Tag Archives: prayer

Last Year- past the end of my rope.

January of last year I found out I was expecting our second child. I was half excited and half terrified, my dream and my dread all wrapped up in one.

New Years Eve of 2015 I had prayed more earnestly than that whole year before that I would conceive again. It was the first time I wanted another baby more than I wanted to escape pain. I prayed, and believed God would answer that prayer in the following year. It was the end of a hard year. Over three hard years. I had so much physical pain with my first pregnancy, and that pain was only just starting to fade three years after my daughter was born. Pain that stabbed me every time I walked and prevented me from doing so much of life. Pregnancy causes severe back and pelvic pain for me, and experience told me that healing from it and getting back to life was a nearly impossible task.

That New Year’s Eve I wrote:

“I don’t know that I’ve ever been so low
As this year
Or as high,
It was a battle knowing no retreats
Though bombs like rain
Fell from the sky.”

I was still scared that God would answer my prayer for a baby at the end of a year in which I battled so hard and was left weary, needing rest. If He did, how was I going to survive it? I was so spent with pain, so ready to move beyond it, yet I wanted another child so desperately. I ended that poem praying:

“Here I am- empty without You,
Take me up
Upon Your shoulder bear,
This year I pray you will surprise me
But You must carry my care.
Be it dark
Provide for me a spark-
Be it bright
Then dance me in that light.” Continue reading

No Substitute For Prayer

Like most people in today’s fast pace information age, I like to keep my mind occupied. As a Christian, I generally occupy my mind with “Christian” stuff. I read Christian articles and books, listen to worship music or sermons during mundane tasks, write this blog, and study my bible. Philippians 4:8 says “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Using these activities as ways to turn my thoughts towards these things is good and helpful.

But lately, as I fold my laundry while listening to worship music, or dutifully read the latest popular Christian article (in place of the newspaper I guess), there’s been a nudging thought trying to push its way to the front of my mind. It’s this- with all this constant input, and all the noise (even though its good noise), how often am I sitting in silence to pray? Continue reading

Let Love Be Genuine

Romans 12:9 “Let love be genuine.”

Sincerely Loving Others, Even our Enemies

It would be much easier to walk through this world not caring. There is a certain appeal to being a detached, impenetrable person, avoiding hurt and never feeling the pains of others. Loving others can hurt. Many times I have found myself saying “I wish I didn’t care so much.” Continue reading

Prayer Answered by Crosses

I read this poem probably five years ago and have come back to it many times.  It’s easy to see the loving care of God when He answers our prayers the way we want them to be answered.  Sometimes we pray “Your will be done” but in our hearts we really mean “but please, please, please do this the way I want.” When things don’t turn out that way we feel like God didn’t hear us.  When times are extremely difficult we may be tempted to ask “Doesn’t He love me?”

This poem helped show me what it means to pray with the Glory of God as the highest aim in mind.  “Lord, whatever it takes- glorify yourself in me.  Ultimately Lord, do what it takes to receive the most glory from this situation.”  Oftentimes that process means God opens our eyes to our own sinfulness and uses trials to reveal areas where we need to grow in faith, love, hope and trust in the Lord.

Prayer Answered by Crosses
By John Newton

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray;
And he, I trust, has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that, in some favoured hour,
At once he’d answer my request,
And by his love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea, more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this? I trembling cried;
Wilt thou pursue this worm to death?
This is the way, the Lord replied
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I now employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st seek thy all in me.

Note: This post is 4 years old. God has continued to use this poem in my life and to my great delight I discovered that Indelible Grace has a wonderful rendition of this, which I wanted to share below. There are so many things I could say in reflection on this song, but truly, it speaks for itself.

"Through Many A Sleepless Night"

I have never slept well.  Even as a kid I don’t think I can remember having an easy time getting to sleep or staying asleep.  Sometimes this can be a very discouraging problem.  There are so many things a person wants to accomplish, and it can be very difficult to do with little (or sometimes even zero) sleep.  It is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining.  I know I’ve written about this before, but I thought I’d remind myself of a section of scripture that has always helped me, and if you have struggles to sleep it might help you too.

One scripture that I tend to read every morning after a hard night’s sleep is found in 2Corinthians 11:23-29 where the apostle Paul boasts in his weaknesses and sufferings.  He describes being lashed by the Jews and beaten with rods.  He was stoned and he was shipwrecked.  He was “in danger from rivers, danger from robbers” and danger from all the different people groups who would have loved to have him killed.  Then we see in verse 23 that he was “in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”    Continue reading

What I’ve Learned Lately Through Suffering: Speaking Openly and Honestly From The Heart

My greatest, and most overriding desire in all forms of trials I face, is no longer that they would be removed but rather that they would not be wasted.  If God would be pleased to use suffering to make me more like my Lord Jesus Christ, and if He would refine me in the fiery trials in a way that would  bring Him glory and draw men and woman, boys and girls to Him, then I will rejoice in my sufferings.  I might trip and fall along the way, and find myself in doubt and sorrow, but this I know: by Christ’s power He will be certain to bring me back to a place where I can rejoice and thank Him, even for my pain.  This I know, because He has done it for me time and time again and because His word assures me it is true.

I may sound bold, and strong to say this, but I can assure you I am the farthest thing from it.  If you knew how fiercely I have fought in the past against temptation, and how close I have come to caving in to it and heeding the advice of Job’s wife “Curse God and die (Job 2:10),” then you would know that I am nothing but a weak and empty vessel, in desperate need of God.  The only reason I can say such things as above is because of the slow and painful work God has done in me.

How pleased I am that God saw fit to bring trials into my life, when I thought that I was strong, and when I stood in shallow faith.  What a gracious and awesome God I serve, that He would treat me like a daughter!  I thank God that He would not withhold from me that which “for the moment…seems painful rather than pleasant, but later…yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). Continue reading