Browse Category by Devotional
Devotional, Prayer Prompts & Guides

Where Are My Treasures?

Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

Recently my family has been cleaning out my Grandmother’s house. As I went through the attic and pulled out boxes and boxes of interesting items, I begin to think about treasures. These items were once someone’s treasures. Maybe someone’s mother made the dress I hold in my hands. I wonder if they cherished this dress for a certain reason. The person is no longer alive. The items were left in memoriam, and I am the one finding them.

This caused me to think of my treasures.

Are my treasures here on this earth or in heaven? Thinking about this brought reality. As Christians we should gather up our treasures in heaven and not here on earth.

Below is a prayer that I was encouraged to write after thinking about my treasures.

Where Are My Treasures?
(prayer inspired by Matthew 5:19-26)

Yahweh, remind me that my treasures are not here on this earth, but are with You in Heaven. May my heart be with You and not with my earthly treasures. Help me to follow You with my whole heart and to be filled with light. I don’t want to be full of darkness. Show me the difference, so that I can be aware of it. I want to follow You, Yahweh, and not anyone else. Open my eyes to see when I am following the world. May You teach me to serve You with all my heart. Help me to trust You and to not focus on the things that I may not have. Remind me that You do care about me. Thank You for being my Lord and Savior. Amen!

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Devotional

The Prayer That Is Accepted

In Luke chapter 18 we find a powerful parable of two men praying.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)

Which payer is accepted?

Today let’s admit who we are, and how desperate we are for Him.

 

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Devotional

Speeding Through Prayer

As much as I hate to admit it, I rarely follow the speed limit.

While driving down a certain road close to my house, every time I see a speed limit sign, I have to remind myself to slow down. It is just natural to cruise down the road 10 or 15 miles per hour faster than I should. Seeing a policeman causes my heart to skip a beat and push the breaks quite hard.

Sometimes I feel as if my prayer life is the same way; I’m just cruising through my prayers to finish and then move on with the day.

My speeding prayer habit is even harder to break. Finding time to pray and focus is not easy in this season of my life. Sometimes I wonder how much more could be added to my daily life before I fall apart. Then I remind myself that prayer is what keeps me together and keeps me going. If I carve out time to bask in the presence of Yahweh, then I have a better day. Prayer is something that I should spend more time doing and less time speeding through.

Spending time with the Creator should be more than first priority in our lives– it should be our lives.

Speeding through prayer can become disrespectful to Yahweh. It is as if there are things in our lives more important than prayer and spending time with Him. Every aspect of our lives should be focused on Yahweh. I am reminded of the verse that says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). In other words, our daily lives are important to Yahweh and he cares for us as His children.

Let’s spend more time in prayer and less time focusing on ourselves or our to-do list.

Our to-do list shouldn’t have priority over what the LORD may have in store for us this day. As I try to obey the speed limit, I will also try to pray with a more focused spirit.

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Devotional, Prayer Prompts & Guides

Praying Through Anxiety & Fear (+ printable prayer guide)

Fear is a hard thing to battle.

Each of us faces it. Sometimes it’s worry, and sometimes it’s full blown anxiety.

When fear is attacking our hearts, where can we turn?

Who can bring us peace more than the Prince of Peace?

Where can we find sweeter words of comfort than the Word of God?

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

His words are powerful.

And when we look to His words, we see His character. We see how He is a good Father who loves His children. There is a beautiful quote that goes, “It’s not how much faith you have that matters, but Who your faith is in.”

If your faith is in Yahweh, the Maker of the heavens and earth, you can rest in knowing that He is with you no matter what.

As long as we live in this fallen world, we will battle with fear, doubt, and sin. But the good news is that we are overcomers. The battle does not define us. As children of God, He lets us run to His open arms for refuge in the storm.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

These Bible verse-inspired prayers bring such comfort to my heart, and I pray that they will encourage you today as well:

Click for printable PDF:
Praying Through Anxiety & Fear

 

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Devotional

Let’s Pray

Recently, I was talking with my mother about life.

We were discussing issues and other things concerning our family. I was frustrated about something that had happened recently. Between the two of us it had been a heated conversation. At one point I got very frustrated, and my mother looked at me and said, “Let’s pray.” I nodded my head and she began to pray. As she was praying, I started to think about prayer.  I am the one who blogs about prayer, and my mother is the one reminding me to pray. Sometimes it is hard to admit our weaknesses and struggles. I had to admit that I had failed in my prayer life, and that I was not perfect.

Next time you have hit a hard spot in your life and are not sure where to turn, remember to pray.

Prayer brings focus and clarity to life. Also, pray for Yahweh to place people in your life who will remind you to pray.

 

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Apologetics, Devotional

“If God is in Control, Why Pray?”

Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

I once heard someone ask the question, “If God is in control, what’s the point in praying to Him?”

There are many biblical reasons why we should pray, and there are articles and books answering this honest question. (Here’s a wonderful article short article: “Why Pray When God is Omnipotent and Omniscient?” by 3-Minute Apologist. And here’s a indepth answer: “Defending the Bible’s Position on Prayer” from Apologetic Press.)

Surprisingly, the question holds the answer.

The fact that Yahweh is in control is the reason why I pray. I wouldn’t pray to Him if He wasn’t all-powerful, because prayer is not about changing God, it’s about allowing Him to change us, our circumstances, and our world through His Holy Spirit.

Prayer is not about control. It’s about surrender.

