Tag Archive | pray

Help!

160896754Does your heart ever feel overwhelmed?

Are you ever disheartened by your inability to meet everyone’s demands and expectations?

Some days my heart vacillates between being raw with paralyzing frustration and simultaneously stimulated by a thousand agitations.

In the midst of my obsessive mental processing and impaired human emotions, I starkly realize that in the insistent whirlwind of life, I still have so much for which to be grateful.

Yet continuously … the floods of demands, disciplines, people, habits, chores, vices and commitments create a massive quagmire in my life that can only be described by one desperate word, “overwhelming”!

The call of life is just so deafeningly loud sometimes …

David the worshipper … the man after God’s own heart … shares my incompetence at dealing well with all that life dishes out.

“Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer.

From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is overwhelmed;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy.

Let me dwell in Your tent forever;

Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”

Psalm 61:1-4

Although I do not know what specifically overwhelms you, I can assure you that though the source of your staggering obstacles may look much different than mine, the answer for both of us is the same.

“Hear my cry, O God!  Give heed to my prayer.”

When you are overwhelmed, take it from David:  the first thing you need to do is cry out to God.  We need prayer more than we need our circumstances to change.  Just going to my infinitely gracious God, Who is lovingly attentive in all of His ways, reminds me that I am not in charge.  There is Someone mightier and more powerful than I am Who is well able to bring relief to my mountain of stress.

From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed!”

There is no sin in calling out to God when you are completely and utterly overwhelmed.

The sin would actually be in turning to other less satisfying options.  Have you ever mistakenly believed that spending, eating, being entertained, going to the spa or responding with your emotions is what you need to conquer the overwhelming circumstances and events of your life?  Those things are deceptive distractions and possess all the healing power of a miniscule band-aid following open heart surgery.

“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I …”

178747790The second word of advice that is discernable in David’s prayer is that we all need God to lead us.  We need Him to take us by our human hands and then to guide us with His divine hands to a higher place.  He always wisely leads His children to a more secure vantage point than the circumstances of life are able to offer.  The benefit of standing on a rock that is taller than I am is that I am above my circumstances and therefore can see them from heaven’s perspective.

One of the most destructive mistakes that any of us can make during moments of overwhelming madness is to be led by our emotions.  Anger and impatience will do damage to relationships that may be difficult to repair.  I must humbly realize that my emotions often lie to me but God will lead me in triumph even in overwhelming times … especially in overwhelming times.

“For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy …”

When you are feeling overwhelmed, focus not on what is causing the irritation or annoyance but begin to declare Who God is.  Remove your eyes from your circumstances and set your mind, mouth and gaze on the only One Who is able to help you!  God is your safe place and will strongly protect you against the enemy forces of busyness, difficult relationships, a failing economy, health challenges and priorities.  He is more than able!

“Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”

There is no safer, more peaceful place to be than abiding in Him and with Him.  When I linger in His presence and enjoy the safety of His Word, the overwhelming things of this earth truly grow strangely dim.  When His nearness overshadows all that calls my name, I am at peace at last.  The life that He gives is the life that I have dreamed about and longed for.

His presence miraculously empowers me to face another day of the demanding details of life.  The Word of God powerfully protects me and shields me from the rapid fire of life’s demands.  Prayer helps me to wisely focus on that which is eternal and not on that which merely stirs up a raucous.

So … the next time that you or I find ourselves in similar and overwhelming circumstances … let’s not walk but run to Him and all that He is!  I resolve to take a break from this mad, mad, mad, mad world and to set my heart where it has always belonged … in Him.

While others are juggling the voices, the tirade and the insistence of this temporary world, I will be the one with my hands in air, gaze fixed on heaven and crying with gut-wrenching desperation, “HELP!”

Lead me to the Rock

MY FAVORITE THINGS

blog pic favorite thingsDay 27 – Ask God to Reveal Himself to You in Big Ways and in Little Ways.

Are you brave enough to pray this prayer, “Lord, would you reveal Yourself to me this  year?  Would You reveal Yourself to me in little ways and in big ways?”
If you will courageously and consistently pray that simple prayer, you will have an awareness of God’s presence and power that has never before been entrusted to you.
You will hear God’s voice in the majesty of a sunset.
You will see God’s smile in the daffodils of spring.
You will know His peace in the rustle of the autumn leaves.
You will feel His hand guiding and providing as you cheerfully give to His Kingdom.
You will know His thoughts as you read His Word.
You will feel His delight in moments of worship.
You will be overcome with His strength when you are at your very weakest.
You will experience His presence even in the storms of life.
God takes pleasure in revealing Himself to His children.  He has only been waiting for you to ask!
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the word of His hands.  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” – Psalm 19: 1 & 2

MY FAVORITE THINGS

blog pic favorite thingsDay 19 – Pray for Divine Appointments!

Have you discovered the joy and delight of praying for divine appointments?!
Every morning, after I have my morning devotional time in the Word of God, I bow my head and simply pray, “Father, Your Word says that You order our steps.  I pray that You would order my steps today and give me divine appointments.  I pray that You would bring significant people into my life today.”
Then … I see what God will do every minute of that day!
The young mom in front of me in the grocery store line with 3 out-of-control children no longer is a frustration but a divine appointment!
“I have 5 children and remember your season in life so well!  Can I put your groceries on the check-out line for you so that you can help your little ones?”
The postal clerk who is grumpy and out of sorts no longer becomes the object of my criticism of all that is wrong with the world but becomes a divine appointment!
“I just want to tell you that I appreciate you!  I am sure that working here is not always easy but your job is so vital to so many Americans.  I just want to say, “Thank you!”
When your talkative neighbor stops you as you take out the trash cans, you no longer perceive it as an interruption but as a divine appointment.
“Hey!  Just wanted to tell you that I have been praying for you and your son!  We serve a good God and I know that He is in control!”
What divine appointments have we missed due to our busy schedules, misplaced judgement or critical spirits?  We live among people who are desperately in need of a kind word, a minute or two of our time and our intentional prayers.
Praying for divine appointments has always been one of my very favorite disciplines in life!  It never ceases to amaze me what God can do because of this simple prayer.
Now … if you will excuse me … I need to go and meet some of my daily divine appointments!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

blog pic favorite thingsDay 14 – Choose a Fruit of the Spirit that is lacking in your life.  Ask for it.  Study it.  Pray it.  Live it!

