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While I am on a one month blogging holiday I thought I would leave you with a round-up of most read posts from Under the Cover of Prayer in the past year. I am taking off the comments but anytime you need to reach me please email Under the Cover of Prayer. I hope you enjoy these:
At our church we have a song we sing at the end of most services called “Go Now in Peace”. That is so important – to remain at peace – even in the middle of a storm. Read More.
“O LORD, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning” (Psalm 5:1 NLT).
The most basic answer says that prayer is talking to God. Sometimes we talk to God through singing. Sometimes we talk silently with words that are not actually expressed. But, for most of us, most of the time, prayer is talking to God. Read more
If you accept the idea that prayer is a conversation with God, the first prayer recorded in the Bible is found in Genesis. The context suggests that human/divine interaction “in the cool of the day” was a regular feature of life in Eden. Read more.
How do I pray when words fail? @markdroberts (tweet this)
What is prayer? @markdroberts (tweet this)
Why do we buy potted tomato plants in spring instead of tomato seeds in winter? Why do we see movies on their opening weekend instead of several weeks or months later? Why do we stop by fast food restaurants instead of pulling a recipe book out of the cupboard?
Some things can’t be rushed, though. The crocuses and hyacinths that are flaunting their purple petals in the garden kept us waiting all winter to see their fresh spring faces. The newborn baby that was due a week earlier kept her family wondering, breathlessly awaiting her arrival.
James, bishop of the first church in Jerusalem, wrote about the relationship between prayer and waiting, saying:
Be patient, then, brothers…( James 5: 7-18, NIV).
Just like the farmer waits for crops to ripen and rains to come, we pray and wait. Just like believers anticipate Christ’s return, we pray and wait. Just like Job yearned for better times and we long for suffering to be over, we pray and wait.
James reminds us that even Elijah, the LORD’s prophet, needed to wait. He waited three long years to have his prayer answered, ending a paralyzing drought. And somehow, James invites us to be women and men like Elijah.
He coaxes us to accept the challenge, to see prayer as an identifying marker of our faith. It is an expression of our belief in the immortal, invisible, eternal One who exists outside of time. For Him, a day is no different than a thousand years, or a thousand years than a day.
And while we wait, God is not idle. We who pray are being changed; our faith is stretched, our motives are purified, our concern for others is deepened. We become as we pray.
Make a mental note: the next time we see a spring flower or a baby, a new blockbuster or a fast food restaurant, let’s think about prayer and waiting. Let’s embrace the partnership between the two that can be, as James reminds us, powerful and effective.
The One who calls us is faithful and He will do it.
We who believe are called to wait. (tweet this)
Sue seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker. She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God. Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh
We all know them
Those we can go to
When we are burdened
Or someone else
They’re the 1:00 AM Prayer Warriors
We don’t have to worry about disturbing them
It’s no surprise when we find
They’re already awake
Maybe even for us
But what happens
When the pray-ers
Or knocked out of the game
By a ball they didn’t see coming
Who can they call on
When they have to sit out
For an inning or two
When we’re called in to be
A pinch hitter
Will we be ready?
Not to do things like the Warriors always have
But to face the challenge
Step up to the plate
And hit a home run
For the player on the bench
And the entire team
Who is now counting on us
Dear Lord . . . May I be willing to step up when those precious Prayer Warriors need to step back. I pray that You will surround them with Your love and peace. And may they rest assured that You will raise up those who will faithfully pinch hit on their behalf. Refresh them. Renew them. And restore them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Can You be a Pinch Hit Prayer Warrior? (tweet this)
Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
Let us each come to Jesus today – and as our Intercessor lay down all those thoughts, troubles, thanksgivings and hopes to God. Have a blessed Sunday. Thanks to Days N Thoughts for this wonderful devotional.
Originally posted on Days & Thoughts:
(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/smarnad)
This is an edited repost from January 2013 …..
