Monday, February 19, 2018

Cultivating Growth-- Prayer

Hello Friends!

This week, I'm going to talk about Cultivating Spiritual Growth in our lives. As believers, we should be desiring Spiritual growth. But we can't just desire it, spiritual growth takes work. Hard work.

"Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." -1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV 

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash
Today I'm going to focus on PRAYER.

I don't think any Christian can argue that prayer is not important.
Photo by Toia Montes de Oca on Unsplash
There are countless verses in the Bible about prayer. I want to share two truths about prayer with you before I continue. 
1. OUR FAITH IS A RELATIONSHIP. Relationships involve conversation. Prayer is our chance to talk to our creator and father. What a privilege to be able to come before his throne!
2. PRAYER IS A BATTLE. There is this quote I love that says: "Prayer is not preparation for the battle, it is the battle." (Leonard Ravenhill) We are in the middle of a spiritual war, and prayer is a battle.  Because of that, the devil, our enemy, will do everything within his power to keep us from prayer...don't let him!

So, how do you cultivate prayer in your life?

1. Set a specific time. Yes, you can pray anytime. But having a couple of times that are set times to pray helps you to actually do it. For example, I pray after I do my Bible reading (I'll get to that in a couple of days) and then again before I go to bed. 
2. Pray whenever you think of it! Another quote I love says "Always obey every impulse to pray." (Martin Loyd-Jones) When you think that you should pray, stop and do it!
3. Establish a system to keep track of requests. I don't know about you, but I often feel overwhelmed by prayer requests from people I know. In the past I've tried a prayer journal to keep track of requests and answered prayers, but I can never establish consistency. Now, I use a prayer wall, pictured below. As you can see, names of people I regularly pray for, such as my small group, family, and missionaries, are written on the front of a slip of paper. These slips of paper are taped to the wall. On the back, I write prayer requests. When a prayer is answered, I transfer it to a different slip of paper and stick it up where the praises go to remind me to praise God for those things.
My prayer wall

My final advice would be to read "Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days" by Kay Arthur. (Not an affiliate link) This book really helped me to learn how to pray. And also, ask God to teach you to pray! He will! 

Before you go......
-Do you struggle with your prayer life?
-How do you cultivate better prayer habits? 

And one more quote...
"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." --Martin Luther

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Becoming a Godly Role Model-- From Rebekah Joy

Dude, I just found an AMAZING blog post.

godly role model

It's called Becoming a Godly Role Model...which is something I've been thinking about a lot recently.
The first part of this blog post lists several young ladies who were influential in this blogger's life. As I read it, I could see myself being any of those girls to any number of girls at church.

I've sat with a girl in Sunday School (I didn't teach her how to apply chapstick, though).

I have the tendency to remember birthdays, even for younger girls at church.

I chat with a younger gal over email.

I play with and talk to a number of younger girls at church.

Not to mention my own younger sisters. Who watch me every. single. day.

But I also experienced it from the other side.

There were the girls who gave me hand-me-down clothing.

There were the girls who worked in my Sunday School classes. Or babysat me.

There are the women I look up to now for various reasons.

When I was in 7th grade, I watched the older girls. And now that I'm in 11th grade, I realize that the 7th graders are watching me. Yikes!

Anyhow, this was a good post, and I even printed it to hang on my wall as a reminder to be a godly role model...because the younger girls ARE watching!

Check it out. Maybe it will encourage you as well.

The area I need to work on most? Probably conversation. I slip into gossip all to easily. I don't center my conversation about Jesus as much as I should. Also, it has NEVER occurred to me to pray for the younger girls I come in contact with. But I SHOULD!

Have no fear, if you are a guy, you are still a role model...but probably for the younger boys at church. And the principles shared in this post can apply to you as well. :)

Do you have anyone who has been a role model for you? Do you have any principles to add to Rebekah's list?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Spring~A Poem

A short poem about spring for your enjoyment...

Gone are winter's dark days
Of cold and wind and haze

Here are warm days of spring
In the trees a bird does sing

Sweet flowers fill the air
A breeze may rustle your hair

The sun warms your face
New life is all over the place

Enjoy spring while it is here
For lo, summer is near