August 20, 2015

Prayer for our Children and our Schools

Each year as children and teachers head back to school, my heart turns toward prayer. Please join me in storming the gates of heaven on behalf of our precious children and their teachers!



Heavenly Father,

We pray the Armor of God over our children and their teachers:  the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, and the shoes of the gospel of peace.

Father, plant Your love, Your presence, and Your Word deep within their hearts.  May Your Word reach into the marrow of their bones and ignite a passion that is unquenchable.  Cause them to love You with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and let NOTHING override that passion.

Father, as they spend their days at school, let them be set apart.  May they be light in darkness, joy in sadness, peace in discontent, and order in chaos.  Let their character and integrity shine forth like the sun!

In their schools, Father, we pray that Your Word and the fear of the Lord would be the basis of wisdom and instruction.  Father, we ask that You take our prayers and blanket each school, placing them under the shadow of Your wing.

For those teachers that believe in You, strengthen them and uphold them with Your mighty right hand.  Father, give them an extra measure of wisdom, knowledge, and revelation to excel as teachers and shine in darkness.  Provide them with opportunities to share their faith with faculty, staff, and administration and give them the courage to do it.

We pray for every level of administration.  We pray for wisdom beyond comprehension as they make decisions for the schools and school systems.  We pray divine direction.  We pray that You would direct the steps of those making decisions for our children.  Make Your way clear and place those who walk with You in places of authority and decision-making.  Bless their efforts.  Give them favor.

Through Young Life, church youth groups, and other student ministries, use leaders and students to sweep each school with revival and evangelism.  Guide, bless, and empower the leaders and students through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Go before them and open doors.  Father, we boldly ask for many to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and yield their lives to Christ.

Father, as we end our time in prayer, we boldly as that You would grow each of our children in wisdom and stature and favor with God and with man.  Thank You in advance for all You will do in and through our prayers.  We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Please leave a prayer request for any child,  teacher, leader, or school who is on your heart today. And if you leave a comment, let’s knit our prayers together by praying for the prayer request in the comment above yours.

And if you would like a FREE copy of a similar prayer I wrote a few years ago for our children and their schools, please click here. Feel free to share it with neighbors and friends.

***** Winner of Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll is Jessica who posted August 18th at 4:00 a.m.

Please send your full name and mailing address to my e-mail at so that we can send you your book!*****

*****To find winners of Invisible by Jennifer Rothschild, visit the end of the comments in my August 11th giveaway post*****

Standing together with you in prayer,

August 18, 2015

I’m “Breaking Up with Perfect”Giveaway

Perfect is a bad friend. No matter what we do or say … we feel like it’s never enough. Perfect always demands more and wants better, but it’s never satisfied. Never! Have you been there? I know I have, especially with my Type A personality.


That’s why I love my friend Amy Carroll’s new book, “Breaking Up with Perfect!” God has called her to help us all break up once and for all with our unfaithful friend: Perfection! And today she stopped by to share her heart and her book with us – plus she’s giving away a copy too


As I rummaged through the damaged store, I hurried toward a colorful decoration that caught my eye. A hurricane had ravaged the seaside store’s merchandise, but there were a few treasures left.

My prize that day was a papier-mâché figure of Santa Clause directing a band of animal musicians. Since my husband was a band director, seeing Jolly Old Saint Nick with his conductor’s baton poised made my heart sing even though it was a balmy North Carolina summer outside.

I carefully carried the figurines to the cash register and made them mine.

Nearly skipping with joy down the sidewalk, suddenly I tripped and dropped my fragile treasures. My face fell with dismay as I peeked inside the bag only to see pieces of Santa and his friends lying jagged and free-floating at the bottom.

When I got home, I gently removed the pieces and lay them out on a table. One by one, I drew a thin line of glue on the narrow edges and began to put them back together.

The results weren’t altogether terrible.

Santa’s pedestal is webbed with cracks and the beaver is missing a leg, but unless guests get too close, they’ll never know the trauma Kris Kringle endured. He’s broken but still beautiful, and a smile stretches across my face each Christmas as I unpack him from his protective box.

Why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?

All of us have a level of brokenness from our own sin nature or from sin leveled against us. We all have cracks of insecurity, shards of sin, and flaws of failure, but for most of my life I’ve wanted to hide mine. I’ve wanted to glaze over my brokenness with a façade of perfection.

If I had found only a perfect Santa acceptable, I would have either tossed him after his fall, or I would have hidden him away in the box with the other outdated, worn-out ornaments.

That’s ok with an object, but we’d never do that to an imperfect person. We’re all in the same boat! So why are we afraid others will do it to us? That maybe God will too?

So we keep others at arm’s length, never allowing anyone to get too close, or we hide behind our walls of shame or false perfection. We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…

Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.

Jesus doesn’t despise us in our brokenness, tossing us away or hiding the fact that He loves us. He gently takes our pieces and glues them back together with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness. If we’ll only lay down our masks of perfection and surrender to His perfecting work, Jesus lovingly sets us out for the world to see and claims us as His own. 

I’ve been on a journey to break up with perfect, and I’m finding that my relationships with others are deeper than ever when I’m real about my flaws. In the process, I’m able to point to Jesus as the Perfect One, our ultimate hero, and I’m resting in the lavish love I’m finding in Him.


