Tag Archives: Prayer

A Woman of Fervent Prayer

Fervent

I have not seen the War Room movie yet, but I am desperate to after reading this amazing book Fervent -by Pricilla Shirer. I was sent this book and several others that are all designed to partner with the movie. All of them are wonderful resources, but this book was POWERFUL. I read almost the entire book on my plane trips to Florida!

Just the back cover was enough to peak my interest….

“You have an enemy. And he’s dead set on destroying all you hold dear. He does it strategically. He does it specifically. He’s doing it right this minute, in fact – aimed at personally drawn targets on your heart, your home, your mind, your life. And this book, the battle plan, is your chance to fight back. With a weapon that really works, With prayer.”

Oh friends. This book is THE BOOK you need to be reading right now.

I have long felt the attacks of an enemy that seeks to ruin and destroy all that we hold dear. Any time my husband or I step out to do something FOR God, participate in a church activity, share our story, get involved in a ministry…EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. we are attacked.

Sometimes we don’t see it as an attack either, we just become short with one another, our tempers flare, we get over busy and overwhelmed, we stop praying and start trying to handle it all ourselves and then BAM we are waist deep in the thick of a struggle or sin.

THIS is where the enemy wants to keep us!

STUCK. ANGRY. OVERWHELMED. DISTANT. LONELY…

My friends the list goes on and on. When we find ourselves surrounded with our problems, when we allow unforgiveness to flood our hearts, when we choose sin because trying to do the right thing is too much…the enemy is having a party.

Pricilla says “The real enemy isn’t your husband. Or your teenager. Or your brother’s wife. Or your mother-in-law. Or the weather. Or the traffic. Or your sweet tooth. Or whatever powder keg of frustration really gets under your skin and sets you off before you can think straight. The real enemy – the capital E “Enemy” – well you know who it is. And you cannot keep letting him go unchecked while you throw money and anger and logic and physchology at your problems in a vain attempt at overcoming or outsmarting them…..”(p 43)

It doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to sit around helpless. We CAN do something. We can fight, we can stand firm in who Christ has created us to be and we can live in victory but we have to enter the battle prepared. We MUST prepare first with prayer!

“Prayer is a reminder to yourself, as well as declaration to the enemy, that you know he’s there. That you are on to him. When you bring your concerns and fears and irritations to the Lord in prayer, you’re aligning your weak-ling spirit with the full force of God’s Holy Spirit. Instead of continuing to to fail by taking the battle into your own hands – and taking the battle to the wrong people – you’re joining instead with all the power of heaven….” (p44)

This book caused me to ask myself if I am bringing all of my fear, frustrations and worries to God. What am I trying to handle on my own? What am I “allowing” God to be a part of? So much more today I realize that He wants to be a part of ALL of it. God loves me and wants to fight FOR me, WITH me….so why don’t I let Him?

One of the ways this book encourages a strategic battle plan is to pray using the PRAY model.

P – Praise – Thank Him for completely forgiving you, cleansing you, changing you.

R – Repentance – See the foolishness of anything that perpetuates old sin patterns , and by His Holy Spirit, walk away.

A – Asking – Ask for freedom, for release, for the ability to deflect lies and embrace truth.

Y – Yes – Because you,, by His resurrection power, can now walk in a new way of life.

We need to fight these battles with prayer.

In the movie the main character gets a prayer room. She starts writing down her prayers and then tapes them up on the walls. It is a tangible way to see and remember all of the things you are praying for and also documenting when answers come.

At this point I don’t have a specific space that is a prayer room for me, but I do have a prayer journal. Each morning I get up and write out my daily prayer requests in my journal. One of the resources Icon Media sent to me was a prayer journal. They also have a beautiful book for kids that talks about a boy’s journey to prayer and it includes this poster with “I prayed” stickers so the kids can write out their prayers and see tangible results as well.

I am finding more and more for myself that prayer needs to be something so constant, it becomes like breathing. I need prayer to sustain me, to keep me going, to ground me, encourage and bring hope.

Prayer does that for me. Even when the answer isn’t as I had hoped…I can start to see God’s plan in my life, recognize His provision and protection. Prayer gives me peace when things are spinning out of control.

I really can’t recommend this book enough. I have more pages underlines, starred, dog eared and circled than I have in any book I have read recently. Filled with Bible verses, encouragement, real life examples and hope…Fervent is a book you need to order today!

Check out all the resources that accompany the War Room! I received these books at no cost from Icon Media in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For Those Who Persecute You

Prayer

I know that I don’t fully understand what real persecution is like. The kind that causes one to hide to worship God because they fear the repercussions if they are found out. The kind that has men on their knees facing imminent death. I don’t for a moment want to compare the struggles we have been through to the magnitude that those are….but  we have faced persecution.

I don’t want to give too many specific details because honestly it is in the past and it doesn’t matter anymore…but there was a time that Dominic and I were persecuted by another. False things were said, attacks were made and ultimately God walked us through that time and has blessed us, but it was a painful time. Feelings were hurt and it can be hard to let those go.

Recently we heard that this person has cancer. We know no other details…just that word.

