Archive for Prayer

Learning to Have Quiet Time

I am always trying to put God first in my life- first in my relationships, my finances, my dreams, my priorities, any and everything. But I didn’t realize that I was missing something so simple as putting him first in my day.

I’ve always heard my Christian friends talking about how they have quiet time with the Lord every morning for maybe 5 to 10 minutes. They talk to God and listen to see what his plan is for them for that day, they get encouraged or maybe even convicted.

I just recently started having quiet time with God a couple of weeks ago after I read O2 by Richard Dahlstrom. In the book, he reminded me that things such as silence and just listening for the voice of the Lord are hard disciplines to master, as we can get easily distracted with other thoughts about what we need to do. But he reminded me that it is so important to specifically make time for God during the day to listen to him and hear what he has to say.

Dahlstrom really inspired me because he said that even though sometimes he won’t hear anything from the Lord, other times he hears things that have a really big impact on his life. He said that impact wouldn’t be there if he hadn’t had the quiet time.

So I get up for school in the morning and get ready, and my mom drives me to school. I’m typically there between 7:25-7:30, and that’s when I have my quiet time. It can be from 5 to 15 or 20 minutes. I try to find a very quiet and empty place so I won’t be distracted by people or noise. I haven’t been doing this long and he hasn’t said anything to me yet but I feel inspired and a little more prepared for the day when I do. I’ll pray for my own needs and for the needs of others and do a lot of listening and waiting in between. I talk to him openly and honestly about everything I feel, I don’t hide anything from him. I ask for encouragement and for guidance throughout the day. I ask him if there is anything he wants me to do or to focus on or to remember.

It can be very difficult because I am so used to going to school and just starting to do whatever I feel like doing. It’s very difficult to put me second but I am doing it anyway. God should be first in everything, he will take care of us when we do put him first. So I am working hard, and learning to be very, very patient.

I know it will all be worthwhile.

A Prayer

We should be careful to make sure that our prayers to God are not just words to fill empty space. I read A Prayer by Gary Block. It talked about how people sometimes pray to God, just using repetitive prayer to ask God for things.

Usually, these prayers are part of tradition. Like for example, at my house, we have a dinner prayer that typically goes “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food…” and you should already know the rest.

Sometimes the meanings get lost in all the repetition. We say the prayers because we feel like we should say them or just because we always say them before we eat. But we should say prayers for more than just that.

Why do you pray?

I pray to express my love for the Lord. To thank Him for blessing me with food, food that many others are not fortunate to have. I thank Him for my family and the relationships I have with my friends. I pray to express my joy of having His strength in my life.

When I pray, I take care to make sure that I am not just saying empty words. I pray as if I am His friend, and I am speaking to His heart, like a friend would speak to another friend.

Some people would argue that prayer doesn’t work. But I would say otherwise. I think the more we put our heart into it, the more we have faith that God will take care of us when we pray, the more intently He listens to our prayers.

Think about it! If we respect Him and love Him enough to pray sincerely, it makes sense that He would return that love back to us. Why would He listen to a prayer from an insincere heart? Why should He listen to an apathetic voice? Voices that seem distant in their love and attitude?

If I had a friend and they were insincere and fake, I would not waste my time on them. But if they really cared about me and took time to really talk to me, I would return the favor.

When I go to bed at night, I try to make sure my prayers are not mundane mantras that I say over and over again to no avail. I want to let God know what’s on my mind, on my heart. I ask Him for what I need and try to remain humble and ask for what others need, too.

That’s another important part of prayer: humility. Realizing that the needs of others sometimes should be put above our own needs. Instead of praying for more money or clothes, I might pray that my friend stops feeling sick or that my sister stops fighting with dad, or that someone in poverty might receive some grace from God and have their physical and emotional needs met.

It can be a battle, I know. But we must fight against meaningless prayers and be sure we are sincere with our words. Because I can assure you, God will return that sincerity. He may answer your prayers in big ways, or small ways that are barely noticeable, but that still make a difference. He could answer it soon after you ask, or months or even years after you ask. He could answer it in a way that you don’t expect Him to answer it, which is typically how He answers my prayers. However, one thing always remains the same: He is always willing to listen to a loving and caring heart.

In the Midst of the Pain, I Grow

Following Jesus is hard. I constantly put aside what I want to try to please him. I find myself falling over in his love, wondering if I can pray harder, run faster, say more, draw more, write more to tell about Jesus. I feel myself immersed in his message, pulling my hair out to share about his good news, even when I’m tired. Constantly tired, defeated, but I push on.

