Category Archives: praying

Working out the Struggle

I know you’ve heard the truth that God has set you free

But you think you’re the one that grace could never reach

So you just keep asking, Oh, what everybody’s asking

[Chorus] Am I more than flesh and bone?

Am I really something beautiful?

Yeah, I want to believe,

I want to believe that I’m not just some wandering soul

That you don’t see and you don’t know Yeah,

I want to believe,

Jesus help me believe

That I am someone worth dying for

From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/m/mikeschair-lyrics/someone-worth-dying-for-lyrics.html

This song was “dedicated” to me by a college friend after I wrote this post  about  being worth fighting the depression for, but admitting I wasn’t sure  Christ came to die for me.

It is aptly named “Someone Worth Dying For”  I love the truth of this song, but must admit I am still grappling with it; I am also working through a lot of other aspects of my faith and personality.

I’ve put a lot of my struggle out here on my blog, but at the same time, there is much I cannot verbalize or express.  It’s hard to have all the words, btu this I know to be true…

God is okay with my struggle.  He knew, before my mother found out she was expecting a baby, what my path would lead to.  He knew about the Multiple Sclerosis, depression and other issues that have arisen.  And, glory to God, He knows the outcome, though I do not.

In what areas are you struggling?  Where is your faith in the struggle?  How can I pray for you today, and in the future?

Words…

Patrice is starting to talk a little bit.  She says dada.  She likes to say that one and she definitely knows who she means.  She does not say mama.  But when I ask “where’s the mama?”  She buries her head in my chest.  As my grandpa said when I told him, “can you blame her?  She knows where her groceries are!”  True, so true.  She started saying hi today.  She waves and says “haaa.”  It is super cute.  It makes the heart just melt.

We love to hear her words.  In the same vein, we are taught the Lord loves to hear our words. 

“and said, “Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.”  Acts 10:31

But have you wondered if the Lord listens to YOUR prayers?  I have.  There are times I pray and things change.  At those moments I feel confident the Lord has heard me.  Other times, things do not change.  And I wonder.  Maybe not so much if He hears my prayers, but definitely if I am praying the right thing; have I prayed enough; did I use the right words; is the answer no or pray longer; did I hear the Lord right when I felt led to pray in a specific way? 

So many questions.  I wish I knew the answers.  I was raised that we always had to pray, “if it is your will Lord.”  And I agree there are times we are to pray that, but it kind of feels like a cop out, like, if I add that, I won’t be disappointed if the Lord doesn’t answer or that it absolves me from having to hear the Lord about  how to pray, because I added the caveat about His will. Or it gives me permission to give up praying because it must not be His will. 

Do you ever wonder about things like that?  What things in your Christian walk cause you to ask questions?

Praying and Providing

I have been praying for the Lord to provide for us in a big, big way.  Huge.  Feels like one of the biggest prayers of my life.  I cannot fathom how the Lord is going to be able to do this.  It is just too big for my brain.  I am praying that is the way He likes it.  Trust me, as His answer unfolds, we will only be able to stand back and declare, “See what the Lord has done on our behalf!”  And there will be no way for anyone to argue it was not a miracle.

In the process of praying, I have been praying and reading scriptures about not being afraid.  About God’s provision.  About peace. 

Have I mentioned, what I am praying for is beyond my wildest dreams and beyond comprehension?

But I have seen the Lord work mightily.  Maybe not in how I would expect, but mightily.  Take the running I am always blogging about…10 years ago I was in and out of a wheelchair due to Multiple Sclerosis.  Trust me, no one ever thought I would run for fun at that point.  No one.  Actually at the time, a doctor told me he thought I would walk again but he didn’t know when.  Fast forward a few months, and a friend gave me the name of a neurologist who specializes in MS.  He started treating the MS aggressively.  And he encouraged me to dream again.  I got married.  My health stabilized for just a minute…hubby and I decided to dare to start a family…my doctor was all for it.  11 months later Caitlyn was born…  Remember that minute that my health stabilized?  It has now last almost 6 years.  No one can quite explain it, as far as we can figure, the horomone changes related to pregnancy and nursing have changed the behavior of my MS.  I have gone from being sick most of the time, to never.  Praise the Lord!  He chose to move mightily on my behalf…

There have been other times and I will share more as I walk this new journey of trusting the Lord.  Please feel free to share some of your own stories in the comments below…we can all stand to hear how the Lord works!!!

God Sized Dreams

Have you ever had a God sized dream?  Meaning, something so big, it is humanly impossible, only God can accomplish it?

I tend to keep my dreams manageable, wouldn’t want to be disappointed when things don’t come about as I desire.  But is that the right thing to do?  Where does that leave God?  If everything we ask for is humanly possible, doesn’t that leave God out?

