Friday, April 16, 2021

Add Focus to Your Prayers

Have you been struggling with your prayers? Do they feel rushed? Do you feel like you might be missing something?



I have added Anglican Prayer Beads in to my prayer time. Did I just lose you?








I was skeptical, at first, as well. Then just before Lent, I started reading a lot about praying with these beads.



I decided that since I was going to be observing Lent, for the first time, I might as well get some beads.



Add Prayer Beads




I LOVE using them. They help me to slow down and focus more on what I am praying while I spend time rubbing each bead between my fingers.
 


The beads are really easy to use and, believe it or not, they are helpful for those of us with anxieties.



Start by holding the Cross. As you gently rub the cross between your fingers, say the opening prayer or Scripture.





 


Then you will move to the Invitatory Bead. This prayer or Scripture is where you ask the Lord to join you.



As you move around, you will say a prayer or Scripture at each of the 4 Cruciform Beads.



To Slow Down and Focus




Next, is the Weeks Beads. There are 7 in each section and 28 total. You will say a prayer or Scripture at each of the beads. Use this time to slowly repeat the Scripture or prayer. Be sure to pause before you move on to the next bead. This allows a little more time for you to focus on the prayer or Scripture.
 


You will then come full circle to the Invitatory Bead with a prayer or Scripture to close out your time with the Lord.
 


Now you are back at the cross with your final words of prayer or Scripture.



I am providing an image for you that I hope will help you. I found it online and will provide a link for you.









Matthew 6:9-13 NIV 



“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’

 

Your turn: 



Have you been struggling with your prayers?
Do they feel rushed?
Do you feel like you might be missing something?



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, You are God of gods and Lord of lords (Deuteronomy 10:17). Please forgive me for the times that I struggle with knowing exactly how to pray. Forgive me for the times that I follow the world instead of turning to You in prayer. Jesus, I thank You for providing Your disciples with a prayer when they came to You asking for help on how to pray. In this gesture, it reminds me that I am not alone with my struggles. Thank You for being with me, for helping me to resist temptation and to stand up against the enemy (Matthew 6:9-13). In Jesus' name, Amen.

 



For a more in depth look at how to use Anglican Prayer Beads, check out these links:




Below is a Sample Prayer for you. I hope you find it helpful.












Check out these posts: 












Blessings, 









Leigha 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Moments of Joy

Do you often feel bogged down in your struggles? What activities can you work on to help you find a moment of joy? What new activity are you willing to learn in order to find that moment of joy?





Two months ago my husband walked out the door.



So, Leigha, how are you doing since he left?



Honestly, I have a few good moments. You know, a few moments in a row where the pain does not seem so overwhelming. I may even be able to laugh at something during those few moments. Then, all of a sudden, something will trigger a memory and I will be sad again.



I will say, however, that I am managing. With the Lord's help, I am continuing to move and not get bogged down.


For the Joy




I have started working on a latch hook rug kit. You remember those, right? You probably worked on them as a child. You may have even gotten them for your own children.
 


I decided to try something easy to see if my hands could handle the pain. It may take me a while to finish the one I am working on, but so far, my hands are managing. After this one, I plan to look into a latch hook pillow cover.



The next project that I am going to attempt is diamond painting. Have you heard of it? I was looking through paint by number projects to see if I might be interested in giving it a try. While I was looking, I saw several ads for diamond painting and it looks so interesting, I decided to attempt it. We will see how it goes.


Set before Him 




Another activity that I have started working on (sadly, I should have been working on all along) is spending time going through memory passages. These are passages of scripture that I have dedicated my time to memorizing, but do not devote as much time to recalling.









So, in other words, if you were to spy on me, you would see me attempting to repeat my current memory passage. You would also see me, walking around, trying my hardest to recall a passage I have already memorized. I have to admit that this activity can be time consuming, but I really enjoy it. It keeps my mind focused on the Lord.
 


Whenever I start to feel bogged down because of my struggles, it helps to remember that Jesus endured suffering as well. Once I stop and think about how He suffered, how He endured the cross (for me), it helps me to put things into perspective.
 


Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV   



fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.



Your turn:



Do you often feel bogged down in your struggles?
What activities can you work on to help you find a moment of joy?
What new activity are you willing to learn in order to find that moment of joy?



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, You are God of gods and Lord of lords, You are the great God, You are mighty and awesome (Deuteronomy 10:17). I confess, Father, that I do get bogged down in my struggles. I often find myself lost in depression. I ask that You will forgive me. Help me to remember to keep my eyes focused on Jesus. He endured the cross so that I would not have to experience that punishment. He went through the shame so that I could be forgiven. He now sits with You in heaven and His action provides a way for me to reach You. Help me to remember His pain and suffering, so I will not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 12:2-3).




Check out these posts: 









Blessings, 







Leigha 















Photo credit by pompi on pixabay.com 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Brave Enough to Say No

Saying "no" as an action of being brave.



As I think about what my "no" actions are, I am reminded of a time....









It was several years back, my word of the year was "Brave". For me, it meant being brave enough to say "no" to certain things in my life. For instance, I had to be brave enough to try and do things to take care of myself. So, if I had to say "no" to eating certain foods, then that is what I did.
 


I also remember blogging about this, at the time (a totally different blog, btw), and someone responded to me saying that that is not how being "Brave" is supposed to work. Hmmm.



It is "Brave" to say "No"




So I just read in Let's All Be Brave about finding your "no". For Annie, a big one was the realization that she should change how she eats for her health.




What is my current "no"?




Like Annie, I work hard to watch what I eat. I have several health issues and I am very sensitive to certain foods, spices, smells, etc. So, to help with my sensitivities, I have said "no" to certain things, like garlic, onions, gluten, dairy, fried foods <--- and that is just a small list.



I have fibromyalgia  and I tend to hurt, everywhere, all of the time. One symptom that I have learned that goes along with fibromyalgia is sensory overload . I suffer with sensory overload a lot. If I am out, in a restaurant and there are strong smells, it is overly warm, a child is throwing a fit, lights are blinking, and music is blasting ... oh boy, I start to feel overwhelmed. So, I have had to say "no" to going places that I know are going to trigger my sensory overload issues.



To say "Yes" to something better

 


I love Jesus. I don't think that I can say that enough. I love being in the Word. I love reading devotionals. I love working through Bible studies. I want to grow closer to the Lord and to be in His will for my life. I work hard (as I am a work in progress) to keep the Lord first and foremost, in my life. So, I have had to say "no" to activities that seem like fun, but in reality they pull me away from God. Activities like watching tv, shopping online, scrolling through fb or pinterest.
 


Matthew 6:33 NIV 



But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.









So, as you see, taking a step, even a small one, and saying "no" to something in order to say "yes" to something else, is an action of being brave.



In summary, you will see:



I said "no" to certain foods and spices, but I said "yes" to less sensitivities.
I said "no" to places that trigger my sensory overload issues, but "yes" to less triggers.
I said "no" to activities that seem fun but pull me away from God, but "yes" to growing my relationship with God.



Your turn:



Do you look at saying "no" to something as being a "brave" action?
What things have you said "no" to in order to say "yes" to something else?
I challenge you to spend some time thinking about this.



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. You created the heavens and the earth. I ask, Father, that You will forgive me for not trusting You to guide me through my "no" steps. I have to confess, sometimes it is easier to follow where everyone is going, to follow the world, than it is to say "no". Please help me to always seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness and to know that everything else that I need will be given to me as well (Matthew 6:33). In Jesus' name, Amen.
 


Check out these posts: 





Are You Following Jesus?




Blessings,







Leigha






Photo credit by shapkasushami of pixabay.com

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Are You a Prayer Warrior?

As we were riding along, we came across a funeral procession. We pulled over to the side of the road, to show respect.



I suddenly have this strong urge to pray. So while we are sitting there, watching the cars, with family and friends of the lost loved one go by, I pray.








There are other times that I am suddenly hit with the urge to pray. Like, for instance, if I see an accident has happened, I feel led to pray for those involved and for their loved ones.



