches You will make our marriage beautiful. We boldly come to Your throne and ask that our marriage be rooted and established in Your deep and abiding love, the love that surpasses all knowledge. Help us to live lives worthy and live out a marriage worthy of You, Lord. Give us great endurance and patience. Fill us with Your joy so that on the hard days, we will look beyond our circumstances and remember the Promises made in You. Keep our eyes on You and not on our faults and difficult circumstances. Help us to be living sacrifices to You, giving up our own desires to accomplish Your greater purposes for our marriage and our family.

Father, humble our hearts to recognize when we are wrong. Make our hearts tender to any faults, selfishness, self-centeredness. Equip us to combat critical spirits. Through Your spirit of humility, work in and through us daily to eradicate all pride so that we will put each other first in all things. Help us to surrender our will to Yours. Help us to lay on the altar anything that will get in Your way. Open our eyes to see those things and make them clear.

Transform our marriage and our family each and every day by the power of prayer and Your Word.  Make our home one that will be built solidly on the foundation of Jesus. May our house be a safe place in this world where we feel loved and protected. Help us to humbly submit to You and to resist Satan. 

Thank You, Father, that there is hope in You, hope for a rich, wonderful future for our marriage and this family. And whatever Satan throws at us, we trust You will empower us to battle him victoriously and what he intends for harm, You will give purpose and turn into good. Cover our family from this day forward with Your hedge of protection. Keep us in perfect peace because we love You and have our minds fixed on You. Thank You that You have begun a good work and will perfect it for Your glory. We ask all of these things in the powerful name of JESUS. 

For a pdf of another marriage prayer I have written, click here.

Before we close today, will you commit to doing something with me? Let’s take one intentional step together toward praying more in our marriage. If you’ve never prayed for your husband, take a step of faith and pray Scripture over him. My Encouragement for Today devotion gives you a great set of Scriptures to begin. Click here to find them. Lysa TerKeurst shares some great Scriptures as well. Click here to find hers.

And if you’ve never prayed with your husband, let’s commit to pray the prayer I shared above with our husbands…at least once. And if it goes well, pray it weekly. And if you are up for it, make this prayer your own. Add your favorite Scriptures and add words that reflect your dreams, your struggles, your heart for your marriage.

Please leave a comment and share your first step toward more prayer in your marriage…a Scripture you will pray or maybe you will tackle the entire prayer!  I will pray for each of you who leaves a comment today.

***The winners of Rob Teigen’s gift packs are below. Congratulations! Please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and address so we can get these in the mail to you.

Carol who posted on 6/9 at 11:23 a.m.

Nancys 1128 who posted on 6/9 at 2:23 p.m.

Susan who posted on 6/10 at 11:59 a.m.

Blessings,

May 7, 2014

My Faith Declaration and Givaway

Thanks for stopping by today! And a special welcome if you’re visiting from my Encouragement for Today Devotion.

Are you longing to know who you are in Christ , wondering how could God ever use you?

Has someone broken your heart? Betrayed you? Lied to you? Used you?

Are you feeling lost? Alone? Defeated? Desperate? Unworthy? Unloved?

You aren’t alone. Jesus understands. He identifies with our questions…our searching…our emotions…our pain ….and our suffering. Those He created betrayed Him. Those He loved abandoned Him. Those who walked alongside Him disappointed Him.

Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, understands.

Through His living and active Word, He speaks truths and promises over us to heal our gaping wounds … to bring clarity to doubt…to give hope to hopelessness … to speak truth to lies.

deep roots

Sweet friend, speak this Faith Declaration over your heart. Believe what it says. Let the roots of these truths go deep and take hold of your heart and mind.

MY FAITH DECLARATION

I am Loved
Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 1:4

I am Forgiven
Psalm 103:3

I am Redeemed
Galatians 3:13

I am a New Creation
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am Holy
Hebrews 10:10

I am Set Apart
Jeremiah 1:5, 2 Timothy 2:21

I am Made with a Purpose
Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 4:10

I am God’s Masterpiece
Ephesians 2:10

I am the Temple of the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19-2

*If you would like a pdf of the Faith Declaration, click here.

CreatedForPurpose

Pray the Faith Declaration Prayer over your circumstances. And pray it again. And again. 