Recently, I have begun praying for something that is a God sized dream.  My thoughts are consumed by it.  I have been praying for this “thing” to happen for 5 years, but honestly, I couldn’t see how it would so I made life okay even if the answer was no.  And so far, the answer has been no.  Pretty much what I expected.

What if the Lord doesn’t want to do what is expected, but by asking, without really believing, aren’t I telling Him He can’t do it?

I don’t want to limit God, I want to live in the fullness of what He has for our family.  And right now I believe that is in praying very specifically for this God sized dream.

With God’s power working in us, God can do much more than anything we can ask or imagine.  To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time forever and ever, Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

What has the Lord asked you to pray for that was beyond you?  What does He have you praying for right now?  How can I join you in praying?

Check out what others are thinking about

Prayer Requests

Good Morning,

I am hoping you will forgive me being a little vague.  I have endeavored to be an “open book” in many ways through the postpartum depression.  It has been a journey many of you have encouraged me on.  And I appreciate that very much.  More than you will ever know.  So it may seem strange that I am asking you to pray for our family while giving very little detail.  There is just a lot coming at us from several fronts.  I ask you to pray for our peace as a family, wisdom for our family and provision for us.

Thank you!  I look forward to sharing reports of God’s work on our behalf.

I fearlessly, confidently adn boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy for my failures and find grace to help in time of every need.  I obtain appropriate help and well timed help, coming just when I need it.  Hebrews 4:16

May we experience the peace Patrice has when she is sleeping in our arms

Prayer Time

Some things seem like they should be easy to pray for.  They come to mind often throughout the day.  So, I pray for them a lot, right?  Well, not always.  Lots of times my brain stews on the topics, trying to sort it out or make sense of it.  But I never actually form a prayer.

I think of my children many times a day, but I often find myself making plans instead of praying.  I think of my hubby over and over, but often find myself thinking about things he has done, projects we are working on, instead of praying.  I love the church we attend and often think of the blessing it is to our family, but forget to form the words of a prayer.

There are a couple things during the day I want to make sure I pray for.  There is a ministry that means a great deal to me.  I have committed to praying for them daily; I set an alarm on my phone to remind me.  There are also a number of dear people in my life, family and frends that I want to make sure I lift up before the throne.  They get an alarm on my phone as well.

I may pray for them when they come to mind at other times, but there is at least one time each day these precious people are covered in a prayer.  Other things, friends have asked me to pray for.  Some get a specific time, others get a moment or two when the Lord brings them to mind.  I find both ways to be a blessing to me, as I pray they are for the people I am lifting up.

Praying is a gift we can freely give to others and it gives back to us as well.  It is not possible for me to pray for a person or situation without also being blessed.

How do you remember to pray for someone or something?  Do you have a list you look at each day?  Do you wait for them to come to mind?  Do you have set times you pray throughout the day?

Does God Care

Does God care about me finding matching socks? Does He care if I can find my keys? Does God care if I get a certain job?

Do you find yourself praying about both the big and little things of the day? Do you pray at set times or do you do more of the shotgun prayers?

My prayer life is a running monologue dialogue.  At least I hope the communication is two way.  And sometimes my prayers are very much about the trivial, yes, I have prayed for matching socks.  Other times I am praying for direction (Lord, do you desire to make a way for one of us to stay home with the girls full-time and homeschool them?) or for those I know and love who are hurting. 

Many times my prayers are a persons name and then just “Heavenly Father.”  I am learning more and more I rarely have the words to adequately express what is on my heart.  I am so glad He hears the prayers in the sighs of our hearts.

I don’t honestly know if God cares about my socks (I doubt He does) or my keys, though I do know He hears the prayers when I ask for a calm attitude and clear thinking as I look for them.  I know He hears those because those prayers are not really about what is going on externally, but are rather prayers about heart responses; prayers to have more of His response in every situation.

Why do I pray as a running conversation rather than all in one lump?  Because I don’t want to miss an opportunity to commune with Him.  I would rather be mentioning something not high on the priority list than risk not speaking up about the heart matters.  It is my response to “pray without ceasing”, I Thessalonians 5:17  And I think it is highly likely He does want to hear about everything. He cares about the lilies that are here today and gone tomorrow, Matthew 6:28. This truth leads me to believe He is interested in the every day details of our lives.
What do you think?  What do you find yourself praying about the most?  Do you believe the Lord is always listening or does He just tune in from time to time?  What does your heart say?

What are others thinking about?  Head over to Thought Provoking Thursday and see.

Is Theology Disgusting?

I learned something new today.  As I knew before, nothing is sacred to toddlers and preschoolers.  They don’t understand we would sometimes like to be alone.  But I didn’t realize those moments can bring up important conversations we need to have with our little ones.