Lately, I feel like my heart has been kind of on the rocks. I love God with all my heart, but he has been silent with me for so long, I desperately want him to talk to me, because I’ve been in a lot of pain. I want him to explain why Lacey Mosley gets married or my friend hears God speak to him or why everyone seems to be on their way, following the path God leads them to, and why I feel left behind.

I ask God every day why I feel empty, unloved, left out. He doesn’t respond. I cry and my heart breaks, and he doesn’t make a peep. I know he loves me, but I don’t understand why I am in so much pain. I look back: what sin had I committed? Where did I go wrong? Why is Perry Noble or my friends so much more special than me? Why will he help them with problems that seem so tiny, while I have problems that honestly make me want to shoot myself?

I hate to admit it, because I want God to actually talk to me like he has done in the past, but I hate admitting that even when he will not please me by talking this way, he is in in actuality talking to me all the time. He speaks to all of us all the time. How? He speaks through his word- through the bible.

I admit, it seems soooo unfair. Why do other people get the easy way out, when I have to dig deep to find the meaning myself, do the research? How can I handle doing so when my heart is in pieces, when it’s so hard to focus without bursting into tears because of my emptiness? I don’t know. I find myself constantly frustrated and furious with God because of this. But when I force myself through the pain, and read my book of quotes from the bible, it helps to heal my heart a lot. I’ll be hating how God is treating me, and I’ll look up something about being depressed and find:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames hurt you.” Isaiah 43:2

“His anger lasts only a moment, but his kindness lasts for a lifetime. Crying may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“My friends, do not be surprised at the terrible trouble which now comes to test you. Do not think that something strange is happening to you. But be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings so that you will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

“I will give them a crown to replace their ashes, and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow, and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness. Then they will be called Trees of Goodness, trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.” Isaiah 61:3

And each time I read these little sections, I find myself uncovering pieces of God’s heart.

My heart bomb about to explode with anger gets defused little by little. It seems so freakin’ impossible, when all I want to do is hurt God like he has watched me get hurt. But each time I read, his spirit of peace is like weights on my soul- holding me down and grounding me in his outstanding love again. It’s like when I read, I see the true face of God. I feel I can dig myself out of all my impossible holes I dig myself in. Even holes I get stuck in that I have not dug for myself.

A characteristic of my suffering heart lately is that I feel so fragile and that I am certainly about to break at any moment. But somehow when I am floating aimlessly in a sea of confusion, these words anchor my soul:

“God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient. And you will joyfully give thanks to the Father who has made you able to have a share in all that he has prepared for his people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:11-12

“He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak. Even children become tired and need to rest, and young people trip and fall. But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.” Isaiah 40:29-31

“I will not leave you all alone like orphans; I will come back to you.” John 14:18

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“If my father and mother leave me, the Lord will take me in.” Psalm 27:10

This love anchors my soul, and I find myself waking up on God’s boat, knowing I am traveling in the right direction. I was lost at sea, and this truth and his unbelievably glorious and strong heart pulls me in.

A lot of times, I used to feel like it was crap that the bible could heal your broken heart. But when I’m in so much pain that any sane person would consider it too much and kill themselves to get out of it, I trust in the Lord, and just as I think he is about to let me die, he pulls me in and brings me back to life. When I feel like I am absolutely without a shadow of a doubt breathing my last, he breathes life into me.

The Lord is mysterious in this way. You always expect him to be there for you, but not quite in the way you had in mind. The same way bandages cover up cuts and bruises, his words take the sting out of the unending pain, and I can make it through another day. I get so freakin’ furious that I can’t be like everyone else, even to the point that I wanted to strangle him. But I pull tight to his grace, and wrap myself in humility, and take on this challenge to be different in the Lord.

The bible heals and challenges you and helps to strech and grow you. It reveals the very character of God. Take time to read it for maybe 10 or 20 minutes every morning. Pray that the Lord will reveal his heart to you, and show you what he wants you to see through reading. If you are in a lot of pain, look for sections that talk about healing. There is always something to find.

I’m praying for all you guys. God bless you all! 🙂

*The bible quotes books I’m reading: GOD’S PROMISES for every day

What’s the Point of Christ?

