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.

Christian Life · Prayer

How To Have a Strong Prayer Life When It Seems So Hard

I won’t lie – pastors get down – really down when the attendance falls off on the night a Prayer Meeting is scheduled.  It happens often.  You announce you’re going to gather just to pray, and the crowd thins as though the fire alarm had just gone off.  My husband will get in the car and I know what question is coming my way…

Why won’t people gather to pray?”

I’ve been thinking about that and I’d like to address that question with three answers.  How about watching this video and tell me if you agree?

What keeps you from praying?  What makes it difficult to be consistent and fervent? Do you agree with the reasons I stated in the video?  Is your prayer life all it could be, or do you need to make some changes?

The download of my prayer journal is still available to anyone who will contact me via the email on my contact page.

Let’s stay on our knees, friends.  God answers the prayer of the righteous! Proverbs 15:29

Denise Signature 150 px

Christian growth · How-to Video · Prayer

Setting Up An Effective Prayer Journal

0103181040.jpg

I’ve shared often that I love looking at the answered prayers marked in my prayer journal and many of you asked how I set it up, or what I use.  Today I’m giving you a tour of my journal via the video below!  I hope this will answer your questions and set you on the path to the blessing of much prayer!

Leave any questions you may have in the comment section.  Don’t forget to email me at RefreshHerblog@gmail.com if you would like the download for the prayer journal!

Denise Signature 150 px

Christian Life

My Dressing Room

I love outfit posts and I think many other women do too!  But there is one part of dressing that has to come first, and that’s the preparing of our heart for the day before us.  It’s the most important part of my day and I thought I’d share a little glimpse of how I spend that time.

I may add that I often also read a devotional type book and review memory verses that I’m either learning or just keeping fresh in my mind.  What  a rich time this is each day, and oh, what I miss when I hurry past it!

Next week a post is coming that will answer the question, “How do I know what to read in the Bible each day?”

Do you have a Quiet time?  If so, what do you do?  

Denise Signature 150 px

Christian growth · Christian Life

Organizing Your Prayer Journal

The Word of God is my favorite Book.  Oh, how I love it.  My Bible is a treasure to me.  Its worn, marked up pages and loose binding are all precious, and I wouldn’t take  a million dollars for it. I mean it.

Now, let me tell you about my second favorite book.  It’s my prayer Journal.  I began using this almost ten years ago.  It has been to the “hospital” many times.  I’ve had to make new pages and add paper reinforcers.  I’ve had to remove pages to make room for more requests, more answers to prayer, and more notes from my morning Bible reading.

When I look at its pages and see the check marks, which reveal an answer to prayer, my heart leaps with gratitude and joy at my wonderful God.  It’s a reminder to me that God answers prayer!  It keeps me coming back day after day, moment by moment to cry out to the Lord for the burdens and needs in my life and the lives of others I know.

Corrie Ten Boom referred to prayer as our steering wheel.  I’ve likened my prayer journal to a car.  Without the car, the steering wheel wouldn’t have direction or a place to go! Of course you can pray without a journal, but in my experience, before I began a serious prayer journal, I prayed, but I really didn’t have a prayer life. A life is the period of existence, activity, or effectiveness of something inanimate, and without the direction of my journal, my prayer life really wasn’t that effective.

Using the imagery of a car, let me explain how a prayer journal can help your prayer life.

It’s great to have a glove box (pocket) at the front in order to hold verses of Scripture that you can pray.

The radio being on, (you singing a song of praise) is a great way to start your time alone with God.

Every car needs a clean windshield (heart), and it’s helpful to have windshield cleaning fluid (a time of confession of sin) ready to do the job necessary to have a clean heart..

It’s time to start the engine (petitioning) when you specifically ask God for the requests before you.  Have a seat for everyone (a different page for each family member).  List their needs for each day of the week.

What a blessing it is to look in your rear view mirror (at the past) and see how God has answered your prayers!  Be sure to make a check mark beside that request and write how God took care of that request.  It will increase your faith and cause you to pray more fervently in the future!

If you have a trunk (back pocket) in your binder, put your prayer bulletin there, missionary prayer cards, or other tools that will help you pray more specifically.

Park the car (sit still and alone) while you pray.  Don’t let the engine idle (don’t have distractions around you).  Be all there so you can pray and then listen to God.

Rosalind Goforth, missionary to China in the late 1800’s wrote a book, How I Know God Answers Prayer.  She had to have a method of recording His answers in order to write a book like this.  Could you write a whole book of how God has been at work while you’ve prayed?  It will only happen as you record it, otherwise you will forget.

I challenge you to get a journal of some model (kind) started.  See how it will change your prayer life!

Do you use a journal when you pray?  What’s keeping you from starting one?

With love,