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PRACTICING PRAYER

 I’VE READ SO MANY EXCELLENT BOOKS ABOUT PRAYER:

YANCEY, KELLER, MURRAY, BONHOEFFER…

SO IT’S TIME FOR ME AND YOU TO:

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TOGETHER, WE WILL HELP ONE ANOTHER,

THIS WEEK AND THEN AGAIN, THANKSGIVING WEEK

TO PERSIST IN PRAYER

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 I’VE PONDERED HOW TO DO THIS ON A BLOG,

SINCE JESUS SAYS TO DO THIS IN SECRET.

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SO HERE’S THE PLAN:

GET INTO A PRIVATE PLACE EACH MORNING WITH YOUR NOTEBOOK OR HOWEVER YOU WANT TO RECORD.

EACH TWO DAYS I’LL GIVE A REVIEW OF SOMETHING WE’VE LEARNED AND YOU CAN PUT THAT INTO PRACTICE — ALONG WITH ANY OTHER WAY THE LORD HAS LED YOU.

IT WON’T BE PERFECT

IT WON’T BE POLISHED

BUT OH HOW GLAD HE WILL BE TO SEE YOU THERE IN YOUR SECRET PLACE, FOR HE SAYS:

LETMESEE

WHAT CAN YOU SHARE HERE, PUBLICLY, ON THE BLOG?

THANKSGIVING THAT LEADS YOU INTO AWE

WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING BY PRACTICING

BUT LET EVERYTHING ELSE BE FOR GOD’S EARS ALONE

AND YOUR FATHER, WHO SEES IN SECRET,

WILL REWARD YOU

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH

1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers?

2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week — can it lead you into awe?

3. How were you quickened in church this morning?

MONDAY – TUESDAY

BONHOEFFER

4. Begin with Scripture and let that be a launchpad into prayer, for as Bonhoeffer said, “It is a dangerous error to think the soul can pray by itself.” Read whatever you are doing in your quiet time, or use Psalm 1. Do this in secret. But if you learn something or have thanks to give, feel free to share here.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY

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5. George Mueller said the first and foremost duty of a Christian is to get his soul “happy in the Lord.” Use music, the Word, and thanksgiving. Confess your sins and cast your burdens on Him. When a verse quickens you, stop and pray it. Do this in secret but if you learn something or have thanks to give, do it here.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

nicky-gumbel


6. Nicky Gumbel says:

Keep it honest.

Keep it simple.

Keep it up.

7. Did your prayer life improve this week? What was most helpful that you want to keep doing?

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125 comments

    1. Dee-This was a sweet week indeed..for being in awe with you and everyone here who have been praying with you is a sweet Kiss..He went before..Had this all planned-in His timing! That blew me away-still does! Yes..to handle SOS text as you ought before Him-a joyful fear-great place to start before Him..I will pray with you and all of us here.

    2. Dee, our God is an awesome God, indeed! Be praying for you as you work on your book. Can’t wait for print time!

    3. ..by the way-I think what you have written for SOS is already a masterpiece..While I am grateful for great editors-I am always quickened so much just reading your raw manuscripts!! Maybe that is why God has me as your cheerleader and not your editor! :))

    4. I love your description: joyful fear. I think that phrase is where we should reside in serving Him: a perfect combination of recognizing the beauty and the holiness of God.  (Haven’t visited these studies for awhile, but so desire to practice prayer with you.)

    5. Joining you in prayer about this awesome responsibility, Dee!

  1. 1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers?
    Either in my spot in the kitchen in the early hours of the morning when everyone is asleep, or in the book room. My prayers will be recorded in a journal. (Oh I SO need this encouragement Dee. Thank you.)
    2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week — can it lead you into awe?
    Yesterday, listening to my gifted son Jake, on Trombone and then my middle son picked up a keyboard for the first time and collaborated with Jake on a song..Listening to them discuss notes and then play a Jazz song together was beautiful-His beauty.  
    YES! He is the master musician-still blows me away when I hear a complex, yet moving classical piece or Jazz piece, or a song by a great vocalist like Adele. I love how musicians work together to build a masterpiece-this honors Him..shows His creativity, lovliness, tenderness, and beauty..to think music deeply moves God, The one who made lightening bolts, and can shake the foundation of the earth with his anger, amazes me. To think God designed music to move us too-what a sweet gift. Music, to me, is one of the millions of ways we image Him. He is truly amazing.

