Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Prayer for our Nation

Father, I pray according to 1 Timothy 2:1-3, for all who are in authority in this nation.

I ask for Godly counsel and wisdom for the President and his Cabinet, Chief Justice, Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and all judges across this land. 

Thank you for restoring to our nation righteous judges who hear Your voice and adhere to Your Word (Isaiah 1:26).

We lift up the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and all other leaders at every level of our government to receive the wisdom of God, to act in obedience to that wisdom, and for the power of God to flow in their lives. 

I declare that they hear and obey Your voice, Lord, and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.

Lord, I pray that righteousness be manifest in the hearts of all in authority in our nation, and that they seek after You with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength.

In the Name of Jesus. 

Amen.

(Prayer from Kenneth Copeland)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

I cannot do it. I do not have the power to do this on my own. But God can. And God will. Joseph had a gift. He could interpret dreams. And his gift had landed him right where he was. In prison. During his short life, he had been betrayed by his brothers. Sold into slavery. Falsely imprisoned. Largely forgotten. He should have been discouraged by now. He should have been angry. He should have been so disillusioned that the last thing he wanted to do was honor God. But he wasn’t. Though time and time again he was faced with disappointment, his faith remained strong. Because he knew the God he served was bigger than anything he faced. And that trust strengthened him. That basic trust kept him going. That trust brought about the saving of many lives. I don’t know what you’re facing today. But the God of Joseph is still on the throne. Trust Him. Through each betrayal. Through each heartache. Through each impossible situation. Believe that He can turn it around. Believe that He will turn it around. I cannot do it. I do not have the power to do this on my own. But God can. And God will.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus Battle Plan - Trusting God in the fight

I can't read one more thing about the Coronavirus chaos. 

I can't hear one more news briefing. Listen to one more opinion. Take into consideration one more theory. One more speculation. One more best guess.

I can't and I won't.

At least not today.

Not because I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend it's not there. But because I've given enough time to what the world says. I've given too many of my minutes to worry, and anxiety and fear. And I refuse to give it anymore. 

I know I'm not the only one overwhelmed. We are surrounded by information overload. Some of it accurate. Some of it inaccurate. And us in the middle trying to distinguish between the two. Trying to figure out the truth.

People are fighting. And hoarding. And saying awful things to each other. And I wish I could say it was happening far away. In some other country. In some other town. But it's happening in our country. In our town. It's happening right in front of us. 

And some days it's happening because of us. 

And I keep saying I can't wait for the world to get back to "normal". Until I realized today that maybe normal isn't a good goal. That maybe normal is what got us here in the first place.

This virus has shown very clearly where our hearts are.

And our hearts are IN this world. 

Because our hearts are OF this world.

And God is wondering where His people are. 

He's wondering why we're spending more time in the news than in the Bible. He's wondering why we're spending more time spreading fear than spreading faith. He's wondering why it's easier for us to believe CNN, or FOX, or Facebook, than it is to believe Him.

He's wondering why, when faced with the impossible, we don't think He's enough. Why we haven't spent time with Him to find out what He needs us to do. 

We say we're acting in wisdom. But whose wisdom? 

The world? Or His Word?

If we believe in God. If we believe that He loved us enough to send His only Son to save us. Then surely we can believe that spending time with Him in the middle of a crisis is where we should be.

We should be consulting God for His opinion. We should be asking Him for guidance. We should be seeking Him for peace.

We're in the middle of a battle and we know the One willing to fight the battle for us.

Before we say one more word, or type one more response, or post one more opinion, let's seek Him.

Really seek Him.

Let's ask Him to lead us. Let's ask Him to direct our steps. Let's ask Him to direct our hearts.  

Our faith in the world has only filled us with worry. And anxiety. And fear. Maybe it's time we turn off the television. Turn off the internet. Turn off the distractions. 

Just for the day. 

[Heart check. Was our immediate response to fight against this idea? Or did we consider it something we could do?]

It's not putting our head in the sand. It's putting our heart in His Hands. 

We are more than willing to fill our lives up listening to what the world says.  

God stands waiting for us, to be willing to fill our lives up, listening to Him.   

-----------------------------------------------------------

We're in a battle. It's time to make a battle plan. If you don't know how or need direction, you can click back to this previous post and print out a free draft to get you started: How to make a Prayer Battle Plan with God. The printable link is in the middle of the post. I did mine the other day. I put on some praise music, printed out a battle plan, and opened the Bible. 

And I went from anxiety to peace. 

Immediately. 

When we seek God we find Him. Always.





