How To “Pray Without Ceasing”(or, Learning How To Practice The Presence Of God.) By Timothy Baugh. July 11, 2019.

“praying at all times in the Spirit, (in the Life from God) with all prayer and supplication. (petitioning, making requests). To that end (for that purpose) keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (for all of the fellow believers who diligently fight this spiritual battle likewise). Ephesians 6:18. (English Standard Version- with my own insights added.)       Although some would claim that such a “spiritual discipline” is much like Eastern Mysticism, Meditation techniques, or Yoga practices; what the Apostle Paul was trying to emphasize, I believe, had more to do with what Jesus Himself would have told us!  On the night Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he said to His disciples, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The Spirit (the Life from God) is willing, (is willing to surrender everything) but the flesh (the physical nature) is weak.” Mark 14:38. (English Standard Version- with my own insights added.) Why is this usually the case? Because we have come to see the “Physical nature” as WHO we ARE; rather than WHAT WE ARE! (read that again very slowly). Jesus KNEW of WHAT HE ACTUALLY WAS, but His BODY was trying to tell HIM OTHERWISE. Jesus could “Pray in the Spirit” because His spirit was one with God. Our ‘human’ spirit is not.  Praying, when in this mode of living, united with the Spirit of God… it then becomes as natural as breathing! I can speak for this personally. However ‘impossible’ it may seem.  Our minds are constantly distracted, as are our spirits. Such distractions can then become addictions, moods, and obsessions that will seek to cripple and undermine our faith. Jesus felt the attachments of the flesh every bit as what we do. Yet Jesus KNEW that His real adversary wasn’t Self. In our case it often IS! Jesus had that “Dark night of the soul” experience. For us, we now can come through ALL OF THAT, VICTORIOUS because we are living in “the Spirit of God”. Amen to that!   

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10 Prayers For Your Daughter

proverbs-logo 2019 LYSA TERKEURST

There is something I’ve come to realize I need to guard against as a mom. I sometimes want to be God in my kids’ lives.

I want to write their stories.

I want to set the courses of their futures.

I want to determine what’s best for them.

I want to prevent them from ever being hurt.

I want to be their provider and protector.

And I want to be the one to set anyone straight who messes with my kids.

Can you relate on any level? I think most moms can. We love these people entrusted to us more than we ever knew possible. And despite all the infant sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, tween eye rolling, and the teen decisions that break our heart slap in two… they are ours. To love. To lead. To launch.

And we want to make it all good.

But then things happen so beyond our control we eventually have to face the reality that we aren’t God. And we can’t operate like we are.

So what do we do with that gap where our mommy capabilities end and trusting God begins? I want to trust God with everything beyond my control with my kids but it’s so scary. It feels so risky.

And scary and risky are two words us moms don’t want as part of our kids’ lives.

So, how do we deepen our trust in God? How do we make peace with the limits of what we can and cannot protect them from? What do we do with the risky and scary feelings that can make a mom lose sleep at best and feel crazed with fear at worst?

We must fill that gap with the only thing that bridges the space between our limitations and our trust in God… prayer.

I know, I know – that can sound like such a cliché Christian answer. Typical. Too hyper-spiritual. Not the answer we want sometimes.

But prayer is the only possibility with real possibility.

Earlier this week my friend, Brooke McGlothlin, wrote an article I posted on Scriptural prayers for boys. Today, I want to post some specific Scriptural prayers for our girls.

I’ve prayed these and I’ve seen amazingly powerful things happen in the lives of my daughters.

I can still fret and worry and want to mess with anyone who messes with my girls.

My girls still make mistakes, and cross lines, and give the principal reasons to call me.

But where would we all be if the power of prayer wasn’t in the mix of our lives?

And what might these prayers be working out for their futures that I won’t see for years to come?

Yes, prayer is the only possibility with real possibility. And that brings me to the place where I can finally say… “Hello, my name is Mom. Not God.”

10 Prayers For Your Daughter

10 Powerful Prayers to Help You Fight for the Heart of Your Daughter:

1. Give my daughter a deep desire to listen to You, Lord, and pray often, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” (Joshua 5:14b).

2. Let her learn early in life that to obey You, God, is the best way to the life her heart truly desires, (1 Samuel 15:22).