      1. Thank you for Psalm 133! Wow.

    1. oh Rebecca–and now I’m picturing you alongside your boys with the incredible voice He has gifted you with–a family band in the making..it’s a good thought! 😉

      1. Lizzy-What a sweet thought! Wish they felt that way-lol! I haven’t sang for over a year-not sure I still can-I do miss it but I get to sing for Him in private-sweet-but not often enough!

  2. Dee–I’m praying daily for you and this book He has you writing!
    I’m excited about this week–thankful for the extra nudge towards more intentional prayer. Also, I want to mention in case anyone is interested–I just received yesterday the new Keller devotional on praying the psalms–“The Songs of Jesus”–and the format is a great starting point for daily Scripture & prayer. 
     

    1. Thanks for the book recommendation.  I am adding it to my list  🙂  

  3. I will add my praise for last week–it sounds simple, but for me it is a true gift. My husband works a lot of hours, and without family anywhere near, we have always struggled to have time for “dates”. So last week, he took a day off from work with the kids in school and we just played all day–long walks, enjoying outside–it was beautiful and so refreshing for me. I truly am in awe of what God has done in our 21 years and the deep trials He has brought us through–how He continues to work and restore and re-build. I am so thankful. 

    1. Lizzy-your testimony ALWAYS strengthens me to rest in Him- He is redeemer; to humble myself before Him-let him do the work in my heart and trust Him with others hearts too-and I need exhortation like this because I lean toward defaulting to my selfish-pride-flesh.

  4. Lizzy-love this suggestion for I am sensing His quickening to pray His word more. Like when Dee just gave me Psalm 133-that was no mistake, so I want to pray that for my boys, for my husband, for our marriage and so I may start there this morning!

    1. Yes, Rebecca-music is an awesome avenue of seeing God. I love what you shared about your boys.

  5. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH
    1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers?
    Early in the morning and in our daughter’s room (she now lives in Chicago) and will use the acrostic ACTS to record my prayers. I would like to incorporate one thousand gifts and stay on schedule with Reading through the bible in a year.
    2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week — can it lead you into awe?
    As I have mentioned last week, I have been down in the dumps-discouraged about a few little things, vague,anxious thoughts and the catalyst was something related to work where I felt I bumped into a brick wall. Yet out of the blue, while in 2 separate conferences, God brought me help in the most unexpected way and source. Though I am still a little confused about what is going on, I am beginning to feel some ease and seeing the hand of God at work. My heart is at awe at the ways of God ( His ways are surely higher than our ways; his thoughts higher than ours Isaiah 55:8). I need to keep my hands open (thank you, Wanda) and to walk confidently with God.

    1. Bing–love how your eyes were open to see Him speak to you in the midst of such fogginess and inner struggle. Great reference to Isaiah. Continuing to pray for you~

    2. Bing-encouraged by how you are processing this..how He showed you his hand hidden in an unexpected source of help-seeing His hand in the dim-sweet. 

  6. 1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers? Early morning. I am striving to move from my warm bed where I have been praying to my closet. Writing in a journal using an acronym from Beth Moore’s “Whispers of Hope”.
    2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week — can it lead you into awe? I am caregiver for my elderly dad and God has been working in wonderful ways while he’s been in the hospital (on the 5th day this week). The gifts of rest in Him, extra time in worship and prayer, healing for dad. God is real and present in daily challenges.
    3. How were you quickened in church this morning? Since I’m in the hospital with my dad, I worshipped privately but also listened to a sermon posted by a friend. Chip Ingram spoke on John 11: trusting God when he seems to disappoint, when it doesn’t make sense, when I am afraid, when it seems impossible. I had spoken each of those words just the next night before. Humbled by my Father who lovingly disciplines me and shows me that in Jesus I have everything.

      1. Thanks Dee. I am looking forward to this prayer study. And also to your SOS study (dare I abbreviat?). it spoke so deeply to me when it was online. God used it tremendousl.

    1. Welcome, Ruth. You have special challenges caring for your elderly Dad and with him being in the hospital. Are you spending parts of each day with your dad in the hospital? 

      1. My Dad has special health needs which make it necessary for me to be there. So I took the 12 hour day shift and my brother took the night shift. He is now out and in short term rehab. So I’ve had particular challenges to prayer time. I had a feeling itd be extra tough after I committed to do so.

