Posted in Praise Prayer Worship

Broken Hearts and Celestial Bodies

 

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

During my quiet time this morning, I was reflecting on a facet of God’s amazing greatness.

You see the evening before, I’d been feeling tired and demotivated. And even though I felt I should get up from my settee and do something constructive towards my goals, after a long day at work, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I had neither the energy nor the inclination. And so I gave in to my feelings.

As I prepared to spend time in God’s presence the following morning, I thought about how God never gets tired and his interest in us never wanes. It caused me to be thankful that he is who he is and that I can depend upon him to always be the same.

Today I want to give my Father God thanks and praise because no matter how I feel, no matter what I have done (or not done), no matter whether I feel too tired, or too discouraged to spend time with him, He will never change!

He will always love me. He will always welcome me into his presence.

Our God will never be too busy to hear our prayers (or our complaints). He will never be too cross or offended, to care about our needs.

Psalm 147:3-4 tells us that:

  1. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds
  2. He counts the number of stars and calls them all by name.

Now that set me thinking. I wondered, what is the connection between wounded hearts and stars?

The answer that came to my heart was this:

Whether a matter is great or small, nothing escapes God’s notice. It may be as hidden and seemingly insignificant as a broken heart, or as conspicuous and majestic as the stars, God notices. And whilst we may look up and just see stars, God looks and sees individual celestial bodies. He knows how many there are and he even names them.

Beloved reader, he sees you. He cares about you more than you can ever comprehend.

What a wonderful, wonderful God we serve. Is he not worthy of our heartfelt praise?

 

Praise:

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

And His greatness is unsearchable.

(Psalm 145:3)

 

Prayer:

Dear Father God,

How wonderful you are. You are beyond comprehension. It’s just mind-boggling to know that one so great, so perfect, so holy could deign to love a fickle, imperfect and sinful people. Thank you for reaching down and offering us a new life on a higher plane.

Open our eyes Lord that we might see you in the beauty of your holiness, that we might appreciate your greatness and glory. Open our hearts Lord that we might love and worship you the way you truly deserve.

Amen.

 

Worship:

 

 

 Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a blessed day!

 

**************

Credits: CC0 Images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

Ditch Oppressive Opinions!

 

Dear precious woman of God,

  • Don’t remain a victim of past failures or hurts.
  • Don’t let the negative lens through which others see you influence how you see yourself.
  • Don’t let the negative words that others speak over, or about you, be the words that you say over, or to yourself.

Listen to what one man of God advises:

Your self-esteem must be based on God’s opinion, not someone else’s opinion or even your opinion. Your self-esteem is to be based on what God thinks. And God thinks you are fantastic!

Dr Charles Stanley – In Touch (April 2001)

 

So let me ask you dear woman of God – whose opinion will you choose to believe?

Ditch those negative beliefs and oppressive opinions.

Choose to be a victor!

 

CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem 11

Are you rooted and grounded in God’s Word?

 

The only currency God trades in is faith and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV).

As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob & Debby Gass – UCB Word for Today)

 

***     ***     ***

 

Self-Scrutiny:

Are you spending quality time in God’s Word?

Are you allowing the word of Christ to dwell in you richly? (Colossians 3:16)

 

Prayer warriors and interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour each day!

 

Women of Warfare readers – may God’s hand of divine protection rest upon you and your loved ones throughout this week.

 

Posted in Blog posts

An Open Letter on Fathers’ Day

Lady Cee

7 Salvation Street

Pilgrim’s Peak

Jehovah-Shalom Province

***** ——————————————————-*****

 

To:      The God of all the Earth

 

Sunday 18 June 2017

Dear Father God,

I Love You.

There have been many times when I’ve told you how I feel about you. I’ve told you during my private devotional times, during public praise and worship sessions at church meetings, during my day when my thoughts run across you.

I love, love, love you—with all my heart, mind and soul.

If I am honest, I don’t think I’m at the point where I can say that I love you more than life itself but I do desire, hope and trust that the measure and quality of my love for you will increase more and more, will deepen and widen as time goes by.

Because dear Father God, you deserve all the love in the world, all the love in the universe. You are worthy of all love and adoration and I want to love you the way you deserve—totally, utterly and without distraction.

May I tell you why I love you dear Father God?

I know you know anyway because you are omniscient (love that word!). But I want to tell you anyhow. I want to spell it out in black and white for all the world to see. I want the world to know what a great God you are, what a wonderful, merciful, loving, gracious and faithful father you are.

I want anyone who reads this, who does not have such a relationship with you, to be curious, to covet the same for themselves, to even call out to you, asking that you reveal yourself to them and become their loving spiritual father.

I want this because I know there can be no greater association that anyone could possibly have in their life. I want this because I know that I know, that I know, there can be no more beneficial, life-enhancing and wholesome relationship that anyone could hope to have. I want this because you offer your love, your salvation package, as a free gift to anyone who desires it. And this free, generous gift is an absolute treasure.

And so my dear Father God, on this day, Fathers’ Day, a day to appreciate human fathers, it is only fitting that I acknowledge you and celebrate you and tell you how much you mean to me.

Where do I start?

First, let me thank you for your foresight in devising your plan of salvation. Let me thank you for not leaving me in the clutches of the Enemy but sending your Son, your precious, holy, only-begotten Son, to come down to Earth and lay down his life for me, so that I can be reconciled to you, so that I can experience and enjoy abundant life, soul peace and supernatural blessings. Thank you Father God!

I want to thank you Father God, for your precious, extravagant, everlasting, unconditional love and the assurance that this quality of love which you have for me, means you will always love me no matter how much I might fail, or fall short of your standards.

Dear Father God, I’m grateful that your love never changes, never diminishes and will never, ever be withdrawn from me.

Father God, as the years have passed and I’ve experienced the conditional love and even the rejection of others around me, let me tell you that the awesome depth, irrevocable quality and sincerity of your stupendous love has been thrown into sharp and stark contrast, when compared to the fickle love, or hatred of others.

For your unchanging, unconditional love, I most heartily thank you Father God.

I want to thank you for the future you have planned and prepared for me. Like all loving parents, you have provided the resources for me to succeed in life – all I have to do is ask, all I have to do is trust! And, unlike human parents, your resources can never and will never run dry, will never lose their value, or effectiveness, or impact.

What a wonderful God you are! What a wonderful privilege you have given to me. What supreme confidence you have placed in me. Amazing love! An amazing father!

Father God, thank you, thank you, thank you for divinely protecting me over these years. Even when I look back over my life to before I acknowledged Christ as my personal Saviour, to before I’d invited him to become the Lord and Master of my life, you had your hand of divine protection over and upon me.

I am humbled. I am astounded. I am utterly grateful. Thank you Father God!

My dear, precious heavenly father, I could go on and on about your goodness, about your attributes, about your marvellous interventions within my life but I won’t weary my readers.

Suffice it to say that I choose to acknowledge and celebrate you on this special day. Suffice it to say that I desire to honour you dear Father God, not only with my lips but also with my lifestyle. Suffice it to say that I adore you Father God, with all my heart.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Yours truly,

 

Carol xx

(Daughter of the Living God)

 

PICTURE CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

Make That Call!

 

 

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Hebrews 4:16 KJV)

 

Are you familiar with the TV programme: Who wants to be a millionaire?

In order to reach the 1 million prize-money target, contestants have three life-lines they are able to use at any time – ask the audience, 50/50 (where 2 of the incorrect answers are removed), or phone a friend.

The friend has been pre-selected by the contestant and is usually chosen for their knowledge, for their capacity to help the individuals when they are stuck for an answer.

The friend, who is contacted live during the show, now has the burden of expectation on his or her shoulders—the expectation of the contestant who called; the expectation of the presenter who wants the drama of the situation to bring value-added appeal to the show; who naturally wants the friend to succeed, so contestants can proceed to the higher paying questions. Added to all this, is the expectation of the audience rooting for the contestant.

Sometimes that friend may come up trumps but at other times, the person selected turns out to be the wrong choice, for they are completely unable to assist!

Do you need help?

Are you in need of:

  • Courage, to face your day?
  • Deliverance from a sticky situation?
  • Enablement to obey God’s Word?
  • Guidance to know what to do?
  • Wisdom in order to make a decision?

Well, God is your friend – call on him!

Call him today. He will not let you down. The Bible is full of scriptures supporting this fact but here’s one for starters:

When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout-hearted. (Psalm 138:3 NIV)

 

In the day when I called, You answered me; and You strengthened me with strength (might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self. (Psalm 138:3 AB)

 

Now listen to what your Father-God has promised:

It shall come to pass

That before they call, I will

answer;

And while they are still speaking,

I will hear.

(Isaiah 65:24 NKJ)

 

Beloved child of God, victorious overcomer, dear women of warfare, may I counsel you today?

Make that call!

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Who is your first port of call when you are in trouble or need advice?

 

Posted in Blog posts

Watch and Pray!

 

 

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Edmund Burke

 

My previous post, Don Your Armour, reminded us all of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:10-18, where he encourages us to put on the whole armour of God.

God’s armour comprises not only the six elements of protective armoury and offensive weapons but also the requirement that we watch and persevere in prayer (see Ephesians 6:18).

Jesus himself, warned that we are to ‘watch and pray’ – Matthew 26:41.

So what should we be watchful about?

  1. Watch our hearts and attitudes. Proverbs 4:23 tells us we are to guard our hearts because it is from this central area (our inner being), that the current of our lives flow.
  2. Watch so that we do not enter into temptation—the temptation to be apathetic, complacent, slothful. The temptation to complain, or give up on our stance of faith. The temptation to walk in disobedience or pride. The temptation to belittle others, gossip or judge.
  3. Watch over the spiritual climate of your nation. Pray for your leaders, for those who occupy roles of significant responsibility. Pray for the liberty of Christians to live lives that are conducive to the moral absolutes of our faith.
  4. Watch over members of the body of Christ—those in your fellowship, those whom you interact with in your day-to-day life, those bearing the name of Jesus in your nation, not forgetting those who are suffering in far-off lands.
  5. Watch over the current affairs issue that tugs at your heart (e.g. brutality of dictators, persecuted Christians, the heinous crimes of sexual predators and religious extremists).
  6. Watch over our loved ones. Be diligent to ask for God’s protection over them as they go to school or work, as they travel to and fro, as they engage with individuals, who may or may not mean them harm.
  7. Watch over the happenings in Israel. Pray for that nation’s peace. Pray for the members of Christ’s body in that land. Pray for peaceful co-existence between believers in fellowships comprising both Jews and Arabs.

Why watch and pray?

Because, as Edmund Burke is attributed as saying (see above quote), the only thing we need to do for evil to prevail, is to simply do nothing!