Monday, August 5, 2019

How to make a Prayer Battle Plan with God


for the last few years, i've created Prayer Battle Plans for situations in my life.

things i was in the middle of and things that were to come.

our oldest son going off to college, our youngest son starting high school, a friend's daughter with a mystery illness, sudden financial pressures. you name it and i made a battle plan for it.

these battle plans have changed my faith life.

and i'm praying they change yours too.

i've always been someone who prays daily, but it started to feel like my prayers weren't focused. that they were all over the place. it felt like i was taking my prayers, throwing them up in the air and hoping they'd stick.

praying had become a habit, and like most habits i did it without even thinking about it.

and God had become to me, who He has become to a lot of people.

a genie in a bottle.

i rubbed the side when i had a wish...and expected it to come true.

and i was disappointed when He didn't do what i asked Him to do.

if anyone needed to change their prayer life, it was me.

i've written letters to God in prayer journals over the years. but i would write them and forget them. i've occasionally gone back and re-read a past entry but most of them were written and never looked at again. i have BOXES of prayer journals THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN LOOKED AT AGAIN. that's embarrassing to admit. God very well may have answered my prayers but i wouldn't know it. i never went back to acknowledge it. i never said thank you. i never saw if He did something better. i never looked for a bigger message.

i never looked for a greater miracle.

that's so awful it makes me cringe.

"hey God, it's me. if you could just keep filling my requests that would be great. i'm not going to bother to keep up with it. or thank you for it. but i'll be expecting you to figure it out. sound good? you're the best."

selfish much?

Psalm 102:17-18 says "He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord."

God gently reminded my prayers weren't meant just for me. because the world wasn't just about me. they're meant to offer hope and inspire faith to a future generation.

and nothing inspires people more than to see the outcome.

everyone wants to know how the story ends.

and i have boxes of books that don't tell anyone about the ending.

in my desire to change my prayer life, God kept bringing this scripture to mind. "Then the Lord replied; "Write down the revelation and it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." Habakkuk 2:2-3


"write down the revelation and make it plain. though it linger, wait for it. it will certainly come."

so much direction. so much promise in that statement.

that was the start of my first battle plan. and that's what the Prayer Battle Plans became. writing down a plea before God. looking in His Word and finding what He says. believing what He says He will do, HE WILL DO. acknowledging what He's already done.

and not just praying it once. but praying THROUGH. all the way. waiting for it. as long as it takes.

these battle plans give me hope. tangible hope. a hope so real that i can feel it. a hope that makes me want to shout. a hope that i want to tell others about.

a wonderful, glorious, amazing hope.

2 Chronicles 20:15 reminds: "For the battle is not yours, but God's."

that's another promise this expectant heart clings to. it's not my battle, it's God's.

it's God's Prayer Battle.

God's.

not mine.

He's got this.

there's my hope.

there's your hope.

grab it. cling to it. believe it.

and by all means, write it down, so that the next generation may find it too.

and give praise to a God that keeps His Word now and forevermore.




If you want to make your own battle plan, click on the link below to print out a template I made to get you started. Once you see the basic premise you can make your own. As you can see from the picture below, I've made mine on whatever paper I had at hand. And while they're all different, they all follow the basic format that has developed over the years.



Here's a glimpse of what I do:

1) I name the battle. Naming it forces me to focus on what I am asking God to do. For example one of the battle plans I have for my oldest son going off to college is "Adam is surrounded by Godly influences and keeps God first in his life." I could have written "Adam has a good college experience and goes to Church" but that wasn't/isn't my goal. My prayer is that he is SURROUNDED by people who love the Lord and make Him their priority and that He keeps God his priority too. When you're naming your battle, think of what you're asking God to do. Be specific.

2) I write my prayer. I always include thanking God for what He's already done, telling Him what I'm concerned about, acknowledging any of my sins that may have added to the concern, and bringing to mind His promises. Writing things down makes them feel more real somehow. When things are written down situations become clearer. And when you write down your prayers it becomes easier to see what you're praying for and asking God to do in your life. There's no right or wrong way for you to write down this prayer. It's YOUR conversation with God. This is another place to be specific in your request. For the battle plan example about college, I ask God in my prayer to surround Adam specifically with Godly roommates, teammates, classmates, friends, coaches, teachers, administrators and influences. He's still in college so this is an ongoing prayer and I add to it as God brings people/situations to mind. Over the last 3 years I've prayed for the people in his dorm, apartment, fraternity, races/hotel rooms (when he traveled as a runner), and job. Sometimes this has led to creating a whole new battle plan for an area of concern. I continue to pray, thanking God along the way, and believing that He will continue to show up strongly on Adam's behalf. 

3) I find scripture promises that relate to my battle. I look in the Bible, I might find them in Christian books or magazines. I might hear it on a Christian show or song. I even do an internet search. And I write down the scriptures that speak to me. The ones I know apply to my concern the most. It gives me peace to find promises in scripture to go along with what I am praying for each day. I pick one and put it at the top of my plan. That's the one I keep my eye on and if I only have a few minutes to pray I can pray that scripture and remind myself that God's Word is true. I continue to add scripture as the battle goes along, always searching the Bible. There's no better way to fill myself up with faith then to see what God has promised. 