And can I be honest that the immediate thought that came to my mind was “they are getting what they deserve.” (Please know I am NOT proud of this either)

Immediately following that thought, was the command that I needed to be in prayer for this person. (THIS is ALL God)

When bad things happen to people that have hurt us, it somehow feels like a little bit of justice is taking place. Now let me temper that by saying that I too have hurt people, so by my own definition, I deserve bad things as well.

So please hear me that I don’t think that anyone who gets cancer must have done something to “deserve it.” Quite the contrary. What I am admitting to is that my humanness, my sinful nature, makes me react in a way that is not Christ-like.

I know that I am a failure. I can’t and don’t love like Christ. It is the reason that I need Him in my life every moment of every day.

But Jesus specifically said in Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

It seems pretty clear doesn’t it?

It doesn’t mean that it is easy though….

So I looked at it a little deeper…if you read a little more in Matthew you see this. Matthew 5: 43-47: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others?”

If I am seeking to model my life like Christ, I need to be listening to His words on how to live.

I was sharing my thoughts with two of my closest friends this morning, because this IS hard. I can know it, and believe it, but the walking out of my faith can be a challenge.

One of these friends shared something that hit me in a new way this morning. When Jesus was hanging on the cross he was in between 2 criminals. Now I don’t know that we know for sure what their crimes were. We don’t know how old they were or if they had ever lived a “good” life…but we do know that their crimes were serious enough to warrant an execution of this manner.

One of the criminals taunted Jesus and told him to save himself and them. The other said this… Luke 23: 40-43:But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

The 2nd criminal may have been a criminal all his life. But in that moment, with the recognition of his sins and the acknowledgement of the kingship of Jesus…he was forgiven – completely.

He may not have done a single thing “good” in his life up to that point, but when faced with the truth of Jesus he knew he wanted to have a chance at being remembered.

THAT is why Jesus came…if even only for that one criminal.

As I felt challenged to pray for this person who has cancer, I initially looked at it selfishly. It stinks to admit this, but I thought if I prayed and they found Jesus, maybe they would make restitution for the things they did…the things they said.

But God calls me to pray for those who persecute me…and I need to do that regardless if the offender attempts to make things right. I felt convicted today because I knew that I was putting conditions on my prayers. (<====Click to Tweet)

I will pray for them IF the end result serves me.

God’s love is unconditional. Regardless of how I respond, He loves me. If I am seeking to be more like Christ, I need to model my behavior after the example that was set for me.

So I will pray that this person will know Christ in a real, personal way. That God’s presence would be felt and that healing would occur.

This isn’t and won’t be easy, but it is necessary. As I make choices that are against my “human” nature and more align with a Christ-like nature….slowly I am being transformed in His image.

And these moments of transformation are pretty exciting!

“Change my heart Oh Lord, make it ever new. Change my heart Oh Lord…I want to be like you”

Photo Credit: Lel4nd

Making Time to Be Intentional in Your Prayer Life

As I write this post I am sitting in a beautiful rental home that our extended family gathered in over Christmas. The fireplace is flickering and warming the room, the sun is shining and right now I have some time to reflect by myself.

Battle Lake 3

It is easy to see God’s beauty in a place like this. The frozen lake glimmers with light from the sunset, the Christmas lights offer a warmth and glow to the home. It is perfect. And when things are perfect…well, I can find it hard to take time to be intentional with my prayer time with God.

Battle Lake 1

Do you struggle with that too?

Sure I cry out to Him when things are rough. I know all to well the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness…of trying to make sense of the hard and ugly places that life has taken us at times. God becomes my 1-800-helpline as I demand changes and results.

But this week, surrounded by family and beauty…all my wants and desires are met, and so my quiet time with God is pushed aside.

This isn’t how I want to live my days though. Seeking after God only when I have a need. No I want to develop a relationship with Him that is one of intentional seeking of His plan and purpose for my life. A relationship built on faith and trust and one that comes with an intentional seeking of His face each and every day.

Several months ago I was invited to participate in a 40 day prayer journey. A friend was starting Mark Batterson’s 40 Day Prayer Circle Challenge and she asked if we were interested in keeping each other accountable through it. I had heard encouraging things from others that had gone through it so I joined in.

I bought the audio book so that I could listen to the devotionals in the morning. In one of the first days Mark encouraged us to get a prayer journal and to start writing out our prayers. He said that when we write out the prayers, big and small, we can then go back and see how God had answered our prayers.

And so began my 40 day prayer journey. I am sharing more about my prayer journey over at Christen’s site for her 21 Day Prayer Challenge. Will you join me over there?!

When Anger is My First Response

Harbor

There are times when there are posts and ideas in my mind that I’m really excited to write about. And then there are times like today that I feel God is calling me to write and I don’t want to share the words.

Because if I’m being honest, this isn’t something that I want you to know about.

It reveals a part of my soul and my character that are difficult. Areas in my life that God is working on me, refining me… you see I have a problem with anger.

Anger itself reveals my lack of self-control and the ability to find the good in situations. When my first response is one of anger, nobody wins.