Do you ever feel the urge to pray like that? Where no matter what you are doing, you have to stop and send up a prayer? Do you ever wake up from a dream about someone that you have not seen in a long time and you just know that you need to pray for them?




I am learning, from Stormie Omaritan's book Prayer Warriors, that all the things I have just described are from a heart of compassion. We are being led to pray as Prayer Warriors.



A tug on your heart for the suffering. 

 


As prayer warriors we feel a tug on our hearts whenever something grieves us. We may sense that something is not right and need to pray. We may see an injustice or some type of suffering that we want to change. We, in our best efforts cannot bring about that change, however, we can pray for the Lord to take action in that situation.

 


Do you feel led to pray for those who are suffering? Then you are called to be a Prayer Warrior. Actually, in all honesty, we are all called to be prayer warriors as we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).




1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV 

 


pray without ceasing,




So, what does it mean to pray without ceasing? It means that we take our concerns to God, in prayer. We seek His help and guidance with decisions that we need to make. We pray for the safety and wellbeing of our family and friends.




 


Praying without ceasing means that we talk to God about every aspect of our lives. Big, small, it doesn't matter, He wants us to talk to Him about it.



Listen for the Holy Spirit. 




Being a prayer warrior means that we listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to us about something. If we feel a nudge in our spirit, that is Him letting us know to pray. If we feel grieved about a situation, that is the Holy Spirit guiding us to pray.




Prayer: 




Father in heaven, You are mighty. You are powerful. You are majestic. You are my Jehovah Jireh. Father, I ask that You will forgive me for the many times that I have ignored the nudging of the Holy Spirit to pray for someone. I ask that You will increase my awareness of His nudges. Make those nudges so intense that there is no way that I can ignore them. Please help me in my efforts to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). When something grieves my heart, my soul, help me to stop and pray for You to take action. Thank You for all that You do. In Jesus' name, Amen.

 


Your turn: 




Are you a Prayer Warrior?
Do you feel led to pray for those who are suffering?
Do you feel the need to stop whatever you are doing and pray about something or someone?
If so, then you, my friend, are a Prayer Warrior.

 


Check out these posts: 



Trust God to Direct


Are You Following Jesus?


Pray For Your Enemies



Blessings, 





Leigha

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Trust God to Direct

"I am not planning to come back home. I am trying to move on with my life."



Those are very crushing words. How do you respond after hearing (or reading, as this was part of several text messages) these things?









To be honest, it was another punch in the stomach. How have I been responding to these words? I have been depressed. I have cried a lot. And I have been having really bad panic attacks.
 


Okay. Yes. I have to confess, here, that ever since he left me on January 25, I have been experiencing everything that I just described. However, I guess it has re-started. Or maybe it has gotten worse.



Do not focus on fear.




I have this fear that he is about to just walk away and leave me with everything. When I focus on that fear, my panic kicks into gear.
 


In an attempt to find some help, I have reached out to three of my doctors. I have explained some of the situation with them. Like for instance, the fact that I do not work and cannot work because of my health conditions and I do not have my own health insurance. I also let each of them know about my panic attacks.



I want to let you know something, my efforts of reaching out to my doctors, as I did, took a lot for me to do. I guess I would call that my "brave" thing.



I am still here. I am still trying my best, each and every day to put one foot in front of the other. I am still trying to follow where the Lord is guiding me.



Instead, focus on trusting in God.




As I think about following the Lord's guidance, I am hit, in the face, with the fact that I need to place my trust in Him. In order to follow where He leads, no matter where that might be, means I have to trust Him; with everything.









Do I trust Him enough to direct each step that I take?
Do I trust Him enough to follow, no matter where He might be guiding me?
Do I trust Him with my security?
Do I trust Him to take care of me?
Do I trust Him to take care of everything?



Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV 



Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.



That is something that I am working on, right now. Asking God to forgive me for not having that much trust I Him. Asking Him to help me overcome the fear that is holding me back. Asking Him to give me the strength that I need and to help me in my efforts to fully trust in Him.



