Sow & Gather

Prayer

In What Do You Delight?

PrayerMarci Anthony1 Comment

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 NIV

Do you have children that are involved in extracurricular activities? Do you try to attend every event and activity they are a part of to encourage them and show them how much you love them? Along with these activities come the fundraisers, especially the fundraising suppers to create extra money for the group.  

This spring my son had one of those fundraiser suppers for the band at his high school.  My husband and I decided to attend and we purchased our tickets beforehand. As we were handing the tickets over to grab our supper, we were asked if we wanted to enter a drawing for various eateries in the area. At first I was not interested, but a prize for a gift certificate at a local restaurant that serves scrumptious breakfast caught my eye.  Yes, we wanted to enter and we received a few tickets with numbers printed on them. 

After enjoying our supper and gabbing with our friends, the drawing began. As in all contests, there was excitement and disappointment by all participating. But, I was waiting patiently for the one gift certificate for that special restaurant.  

Finally, the next drawing was the one I’d been waiting for. In that moment, I prayed a few short sentences.  I asked God to allow me to obtain the gift certificate. I told him I wanted it. Please God?  

In that instant my number was called and I won the gift certificate! Woohoo!! God answered my short prayer and gave me the desire of my heart.  I stood up with excitement and dashed to the front to grab the certificate.  I laughed out loud and yelled, “Alright!!!” 

I ran back to the table and in my excitement told everyone that I had prayed to Jesus. I had asked for the certificate and He said “ yes!”  He truly is an awesome God.  He gives us more than we ever need, and He loves to give us the desires of our heart. 

What happened next surprised me. My friends at the table asked me to pray for them to win, too. Isn’t that interesting? I prayed. God gave me my desire and I was able to share Jesus to all those around me. 

He is a delightful God. 

Dig Deeper |

James 5:13-16

Action Item: 

Do you pray? When you pray, do you ask just for your needs or for your desires as well? Go ahead, ask.

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, You are truly an incredible God. Thank You for allowing me to talk with You through prayer. Let me never forget, You answer our prayers. You provide for our needs and at times, You delight in fulfilling our desires.  Amen.

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Up For the Challenge?

Conversations with God, PrayerMarci Anthony1 Comment
Are You Up For God's Challenge? #conversationswithgod #sowandgather

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.  Matthew 7:14 ESV

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to serve in a church ministry as a volunteer working with the leadership team.  Coming from the corporate world, I was ready to utilize all my skills in this new adventure, and had already envisioned implementing change and executing new ideas.   

To my dismay, my plans and my ideas were not needed in the area I had envisioned.  What I was being asked to do was totally not what I had been hoping for, and I also felt that I lacked the proper skill set.   

This was not the plan I had envisioned; this was going to be too hard, and this was not convenient.  I’m embarrassed to say I’ve said these statements more than once in my life.  God has a funny way of turning my picture-perfect expectations into challenges.  But, I’ve come to learn that this is one way I know it is Him speaking to me.  I’m sure Noah didn’t expect to build an ark, Moses didn’t expect to lead the people out of Egypt, and Mary didn’t expect to be the mother of the Messiah.  Why should we expect any different?  Maybe because we want the comfortable, easy route-- at least I know I do at times. 

The challenge is part of the plan.  God wants us to reach our full spiritual potential as followers of Christ, and so we will often be challenged by the things He calls us to do.   

Author and speaker Priscilla Shirer says, “Putting extraordinary tasks on the plates of ordinary people so that ordinary people can see what an extraordinary God can do through them.  That is the purpose behind His challenge – to allow His children to see His power in the challenge.” 

Just taking on the easy things will never grow me, and will never force me to rely on Him only.  Most importantly, He will not be glorified.  I love this verse because it reminds me that the gate is narrow and the path is hard that leads to life.  It is not the comfortable, easy route. 

Maybe you are being asked to do something that seems challenging and are wondering if this could be of God.  Don’t keep trying to ignore what He may be telling you to do.  Keep seeking Him, and He will make Himself clear.  Remember – challenges are part of the plan! 

Dig Deeper |

Exodus 3:10-122 Corinthians 12:9

Action Item |

Take time this week to listen to what God is saying through His Word, His Spirit and through the circumstances around you.  The very thing you thought you couldn’t do, God can. 

