Musings of a Super Girl | Archives 7

151. On Labor Day weekend I went to my sister’s house and took a nap. Actually, I took a bunch of naps. In the end I think I spent more time going to sleep, sleeping, and begrudgingly waking up than I did doing things and interacting with people. In my defense, it’s kind of nice to nap with my sister and I was really, really tired.

 

My schedule this semester is insane. Between academics and home, I spend more time in my car than anywhere else. Drive to take my daughter to school, get to school myself, go do observations at the middle school, go back to class, go get my daughter, go home, go to dog training, go to my evening class, go get my husband from work, go to the store, go, go, go. So when I got to my sister’s and realized that I didn’t have to go anywhere for a while, I slept.

 

To a certain extent, we’re all like that. Gotta go do this, gotta go do that, gotta zip over here, gotta zip over there… As a society, Americans are constantly moving about and doing. If we’re not doing, we’re asleep. Did you know that one of the stereotypes about Americans is that we’re slaves to the clock?

 

We really are beholden to the day planner; we have set blocks of time for everything. Even worship. We block out time for prayer and meditation, we have space in our schedule for church services, we pray before meals or trips or bed. What do we do in the in between times? Are we at least slowing down mentally and praying? Are we handing our stress to God or thanking Him for something in the moment, or are we waiting for the scheduled moment to do so?

 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

 

It’s good to have scheduled time where the focus is completely on God. But… We are to pray without ceasing. Do you have a constant conversation with God? I know I don’t and I should. Let’s work on that. Let’s talk to God about our day, just like we would with our husbands or our best friends.

 

Kelly

September 8, 2016

 
A WORD for Women
 

152. I have a litany of stuff that bogs me down. It’s everything from waking up unrested this morning to my uncle dying last week. All of it weighs heavy on my heart and my mind. No doubt that most people have their own list of stuff ranging from “ugh” to “can I just go back to bed and have it all gone when I wake up?”. What makes it worse for me is that I forget to “cast my cares” on my Father.

 

Psalm 55:22 New International Version (NIV)

22 Cast your cares on the LORD

and he will sustain you;

he will never let

the righteous be shaken.

 

The verse doesn’t say some of my cares, only the cares I think are important to God, or to cast my cares when I have minute to breathe. The verse doesn’t distinguish; it says cast your cares on the Lord. And then it follows up with a promise: He will sustain you, he will never let the righteous be shaken.

 

In other words, if we feel like we’re free falling out of control, did we give to God? If we feel like our world is falling to pieces, did we give it to God? Do we trust Him to take care of us?

 

That’s not to say that our lives are going to be sunshine and butterflies. “In this world you will have trouble”, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”. But in spite of it all we can “be of good cheer” because He’s already won (John 16:33).

 

And there’s this:

 

Philippians 4:7 New International Version (NIV)

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

So, I’m feeling bogged down by all of the yuck, you’re feeling shaken up by something horrendous that just happened. But, we have the peace which transcends all understanding because we have a Father who loves us so profoundly that He wants us to give him ALL of our troubles.

 

Rest. He will not let you fall. He will hold you up and care for your hearts and minds.

 

Kelly

September 15, 2016

A WORD for Women
 

153. Sometimes I don’t want to go to church. I can’t stand the politics. The people who want programs, Bible studies, and events planned but want somebody else to do it drive me bonkers. Then, of course, are the people who are involved but whine about it incessantly. Not to mention the “holier than thou” crowd. Ugh, can’t I just go and worship my Father without all of this junk?

 

Probably not. Partly because at some point I have been the political player, the wanter but not doer, the whiner, and the most holy of all holy people. Partly because when you have more than one person in a room, some of this stuff is going to happen. Yeah, it drives me nuts and I’m pretty sure it drives most people crazy. After all, what is one of the top excuses people give for not going to church? All of that stuff I mentioned above, at least in one sense or another.

 

Maybe we should ask ourselves something: Are we really that self-absorbed? Are we really that sinful?