  7. 3. How were you quickened in church this morning?
    I was enroute from Chicago to Kansas City and was not in church today. I am presently at the airport waiting for Richard to come pick me up so I just read the chapters for the bible reading schedule and this is how the Lord quickened my heart:
    a. Luke 24:23 The road to Emmaus when the disciples said “weren’t our hearts burning as (Jesus) was talking to us and explained the Scriptures?) Wow! Lord, may my heart burn for you and for your Word!
    b. John 20:11-18 Mary was weeping and kept from recognizing Jesus and thought he was the gardener. But when Jesus called out her name, she immediately recognize Him. Lord, may I hear you call out my name and know that you love me and it does not matter than there are million others coming to your throne of grace. You know me by name.
     

    1. Chills on your insights on Scripture readings, Ernema. Thank you! Also, may I add to your prayer on Mary. May I not be so busy lamenting that I do not see you and hear your voice, Lord.

      1. Diane, thank you for the addition to my prayers. May I not be so busy lamenting that I do not see you and hear your voice, Lord. That has been my days lately-lamenting over past regrets and feeling down and engrossed that I am not seeing and hearing the Lord. You have helped me see (in a very good way) what is going on in my life and the enemy is having a heyday!

      2. Beautiful! 

  8. Dee, you have such a holy responsibility as a teacher on the Scripture. I will continue praying as the editing of your new book progresses. I am so happy about this! I have done a bit of editing and wish I could help in some way.
    1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers?
    One day this past week I was able to take a morning and just commit it to spending it with the Lord – Scripture reading, prayer, music, even a stroll through nature in the drizzle. I read Scripture and prayed, as people and things came to my mind, I prayed about them.  I also prayed specifically for leading and tried to listen to what God was speaking to me. I journaled about my prayers and thoughts, though not extensively. I tried to spend more time listening than “talking”. I also continued reading some of Yancey’s “Prayer”. Sort of a mixed bag!
    I plan to continue this way, although I will not be able to spend as much time as I was able to on Friday. I want to ask God to speak and deliberately listen and watch.

  9. 1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers? I will meet with God at my kitchen table in the quiet of the morning before my children wake. I will record my prayers in my journal or in my “prayer note”.
     
    2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week – can it lead you into awe? He showed again how personal and “right-here” He is. How can He bie so big and yet so close?! This does awe me and makes me so very grateful. There are many small ways that He has touched my life and yet I cannot loose track of “To God be the glory” … Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back in praise…
     
    3. How were you quickened in church this morning?  Ephesians 5:15-17 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” This passage follows a warning against being deceived, the only way to become wise, make the best use of your time, and to understand the will of the Lord is to spend time with Him! How sweet and yet necessary and life-giving! I will be deceived and unwise and not understand His will if I am being a fool (trusting in my own heart)!

  10. 1.  Crazy as this is…I may begin having my prayer time in our basement!  Normally I use the living room but, since moving in with my parents, I can hear when they get up and turn on their TV, (in their family room)etc… and that has been hard.  I’m going to try to get up earlier and/or maybe go to the basement for prayer.

    1. Mary e, my heart goes out to you not having your own space or the quiet you are used to. Is your basement finished? Praying for you to find the space you need for meaningful prayer.

      1. Hey Diane, it has definitely been an adjustment, that is for sure.  Part of the basement has a finished bedroom in it and the rest is unfinished but does have chairs to sit in, so I think I can make it work.  I’m grateful that my parents are still living and in good health and that I had the option of living with them after I received the cancer diagnosis.

    2. Mary, praying for you as you continue to make the adjustments to living with your parents. May our good Lord keep your heart encouraged and strong amidst the challenges of your cancer. I hope you have had good days.

  11. 1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers?     I have a journal and I will most often, be in my reading chair, which is surrounded by various Bibles, hymnbooks and other study materials.  
     
    Also;  I am home alone all week so the timing to be focusing on prayer is just perfect.  (Also, the less time I spend typing, the less time I am irritating my increasing carpal tunnel symptoms.  So that’s good timing too.)
    2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week — can it lead you into awe?   The Lord showed me through both of the parables that I don’t need to feel ashamed when I have failed or given up for a time; I just need to begin again and keep persisting in prayer.   And when I don’t understand His words or His ways:  that is okay.  The mother didn’t necessarily understand why Jesus seemed to answer her with harshness and lack of compassion or inclusion (though I read a great commentary by M. Card about that, but didn’t have time to post this wknd.) yet she still persisted.  She had no where else to go, so she didn’t let His seemingly ‘unanswered’ prayer dissuade her from imploring Him.   This leads me to the AWE of a God whose ways are so much higher than mine; His wisdom far beyond my meager understanding; and yet He invites me to come.  And He loves me with an everlasting love. 
    3. How were you quickened in church this morning?   In many ways but foremost in my mind is singing ‘It is Well with my Soul’..…whether peace like a river flows or sorrows like sea billows roll’.  After a week of terrorist attacks; in Beirut and Paris and beyond; after a week of some personal turmoil and watching loved ones deal with deadly and devastating cancer diagnosis and treatment;  beyond anything that can happen to us in this world;  it is well with my soul.  