MY FAITH DECLARATION PRAYER

Father, I praise You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank You that I am forgiven and redeemed by the blood of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that in and through the power of Your Holy Spirit, I am a new creation. Because of Your grace and mercy, I am Your workmanship, and You have a royal call on my life. Please grant me wisdom and discernment as I live out the plan You have for me. Help me to discover the woman You have created me to be. Give me eyes to see myself, not in the world’s eyes, but in Your eyes. Father, may I know deep in my heart that I am holy, created in Your image, and set apart for Your purpose. Open my eyes to see my true beauty that reflects Your heart, Your strength, Your character, and Your dignity. Plant these truths deep in my heart. Empower me to be an influence on the culture around me. Protect me from being influenced by the lies and temptations of that very same culture. Surround me with godly friends and mentors. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and bless me all the days of my life. I ask all this in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

*If you would like a copy of the Faith Declaration Prayer, click here.

Plant these seeds of truth in your heart. God will water them and grow deep roots of love, hope and faith.

Leave a comment today and share which part of the Faith Declaration speaks to you and why. I will choose two names from the comments for a giveaway to receive a copy of my new book, Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life. And stop back by Friday for the winners and a chance to win a copy of Suzie Eller’s book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places.

I would love to share my new FREE 5 day devotional with you, “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.” Click here to sign up. 

**Thank you to Miranda Roskamp and International House of Prayer for the beautiful images used to help bring God’s Word alive in our hearts!**

May 5, 2014

She Met God in a Grocery Store

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been here, and oh, how I’ve missed it and you! These past few weeks I’ve had the honor and privilege of walking alongside the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study family as they have journeyed through my new book, Living So That, a part of the InScribed Studies Collection. We are in the last week of the book studying Chapter 5, “Let Your Light Shine So that.”

ChapterFivePageOne

We are memorizing Matthew 5:14, 16 which says,

“You are the Light of the world…Let your light shine before men [so] that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV, emphasis added)

I thought I would share a story about how God used an ordinary day in my ordinary life to shine the Light of His Love and do an extraordinary thing!

Light of the World

She woke up that morning with a quick trip to the grocery store in mind. She pulled her hair back in a ponytail, slipped on her flip flops, grabbed her keys and ran out the door.

My girlfriend, Karen, and I also planned a trip to the local market that day. As we approached the check-out lines, we found ourselves behind an older woman waiting on someone to arrive. She motioned for us to go ahead. Almost immediately, a younger woman scooted past me.

As she did, my heart began to pound. I physically began to tremble. In that moment, the Lord impressed on my heart something so strange…buy her groceries. What? I felt it again…the racing heart rate, this time a whisper, “Love her. Buy her groceries.”

I hesitated but then reached out and tapped her on the shoulder and spoke the words God laid on my heart: “I know it sounds strange, but God told me that we are to buy your groceries.”

She looked at me quizzically and then graciously accepted with tears in her eyes. Then they left.

A few minutes later, as Karen and I were checking out, the older woman returned to share their story. She identified the young woman as her daughter. Her name was Micah. She shared how Micah’s husband had abused her for years. And just a few months earlier had walked out on Micah and her young son, leaving them alone and leaving her feeling unloved and unworthy of love.

She could barely make ends meet. She felt abandoned by everyone, but most especially God. Days before our God appointment in the grocery store, Micah and her mother had prayed. Her mother prayed a prayer every mother would pray for her child: “Lord, draw Micah back to You.”

But Micah’s prayer is what astounded us. She had prayed, “God if You are real, if You love me, show me that You have not forgotten me!”

As her mother shared these words, the reason for God’s urging became so clear. God wanted to extend unconditional love to Micah…to offer something to her for which we expected nothing in return.

In the midst of Micah’s deepest sorrow and desperate cries for love, God responded intimately and personally. Micah’s mother said, “Micah now knows that God has not forgotten her!”

God provided for her needs. He loved her unconditionally. He answered the cry of her heart.

And He used us! On an ordinary day, in an ordinary store, performing an ordinary chore, God called us to an extraordinary task. He crossed our paths with one of His girls who need to experience His extraordinary love.

Yes, it was a great day for Micah! But what a day it was for Karen and me. Our obedience to the Lord’s prompting touched Micah’s life in such a powerful way that she KNEW God was real. God loved her. And He had not abandoned her.

God answers prayer. He orchestrates divine appointments…anywhere…everywhere…anytime…even in the grocery store.

God met Micah in the grocery store that day.

Do you have someone with whom you would like to share the Light and Love of Jesus? Leave a comment today or tomorrow and I will choose one comment to win two copies of Living So That…one for you and one for your friend!

If you would like to get a taste of Living So That, click here to sign up for my FREE companion devotional “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life.”

Check back here Wednesday when I will announce the winner and host another giveaway that coincides with my Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Devotion running that day.

Blessings,