Devotional

Don’t Give Up on the Miracle

Is there something you’ve been praying about for a long time, and still there seems to be no answer?

Is there someone you’re interceding for, and still there’s no change?

We know the hard truth–not every prayer we pray is answered the way we anticipate.

God isn’t a genie. He has a mind of His own. And thankfully His mind is the smartest and wisest. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and able to do more than we can ask or think.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

What is the vastness of outer space, compared to this tiny earth? That’s the vast difference between God’s thoughts and ours. His are higher. And yet He reveals His thoughts to us through His Word and through His Spirit day by day.

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

The beautiful truth is that Yahweh is not only powerful, He’s also loving–so very loving.

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life;  in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:5-9)

His desire is for life, for healing, for restoration.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

In this world tainted by sin, He has mercy on His children and performs miracles. He does the impossible.

I don’t have the answer for why your prayer hasn’t been answered yet, but I do know one thing:

Just. Keep. Praying.

Keep trusting in His goodness, keep clinging to His promises.

Our God still works miracles.

May this song encourage you today…

Have you stopped reaching?
No longer seeking greater things
Have you forgotten you have a father listening?
He tells the sun when to rise
Gives the wind its breath
Swings a door wide open and moves in a moment you least expect

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak the impossible 
You’ve got to pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling keep on believing 
Don’t you give up 
Don’t you give upon a miracle
~ “Miracle” by Unspoken

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Warrior Wednesday

Meet Sydney: A Teenage Prayer Warrior (Part 2)

Last week we began our interview with my blogger friend and fellow prayer warrior, Sydney (you can check out her blog at: Squid’s Cup of Tea). Thank you once again for sharing with us, Sydney!

Interview with Sydney

Q. What encouragement/tips would you like to share with a Christian who’s struggling in their prayer life?

Sydney: Just start. You might have to force yourself to, but don’t take “Nah, I don’t feel like it” for an answer. Rules are placeholders. Once the habit is formed, the moral learned, the principle ingrained into you, then you can loosen the restrictions you’ve placed on yourself. Such rules for prayer can look like:

  • Setting aside a specific time and/or place for prayer.
  • Making a checklist for once-, twice-, or thrice-a-day prayer.  If you miss a day, don’t sweat it, but use that failure as an incentive to do better the next day.  
  • Make a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
  • Combine prayer time with Bible-reading time!  I’ve found that this works amazingly for me because I can just pray what I’m reading (Psalms are a great book to pray through!).  

Basically, find a method that works for you. If one of my suggestions works for you, great! Try it! This is a relationship, not a to-do list, and God will change your heart if you want Him to. Unfortunately, it often hurts when He does that, so make sure you’re sure. I can speak from experience, though, and say that it is completely worth it.  

Whatever your method, also remember that there’s no such thing as a bad prayer. You’re praying! God cares about your heart. If you recognize that your prayer life is lacking and want to do something about it, then you’re already on the right track. The words aren’t important, but your attitude is. If you’re struggling, tell Him.  Ask Him to help. Identify (with prayer, if you can) what is hindering you. Distractions, unconfessed/unaddressed sin, etc. will all hinder you when you’re trying to connect with our holy God.  

Q. What are some of your favorite Bible verses or quotes on prayer?

“When my arms can’t reach people who are close to my heart
I always hug them with my prayers” ~ Sharon Lagueux

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” ~ Martin Luther

“Is prayer your steering wheel or spare tire?” ~ Corrie ten Boom

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” ~ Abraham Lincoln 

“Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock at night.” ~ George Herbert

“Prayer is the world’s best wireless connection.” ~ Anonymous

“Once a man was asked, “What did you gain by regularly praying to God?” The man replied, “Nothing…but let me tell you what I lost: Anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and fear of death.” Sometimes, the answer to our prayers is not gaining but losing; which ultimately is the gain.” ~ Anonymous

Love,
Your sister in Christ,

Sydney

~ About Sydney ~ 

I am a 17-year-old female Floridian homeschooled-since-birth saved from an eternity in hell by Yeshua’s death on the cross. I’m a fighter for truth and free speech, even if I disagree with what it is used for. I am a lover of the Bible, people, birding, spiders, chess, superheroes, physics, math, libraries, music, worshipping, the Oxford comma, proper capitalization, proper punctuation, proper spelling, and photography.

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Devotional

Behold Our God

How do we treat our heavenly Father?

I was thinking about this question recently. Our God–Yahweh–created the heavens and the earth. He breathed life into man and gave us our families. Do we ever just stand in awe of our heavenly Father?

Prayer is an open door to the throne of our heavenly Father.

One thing that I enjoy doing is finding passages about the throne of God. Here is one of my favorites:

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:9)

This is the God whom we serve. He is powerful!

Guess what? He lets us come before Him with our prayers and listens to what we have to say. Is that not amazing? That our Creator loves you and me! He loves us so much that he sent His Son to die for us? Did you hear that? He sent Jesus- His only Son to die for us!

Wow! That is riveting! It makes me want to just stand up and behold my God. It makes me want to fall on my knees before Him in awe of what He does! Does that not make you want to worship Him? He is our King and Creator, our Lord!