Are you feeling helpless, even hopeless, about the injustices, mounting depravity and evils of this world?

Call on Jesus. Petition Jehovah. Summon the Holy Spirit.

We serve a God who is able to intervene, able to transform, able to thwart the spirits of wickedness that are at work in this earth.

Do you believe? If so, are you adding works to your faith? Are you praying?

Jesus asked: ‘. . . when the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth’ (Luke 18:8).

Well, what is your response?

More to the point, where will Jesus find you? Fighting in the field of faith, or despairing in the dungeons of doubt?

Children of the Living God, spirit-filled believers, Women of Warfare, come – let us do our part. Let us watch and pray!

*****       ******        ******

 

PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Jay Clarke at Pixabay.com

Posted in Blog posts

Don Your Armour!

 

If you know your Bible and are familiar with teaching on prayer and intercession, then I’m sure you will have come across Paul’s direction to the body of Christ in Ephesians 6:10-18.

You will know that as members of the body of Christ, we are encouraged to put on the whole armour of God.

How do we do this?

Pretty much like everything else we have to do when it comes to the supernatural things of God’s kingdom. We do so by faith and through confession (speaking God’s Word).

How did you get saved? You spoke (confession), when you invited Christ into your life and asked him to become your Lord and Saviour.

You believed (faith) that he would hear you and respond.

Whether immediately, or eventually, you experienced the reality. You received an inward witness. You knew that you were saved. You knew that you were changed. You knew that by some marvellous and mystical act, the Spirit of Christ had taken up residence within you.

And in a similar way, that’s how you put on your spiritual armour.

Put it on daily. Put it on before you go out into the fray of daily living. Put it on before you enter the battlefield of prayer. Put it on through confession. Put it on in faith.

If you’d like help in doing this, here’s a prayer you may use.

Victorious overcomers, prayer warriors and prayer interns – have a blessed weekend!

 

Do you agree with this post? Let me know your response in the comment box below.

 

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem 10

 

Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God’s Spirit

 

Have you send Jesus your kneemail today?

 

Behind some of the greatest spiritual awakenings in history was an unseen, unsung force known as ‘intercessors’. Many of the victories we celebrate in the open are first won by such people in the secret place of prayer.

(From: UCB Word For Today – 11 December 2016 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

 

Warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before going into battle! Here’s a prayer you can use.

 

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

Turn Your “Should” Burdens Into Blessings


 

Hello dear Women of Warfare! readers.

As you know this blog focuses on encouraging myself and others to walk as victorious overcomers. Its aim is to see women released from the shackles of any circumstances in their lives that seeks to keep them imprisoned as victims.

If you are anything like me, you can feel overwhelmed by the things we believe, or have been told that we should do or be. We should be the perfect wife, mother, lover, cook, whatever! We should be able to juggle impossible schedules. We should be this… We should do that… And the endless list continues.

Women of Warfare, if you’ve allowed yourself to become a victim of false guilt, other people’s demands, your own lofty goals, or frantic schedules, I hope the following post will encourage you.

Please read, reflect and respond.

 

Posted in Praise Prayer Worship

Heartfelt Praise

PRAYER PRAISE & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

Praise

PRAISE the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

While I live I will praise the Lord;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

(Psalm 146:1-2 NKJ)

 

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;

And to him who orders his conduct aright

I will show the salvation of God.

(Psalm 50:23 NKJ)

 

Prayer

Father God,

Right now we come into your awesome presence to honour you – not just with our lips but with our hearts and souls, with our entire being.

We come to offer you the praise and worship that you deserve because you are so worthy. We love you Father God. We want to love you more. We want to know you more. We want to understand your ways better because we want to glorify you, both in and through our lives.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of honouring our Father whilst you walked on this earth. As your disciples we want to do likewise, so we thank you for your ongoing prayers and intercession on our behalf. We realise this will not happen by our own efforts or willpower but by your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, we call upon you as our Helper. Thank you for your anointing within us that teaches us. Teach us how to honour Father God, not only with our lips but also with our lifestyle.

Thank you Father God for hearing our prayer and granting our request. Amen.

 

(References: Matthew 15:8; Revelation 4:11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:24; Zechariah 4:6; John 14:16, 26; 1 John 5:14)

 

 Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, I pray that the Lord will draw you into a deeper experience of Him.  I pray your hearts will overflow with inexpressible joy as you spend time in his presence and take time to express your love for him. Share those secret desires of your heart in prayer, knowing he listens and knowing he loves you and desires to fellowship with you.

Have a victorious week!

PS: If you are reading this and you do not have a relationship with God but would like to, may I invite you to accept Jesus as your Saviour? To do so, you simply have to repeat the following prayer and God will do the rest (please don’t hesitate – your eternal destiny depends on whether or not you take this next step!).

 

A Prayer for Salvation and a Relationship with God

Father God,

I want to have a relationship with you. I come to you today in the name of your Son, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for me to be reconciled with you. I realise I am in need of rescuing from the penalty of sin. I believe Jesus died for me and I accept He is the only way through which I can escape eternal punishment. I therefore repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness.  Jesus, I invite you into my life as my Saviour and my Lord. Amen.

 

Dear reader, if you prayed the above prayer, congratulations and welcome to the Family of God!

The following links will help you take your next steps in your new life and provide the guidance you need. I’d also suggest that you talk to a Christian friend and find a church to attend and receive support. You may also find the following post at my other blog site enlightening (Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained?), as this explains why the step you have just taken is vital for safeguarding your eternal destiny.

If you accepted this invitation to commit your life into God’s care and prayed the above prayer, please share the good news in the comment box below (don’t be shy!) 🙂

WoW! followers and visitors – no need to feel left out! If you’ve been encouraged, inspired or uplifted by this post, don’t hesitate to share your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 


 

 

Posted in Blog posts

Be Vigilant – Use Your Satan-Repellent!

 

Every amateur gardener experiences the frustration of planting their garden only to later find holes chomped into the leaves of their prize plants. It looks unsightly and it’s annoying!

There are many ways of getting rid of the pesky slugs and snails but the quickest and to my mind, the most effective, is to use slug repellents.

Many a time I’ve looked out of my bedroom window only to espy one of these creatures moving with focused determination towards a patio plant, to feast on its lush green leaves.

Quick as a flash I dive down the stairs, rush into the kitchen, grab the salt and make my way into the garden. It’s amazing how quickly these snails can move when the motivation of a nice succulent plant propels them!

Now, I know they’re God’s creatures but I didn’t invite them into my garden and if these creatures do decide to gate-crash, they should at least have the decency to see and not touch—certainly don’t have the temerity to chomp and chew. How dare you! My garden is not a free, eat-as-much-as-you-want salad bar!

So, you can understand why I have no compunction about pouring salt upon the cheeky blighters and watching them (with no small sense of satisfaction mixed with a tinge of disgust) turn into a yucky patch of slime. No compunction at all!

Why am I telling you this?

Because dear women of warfare, as victorious overcomers, we will often encounter situations in life that seek to chomp and chew its way into the succulent leaves of our spiritual growth. Satan, our Enemy, is the equivalent of these garden pests.

Any chance he gets, he will attack our minds, and try to destroy the fresh green foliage from all those positive Word-seeds sown into our hearts. He wants us to remain his victims.

So, don’t be passive. Don’t be complacent. Use your Satan-repellent. Use the Word of God!

 

Posted in Blog posts

Blog Event: Lady Cee’s 4Ws and 1H

Hello Women of Warfare followers. Do you like blog challenges? Do you like meeting new bloggers? If so, why not take part in this challenge?

I look forward to learning a bit more about the person behind the blog and hope you will join in.

Purpose-driven achiever

LADY CEE’S 4Ws & 1H Blog Challenge

(Challenge open Monday 15 May 2017 to Tueday 30 May 2017)

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Welcome to my debut blog event. I hope you will come and support me by joining in with this challenge.

The Challenge:

I have based my challenge on a journalism reporting technique known as the 5Ws and 1H. If you are not familiar with this and I have piqued your interest you can check out the following link: https://www.thoughtco.com/journalists-questions-5-ws-and-h-1691205

You will note that I’ve adapted this slightly for my challenge, hence the 4Ws (Who, What, Where, Why) and 1H (How).

How to take part:

Answer the following questions:

  1. Who would you like to be for a day?
  2. What flower or plant do you think represents your personality?
  3. Where would you go on holiday if money were no object?
  4. Why did you become a blogger?
  5. How do you measure personal success and…

View original post 512 more words

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Not on our terms!

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: SHOULD

John the Baptist languishes in prison.

He sends some of his followers to Jesus with a question. Are you the coming one, or do we look for another?

Why did John the Baptist ask this question? After all he had baptised Jesus. He had witnessed the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove hovering over his cousin. He had heard the voice of God saying: this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. He had even testified that this same Jesus would baptise with fire and that he (John) was unworthy of even loosening the latch on Christ’s shoes.

So what happened?

Adversity happened. Disappointment and disillusionment happened.

John was of the impression that this Jesus, the one whom he’d faithfully served, testified about and prepared the way of his coming, the one whom he’d confirmed was the Son of God, should have been doing something about his situation. He felt Jesus should have been making moves to rescue him from prison.

[End of 5mins]

After all Jesus must have heard about what had happened to him. After all, this is why Jesus had come to the earth wasn’t it? To deliver the captives. To set them free. So why hasn’t he? Why didn’t he muster his power and spirit him away, out of jail? Or why didn’t he come before Herod, overwhelm him with shame and conviction regarding his sin, use his powers of persuasion and demand his release? Why? Did he not love him? Did he not care?

And so as he sits in the darkness of his dungeon, John begins to entertain doubts. John listens to the taunts and lies of the Enemy. John begins to hold a pity-party. And as a result, he sends his followers off to ask a question, which barely veils an accusation.

Should we look for another Messiah? Should we look for another Saviour? Should we look for another Deliverer?

The question implies that Jesus had been weighed in the balance of John’s expectations and found wanting. The question implies that if Jesus is who he says he is, if Jesus is who John had believed him to be, then here was an opportunity to demonstrate his authority and power, here was an opportunity to show his compassion and mercy. So why hadn’t he?

And isn’t that how we are, as children of God, as followers of Christ? Full of faith, solid in conviction—until adversity strikes! Then come the doubts, the questions, the crisis of faith. We sit within the prison of our circumstances, within the confinement of our fears and wonder why God doesn’t rescue us, why Jesus doesn’t zap the situation with his power and make the injustice, the intolerable pain, the ugliness go away.

How did Jesus answer?

“Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them…” (Matthew 11:4-5)

 

John’s direct question was answered. Jesus provides incontrovertible evidence that he is the one, the expected Messiah. However, Jesus also answered John’s indirect query or accusation. His response delivers a sting in the tail. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me! (exclamation mine).