  12. I also want to thank Shirley for such an encouraging comment at the end of last week.  I just read it now (Sunday night) and you really cheered my heart.  THANK you so much for your sweet sensitivity and kind words.  

  13. I am so happy about your book contract, Dee, and look forward to your book.  I was absolutely brought to tears by just reading the verse you quoted from S of S 2:14.  I just wrote in the margin of my Bible, “He longs to hear MY voice????  He longs to see MY face????  He finds ME beautiful????!!!!!”  Oh, I want to be so in love with this sweet Husband of mine!  I often hear Him calling to me in my busy-ness and asking me to have a love tryst with Him, and the incredible part is that I often tell Him I am too busy and ignore His pleadings.  Oh, WHY would He want to spend time with worthless ME????  I love Him for that.  

    1. Miriam, this is just a sweet, lovely post! I love this, “I often hear Him calling to me in my busy-ness and asking me to have a love tryst with Him…” Made me think of this verse from SOS…”My lover spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me…” (SOS 2:10) I love your tender heart toward Him!

    2. Wow Miriam..Beautiful!

  14. We are all under the same moon (quoted from a movie by Wanda on our FB page). Doesn’t that just make us kneel in awe of God? I love Him and all of my blog sisters!

    1. Bing-Yes…”We are all under the same moon”.

  15. I LOVE THIS BLOG! Though I rarely comment, I often read and am ALWAYS blessed, encouraged, motivated to study God’s Word. Thank you Dee and every special lady who shares here.
    I will pray in the nook off of my bedroom before everyone wakes and record in my journal.
    This week has been incredibly blessed!  I was fasting and praying about several things including finances, provision, my 4 daughters walk with God, my husband’s demanding job. I applied, interviewed and was hired as a tutor this week, enjoyed sweet thanksgiving fellowship with the ladies of my church, and became the proud mommy of my dream dog since college, a gorgeous 1 yr old Akita named Kahmi. 
    In church today, the call to boldly proclaim the gospel in the face of heinous acts of terrorism, the need for Christians to be working for His glory in sharing the hope we hold dear and this amazing verse: Romans 1:16…..for I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the POWER of God for the salvation of everyone who believes….
    I have been reading E.M.Bounds books on prayer….they are really incredible, poetry and inspiring. Oh how we need to pray! With my children we are doing 30 days of Adoration with Sarah Hagerty from her book, Children Adore, available as a free pdf file, with beautiful crayon drawings by her daughter.
    Anticipating a filling week as we feast on God’s presence in prayer!
    Jo from Yonkers, NY

    1. You are welcome here, Jo.

    2. Welcome Joveda! So glad you are here 🙂

    3. Welcome Joveda! Thank you for the reminder of EM Bounds. He is inspiring! I went back and found a few quotes I have from him on prayer–“Our praying needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage that never fails”,  and “Without intermission, incessantly, assiduously; that ought to describe the opulence, and energy, and unabated ceaseless strength and fullness of effort in prayer; like the full and exhaustless and spontaneous flow of an artesian stream.” WOW! Oh Lord, help me have a heart to pray with such zeal!
       
       

    4. Jo-Welcome! So glad to have you here!!

  16. 1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers? 
     
    I am responsible for a morning feedimy of my new grandson, so I think he and I will quietly pray at this time each morning. Since I really won’t have free hands much, I’m thinking I will talk text them into a document and then write them in the prayer book I recently began after watching the movie “War Room” a few months ago.
     
    2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week — can it lead you into awe? 
     
    I am am thankful for my sister, who came to help us in this new adventure for our family. I could go to work and trust that Sarah and new baby were ok. My sister felt the need to play the role of my mom, and I was so blessed by it!
     
    3. How were you quickened in church this morning?
     
    I’m not really sure that I was “quickened;”  God did not talk to me, however I was certainly blessed when Sarah came to church with us with the baby.  Many church members gathered and offered encouraging words. My dance partner and I got to dance after church, which was a nice distraction from being sick and having our lives turned upside down for the last two weeks. God did speak then, by giving me movment to a piece of music we are working on choreographing.
     
