Friday, November 21, 2014

The Lotus

Sometimes the worst of times are designed by the enemy to get you to give up on God's clear direction because he knows of the powerful and wondrous blessings that are ahead.
Chip Ingram
The Invisible War

From the depths of a muddy pit comes the most beautiful flower.
The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud ~ the obstacles of life and its suffering. The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life.
Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion,
we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.

 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Romans 5:3-4

The secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward is eternal.
Rick Warren
The Purpose Driven Life

A very special Thank You to my Facebook friend, Gail,
who inspired this post.
Until Next Time
Wishing You Many Blooming Days


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Seven Steps of Prayer

This is a handout from MeadowCrest Church, I don't refer to it everyday, but I do read it occasionally ~ keeping it fresh in my mind. 

1. Preparation ~ The Cleansing of our Spirits
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts.   Psalm 139:23
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteouness."
I John 1:9
Confess specific sin.  Accept God's forgiveness.
"Create  in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10
2.  Praise ~ Worshipping a Holy God
"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy name.  Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits."  Psalm 103:1-2
We praise Him for who He is:
His grace, love, power, holiness, goodness, patience.
We thank Him for what He has done and is going to do:
Material Blessings ~ jobs, home, family
Physical Blessings ~ health, strength
Spiritual Blessings ~ church, Christian friends

3.  Power ~ Filled with the Holy Spirit
"We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has already given us. 
I Corinthians 2:12
Lord, fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit.  Make my mind like the mind of Christ.    (2 Corinthians 3:16)  May Your thoughts be my thoughts.
4.  Protection
Ephesians 6:10-17 ~
Belt of Truth ~ protection of Satan's deception.
Breastplate of Righteousness ~ protection from envy, jealousy, deceit, pride, easily offended, and desires not pleasing to God.
Shoes ~ protection for the direction God wants you to go.
Shield of Faith ~ protection from all Satan's distractive darts, including: fear, doubt and unbelief.
Helmet of Salvation ~ protects thought life.
Sword of the Spirit ~ (Word of  God) Protects and provides discernment for dealing with all that we face in life.

5.  Pleasure ~ We are Created to Please God
1.  We please Him by faith - Hebrews 11:6
2.  We please Him by bearing fruit - John 15:16
"Lord, I want to serve You, bearing fruit for Your glory.  Help me to lose my focus on self and live my life for Your glory."
6.  Peace
"Lord, let me have the peace that only you can give."
Philippians 4:7

7.  Petitions
My family's need
The needs of others
(intercessors - I Timothy 2:1-4)
* Church
* Spiritual Leaders
* Country
* Missions
* People I touch regularly that don't know God
* Be specific
My Needs
The prayer that is born of meditation upon the Word of God is the prayer that soars upward most easily to God's listening ear.
R. A. Torrey
How To Pray (1900)