Prayer |

Dear Father, I’m so grateful for all the times You have pushed me beyond my own limits to show me Your glorious power.  Who am I that You would allow me to be a part of Your amazing plan?  Give me the ears to hear YOU speak and the courage to take the first step.  Amen

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Be Still and Know That I Am God

Conversations with God, PrayerMarci AnthonyComment
Be Still And Know That I Am God #sowandgather

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…  Psalm 37:7  

I hate waiting. I hate waiting in traffic; I hate waiting for my computer to warm up; and I hate waiting in line behind someone who is checking out with one item and takes 15 minutes because they’re having a conversation with the cashier about yesterday’s weather.  I know we all teach our kids that we should never “hate” anything but as I confess my sins daily, I am not “fond” of waiting.  

When you look at today’s society, everything moves at warp speed, and I “hate” (there’s that word again) to admit it but it appears that society is only ramping up to move faster. So why, with all of the fast paced computers that can answer our questions as soon as we hit search, does God still require us to wait on His answer? The answer lies in His word…All throughout the Bible we see individuals having to wait on God for an answer. Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently.” God is asking us to step away from our computers, put down our cell phones, turn off the TV, find something to occupy our children for a short period of time, and to set everything aside to stop and listen. When we are finally able to find that time of peace and quiet, we can begin to realize all that God has to say to us. Life gets busy and noisy, distractions are everywhere, but we have to turn our attention away from the world and turn our eyes and ears to heaven to seek God’s guidance and direction for our lives. 

The next part of the verse says, “...wait patiently.” (as if cutting out all distractions was easy) now,He wants us to wait?  Really? If we are truly seeking what God wants to say to us, then we have to be willing to wait for His answer. The act of waiting on someone is a humbling experience.  If you’ve ever waited on someone, then you are bending to their will and timing. My husband is humbled anytime we have to leave the house because he is always waiting on me to be ready to go.   

When we humble ourselves and patiently bend to God’s timing, it is in these quiet moments that God can speak to us. He may require days, weeks, months, and even years, of us coming to Him in the still and quiet waiting patiently...but He will answer. This process of being still and patiently waiting is not easy, but over time if we consistently allow ourselves to be surrounded in His presence, we will be rewarded with His blessing and will receive His answer and guidance. I love the Stephen Curtis Chapman song, “Be Still and Know that I am God.” In the song he sings the lyrics, Bow before the Prince of Peace, let the noise and clamor cease, be still and know that He is God. If you are struggling to try and discern God’s voice from what the world may be telling you, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently on Him,” He will listen and He will answer. 

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 38:15, Psalm 40:1, Psalm 130:6

Action Item |

Are you struggling for answers? Take time out of your busy schedule this week to spend time daily quietly waiting on God.   

Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, allow me to be still and know that You are God. Let me cast out all of my anxieties and cares of the world and listen for Your calling. Allow me to experience the feeling of being in your presence by humbling me before You, Father. Thank You for loving me. Amen.  

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This Is How You Should Pray

Prayer, PeaceSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
This Is How You Should Pray

This, then is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10
  
As summer heats up, I am reminded of how God is in control of everything in this world including the seasons. While there are some seasons I look forward to more than others, each season serves a purpose. The same is true of our individual lives. As we go through life, we encounter what are commonly called the seasons of life.

Some of these seasons are happy times of joy like getting your driver’s license (although for your parents this was probably more of a stressful season) Or maybe your happy season was getting married to your soul mate or having your first child. These seasons are blessings from God and should be cherished. The happy joyous moments are often compared to spring and summer when life begins anew and everything seems to be more carefree and laid back. 
 
Sometimes we experience difficulties in life that are not happy or particularly carefree. These seasons are characterized by fall and winter. Fall seems to be more of an in-between stage where something is happening in your life. The leaves keep piling up around you until you either decide to pick up the rake and clean up the problem, or you allow the leaves to bury you deeper in the pile. 
 
Then there’s winter. This is the most difficult season of all. It’s where life seems to stop and you are surrounded on all sides by uncertainty and doubt. Going through winter is when you have trouble navigating life. It’s as if you’re stuck in a blizzard and can’t find your way out.  This is where Matthew 6:9-10 cuts right to the core of our problems. So, when we are in the midst of a blizzard, God is our guide and He is our constant navigator to help us find our way. We have to realize that the most important thing is His will during this season. Everything is according to his purpose and plan and we have to trust that He will lead us. 
 
