Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

40 Day Prayer Blitz!

 

Grunge ornamental cover for an album with photos

 

Dear Friends,

 Be part of an exciting and unique book launch – a 40 day prayer blitz.  Yes, in 40 days The Shepherd’s Song will go out into the world taking the powerful words of Psalm 23 with it.

 Sign up and you will receive a one-sentence prayer request each day. One sentence – that’s it. 

 This is for God’s glory and advancement of His kingdom! 

Excited to have you with us.

Here’s the sign up link.  Click Here.

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11

 

Lord, Teach Us To Pray: Day 3

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Lord, Teach Us to Pray

 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

Day 3: Can prayer be taught?

Isn’t prayer just a natural outpouring to God? If we think we know it all, then we can’t be taught.  Is there something that we can learn about prayer?

“’Lord, teach us to pray.’ Yes, we feel the need now of being taught to pray. At first there is no work that appears so simple; later on, none that is more difficult; and the confession is forced from us: We know not how to pray as we should.

Amid the painful consciousness of ignorance and unworthiness, in the struggle between believing and doubting, the heavenly art of effectual prayer is learned. Because, even when we do not remember it, there is One, the Beginner and Finisher of faith and prayer, who watches over our praying, and sees to it that in all who trust Him for it their education in the school of prayer shall be carried on to perfection.

Let but the deep undertone of all our prayer be the teachableness that comes from a sense of ignorance, and from faith in Him as a perfect teacher, and we may be sure we shall be taught, we shall learn to pray in power. Yes, we may depend upon it, He teaches to pray.”

Lord, May a deep sense of my ignorance, of the wonderful privilege and power of prayer, of the need of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of prayer, lead me to cast away my thoughts of what I think I know, and make me kneel before You in true teachableness and poverty of spirit. Amen

Andrew Murray — Lord, Teach Us To Pray

(Some language updated for understanding)

We love the word “teachableness” in this passage.  That may be the key to learning anything new.

Can prayer be taught?  If so, how do we learn.

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

Lord, Teach Us To Pray: Day 2

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Lord, Teach Us to Pray

 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

Day 2: Who can teach us to pray?

If we want to learn, where do we go to learn?  Books? Classes? Retreats? What if these fall short? Who can teach us?

Lord, teach us to pray.

It is Jesus, praying Himself, who teaches to pray. He knows what prayer is. He learned it amid the trials and tears of His earthly life. In heaven it is still His beloved work: His life there is prayer. Nothing delights Him more than to find those whom He can take with Him into the Father’s presence, whom He can clothe with power to pray down God’s blessing on those around them, whom He can train to be His fellow-workers in the intercession by which the kingdom is to be revealed on earth.

He teaches, by giving not only thoughts of what to ask or how to ask, but by breathing within us the very spirit of prayer, by living within us as the Great Intercessor. . .  Jesus loves to teach us how to pray.

And fill me, Lord, with the confidence that with such a teacher as Thou art I shall learn to pray. In the assurance that I have as my teacher, Jesus, who is ever praying to the Father, and by His prayer rules the destinies of His Church and the world, I will not be afraid. Amen

Andrew Murray — Lord, Teach Us To Pray

(Some language updated for understanding)

We can only learn to pray by praying. I love that Andrew Murray prays for the confidence that he can learn to pray.  Who taught you to pray?

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

 

Lord, Teach Us To Pray: Day 1

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Lord, Teach Us to Pray

 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

Day 1: How do we pray?

The idea of prayer brings up so many questions. How can we connect with God?  How can we be taught by Him?  How can we experience God’s power? Maybe it all starts with prayer.  But how?  We are sharing some insights from Andrew Murray this month. 

“The disciples had been with Christ, and seen Him pray. They had learned to understand something of the connection between His wondrous life in public, and His secret life of prayer. They had learned to believe in Him as a Master in the art of prayer—none could pray like Him. And so they came to Him with the request, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ And in after years they would have told us that there were few things more wonderful or blessed that He taught them than His lessons on prayer.”

Blessed Lord! who ever lives to pray, You can teach me too to pray, me to live ever to pray. In this You love to make me share Your glory in heaven, that I should pray without ceasing, and ever stand as a priest in the presence of my God.  Amen

Andrew Murray–Lord, Teach Us To Pray

(Some language updated)

Can prayer be learned? How did you learn to pray?

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

Draw Near to God: Day 24

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Day 24: Watching and praying

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

and in his word I put my hope.

My soul waits for the Lord

more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Psalm 130: 5-6

When we pray do we really expect God to hear us and to act on our behalf?  

A watchman is an important person, but he doesn’t do very much.  The massive turning of the earth, the immense energies released by the sun—all that goes on apart from him.  He does nothing to influence or control such things; he is a watchman.  He knows the dawn is coming; there are no doubts concerning that. Eugene Peterson,  A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Watchtowers served a variety of purposes in ancient culture—as built-in defense systems in the walls of ancient cities, as built-in pastures so shepherds could protect their flocks from wild animals, and as built-in vineyards for protection from thieves.  Watchmen would climb into their watchtower, station themselves at their guard post, and scan the horizon for enemy armies or trading caravans.  The watchmen were the first to see, and they saw the farthest.  So it is with those who pray.  Intercessors are watchmen and watchwomen.  They see sooner and see farther into the spiritual realm.  Why?  Because prayer gives us a unique vantage point. Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle

Are you waiting and watching for God?