The simple answer is that yes, we are that self-absorbed and sinful. But there is hope for us.

Do you remember the line we say, as a congregation, at baptisms and confirmations when asked if we will support the individual and their families? Just in case you don’t remember, it is simply this, “With God’s help, we will.”

 

We can’t go past our egos and selfish desires without God’s help. Next time we’re tempted to skip church because of the jerk faces, let’s remember two things: 1) We too are sometimes the jerk faces others wish to avoid. 2) Only with God’s help can we push through it.

 

In the end, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Even spending time on a Sunday morning with some people who, at the moment, I’d rather not. Besides, it’s not really about them or me, it’s about the One who made me and saved me.

 

Kelly

October 6, 2016

A WORD for Women
 

154. Why are some sins considered worse than others? Is it our human nature trying to justify our own actions?

 

“At least I don’t commit adultery”, she says as she drools over her celebrity crush.

“At least I don’t commit idolatry”, she pronounces as she gazes longingly at the display in the store window.

It is my opinion that, because the Bible says some are worse than others, they are (gasp) worse than others. But, why are they? Sexual sin, idolatry, and witchcraft are on the list. The common thread in them all is that, again this is my opinion; they require a lifestyle of non-repentance.

We’re not talking about the predilection towards certain sins; we’re talking about the indulgence in them. Jesus was tempted and didn’t sin, so we know that it’s not the temptation but, rather, what we do with it. Do we obsess over it in our minds or take physical action? Do we roll our eyes and tell ourselves that what we’re doing isn’t on the “big bad” list so it’s okay?

I believe that all our sinful tendencies can go on the list of things that are abhorrent to God when we indulge in a lifestyle of non-repentance. Let’s take Paul’s words to heart in Romans 6, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? By no means!”

Let’s also take Jesus at His word when he told us that whoever believes will be saved. Let’s look at ourselves and realize that we’ve missed the mark and yet He’s saved us. Let’s go share that!

 

Kelly

October 27, 2016

A WORD for Women
 

155. At the moment, I’m having a hard time not being angry. Not about the outcome of the election, but about reaction to the outcome. Good, Christian people are spewing vitriol and hatred, they are believing and spreading lies, and are generally contributing to the atmosphere of unrest. That angers me a great deal.

Stop threatening to leave the country, either do it or don’t, but please stop talking about it.

Stop saying that those who voted for Trump are hateful, hypocritical, and unChristlike.

Do some research about the man and the people that voted for him (hint, don’t look on the mainstream media, for him or against him, the bias is overwhelming).

Please, remember that our job as Christians is not to agree with everything our neighbor says, but to love him or her.

Also, keep in mind how we are to perceive government: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. – Romans 13:1-2

So, instead of lambasting those who have vastly different views, why don’t we pray for both the outgoing and incoming administrations? Why don’t we talk to each other and pray for each other? But mostly, let’s be a part of the solution and not participate in the fomenting of division.

Kelly

November 10, 2016

A WORD for Women

156. The story, Beauty and the Beast, is truly a tale as old as time. It was originally written in the 1700’s, rewritten in the 1800’s, and then again in 1946 when Disney rewrote it for its first film adaptation by adding the characters, Gaston and his trusty sidekick, La Fou, because “the studio felt that the film could benefit from a strong villain.”

 

It’s not Walt’s Disney anymore. The powers that be decided to change the story again by making “La Fou” (“the Madman” or “The Fool”) their first gay character. (Oh, the irony!) One news source described the added scene as a “gay moment” I guess to tell those Christian troglodytes that it’s just a teeny-tiny part of a much larger, beloved story so what’s the harm?

 

If we water down what is True then we no longer know what is true.

 

Today is the perfect time for us to talk to our age-appropriate children about same-sex attraction. I pray there it will be an edifying engagement, because one way or another, they will be taught the world’s distorted truth.

 

Matt Cain, editor-in-chief of Attitude magazine, said:

 

“It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney.

 

“By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural - and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it's still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.