When we are celebrating being in the seasons of spring and summer, we still need to recognize that it is only through God’s grace that we can celebrate. What season are you going through today? If you are going through spring or summer, thank God for His eternal blessings and continued peace. If you happen to be in the midst of fall or winter, take heart and let Matthew 6 be your daily prayer. Know that God has a plan and it is His will, not ours, that will get us through the difficult seasons of life. 
 
Dig Deeper |

Proverb 3:5-6

Action Item |

How do you handle dealing with difficult seasons of life? Do you try and control the situation or do you allow God to work through you for His purpose?   
 
Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your endless mercy when we go through times of trial and difficulty. We pray that as we face challenges in our lives, we will not allow doubt or uncertainty to take over but cling to Your promises. Thank you for blessing us with times of joy and celebration. May we always recognize Your hand in all circumstances. 
 
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Who Do You Call?

PrayerMarci AnthonyComment
#sowandgather #prayer Call To Me And I Will Answer You. Jeremiah

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

Cell phones are everywhere. It’s hard to look back and think about a time when we didn’t have cell phones. Those of us who have been around a while can reminisce and recall moments in our past when it would have been nice to have had a cell phone handy. 

Most of us can’t imagine what life would be like without a cell phone. If you want to test this theory, just put it down and walk away for 10 minutes and see if your pulse doesn’t start racing and your ears perk up to try and hear the magical ding of an incoming text or email. We are connected to our cell phones 24/7. A rather extreme example of this was when I was in a public restroom the other day and heard a woman talking to someone on her cell phone. I’m sure that was an interesting conversation for the person on the other end. 

Have you ever thought about what life would be like if we put our cell phones down and instead got on our knees and prayed to God? He’s listening all the time, waiting for us to call out to Him so He can share all of the blessings He has for us. Yet we fail to call out to Him so many times. Instead, we pick up our cell phone to call a friend when we should be calling out to God. When is the last time you brought your phone to the dinner table to check if you had received a text? Did you take time before the meal to call out to God and thank Him for providing you with the food you were about to eat? 

Our culture is so dependent on technology that we fail to recognize and call out to our Creator. Ironically, when we leave the house, we leave God behind. We wouldn’t dare leave home without our dearly beloved cell phone. I am by far not perfect in this area for as I sit here typing my cell phone sits right next to my computer. 

God is far more powerful than any technologically advanced cell phone and He is ready to answer the call we when need Him. Don’t leave God behind when you leave the house; take Him with you and reach out to Him throughout the day. Allow your ears to be tuned to His calling instead of your cell phone. 

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 91:5

Action Item |

What areas of your life do you need to call out to God for help? Have you stopped to listen to His calling this week? 

Prayer |

Heavenly Father, help me to call out to You and turn to You for help. Tune my ears to Your calling. Allow me to take time out of my busy day to talk to You and hear Your voice. 

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How Do We Watch and Pray?

PrayerSow & Gather - Tamera B.1 Comment
prayer-Jesus-and-me-sowangather.com

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

Please tell me you saw that amazing Disney movie “The Incredibles.” The movie is filled with one liners and funny moments. I think my favorite character is Violet Parr. She is the daughter of Mr. Incredible himself and she possesses miraculous powers. Every time she is in the middle of a crisis, she protects herself with a force field or becomes invisible.

I so want to be Violet Parr when I grow up! As a wife and mom I find myself continually in moments of crisis. The moments represent gargantuan crises and small insignificant problems. Whether large or small, being able to produce a force field to cover my family and protect them from certain life issues sounds really appealing.

You can imagine my overwhelming joy when I discovered in God’s word we have the tools to do exactly that -- cover our families with a force field. Jesus gives us two words while he is talking to his closest friends in a garden.

He tells his trusted friends, unless you want to fall into temptation, you better watch and pray (of course that is my own wording of the verse above). Jesus told his friends to cover themselves from temptation by watching and praying.

A life of watching and praying for ourselves and our families protects us from temptation.

So many theological books and commentaries are written about prayer and yet as I look at the words of Jesus in His word, I am astounded at the simplicity of communicating with the Father.

