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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

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Wouldn’t it be grand to get a prize when we conquer our own moods and sins and struggles? Today, I’m learning anew about the Prayer of Relinquishment. This is the type of praying that moves us from the struggle into the release. For me, it often follows the Prayer of Intercession or Prayer of Lament.

After the struggle, facing the battle and seeing the raw realities of our current situations, we have choices… Those split second moments when we talk to ourselves about others…about our situation…about ourselves…about our God. Do you believe everything you say at those moments? 😉

It’s worth it to go through lamenting times and times of intercessions, because on the other side of the Prayer of Relinquishment we can find a soul-satisfying rest. It is there we can say with the Psalmist, “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.” A child that is weaned is not grasping or desperate, but is safe and at peace.

Jesus modeled the Prayer of Relinquishment in the Garden of Gethsemane. What a struggle he fought…and won! We, too can conquer the desire to bypass trouble and pain, avoid rejection and and overwhelming sorrow for a higher good.

“Not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:39-46 captures Jesus’ words, but think about *how* He said them. What a wonder! He was yielded to God, but he was not resigned, nor bitter, nor defeated. It’s similar to how we say, “Whatever.” It can be stated with a tone showing we really don’t care OR it can be stated resolutely because we care deeply. Jesus models the more excellent way. And, it’s better than any medal available on earth!

The Scriptures are replete with great examples of people yielding to God at the end of struggling with themselves. While praying in the midst of great trauma, they also demonstrate great faith. If you want to be inspired, find these stories again and reflect on any parallels you see in your story.

– Abraham and his son Isaac
– Moses deliverer of Israel
– David and his son by Bathsheba
– Mary, mother of Jesus
– Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”

The circumstances differ, and it takes practice, but the result of yielding to God in this way is embracing a freedom like no other.

Author Richard Foster reminds us that “this dialogue with God is a letting go, but it is a release with hope. It results in a deeper relationship with God and includes training in righteousness, transforming power, new joys.” A prayer of relinquishment protects us from idolatry, as we so quickly get attached to our people, our things, our positions, our places, our health, our opinions and so much more.

How we need God to help us let go of our tiny vision to release the greater good He has in store for us! In place of what is lost, the release of our will gives us freedom from self-pity, self-absorption, self-deception, self-depreciation, self-indulgence, self-hatred and selfishness, in general.

Sometimes…ok…MANY times… the struggle is more than we can bear and we need real help wanting to go God’s way. In those times, ask people to pray for you, using Philippians 2. Praying through those verses yourself will help you align with the example Jesus provided.

At the end of this massive struggle, know that you can be strengthen, restored and revived. The war is on and the fight is worth it. More battles will be coming, but for now, embrace the Prayer of Relinquishment and find a rest for your weary soul.

“Don’t worry about what you will suffer…and you will be tested and made to suffer…But if you are faithful until you die, I will reward you with a glorious life.” Revelation 2:10

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

I’d love to hear what you’ve experienced and what you think. I’m here and I’m listening. 🙂

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What Would YOU Say?

sunset girl

My family still teases me because as a young mom, I tried hard to work around the jokes and odd noises at the dinner table to instill actual conversation. (Crazy, I know.) Story starters like this were common, “if you had a $1000, what would you do with it?”

In Mark 10, Jesus was not asking rhetorical questions. He asked a blind man, “What would you like me to do for you?” If you’re thinking “What a dumb question”, you are a little like me. Of course(!), the blind man would want to see again, right? But, maybe not. Saying aloud what we want or need is often harder than dealing with our difficulties. Or, sometimes, we work so hard to come up with the “right” thing with God that we stall out…and don’t ever ask for anything.

What would you say if Jesus asked you, “What would you like me to do for you?” It takes a measure of faith to say…something. Especially in the face of hardship, pain, loss or confusion. Fortunately, the man answered Jesus, “I would like to see.” Imagine! The first person he saw with his healed eyes, was Jesus. Amazing!

So, in many ways, that’s my prayer today. You, too? “Lord, I would like to see….You.” Amen.

Photo: Pixabay

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The Light Goes On - Pixabay

The Light Goes On – Pixabay

Last night I realized that the shoes I had ordered weren’t coming. And, it’s because I don’t have enough money to cover them. Ack! The price has nearly doubled now that Labor Day has past. I was so frustrated!

You see, I need some substantial shoes because of working on my feet all day. I don’t buy much, so had carefully and prayerfully planned for the shoes, chose them and ordered them. I felt so dumb when the card was rejected. I felt vulnerable and unprotected. I became Dread, personified, as I know I’ll have sore, tortured feet for weeks till I can save up enough. (Note: Exaggeration is common while fuming… {Ahem})

I also felt angry at God. So much so, I couldn’t sleep very well. Been there? After tossing and turning for a couple hours I got up and He and I had a talk. It was more like me kind of listening in a pout and He setting me straight.  “If not getting the shoes you want make you doubt my goodness, what does that say about your faith for the important things, like your salvation?  What do you know that I am missing, Kris?” 

Well now.  When God speaks so clearly, there’s not much to say in return, is there?  In fact, I found myself smiling. He’s right, of course. He knows everything and not missing anything.  And, He knows I completely trust Him for my soul’s well-being, so why not trust my feet to him, as well?  When what I lack becomes symbolic of God’s nature, I’m on a dangerous slide toward despair instead of hope. There is another way. My hope must be in who God is and not just what he does or doesn’t do.  “Lord, remind me that when my sole focus on Your goodness, sovereignty, justice and mercy, my hope is sure and I’ll have faith to stand firm. Amen.” #SoulEpiphany

How about you? When has the light gone on for your soul?  Tell me about it. I’m here…I’m listening. 🙂

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Need Inspiration?

Photo: CarliJeen (Unsplash)

Photo: CarliJeen (Unsplash)

If you’re in a rut or just need a little inspiration, consider Giving, Praying and Loving, like this…

Give as if it were your first gift, your last gift, your only gift…
Pray as if it were your first prayer, your last prayer, your only prayer…
Love like it was your first love, your last love, your only love…

 

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foggy day arch

Been thinking a lot about how vulnerable it is to say, “I need…” to another person, especially when it feels overwhelming. It’s often much easier to be the one who does the helping, right?

When we open up and share a need for prayer or help or companionship, we really offer a tremendous gift. When we ask input from someone who’s good at something, they are actually encouraged that you asked. It’s a chance for another to come alongside in friendship and let a relationship come to life. Trust certainly grows as people mutually ask for input or assistance and another responds. But, it IS really hard, because not everyone responds and it hurts to be blown off or ignored.

So this week? Let’s look for opportunities to be a help… and to ask for help. Let’s try an intentional experiment and ask for help from another and see what happens. This risk…this vulnerability… may end up being more powerful than we ever dreamed…

Tell me how it goes. I’m here…I’m listening. 🙂

 

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Zephyrs of Grace

Breathe in hope…breathe out…grace

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Did you know?
I love encouraging individuals and groups. Send this flyer on to your group leaders… Invite me to speak at prayer retreats, women’s events! 🙂

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Invite me to speak

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