 

“It's only a first step towards creating a cinematic world that reflects the world in which many of us are now proud to live.

 

Suffering for Doing Good

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

 1 Peter 3:8-22 (NIV)

 

In the shadow of vague questions and answers, the opposite will be true for our children. It will be a watershed moment for them the first time they can’t explain beyond “because my parents won’t let me” for not going to a questionable movie, event, etc. They will be pressed to answer “what’s so bad about being gay” These are questions any Christian needs to answer. God forbid anyone struggles so much with it that it tempts them to doubt or deny what they were told or mistakenly understood.

 

But do not fear; we have all the tools needed to build their firm foundation in Christ. This is an exciting opportunity for all! Once our children are prepared with godly knowledge fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the community of saints’ backup support, they will carry the message of a real happily ever after that is unique to their way of communicating with their peers. They will have the courage of their convictions as those living in the footsteps of the world’s Redeemer.

Christine Wentzel

March 15, 2017

 

Great resources related to this article:

 

People of Grace

www.poglutherans.org

 

Rainbow Savior

www.rainbowsavior.com

 

Conquerors through Christ

www.conquerorsthroughchrist.net

 

Covenant Eyes

http://www.covenanteyes.com/

 

Awake and Alive

www.awakealive.com

 

The Point of Grace

www.tpog.net

 
A WORD for Women

157. Do you remember the story about the lady that touched Jesus’s cloak and was healed? What about the one where the centurion rode out to find Jesus to heal his daughter? There’s also the story about the cripple whose friends lowered him through the ceiling to where Jesus was sitting. What else? The blind man, the leper, and the possessed man. There were also a couple of raisings from the dead; Lazarus and the widow’s son. Oh yeah, He raised himself from the dead too. 

We’re going to celebrate that one in a few days. People will come in from all over to attend church on Resurrection Sunday, we’ll dress in our finest, the smell of Easter Lilies will flood our sanctuaries, and we will walk out feeling redeemed, blessed, and little cleaner for having been there. And then we will go back to treating it as an aside.

What do I mean by that? I mean that we spend so much time picking apart our faults that we set aside the reality that we are saved, we are cherished, and we are worthwhile to our savior. How many of you have ever thought that your faith isn’t strong enough to get to heaven? Or maybe you keep committing the same sin over and over and feel unworthy to be saved. Perhaps it’s a general sense of wondering why God would let the likes of you into heaven. I get that. I’ve had all of those. Most of us have gone through one faith crises or another. 

The cold hard truth is that we are sinners. “I once was lost but now am found” does not translate to “Once I was a sinner but now I’m not”. It says that we are no longer lost in our sin. We know what the truth is. Perfect in God’s sight means that we are forgiven, He gave that to us. To do so, He came to us in human form with human frailty. He made us in His image in the beginning and then saved us by taking on our image. He died. He raised Himself from the dead. And in so doing, He has kept us from eternal torment and suffering.

Stop beating yourself up. It’s not an excuse to keep sinning; we must rely heavily on God to keep us from that pitfall. But stop beating yourself up. He works all things for the good of those who believe, even though that required Him to suffer and die.

Once I was lost. By the grace of God, I have been found and now I’m saved. So are you. Resurrection Sunday is every day. Celebrate your gift of grace all year and, please, don’t diminish it by beating yourself up. That’s not what He saved us for.

 

Kelly

 
A WORD for Women

158. This past Easter as I read the meditations, heard the readings in worship, and other devotions of the past days, it is easy to be stunned by the lack of understanding of Jesus followers.  Jesus had told them many times that he would be handed over, mistreated, die, and rise on the third day.  But no one seemed to get it.  Were they not listening?

 

This brings to my mind those times of shock...great emotional shock.  At that time a person is pretty helpless.  Years ago a woman sat in our house with her children.  She had just fled her abusive husband.  She was so distraught she needed to be handed a tissue because she did not even realize her nose was dripping on her hands.  She didn't hear her child cry.