Dear Jesus, how desperately I need to learn to pray. And yet, when I am honest, I know that I often do not even want to pray.
I am distracted!
I am stubborn!
I am self-centered!
In your mercy, Jesus, bring my “want-er” more in line with my “need-er” so that I can come to want what I need.
In your name & for your sake, I pray. —Amen.
(taken from Richard J. Foster, “Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home”, page 15)
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord teach us to pray…”. (Luke 11:1)
by Janis Cox
I started Under the Cover of Prayer in 2010 because I felt God calling me to bring pray-ers together; to teach more about all the facets of prayer; and to make me a better pray-er.
He has done more than that. He has built a community, what I have started to call a Tribe of Jesus. I have started to use something called a hashtag (#) which helps people locate everything to do with this blog. I am using:
I have read many prayer books. I study the Bible. I focus on what I hear and see.
Today’s reading from Oswald Chambers really struck me.
Worship and intercession must go together, one is impossible without the other (Oswald Chambers, March 30)
And from the Bible:
Your attitude should be the same as Christ (Philippians 2:5, NIV).
Now that makes me think long and hard and ask myself some questions.
Oswald Chambers says we need to aim to:
live in a holy relationship with God … having such intimate contact with Him that we know His mind about the ones for whom we pray.
For that reason I need a blogging holiday – not just one week, but at least one month away from blogging.
Please pray for me while I take this time to renew, refresh and rekindle that intimate relationship that I crave.
From April 10 – May 10th. I want to R.E.N.E.W.
If you need to contact me during this time please email Under the Cover of Prayer.
Lord Jesus, you have told me to take this time away to renew. Please help me to hear clearly what is important to you. In Your name, AMEN.
I want to RENEW my relationship with Jesus (tweet this)
Why am I taking a blogging holiday? (tweet this)
by Jen Cudmore
Recently a person very close to me began to make some ungodly choices in her life, which grieved me greatly. One day she sat beside me in church, and while it was a bit uncomfortable, I did my best to focus on the lesson. Then, as the pastor prayed to end the service, I felt the Lord tap me on the shoulder.
“You feel this negative energy right here beside you? You can fix that.”
“What?” I said. “It’s not my problem. It’s hers.”
“Yes, but I’ve been telling you for months to get on your knees for her and you haven’t done it. Remember that verse:
I found no one to stand in the gap (Ez 22:30)?
Seriously chastised, I pondered those words for the rest of the day, and in the morning during my prayer time I asked God for help. You see, I had actually said a few prayers for my friend, but I never focused on fighting for her. I was too annoyed by her bad choices. I was so disgusted with her behavior that I didn’t want anything to do with her. And that is a very bad place to be.
Once when I was in high school, I mentioned to my mother a situation with a girl I really didn’t like. Her response was to pray for this girl, to which I’m sure I scowled. Why would I pray for someone I planned to avoid?
Mama told me about the verse that says we are to pray for our enemies (Matt 5:44). When I responded, that technically this girl wasn’t my enemy, Mama was armed with an answer. “You dislike this girl just as much as you would someone who mistreats you. You don’t like to be around her and cringe when she comes near. Same concept.”
So I begrudgingly began to pray for the girl, and to my surprise, it only took a couple months before we became friends!
The same thing happened in recent months. As I began to pray for my backslidden friend, God began to soften my heart toward her and helped me see her as He saw her, a lost and confused soul who just needed someone’s support. Now, she’s growing closer to the Lord, and there is much less weirdness between us. All because I was obedient and prayed.
The Bible tells us to pray for each other (James 5:16).
Your prayers are powerful. No matter who God lays on your heart, be sure to be consistent. Then sit back and watch Him work!
You want me to pray for whom, Lord? (tweet this)
Why pray for someone you don’t like? (tweet this)
Jen grew up on the Columbia River Gorge and currently lives in Alaska with her husband, two children, two boxers, and two cats. Her goal is to write novels that encourage women to look for positive qualities in a life partner, and to foster an environment of real romance, rather than fantasy, as they grow old with their spouse. For more, visit her website at http://www.jencudmore.com/. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
by Janis Cox
I read an interesting statement in The Prayer of Jabez?