     

    1. Laura, I’m so glad your sister came to help you, and that Sarah and baby came to church, and the encouragement from your church family to her! All great things to be thankful for!

  17. 4. Begin with Scripture and let that be a launchpad into prayer, for as Bonhoeffer said, “It is a dangerous error to think the soul can pray by itself.” 
     
     I wasn’t really sure how I was going to handle this assignment Dee. So, I just started and hope that God would lead me. 
     
     I decided to start with my chronological Bible reading, and I’m a few days behind, I think. I ended up choosing scripture from John 20, the resurrection.  I was led to versus 22 and 23 where Jesus is talking to the disciples.  He is giving them the holy spirit and explaining how if they forgive others, those people will be forgiven, if they withhold forgiveness then forgiveness will be withheld.  It then dawned on me as I was reading that God is leading me to forgive people of my inner circle!  It was pretty cool   to be led by scripture into prayer!  I have never done that before and am excited about doing it now in the future.  I made a short list of people and reasons why I forgive them; it was powerful. 
     
     

  18. 1. When and where will you meet with God and how will you record your prayers?
     
    Early in the morning before my husband and daughter are awake. I like to sit in the family room by the window. I bought a spiral notebook to record.
     
    2. What can you thank Him for that happened last week – can it lead you into awe?
     
    Our weather for November has been pretty amazing – unseasonably warm and some trees are still holding onto their leaves. I had the opportunity twice last week to hike at one of my most favorite parks. The one day I felt like just crying at the beauty of the earth. I was in God’s house and I felt as if I just noticed everything and it filled me with such delight…though this world and creation is cursed, there is still so much beauty. I sense Him near when I am in nature. I feel more comforted out in the woods than I do even in church.
    I listened to Rosie deRosset on Chris Fabry a couple weeks ago, and she was talking about beauty. Sadly, she described many of our modern churches as “Pizza Hut” churches…they are built more like auditoriums for public events. That’s what my church looks like, too. I miss the beauty of stained glass windows and artwork…things that draw the eye upward and move the heart to worship.
     
    3. How were you quickened in church this morning?
     
    My daughter wasn’t feeling well and so we didn’t go to church on Sunday. Also, I am really struggling with the desire to go to church anymore because I just feel so alone there.

    1.  Dear Susan, I wish I could be there to walk through the woods with you; I love nature too! I also wish I could be there just to give you a big hug and tell you that you are not alone.  I think we have seasons in our lives though, when we are supposed to be alone so we can seek Him more deeply. I have learned so much about our Lord during those times. Hang in there sister!

    2. Susan, I am praying for a place for you to worship that you do not feel alone! a small house church, a womens Bible study, I don’t know but I know that God has a community out there for you that HE wants to bless you with!

    3. Sweet Susan–I’m with Laura, I would so love to take long hikes with you, praying as we go (though I’d prefer “here” rather than “there”–a bit too chilly for me!) and I also pray for that face to face friend, and fellowship at Church. You have so much wisdom, compassion.. so much “fruit” in you to share, that I know there is a woman God has that is longing to be blessed by a friend like you. Praying specifically for Him to bring her to you~

  19. I kid you not-I woke up this morning to start our prayer journey together..grabbed my journal am sitting in front of the computer pondering where to start for I have a desire to start in the Psalms but with which one? I thought..I will start with Psalm 1..then I thought..but let’s see what Dee suggests for Monday-Tuesday…Then I looked and Dee’s suggestion is Psalm 1! :)) 

    1. Dee-SO needed to hear this. Completes what He showed me in Psalm 1:6 this morning.

  20. I began this morning’s prayer time with reading and pondering again the parable we looked at last week from Luke…the persistent widow. Really trying to listen to what this says to me about why I should keep praying and not get discouraged. Struck by how Jesus said in this parable, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.” He is so unlike God! God’s character is perfect. This also led me to pray for the people of France, those who have lost loved ones, that they will turn to the Perfect Judge.

  21. Just wanted to sign up.  Jill introduced me to the website.

    1. Welcome, Beth.

    2. Welcome, Beth! Love your name.

    3. Hi Beth! Glad you joined us!

  22.  Today I studied the scripture where the Holy Spirit comes down into the disciples; Acts 2. I prayed for my close family members to be infused by the Holy Spirit.  I prayed for my friends as well. I also prayed that the awful murderers in the middle east would be infused by the Holy Spirit; That they would just drop their weapons and walk away. 