 

When a person is extremely ill, in great pain, or dying they are often unable to pray.  God says the Holy Spirit groans for us.  How many times have you prayed aloud for someone in such a situation?  You quickly see that your prayers are appreciated because the person cannot pray right now.  After these earthly trials the believer who has suffered often tells how their faith has grown.  When our faith grows we are better able to handle the next trial. 

 

Those early Christians who witnessed the suffering of Jesus and sat helpless on Holy Saturday then had their emotions flipped so completely on Sunday were probably exhausted on Monday.  Emotions drain us.

 

Now move ahead in time by a few months or a year.  Persecution has come to Jerusalem and it is time to pack up and run or be arrested, maybe even killed.  The faith-shaking events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday have prepared God's people to face the trials ahead.  Peter was done denying his Lord.  Thomas never doubted again.  The Holy Spirit had given them courage and God was giving them the words to witness. 

 

I pray we can all learn from the early believers.  I pray we can use the emotional trials of Good Friday and Easter to make us stronger and ready for the next shock in our own lives.  As Judas entered the garden with soldiers, Jesus was still in control.  On the cross, Jesus was still in control.    On Easter morning...He was still in control.  No trial we can ever face will be without God's watchful eye and control.

 

Have a blessed Easter Wednesday,

 

Julie Luetke 

Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

Of David.

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—

    whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—

    of whom shall I be afraid?

 
A WORD for Women

159. I have a confession to make: I have Major Depressive Disorder and Severe Anxiety. I am also a Christian. I have Christian friends who have the same diseases and some who have others. Mental illness is just that, it is a sickness. It is a weakness in our body caused by sin in this world. Not necessarily a direct result of our own sins, but a result of the presence of sin in us and around us.

In other words, mental illnesses are a category of diseases, they are NOT a lack of faith. They are a category of illnesses just like cancer or the flu are categories of disease. We would never assume that a person battling cancer, taking medication for high blood pressure, or dealing with a chest cold are somehow lacking in faith.

Then why assume that is the case for those of us who suffer afflictions in our physical brains?

So many of our fellow Christians suffer from any number of cerebral disease and do so in shame because we treat them as though the affliction is a result of their lack of faith. We say stupid things like, “Just pray more!” or “You know Jesus loves you, how can you be sad?”

Let me say this again: IT’S NOT ABOUT THAT!!!

Our brains are suffering from an ailment that affects the way we think, not the other way around. We absolutely must, must, must change our thinking as a church. In Isaiah 42:3, we have the promise that God will not snuff out a smoldering wick or crush a bruised reed but, for some odd reason, we tend to take that as a challenge to do it ourselves. If we keep reading the verse, it goes on to tell us that He will bring about justice.

What do you suppose that means for the sufferers of maladies of the brain? It means that our bodies are weak, just like yours. It means that sometimes our particular malady forces our brains to work in ways that yours does not. It means that our disease can cripple us and turn us into that smoldering wick or bruised reed. It means that we need your love and support, not your judgement and rejection.

He will bring about justice. Justice for Christians, regardless of illness, looks different. Justice for us looks a lot like grace. For by his stripes we are healed, we are saved. ALL of us.

So, let’s start looking at each other as fellow Christians. If you know somebody who is struggling with a physical disease of the physical brain, treat them with the love, respect, and the message of grace that you would if they were suffering from any other illness.

Kelly

 
A WORD for Women

160. Do clinical depression or anxiety disorders boil down to a lack of trust in the Lord? As a Christian who lives in a constant state of warfare against her own body in two major ways, I categorically deny that claim.

 

I can only make it through each and every day because I TRUST my Lord and Savior. I TRUST He has me in his capable hands at all times. I TRUST that he allows this physical war to continue for a holy purpose.  This illness is a refining Fire for my faith!

 

Last week our intrepid Super Girl in Christ, Kelly Heuer, came out of the mental closet to announce she has “Major Depressive Disorder and Severe Anxiety.” While there were no comments from our readers, the viewership was pretty high. I can only guess that it means many people can relate to what she had to say or are curious, but none were willing to openly join her musings on the topic. I don’t blame any of them who suffer as we do for keeping quiet. It’s one of those intangible diseases that all of us have a hard time wrapping our brains around!