Prayer -- Just Jesus and me in conversation. 

Of course, prayer does have a few requirements.

  • Set aside time alone!
  • Talk to him throughout the day.
  • Tell Him everything!
  • Take time to listen.

Simple conversation with the real you is all Jesus desires.

Dig Deeper |

Matthew 6:5-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 85:8

Action Item |

If you desire to protect yourself from temptation today, you must take time to watch and pray. Find a place alone and be real before the Father.

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, you are my only protection from temptation. Protect me today from the thoughts, lies and temptations from satan. Protect my family from him, too. Give me the strength to talk to you throughout today. Keep me alert and watchful. Amen.

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God Hears Our Sighs

Prayer, PsalmSow & Gather - Tamera B.6 Comments
God-hears-our-sighs-sowandgather

All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. Psalm 38:9 NIV

The sun was shining and the temperature was rising on this August morning. Normally, my family would be making the most of a summer morning before the afternoon heat sets in, but instead, we were getting ready to attend a memorial service for a dear friend who had lost her two-year battle with cancer.

The last year of my friend’s life had been difficult. It was this roller coaster of emotions from hope, where she would gain ground, to discouragement, facing difficult obstacles that she had to overcome.

As a friend, I’ve never felt so helpless and unequipped to walk this journey with her. I would often sit on the floor and try to formulate what I needed to pray for, but the thoughts and words were raw and never seemed to form in my mind.

I knew in my heart that God knew what she needed, yet I could not express it. A passage in Romans spoke to me many times when my prayers were only tears. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And, he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26

The Spirit flawlessly interceded for me when I could not do it myself. It turned my groans into words.

Sitting in the church, tears streaming down my face, I knew the Spirit had read my heart. All those times when a sigh was all I could manage, when the words never formed in my prayers, God heard me as though I had spoken perfectly.

Dig Deeper |

Job 3:24; Romans 8:26; Psalm 139:4

Action Item |

Today, all you may be able to do is sigh, but know that is not hidden from our Lord.

Prayer |

Dear Father, You search my heart and know my words and thoughts before I even speak them. Amen.

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This post is part of the #livefreeThursday linkup with Suzie Eller, the  #RaRaLinkup

and Weekend Whispers

Barbie Swihart


How Do We Humble Ourselves In Prayer?

PrayerSow & Gather - Tamera B.4 Comments
humble-yourself-before-the-Lord-sowandgather

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3 (NASB)  

I can almost picture David in His vast palace with a myriad of servants, arrayed in his kingly garments on his throne with a scribe beside him recording these words.

David had the trifecta:  power, fame, and fortune.

One of my favorite things about him, though, is he recognized who he was in light of who God is. There he was with a vast kingdom and ultimate authority, but he perceived that all he had was granted to him from the only true King. He says that he "ordered" his prayers. In Hebrew, it means he "prepared" them.    

Do I do that? Do I prepare my heart as I go into God's presence? Do I humble myself to His will or do I rush in thinking I am deserving? Do I treat Him like a servant instead of a master? More often than not, I causally pray as though God should mold Himself to my will. I fail to realize that I'm speaking to the Creator, Holy, Mighty God. Truly, I don't even deserve a second glance from Him. He doesn't need me, and there is not one thing I can offer that could measure up to His acknowledgement that He is the great I AM.  

When I finally grasp the depths of these concepts, I am overcome with emotion. Feelings whirl around inside of me and I am left sensing the awe of the presence of a God that calls me worth it! He says I was the joy set before Him to endure the cross. He loved me enough to clothe me with His righteousness! HE HEARS ME! He has given me the opportunity to be a priest that serves Him, someone that carries my prayers into the Holy of Holies and present them as gifts before the Lamb that was slain. HE SEES ME! What a sweet gift to spend time in His presence. I love who He is and I love who I am when I am with Him.  

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 10:17; James 4:6; Isaiah 40:10-14  

Action Item |

Do you go to prayer casually? Do you treat God like your master?  Practice humbling yourself before Him before you pray by recalling His characteristics.  

Prayer |

Oh God, open my eyes to Your greatness.  Help me to remember who I am and how You made a way for me to pray directly to You by Jesus' sacrifice. Forgive me of ungratefulness and pride.  Help there to be less of me and more of You. Amen. 