  23. Dee, I am thankful for the challenge to Just do it! How I love challenges. Sometimes I get sluggish or probably just distracted by cares etc.
    I have a great small room that is my reading/prayer room and is quiet- an upstairs room. I am reading scripture and praying for a better listening skill as well as discernment.
    On Sunday morning God blessed me with the lesson given by Charles Stanley: To whom are you listening? It was just what I needed to get started. I am working on some depth after so much reading “for breadth” as others have mentioned.
    Then I remembered the acronym ACTS , I think you mentioned that, Ernema. I do love each of you blog sisters. It is special to know that wherever you are you are reaching out for God’s hand in your lives.
    My subject that I started with this week is peace, and realize how much I need harmony in personal relationships as well as with God.
    I am thankful that next week we can be flexible and have an early family dinner at my daughter’s so we can be with our grandson, Andrew,24, and meet his girlfriend, Gail. Please pray for this as there have been some issues with disharmony with him over the past year and he has pulled away. His girlfriend is Jewish and I hope we can bridge this difference in the right way. They are students at U. Mass. Amherst.

    1. Shirley–praying now for the Lord to bless your time with Andrew and Gail-“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7

  24. I am thankful that yesterday I was discharged from my radiologist. She said I am good to go after 2 years! Yay! Thank you Lord Jesus!

    1. Laura, awe-awe-awe-some! Yay, yes indeed! Thank you, Lord!

    2. oh LAURA!! I have not subscribed to comments this week and not very active here, but felt a “nudge” before bed to check–and what a HUGE PRAISE! So thankful for this great news for you! (and I’m glad we have all the formatting options back so I can express this JOY!)

    3. Oh, Laura. Praise the Lord! Thanks for sharing this good news!

    4. Great news, Laura!

    5. Dancing on my desk for you Laura-Thank you Lord!!

    1. iI just love how sometimes God calls people out of “ministry” so that they can me more effective “ministers” I think often we do our most important work outside the four walls of a church.

      1. Great encouragement and insight Cindy-so true.

    2. Oh, this is so cool! It is great that God is at work with the teens. And it is so encouraging that he is healing a wounded warrior ex-youth pastor!

  25. I am home! I am so looking forward to getting back in the loop here on the blog, I miss it so much when I am away!

    I had to pop in with a praise report, I shared that I was so anxious about our sons plans changing, that he wouldn’t be with us for the first part of our trip…well it turned out to be such a blessing that Bill and I experienced Venice and Florence (but especially Venice 🙂 by ourselves, It was like a honeymoon.

    The trip was long…too long and exhausting, the cynic in me wants to focus on the parts that weren’t as I had hoped, but it turned out that the part I was so worried about was as it should have been 🙂
     
    Thank you for your prayers sisters and praise God!
    It is so great when you can clearly see the good thing He was up to!

    1. Welcome back, Chris. So glad that you had a “honeymoon” part to your trip in Venice! Sounds so romantic!

    2. Welcome home, Chris…you came often to my thoughts and prayers while you were away and I’m so happy to hear your trip was wonderful-a second honeymoon!

    3. chris! You’re back! So glad it went well for you….love the honeymoon time 🙂

    1. Welcome Ruth, JoVeda, and Beth.    I hope you are as deeply refreshed here as I have been over the past year and a half.   (I’m sitting a bit in the background now, but have loved this beautiful place of fellowship.)

  26. MY SHUT UP AND PRAY MOMENT
    want to share with you how Jesus convicted my husband and has really been making changes in his heart. I was VERY sick for the last 3 weeks and Pauls mom tends to use sickness to manipulate so he does not treat me very well when I am sick. He is not mean but just never really takes care of me because in his head I must not be as bad as I say I am…because of how his mom was. Well, after a week of breathing treatments and dr. visits I was still not feeling very well but had to host a dinner for the ministry that Im on staff for and he was very grumpy about the fact that what energy I did have was not going to him. I was very hurt that I had drove myself to the dr. (this is just down right scary, my o2 level was low 90s) and as I left the room I said “what was so important at work that someone else  could not have done it for an hour” and then I left and p  rayed, did not say another word. well 30 min later he came out of our room and was a different person. He has been gentle and helpful and kind for the last week. Im sorry this is so long but I just want to give God all the glory for doing what no word from me ever could. I prayed “Lord, change his heart because nothing I say or do will” and then I actually kept my mouth shut!!! (real miracle) 🙂 

    1. I’m praying for your health, cyndi, and praying for your husband’s continued helpful spirit. Sorry you have to go through this.

