Browse Tag by Joy
Devotional

When You Don’t Have Words to Say

Maybe you don’t have words to say to God today.

Maybe everything’s been falling apart lately.

Maybe you’re at a defining moment in your life, choosing between following Him or following the world.

Maybe you’re desperate.

Whatever it is you’re facing, I want to encourage you today.

You’re not alone.

Your Creator sees you where you are, and sees your future. There’s a beautiful promise in Psalm 9:10 that says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

You can place your heart in His hands, knowing that He is a loving Father who will carry you through.

Your prayers don’t need to be elegant. The Bible actually warns us about vain repetition in Matthew 6:7. Your prayers can be as simple as, “Yahweh I need You. I want to trust You. Please help me.”

These three simple sentences, when spoken in honesty, reach a God that’s far bigger, far stronger, and far more capable of bringing you peace than anyone or anything else.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Today, let’s hold onto the peace of knowing that there is no one more powerful and no one more loving than our heavenly Father.

Let’s let our prayers be honest, simple, and heartfelt–even if they’re short.

Today let’s hang onto Him.

You see my anxious heart
You see what I am feeling
And when I fall apart
You are there to hold me
How great Your love for me
Now I see what You’re thinking
You say I’m beautiful
Your voice is my healing

Without You I just can’t get by
So I’m

Hanging on to every word You speak
‘Cause it’s all that I need
Hanging on to every word You say
To light up my way
Even every little whisper I’m
Hanging on as if it were my life
I’m hanging on

~”Hanging On” by Britt Nicole

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Devotional, Prayer Prompts & Guides

A Prayer to See Life Through God’s Eyes

The other day, I was singing along to the song “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath. I’ve listened to it many times over the years, but this time, I was struck by how powerful a prayer it is.

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing,
Give your love for humanity.
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see.

This kind of a prayer can change your life.

It’s dangerous, but in the best kind of way, because it’ll break you free from the bondage of a man’s view and show you God’s view. It’s hard to pray that kind of prayer, but it’s liberating at the same time. It’s the kind of prayer that’ll make you take crazy leaps of faith, and trudge through lonely valleys just to love Him and love others as yourself.

Because the truth is that His love is so much greater than mine.

I must die to my earthly desires for Him to make me more like Him–more like love.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Please give me that love, Yahweh.

Dear God, give me your eyes so I can see. Give me your love for humanity. Give me your arms for the broken-hearted, the ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten. Give me your eyes so I can see.

 

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Poems

Poem: The Prayer I Need

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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, 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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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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Prayer Prompts & Guides

Want to Go Deeper in Prayer This Year? (7 Ways to Pray More)

Are you wanting to go deeper in prayer this year?

Having a prayer life doesn’t just “happen.”

It takes choices. It takes faith. It takes abiding in Yeshua (Jesus).

Our busy schedules try to stifle it. Distractions hinder it. Sometimes even when we’ve set aside time to sit in God’s presence, our minds start drifting in other directions, and minutes later we realize that we’ve hardly even said a word to Him or listened to what He’s trying to show us.

I’ve been there. There are times when I feel my prayer life struggling, and times when it feels so alive. The good news is that every day we have a choice, and every year is a new start.

Here are some ideas to encourage your prayer life this year:

Listen to Music

Most worship songs are prayer put to music. When we praise God, it welcomes His presence into our everyday lives. Scrubbing baseboards, cooking dinner, or driving to town can become times of worship, so turn that music up.

Keep a Prayer Journal

Keeping a prayer journal can help you stay focused while praying. When I write a prayer to my heavenly Father, it’s often more reverent, thoughtful, and focused than when I say it. Plus, if you’re crazy about starting journals (like I am), this is yet another excuse to get a cute notebook (T.J. Maxx, y’all).

(For more inspiration, see our post: Keeping a Prayer Journal.)

Capture the “in-between moments”

So often the minutes of free time in our days are twiddled away, but they can be wonderful opportunities to take a break and rest in God’s presence. Do you have a few minutes to spare because you’re ready to leave the house early? (Confession: that doesn’t happen with me.) Do you have ten minutes of free time while the cookies are baking, or a minute before your toddler calls for you again? Each of these minutes are gifts from the Father.

Find a Prayer Partner

Prayer doesn’t have to be a lonely thing. Perhaps there’s a prayer group you could join, or maybe you have a friend who would like to commit to a regular time of prayer together (whether in person or on the phone). Can’t think of a prayer partner? Pray for one. If it’s God’s desire, He’ll bring along someone who will join you in prayer. Not only will this bring accountability and focus to your prayer life, it can strengthen a friendship in a special way as you seek His face together. Which leads us to…

Pray with Friends

After a chat on the phone or an afternoon spent with friends, prayer is a great way to close your time spent together. Also, if something comes up in your conversation that needs prayer, volunteer to pray right on the spot. It’s amazing the comfort and strength we can receive from God in those times. It might seem awkward at first, but I’ve found that it means a lot to friends.

Set Reminders

Set a reminder on your phone to pray at a certain time of the day, or place sticky notes around your home. Also, when you think of someone, pray for them. This is a great way to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Use Prayer Guides

Not only will prayer guides give you inspiration, they can also help you stay committed to daily prayer. What are you wanting to pray more about? There are quite a few prayer guides online that might be just what you were looking for. (You can also check out our “Resources & Reviews” page for a collection of prayer guides and inspiration.)

Photo courtesy of Jay Williams

What are some more ways to focus on prayer this year?

 

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Prayer Prompts & Guides

A Prayer to Start Off Your Year

As another year comes to an end, we can look back on these past months and see the victories and trials, the laughter and tears.

I don’t know what you’ve been through this year. Maybe it’s been your best year, or maybe your hardest. But as you look back, I pray that you can see His hand guiding, feel His presence leading, and hear His voice speaking. Even in the darkest nights the stars were still shining, and after the storm, the sun warmed your face. I hope you can see each blessing as a gift from above.

Let’s start off the year with thankfulness and prayer.

-A Prayer to Start off Your Year-

Father, I surrender my year to You, all its joys and tears, all its victories and trials. I want to walk in the power of your resurrection–rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, staying devoted to prayer. I want to draw closer to You this year and seek Your face like never before. Please give me the strength to be Your hands and feet and share Your love with this world. Remind me who You are and how you hold the whole world in Your hands. Thank You for providing all my needs, and saving me. May You receive all the glory this year. In Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) name, amen!

-Prayer Points-

Father, I surrender my year to You, all its joys and tears, all its victories and trials. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I want to walk in the power of your resurrection–rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, staying devoted to prayer. (Philippians 3:10, Romans 12:12)

I want to draw closer to You this year and seek Your face like never before. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Please give me the strength to be Your hands and feet and share Your love with this world. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Remind me who You are and how you hold the whole world in Your hands. (Psalm 95:4)

Thank You for providing all my needs, and saving me. (Philippians 4:19, John 3:16)

May You receive all the glory this year. (Revelation 4:11)

Click for printable PDF: A Prayer to Start Off Your Year

How has God answered prayer in your life in 2016?

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