Our heavenly Father is the only one that can hear the cry of our souls.

He’s the only one who can feel our greatest joy and our deepest hurt. He sees the beauty that we’re blinded to and the sins that we try to hide. He sees our past, our present, our future, our hopes, our fears, and our deepest longings.

How are we going to see the light if we don’t open our eyes?

How are we going to feel hope, if we don’t open up our hearts?

How are we going to commune with Him without prayer?

Let’s pray when our heart can’t contain everything inside. Let’s rest in His presence when we don’t know where to go. He hears the cry of our soul even when we don’t know how to put it into words.

God is in control, not me. That’s why I pray.

Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

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Devotional

We Need to Listen

The other day I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, when the little girl in the cart behind me began to chant to her mom in a lilting voice, “I’m not listening. I’m not listening.”

My mom turned to me and said quietly, “How often do we do that to Yahweh?”

As the mom continued to softly instruct, her daughter kept repeating the phrase, “I’m not listening. I’m not listening.”

Ouch. Yes, I do that too.

Sometimes we rush into God’s presence.

We have a lot of prayer requests to make. We want. We need. We pray. We seek. But do we listen?

Do we sit in His presence and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our heart as we’re reading the Bible, or are we rushing on to check our devotions off the list?

I needed to learn that lesson from a little girl at the store.

When we find ourselves running in circles like Martha, we need to rest in His presence like Mary did.

We need to listen.

I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

~”Work of God Speak” by MercyMe

 

 

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Devotional

He Wants Our Hearts, Not Our Words

Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

It had been a busy day.

I was working on yet another project, and instead of turning on music, I decided to pray to my heavenly Father while working. I began to tell Him how wonderful He is. And that’s when He spoke to me, “I want your heart, not your words.” That quiet impression caused me to pause and contemplate.

I had been busy for quite a few days. So much of it was in service to Him, but was I serving out of my own strength? Had I taken quality time to get to know Him better lately? Or was I treating Him as a pep stop, where I get a quick fix and rush on with life? Was I just speaking words, or was I giving Him my heart?

It’s easy to fit God into our schedule, and a bit harder to fit our schedule around Him.

It’s a struggle. But most good things are.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Prayer is a part of our relationship with our Maker.

Today, let’s give Him more than our words, let’s give Him our hearts.

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Devotional, Prayer Prompts & Guides

Coming into His Presence Just as We Are (Psalm 139 Prayer)

Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

When praying to the Creator of the Universe, it is important to be honest with Him. Yahweh knows our thoughts before we speak them. He knows everything about us.

I am reminded of a childhood memory.

My siblings and I would build with LEGO bricks. We had characters we created. I could have told you all about my minifigure–her personality, what she liked and didn’t like, and how she interacted with others. I determined each thing about her and knew everything. 

Yahweh is like that. He knows all about us, because He created us.

When you come to Him in prayer, be honest, tell him your heart–be you. Bring your burdens to Him and rest in the peace of knowing that He sees you with eyes of grace.

-Psalm 139 Prayer-

Father, You know me. Everything that I do is known by You. You know my thoughts and are acquainted with all my ways. Every word on my tongue, You know before I say it. Your hand is on me. Everywhere I go, You are there. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the everlasting way.
Amen.

Click for printable PDF: Psalm 139 Prayer

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Devotional, Prayer Prompts & Guides

Prayers for the Lonely Seasons of Our Lives

Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

Do you struggle with loneliness in your life?

It might sound odd, but you’re truly not alone in your feelings. So many young ladies struggle just like you.

Throughout Scripture we read about how the righteous were often called into loneliness–Noah’s family (1 Peter 3:20), Abraham (Isaiah 51:2), Paul in Arabia (Galatians 1:16-19), and John on the Isle of Patmos (the book of Revelation). Yet they all had the greatest gift–Yahweh.

I was blessed to grow up in an amazing family, but I still struggled with loneliness.

I had a few friends, but never a friend that I could relate to. I was always the odd one who didn’t do things like other people. I remember as a child sitting on the end of our playground slide crying because I didn’t have a friend. It hurts to be lonely, but Yahweh used my loneliness to bring me closer to him. As soon as I let Yahweh gain control of my life, it was amazing how He worked. He placed people in my life that made a positive impact.

I still struggle with loneliness.

Just recently I walked into a room with about forty young people around my age and felt ever so lonely. No one understood what path I had chosen in life. I went to the back of the room and sat in the corner feeling alone. Finally I resolved within myself to talk to the girl next to me. She wasn’t kind, and she ignored me. I felt even more alone. It was there in that moment that I had to make a decision–to consider this the worse day of my life or a day to remember. I chose the latter. Although the loneliness remained, I made the best of the situation and smiled.

In our loneliness we can come closer to our Creator than ever, and prayer is one of those places where we can talk to Him like a friend.

It’s important to remember that Jesus is the best friend we could ever have. We can come to Him in prayer and pour out our hearts, knowing that He not only listens, but has the exact answer that we seek. Recently a friend of mine reminded me of this verse in Jeremiah: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (29:13). Yahweh loves each of His children and has a plan for them. Remember to call upon Him and He will answer and show you great and mighty things that you do not understand now (Jeremiah 33:3).

Here are some prayer prompts for drawing closer to our Best Friend during these lonely seasons.

Click for printable PDF: Prayers for the Lonely Seasons of Our Lives

Do you struggle with loneliness? What are some ways that Yahweh has brought you comfort?

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