 

Anxiety disorders, just like Kelly said, are a result of original sin and the original consequence of the rebellious actions of our once-perfect first parents. We’ve been rebelling against God ever since. Every molecule in our bodies is subject to the consequence of rebellion including our brain matter, but God’s grace, through his son, Jesus Christ, saves us from dying in that shame.

 

Anxiety disorder is a misfiring of the body’s flight or fight responses. Instead of the brain’s chemicals signaling a warning—a heads up, clinical anxiety opens wide the adrenaline throttle and sends you into a hyper drive of terror. Just like one takes a decongestant to ward off a sinus attack, we take early measures to prevent from going into a full-fledged panic attack.

 

There are hundreds of reasons for what causes our bodies to manifest this disease, but the bottom line is that it’s a real illness. It’s not being a worry-wort or a nervous Nelly or “ye of little faith.” Education and understanding is needed for both the sufferer and the person who knows the afflicted to obtain mental health—it’s a disease confusing to both parties when left unchecked.

 

We pray for healing, we pray for the means to control it, we pray the Lord use it for his glory if it is not cured, and we pray for our Christian family to learn and teach the difference between the sin of worry and the sickness of mental health disease. Amen.

 

If you suffer from anxiety/depression disorders, we want to hear your story. Shame and fear only lead to isolation and God forbid, suicidal thoughts—a topic for the next installments.

 

Guest Super Girl,

Christine Wentzel

 
A WORD for Women
 

161. Hi Fellow Super Girls in Christ!

While Kelly Heuer continues to recuperate from corrective surgery (thank you Lord for its success!), I’d like to continue with the subject of a Christian living with an anxiety illness.

As with every other illness on this broken planet, I believe my Creator and Miracle Worker has defeated its ability to overcome his affected people. Until he removes it from me forever, he personally carries its debilitating weight so I can bear up under the “Lightness” of it. While my body may feel the fright of terrors it can’t define, it cannot rob me of Jesus’ work in my life and the one to come.

He’s shown me all my life that no matter the burden, he grants me faith-building results, faith-building rests, and faith-building fun. Fun? Has anyone ever laughed at the absurdity of their condition? In my physical challenges, he shines his light brightly through the cracks for others to see Hope behind the brokenness, and he moved the hearts of others to use their talents and gifts to my benefit and his glory.

It’s not so easy to rest in this knowledge while in the throes of the amped up fight-or-flight auto responses, but it does give me the assurance I need to get through it. It’s not an easy process, but then Jesus flat out told me it was not meant to be easy (John 16:33)—what would be the need for his eternal rescue from everything damaged and evil which includes my own heart?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

For more inspiring messages on these Scripture passages, check out Karen Maio’s newest devotion, REST, on our website at www.awordforwomen.com/devotions

Guest Super Girl,

Christine Wentzel

A WORD for Women
 

162. One of the reasons we cannot “be perfect as our Father is perfect” is our sinful minds. Sins of the mind are just as deadly as sins of the flesh. Lust. Lies. Envy. Pride. These all start in our minds.

 

Not only, as Christians, do we know that sin begins in the mind, but we also know that even if we have only ever committed one sin, we are guilty of ALL of the sins. Just one and we are forever made imperfect. (James 2:10)

 

You know what other sins start in our minds? Hatred. Self-loathing. Murder. Suicide.

 

This means that we who rate sins on a scale of badness are guilty of all of these. We have lusted, lied, envied, been prideful, hated, murdered, and, yes, we have committed suicide.

 

I don’t say any of this to throw a wet blanket on your day. My goal is to help us be better comforters to our brothers and sisters who are suffering loss, especially to the confusing sin of suicide.

 

How can a believer do such a thing? Will (fill in loved one’s name) go to hell?