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, You are my Jehovah Jireh, Immanuel. Nothing is too hard for you (Jeremiah 32:17). I pray, O Lord, that You will forgive me for not having more trust in You. Please help me to overcome the fear that is holding me back. Father, I ask that You will increase my strength and that You will help me in my efforts to fully trust in You. As Your Word tells me, in Proverbs 3:5-6, when I place my trust in You and do not lean on my own understanding; when I submit everything I do to You and Your will, You will make my paths straight before me. I am claiming that promise. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.
 


Your turn: 



Do you trust God enough to let Him direct each step you take? (Proverbs 16:9)
Do you trust Him enough to follow, no matter where He might be guiding? (Proverbs 16:3)
Do you trust Him with your security? (Psalm 121:7-8)
Do you trust Him to take care of you? (Psalm 91:9-12)
Do you trust Him to take care of everything? (Jeremiah 32:27)



Check out these posts: 







Brave in the Lord






Blessings, 





Leigha

Friday, February 26, 2021

Are You Following Jesus?

It has now been a month since my husband walked out the door. And it has almost been a week since I found out that he is involved with another woman, already.



So, Leigha, how are you doing?









Can I be honest? I am hurting. I am struggling really hard to just get up out of bed. This morning, after I finished my Prayer Closet (or as I now call it Crying Closet) time, I just sat there.
 


I felt safe. Honestly, it is now the only place that I do feel safe any more.



I am continuing to pull myself up out of bed every morning and to put one foot in front of the other. Luckily, I still have my dogs. They love me unconditionally and they depend on me to take care of them.



So,


I am doing the best I can. 




I am still trying to figure out what my "hidden talent" might be. Nothing springs to mind. So I will continue to pray over this.



What is your "hidden talent"? Have you figured it out?



Is there something that you thought you would like to do, but then time went by, so you buried it? Like for instance, maybe when you were little, you used to dream of being a singer. You used to run around your bedroom with your hairbrush, as a microphone, and belt out your favorite songs. Then, as you grew, life happened, and the dream of singing was hidden away, in a secret place.



Maybe it is time to dig up that "hidden talent" and give it a try.



As you have probably guessed, I am still reading Let's All Be Brave. The part I just finished was about saying "yes".



So what is my "yes"? How have I tried to follow where the Lord is leading me to go?



To carry my cross for Jesus.




My "yes" has been to follow the Lord's guidance in not only praying for my husband, my marriage, but to also pray for the other woman. Just saying that last part, is so hard for me to do.



1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV



No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.




But wait, isn't praying for the other woman a sign that you condone things between her and your husband?






 


I am glad that you asked that. And my answer is, "no".
 


I can follow where the Lord leads me by praying for her. I can trust that He has a plan for everything. I can remember that, in the end, He is the One that is in control.
 


I have to remember that God is the Father of compassion (2 Corinthians1:3). He has compassion on me. He forgave me of my sins when He sent Jesus to die on the cross for me (1 John 4:10). And He will forgive my husband and the other woman as well.



Since God is compassionate, I need to show compassion. I can do that (by showing the love of Jesus) and not condone what they are doing.



For right now, my "yes", my moment of following the Lord, is to pray for this other woman. Even though, it causes me a great deal of pain to do so. I know that the Lord uses everything in my life for good.



Romans 8:28 NIV 



And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.




And continue to persevere. 




Another "yes" has been to follow God's leading about continuing with my blog. It is not easy, under normal circumstances, for me to share about my life. However, God wants me to persevere. I want to shut down. Both the blog and in real life, but God has other thoughts.



So, I continue to share my "life's struggles" no matter how hard it is for me to do. Maybe with the Lord's help, somebody will read something that I share and will be comforted and blessed.