What can you and I learn from this?

  1. Don’t doubt in the darkness of trial, what you once believed in the light of revelation truth and experience
  2. Our relationship with God does not preclude us from injustice or tribulation and Christ does not answer to our every beck and call.
  3. We should not allow offence to develop in our heart when our expectations of God are disappointed.

In the face of bewilderment, discouragement or fear, how should we behave? With confidence that God is with us, despite what the devil implies, or our circumstances suggest!

We are told:

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

 

And so we have a choice – trust and believe, or question and accuse.

 

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Posted in Blog posts

Push A Different Button!

Those of you who have read my posts for some time know that every now and again I share something from an excellent devotional resource that I use, the UCB Word for Today, written by Bob & Debby Gass.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Even if you don’t get on with daily devotional books (for a long time I didn’t!), you can read it as a straight forward book, or dip into it from time to time (as I started out doing). Before you know it, I’m sure you’ll become a fan (as I have!).

The following is an extract from last month, which I feel led to share with you all.

 

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MIND-SETS ARE patterns whereby your mind automatically operates a certain way. That means you can set yourself up for misery by reacting to the same people and circumstances in the same way, and expecting different results.

Maybe you are saying:

‘After all these years I thought he’d change…’

‘No matter how hard I try, my family doesn’t appreciate me…’

‘How come I’m the only one who makes an effort to stay in touch?’

 

It’s easy to blame your problems on others.

‘Look what he’s doing.’

‘Look how long I’ve waited.’

‘Why doesn’t she call?’

 

We think the answer lies in getting the other person to do what we want, but that kind of thinking is self-defeating; it gives control to others.

Your happiness isn’t determined by other people, even though you’ve convinced yourself it is.

An experienced counsellor writes:

‘If you don’t like the same results… try pushing a different button. Look at your relationships. Is there a situation that’s going downhill despite your best efforts? Are you waiting for something to change, instead of doing something different? Stop pushing the same button, and ask God for clarity to see the situation honestly and to act with wisdom and responsibility.’

 

You’re not a victim of circumstances; you don’t have to stay stuck or keep going in circles.

Paul says, ‘Put off… your former conduct… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’

The word for you today is: you can change!

 

***     ***     ***

 

WoW followers and visitors, I hope you find the above useful, even timely. If you enjoyed reading and know someone who could benefit from this post please do not hesitate to share it. And why not drop me a line and tell me what you thought about it in the comment box below? I’d really appreciate your response.

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please go to: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

The above CC0 images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem 9

 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

1 Peter 5:8-9

 

In my Bible (Spirit Filled Life Bible – NKJV), the above passage has the following explanatory footnote below:

Resist: The active imperative indicates an assertive stance against the Adversary’s operations. Because of the Devil’s aggressive hostility, Christians must be spiritually alert, not only to withstand his attacks (employing the armor described in Eph. 6:10-18), but in prayer and spiritual warfare opposing him.

 

***     ***     ***

Question:

  • Are you asserting the authority Christ has given you?
  • Are you opposing the advances of the Enemy against you and your loved ones?

Spiritual warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before doing so!

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

I Appreciate You!


 

To my dear followers, friends and visitors of Women of Warfare! – I truly appreciate you!

 

‘Thank you’ dear readers and followers

For granting your precious time

To read, to like, or to comment,

In response to my prose, or my rhyme.

 

‘Thank you’ dear precious visitors

For choosing my place to stop by

For making my moments as inspirational blogger

A wonderful joy-induced high.

 

My sincere thanks to those who linger,

Over posts shared from a heart of love

‘Thank you’ to those who consume, digest and ponder

Who support me with words which affirm and cause wonder,

And spurs praise to my Father above!

 

© Carol Hind – April 2017

 

 

T H A N K    Y O U !

 

 

Posted in Five Minute Friday

The Caged Bird’s Song

 

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

Dear readers before I continue, I have to make a confession. Although this post began life as a 5min exercise, it has since been amended and refined!

 

 *****       *****       *****

 

 

CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: SING

 I don’t know why but Maya Angelou’s book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, came to mind, as soon as I saw this week’s prompt.

In the context of this blog’s purpose (which is to encourage women and to motivate us to walk as victorious overcomers), I see Christian woman who are habitually defeated or depressed, as akin to caged birds.

Most birds have the potential to sing joyously with abandon, to soar, to explore and enjoy their freedom but caged birds, in effect, have had their wings clipped.

Continuing with the above analogy, the cage (representing limiting beliefs, negative behaviour and Satan’s lies), both confines and defines.

Now of course the caged bird can sing but is its song true? Does it sing with the same harmony and sweetness as its counterparts that enjoy liberty?

Women of God, it is our choice whether any negative circumstance in which we may find ourselves, serves to imprison us. It is our responsibility to ensure that our Bible-based confession, or our testimony of faith becomes the spiritual song God hears, thus enabling him to liberate us.

Let us follow the example of the following writers, who confidently declared:

 

Behold God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid;

For YAH, the Lord, is my

Strength and song;

He also has become my salvation.

(Isaiah 12:2 NKJV)

 

You are my hiding place;

You shall preserve me from trouble;

You shall surround me with

Songs of deliverance.

(Psalm 32:7 NKJV)

 

So, let me ask you dear Women of Warfare, how do you sing? As a caged bird, or as a potential bird of paradise… a beautiful bird of liberty?

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

“A Thousand Worries”

Dear friends, followers and visitors I hope you all had a good Easter break.

I know from my own experiences of life, from my conversations with loved ones and from reports of world events that peace is a sorely-needed requirement in our lives.

Yet the peace we need is not the ‘peace’ of this world but the heart-and-soul peace that comes only from God. It is a peace that surpasses our natural understanding. It is a peace that protects us from being overwhelmed by anxieties, fears and worries.

However, we need to abide in that place of peace in order for it to remain effective. Failure to do so is like making travel or home insurance payments then worrying about the consequences of events that may or may not happen, acting as if you have no confidence in the provisions of the policy, or worse, acting as if there is no policy in place.

The following re-blogged post depicts what often happens when we pray for peace but fail to leave the matter in God’s capable hands. May I encourage us all this morning to share our concerns and anxieties with our Father-God, to thank him for HIS answers and resolutions and whilst waiting, to rest in his peace.

 

TBD {To be determined}

For every drop of trust, I hold a thousand worries
I have a thousand wants, a thousand needs
I bring to You
while making my own plans to get them done.
Thinking the peace comes from the thing received, achieved,
rather than You,
my flimsy patience begs me hasten,
encouraging my DIY plans to control my own fate.
But fate proves a heavy load
for my fragile hands, which now,
I see, hold a thousand worries once more.

So I come again, Lord,
making known my request.
You’re not just my backup plan;
You’re my peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7

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Posted in Blog posts

Pick Up Your Cross!

 

What is your cross?

It is any situation that calls for you to die to the dictates, desires and demands of your flesh… that requires you to take the route of suffering knowing that death to your flesh will enable you to minister God’s life-giving spirit to someone else.

The “flesh” represents not just your body but also your appetites, inclinations, impulses, negative and contrary responses.

Now the cross we are expected to carry, the path we are expected to tread will be unique to each one of us.

In my case, crucifying my flesh requires me to remain silent in the face of lies, false accusations, scorn and ridicule. It demands that I walk humbly through the gates of self-denial and submit to the punishing nails of humiliation as my name, reputation and self-esteem are nailed mercilessly to my cross. It also demands that I bear this cross of perpetual shame with the right attitude, knowing that my Father God knows my thoughts and sees my heart.

A bitter pill to swallow?

Yes. Absolutely!

Now whilst studying the Bible, or listening to stirring sermons, God’s Word may at that time rejoice my heart. However, when later required to walk that word out, when faced with the reality of practicing God’s kingdom principles in the context of hatred, rejection or sabotage, the sweet experience of hearing that word or receiving that revelation, can become bitter.

Bitter because I’m now required to chew, swallow and digest an unpalatable portion. Bitter because God’s word is no longer a neat theoretical discourse filed away in my mind but a distressing practical experience to be suffered, to be endured.

I wonder how many of us choose instead to spit out the offending morsel. Love your enemies? Nope! Don’t fancy that! Rejoice during persecution? Sorry – no way! Turn the other cheek? You’re kidding me – right?

I wish I was but I’m not. I wish carrying my cross was as simple as fastening a piece of jewellery around my neck. But it’s not. Carrying one’s cross is not easy.

Yet carry it I must, since this is what Jesus did for me (and for you) from the time he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane to the time he was cruelly impaled upon that cross at Golgotha.

Whether you believe it or not, whether you care or not, the truth is Jesus willingly suffered so that we can be reconciled to God, so that we can be free from the clutches and influence of Satan and, so we can be delivered from spiritual death – the devastating penalty of SIN.

 

For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:19-21 NKJV).

 

So are you prepared to follow Jesus’ example? Are you willing to obey Christ’s command?

…If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24 NKJV)

And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38)

 

The choice is yours whether you eat God’s manna of obedience, or consume the meat of self-indulgence.

As his disciples, Christ expects us to take up our cross daily and follow him. Have you picked up your cross, or are you avoiding and disobeying his command?

Without the cross there can be no crucifying of your flesh (please note I am speaking metaphorically here). Without crucifying of self, there can be no experience of Christ’s resurrection life and power, and therefore no partaking of his glory.

 

…we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17 NKJV)

 

Dear readers, be aware that between the stages of grace and glory lies a road of personal pain and self-sacrifice. Those who choose to skip this route will not be seen as overcomers in God’s eyes. Those who refuse to walk this narrow pathway will not earn the victor’s crown.

Spiritual warriors, prayer interns, brothers and sisters in Christ, your cross will be specific to the path and purpose God has ordained for you. Have you decided to emulate Jesus? Then pick up your cross!

 

Wishing all followers and visitors a happy Easter!

 

PHOTO CREDIT: CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

It’s A Love Relationship!

 

He brought me to the banqueting house,

And his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4 (NKJV)

 

…Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)

 

Do you struggle to pray?

Let me ask you another question.

Do you struggle to love your significant other half, or someone close to you, whom you cherish?

Prayer is just that. It is a means of communicating with your Father God. The one who loved and continues to love you unconditionally. Every moment. Every day. Without exception! The one who has proved his love for you by sending his only Son, Jesus, to die for you.

Now, just as communication keeps your relationship going with your cherished loved ones, so communication keeps your relationship with God alive and meaningful. So treat prayer as a loving relationship between you and the Lord. And if you think of prayer along those lines then it should not seem quite so much of a struggle.