 

A believer can do such a thing because believing does not relieve us of our sinful nature on this earthly plane.

I don’t know the answer to the second question because only God knows the heart of a person, but I have an assumption. I assume that we will see our loved ones of faith in heaven who didn’t reject our savior and still fell prey to this particular sin. In fact, I’m confident of it. Here’s why: I expect that I will go to heaven when I die just as much as I expect that the only escape from my own continual sinful desires is death. None of us will go to our graves free of sin. Because we are who we are, we will have sin even in our last breath.

 

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…”

 

Jesus didn’t come to point a finger and laugh at us. He didn’t come to ridicule us and show us how pathetic we are. He came to save us from ourselves, even in our dying moments. He loves us so much that he has prepared a place for us in our Father’s home. In spite of ourselves, he calls us his Bride.

 

At the point of our salvation, our sins were forgiven; past, present, and future. They are gone, made as nothing. Yes, we will be sinning until the end. He saved us anyway. This true for those whose sins barely register on our sin scale just as much as it is true for those whose sins are off the chart. This is true for those who remain in their faith until the end, we cannot know if they rejected our savior in their last moments, whether our Christian loved ones die of old age or at their own hand.

 

Because of this, I have faith and hope. I have hope that I will see you all there. I have faith that our Lord has and will keep his promise. I also have the conviction that we must minister to the hurting, especially those who have been condemned by the popular belief that mental illness is due to their own lack of faith.

Please stand with me against this hurtful and sometimes lethal belief. Stand with me for all of us who suffer from a disease of the brain. Stand with me for all of us who sin. It is a vital part of who we are called to be.

Kelly

A WORD for Women
 

163. My daughter just bought her first car. Like most first cars it has issues; the air conditioning needed to be recharged and it needs new tires. I say the air conditioned NEEDED to be recharged because my daughter took care of that already. While I was shopping, she sent me a text to ask me to pick up a can of A/C coolant. When I got home, she read the instructions and went out to work on her car. She had some issues and asked her dad for help; he hauled his exhausted body out of his chair and helped his daughter.

My husband has been chasing the Mad Mac food truck all over town trying to catch up to it and get some delicious mac & cheese. He keeps missing it. Today the Mad Mac truck was on campus so obviously, I got myself some. Then I grabbed some for my husband and drove over to his work so he could, for the first time, taste it.

My sister isn’t a dog person. I am. I love my dog and don’t mind 65 lb. snuggles and constant kisses. My sister appreciates my puppy from a distance, but doesn’t like the slobber or the affectionate mauling. I get anxious when I go places without the mutt, so my sister lets me bring her with me when I visit.

I have friends who are willing to take some time out of their schedules to listen to me whine about some stupid thing that happened to me during the day; I am willing to do the same for them.

My pastor makes it a point to chit chat with as many people as he can on a Sunday morning.

People step on their brakes so others can cross the street.

We do chores so that our families don’t live in pig sties, and our families sometimes help so that we’re not carrying the whole burden.

A driver gives a homeless person on the street corner a dollar or a sandwich or both.

What in the world am I talking about?

I’m talking about submission—actual, real, live, submission. Doesn’t all of this look like the common sense doings of non-narcissistic people? It kind of looks like what societal norms dictate. Be nice and take care of each other. Right?

Why then do we get all bent out of shape when the Bible tells us to submit to our husbands? Ephesians 5:22(23) tells us to “submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”

Are we? Are we submitting to either one? I think so. But we really dislike the word “submit.”

Try this instead: “Wives, acknowledge your husbands as you acknowledge the Lord.” or “Wives, defer to your husbands as you defer to the Lord.” Acknowledge, defer to, your husband’s needs; we do this every day for others.

When we let our bratty little sister bring her clumsy oaf of a pet to our house, we are deferring to her needs. We can do that for our husbands.

Kelly

A WORD for Women
 

164.  We don’t need your thoughts and prayers

guest post by Christine Wentzel

 

In the emotionally charged aftermath of the massacre at a concert in Las Vegas, there’s been an interesting backlash on the responding platitude, “You’re in our thoughts and prayers.”