    2. Cyndi, thanks for sharing this…I could take a big clue from you and keep my mouth shut, too…our husbands have similar attitudes about sickness:)) I will pray for you to feel better soon, Cyndi. Do you have the influenza or pneumonia? Please try to rest!

    3. Cyndi, Cyndi-yeah!! So proud of you for being honest with him-that is important for you were hurt, and then praying for him-wow! :))))  Love it when God does that!
      Are you getting better?!?! You were really sick!!

  27. Today we (me and baby) read about the lame beggar in Acts. It made me think of praying for people who are ill, both mentally and physically. We prayed for our immediate and extended family as well as friends and people we don’t know.

    1. Laura–love imagining you feeding the baby and reading, praying in the early hours…what a sweet picture! The Lord must smile on that!

  28. Just a bit as Dee suggested from my Quiet Time from yesterday, November 17/15
     
    Genesis 41: 32-36 “’And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man … and the one-fifth of the produce of the land … That food shall be a reserve … against the seven years of famine…’”(This is Joseph speaking to Pharaoh interpreting his dreams)
     
    This is from Beth Moore, The Patriarchs Bible Study:

    “I’d interpret that statement to mean the prophesied future was inevitable … However, the inevitability of events didn’t mean the people were helpless… Inevitability doesn’t demand passivity. 
    Dear One, Scripture is full of prophecy. The kingdom calendar contains some future events “firmly decided by God” that nothing on earth can change. The final end will be glorious for Christ and His own, but some of the means will be frightful. The divine forecast for this world system spirals from dismal to awful. That doesn’t mean God’s people do nothing. God means for us to be Josephs, thinking and planning wisely so that many may be helped and saved in terrible times.”

     
    PRAYER REQUEST: I mentioned a while back that my church is working on sponsoring a refugee. In these times when the world spirals in darkness, pray that we will have wisdom and discernment to step out in following the leading of His Spirit in this matter.

    1. Diane, I will continue to pray for you all, for wisdom in sponsoring the refugee(s). This whole matter is causing such an uproar right now in the U.S., and many state governors are saying that do not want any refugees in their states. Chris Fabry, on his radio program this week, has been talking about this, too.

      1. Thanks, Susan. I’m curious. What is Chris Fabry saying?

        I have been following some of the rhetoric from the US online and I can tell it is very heated.

        1. I tried editing the above comment in Google Chrome. The edit box said my edits were accepted but there was no change in my comment on the blog. Strange!

        2. Now … after adding my second comment (the one saying my edit didn’t work), the edit showed up in the first comment. Even stranger! Oh well, as long as it works!

        3. Diane, here is the program link:http://www.moodyradio.org/radioplayer.aspx?episode=176547&hour=2. Trying to balance compassion with caution…his guest was Michael Rydelnick.

        4. Thanks for the link, Susan. I will try to listen to it soon.

  29. Today’s reading: I have been particularly grieved by the  widespread violence and sin in the world (and in some I love) and also  the lostneas and hopelessness of those who cause it. Sometimes it seems hopeless for there to be redemption. But today God spoke to my grief in Ezekiel 18. God talks about punishment for sin, but then he says in 23 “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”  He also states that the children of those who have rejected God don’t have to follow in their ways. That is such a comfort to me. There is hope for every generatio!

    1. Welcome, Ruth! What comforting words you have drawn from Ezekiel…I remember when I first read that verse. How merciful that God desires that men and women turn to Him and live.

    2. Welcome Ruth! So glad you have joined us.

    3. Ruth–welcome! And your post here honestly made me tear up (which, as you stay with us, you’ll see I do often!) But you moved me with this: “There is hope for every generation!” The timeliness of my reading this really blessed me right now. So glad you are here with us. 

      1. Thank you, Lizzy and all those who have welcomed me. I have followed different Bible studies on this blog off and on for awhile, but I felt God leading me to “venture out”and actually post this time. 
        Lizzy, I have friends–and I’ve been there myself in different ways–who are, like the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15, calling out to Jesus on behalf of spiritual healing for their children. Or they are struggling with sins of previous generations and the potential ramifications on the next. It is heartbreaking and can seem so dark. But is not our God one who can restore and make everything new? Yes! I have to believe that and count on that truth in prayer.

        1. Ruth-can you continue to post? Your insight ministers to us. 🙂

  30. I love to listen to several modern day Christian artists but today I was reminded of an old song. Here is a beautiful version of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBVFvtM9SzM 
    Jesus, name above all names Beautiful Savior, Glorious Lord 
    Immanuel, God is with us, Blessed Redeemer , Living Word.

