Courage

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Wait Expectantly

After you have prayed what are you thinking and what do you do?  If you are like me when amen has been said that’s pretty much it for prayer time and the business of the day begins. But when amen is said is that the end of the prayer? Reading Psalm 5:3 has made me aware of a weakness in my prayers.

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This verse tells me I fall short in a vital part of my prayer life.  It tells me to wait expectantly.  I can’t say I do.  I know the Lord hears my prayers. I don’t doubt that and I do know prayers are answered. But do I wait…expectantly?

To wait expectantly is to wait eagerly and energetically, confidently and positively, and actively. To be honest, most often I simply wait; just the verb wait with no adverbs attached.

I guess I thought the active part of prayer was the praying but the activity doesn’t stop at amen. Maybe expectantly waiting is part of what pray without ceasing means.

Isn’t is it a wonder how He gets our attention?  I was just reading a Psalm and a verse jumped out at me. A verse I have read many times before but this time it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

I wonder how many times I have missed something the Lord had for me because I just said amen and went on with my day not expectantly waiting for anything to happen?

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Hearts and Minds

Sometimes when I pray I wonder if my words go any farther than the ceiling. In my heart, I know Jesus hears every word but my mind questions and doubts.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you. 
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea,
blown and tossed by the wind.
James 1:5-6 NIV

I know in my heart that God is a generous and giving God but my mind often listens to what the world has to say. This saddens me. I have no reason to doubt Him. His word is true and without deception. I have much reason to doubt the world. The world is full of contradiction and lies. I have not been hurt by God but I have been hurt by the world.

Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world,
and they are unstable in everything they do.
James 1:7-8 NLT

Though my mind questions and doubts my heart is strong and committed to Jesus. I have orange-631354_640faith and hope that even my doubting mind cannot deny.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen;
it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 NLT

For now, that is enough; I pray and wait.

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 5:3 NIV

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Come and Talk

Prayer is many things but it is not a monologue. Sometimes there are many gathered together to pray but there is never less than two involved in any prayer. Whenever there is prayer happening there is always at least two, the person praying and God. The wondrous thing is that God wants to talk with us.

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
Ps 27:8 nlt

grey-crowned-crane-540657_640Yes, Jesus says “Come and talk with me.” He wants to have a conversation. What is a conversation?  It is the interchange of thoughts, ideas, and information between persons. In a conversation, one person talks and the other listens then the one listening responds to what was said. It’s a give and take, a sharing. When we pray we talk to Jesus, He listens.

LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully,
Ps 10:17 hcs

Then it is our turn to listen. There are times when Jesus seems to shout, we hear Him loud and clear. Though I have found that most often He speaks quietly and we have to listen closely. And there are those times when He is silent. Those occasions can be frustrating and can make us feel He has just walked away. But He never walks away.

I waited patiently for the LORD,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
Ps 40:1 hcs

The Lord always hears us and always responds but we sometimes have to wait for His response. This is not what I want when I pray. I don’t like waiting I want answers now! And that often leads to more talking…on my part. He listens and answers in His perfect timing. Waiting patiently for Jesus to speak tends to be difficult for me but I have learned that waiting prepares us for the gift He has been waiting to give us. He waits to reveal His gift until we are ready to receive it.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
Ro 8:28 nlt

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Cast It Away

Anxiety is a problem for me. These days I can usually control it but that wasn’t always so. There was a time when I was nearly paralyzed by worry and fear. Anxiety was an invader in my life that was defeating me. I still have to be on guard against this enemy.

I have learned to recognize when anxiety is on the edges of my life. If I allow it, it will cover me like a heavy blanket. An important defense against worry or anxiety is to be aware of what triggers it and to be prepared to take action. For me, the main triggers are not getting enough rest, not eating healthy, and not getting any exercise.  Sometimes I let my guard down and as with most enemies, it will surprise me and that heavy blanket will be thrown over me and weigh me down.

When this happens and  I get passed feeling sorry for myself I know what I need to do. It’s time, past time, to talk to Jesus. Prayer is the best defense against any enemy. Still, it has taken me a long time to learn that part of prayer is letting Jesus do His thing. When we take our burdens to Him and put them at His feet that is where we are to leave them.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Pet 5:7 niv

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To cast something is to throw, hurl, fling it. It means to throw it off or away. Which is what we do when we pray for the Lord to take our worries and fears. But if you are like me you like to clean up after yourself. So what do I do? After praying and casting my cares on the Lord I pack them up nice and tidy and keep them in the back of my mind. I am getting better at leaving the heavy blanket with Jesus and moving on free of the burden for I now understand;

The LORD is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?
The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Ps 27:1 nlt

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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