Brother Lawrence, author of The Practice of the Presence of God, aimed to make the love of God a priority in his life. He was known for maintaining a consistent level of communication with his Heavenly Father, throughout his day.

When you are in love with someone you want to spend as much time as possible with that person. You have a deep desire to know them and to know all about them. You are not shy or reluctant to express your feelings. You are thankful for their presence in your life, for the meaning they have brought to your life. And, if you are wise, if you cherish that relationship, you will express to them your heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. Not just once in a blue moon, but often.

Another feature of your love relationship is that you are not afraid to ask for what you desire, or feel you need. You ask. Whether you get it or not does not diminish your love for that person, or undermine your relationship with this individual.

As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. So apply the same principles to your relationship with God. Recognise that prayer is a two-way communication. A sharing of hearts. A revealing of hopes and dreams, of hurts and disappointments. A desire to please the other. A commitment. A shared intimacy.

Can you relate?

If so, then you can most certainly pray. You can pray faithfully and fervently, passionately and purposefully. Because prayer is a love relationship with the one who loves you more than you can ever fathom.

Prayer is love in action.

*****        *****        *****

CREDITS: All images are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

Too Busy? That’s A Poor Excuse!

Let me ask you a question. Are you too busy to pray?

I read a post recently at JOYFull Inspirations, which brought to mind a book I’d read some time ago by Bill Hybels, TOO BUSY NOT to PRAY. Hybels is the senior pastor of a large church in Illinois, USA.

The following is an extract from this book:

Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power, and the frequent result is the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed, over-run, beaten down, pushed around, defeated. Surprising numbers of people are willing to settle for lives like that. Don’t be one of them. Nobody has to live like that. Prayer is the key to unlocking God’s prevailing power in your life.

Dear WoW follower or visitor, if you feel life’s too busy for you to regularly set time aside and pray, then I have a challenging question to put to you – Is God a priority in your life? Be honest and search your heart.

We make time for the things that matter to us. Relationships. Parenting. Work. Business. Blogging. Even serving in the church! So, all things considered, do you really have a bona fide excuse?

Let me remind you of Susanna Wesley, mother of 19 children. You may recall that in one of my posts last year (We Salute You!), I shared how:

The difficulties and busyness of Susanna’s life, meant that her only means of escape to the prayer closet was to throw her apron over her head, warning her large brood of children that whenever they observed her in this state, she was praying and therefore not to be disturbed. Given this wonderful example from a woman who bore 19 children, dare we say of ourselves, that we do not have enough time to pray?

And, to give you another modern-day example, the post at JOYFull inspirations which caught my attention, was written by Letticia, a busy mum with 6 children.

Dear readers, let me encourage you to draw closer to God, to spend time in His presence.

I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week.

***     ***     ***

For those of you who might be interested in purchasing this book visit: https://www.amazon.com/Too-Busy-Pray-Bill-Hybels/dp/0830834753 OR

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Bill+hybels+too+busy+not+to+pray

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image is courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem 8

 

 

Prayer creates a personal change in your life. Nothing you can do will benefit you more than prayer. Through prayer, you create an account balance in your favour in God’s spiritual bank. Through prayer, you will benefit spiritually, mentally and physically.

Paul Y. Cho

 

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

Psalm 145:18

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

The Beauty of Prayerful Submission

 

The following is a beautiful post I came across today, which I’d like to share with you all.

If you (as Christ’s disciples did), feel your prayers lack oomph, or if you wish to increase your prayer prowess, do as this blogger did – ask!

God will certainly hear your prayer and grant your request. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you – that’s why he was sent – to come alongside believers and help. So ask! Ask today. Don’t delay!

💖 💖 💖

 

I have been asking Jesus to show me how to pray. I am often thinking that it’s in relation to how I pray for others, but there’s so much I need to learn. How to approach him, how to wait for him, what I need, what he needs to show me. This was where he […]

via empty vessel, living sacrifice  — Threads of a Remnant

Posted in Blog posts

Love’s Sacrificial Mindset

 

 

Image from Sophie Janotta (Pixabay.com)

Hello Folks,

I’m engaging in a bit of self-promotion here.

Having written my first guest post, I’d really love it if you’d be so kind as to lend me your support.

If you have the time and inclination, details are as follows:

Venue: StylishlyInspired

 

Hope you’ll enjoy reading and if you do, please don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in anticipation!

Carol

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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Posted in Blog posts

My God is Able!

CC0 Image – courtesy of John Hain (Pixabay.com)

 

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

(Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

 

It was 4.00am on a work day morning.

I lay wide awake in bed. Fretting.

My concern related to a new occurrence of an age-old problem, which looked as if it would never, ever be resolved. I could see no way out. No way around, or over this problem.

And God didn’t seem to be doing anything about it! Despite my repeated requests. Despite my firm stand of faith.

Fear began to voice its opinion.

What’s the point of carrying on with this project? – they’ll only undermine you anyway! No one’s really interested in what you have to say, so why bother?

Then self-pity put in her 10 cents worth.

Opposition is too strong, too much. Face it – they’re winning! And you know they are determined you won’t succeed. Is it worth putting yourself through the agro (aggravation)?

Then unexpectedly, up came bubbling within my spirit a chorus I used to sing years ago. It went like this:

God is able, more than able

To accomplish what concerns me today

God is able, more than able

To handle anything that comes my way.

God is able, more than able

To do much more than I could ever dream

God is able, more than able

To make me what he wants me to be.

The Holy Spirit had stepped in with his calm, cool, soothing voice of comfort. Isn’t it beautiful when that happens?

Immediately, I felt encouraged. God is with me, so who can successfully stand (and permanently maintain that stance of opposition), against me? After all, as is so clearly shown in the Bible, to stand against the people of God, is to stand against the God of his people and since I am his child then a stand against me is a stand against Him. Anyone foolish enough to try and oppose God is bound to come a cropper—eventually!

And since God is confirming that he is with me, I can cast ALL my concerns on him. I can leave him to sort everything out. Deal with what needs to be dealt with. Thwart those who need to be thwarted. I just need to be patient and wait on his timing.

My times (my past, present and future days) are in God’s hands, under his control. He has not shut me up into a ‘no way out’ zone with the Enemy, or with those whom Satan uses to do his dirty work (Psalm 31:8).

Thank you Father God!

WoW followers and visitors, don’t be, or don’t remain a victim of negative circumstances. Don’t entertain those thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word and will for your life.

When the Enemy sows those thoughts of defeat and discouragement (and believe me he will), you have a choice:

  • agree with him   OR
  • resist him!

To successfully resist Satan and his tactics within and against your life, engage the help of your Comforter and Helper. Ask the Holy Spirit to lift up a standard against the flood of contrary thoughts sent to swamp your mind (Isaiah 59:19b). Ask him to help you gird your mind with the truth of God’s Word (and ask Him to give you some scriptures to memorise and stand upon during times of attack). Then when Satan throws those thought bombs, you’ll be prepared and you will not become a casualty.

 

(PS: I was not able to find out who wrote the above chorus)

 

Dear followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

Posted in Praise Prayer Worship

The Scourge of Rejection

The following is a long-playing instrumental music (don’t be put off!). I am not expecting you to listen to the entire album but you may enjoy listening to it playing softly in the background, whilst you read this post. And then when you have finished reading, please don’t rush away. I’d certainly encourage you to sit and listen for just a little while longer. Allow the Lord to minister to your soul and spirit.

 

 

Dear fellow-bloggers, friends and visitors – forgive me!

A few mornings ago, as I was worshipping the Lord, the phrase Praise, Prayer & Worship Wednesday suddenly entered my head. I then realised that I’d missed last month’s feature post. I am not sure whether anyone noticed. If you did, please accept my apologies!

I cannot believe how fast the month has flown. So fast, in fact, I hadn’t even realised that the last Wednesday of February had come and gone.

Now, I obviously cannot roll back the time. So for the benefit of anyone who did notice and perhaps missed this feature and, because I truly want to honour God on this blog, I’d like to focus today’s post on doing just that. I want to praise and glorify my Father God.

 

***     ***     ***

 

thankyouheartpda 

I have come across many in my life who for various reasons have rejected me and systematically seek to rob me of my dignity. They do not welcome me into their presence.

And there are those who, whenever I happen to be in their midst, never miss an opportunity to show me their contempt, to subject me to mockery, ridicule and scorn. Yet who are they? Are they not fellow human beings? Are they not fallible flesh and blood individuals, just as I am?

However, for some reason, these people have elevated themselves above me in their thinking, in their behaviour toward me. They have lifted up themselves in their own estimation and chosen to exclude me from their ‘acceptance’ club. They continually seek to hurt me. And they often succeed.

But I thank them. Sincerely!

Why?

Because the weight and constancy of their unkind treatment has opened my eyes to the expanse of God’s continual grace, lovingkindness and mercy.

Yes. My wonderful Father God, who is God indeed, who is exalted above the heavens (you can’t get higher than that!), finds it in his generous, loving heart to include me, to make room for me in his life, to even want to share that life (eternal life, abundant life) with me.

I know from personal experience that when I enter into that atmosphere of sincere praise and worship, when I enter into God’s awesome presence, when my spirit connects with my Father God’s—I sense the holiness, the loveliness, the majesty of his awesome being. And when I reflect on the privilege that this wonderful being has granted, in inviting unwanted and unworthy me into His throne-room, I am overcome and overwhelmed.

Charles Green, a contributing author to the Spirit Filled Life Bible (NKJV), says:

Man was created to live and breathe in an atmosphere of praise-filled worship to his Creator.

My first thought as I read this was of a fish taken out of water, taken out of the ideal environment in which it was created to survive and thrive. To fail to offer God the fruit of our lips, and our free-will sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, is to be like a fish out of water.  It is removing ourselves from the atmosphere and environment in which we were created to survive. And guess what? The Enemy of our souls, is always seeking to discourage us from praise, prayer and worship, because he knows that therein lies our spiritual strength.

Satan, my enemy, (and yours!) has sought to surround me with pack-bullies. He has worked hard at promoting an atmosphere of contempt around me. But I refuse to be hemmed in by thoughts of intimidation, fear and rejection. I refuse to be defined by the words and actions and attitudes of those whom the devil deploys to come against me, who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, choose to stand in the path of sinners and sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1).

I refuse.

And so Father God, today I want to celebrate your goodness. I want to praise you:

 

I will extol You, my God, O King;

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

(Psalm 145:1-2)

 

And I offer you my heartfelt prayer:

Father God,

Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your acceptance. Thank you for that wonderful sense of peace that your awesome presence exudes. Help me to bask in that holy presence, to allow your peace to soothe my soul.

I worship you today in spirit and in truth. Accept my humble sacrifice. May my offerings of praise, prayer and thanksgiving, rise like sweet incense to your throne. Amen.

