A bit of fun this week. What do you think? I think that we need some fun! Here we go!
So, Joy has a blog called Blog of Joy (You should really check it out!), and she got tagged in a summer questionnaire! Joy tagged a friend of ours, Sarah (Who has a really awesome blog too!), and Sarah tagged me!
Anyway, I am going to answer her tag and then do something else fun!
1) What is a nickname only your family calls you? None! I am Peyton!
2) What’s a weird habit of yours? I like to prepare speeches in the shower!:)
3) Do you have any strange phobias? It really scares me when I miss a call or a meeting, because I like to be on time.
4) What’s a song that you secretly like to blast and belt out when you’re alone? Good question! Probably “You’re a Grand Old Flag”.
5) What’s one of your pet peeves? It drives me crazy when people don’t listen, or they are “listening” and I know they aren’t interested in what I am saying.
6) What’s one of your nervous habits? Hmmm… (If I answer this everyone will know when I am nervous….) I best leave this one.
7) What’s a YouTuber that almost always makes you laugh? Yay! I get to promote myself! Haha! My own channel always makes me laugh because I have so much to learn! You should check it out!
8) What was your first stuffed animal and what was its name? I never had many stuffed animals, but I did have a stuffed snowman and a stuffed cat named Snowman and Kittycat respectively.
9) What’s the drink you always order at Starbucks? I’m not a huge coffee fan, but I do love frozen yogurt!
10) Do you have any weird body skills? I can stick out my tongue and touch my nose!
11) What’s your favorite comfort food that’s bad but you eat it anyways? Frozen Yogurt
12) What’s a phrase or exclamation you always say? Ooooh! This is hard! I have a new one all the time! Right now, I think it is, “Stars and Stripes Forever!” 🙂
13) What did you use to wear that you would never wear now? Onesies!:) Haha!
14) What did you want to be when you were young? A teacher!
15) How tall are you? 5’ 3’’
Ok! Was that fun? Now you know all about me (and if you followed the links you know all about Joy and our friend Sarah!)! Now, for the next fun thing!
I want to get to know YOU! So…send me an email at email@example.com or comment below answering the questions! Let’s have some fun and make some friends! Yay!
Are you worn out? Tired? Losing hope? Discouraged?
It’s time to plan a getaway.
You need some time away from the chaos, away from people, away from the grind of life, away from even your hobbies.
You need this, and here’s how you can get it–free of charge.
Go find a quiet place and sit with God.
That probably sounds odd. Maybe that sounds too good to be true.
Can spending time alone with our Maker really make that big of a difference?
The Bible tells us it does:
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. (Psalm 73:28)
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues. (Psalm 31:19-20)
In prayer, we can pour out our hearts to Yahweh, but we can also rest in His presence.
So often I forget that. I rush into prayer, make my requests, thank Him, and leave.
Silence can feel awkward. We are accustomed to fast-paced lives full of noise and distractions, but with God, we don’t need to rush. We don’t need to impress Him with our zillions of words, or well-phrased poetic prayers. Nope, sometimes all we need to do is rest in His presence, like Mary did:
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-43)
So…Do you need a getaway?
You can allow yourself today the privilege as a child of God to spend time His presence.
I sat watching the news the other day, as President Trump of the United States addressed the United Nations. He talked about the things that are going on in our world, especially in North Korea. It saddens me to think that there are people in North Korea suffering. Christian persecution is very high there.
In writing this post, I hope to encourage you to join me in prayer not only for the persecuted Christians, but also for the entire country.
3 Ways to Pray for North Korea
1)Pray that Kim Jong-un will see the light, and that God will open his eyes to the truth.
2)Pray for the believers over there that are suffering. Pray that God will give them endurance and strength.
3)Pray for the citizens in South Korea that may have family in North Korea. Pray that they can find hope in Jesus Christ.
As things worsen and rumors spread about the people in North Korea, let’s remember to stop and pray for our fellow people. People who aren’t much different than us. People that love to do the things that we do, only they don’t get the chance. CNN recently put out a documentary on North Korea. It is a fascinating one to watch. Here is a link to the documentary.
One last thing I want to share is this link that will show you the contrast between North Korea and South Korea. How sad to see how dark the northern country is.
Nabeel Qureshi loved Jesus.
So much more could be said about his accomplishments in life–as a physician or as a Christian apologist–but that one statement is what everything else hung upon.
Peyton and I had the privilege of hearing Qureshi speak at a Summit Worldview Conference in 2013. There was a stage for him to stand on, but that’s not where he chose to speak from. Instead, he stood down on our level. He talked straight to us hundreds of students, sharing his testimony of how Jesus took him from being a devout Muslim to a devout Christian. (You can find his story here: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) Later during the conference some friends and I talked with him. We were inspired by this powerful speaker that was also so down-to-earth.