3. May she find comfort in Your ability, God, to reach her, hold her, and rescue her, (2 Samuel 22:17-18).

4. May she please You, Lord, by desiring, asking for, and utilizing a discerning heart full of wisdom, (1 Kings 3:9-12).

5. Let her find confidence in You, God, even when hard times come and she doesn’t know what to do, by keeping her eyes fixed on You, (2 Chronicles 20:12).

6. Give her a great desire to accept Your word, God, and store up Your commands within her so her ears will turn to Your wisdom, (Proverbs 2:1-2).

7. May she keep herself under control and not give full vent to people and situations that anger her, (Proverbs 29:11).

8. Give her the ability to rise above the traps of people pleasing so she can be kept safe by trusting You, Lord, (Proverbs 29:25).

9. Let her walk in the security of Your assigned worth to her. Give her a strong work ethic and health to accomplish all her tasks. Give her a heart that desires to extend her hand to those in need. Protect her for the right husband, a man of respect and godly honor. And let her be a woman of joy and laughter whose Christ-centered character is what makes her most beautiful, (Proverbs chapter 31).

10. And every time you, Jesus, whisper, “Follow me” she does so with great grace, (Matthew 4:19).

Today, I’m giving five commenting blog friends a copy of the book I wrote with my daughter, What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God. To enter, leave a comment below.

(For “10 Powerful Prayers to Help You Fight for the Heart of Your Son” click here.)

Pressing Through the Pain “Draw near to God and He will draw near t

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Does it ever feel like the heartbreak in your life is trying to break you?

I understand. I’ve been in that place where the pain of heartbreak hits with such sudden and sharp force that it feels like it cuts through skin and bone. It’s the kind of pain that leaves us wondering if we’ll ever be able to function like a normal person again.

But God has been tenderly reminding me that pain itself is not the enemy. Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists.

Pain is the reminder that the real enemy is trying to take us out and bring us down by keeping us stuck in broken places. Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination, knowing there’s healing on the other side.

And in the in-between? In that desperate place where we aren’t quite on the other side of it all yet, and our heart still feels quite raw?

Pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His. I’m not writing that to throw out spiritual platitudes that sound good; I write it from the depth of a heart that knows it’s the only way.

We must invite God into our pain to help us survive the desperate in-between.

The only other choice is to run from the pain by using some method of numbing. But numbing the pain — with food, achievements, drugs, alcohol or sex — never goes to the source of the real issue to make us healthier. It only silences our screaming need for help.

We think we are freeing ourselves from the pain when, in reality, what numbs us imprisons us. If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us. It slowly kills the potential for our hearts to fully feel, fully connect, fully love again. It even steals the best in our relationship with God.

Pain is the sensation that indicates a transformation is needed. There is a weakness where new strength needs to enter in. And we must choose to pursue long-term strength rather than temporary relief.

So how do we get this new strength? How do we stop ourselves from chasing what will numb us when the deepest parts of us scream for some relief? How do we stop the piercing pain of this minute, this hour?

We invite God’s closeness.

For me, this means praying. No matter how vast our pit, prayer is big enough to fill us with the realization of His presence like nothing else.

Our key verse (James 4:8a) reminds us that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. When we invite Him close, He always accepts our invitation.

And on the days when my heart feels hurt and my words feel quite flat, I let Scripture guide my prayers — recording His Word in my journal, and then adding my own personal thoughts.

One of my personal favorites to turn to is Psalm 91. I would love to share this verse with you today, as an example for when you prayerfully invite God into your own pain.

Verse: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1, NIV)

Prayer: Lord, draw me close.

Your Word promises when I draw close to You, You are there. I want my drawing close to be a permanent dwelling place.

I am not alone, because You are with me. I am not weak, because Your strength is infused in me. I am not empty, because I’m drinking daily from Your fullness. You are my dwelling place. And in You I have shelter from every stormy circumstance and harsh reality. I’m not pretending the hard things don’t exist, but I am rejoicing in the fact that Your covering protects me and prevents those hard things from affecting me like they used to.

You, the Most High, have the final say over me. You know me and love me intimately. And today I declare that I will trust You in the midst of my pain. You are my everyday dwelling place, my saving grace.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

And with that I close my prayer journal, feeling a lot less desperate and a lot more whole. I breathe the atmosphere of life His words bring.

I picture Him standing at the door of my future, knocking. If I will let Him enter into the darkness of my hurt today, He will open wide the door to a much brighter tomorrow.