 

Have you been hurt – by a colleague, church member, wife, husband, close relative or friend? Then use that hurt to propel you into the arms of Jesus. He is able to relate (remember Judas!). He is able (and willing) to comfort, strengthen and restore. Just ask him!

Why not accept today’s invitation to visit with your Father God?

Image from: M. Maggs - Pixabay.com
Image from: M. Maggs – Pixabay.com

It is an open invitation. Spend time saturating yourself in his presence. Spend time cultivating an atmosphere of praise, prayer and worship around you, so that your Father God can heal and restore you. So that he can lavish his love upon you – the way you deserve. So that you can become the person, the victorious overcomer, God created you to be.

Fellow Christian bloggers and visitors may I encourage you to make God’s presence in your life a priority?

Have a blessed weekend.

♥♥♥

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem 7

prayerreenablack-pixabay-1308663_960_720

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for the answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Living Bible)

 

 

Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and all his ploys against you.

(Priscilla Shirer)

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

Posted in Blog posts

For God’s Sake, Let’s Grow Up!

 

Do you remember as a child how anxious you were to grow up?

Perhaps one of your parents, or a school teacher, used to measure your height against a wall at regular intervals and you took delight in the fact that you had grown taller since last month or last year.

Perhaps you watched one of your parents perform a task and you wanted to help because it made you feel “grown up”. Or perhaps when family and friends asked you your age, you added a half-year, or a three-quarters-of-a-year to your actual age because it made you sound older (I’m 6 and ¾ years old).

May I ask whether that same eagerness to grow, to mature, has transferred over to your spiritual life?

Are you as keen to imitate your heavenly father and Jesus, your older brother?

Do you take stock of your habitual actions and attitudes in light of God’s Word, to see whether they reflect those of a mature man or woman of God?

And if you do, are you satisfied with your conclusion?

There are several instances in the Bible where we are encouraged to grow and mature in our walk with the Lord.

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV).

 

 …till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [i.e. mature] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

So, as a child of God have you considered asking the Holy Spirit what area of your personality, or walk with the Lord you need to focus on this year, in order to mature as a believer, in order to walk as a victorious overcomer?

Do you have an accountability partner whom you can trust and with whom you can pray?

As a prayer warrior, or a prayer intern, have you set goals?

It could be as small as praying 5mins each day for a lost soul (whether family member, or friend), or as involved as engaging in diligent intercession for a nation notorious for persecuting Christians.

If having considered the above questions you feel there is a distinct lack in your life with regards to spiritual growth and maturity, between the time you were first born-again into God’s kingdom and where you are now, are you willing to do something about it?

tape-measurelynn-greyling-pixabay-348965_960_720Let me challenge you dear child of God to make 2017 a year of tangible personal growth, a year of perceptible spiritual maturity.

All God requires is a willing heart and obedience. So make him a proud parent! After all, given his amazingly generous sacrifice of love and, after all he has done for me and for you, he surely deserves to be – don’t you think?

Now remember, God doesn’t expect us to achieve all this through our own efforts.

‘Not by might nor by power, [i.e. personal ability] but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6b NKJV)

So don’t hesitate to invite the Holy Spirit’s assistance—that’s why Jesus sent him to come alongside us in the first place!

And don’t forget to keep a record of your progress (perhaps through journaling), so you have some means of checking how much you’ve grown and so you have the evidence for which to give glory, thanks and praise to God.

Blogger friends and visitors, I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week and, I pray you will experience a discernible measure of growth in your spiritual life this year!

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What’s your response to this post? Please leave a comment in the box below and if you enjoyed reading, or felt challenged, don’t hesitate to show your appreciation by leaving a ‘like’. Thank you.

The above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem 6

ReadingBible (Unsplash)-945422_960_720

 

The only currency God trades in is faith, and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV). As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob and Debbie Gass – 2016-17 UCB Word For Today).

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

Dear Valentine – I Love You

CCO Image - courtesy of Pixabay.com
CCO Image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

O Lord Jesus, I love you

And today I just want to say

That you have captured my heart

In an unbelievable way.

 

O Lord Jesus, I need you

And today, I express my love

With a heart so full of gratitude

For coming to Earth from above.

 

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you

For surrounding me with your grace

For granting me every required resource

To overcome all that I face.

 

My precious Lord Jesus, I love you

And look forward to when I can see

Your beauty, your brightness,

Those nail-scarred hands

Which were marred to set me free!

 

© Carol Hind – 11 February 2017

 

Posted in Blog posts

Your Country Needs You!

CC0 Image - Pixabay.com
CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Lot chose to live in Sodom and Gomorrah but the inhabitants’ ungodly behaviour vexed his righteous soul. However, if it were not for Abraham’s appeal to God, Lot may well have been destroyed alongside those degenerate souls (see Genesis 18:16-33).

Fast forward to today’s world and I think many of you readers will agree that it has reached a similar state of lawlessness and depravity.

The Bible declares that “…the whole world lieth in darkness” or “under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Certainly, as Christians and prayer warriors, the reprehensible acts of so-called Church leaders who abuse their power and position, the various international crises, the troubling escalation of social ills, can seem utterly overwhelming and unresolvable.

But hallelujah! We serve a God who is able (and willing) to heal our lands and deliver the ungodly from the grip of the Enemy (2 Chronicles 7:14). He is merely looking for someone to step into the breach, to seek his assistance, to plead for his mercy, to make a demand upon his miraculous might.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV).

Will you be that person? Will you allow God to transform your concerns into compassion? Will you don your spiritual armour today and pray?

Dear WoW! follower and visitor, your country needs you! Not as a critic. Not as a self-appointed judge. But as a committed soldier in Christ’s army, as a stalwart warrior. Please don’t hesitate to enrol and take your place on the battlefield. Your prayers can make a difference!

Wishing you all a blessed and victorious week!

Posted in Five Minute Friday

That Deadly Desire to Control

Five Minute Friday

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 

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Five Minute Friday Prompt: CONTROL

It’s sad really. Diabolical in fact!

The way some people want to control you. Control your behaviour. Control your clothing and the way you dress. Control how you treat others. Control your destiny.

And do they want to control you for your own good? No siree! They want to control you for their ulterior motives. Are they seeking to control you because they love you and have your best interests at heart? No way! They care only about themselves.

Habitual manipulators seek to control you for many reasons. Because they want you to fear them. Because they wish to alienate you. Because they secretly, or openly despise you. Because they seek to hurt you. Because they have such a low self-esteem that the only way they can feel good about themselves, or assert themselves, is to undermine you, to control you.

And so they do, or think they do. But they have left one important factor out of the equation. One very BIG factor. God. God Almighty! The one who created heaven and earth. The one who crafted mankind and breathed life into their souls. They have forgotten that it is God’s breath in their nostrils. God, who upholds this world with the word of his power. This God, this God of gods, is the one in ultimate control.

END OF 5MINS

Now, isn’t it ironic that the one who actually has supreme power, control of all that happens both in heaven and on earth, is not so precious about it? Isn’t it staggering to realise that Jesus, equal member of the triune Godhead, decided he was not going to cling to control, to the authority, majesty and power he once held in heaven, in order that he might come down to earth, identify with the sin and frailties of humankind and lay down his glorious, sinless life, so that whosoever wills, may grasp the opportunity to become born-again in a new kingdom, with a new status, subject to new rules?

How many despots do you know or have heard of, who willingly relinquish power? How many dictators do you know, who graciously abdicate their place on the coveted seat of authority and power?

And why is it that if you do not agree with said dictator’s views then bombs, or the threat of decapitation, or torture, is their only response? Terrorism, not love, is their byword, their fear-inducing catchphrase.

Every day we hear, read about and see, heart-breaking scenarios of man’s beastly attempt to control others, almost as a matter of course. It is not uncommon to discover living amongst us in our nation, within our neighbourhoods, or even in our own families, a victim of a wife/husband beater, a survivor of human rights atrocities, or a reviled asylum seeker. These people are subject to perpetual ill-treatment, to constant violation. Many are helpless prey, caught in the snare of Satan’s demonic control.

I’m positive that practically every single one of us reading this post would strenuously condemn the attitudes and actions of abusers, bigots, despots or terrorists. And yet….

Yet, I wonder whether we are sometimes guilty of similar sins (albeit on a lower level). Do we use our influence in a way that seeks to control or marginalise others—at work, at church, at home? Do we boycott those we don’t like or disagree with? Do we draw others into our circles of reproach? Do we woo family and friends to critique parties and gossip sessions and send folks to Coventry, in order to hammer home our message?—obey, or you’ll pay!

If I’m honest, it’s easy to nit-pick, or magnify the faults and failings of others, particularly those who have offended me, or blackballed me in some way, or who don’t live according to my standards—and not realise that whilst condemning, criticising or judging others, those same imperfections which I self-righteously seek to highlight, exist in some measure in my own life.

As Jesus so humorously put it, dare we pass judgment on, or seek to address the misdeeds of others when there is a massive log in our eye, blinding us to our own faults?

And as Paul shrewdly observes:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (Romans 2:1 NKJV)

Does that mean we should never speak out against wrong-doing, or seek to encourage or correct others? No! That’s not what I’m saying. But, as followers of Christ, and as Christian bloggers seeking to influence others, we should take note of Paul’s following query:

You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? (Romans 2:21 NKJV).

 His question certainly provides food for thought—and perhaps occasion for examining our own lives—don’t you think?

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, in our bid to influence, let us be wary of creating cliques and clubs, rather than communities. Let’s be careful not to marginalise or control others. And above all, let’s share what we have to say, or feel we need to say, in a spirit of true humility.

Have a blessed and victorious week!

 

PS: The linkup for this prompt has now closed.

 

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem – 5

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How to Secure God’s Mercies and Protection

 

In the morning prayer opens the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings, and in the evening it shuts us up under His protection and safeguard.

Vern McLellan

 

 God awaits you in His throne-room!

 

Posted in Blog posts

Psst! Have You Heard…?

Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you. A Bit About Me My name is Carol and I am […]

via Getting To Know Beautiful Carol — a cooking pot and twisted tales  (before you click – please see intro below – Thank you).

INTRO:

For those of you who would like to have a personal insight into me the individual, the person behind the blogger, I hope you will visit Jacqueline’s site to read this interview.

If you have not already come across her name on your cyber-travels, I would be most surprised, as nearly everywhere I visit, her Gravatar image is already there amongst the likes, or the comments.  As I’m always telling her, Jacqueline is one of the hardest working bloggers I know (as a visit to her site will soon reveal – there are sooo many posts!), and her desire to collaborate with and support other bloggers, is just cause for admiration.