Amy Carroll wants to celebrate the release of her new book Breaking Up with Perfect  with you! Please leave a comment about your struggle with perfection to enter to win a free copy. If you’re living life at warp-speed today, just say “I’m breaking up with perfect!” in the comments to enter. I will announce the winner on Thursday in a new post with a prayer for our children as they head back to school! If you want to get to know Amy better, visit her blog by clicking here.


March 25, 2015

Feeling “Stuck” in Life? Find Hope, Answers and a Giveaway Here!

Have you ever felt “stuck?” If so, this message is just for you!

I’m excited to share my friend Pat Layton’s new book, “Life Unstuck,” not only because of the beautiful heart behind the author but also because it is grounded in one of the most precious and beautiful Psalms in the Bible … Psalm 139. Using Psalm 139 as her guide, “Life Unstuck” takes us on a journey that equips us how to identify when and where we have gotten stuck so that we can move forward with great confidence and joy. It’s packed with personal stories and practical application that will truly help create forward progress in your walk with Jesus. LaunchFBGraphic.Pat Layton Q: Pat, what led you to write your book Life Unstuck?  Life Unstuck is the result of over 30 years of life transformation! My first time reading Psalm 139 as a new Christian, led me on a journey to personal healing from a very broken past that had climaxed in having an abortion at age 23. God used the 24 verses of Psalm 139 to show me His redeeming love and grace and those words became the roots God used to lead me into full time ministry. Very soon after receiving my own healing God led me to open Tampa, Florida’s first crisis pregnancy center and write what is now an international post abortion recovery curriculum called Surrendering the Secret published by Lifeway in 2008. A few years ago God began to stir the Life Unstuck message in my heart which resulted in this new book!

Q: What’s different about Life Unstuck compared to all the other books out there about God?  Life Unstuck is basically a life coaching, life FREEDOM plan using the 24 verses of Psalm 139! In this prayer/poem David addresses God in a direct and personal manner using the pronoun “YOU” 11 times twisted together with the use of the word “ME” 13 times! Life Unstuck breaks down this interaction between David and God and shows us how to apply it’s rich revelation to our own lives.

Q: Your book is filled with scriptural truth. Can you share a sample or two of these verses and why you chose them?  Verse one kicks off the rich depths of Psalm 139 and prepares us for a deep dive. “Oh Lord you have SEARCHED ME and you KNOW ME!”  David gets us at “hello”. God knows you, He sees you. Everything about you! How you think, how you talk, where go and who you go with! At first look, I was not so sure this was actually GOOD NEWS! I have done a whole lot of stuff in my lifetime that I don’t like thinking about being in front of a Holy God. As I have allowed God to work this verse out in my life and heart, I have come to find complete hope and peace in those words, God KNOWS me and Loves me Still!

Q: Who did you write your book for? Who can benefit from this message?  My dedication page is “for the woman who secretly suspects there is nothing more but desperately dreams there is. The bottom line is, this book is ONLY for those women who ever find themselves STUCK somewhere in life—relationships, finances, marriage, ministry, parenting….ONLY HER! J

Q: What do you feel is the greatest obstacle people must overcome in order to make a deep relationship with God a priority?  Overwhelmed schedules and misplaced commitment. In other words, letting life AROUND of God overtake life IN Him!

Q: How has Life Unstuck changed YOU?  The year of writing Life Unstuck was by far the toughest year of my journey as a Christian. I lost friends. I lost identity. I lost family physical closeness as each of my children and Grandchildren moved away from home. I even moved from my own home of over 20 years. My foundations were all rocked one by one, BUT GOD! As I dug into these verses every single day, by ORDER of a contracted deadline, God changed me. He unstuck me from many areas of bondage and burden that I never knew where keeping me away from my next adventure with Him. I re-learned that He sees me and has a plan for my life—a good plan. A God plan!

Q: What is your prayer for anyone who reads Life Unstuck?  My hearts desire is that every woman who reads Life Unstuck will fold the last page of the book with a smile on her face and a feeling of peace, purpose and passion. I pray she is a different woman from the one who opened the first page. The foundational truths found in Psalm 139 are never “mastered” this side of heaven. We always need to be reminded of them and to re-embrace them, regardless of our level of spiritual maturity or experience. I pray that the Unstuck Manifesto becomes worn from wear and a part of her very core!

Q: What are some practical ways your readers can implement the principles found in Life Unstuck  Life Unstuckprovide the reader with personal hands on tools and exercises that will help them gain deeper insight into the one of a kind woman God created her to be; provide very specific steps for confronting the past in a healthy way; offer her steps to take for developing a more intimate relationship with Christ; help her intentionally discover her purpose in life TODAY just as she is living it and stir her heart and mind towards dreaming big God sized dreams for her future. PatLayton.Cover


Pat, thank you for stopping by today!

Pat has graciously agreed to give away a copy of “Life Unstuck.” So please leave a comment today sharing a place you feel “stuck” and why, and we will choose one comment to receive a copy of her book. Stop back here Friday and check for a comment from me, at the end of the comments, to see if you are the winner.

If you want to learn more about Pat, visit her website by clicking here.