Prayer

Finding My Voice (conclusion)

You can read Finding My Voice by clicking on the title link just provided. However, this post should be able to stand alone in its truth.

As I was preparing for what I was to share with the ladies of the first Be Still study, I went back to one of my earliest journals that I kept. My October 2, 2014 entry was written while at a 72 hour intensive women’s retreat. I read directly from it, and since it is a “prayer journal,” I asked the women gathered to please close their eyes as I read the words unedited from my journal. As I began, I asked these sweet sisters to listen carefully, and try to identify how God surely heard my words and has undoubtedly answered my requests.

Lord, Thank you for this time. I love spending time with you in silence, in the stillness. Despite my loud personality and at times non-stop mouth, my love, desire and need for time in the quiet with you and in prayer are what I yearn for the most. Better than glitz, glamor, and the like; You are my provider. You are the only thing that satisfies. You are the lover of my soul. I am Your precious child, and Your design.

How many times have I missed this? The business of busy-ness. I ask you now Lord to keep my focus on You. Drain myself of me! Instead, fill me with You, and You alone. Let me replace all my opinions of myself with the opinions, love, and adjectives You have for me. Surround me, embrace me with Your holiness, and righteousness.

For all the ladies here and for myself also, speak Your word and truth into our hearts. I no longer pray with my eyes closed, but rather with pen in hand. Let me be an instrument to be used by You Lord. Show me opportunities to share my love and faith in You.

I closed with this prepared prayer. “Oh Heavenly Father, thank you for letting me share and remember this prayer from over 4 years ago. Nothing is a surprise to You. You are here Lord, and you are in this place. Thank you for each woman here today. May each of them know they have been prayed for by many prayer warriors sitting in this room, and elsewhere. There is power in prayer! We have no doubt that You have hand selected this study for each one of us to be part of, and we are using this time of learning how to surrender all unto You. I pray each one of us can leave here encouraged to live out Psalm 46:10. May we humble ourselves, be deliberate and obedient to practice being still so that we can know the Great I AM. Take us deeper in our faith. Thank you for giving me a voice to make your name great. You deserve all our praise. You know everything about us, and love us STILL. You are our Mighty Counselor.”
In Jesus Name, Amen

For those of you readers old enough to remember Andy Rooney and his famous way of bringing us The rest of the story, I want to share with you a little God wink that the majority of those ladies were not aware of. The women’s director had let each one of us on the writing team have freedom in what and how we presented out little speech to address the women in attendance. She and another church staff would deliver the bigger teaching points for each week. We did not meet beforehand to discuss exactly what each of us were going to share to make a seamless flow. But you know what? God did! That week the ladies got to hear my testimony. I had talked about seeking help with a counselor, and later in the hour information was given on who to contact for counseling and other needs. It was like my testimony was a volleyball set for God to drive His point home about using the community of believers to help each other out along our journey. I don’t know if I adequately described how exciting and goose-bump giving this was for us; but it was not by coincidence, nor by chance. God orchestrated the timing and it was perfect. We knew at that moment along with many others along the way, we were operating in His will and obedient to His direction. We were serving as His vessels.

Today take time to ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes, and be willing to go and do what He has planned for you. Remember, you are chosen, and you are His. You have been called out of the darkness, and into His glorious light! You have a voice. Carve out time to meet with Him to find what He wants you to share, and then don’t keep it to yourself. You matter to Him. You matter to others that need to hear your struggle and the victory you have found in Jesus. 

 

Armor of God

The Belt of Truth

You are on my mind today as I sit down to share my reflections on the second week of Shirer’s study The Armor of God. One of my favorite apps on my phone is the Webster’s dictionary. I have learned through the years not to gloss 30dayseph6day22truthover words. Shirer writes truth is God’s opinion on any matter, the ultimate standard. My app’s first definition is as follows: the real facts about something; the things that are true. However, the third definition offered is that truth is a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true. Read over that last definition again slowly. Do you see it? Those last words, an idea that is “accepted as true.” That is not good enough for God. I pray that you humbly submit yourself and give the Holy Spirit reign in your heart, mind, and soul. Father, shine Your light of truth and expose any dark places where we have accepted a lie as truth. I pray that those reading these words be reconciled to you, and for their hearts to be softened and ready to receive your training in righteousness.

I was raised in a non-Christian fairly liberal home, by divorced parents. Born in 1970 maybe it was the culture of the times, but I see the same attitudes and ideologies everywhere today. Have you spent any time contemplating and identifying cultural perceptions (beliefs that do not line up with scripture)? These ideas are so pervasive and so accepted, it requires diligence and a keen awareness to decipher at times. For example, I had just seen a cute little wood plaque for sale that had these words beautifully painted, “Follow your heart wherever it may lead.” Sounds great, right? I could almost hear my mom or dad giving me this advice for life. However, something stirred within me that caused me to pause. That something is the Holy Spirit. Here is what girding my loins with truth does inside my 3 pound finite brain. Shirer used the example of the TSA’s authenticating light, God’s word is the light of truth. His words that were quickly brought to my mind were, “the heart is deceitful” (Jeremiah 17:9). TRUTH – “The heart is deceitful” did not align with the thoughts displayed on the plaque. This idea stays on my mind, and I continue to wrestle with the validity of its words. So later I follow up with more truth by taking the time to look up scripture and find in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” I don’t need to expand upon all the ways following your heart can lead to sin, and destruction. Finally, I surrender and submit myself to God’s lesson and praise him for not allowing me to buy the pretty to be displayed in my home.

O Brother or Sister in Christ, do not be quick to follow your feelings. They are fleeting, they change. If you are thinking the above example is insignificant, I’m here to tell you that is exactly what Satan wants. He has been working endlessly to desensitize your thinking, to paint a pretty little lie as a trap set just for you. Be on alert, bring everything to the throne. I pray that God becomes your filter and lens and you rely solely on real truth which is God’s standard, the Holy Scriptures. I pray that you gird your loins with a modern day Spanx; let it squeeze out the imperfections, smooth your thoughts to align with God. With your loins secure, may you walk more upright, become aware of your enemy, and ready to tuck in your tunic for action to maneuver and avoid the enemies pitfalls. I pray that you take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) I challenge you to make every effort to learn to inject God’s truth to your own daily prayer life. O Father, open their spiritual eyes and allow my brothers and sisters to see the importance of the belt of truth.