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Fighting The Right Fight

PrayerSow & Gather - Tamera B.2 Comments
fightherightfight-warroom-prayer-sowandgather

 The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

Does obligation determine your decisions and commitments at times? I am continually haunted by making decisions and even huge time commitments because I simply feel it is the “right thing to do.”

One such obligatory commitment plagued me last weekend. Our church family was going to attend a movie together called The War Room. The weekend was filled with activities, my husband had a work function, and I simply was exhausted. But because of my great sense of responsibility (or so I thought) I joined the group and went to the movie. I, of course, thought, “at least I will get some delicious popcorn out of this.”

Little did I know that even wrong motives can bring us to a life changing moment. Yes, I said life changing. The message of this movie radically has changed me. I will not go into detail about the movie (however, I must say, it is a must see for anyone who believes in Jesus!), but my favorite quote was by an elderly woman named Clara. In instructing a younger woman who was having difficulty in her family, she said, “Baby, you are fighting the wrong fight.” Clara proceeded to give the young woman instruction in how to fight for her family through prayer.

After this life changing message, I came home determined to fight the right fight for my family. I have always prayed for my children, my husband and needs of friends. However, this movie challenged me to fight in a new way, by creating my own “war room.” As described in this movie, a war room is a small room with no distractions where you can kneel before the Lord and literally fight for your family and friends.

Our downstairs closet got an overhaul! Everything was stripped from the room and I posted Bible verses written on poster board on the walls. The names of all of my loved ones are on note cards along with the names of people who have my prayer commitment. While I have always considered myself a fighter, I fear I have been fighting the wrong battles.

I challenge you to join the movement to “fight the right fight!” Pick a small place. Take away every distraction. Avoid the temptation to make it cute/pretty! Grab a cushion for kneeling and start fighting with me, in a quiet, still place before the Lord. Dear sweet sisters, when we do this, our Lord will fight for us!

Dig Deeper |

2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18

Action Item |

You are challenged to create your own war room! It is time that we, as women, mothers, employees, and employers join together, across the world and fight the right fight together.

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, give me the courage to fight the right for my family. Give me the courage to get my schedule in order. Jesus, help me to prioritize my time before you. Amen.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post. Tag a picture of your war room on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and other social media with #warroom #fighttherightfight #sowandgather.

This post is part of the weekly #raralinkup.

purposefulfaith.com


What Do You Do When God Says No?

PrayerSow & Gather - Tamera B.3 Comments
sometimes-gods-answer-is-no-pray-anyway-sowandgather

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 NIV

A few years ago my husband and I along with two of our very close couple friends had the privilege of being pregnant at the same time. Our three children were to be born just months apart. Wow!! It was so exciting to share the pregnancy together and discuss, not only the physical part of the pregnancy, but also our children’s appearances, personalities and the friendships that were to develop as they grew.

Over the course of the first few months, we prayed together and asked our dear Jesus for good health for each of us new mothers and also for the good health for our developing babies.

After one of the monthly visits to the doctor, one of our pregnant friends came with some unsettling news. Her baby had a major medical issue. What? No way!! This was devastating news for me so I became even more intentional about seeking and praying to Jesus about the health of their son.

I knew that Jesus answered prayer and I truly believed that the answer this time would be “yes.” Jesus would heal their son and make him whole. He would be a beautiful, healthy baby boy.

The day came for his birth and their precious baby was born. His birth was so exciting, but yet so scary. Minutes after he arrived, he was transported into surgery to repair his little broken body. At that moment Jesus answered our prayers, my prayers. God’s answer was “no.”

Lord, you said no! I just couldn’t believe it . . . .

I had asked and sought after God and believed He would heal this child. He would be complete and would be playing with my own son in the future. In fact, in my mind’s eye I could see them together.

Needless to say this event made me stop and pray again. This time I knocked very loudly. I cried out to God and asked him to help me understand His answer.

This was God’s gentle response: I should continue to pray. He will answer when I ask, seek and knock. He will reply with a "yes, no or wait."

Only this time God answered, and said, “No!!”

Dig Deeper |

Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 17:6

Action Item |

Pray today with expectation. When you pray and God doesn’t answer as you expected, what will your response be?