This blog is mainly about Jesus. Clearly. Hence the name. But why? Why do I decide to put such an emphasis on him? Well, as he says in the bible:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Basically, he’s saying that no one can get to heaven and be with God the Father except for by believing in him. They have to have faith in him, believing that he died on the cross to pay for all our sins once and for all, and that he rose from the grave 3 days later.

They have to acknowledge that they are sinful and can be forgiven by Jesus, if they ask for it. They need to proclaim it with their hearts and their mouths that Jesus is Lord:

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:8-10

Remember it is about a change in the heart. A prayer alone cannot save you, but only if you truly believe in your heart will you be saved. But if you do this, you will be saved. You must take the leap of faith and begin to trust Jesus. Trust that he will catch you when you fall, when you make mistakes.

Some people act like there are many ways to get to God, but I only know one. Through Christ himself. We were separated from God because of our sins, because of what Adam and Eve had did in the garden, that lead to the downfall of everyone.

And because God is just and perfect and we are not because of sin, we truly deserve only to go to hell. But by God sending his only son, Jesus Christ, to the world, he gave us a chance to get to heaven.

Christ lived a perfect life, obeying all of God’s laws, and then he was crucified, carrying all our sins with him to the cross, and he died a perfect death. His rising three days later showed that he had defeated death, and thus, defeated sin in us.

This means by believing in Jesus, he forgives our sins, and our slate is whiped clean, and because Jesus gives us a clean slate, we are allowed to get into heaven. But we have to believe in our hearts that he died for us and rescued us from our sinful selves.

“Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace,” Ephesians 1:5-7

He became our sacrifice to God, so we can get into heaven. And my life was jacked up before I knew him. Everything was going south, nothing made sense. I literally have never felt so much peace than when I am in Christ as opposed to being in the world. Millions of dollars could not match the peace I have found. I would choose to die for him on the spot than to have a materialistic life without him.

He healed my broken heart and satisfied me. He gave me peace in the place of ceasless worry. He was a friend, holding out a hand to help lift me up, as opposed to people in the world who conversely only ever pushed me down. He did not care about all the crap I did, he just wanted to love me, so he did. And I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for that, for a friend like him.

“You gave me life and showed me kindness,
and in your care you watched over my life.” Job 10:12

But there is only one way to get to God, through Christ alone. Any other way won’t get you into heaven. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and face the facts. Anyone could try to argue this, but I will never argue with the peace I have found and the loving relationship I have gained in the name of Christ.

That, my friends, is what this blog is all about. 🙂

What Is The Most Important Prayer of All?

Why do we pray? To get the things that we want, the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, perfect job, perfect life? Do we pray that other people heal? Do we pray that we get what someone else wants?

People pray for all kinds of things. Sometimes we pray for ourselves and sometimes we pray for others. How do we determine what we should pray for? Prayer is basically asking God to fulfill some wish for something you have in your heart. The problem is, we as people are not perfect, and so we can pray selfishly or hatefully and end up not praying for the right things.

At Anderson University, a man was speaking at Chapel one day and he said, ”instead of praying for what we want, we need to let Jesus have a prayer to us that we can fulfill for him.” In other words, when we pray for what we want, we may pray for the wrong things. But because God is so much greater than us, he knows what needs to happen for true miracles to take place. We can pray for things that get us nowhere, but he could pray for us to do things that help truly change the lives of people.

So let him ask for what he wants from you, and let that be his ‘prayer’ to you. Fulfill his dreams by listening to him. And by fulfilling his dreams, we ultimately fulfill our own. This is all because God has good plans for our lives.

Listen to what he asks of you, and be obedient enough to do it. As a father, he wants what is best for us. Listening to him leads to what is best for us. Don’t listen to his prayers and we end up screwing ourselves over. Pray the Lord allows his will to be done- that he accomplishes everything he needs to accomplish through us.

My friends, the most important prayer of all is the Lord ’s prayer, of course.

Another note on prayer: If your prayer is not contradictory to his word (ex. Praying to get lucky and have sex when you aren’t married, when his word says we need to wait until we are married), he is often very willing to fulfill a prayer. But when you pray, you must have one thing: faith! He feels this way: if you are bold enough to pray to him, at least have enough respect for him to believe that he can fulfill your wishes. You need to trust him. He says that with faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. So he will move your mountains if you have some faith in him!! 🙂

It’s important to try not to pray selfishly, for like a million dollars, but be humble and care for others more than you care for yourself, and he certainly will hear your prayers.