 

One particular tweet in the Twitter war of words stood out more than the rest to me, “I have a priest for prayers and family and friends for their thoughts.” So much for believing in the Power at hand!

 

You can see hundreds of other such critiques at #thoughtsandprayers

 

There are many different ways a Christian can approach this backlash, but this piece will not be about righteousness indignation. I am coming at this with a mirror held up to my face.

 

Offer of prayers is only good if 1) a prayer is actually given, and 2) it’s a prayer of a righteous sinner who believes in the work of the only One who made them right with God, Jesus Christ.

 

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other

so that you may be healed.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16 (NIV)

 

As for sending our thoughts, I must break the news that humans are not telepathic. To the world’s assessment of our prayers, I admit to the truth of an ineffectual prayer life. They are basically saying they want action not mere words, it makes me pause to examine how my prayer life sometimes plays out.

 

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:6 (NIV)

 

I confess that when I used to hear someone asking for a “prayer warrior”, my first thought was “that counts me out.”

 

For years I have struggled with my prayer life. I come from a Christian background where going to God in prayer was either saved for prepared responses in Sunday worship or the hasty routine prayer over most meals or the desperate private stumbling in times of profound trouble. To tell someone I will pray for them more often than not meant I will save it until I could do it privately, if remembered. I rarely prayed on the spot let alone to their face.

 

“I’ll pray for you” has become a cliché to the world and even in some Christian circles because it is either taken with skepticism or on faith—especially if it’s not backed up with actions like praying for them on the spot, including a prayer “comment” in an online prayer request post or touching base with them after the request for prayer.

 

Over the years I have pushed past my fears of either making a spectacle out of myself or not having the right words to say or even believing the lie that my little prayers were not enough. Many times I’ve been guilty of saying or thinking, “All I can do is pray.” As if it’s a pathetic, last resort!

 

So to make some improvements, here are some of the steps I took:

 

  • When I promise to pray for someone, I stop everything and quietly send up a prayer. It is now a knee-jerk reaction.

  • Next is actually praying with the person—taking their hand or posting it on the spot doesn’t take a seminary degree, but it does take humility and sacrifice.

  • Now the challenge: remembering to follow-up with them. Whether one receives a lot of prayer requests or not, it’s not easy to follow-up; life has a way of getting in the way. However, my remedy is to ask people if I can pray for them—trying to be proactive and generous with the privilege I’ve been given by my Redeemer. It just might prompt a former prayer recipient to bring up their previous request.

 

Improving our prayer lives is an ongoing process. We can’t let our fears of messing things up or feeling self-conscious or even being lazy prevent a chance from opening a door to the power of God. We ARE prayer warriors!

 

Prayer:

Our one and only Comforter and Helper, because of Jesus Christ we have the blueprint for an effectual prayer life. Guide us with wisdom and confidence to approach our Father both publicly and privately in all circumstances. Thank you for giving us the words to start:

 

“This, then, is how you should pray:

 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

 

Amen.

Christine

A WORD for Women
 

165. That’s how big Eternity is. By guest Super Girl Christine Wentzel

When God allows lies to speak…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows His teachings to be banned…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows the martyrdom of His people…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows the distortion of marriage and sex, fathers abandoning their children, and mothers killing their unborn…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows diseases, natural disasters, and violence to affect his people…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allowed His innocent son Jesus to be sacrificed for our disobedience…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allowed Jesus to be raised from the dead so we can too…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows us mere immortals to tell this Good News in Jesus’ name…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows faith in Jesus to jump start dead hearts…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows Jesus’ Love to shine through our lives in a hate-filled world…

That’s how big Eternity is.

When God allows a stay of judgment until that Work is done…

That’s how big Eternity is.

The stakes are THAT high.

 

Yes, our momentary, light trouble produces for us an eternal weight of glory that is far beyond any comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17 (EHV)101718

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