He is our Savior.

 

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Warrior Wednesday

Meet Sydney: A Teenage Prayer Warrior

This Warrior Wednesday I’m excited to introduce you to a fellow prayer warrior and blogger friend of mine named Sydney. I (Joy) have been following Sydney’s thought-provoking and fun blog for years now (you can check it out here: Squid’s Cup of Tea), and am thrilled to have her sharing her heart on prayer with us today. Thank you, Sydney!

This is Part 1 of our interview with Sydney, so stay tuned for next week’s Warrior Wednesday highlight.

Interview with Sydney

Q. Why do you pray?

Sydney: This is a really difficult question.  I pray so many different prayers for so many different reasons… Let’s see if I can cover how/why in the same question…

Disclaimer, these are my own categories that I’ve drawn from my own spiritual journey, not set in stone theological standards.  Feel free to come up with your own categories, if you so please, but I hope these help.

Panicked Prayer: 

I often pray because I get lonely, anxious, manipulative, etc. and I know I shouldn’t be. I’ve tried some things and heard about others, but nothing else works.  Prayer is the only thing that takes the pressure off of me to have everything under control.  It’s my lifeline, my hotline, and my emergency contact info.  When I’m stressed out, freaked out, or completely undone, panicked prayer to The One in control of my life is the only thing that brings me peace.  After years of this, I don’t get too unstrung, but I would get worse if I didn’t pray.  

Passionate Prayer: 

This usually involves me bawling my eyes out because I’m in awe of God and just can’t fathom His incredible grace, love, foresight, and/or sacrifice.  I’m thanking Him for whatever it is that He showed me, and these times of prayer draw me deeper into His love, strengthening my faith.  It’s the bonding time between me and the Love of my life.  

Intercessory Prayer:

This is what a lot of people think of when they think of prayer.  It’s lifting others up to our Heavenly Father because they need it.  “Pray for those who persecute you” refers to this type of prayer.  I like it because it makes me acknowledge God’s sovereignty and my helplessness.  “Please heal this person because You can, and we can’t” is a typical sentiment.  Why do we pray this way?  Because God tells us to in the Bible, because He does answer it in His time, and because it is a great selfless exercise.  Also, you can’t hate someone you pray for… it just doesn’t work.  You want a relationship to mend?  Make sure your heart isn’t the problem first, and a great way to accomplish that is to pray for the other person(people).

Constant Prayer:

In Philippians, we are told to constantly pray.  That seems a little impractical (I need my eyes open to drive!!) until we realize that we think about a lot of things and talk to ourselves constantly, right?  What if we used that brain power to talk to God instead?  Every time something happens, talk to God about it. I think of it like texting.  We spam people we care about, right?  We want to talk to them so badly that we don’t care whether or not they’re ignoring us.  The great thing is, God is always listening, and constant spamming is something He cherishes.  

Whether it’s a crazy driver who just cut you off, “God, please protect those ahead of me from this driver, and thank you for protecting me just now,” or seeing a beautiful sunrise, “Wow, God, your creation is beautiful!  Thank you for giving me this sunrise!” God loves when we thank Him for the little things, or when we trust His provision and actually tell Him that.

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I like to thank God for as many things/people/happenings as I can think of.  It’s a great way to get in a good mood (can’t be angry and thankful at the same time!) and a good way to fall asleep. 🙂

Q. How different do you think your life would be today if you had never prayed to God?

Sydney: Eek!  I don’t even want to think about that!  Everything about me would be different and worse.  Prayer is the way we grow in our faith and become mature Christians.  If I never prayed, it would be as bad as never eating.  I would be starving emotionally and spiritually.  I would be anxiety-ridden, manipulative, and horribly mean.  Without the peace that I get from panicked and constant prayer, the love I receive in passionate prayer, and the blessings I receive when others engage in intercessory prayer on my behalf, my life would be a mess.  Have you ever seen a toddler scribble as hard as he can on a piece of paper?  That, compared to a love letter carefully crafted and written by a teenager, would be my life as compared to what God has made from my mistakes when I let Him take charge.  I can only relinquish that control, though, when I pray.

Love,
Your sister in Christ,

Sydney

~ About Sydney ~ 

I am a 17-year-old female Floridian homeschooled-since-birth saved from an eternity in hell by Yeshua’s death on the cross. I’m a fighter for truth and free speech, even if I disagree with what it is used for. I am a lover of the Bible, people, birding, spiders, chess, superheroes, physics, math, libraries, music, worshipping, the Oxford comma, proper capitalization, proper punctuation, proper spelling, and photography.

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Prayer Prompts & Guides

31 Prayer Prompts for Prodigals

Is there someone in your life who used to be on fire for God?

So many of us carry the burden of loved ones who have turned away from God.  I know from personal experience the heartbreak of watching a loved one leave God’s side to follow the world. At times my prayers for this loved one have grown thin. Because the truth is–

Praying for prodigals takes perseverance. It takes faith.