Prayer |

Jesus, you are a wonderful God. You desire interaction with us and You want us to pray. When we pray and begin to share with You, help us to know You will definitely answer. And when Your answer is “no,” help us to respond in faith. Amen.

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This post is part of the #dancewithJesus Friday Linkup.

And, we joined Naomi over at What Joy Is Mine.

Get A Grip On God

Prayer, Psalm, ThessaloniansSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
get-grip-on-God-sowandgather-psalm119

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Of course God wants me to have what will make me happy.

Those words crossed my mind in a flash. My eye, like Eve's was on the apple and Satan was saying, "Do it; it feels good. God wants you to be happy."

This was a reality check about coffee.  People, coffee.  I have ongoing discourses with Satan about stopping coffee. (Drinking coffee is fine. I just have a little bit of an addiction issue that God is working on when it comes to me and coffee).

If Satan is going to tell me lies about coffee - you know he's got some whoppers for other issues.

Or, maybe they aren't whoppers. Perhaps Satan works best in the small things.  The seemingly innocent day-to-day events where we make choices. They aren't bad or illegal. But, still individual choices that don't honor God.

I think we've all been caught on a "path" called a "slippery slope." Once you start down a path that's a little off course it gets harder and harder to recover. Subsequent decisions just keep you sliding down that slope. I've been on a few slippery slopes - literally. If you don't have traction or something to cling to, you will start to fall.

As a hiker, I know I need boots with rugged grooves on the bottom to get traction on a slippery slope. I even need trekking poles to put out in front of each step to guide my path. I use these tools to navigate the less than ideal path.

When I start down the slippery slope of thinking, "It will make me happy; of course God wants me to be happy." I need to find my spiritual hiking boots and trekking poles and change course.  My spiritual traction comes from God's word. I've got to get a grip on God or I'll be tumbling head first down that slope. God gives us tools to avoid that slope or change course if we've started sliding.

We're to treasure His word in our hearts. At first I thought that verse was only about scripture memory. It's about so much more. Friends, we need to marinate in God's word. We need to soak it in and taste it. Yes, taste it. Roll it around in your mouth, breathe deeply the aroma of God's goodness.

Have a chat window open to God at all times. Pray continually. This is sometimes harder for me than soaking up His words. Satan seems to always be pinging me for a conversation (and my inner voice seems to chat it up with him). 

As soon as you recognize you are on that slippery slope, stop and grab God. God is your traction. Keep the line of communication open at all times.  Pray and listen to God's response. He will always provide a way out, over or thru the obstacle you are facing.

Dig Deeper |  

Psalm 119

Action Item |

Ask God to help you recognize your slippery slopes. Marinate on a verse from the Dig Deeper section and write out the verse in your own words.

Prayer |

Dear Father, You know I'm human and I have human cravings and desires. Desires for things that may not be bad, but perhaps are not the best choice for me today. Give me the awareness to avoid ever stepping foot on a path the takes me away from you. If I am already on that slippery slope, help me to recognize it immediately and grab you for traction. Amen.

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P.S. As of the date of posting the author has been off caffeinated coffee for two weeks. She keeps having to begin again. Fortunately, no loved ones or co-workers have been injured in the withdrawal.

This post is part of the "A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up."

And, we joined Kendra at A Proverbs 31 Wife.


God Hears Generations of Prayers

Prayer, ThessaloniansSow & Gather - Tamera B.4 Comments
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Pray without ceasing. I Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB)

Pray without ceasing.  My eyes glide over those three little words and swoosh I am standing on my granny's steps to her back door.

Eekeekeek!  The screen door drew back and there stood my Granny.  Her strong arms reached out to draw me into her rotund build while she uttered, "I've been so hungry to see ya'!"  Smells of smoky bacon, spicy pinto beans, and sweet cornbread filled her kitchen.  She was famous for her chocolate gravy which every grand kid adored.  The rich, deep, luscious taste of cocoa on a buttered sweet biscuit was harmony in the mouth. 

The twinkle in her eye gave away to her ornery nature, and she loved to laugh. She escorted me over to sit on the treasured 1950's yellow step-stool chair where she regaled me with stories of meeting my grandpa who lived "just over the hill."   She talked about how young they were when they got married. They had so little they lived in her in-law's barn their first year.