Caitlyn walked in on my today while I was, *ahem*, indisposed.  Often I will fuss at her for that.  But today she had spilled something and needed helped wiping it off her arm.  Then, out of left field, comes a theology question. 

“Mommy, every time when I go stinkies, some little ones stay on my bottom.”
“Yes, that can happen.”
“I wish God didn’t let that happen.”
Silence.
“Why, when we pray and God always hears us, why doesn’t He always do it?” asks Caitlyn.
“Well honey, you’re right, God always, always, always hears us.  And He always answers our prayers.  Sometimes He says Yes, and He does what we ask.  Sometimes He says No, because He knows something better for us.  And sometimes He says, Wait and later we see Him do what we asked.”

And off she went.  I know part of what she is thinking about.  She really wants another baby brother or sister.  She is baby crazy.  I have been telling her she has to ask Jesus. Personally, I don’t know how God is going to answer that one, but I do know she has been asking.  She declared the other day, “I asked Jesus for a baby brother, but I haven’t gotten it yet.”  I hope our conversation today helps her sort it out in her mind.  I love that she already knows He always hears her.  I pray nothing ever shakes that.  I hope she continues to ask.  Jesus tells us to ask.  “Therefore I say to you, all things for which  you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted to you.”  Mark 11:24 New American Standard Bible.

But beyond her questions about prayer, another thought came to mind.  Just as she asked her question at a messy moment, answers to prayer aren’t always neat and clean.  Jesus healed a man using mud made by mixing in his spit and putting it on the man’s eyes. “And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth….When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes….And so he went away and washed , and came back seeing.”  Mark 9:1, 6, 7b  Back in 2nd Kings, God used the dirty river Jordan to heal Naaman of leprosy.  (2nd Kings 5:10-14)  The river Jordan was disgusting, Naaman asked why he could not use one of the other rivers that were nicer, but the direction was to go into the river Jordan.  When he went into the mire, he came out clean.

Does God sometimes ask us to be in the mire, to be in the trenches?  Yes.  Do we always like it?  No.  Do we always understand it when we are asked? No.  Do we always understand the answer?  No.  But He tells us to ask and obey.  I would prefer it never be messy.  I like neat and tidy.  I selfishly pray for clean, but also pray the Lord will walk with me in the mess of life and guide me when I don’t understand the path.  I pray He will also guide and direct you, even when the way is messy.  May we trust Him in the mud and the sunshine.

Asking Why

I went to a small Christian Liberal Arts college.  At the time I attended, there were about 750 students on campus.  As you might imagine, you get to know just about everybody on campus, especially when you work in the dining commons like I did.  And even if you weren’t close to someone on campus, it was more than likely one of your friends was.

It’s been almost 14 years since I graduated.  Thanks to social networking, many of us have reconnected.  And this last week it came into play in a huge way.

News went out Saturday afternoon of a tragedy befalling a couple from our college community.  The family had been travelling in poor weather and had to pull over on the expressway.  The vehicle they were in was hit by a semi truck.

The wife was 37 weeks pregnant.  She died from her injuries.  The baby, a girl, was delivered about 45 minutes later and in critical condition.

A group to pray for the dad and daughter was started on facebook.  Soon thousands of people were praying for this little girl.  The size of the group quickly grew beyond those who knew the family, to many more who did not.

While we asked for Miranda to be healed and able to stay here with her daddy, the Lord had other plans.  Little Miranda went home to Jesus at 3 days old.  She and her mommy are together.  And her daddy is left to grieve his double loss.

And all of us are left to ask why.  Why God didn’t save Sara or heal Miranda.  Why a family that wanted this baby so much was robbed of so many dreams. 

My asking doesn’t give me any answers, so I am going to ask something else.  Please pray for the husband and father as he buries his wife and daughter tomorrow.  Please pray for grace and mercy.  Please pray he somehow makes it through this.  Please pray his faith holds.  Please pray God might grant that he see how the life of his family was used for God’s glory.  Please pray for this and so much more. 

You can read more of their journey here.  Please pray.  Please, please pray.

Just remembering

I had thought for the blog today I would write something funny and light hearted. but that is not for today.

I think for today the blog should have very few words.

Over the last few years, and particularly the last few months, I have mourned with friends, and people I have never met in real life, who have lost children.

There are not words for me to express how much I wish things were different in each situation.  All I can say is I continue to pray for each one and hope they know I love them and care.

Please, today, spend the time you might have spent reading my random thoughts, praying for those who have lost children at any age.  Please pray for their peace, comfort, for what they need to get through today.

But Jesus called for the children, saying, “Let the little children come to me.  Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children…”

Luke 18:16