Saturday, October 20, 2012

{31 Days} Day 20 ~Taking a new stance - on my knees

"...pray continually..." {1 Thes. 5:17}
Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation, was known to be a man of prayer.  The "kneel before the Lord our Maker" kind of prayer.  I've heard tell that his knees were rough and calloused from this stance.
The Lord used Luther in amazing ways during a turbulent period in church history - Mr. Luther knew who wielded the Power, and he submitted on his knees to it.

And yet, it is so very difficult, I find, to commit to this manner of prayer.  Not merely getting on my knees to pray, but just praying at all!  It's tough for someone who is time, task, and schedule oriented (i.e. me) to stop and pray. And I think, perhaps, part of prayer is the yielding of time to the One who gave us time to begin with.
"[The sun] rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other..." {Ps. 19:6}

So a yielding of time (no matter what seems to be pressing heavy) to the God who set the sun and moon in their courses is a place to begin

Now then, WHAT should I be praying for?  I find that there are so many people to pray for and things to give to the Lord, requests to make, repentance, and would take hours!!!  
I've read many different suggestions of ways to pray and I've narrowed my field down to two. (No, it's not a typo.  Yes, I said two.)

The first is to pray following the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).  
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." {Phil. 4:6}
And when you pray in this order, pray scripture.  It's always amazing to pray God's own words.  In my mind's eye, when I pray straight from scripture, I sense that I've been ushered into a sweet and holy place.  I won't even try to describe it.

My second prayer focus is for my husband.  Daily praying for him, throughout the day and with specificity.
A dear friend passed on a suggestion of how we as wives can pray for our husbands.  I've printed mine off and begun the work of praying for Matthew daily and specifically. 
Here's the link:

My sisters in the Lord, the battle is on for our families; and our husbands are the prime target.  So I say this to myself and anyone who will take up "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" - KNEEL before the Lord, ADORE Him, CONFESS to Him, THANK Him, & MAKE SUPPLICATION for your husbands before anything else.

Perhaps, one day, I'll discover little callouses on my knees from time spent in the work of prayer.

"The prayer of a righteous [wife] is powerful and effective." {James 5:16b}

Have a blessed and restful Sabbath!

Friday, October 19, 2012

{31 Days} Day 19 - How to land a blow to sloth...

Sloth - What a downright, grotesque word.  It's fine for the three-toed, slow moving, tree dweller, but for people?  Really.  However, I do think it deals quite plainly with our daily problem of misusing our extra time.

I realize that I haven't posted for several days, but it's not due to sloth.  I've just been downright crazy busy - and it's been amazing!  Ok, before you go clicking that little "x" at the top of your screen, just hear me out.  The busyness in the business of the last few days has been of a good kind.  God has used many moments (some a bit unpleasant and frustrating) to teach me more about His work.  The work of my sanctification through the Holy Spirit, through the tools of loving my husband, teaching and loving my children, being a keeper of my home, and using my gifts to serve others in the church and at large.

In considering God's work within my life, I decided to take note of specific areas he is working in which are pushing me forward to respond in a new and better way to his guidance.  This list (which, by the way, seems to keep growing) is what I want to share with you in the waning days of October.  Hopefully, I can keep up!

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." {1 Thes. 5:16-18}

For today, I can make the choice to have joy.  It sounds kinda far-fetched, but we truly have a choice in this.  How often I have been blistering mad and boiled right over onto the kids! And then, after half the day is gone, I still feel like I'd prefer to stay mad and make everyone miserable!  And if I choose to live there, not only is everyone else miserable and running covert routes to avoid Mama, but I'm miserable and dark in my outlook.  Weakness sets in; reason is kicked out the door; sin is lurking for the chance to lay waste.  It's dreadful friends. All due to the choice to hold onto anger and grumpiness.

But we do have this thing called choice.  So when I feel justified in scowling at all the little blondies running around the house, or growling at my husband the moment he walks in the door from work, how can I choose joy?

Here's where I have planted my feet in this battle:  

"The JOY of the Lord is [my] strength." {Neh. 8:10}

"There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but JOY for those who promote peace." {Prov. 12:20}

Strength & Peace...How could I chose against those virtues?  

The strength of the Lord, which is His Holy Spirit, is also the same strength (or power) that raised Jesus from the dead!  {Take a moment to read Ephesians 1:19-20}

And His Peace - surpassing understanding, that guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus!

"And the PEACE of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." {Phil. 4:7}

Do notice, that this JOY and this PEACE cannot...can separated from the Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Walk with Christ and the choice for joy becomes easier and the strength felt stronger and the peace so very safe.