Biblical Womanhood · fellowship with God · God's Will · Prayer

A Heart for Prayer

This is a continuation of the review of the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, but Elizabeth George

Whenever spring arrives, you will find me taking bags full of items that are being sent out to donate.  They are things that are no longer of use to me.  They are weighing me down.  The truth is, however, that those bags typically sit in my garage for a long time before they finally get hauled away.  I know they need to go. I know it will feel good to get rid of them.  I know it’s the best thing, but I keep putting it off, until finally I’ve had enough and the task finally gets done! It feels so good to unclutter my home! I always wonder why I didn’t do it sooner!

While that is so freeing to me, the act of taking my load of sin, burdens and requests to the Lord is even better! We often carry that load around with us and the burden of it all is weighty and deadening to our spiritual growth.

Most Christians delay praying.  We put it off and resist it! We make excuses as to why we don’t pray.  Satan doesn’t want us to have that fellowship with the Lord, and we listen to his lies until we finally are at a breaking point and we pour out our heart to God.  The result is better than we could ever imagine. 

In her book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George shares seven blessings of having a fervent prayer life.  When I read these, I wondered why we put it off, why we don’t pray more.  Look at to these incredible blessings ~

  1. A deeper relationship with God. How can we have a relationship with the God who saved us if we don’t communicate with Him?  Just as you and I long for fellowship with our husband or friends, God longs to enjoy fellowship and communion with Him.  That happens when we pray. It’s not out of obligation, but because of a relationship. I Peter 5:7
    As a camel kneels before his master to have him remove his burden, so kneel and let the Master take your  burden.
  2. Greater purity. As we talk with God, the Spirit of God will reveal sin in our lives.  That leads us to confessing that sin and getting it right with Him.  Elizabeth shared about being convicted of gossip. She began to make it a real matter of prayer that God would help her defeat this sin.  “I faced my sin regularly in prayer. Sin led to confession, which let to purging.”  
  3. Confidence in Making decisions. – As we face decisions that need to be made, giving them to the Lord and making it a true matter of prayer will give us wisdom about what to do.  God will neve lead us to do something that is contrary to His word.  So as we pray about the decision, He will direct us in His truth.  We need to pray about everything.  Elizabeth lives by this mantra ~
    No decision without prayer.
    NO DECISION?  None.  “Should I go here?” 
    Should I say yes to this invitation?” 
    As we are directed by the Lord in prayer, we can have confidence regarding those choices. When God has led us to say Yes to giving the devotion at a baby shower, we won’t dread it or be afraid, because we remember that He led us to make that decision, and He will fulfill all the good pleasure of His will!
  4. Improved Relationships. Making specific prayer for those people closest to us will strengthen our relationships with them.  How does this happen?
    1. You can’t think about yourself and others at the same time.  
    2. You can’t hate the person you are praying for.  Jesus instructed us to pray for our enemies.  Matt 5:44 and God changes our hearts as we do so.
    3. You cannot neglect the person you are praying for. As we pray, we find ourselves involved in those people’s lives.
  5. Contentment. As we give to the Lord our wants, realizing that He will keep His promises to provide our needs, we will learn that “If He didn’t meet it, we didn’t need it. Paul said he was initiated into the secret place of contentment.  This secret place is the place of prayer.  If you’re praying about something and want it so badly, take it to your time of prayer. 
  6. God-confidence. As you face your own inadequacies, prayer will give you confidence in what He can do through you.  You will learn to trust Him. 
  7. The ministry of prayer. No matter if you have physical strength to go and do other ministries, you can always have a ministry of prayer. You don’t need to go anywhere, you don’t need anything except a heart to bring burdens to our God Who promises to hear us when we call out to Him. So pray for others! Pray about your own burdens! You be the one who reaches out to pray with a friend over the phone, or in your home. Be the intercessor for others because of your heart to pray.

Are you a praying woman? Or are you carrying around the load and weight of your burdens rather than taking them to the Lord? You’ll be so free if you’ll spend time sharing your heart with God. You’ll also wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. God wants fellowship with you. Call out to Him. Draw near. He will draw near to you.

Do you have a prayer journal? I have offered a pdf for my favorite prayer journal in past. I’m still happy to send it for free to anyone who emails me here at Refreshherblog@gmail.com.

You can find the previous chapter of the review of A woman After God’s Own Heart here.

fellowship with God · Refreshment · Spiritual Refreshment

Headed to The Wilds!

I’m excited to have the blessing of speaking at The Wilds ladies’ retreat this weekend. There are 19 or 20 of our church ladies attending and I’m so excited to share this weekend with these precious sisters in. Christ.

Springtime at The Wilds!

The van is packed and we’re headed to do some shopping and enjoy lunch out before getting to camp. This will be full, fun day!

I pray your weekend is full of seeing God at work! I’ll be anxious to share all the details of the weekend very soon!

I pray you’re making plans to be in a Bible preaching church on Sunday!

fellowship with God · joy · peace

Thieves Were Here

I’ll never forget the sinking feeling I had one summer day some years back. I had gone out to get something out of my Jeep, and when I opened the driver’s side door there were my cassette tapes (my model was old!) strewn all over the seats of the car. My first thought was that my husband had made a mad search for something he needed. I came in and asked if he’d been looking for something in my car.