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She spoke of her children who she loved so dearly that each year for their birthday, she baked a quarter in their piece of cake.  Mostly though she told of her faith and how it had been the constant in life that sustained her.  She took me into her bedroom and showed me the rug that graced the wooden floor. She explained that was where she spent many hours kneeling in prayer. 

She told me how grandpa did not know Jesus when she married him, and how her boys followed in his wake.  In desperation she prayed fervently for them. 

She said prayer is the key to a faith-filled life.

I sit here overwhelmed with love for my granny that passed in 1992. You see, on that rug in a town so small the population was unknown, my legacy of faith began.  It began because she prayed for my dad who was one of her boys that would later come to know Jesus. He would pass the torch of faith to me. A flame that would then also fall on my children.  It reminds me that no prayer is too small or insignificant. 

God hears me when I pray. He brings to my memory people to pray over. He convicts me to confess, and He prompts me to praise Him every day. If not for my granny on that old worn rug, my kids might not know Christ at all. 

Prayer is the dining table of my faith where Jesus sits down with me.  It's the place where I find hope for eternal answers to my deep spiritual questions. 

Dip Deeper |

Ephesians 3:14-21; John 6:44

Action Item | 

Do you pray for people you think of during the day?  Pray for those who come to mind both those lost and Christians friends in need.

Prayer |

Thank you God for opening the way so we can talk to you.  Help us not to miss the opportunities each day to pray for the lost, pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, confess our shortcomings, and praise You with our whole heart.  Remind us that You are a great God and that You long to spend time with us. Amen.

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

This post is part of the weekly link up at What Joy Is Mine and the Shine Blog Hop.

The SHINE Blog Hop


The Twenty-five Cent Bible

Psalm, Prayer, seekSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
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Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 

In a world of fast food, Amazon Prime, and smartphones the skill of waiting is hard to practice.    

A couple of years ago a dear friend of mine was in need of a new Bible. The Bible, given to her when she began her Christian walk, was coming apart at the seams, literally. 

She checked into having the binding restored, but it cost as much as a new Bible and her tight budget didn’t allow for either one. She knew that God would provide a Bible for her in His timing so she prayed and waited while carrying that Bible with rubber bands keeping it together.  

Pray till prayer makes you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it in God’s will.
— Frederick William Robertson (1816-1853) English clergyman

The library in her local town also sold books. One afternoon while she was there gathering books with her children, she decided to stop off at the library book store. On the shelf in the “Religion” section sat a brand new, burgundy leather, New Living Translation Bible for twenty-five cents.  She couldn’t believe her eyes as she knew who had provided that Bible for her. 

To this day she carries around that Bible with the twenty-five cent sticker on the inside cover as a reminder of the Lord’s provision. She never misses an opportunity to glorify God every time she opens it! He always provides what we need when we need it. We just have to wait and pray for the eyes to see it. 

Dig Deeper |

Matthew 21:22; Psalm 62:5-6; Luke 11:9-10

Action Item |

Believe that God will supply all your needs, pray, and wait on Him.   

Prayer |

Dear Father, in the morning I will pray to You and eagerly watch and wait. Amen.

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

How Do We Pray Continually?

PrayerSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
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Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV).

Pray every once in a while. That’s what we do. A quick “please, God”, “thank you, God”, or “why, God?”  We know the Bible tells us to pray continually. All-day-long. But how?  

For the month of September, the contributors here at Sow & Gather will provide insight into our prayer lives. You’ll discover that how we pray, how we learned to pray, and why we pray, looks different for each of us.  It’s different for you, too. There’s no right or wrong way to humble ourselves before the Lord in prayer. 

In addition to joining us online, please join us for face-to-face community in September and October by participating in the Bible study “Live A Praying Life” by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.  The study starts September 8, 2015. You have the option of a Tuesday morning or Wednesday evening class at the First Grapevine campus in Grapevine, Texas. Learn more and register at this link.

Thank you for joining us in this journey of prayer.

Dig Deeper |

Matthew 6:9-13 (MSG)

Action Item |

Write down one praise and one prayer and put today’s date on the sheet. Place the paper in a safe place and update as God answers your prayer.

Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, may I always give thanks and know that every good thing comes from you. May I recognize that you answer every prayer and that I must listen to hear your response. Keep my ears and my heart open for your reply. Amen.

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.