When I heard the news that Nabeel Qureshi had lost a battle with cancer, my heart was grieved like so many others who have been touched by his testimony. Ravi Zacharias shares in his article on The Washington Post about the life and ministry of Qureshi:
“I mourn for our broken world, where so much hate and destruction abounds. We have a cancer called sin. The disease that kills the body is minor, but the disease that kills the soul is eternal. Nabeel would want more than anything else that we carry the message of Jesus to help change the world. Only then can we understand that the sad news of Nabeel’s death is temporary.” (Ravi Zacharias on The Washington Post, “Why this Muslim-turned-Christian speaker resonated with so many before his death at 34,”)
Qureshi lost the battle with cancer, but he won the race of life.
He received his prize. He’s now free from cancer, free from the hardships of this life, and safe with His Savior that he devoted his life to.
In memory of Nabeel Qureshi, I want to share these three prayers that we can pray during this time:
1)Pray for outreach to Muslims. Qureshi was a powerful voice in this world, not only sharing the Gospel to Muslims, but also sharing his testimony that has encouraged so many Christians. Pray for more people to have a heart to share the Gospel with the Muslim people.
2)Pray for Nabeel Qureshi’s family. We know that Qureshi is safe in the arms of Jesus, but he left behind his wife, Michelle, and his two-year-old daughter, Ayah, and countless friends and others whose hearts are broken. Pray for comfort for them during this time, and that God will do a new work of healing and redemption in their lives.
3)Pray that Yahweh will continue to use Qureshi’s testimony to reach many. We only live so many years on this earth, but legacies live on, and so does Qureshi’s testimony.
Today let’s live life on purpose.
We can’t take any day for granted, so let’s “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly” before our God (Micah 6:8). Like Nabeel Qureshi, let’s live a life that leaves behind a legacy for the glory of God.
Many of us have fiery tongues.
Words fly from our mouths without a second thought. Guarding my mouth is something that I have struggled with and continue to struggle with!
Praying about my words is something that I do on a daily basis.
May this printable prayer guide help you have words “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).
Click for printable PDF:
5 Prayers to Guard Your Mouth
It is heartbreaking to see the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on Houston, Texas.
Knowing that Hurricane Irma is continuing the devastation in the Atlantic and soon Florida, only makes matters worse. The lives of those who are affected by these natural disasters are often altered in ways that are never forgotten. And for those of us who aren’t directly affected, it can be hard to know how to reach out and make a difference. In the face of such devastation, we humans feel very small.
It’s in times like these, when we feel so weak and insufficient, that we can rely on Yahweh, our mighty God.
God’s original plan for our world didn’t include hurricanes that take lives and destroy communities. When sin entered the world, so did natural disasters. As long as we are in this fallen world, there will be suffering, yet as believers, we know that this life is not the ending. There is eternal life forever in the presence of our Savior. And with that hope, we can make a difference in this world. We can live a life of a faith and not of fear.
We can pray when tragedy strikes, knowing that we serve a God who is more powerful than anything in this universe.
How can we pray during this current crisis? Here are three ways:
1)Pray for Hurricane Irma to diminish.
They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?” (Luke 8:24-25)
2)Pray that God will bring comfort, wisdom, and peace to those who have suffered.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
3)Ask God how you can help.
Whether collecting care packages or opening up your home to friends and family, pray to see how you can be His hands and feet to those in crisis.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40)
Let’s band together in prayer and action during these times when tragedy strikes.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Yahweh, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10a)
These two verses stood out to me one night as my father was reading them to my family.
He was saying that wisdom is such an important aspect of living a Christian life. He told us that wisdom is not something that comes naturally, but something that we have to ask for. Yahweh doesn’t just hand out wisdom to everyone; we must be willing to humble ourselves and ask for it. I was encouraged to ask for wisdom from Yahweh in situations in my life. Instead of praying, “Yahweh, help me to know what to say,” I have been praying, “Yahweh, give me wisdom as I talk with her.”
Since we make so many decisions in life, praying for wisdom is crucial.
So let us turn to the One who holds all wisdom as we pray this prayer:
A Prayer for Wisdom
“Yahweh, may I understand the fear of You and who You are. Teach me to wisely ask for wisdom each day. Show me the paths that I must walk on during this journey of life. Thank you for being my God and my King! May I glorify and honor You in all that I do. Amen.”
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
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
Your sister in Christ,
~ 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.