Posted in Blog posts

Promises, Prayer, Preparation

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

 

 The following devotional is taken from UCB Word for today (May-July 2016), written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

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The famous evangelist R. A. Torrey said two of the greatest secrets to effective prayer lay in:

  1. Studying the Word of God and finding His will as revealed in the promises.
  2. Taking these promises and spreading them out before God in prayer, with the unwavering expectation that He will do what He said.

Don’t tolerate prayerlessness in your life. Don’t allow the stress of so-called progress to dictate how much time you will sit at the feet of your Saviour. Crave those times. Schedule those times.

Grace L. Naessens puts it like this in her poem, The Difference.

I woke early one morning

And rushed right into the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Problems just tumbled about me

And heavier came each task

“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day toiled on, gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

 

I woke up early this morning

And paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

 

If you are wise, you will stay ‘prayed up’ and prepared for the inevitable crises of life. It’s foolish to wait until trouble shows up at your doorstep to begin this essential spiritual discipline.

 

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*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

CREDIT:  The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

PS: It’s my birthday today and I’ve just discovered that I shared a birthday with R. A. Torrey!

Posted in Praise Prayer Worship

Our Magnificent Father

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

(4th Wednesday of each month)

 

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 CC0 Image courtesy of Gerd Aldmann – Pixabay.com

I recently read an excellent book on prayer, Destined For The Throne, by Paul E. Billheimer. In it he discusses the place and importance of praise. In a nutshell he says that praise develops our character, is good for our mental health, decentralises self and contributes to inner peace.

Billheimer also points out that both heaven and earth are engaged in one grand, uninterrupted chorus of praise to our creator.

If our life on earth is a dress rehearsal for the life to come in heaven, we’d better get with the programme. Praise and worship is not just for Sundays or mid-week meetings. Praise, prayer and worship needs to become an integral part of our daily lives.

 

Praise

20 . . . Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. 21World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom, and scholars their intelligence. 22 He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers . . .

(Daniel 2:20-23 – The Living Bible)

 

Prayer

Father God, we want to thank you for the privilege of being able to enter into your holy presence and fellowship with you. We come with boldness into your throne-room, to enjoy your presence, to present our needs and petitions.

Lord Jesus, you said a time would come when men’s hearts will fail them for fear. As we listen to and read the media reports, there are world events that could perhaps instil fear in our hearts. Thank you for your peace that surpasses natural understanding. Holy Spirit, minister that peace to our hearts and minds today and in the coming weeks.

Father God, in obedience to your word, we pray for our leaders and particularly for those who hold key international roles. We commit their lives into your hands. We ask that you direct their decisions. We pray that you will grant them wisdom, knowledge and understanding and that you will help them to rule with integrity and in justice.

Summon your power O God. Show us your awesome and miraculous might. Let your will be done on earth, as is being done in heaven. Our eyes are upon you, as we wait for the revelation of your grace and glory.

We ask this in faith and in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Worship

 

 

 WoW! followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

 

 

Posted in Five Minute Friday

And the winner is . . .

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY!

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 

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 Five Minute Friday Prompt: MIDDLE

 Jesus. Me. Satan.

I’m in the middle!

Three distinct personalities. Three different beings.

To my right is Jesus—Lord of lords, Kings of kings, Prince of Peace.

In the middle is me—redeemed child of God.

And to the left, is him—accuser of the brethren. Deceiver. Thief. Father of Lies. The Evil One.

Either side of me, each personality vies for my attention. Each being seeks to influence my thoughts, govern my actions. One lovingly seeks to do so for my ultimate benefit and welfare. The other maliciously intends to steal my confidence, to kill my dreams, to destroy me.

Who wins? The one to whom I accede control. The one to whom I submit.

I’d like to think it is always Jesus. I’d like to say: ‘Jesus, of course!

But unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the unvarnished truth. I have to admit that there are times, when I want to govern.

STOP [end of 5mins]

There are times when I question the Word and therefore I am questioning Jesus, since he is the Word made flesh. And there are times when what I want is more appealing to my ego, or my sense of comfort, or my understanding, than what Christ demands.

And so there is a tussle. There’s a spiritual wrestling between my soul (mind, will, emotions) and spirit, between my intellect or sense-knowledge, and the logic-busting, God-type of faith.

And what of the other side—Mr Diablo, Mr Evil personified? How does he fit into this scenario?

Well Satan, the devil, my enemy and God’s arch-enemy, hates me. So he seeks to muddy the waters. He schemes to undermine my faith. He challenges and sabotages my beliefs, which were based upon the unchanging promises of God’s Word.

His subtle questioning (Did God say. . . ?), his sowing of sneering doubts, (Well, God may produce miracles for Bible saints, or significant men of faith but what makes you think He’ll do it for you?), assault my mind daily, hourly, even at times moment by moment, until I begin to waver, until I, at times, agree with him and re-examine my thinking, my hopes, my expectations.

Who wins?

Dear reader, after years of suffering from this spiritual tug of war, I reluctantly report that sometimes it is Jesus and sometimes it is Satan.

But what about you? (I hear you ask). What about me? (I playfully respond).

Dear reader, I may well be caught in the middle but the truth is, there are only two master influences, two spiritual forces, at work in this world. The first and foremost is Jesus: the Son of God, the Living Word, the one who “upholds all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

The second (a significantly inferior power), is Satan: the one whom Jesus saw fall from heaven, the one whom Jesus conquered, the one whom Jesus disarmed when he arose from the dead in resurrection triumph and, stripping Mr Diablo and his evil principalities of their powers, made a public spectacle of them all! (See Colossians 2:15).

Even should I be deceived into thinking that I’m exercising my own will, governing my own life, the fact of the matter is, that in reality I am not! Either Jesus is, or Satan is (there is no middle ground)—and that goes for every single being upon this planet.

When I submit my thoughts, attitudes and actions in obedience to God’s Word then Jesus reigns. He is Lord of my life. But when I agree with the lies and suggestions of the enemy, which are contrary to the Truth, when I selfishly decide I want to do my own thing, then guess what? I come into agreement with the devil and I’m allowing him to manipulate my life, whether I’m aware of this or not, whether you believe it or not.

And if you don’t believe dear reader – think Adam and Eve. Think serpent. Think subtle deception. Think satanic manipulation, provoking self-willed disobedience. Think transfer of allegiance. Think paradise lost!

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CREDIT: CC0 Image – courtesy of Steen Møller Laursen at Pixabay.com

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem 4

Morning by morning, O Lord

You hear my voice;

Morning by morning,

I lay my requests before you

And wait in expectation.

(Psalm 5:3 NIV)

 

 

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Praying is communicating with God. Through prayer we come to know the all-powerful and loving God, and who He is. Through prayer we allow God to direct our lives. I believe that how we pray (or how we do not pray) changes our lives far more than you can ever imagine.

Prayer shapes our lives.

Canon J. John (www.canonjjohn.com)

 

God awaits you in his throne room!

 

PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 image is by Waldryano at Pixabay.com

Posted in Blog posts

WHAT IS YOUR EXPECTATION AND HOPE?

 

But as for me, I trust in You O Lord,

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in Your hand

(Psalm 31:14-15a New King James Version)

 

New Year Expectations

Perhaps like me, each New Year you have an expectation that this year will be different. You look back at the past 12 months with disappointment because goals you set at the start have not been accomplished, hopes you had were not met and dreams you cherished were dashed. When this happens year after year, it is tempting to become cynical, or pessimistic, defeatist or even indifferent. Que sera, sera, you say to yourself (whatever will be, will be!) yet secretly you feel disappointed.

If the above scenario speaks to you where you are at, don’t become like Alexander Pope, who said:

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

And please don’t give up on your goals, or on making plans for the future. That is precisely what the Enemy wants! Someone has said that “a failure to plan is a plan for failure!” Goals are not just for the highly ambitious, or for the career-minded. If you want to enjoy success, as depicted in Psalm 1:3, if you want to walk as a victorious overcomer, then you need to plan to make these things happen. If God has thoughts and plans for your future, then why not you?

 

Set Some Goals – Devise a Plan

A failure to plan, is a plan for failure!
A failure to plan, is a plan for failure!

May I encourage you to hold onto God’s Word this year? May I encourage you to focus your plans around His promises?

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that our Father God has good, positive thoughts about us and pre-ordained plans. Depending on which version you read, He has plans to give us a future and hope (NKJ), or plans to give us an expected end (KJ). So what are your expectations for this year?

Do you expect more defeat, more disappointment, more reasons for discouragement and more experiences of failure?

If so, then you are listening to the wrong voice and you are entertaining the wrong thoughts. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Make no mistake about it – he hates you! His aim in your life is to steal your peace, kill your hopes and dreams, destroy your expectations of God’s blessing and supernatural manifestations in your life. He wants to steal, kill and destroy your faith, knowing full well that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

 

Be Aware of Satan’s Tactics

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The serpent deceived me… (Genesis 3:13)

And sometimes, because we are beaten down by life’s battles, because we have abandoned hope, because continuing to nurture our expectations in the midst of struggles, trials and temptations or because overcoming opposition feels too hard, we allow ourselves to become a prey of Satan’s manipulations.

We pay heed to his accusations:

against our Father (Has God said? Did He promise?)

against ourselves (You’ll never make it! What makes you think it will be different this time?)

and against others (They’ll let you down! Nobody cares about you! He/she can’t be trusted!).

And if we keep accepting his poisonous lies, if we keep focussing on the negative scenarios which he paints in our mind’s eye, then before we know it, instead of being dressed in the protective armour of God and standing our ground, we find ourselves clothed in the garments of depression and oppression. We begin to flounder in the marshy fields of fear, frustration and failure. We succumb to despair, or unbelief and become his victims.

Don’t let last year’s disappointments, or past hurts dictate this year’s outcome for your life.

 

Take a Leaf From God’s Book

God says we are to imitate him like dear children, so I’d like to encourage you this New Year to follow his example of faith, optimism and persistence. In Genesis, we read about God’s hopes and dreams at the very beginning. He plans to build a community of people who will dwell in a secure place of abundant provision and divine protection, who will live forever, loving and obeying him, enjoying close fellowship with him.

We read how God creates a beautiful paradise and places Adam and Eve within it. However, along came the Enemy in the shape of a serpent. We learn how Satan sowed contrary thoughts in the minds of God’s people and upset his plans. From all appearances, it seemed as if Satan had successfully sabotaged God’s dream.

 

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But fast forward to the book of Revelation and we see that God’s original dream for his beloved creation, finally comes to fruition. In between these two books, we read of his disappointment with people, his hurt, his anger. We see again and again, the undermining of his plans for His chosen nation, Israel. However, he never loses hope. His expectation for the future, for the ultimate realisation of his plans, remains intact.