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8

Draw Near to God: Day Eleven

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Day Eleven: Praying for Help

Praise be to the Lord,

who has not let us be torn by their teeth.

We have escaped like a bird

out of the fowler’s snare;

the snare has been broken,

and we have escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 124: 6-8

There is danger in the world.  Where can we find help?

Here is the big question.  What is God doing when you are in a bind?  When the lifeboat springs a leak? When the ripcord snaps? When the last penny is gone before the last bill is paid? When the last hope left on the last train?  What is God doing?

I know what we are doing.  Nibbling on nails like corn on the cob.  Pacing floors.  Taking pills.  I know what we do.

But what does God do?  Big question.  Real big.  If God is sleeping, I’m duck soup.  If he is laughing, I’m lost.  If he is crossing his arms and shaking his head, then saw off the limb, Honey, it’s time to crash. . .

So what do you think?  What does God do when you are in a bind?  That question can be answered with one word: fight.  He fights for us.  He steps into the ring and points us to the corner and takes over.  “You need only to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.” (Ex 14:14)

His job is to fight.  Our job is to trust.

Just trust.  Not direct.  Or question.  Or yank the steering wheel out of his hands.  Our job is to pray and wait.  Nothing more is necessary.  Nothing more is needed.

Max Lucado, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus

This season,

May I be reborn

Washed clean

Made new

Forgiven

Spectacularly loved.

Remind me who I am.

Forgive me for my shadow sides,

Please heal my broken wings

That I might fly

With You.

Amen

Marianne Williamson,  Illuminated Prayers

How do you handle difficult situations?  Do you “yank the steering wheel out of His hands?”  Or do you wait and pray?

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8

Draw Near to God: A Desire for Home

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Even a sparrow has found a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may have her young —

a place near your altar.

Psalm 84: 3

Today the heart of God is an open wound of love.  He aches over our distance and preoccupation.  He mourns that we do not draw near to him.  He grieves that we have forgotten him.  He weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness.  He longs for our presence.
And he is inviting you – and me – to come home, to come home to where we belong, to come home to that for which we were created.  His arms are stretched out wide to receive us.  His heart is enlarged to take us in.
Richard Foster,  Prayer:  Finding the Heart’s True Home

Draw Near to God

September 1 to September 30

Join us here as we share  some of our favorite readings to explore the Psalms of Ascent.

Betsy and Laurie

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8

Don’t Stay Stuck: Part Four

 

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We have been reading Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge.  We love stories and this one from Day 27 is inspiring:

For thirteen years I was a frustrated writer.  I had a half-dozen half-finished manuscripts on my computer, but I couldn’t seem to finish a book.  I started to think that the dream of writing a book might be nothing more than a mirage. 

Finally when my level of frustration hit an all-time high, I decided to do a forty-day media fast out of desperation.  That fast was the turning point in my career.  I needed a breakthrough, but it took more than prayer; it took prayer plus fasting. 

In the process, I found that my writing became a form of praying.  I don’t type on a keyboard; I pray on it.  And by the time I was done, I had completed my first self-published book. 

 Mark Batterson,  Draw the Circle

What do you do when you are stuck?  When we think of fasting we think of abstaining from food, but what about a media fast?  Facebook? Twitter?

Hmmmm.

Let us know what your think.

Betsy and Laurie

Don’t Stay Stuck: Part Two

 

 

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It happens to us all, in writing or in life. We can get stuck.  How do we move forward and get going again?  We found these thoughts about being stuck in Andy Stanley’s ebook,  Communicating for Change.

So what do you do when you are stuck?

The first thing I do when I am stuck is pray.  But I’m not talking about a quick, Help me Lord, Sunday’s a comin’ prayer.  When I get stuck I get up from my desk to head for my closet.  Literally.  If I‘m at the office I go over to a corner that I have deemed my closet away from home.  I get on my knees and remind God that this was not my idea, it was His…

None of this is new information to God…

Then I ask God to show me if there is something He wants to say to prepare me for what He wants me to communicate to our congregation.  I surrender my ideas, my outline and my topic.  Then I just stay in that quiet place until God quiets my heart…

Many times I will have a breakthrough thought or idea that brings clarity to my message. . .

Like you, I am simply a mouthpiece.  Getting stuck is one way God keeps me ever conscious of that fact.     Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley

Can prayer be the way out?  Can being stuck be a way to pull us into the right perspective about our role?

What works for you?

Betsy and Laurie

From Our Reading Journals: Mark Batterson

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I’m only on Day Two of the 40 Day Prayer Challenge and came across this wonderful thought on praying for books.

“I have a handful of prayers that I pray all the time… One is that God will put my books into the right hands at the right times.  I’ve prayed this prayer thousands of times, and God has answered it in dramatic fashion countless times.  The right book in the right hands at the right time can save a marriage, avert a mistake, demand a decision, plant a seed, conceive a dream, solve a problem, and prompt a prayer.  That is why I write.  And that’s why, for me, a book sold is not a book sold; a book sold is a prayer answered.  I don’t know the name and situation of every reader, but God does, and that’s all that matters.”  Mark Batterson  Draw the Circle

This is a reminder to take the focus off of traditional measures of success in publishing and to focus on the eternal prospective in our work.

This scripture is in the front of our book, The Shepherd’s Song:

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11

When we write for God we don’t always see the results in sales figures but we are promised that there will be results.

I’m looking forward to the next 38 days.

Do you pray for your readers? Do you pray for books that you put in the hands of others?

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