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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

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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? ūüėČ

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.‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs ‚Äúthorn in the flesh‚ÄĚ

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‚Äôt 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. ūüôā

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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! ūüôā

Click the link below for some info!

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Choosing to be blind?

Choosing to be blind?

Choosing to be blind?

Can you even imagine such a thing? ¬†Well, yes. I can. Consider these random acts of …blindness:

1. That time I meant to be funny with my comment, but it came off harsh?  (Proverbs 26:19)
2. That time I shared a “prayer request” all the time knowing I shared too much? ¬†(Proverbs 16:28)
3. That time I thought poorly of “those people”? ¬†(James 2)
4. That time I justified my anger, my pity party, my selfishness?  (Ephesians 4:29 and Philippians 2:3-4)
5. That time I boasted about my <plans, position, possessions>? (James 4:11-16 and Proverbs 21:23)

O man. Tell me I’m not alone here. Lord, have mercy! ¬†Seriously. That’s the prayer of my heart. As I ponder these Scriptures, I’m asking God to take the blindfold off so that I can again see clearly, walk humbly and love sincerely.

Have you discovered an area of blindness in your life? Have you had opportunity to see things in a new light? I’d love to hear more. I’m here and I’m listening. ūüôā

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Welcome Grace

Welcome Grace

Bask in God’s welcome grace for cleansing, for healing, for renewal…

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"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind

Are you all in?

I lost my job.

Again.

It was just yesterday morning and yet the voices in my head make it feel much longer. And though the loss is not of my own doing, it still is difficult. Maybe more so.

Sometimes in past struggles, I’d rush to find a word from God to get me through or lean-in heavy with prayer. ¬†Sometimes, the pain of the moment is mocked by the forever promises. ¬†Been there?

This time, I’m starting where I know the truth lies.

I won’t base my faith on what I see and can respond to. ¬†If my emotions are soothed by Scripture or the encouragement of godly friends, it’s a gift, but not mandatory for faith. ¬†So, regardless if our finances are somehow rescued, if we get good jobs soon, if our health holds, or if it all comes tumbling down… I.will.trust.God.

I will trust his character regardless of what I see or of what I know of Him so far. I will start there, because I know it can’t base my belief and prayers on what He does, but it must be in who He is.

If I don’t put my full trust in Him, my world gets shaky. ¬†Maybe that’s why He exhorts us in Luke 10 to, ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” ¬†I am all-in with Him. There is no other.

He himself is solid rock. But, even if he lets me suffer-long, He doesn’t leave me alone in it.¬†Somehow, starting there, the internal struggle is less and I’m at peace…regardless. ‚̧

What part has humor, prayer, diligence, quiet or music played in your life?  What spiritually healthy things have you done in the face of trauma or turmoil to get you through?

I’m here. I’m listening. ¬†ūüôā

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An ornate clock with the words Time to Share on its faceAre you like me?

I’ve discovered something:¬†I’m happiest when I’m sharing.

It can be all sorts of things, but when I’m truly “with” another, the¬†camaraderie and community grows in the act of sharing. As I continue the journey of gratitude, ponder with me in the ways we can generously share “the good stuff” of life…with others.

  1. Sharing a treat is always more fun then eating it alone.  Always. Even chocolate.
  2. Sharing in someone’s grief¬†and bringing comfort and hope. What an honor; an intimacy.
  3. Sharing a joy¬†with someone and having them really celebrate with me…without envy, sarcasm or bitterness.
  4. Shared prayer, seeking God together is¬†satisfying. ¬†It’s so much more meaningful to pray with a person than just to pray¬†separately.
  5. Shared humor is a blessing.¬†Not everyone finds the same things as funny, but when you do, joy doubles, spirits soar, laughter echoes in the heart, …friendships deepen.
  6. Sharing in-kind goods with those in need or receiving something while in need. Both have grateful prayer written all over them.
  7. Sharing is part of being a healthy person and regular generosity breeds health and freedom of spirit.  The opposite is also true: greed breeds bitterness, envy and a low morale.
  8. Sharing good news¬†brings joy to the listener …and the teller. ¬†What news can I share today to build up another…
  9. Sharing “the best” frees my heart.¬†When I hold back the best for myself, I reveal a stingy heart. Lord, free me from wanting the biggest or the best and let me honor another by giving to them as I would to you.
  10. Sharing the load makes the work better and builds bonds that would be otherwise missing.  When I share in the chores or work with others, I am blessed because they let me help and we often can be more effective.  Sometimes I need  you.  I need help in sharing my load because it gets to heavy and your kind awareness and willingness to be engaged in my world for a bit is a true blessing.

What kinds of sharing would you add? ¬†Jump in and “share” with me. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I’m here. I’m listening.

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follow the leader

Fishing for followers

When Jesus said, “Follow Me”, what do you think the early disciples felt? I can imagine any number of emotions hit them, but whatever concerns they had were overcome …and they followed. I sometimes wonder if we even know what it means to follow Christ.

The word “follow” now has an entirely different application in our culture, especially in social media. Recently, Margaret Feinberg highlighted the new book, “Multiply” by Mark Beuving and¬†Francis Chan on the topic. She¬†posted a question on her blog and Facebook about why we’re not disciplemakers.

Here are a few of the reasons I see:
1) Wrong Focus: Our own brokenness scares us and we are unwilling to be vulnerable to the “other side”
2) Anxiety Alert: We fear rejection, especially within family or work environments
3) Elevator-speech Aversion: We don’t know what to say without it sounding like a sales pitch
4) It’s Someone else’s Responsibility: We think the task belongs to the pastors and evangelists among us and it’s not our “gift”
5) No obligation: We not held accountable to do so…and we like it that way.
6) Live in a Christian bubble: We don’t know any people who are non Christian.
7) Definition: We really don’t know what it means to be a disciple, much less make disciples.

One more? Sure. ¬†8) How about we want followers of our own? We attract our own school of fish and feel valuable when “followed” on Facebook or Twitter or at school or work or church… ¬†We are fishing for followers instead of becoming an ambassador for Christ’s Kingdom.

So, my prayer for myself and for all of us churchy people: ¬†May we say with St Paul, “¬†Follow my example, just like I follow Christ‚Äôs.” 1 Cor. 11:1

What are some more reasons people do not become disciplemakers? ¬†Comment below. I’d love to learn from you as we face the challenge within the Christian subculture.

Whatcha’ think? ¬†I’m here. I listening. ¬†ūüôā

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