 

Hope Stabilises Your Emotions

According to the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, hope is defined as follows:

1a desire for something, with some confidence or expectation of success.

2A person, thing or event that gives one good reason for hope.

3A reason for justifying the belief that the thing desired will still occur.

4Something desired or hoped for.

 

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Let HOPE be your anchor

The Bible tells us that hope is an anchor for our soul (i.e. our mind, will and emotions). When the storms of life assail you, let down your anchor of hope. Anchor yourself to the truth, to the promises of God’s Word.

If God (who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent), experienced disappointment and delay to his plans, should we as lesser mortals expect any different?

Let your hope be in God and in His Word. God and his Word are one, inseparable. Do you believe this? If so, understand that God and his Word are unchangeable, unshakeable. So let expectations of His goodness, mercy and power abound in your hearts. Let godly expectations and hope reign over disillusionment.

 

God Has Pre-planned Your Future

Why not entrust your future into our Father God’s hands? Entrust this year as part of that bright future, into his safe keeping. Ask God to reveal to you his thoughts and plans for your life. Keep a record of your hopes and expectations. Review them regularly. Pray about and make preparation for them. Ask God for wisdom and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what to do, how to do it and also to help you accomplish it.

When plans go awry, when things appear to be the very opposite of your hopes, dreams and expectations, remember God’s dream, as revealed in Genesis. Remember the Bible’s end from its beginning and encourage yourself in the Lord.

Don’t adopt Alexander Pope’s philosophy and mind-set. Instead:

“Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes

Instead, determine in your heart to walk each day, each week, each month as a victorious overcomer.

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, may your year be crowned with the Lord’s abundance. May 2017 be a glorious year of achievement, victory and success.

 

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PHOTO CREDITS:  the above graphics used are all CC0 images by courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

The Gift of Words

 

GIVE A GIFT OF PRAYER

I recently read a beautiful blog post that inspired me. I am reblogging it below. Although the post is Christmas-related, I feel its message is still pertinent and, what’s more I’d like to challenge followers and readers to take this concept in another direction and give a gift of prayer this year to your loved ones (or even to your enemies!).

My challenge is to all but particularly to those who do not pray regularly, who see prayer as a dry difficult exercise, or last-ditch resort when afflictions arise or catastrophe seems imminent.

The Bible is replete with examples of people, who motivated by love or concern for others, used their words to send our Father God precious parcels of prayers. People like Moses, Abraham and Paul the apostle. And those gifts of prayers averted judgment, saved lives, strengthened believers during their trials.

I love receiving gifts. I also enjoy the pleasure of giving gifts to others that are appreciated, particularly when that person least expects it. Most of all however, I love to know that someone is holding me up in prayer. To me, when someone sacrifices their time to send petitions to God on my behalf it is like a precious gift.

Is there a friend, a family member, a work colleague, neighbour, or fellow-believer whom you could bless with the gift of your words in prayer this week, this month, this year?

Have a blessed week!

 

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By; Michelle Gunnin

I am a natural encourager.  I am also a teacher.  It is not clear to me which came first.  Am I a teacher because I am an encourager, or is it the other way around? Either way, I have found great pleasure in building others up and helping them to feel valued.  I do this in several ways, but mainly I write notes.  They started off as handwritten expressions of appreciation.  Never underestimate the power of a good thank you note.  From there I started writing little memos just to brighten someone’s day.  When the internet was invented, my note writing grew to a whole new level. The speed with which my words traveled was amazing!  Notes turned into letters at the point when my typing speed surpassed my handwritten scrawl, and while I still love a handwritten note, the ability to communicate instantly has made inspiration…

View original post 1,098 more words

Posted in Blog posts

To All Fellow-Bloggers, Followers and Visitors

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – WOW FOLLOWERS AND VISITORS!

 

As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace, His tranquillity and His wisdom!

Peggy Toney Horton, Does God Want Us to Be Happy

 

A New Year has tiptoed in. Let’s go forward to meet it. Let’s welcome the 365 days it brings. Let’s live well with love in our hearts towards God and all people. Let’s walk through its corridors with praise songs on our lips.

Anusha Atukorala

 

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.

Brad Paisley

 

No, dear brothers [and sisters], I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us. Philippians 3:13-14

 

Lord, as the New Year dawns today,

Help me to put my faults away.

Let me be big in little things;

Grant me the joy which friendship brings;

Keep me from selfishness and spite,

Let me be wise to what is right.

A Happy New Year! Grant that I

May cause no tear to any eye.

When this new year in time shall end,

Let it be said: “I’ve played the friend,

Have lived and loved and laboured here

And made of it a happy year.”

Edgar Guest (1881–1959), “Prayer for the New Year”

 

Thank you dear followers and readers for supporting me with your visits, comments and likes. It is truly appreciated.

May the Lord bless and keep you throughout 2017. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. And may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

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https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

MartinLutherPrayerQuote(christianquotes.info)

 

The only power that overcomes Satan and releases souls from his stranglehold is the power of the Holy Spirit, and the only power that releases the energy of the Holy Spirit is the power of believing prayer.

Paul E. Billheimer

 

God awaits you in his throne room!

Prayer Gem – 3

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 4 of 4)

christmasbells-pixabay1150015_960_720DON’T FORGET THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

Yesterday, we looked at the matter of unbelief and how our limited understanding and experiences of life can get in the way of us exercising faith (which pleases God). I concluded Part 3 with the following question:

Do you believe that our Heavenly Father is a God who honours His Word? Do you believe in your heart (not your head) that He specialises in the impossible?

As we have seen in the case of Zachariah and in the case of Jesus’ proclaimed birth, although it may take years, decades, even centuries—that which God has spoken through his prophets, or declared in his Word, will surely come to pass.

Our Father God loves to upset the status quo. He does not conform to human expectations, or confine himself to the boundaries of natural laws. If your God-given purpose necessitates a miracle, then hey presto—your God will oblige!

 

Ditch Goliath-sized doubts – cultivate mustard seed faith!

Have you been praying and believing God for the impossible? Have you been waiting a long, long, time for God to honour a promise made to you years ago? If you have given up, or are assailed by constant doubts, I can relate. Why not try re-reading and meditating upon the truths of these two women’s stories. I trust they will not only encourage you but revitalise your flagging faith.

mustardseedsgokalp-iscan-pixabay-231302_960_720Women of Warfare, we need to watch that we don’t become complacent in our faith walk, plodding along with the God of miracles in our day-to-day life, yet not expecting the miraculous. Remember, we are not required to have Goliath-sized faith.

Jesus assures us that faith the size of a mustard seed will be sufficient. Unlike the seed of a mango or an avocado pear, the mustard seed is quite tiny. Now isn’t that encouraging?

Notwithstanding the above, if you do have problems with exercising your faith, with believing, take heart! God says he does all things according to the counsel of his own will. We have seen that even in the face of scepticism, God graciously answered Zachariah’s prayers and granted he and his wife a supernatural miracle.

Women of Warfare, please learn a lesson from Gabriel’s response to this priest’s unbelief. Don’t become sceptical and dismissive when it comes to God manifesting his power in your life. Like Mary, don’t hesitate to share your questions, concerns and misgivings with your Father God in prayer but then commit to allowing His Word, His will, his plan and his purpose for your life, to be fulfilled—within his timing!

Do you long to be a vehicle of God’s miraculous power? Do you want to be a victorious overcomer? Then be an incubator of God’s Word!

Both Elizabeth and Mary were ordinary women, in whom the power of God was released in a marvellous way. Our God is no respecter of persons. Are you prepared to be a vessel for his glory? Are you prepared to pray, to ask for your miracle then wait for and accept his timing? 

pfmh1-bible-1850905_960_720As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember and rejoice because God found someone who believed His Word and submitted to His will. Remember, the birth of Jesus took place because of one young girl’s acceptance of God’s inconvenient timing.

 

Have an exceedingly blessed and happy Christmas everyone!

 

 

CREDITS: All the above graphics are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 3 of 4)

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And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

(Luke 2:13-14 NKJ)

 

In part two of this series, we saw that as believers betrothed to Christ, if our prayer lives are barren, the responsibility for this is entirely ours.

Moving on with Luke’s account of the nativity story, let’s now consider Elizabeth’s husband, Zachariah.

 

Solid Belief, or Spiritual Scepticism?

Gabriel appears to Elizabeth’s husband, whilst he is carrying out his priestly duties. We understand through Gabriel’s words that Zachariah had prayed to God about his wife’s barrenness. He is now being told “your prayer is heard”.

Do you think Zachariah’s request had somehow been misdirected… had been bouncing around the heavenly sphere and only reached God’s throne around the time of Gabriel’s visit?

Of course not! Zachariah’s words were heard from the very first time he uttered his prayer. Perhaps it was years, even decades after his prayer, before Gabriel’s appearance. It would seem Zachariah had completely given up on receiving his prayer request, had even perhaps forgotten his petition. Clearly though, God had not!

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We can understand, maybe even relate to Zachariah’s response, as Gabriel tells him God is now intending to grant his request and that his wife will bear him a son. Zachariah is sceptical. Zachariah’s unbelief, based upon his sense-knowledge and experience of life, rules out the supernatural ability and intervention of God.

Compare Zachariah’s attitude with the Virgin Mary’s response when she learns that she’s about to conceive the long-awaited Messiah. Mary’s questioning of the angelic messenger sprang (understandably), from honest bewilderment and confusion. She is a virgin. She knows she hasn’t been intimate with a man. She’s aware that procreation requires sexual intimacy.

However, once Gabriel explained how the miracle would occur, her immediate response was humble submission. On the other hand, Zachariah’s questioning of Gabriel stemmed from unbelief. The priest’s response was not only an affront to the heavenly messenger but also tantamount to calling God a liar.

baby-tawnyvanbreda-pixabay784608_960_720Perhaps you are wondering, why Zachariah’s questioning should be seen less favourably than Mary’s. What was the difference between the two questions asked regarding two equally impossible situations?

I believe the difference lies in the fact that Zachariah, aware his wife was barren, was in effect asking God for a miracle. Gabriel confirms that his prayer had not only been heard but is about to be granted. The difference between the two individuals is that Mary believed what she had been told. You will recall from our discussion in Part 1 of this series, that without faith, we cannot please God.

Now, either Zachariah thought Gabriel had lied, or else he felt the miracle he’d sought was now beyond even God’s supreme power. Since passage of time had placed Elizabeth outside the cycle of fertility (according to human perception), he felt a miracle was now out of the question. He believed God’s intervention had to occur within the natural realms of possibility. Zachariah expected God to answer his request within a certain time-frame.