His reply was, “No, why?” After I explained what I’d found when I went out to my vehicle, it was obvious to us both that someone else had been searching through my car in the night. The thief had to be sorely disappointed, because I had nothing of value kept there, and the only tapes they found (and left) were Christian music tapes.

It gave me a truly strange feeling to know that some stranger had been rummaging through my car and my belongings, right outside my bedroom door while I slept! We learned that our neighbors had also been burglarized, some losing valuable possessions. We all began taking precautions against this happening again. I began locking my car and we left on a flood light through the night. These were things that we should have been doing all along, but instead we had left ourselves open to the thief because we thought we were safe.

I think how often I’m robbed of other things – things that I leave unprotected and unguarded, and as a result they are stolen away from me in a moment of distraction.

  • I’m robbed of joy when I am not walking in the Spirit due to unconfessed sin.
    Galatians 5:22a – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, genleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance… When we are in fellowship with God, we have ALL of these!
  • I’m robbed of what the Lord wants to teach me if I don’t discipline myself and make time to be in the Word.
    Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
  • I’m robbed of sweet time in my home when I choose to tear down instead of build up. 
    Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.Proverbs 14:1
  • I’m robbed of peace when I don’t hide God’s Word in my heart. Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to stealand to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I have a choice now – to lock up my car and also to leave the light on in hopes of discouraging thieves, or I can leave everything as it was on the day the robbery happened. An even greater choice is the decision to lock up tight, and “leave the light on” in my spiritual life so I’ll be very aware of the thieves that desire to steal precious possessions the Lord wants me to enjoy!

Are you safeguarding against the thieves of your heart?

fellowship with God · forgiveness · guilt · sin

He Carries the Load

I have a husband who was taught to act like a gentleman.  That means he sweetly grabs anything from my hands or grasp that is heavier than an envelope!  There have been times when I’ve seen that he’s already carrying something else and I’ve said,

“It’s okay, I’ve got it.” To which he replies,

“Denise, give it to me.”

It’s then that I open my hands and hand it over.  My load is lighter and I have appropriated all he desires to be as my husband – loving, leader, gentleman, and helper.

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Fear · fellowship with God · Living in Bondage

Living With the Fear Of Getting Caught

 

On a recent trip to Kentucky to visit my parents I made the trip by myself as I’ve done many times, traveling through the Cumberland Gap on many four-lane roads and avoiding the busy interstate.

As I was tootling my way along one of the parts where it narrowed to a two-lane road, I saw police lights up ahead on the opposite side of the road. As I slowed down, I noticed the car in the lane coming towards me that had come to a stop. I assumed he was being held for speeding or something. When I saw a state trooper walking along the yellow lines of the road, I also assumed that he was just slowing cars down and making them aware of the one car that they had pulled over, so I didn’t stop – I just slowed way down and drove past the police officer. When I got just past him, I looked in my side mirror to see him give a bit of a wave as he turned my direction. I waved and kept going. (Okay, I know you’re laughing right now! Go ahead! I deserve it!).

As I got on a few hundred feet away, I saw that the car behind me had come to a complete stop as he approached the trooper. It was then that I realized that they were stopping every car probably to check for seat belts and license. Duh!!!

I watched in my rear view mirror, wondering if someone would come after me. No one did. I laughed at my stupidity, but then I also reassured myself that if I had looked suspicious he would have done more than just wave. He never even put up his hand in a gesture that would say, “Stop!”

As I called my husband and laughed my way through my story, I said,

“Well, I had my seat belt on, I have a current license and I hadn’t been speeding, so why would I think he wanted me to stop if he didn’t motion for me to do so? I kept going because I was innocent!”

I got to thinking about a criminal who might have driven through that same scene and become sweaty-palmed and nervous as he approached the police cars and the flashing lights. Maybe he would wonder if the road block was to find him! Perhaps he’d start figuring out an excuse or a way to escape. Because he was guilty he’d be fearful to approach the trooper in the road. He may have even wondered the whole time he was driving if he’d get stopped for speeding and then get found out. He would want to run – even though no one was chasing him! Guilt will do that to you.

It reminded me of  Proverbs 28:1

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

The application of this in every day life is that when we obey the Lord’s commands and walk purely before Him, we don’t have to keep looking over our shoulder wondering when or if we’ll get caught. We won’t listen to a sermon and “sweat it out” wondering if that message Pastor preached was because he knows about the sin in which we’re involved. We can walk bold as a lion, unashamed and unafraid.

I haven’t always been as innocent as the day I drove past the State trooper, and I thank the Lord for the cleansing and forgiveness He brings when I confess the sin. I make it right with Him, and with those that were touched by my ungodly actions. The guilt is gone then. The relief washes over me and I can “drive on” not having to keep looking in my rear view mirror.

How about you, my friend? Are you involved in some kind of sin or behavior that has brought on fear and guilt? It makes you run at every turn, fearful you’ll get found out. Why not “turn yourself in” by going to the Lord and confessing it to Him. He will forgive if you humbly bow and ask.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 Then He’ll also show you the next step you need to take. Don’t live looking over your shoulder; live purely and enjoy the journey instead!

Lovingly,

denise a