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, You are my Jehovah Jireh. Nothing is too hard for You (Jeremiah 32:17). I thank You, Father, for blessing me with this day. I thank You for my struggles; the thorns that are in my side. I am thankful for my weaknesses because I know that when I am weak, because of You, I am strong ( 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Father, I humble myself now as I pray for the other woman. I will not cease to give thanks for her or to remember her in my prayers (Ephesians 1:16). I lift this person into Your loving hands and ask that You will bring healing to her hurting heart. May she be blessed with a special touch from You. May You, the Lord of Peace, give her peace at all times in every way. May You be with her (2 Thessalonians 3:16). Please increase my strength. Help me to remember that in all things, You work for the good of those who love You (Romans 8:28). I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Your Turn:



What is your "hidden talent?
Have you figured it out, yet?
Maybe it is time to dig it up and give it a try.
What is your "yes"?
How are you trying to follow where the Lord is guiding you?
If He said, "Take up your cross and follow me," would you say, "yes"?



Check out these posts: 












Blessings, 





Leigha


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Pray For Your Enemies

Have you ever had the breath knocked out of you?



That is how I felt. I stood there listening to my husband tell me that he had just spent the entire week in Franklin. As he said it, a friend of his had fallen and broken a hip, so he had been staying with them to help out.









At first, my response was to tell him that it was nice of him to do this. When deep inside, I was hurting because he was not there for me, when I fell.



Follow God's Leading 




Then, all of a sudden, I felt led to ask him who this "friend" was. He told me that I wouldn't like it because it is a female. Somehow it finally came out that he has been involved with her. So I asked him how long this has been going on and he said for a few weeks.



I told him that I am against him seeing someone else. I am also against divorce.
 


A lot of things were said, but what I remember is telling him that I know the Lord has a purpose for all of this. I told him that I will be praying hard for him that the Lord will open his eyes to see what the enemy has been keeping him from seeing.



Now here I am. There are so many thoughts going around my head.




Even When It Hurts




During my sleepless night, as I prayed, it was revealed to me that I need to pray for my enemy. Okay, so here, you need to picture me trying to question God to make sure I was hearing Him right.



Luke 6:28 NLT  



Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.



I mean pray for this woman?! Seriously?



Yes.



After I accepted my call to pray for her, I felt a tiny bit of peace. Then, you know what? I felt led to share some food with her.



So after I finished cooking our meal, I put some in a container for her. I will then pray over the food asking for blessing and for healing in her life.



Is it easy for me to think about praying for this woman? Um, no. Is it easy to take away from our food and give it to her? Definitely not. But once I accepted what the Lord was telling me to do, I had some peace.



And then Jacob brings up the question.... do you know what you are going to do?









He wants me to plan ahead. I mean, in all honesty, every time T comes over, something else is different or has changed. Somehow or another he ends up turning my world upside down again.



Trust in the Lord's Timing




So, in response to Jacob's question I told him that I have to leave things in the Lord's hands. If I think about things too much, I start having panic attacks and that will not do me any good.



If T does pursue a "d" word (and I know that is a possibility), I am left without a job, without a source of income, no medical insurance, no way to pay for doctors, no way to pay for my prescriptions.



So what am I going to do? In the planning ahead part, I have no idea and that scares me. However, for right now, I am going to put my trust in the Lord.
 


Proverbs 25:21 NIV 



If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.



Prayer: 



Father in heaven, You are mighty. You are powerful. You are majestic. Nothing is too hard for You (Jeremiah 32:17). I humble myself before You, right now Father, and I ask that You will be with this person. I do not know her name. But since she is a part of my husband's life, she is now a part of my life as well. I lift her into Your hands. Please open her eyes, Father. Let Your light shine through and reveal those things that have been kept in the darkness. Father, I am sharing my food with her, may it bless her and help her to regain some strength. Please cause her to have a speedy recovery time. She needs Your healing touch on her life. Thank You for being with me through all of this. I pray that Your will be done. In Jesus' name, Amen. 



Your Turn: 


When someone has hurt you, have you felt led to pray for that person?
Have you ever felt led to share compassion with that person?
I would like to encourage you to spend some time praying over this to see what God speaks to your heart.



Check out these posts: 











Blessings,






Leigha 








Ps. I have put together A Prayer For Your Enemy freebie for you. I hope that praying through this prayer brings you comfort. 







 

Add Focus to Your Prayers

Have you been struggling with your prayers? Do they feel rushed? Do you feel like you might be missing something? I have added Anglican P...