Often we can feel like our prayers aren’t making a difference. We continue to pray, and yet our loved ones continue to run farther and father from God. Yet the Bible assures us that the “fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Are you lacking faith that God can restore your loved one? Admit this to Him, and cry out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) All we need is faith like a mustard seed in order to move mountains.

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20)

Get down on your knees and pour out your heart, because your prayers make a difference.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Sometimes it can be hard to know what to pray.

Opening up the Bible is a wonderful place to start. Simply find a verse and pray that they will live it out. (Psalms is a great place to start looking for prayer prompts.) God’s Words are powerful.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Let’s intercede for the prodigals in our lives.

Below is a printable with thirty-one prayer prompts that I hope will encourage you as you intercede for your prodigal loved one:

Click for the printable PDF: 31 Prayer Prompts for Prodigals

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Devotional

7 Powerful Quotes on Prayer

I love to find quotes about various topics. Whether about the sunshine or about the Word of God, I love quotes! I have found over the years several quotes on prayer that I want to share with you.

I hope that you will enjoy these prayer quotes:

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” – Corrie ten Boom

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther

“Prayer makes a godly man, and puts within him the mind of Christ, the mind of humility, of self-surrender, of service, of pity, and of prayer. If we really pray, we will become more like God, or else we will quit praying.” – E.M. Bounds

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” – Corrie ten Boom

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” – John Bunyan

“It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone.” – Hudson Taylor

What are your favorite prayer quotes?

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Prayer Prompts & Guides

Praying For the Ones No One Prays For

Some of us are blessed to have been born into families with a strong heritage of faith.

Some of us have been wrapped in prayer even before we were ever wrapped in our mother’s arms. Grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins have prayed for us throughout our life.

Some of us have several friends to turn to when we are in need of prayer.

And some of us don’t.

Some don’t have many people–if anyone–praying for them.

Some have never heard the these words spoken: Can I pray with you?

This might be the reality of someone walking past you in the store, someone sitting next to you on the bus, someone standing next to you in line.

But we can change that reality; we can pray for the ones no one is praying for.

Today’s Prayer Prompt:

Let’s a take a moment to think of people we know who may not have anyone else praying for them, and let’s lift them up in heartfelt prayer.

 

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Devotional, Prayer Prompts & Guides

A Prayer for Open Doors in Your Life

How many times have you been unsure about what to do with your life?

After finishing up high school, I didn’t know what to do. It was a time of testing for me. Was I willing to trust Yahweh with my future? Could I find a balance between making a decision and trusting in Him? I agonized over what I would do. I prayed, I researched, and I asked wise counselors.

Praying through unknown times and trusting Yahweh is not easy, but He has things in store that we could never imagine.

We can pray that Yahweh will open doors for us to use our passions for his glory.

A Prayer for Open Doors in Your Life

“Yahweh, may you guide my next step in life. May I fully trust in you for my future. Open doors that you see fit and shut doors that are not for me. Send me wise counselors who will help me to make wise decisions. May I trust you with my future and with the doors that you will open for me. Thank you for being my God and my King! May I glorify and honor you in all that I do. Amen!”

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Devotional, Prayer Prompts & Guides

Thanking God for Our Freedom

Every year on Independence Day we celebrate the freedom we’ve been given in our country.

Amidst the parties, the fireworks, and the laughter of friends and family, it’s a wonderful time to be thankful not only for the freedom we have in this country, but also for the freedom we have in God.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

He sets us free from our past. Free from condemnation. Free from our fears. He breaks the chains of addiction. He gives us strength to follow Him, grace to pursue Him more every day. He gives us His love for one another.

We are free.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22)

Not only on Independence Day, but every day, let’s celebrate the freedom He has given us.

Thanking God for Our Freedom

Yahweh, thank you for the freedom you have given me. Thank you for setting me free from this world. Thank you that no one in this life can steal my joy, my peace, my faith, because it’s grounded on you. Thank you that I am free from the clutches of the enemy, and free to follow after you with a whole heart. Thank you for the freedoms that I so often forget, the things that I take for granted, that you’ve so graciously given. Thank you for this freedom to talk to you. Thank you for sending your Son and setting me free today and forever, amen!

What are some freedoms in your life that you are thankful for today?

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Devotional

How Storms Can Strengthen You

Back in 2014 a huge tornado swept through my community.

I remember it was very windy, and soon later after checking the news, I realized that my community would never be the same. Driving through parts of town brought tears to my eyes. This was a beautiful shaded drive, I thought more than once. Houses and businesses were gone. Praise the Lord that no one was seriously injured, just buildings and houses.

I was thinking the other day about the tornado and how my community bonded and worshiped the Lord through the storm.

It was a terrible situation, but Yahweh brought good from it.

Sometimes in our own lives we have storms.

Storms send us running into hiding. We want to hide from them and never experience them, but storms are what give us faith. Storms open our eyes to how Yahweh can work in our lives.

What storm is raging in your life?

Have you prayed to God about it? Let’s take some time, despite how hard the rain is pouring or how hard the wind is howling, to focus on the only One who can deliver.

With Him you can rest in the storm.

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

~Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns

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