We all know what our weaknesses in life are, but when was the last time that you made a focused attempt to overcome that weakness?  I have a strategy that just may help you this year.
Read Galatians 5:22 and 23.
Make a list of the 9 Fruits of the Spirit where you can see them every day.
Ask the Lord to show you which of the Fruits of the Spirit you need to focus on in 2013.
When you realize which fruit you need to work on, ask the Lord to fertilize it in your life!  Ask Him every day, “Lord, would you please help the kindness (or patience … or goodness … or whatever one it is that you are lacking) grow abundantly in my life?”
Do a word study in the Bible concerning this particular fruit and look up other verses in the Word of God containing your Fruit.  www.blueletterbible.com is a great study tool as you desire to become more familiar with the Bible.
Ask God to give you other particular verses with this word in it and write them down in a journal.  Pray them over your life.  You might want to choose one or two of these strategic verses to memorize.
When you are at the Christian bookstore, look for books that are focused on your particular Fruit of the Spirit.
Listen to the lyrics of songs at church and on the Christian radio station and make a mental note to sing songs that focus on your particular fruit.
You will find that by the end of the year – you will have an abundant harvest of your chosen fruit!  Don’t be surprised when your ability to show this fruit is tested!  Display it with the strength and joy of the Lord!  Let others taste and see that the Lord is good!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

blog pic favorite thingsDay 13 – Pray for a Miracle!

Have you ever been part of a miracle?!  A bona-fide miracle?!  If not … have you ever prayed for one?

Evaluate your life right now.  What miracle do you need?  Or, perhaps, what miracle does someone in your family need today?
Begin to pray for this particular miracle on January 1, 2013, and don’t give up praying.  Don’t ever, ever, every give up praying!
Pray for someone to be healed in Jesus’ Name.
Pray for a financial breakthrough that seems impossible.
Pray for a relationship to be healed that has been broken for years.
Pray for a life that has been in bondage to sin and addiction.
Every time that you pause to pray for anything at all, remember, also, to pray for this particular miracle!
Miracles still happen and the reason that they happen is because someone cares enough to pray.
Would the walls of Jericho have come tumbling down if Joshua and the children of Israel had not marched around it?  I don’t think so …
Would the Red Sea have parted if Moses had not lifted up his rod?  I don’t think so …
Would Jairus’ daughter have been raised from the dead if Jairus had not asked?  I don’t think so …
I wonder what miracles we are not experiencing simply because we are not asking for them!
We serve a God Who specializes in the miraculous and we honor Him when we ask Him to do what He does the best.  Never underestimate His power or His desire to move on your behalf.
Pray for a Miracle!

Two 4-Letter Words for Elections…

My Love/Hate Relationship with Presidential Elections

It’s an election year.  I have a love-hate relationship with presidential elections.

I love it that I live in a country where we get to vote for our next leader.  I absolutely love it!

I hate it that politics has become so ugly and divisive.  I thoroughly hate it.

I love it that I live in a country that has built an entire way of life upon the tenet of freedom of speech.  Freedom of speech is precious to me.  I am a communicator; freedom of speech affords me the privilege of writing about my convictions, talking about my belief system and holding high the Word of God.

I hate it when freedom of speech becomes nothing more than the excess of pontificating opinions birthed in half-truths and absent values.  It makes me gag.

I love it that all of America pays attention to presidential elections through the communication magic of television, the internet and radio.

I hate it that all of America is subject to the opinions spouted by the often-biased media through the relentless voices of television, the internet and radio.

I am not going to tell you how to vote. It is up to God and your conscience to advise you on which candidate deserves your vote in 2012.

However … I am going to throw two 4-letter words at you that will tell you how I really feel about this election of 2012.

PRAY!!  We must pray for our nation.  I believe that praying is more important than voting.  If Christians vote and forget to pray … we are putting all of our hope and trust in a broken system.  We must pray for America and for our leaders.  We must pray for righteous men and women to arise and to lead us.  We must pray for the media.  The media needs revival.  We must pray for young Christian men and women to infiltrate the world of media as never before.  We must pray that God would raise up a Moses … a Joshua … a Daniel at this time in America’s history.

VOTE!!  You must vote!!  Voting for our next president is a God-given privilege and honor.  If you don’t vote, you are placing the future of America in the hands of those who are not being led by a righteous and holy God.  If you don’t vote, you are throwing away the future of this nation.  If you have not registered to vote yet … do it today!  Get up off the couch and register to vote!  The deadlines are looming (generally mid-October) for voter registration for this election.  Call 1-800-FOR-VOTE.

And now … let’s pray for America.

“Lord Jesus, we love America.  We are so grateful that you have allowed us to live in this free nation at this time in history.

We pray for Mitt and Ann Romney and for Barack and Michelle Obama.  We pray that the man of your choosing would live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the next 4 years.  We pray that You would speak to Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama.  Wake them up in the night hours Lord and speak to their hearts!!

Lord, send a revival to this land.  Send your Spirit upon this nation as never before …” from the mountains … to the valleys … to the oceans white with foam!  Bless this nation, Lord because it is our home, sweet home.”