If God is working through us that doesn’t mean in association with us.
Through is an interesting term. It reminds me of the scripture in Zechariah where we are told that not by might nor by power but by My Spirit will God work through us.
Our God specializes in working through normal people who believe in a supernatural God who will do this work through them.
This will be my path for the next months – to spend more time in prayer – as I beg for more influence and responsibility so I can honour God.
If I want to be a follower of Jesus I need to trust Him to do miracles; to open doors; to make divine appointments.
You will know beyond doubt that God has opened heaven’s storehouses because you prayed.
I would love to pray with you or for you.
Please contact me at Under the Cover of Prayer.
Here is a wonderful reminder that God will open heaven’s gates if we pray and believe.
Here are a few words from this song Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? by Matt Redman.
Fling wide, you heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord
And here is the video.
Lord, I know that I have to allow you to work through me. For that reason I give you my whole life to do as you wish. Lead me, guide me, push me. Open those gates and may I expand my territory for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.
Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship..
A lot of times when we think about prayer, we think about it as asking God for something.
When we are sick… a loved one is sick… we need financial assistance… we have family problems… these are all times when we turn to prayer.
But a lot of times we stop here.
Have you heard the story about the little girl whose family prayed for rain? She was the only one who left with her umbrella.
When we pray, sure we might as God for something, but prayer doesn’t stop with the asking.
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you (Mark 11:24, NASB).
When we pray, let us also believe in the power of our infinite God of love and grace, to grant us that which is best for us. If we truly believe, just like that little girl who took the umbrella because she believed that the rain would fall, we will confidently step out in faith PREPARED for our “rain” to fall.
Prayer includes believing. Mark 11:24 (tweet this)
Tanya is a child of God, wife, stay at home mom and homeschooler. She loves the Lord and loves telling people about who He is. By God’s grace her husband and she intend to live out Joshua’s statement “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And so her greatest desire is to see her Lord face to face and along with her family, join in the joyous strains of triumphant voices praising our Lord and King. Check out her blog at God’s Character.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night (Psalm 1:2, NLT*).
Surely the psalmist doesn’t expect us to go around mentally reciting the Ten Commandments and all the extra bits of legalese that Moses added?
That doesn’t sound like something we could delight in. It sounds… like cramming for a test. Dry. To be honest, it sounds boring. And discouraging. After all, looking at all those requirements, knowing we’re human and can never satisfy the Law… not a good scene. It reminds me of another verse:
The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit (Proverbs 18:14, NLT*)?
Let’s think for a minute.
If it’s not the list of dos and don’ts, what is it?
I think in this context, it’s the very character of God. It’s who He is, how He conducts Himself, and yes, what He requires of us if we’re living for His glory.
Doesn’t that change the picture? Doesn’t it sound like prayer? Like something we can delight in?
There’s no hardship in spending time thinking about the God who loves us, remembering different aspects of who He is and what He’s done for us. It leads naturally into worship and prayer. It draws us nearer to Him and strengthens our faith.
It might even hurt a bit when we recognize how far off-track some parts of our lives may be, but it’s not the spirit-crushing sense of failure I mentioned above.
It can’t be, because we’re also looking at who God is. That means we’ll remember His promise to forgive our sins and clean us up. We’ll remember His faithfulness, and that He’ll never leave us. We’ll remember He loves us.
That kind of meditating on God’s law is something delightful indeed!
Meditating on God’s law doesn’t have to be boring. (tweet this)
It’s good to think about the God who loves us. (tweet this)
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Janet writes about the tenacity of God. Her novel, Heaven’s Prey, released November 1, 2013 from Choose NOW Publishing. You can find her on her website, Janet Sketchley.