And I can feel it. I can feel myself getting angry and once I am there it seems that my natural response is to yell.

I want to be a place of safe harbor. A place of comfort and trust. But a mama that explodes when she is frustrated is no safe harbor. (<====Click to Tweet) When my kids know that mom is mad they don’t come to me…they go the other way.

It is a harsh and painful reality.

The majority of this post was spoken when I was in the bathroom. Okay maybe that was too much information for y’all…so sorry! I was just getting ready one morning, and I just felt very strongly that these words needed to be written.

So I used my phone and my notes app and I spoke these words into being.

I want more for me. I want more for my children. I want my more for my husband and my friends.

I don’t want my legacy to be one of anger. (<====Click to Tweet)

I know it must have been God’s prompting to read Heather’s post that morning.  In this season of busy I haven’t been able to keep up on his many blogs as I would like to. But for some reason I clicked through and read her post.

Heather was brave and shared her own story of struggling with yelling at her kids. Of putting on that face, that mask if you will, for everyone outside of her home. But not having that same attitude towards those closest to her.

And unfortunately her post struck a nerve because I can relate so well to what she was saying.

So as I got ready that morning I could just feel God convicting my heart.

“I called you to be a light.”

“Yes that light is important when you share it with the outside world. But even more than that Kristin, you need to be showing that light to your family.”

So I come before you broken, stripped bare and humbly asking for your prayers.

I am going to be circling this in prayer. I can’t make this type of transformation on my own. God has to do a work in me and through me. I just need to be willing to do the hard things to see change.

I want to use this space as a place to remain accountable.

You have all blessed me with my own safe harbor. Your words of encouragement and not judgement help me to be more transparent. So it may get raw and real around here but I need to be able to take off the mask…even if just in this space first.

It is my prayer that as I walk this road, God will mold me into the woman, the mother and wife He created me to be. Thank you friends for walking with me!

In Him, Kristin

Photo Credit: Rasmus Zwickson

A Mother’s Day Prayer

My dear friend Delonna is the new Prayer Team Leader for the God-sized Dreams website and since taking on that role in Houston has come up with some amazing ideas. One of those ideas was to start doing a Podcast series where she can pray over all that visit the site.

I just love her heart, and while she isn’t a mama to a biological child, she is a woman with a mother’s heart. Her love for orphans is amazing and I am just so blessed by her!

She recorded her first podcast so that it would be ready in time for Mother’s Day. So please take a few minutes and be blessed by her words and her prayer and share with a mother in your life!

YouTube Preview Image

 

Happy Mother’s Day friends!

A Call to Fast

Fruits of the Spirit 1

On Sunday our pastor preached about “Knowing our Enemy”. Whether we like to admit it or not, the reality of this world is that we live in constant attack of the enemy. He seeks to rob us of joy, to ruin our marriages and friendships…to steal all of the blessings that God has given us.

Friends THIS is a battle.

Ephesians 6:12:  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Our pastor told us that Lucifer’s name means light. He was originally described as the most beautiful angel and was created by God to bring light into the world. But he got selfish and prideful. He wanted to live independent of God not dependent on God.

Thus the fall. Lucifer and other angels that followed him were cast down to earth to rein here. Satan is our adversary,  opponent. He is powerful and wise, crafty and cunning.

He masquerades as the truth with just enough falsehood to get us to doubt. When I heard my pastor say that on Sunday it just hit home.

That is exactly what I have experienced and what I have seen my dearest friends experience recently.

10 of us came home from Houston and one by one have been under attack. There was some pretty powerful work for the Kingdom being done in Houston, so it shouldn’t surprise us that the attacks came.

But they did, and for many of us, they caught us off guard.

What I love more than anything about our website team is that while it may be easier to cave in and walk away defeated, we are standing with Christ, arming ourselves with Him, for battle.

Delonna posted this morning that she felt called to a fast. She invited us to all participate, to encourage one another, and to use this time to pray over one another.

I will be honest, I haven’t ever done a fast. I really like food, and chocolate, and snacking…all things that don’t really fit with a fast.

But I believe that when people of God unite for His glory, in His name, in His power and authority…well Satan better just run and hide. ahem and Amen!

Some of us will be starting at sundown tonight and others tomorrow morning….but we will be fasting and praying together. And let me clarify…we are doing the Daniel Fast so we can have fruits and vegetables but no meats, dairy, processed foods or chocolate. 🙂

Delonna sent us a copy of the printable above to have and reference during this time. Our prayer for one another will be to ask God to break any strongholds we have, prayers for protection over our families, our children and our marriages.

Through the power of prayer and this fast we have hope for the mighty things that God will accomplish through us.

1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

It isn’t about us and what we can do.

As my pastor said “The only way I stand is when I stand IN Him.”

So we stand, confident in the Christ that is in us, the One who gives us strength. The One who can break any stronghold. God will be fighting for us in the next 24 hours, we are standing willing and ready, armored in His Truth.

If anyone would like to join us over the next 24 hours, we would love to pray with you as well. And I’d love to hear if you have ever done a fast…what did God teach you through it all?!

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