    1. oh Bing, it’s been a while since I’ve heard this–what a beautiful reminder–thank you for posting, it’s blessing me too!

  31. dear sisters do not worry about me 🙂 I am MUCH better now! I had pnemonia but i dont know how to spell LOL 

    1. Cyndi, I am so glad you are feeling better, but pneumonia is a serious thing, so please take extra good care of yourself!

    2. Okay Cindy–just got to this post. So glad you are okay now. Pneumonia is rough though!!

  32. Acts 4 tells how the disciples were challenged by the religious and government leaders of the times. They weren’t concerned about what happened to themselves, and by the end of the chapter the officials didnt know what to do with them so the just gave up!!! This spurred me to pray for our leaders to know what is right and act accordingly; especially in the wake of what is happening overseas right now.

  33.  Here is my music for this morning’s worship. 
     
    http://youtu.be/QsYyuK1w3q0
     
    I have a prayer question. This morning I’m led to pray for a certain topic and all week I have been led to pray by reading through Scripture. However my question is this, what if I’m praying and it doesn’t include, say, my family or my friends  because the scripture didn’t lead me in that direction. Would that be a separate prayer maybe later in the day? Or would I somehow incorporate that prayer for my own family into the prayer that is brought forth due to scripture?  I know it seems like a stupid question, because really the answer is you can pray all day anytime you like about any topic. However I know we are focusing on praying from reading his holy word this week.  I guess I just wonder if I should even include any prayers for my family? It makes me feel guilty that I wouldn’t. 

    1. Laura-LOVE your beautiful heart. I edited out my comment..I LOVE Dee’s short, concise answer as opposed to my confusing essay!! lol. ;~)

  34. Thankful for His Kiss this morning in Psalm 2 for it is easy to get down in regard to what is going on in the world with Isis, the refugees and the conundrum we are in-what to do? With rulers of nations who have no awe of or trust in Him. This morning He kissed me with this Psalm!  Convicted of my own heart, yet thankful. I love verse 12-“Kiss the Son” He wants me to ‘kiss him’ back by trusting Him..am I in awe of Him-His Holiness, or am I fearing man? Oh this Psalm helps set my heart back to Him. Rejoicing that I am His-amazed He, whose wrath is fierce-yet easily kindled-kindled it against me and made me His:  “You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.””  AND…He calls me beautiful-longs to hear my voice. He has grafted me in for we will participate with Him in the future when He establishes justice-and HE WILL. Praying also for our leaders to “Kiss the Son”-that God would give us a President and leaders who trust Him-even though we don’t deserve it-but I didn’t deserve Him coming to redeem me yet He did! 🙂 
     

  35. OH MY. this one overwhelmed me this morning. Hoping this link will work: https://youtu.be/ifL4cpKQhCo
    Andrew Peterson-Behold the Lamb of God. 

    1. Thanks for this song by Andrew Peterson, Lizzy. Beautiful! I am not familiar with Andrew Peterson.

  36. This week has been one of blessing. First that each morning I have been gently nudged awake to spend my quiet time, reading , listening to special words from the scripture and a time of sweet praise and prayer. One song that blessed me was  Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me! What a beautiful message and it brought thoughts of the Holy spirit melting and molding my heart. The  time of self-examination and confession stood out to me and I am convicted of how much I need to listen and contemplate his message to me.
    As Cindy shared about God’s changing of her husband, I am also convicted to let go and wait on God to work in my loved ones lives. We will travel on Tuesday to spend time with my daughter and I know this preparation of prayer and praise is at just the right time. Much has happened in her family this year and God is at work through some difficult times. Waiting on God for what is coming in this family.
    It is good to see new sisters join in the blog, welcome each of you! It is a joy to see Laura’s praise of health clearance!
     

  37. 7. Did your prayer life improve this week? What was most helpful that you want to keep doing?
    I just need to persevere and I really like Nicky Gumbel’s advice-keep it honest, keep it simple and keep it up. I have days I was so tired and did not get up early enough but still took time to meet with the Lord. Even in the littleness of the time, God is so faithful to bring one simple message to get me going and focused on Him. 
    Several kisses from the king this week-evidences that He is a lavish giver even if I feel undeserving-reminding me His love for me is not dependent on my works or performance. Coming home from Lincoln, NE we went through all green lights for 3-4 miles! AWE-some Lord! you are LIGHT, Lord and will guide me in the days to come regarding significant decisions.