Friday, March 27, 2020

Don't Struggle With Your Thorns

How are you doing? Are you facing an attack from the enemy?









I have been dwelling over 2 Corinthians 12:9 for several weeks. If you do not know this verse, let me back up a little.




God's Grace Is Enough 





Paul was given a thorn in his side to keep him from being conceited. This thorn was given to him by the enemy. Paul cries out to God three times asking Him to remove this thorn; this weakness, but He said, "no" and He tells Paul that His grace is sufficient. The grace of God is all that Paul would need to endure because His power is made perfect in weakness ( 2 Corinthians 12:7-9).





Now, in my study of this verse (or should I say, these verses), I have come to understand that my struggles are the thorns that are in my side. The aches and pains that I have, due to fibromyalgia, my migraines, my adrenal insufficiency, my carpal tunnel pain, my depression and anxiety. Oh, and the weakness that I feel when I am hit, out of the blue, with the past. All of those things (and many more) are my thorns.




Offer Thanks For Each Thorn





With this knowledge, how do I handle my "thorns"? I turn to God and offer Him thanks for each one of them.





Yes, the pains still hurt. The depression is still hard to deal with, at times. However, when I stop and give thanks to God for them it puts the focus on Him and takes the focus off of my problems. Oh and added bonus, it takes the sting out of the enemy's attack as well.





2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV 





But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.





Other translations: 





2 Corinthians 12:9 GNT 




But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me.




2 Corinthians 12:9 NLV 




He answered me, "I am all you need. I give you My loving-favor. My power works best in weak people." I am happy to be weak and have troubles so I can have Christ's power in me.









2 Corinthians 12:9 TPT 




But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.




According to  dictionary.com 




Grace - 




1. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God
2. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them
3. a virtue or excellence of divine origin
4. also called state of grace. the condition of being in God's favor or one of the elect




Sufficient - 




adequate for the purpose; enough to meet a need





Boast - 




a bragging statement; a possession, attribute, attainment, etc, that is or may be bragged about





Exult - 




to show or feel a lively triumphant joy; rejoice exceedingly; be highly elated or jubilant





Weakness - 




the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness 




Prayer: 




Dear Father,  





Thank you for each one of my weaknesses. Thank you for helping me to understand that my struggles, (my aches and pains, my migraines, my anxiety and depression, attacks from the enemy) are all the thorns that are in my side. I know that you have allowed me to have these thorns to help me focus more time on giving you thanks than on my problems. Yes, Father, your grace is all I need to carry me through. Thank you. In Jesus' name, Amen.














4 Tips To Focus Your Prayers


Prayers Equal Love


Pray In Secret


Prayer, Just Start Talking



















How are you doing?
Are you facing an attack from the enemy?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.































Photo credit: andrea piacquadio on pexels.com 

Friday, March 13, 2020

4 Tips To Focus Your Prayers

Do you know of someone that is struggling through a hard time? Would you like to cover this person in prayer, but aren't sure where to start?







Yes, it can be overwhelming when you try to think of what to pray for someone. You may not know, exactly, what their struggle is other than the fact that they are having a hard time.




What do you do? 






1. Go away somewhere quiet 





You can sit in your bedroom, in a closet, in the bathroom. The place does not really matter as long as your focus is on the Lord.




2. Pray a few short prayers 





Spend this time in prayer.




3. Ask for guidance, direction, wisdom 





During your prayer time, be sure to ask specifically for guidance, direction, and wisdom.




4. Sit quietly with the Lord 





Sit, with your eyes closed, and just be quiet. Listen for the Lord to reveal something to you.




Let the Lord lead





I have recently had one of these "focused" quiet prayer sessions with the Lord. Our middle son, Taylor, has been on my heart a lot lately. I sat quietly with the Lord and felt led to read Psalm 18.




Psalm 18:16-19 really spoke to me.




Psalm 18:16-19 NIV 




He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.









Other Translations:




Psalm 18:16-19 CEV 




You reached down from heaven, and you lifted me from deep in the ocean. You rescued me from enemies, who were hateful and too powerful for me. On the day disaster struck, they came and attacked, but you defended me. When I was fenced in, you freed and rescued me because you love me.




Psalm 18:16-19 GNT 




The Lord reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies and from all those who hate me— they were too strong for me. When I was in trouble, they attacked me, but the Lord protected me. He helped me out of danger; he saved me because he was pleased with me.



Cross References:




Psalm 59:1 NIV 




Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.




Psalm 143:9 




Rescue me from my enemies, Lord , for I hide myself in you.




Psalm 31:15 NIV 




My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.




Prayer: 




Dear Father, 




I pray that you will reach down from on high and lift my son out of the deep waters. Please rescue him from his powerful enemy that confronted him in his time of distress. Help him to resist his enemy with your support. Bring him out of his despair and place him somewhere that is spacious. Come to his rescue because you are delighted in him (Ps. 18:16-19). In Jesus' name, Amen.













Prayers Equal Love


Pray In Secret


Prayer, Just Start Talking


How Is Your Prayer Life?



















Do you know someone that is struggling through a hard time?
Would you like to cover this person in prayer, but aren't sure where to start?
How can I pray for you today?
If you will allow it, I will be happy to help carry your load.


























Ps. I am including a free printable for you. It is the Bible reading plan for the month of April. It is called Ask Call Seek. Enjoy.









Photo credit: engin_akyurt on pixabay.com

If God is Calling You To It

Life just took a turn. Sometimes the turns that we face in life, are good turns. However, with this turn, you find yourself struggling and c...