4) I pray the Battle Plan daily. I try to do this in the morning so it stays in my mind all day. Some days I write down any additional scriptures I've found and add any updates to how the situation is going. It's an ongoing conversation. That's the important part. That it's a conversation between God and I. He talks. I talk. He listens. I listen. And I continuously ask Him for wisdom to see the situation how He needs me to see it and to change what He needs me to change. Praying the battle plan daily helps me to see where God is working, not just in my life, but in my heart. 

5) If a battle is over, I keep praying it for a few days afterwards. I read back over it and see what God has done. I write down my final updates so I can go back and remember how God showed up on my behalf. And I thank Him for it all. Even when it didn't turn out how I may have asked in the beginning. I keep these old battle plans in a folder and when I'm facing a new battle that seems overwhelming, I go back and read through them and fill myself up with hope. That's the thing about these battle plans, they fill me up with hope. They help me to see clearly what God has done and builds up my faith for the next battle. 

I stand in awe of God. He keeps His Word. 

Even to someone selfish like me. 

If you have an area of your life where you want to see God show up, I encourage you to make a battle plan. Pray and believe that God will show up. That He will keep His Word. That He will do what He says He will do.

God is faithful!!!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. 





Saturday, June 22, 2019

somebody needs to hear your story

somebody needs to hear your story.

somebody needs to hear what you've been through.

somebody needs to hear that you made it despite the darkness.

somebody needs to hear that your sins didn't overtake you.

they threatened. 

they tempted.

they mocked.

but you came out on the other side. 

you could have given up.

you wanted to give up.

you almost gave up.

but you held on.

you kept pushing.

you kept fighting.

you kept hoping.

and you made it. 

one more minute.

one more hour.

one more day. 

somebody needs to know that.

somebody needs you to be real with them.

somebody needs to know they're not alone.

that there's a God who loves them.

that there's a God who will save them. 

we aren't in this for our glory.

we're in it for His.

tell somebody where your hope comes from. 

tell somebody your story. 

s
omebody needs to hear it today.





Saturday, April 13, 2019

People say you get over death


We found out today that my husband has the flu.
No big deal except in the 30+ years we've been together he's never had more than a cold. 
It started a couple of weeks ago with a cough. Then he lost his voice. Then his voice came back.
But the cough wanted to linger, especially first thing in the mornings. 
It became one of those aggravating things. 
Like, "COULD YOU PLEASE STOP COUGHING ALREADY?!!"
Never said out loud of course. 
But definitely screamed inside my head.

Two days ago he started to get tired by midday.
I wondered how he could be tired at all since he had been sleeping an unusual 9-10 hours a night.
"He's probably tired from too much sleep," I thought and dismissed it just as quickly. 

Yesterday he was in bed by 3pm. 
We had a bunch of things we needed to do for our business but while he was waiting for me he decided to lie down. He never gets in bed in the middle of the day. That's when I knew he was sick.

I hoped the Elderberry syrup and tea with honey and lemon would help. It did a little. But he woke up this morning and soon felt dizzy and nauseous. I thought I would have to drag him kicking and screaming to the doctor's office. I was wrong. "Let's go," he said right away when I asked him. 

He came home from the doctor and said he was going to sleep on the couch in the living room tonight. We joked about him staying away from us so he didn't get us sick too. And I was fine with that and started stripping our beds to disinfect our house. 

And then he threw up.

And that was the game changer for me.

When I was 6 years old my mom got sick unexpectedly. We took her to the emergency room and they ran some tests and sent her home. My dad wanted her to get some rest so she slept in their room and the rest of us slept in the living room. My mom got up in the middle of the night to take some medicine. She went back to bed and threw up in her sleep. It went down the wrong pipe and she aspirated.

She died in that room all by herself.

Dramatic I know. To somehow be comparing the two. But the problem is when you suffer tragedy it becomes who you are. You try to walk away from it but no matter how far you go it's still there. Lurking. Hiding. Waiting for the right time to time to rear its ugly head. To remind you that it still remembers you.

To taunt you that it will not be forgotten. 

And tonight was that night.

People say you get over death.

As if it's something that eventually goes away. 

But it doesn't. 

You don't get over death.

You never do.

You just get better at blocking out the pain. 

And so I'll be sleeping in the living room tonight.

On a couch across from Chris.

It may seem crazy to some. To risk getting sick when it doesn't seem necessary.

But my heart can't stop the 6-year-old who still lives inside of me from remembering and believing there's no other place I should be.