I believe we can make this supposition because of Gabriel’s response to Zachariah’s challenge. He says:

…you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time (Luke 1:20 NKJ – emphasis mine).

 Of Mary however, it is said:

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which were told her from the Lord (Luke 1:45 NKJ)

Luke 1:37 further assures us that there is nothing impossible for the Lord. In other words, no word of God is incapable of fulfilment.

Do you believe that our Heavenly Father is a God who honours His Word? Do you believe in your heart (not your head) that He specialises in the impossible?

 

(To be continued/…)

 

CREDITS: All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 2 of 4)

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 REMEMBER THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

My previous post (Part 1) concluded with the following question:

Is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

The Bible tells us that it was Elizabeth who was barren, implying that the biological reason for the couple’s childlessness may have been her fault.

Let’s stop for a moment and apply both Mary’s and Elizabeth’s situation to ourselves.

We have been espoused to Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:2 Pauls says:

…For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

 

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Dear reader, if your prayer life is barren, i.e. dry, fruitless, ineffective—please know that the fault is not with Christ, your spiritual husband. Please know and accept that the fault lies with you alone.

We’ll move on now to take a look at the other woman in Luke’s nativity account.

 

Mary – an espoused virgin

Mary is a virgin, engaged to a man called Joseph, a descendant of the house of David. She is God’s chosen vessel to bring Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. Even though Mary is told about God’s plan for her life, she still has to accept what God proposes and submit to his Word in order for the miracle of Christ’s birth to happen.

Luke 1:38 tells us that she agrees. She says:

Behold the maid-servant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

 

christmasmarydavidmark-pixabay-95559_960_720Now we’ve already learned that Mary is engaged. Her agreement to God’s will could potentially cost her relationship with her fiancé along with her plans for marriage. In fact, submission to God’s will was most likely going to cost Mary her reputation.

Again, let’s pause here, as I temporarily remove the spotlight from Mary, back to you dear reader. What price are you willing to pay for God’s plan and purpose to be fulfilled, for God’s will to be implemented in and through your life?

Are you willing to let go of personal dreams, to forgo your plans, to lose your reputation?

 

(To be continued/…)

 

 

CREDITS:

All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 1 of 4)

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Remember the Christ of Christmas!

  

Jaded, or jubilant?

How are you feeling about this upcoming season? Excited? Expectant?

Or are you stressed out from all the running about here and there, anxious over the amount of money being spent, or sickened by the stench of commercialism which wafts from TV screens and shopping malls?

In all the hectic rush of making preparations, have we as believers become prey to the secular hype of the season, leaving us with little, or even no time to focus on the Christ of CHRISTmas?

 I trust we are not so familiar with the nativity story that the wonder of God’s marvellous gift to humankind no longer enthrals us.

 christmasnativitypixabay-1812692_960_720

 

Stop! Step back, See

Sometimes it helps to stop, take a step back and examine the familiar from another perspective.

So let’s just do that now shall we? Let’s for a moment forget about the baby in the crib, the shepherds and wise men.

Let’s look instead at how two ordinary women’s lives were impacted by an extraordinary God. Let’s stop, step back and see what the Christmas narrative has to say to us personally about the miraculous experience of these two women.

Luke’s meticulous account of the Christmas story, brings Elizabeth and Mary centre stage. He showcases God’s awesome power in producing not just one, but two impossible pregnancies—one involving a virgin and the other, a woman who is described as “well advanced in years”, in other words well past the age of child-bearing!

 

Elizabeth – a blameless wife

Elizabeth is described as a “daughter of Aaron”. Now, as a woman directly connected with the Aaronic priesthood, Elizabeth would have been familiar with and subject to, the exacting demands of holiness required of the Levitical community. Indeed, Luke tells us that both she and her husband, Zachariah, were righteous and blameless (Luke 1:5-6). However, the couple are childless, a condition which in Jewish culture is seen as a curse, a condition about which Zachariah had apparently sought God.

Now, let me change your focus for a moment and shift it from Elizabeth to yourself. If you are a born-again believer, did you know that as far as God is concerned you are righteous, i.e. blameless?

Romans 5:1 tells us that we have been JUSTIFIED, which is a legal term declaring us as righteous, or signifying our acquittal. Derek Prince brings further enlightenment, when he explains that the terms means: just as if I had never sinned!

christmasglobepixabay-1883341_960_720Are you aware dear woman of God that you are a member of God’s holy priesthood?

And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house. What’s more you are his holy priests; so come to him—[you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ]—and offer to God those things that please him (1 Peter 2:5 The Living Bible).

What is it that pleases God? We can find the answer in Hebrews 11:6—FAITH! We are told that without faith, it is impossible to please our Father God.

So, now we know (if we didn’t already) that we are priests, and as priests unto God, we are blameless. And as priests we are to offer prayers that please him, prayers that are inspired by faith.

Now, let me ask you another question – is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

 

 

(To be continued…)

 

PHOTO CREDITS:

All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem – 2

 

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That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.

And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.

(Mark 11:24-26 The Message)

 

God awaits you in His throne-room!

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

Que Sera Sera?

What are you doing to help mend our broken world?
What are you doing to help mend our broken world?

 

Have you ever looked at this world in despair? I can relate!

It is a rare event when media reports on international issues raise a smile from me, or a sense of belief that all is well with the world. I think I can honestly say that most times after listening to a news channel, or reading a newspaper, I feel disgusted, disquieted or depressed. And sometimes I can even feel ashamed to admit that I belong to the human race – in fact, somebody stop the world – I wanna get off!

When I see reports of police brutality against the mentally ill, or against black men, young girls and women, I feel outrage. When I hear stories about a high-ranking official’s debauchery and betrayal of trust (having participated in child abuse, or corruption or paedophilia), I feel sickened.

But however indignant and self-righteous I may be, it cannot compare to how God must feel about these things. Consider His response to Sodom and Gomorrah. Consider his attitude to the antediluvian days.

Are you troubled about these things? Are you concerned that the world seems to be getting darker and people more depraved, less tolerant?

If so, are you doing anything about it?

Me? (you ask). What can poor, inconsequential me do about this humongous issue?

Well, for a start, you can pray! You can stand in the gap for those individuals that touch your heart. You can intercede for those situations that vex your soul.

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There was a time in biblical history, when God’s heart and compassion moved him to do something. He wanted to bring healing, peace and restoration to the offending circumstances that he saw. However, he could find NOBODY who cared enough to stand in the gap and mediate between Him and those people, whose lives were at odds to his standards, whose lives were being insidiously influenced by the Enemy.

Do you care? And if you do, do you care enough? Are you willing to take time out of your charmed lives to pray? Are you willing to set aside your own disappointments, discouragement or despair to send God fervent petitions on behalf of others?

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If you are a member of Western civilisation, are you able to acknowledge that you are better off than a great many others?

Consider refugees living in cramped muddy conditions in a country that does not really want them. Consider those fleeing torture, or risking their lives and the lives of their children in vessels that are not sail-worthy, in order to preserve their lives, in order that they may enjoy liberty, freedom of speech, or freedom of religion. Consider parents in the developing world who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, who don’t have the means to feed and nurture their family properly.

 

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And moving closer to home, think of the homeless sleeping on a piece of cardboard in freezing weather, think of parents whose children have gone missing, think of those parents who’ve suffered the anguish and pain of children who have been murdered.

Perhaps you are thinking: Lady Cee, prayer is not my calling. I leave that sort of thing to my church prayer group, to those who feel called to the ministry of intercession.

Well, my response to you dear fellow saint is: poppycock! If that is your honest belief, then you are mistaken.

Listen to this:

Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1)

…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6)

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2)

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Now to whom do you think the above writers were addressing these words? To whom do you think Jesus was speaking? Is it only to those who feel called to prayer and intercession? No my dear friend. If you are a born-again, blood-washed child of God, if you consider yourself to be a member of the body of Christ, then God’s Word is being spoken to you!

Only deception by Satan, or ignorance of the Word of God and of who you are in Christ, or utter selfishness, or slothfulness, stops us from obediently taking our place on the battlefield of prayer.

So now you know!

And now that you know, what will you do? Will you care? Will you allow compassion for people and outrage against the Enemy to propel you to your prayer closet?

I am praying and trusting God that it will.

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WoW! followers and visitors, to those of you for whom this message is pertinent, my prayer is that you will not just read this post and go on your merry little way. My prayer is that you and I will hear the cry of our Father God’s heart and respond to his desire for someone to stand in the gap.

Today, I am challenging you and I am challenging myself to make a choice. Choose to be a mediator! Choose to stand against the exploits of the Enemy! Choose to care and pray!

And for those of you who are diligently praying, be encouraged – your efforts will be rewarded. Just continue the good work.

 

QUESTION:

How do you respond to disturbing world events? Has this post inspired you to act differently? Please let me know your response in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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PHOTO CREDITS: all the above photographs are CC0 images – courtesy of Pixabay.com

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: the above biblical texts have all been taken from the New King James version

 

Posted in Prayer Gems

Prayer Gem – 1

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My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up.

(Psalm 5:3 NKJ)

 

 

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,

The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

(Psalm 141:2 NKJ)

 

Have you prayed today?

 

Whether you have or you haven’t may I encourage you to read the following poem written by yours truly, about the benefits of daily prayer?

God awaits you in His throne room!

 

Posted in Blog posts

All Types of Prayer – Part 2

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CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

 

 

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

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DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (2) – Extract from: 20 November 2015

Here are three more types of prayer:

1) The prayer of petition

You must learn to be confident in asking God to meet your needs. Jesus promised, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ (Mark 11:24 KJV).

If we’d stop trying to impress God, we’d be a lot better off. Length, loudness, or eloquence isn’t the issue; it’s the sincerity of our heart, the faith that’s in our heart, and the assurance that we’re praying according to God’s will that gets results.

 

2) The prayer of agreement

Jesus said, ‘If two of you … agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father’ Matthew 18:19 NIV 2011 Edition). When you’re up against something too big to handle alone, find a prayer partner and get into agreement with them. This isn’t for people who constantly live in strife, then decide to agree because they’re desperate. God honours the prayers of those who pay the price to live together in harmony (see Psalm 133:1).

 

3) The prayer of thanksgiving

When your prayers outnumber your praises, it says something about your character. Self-centred people ask, but rarely appreciate. God won’t release us into the fullness of all He has planned for us until we become thankful for what we’ve already received.

Petition avails much; praise avails much more! ‘In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’ (Philippians 4:6 NIV 2011 Edition). Powerful living comes through thanksgiving. We can literally ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV) by being thankful all day long, praising God for His favour, mercy, loving kindness, grace, longsuffering, and goodness.

 

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

 

Women of Warfare! followers and visitors have a blessed and victorious week.