Just Pray

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“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1-2 ‭MSG‬‬

Prayer doesn’t have to be eloquent to be powerful or lengthy to have consequence.

You just need to pray.

Every way you know how, for everyone you know.

It isn’t a test to pass or a class to take, it is prayer.

There is no wrong way to pray, just pray.

The power of prayer is that it connects you with a powerful God who loves you so much that He took care of all that hinders you from connecting to Him. Every fear, doubt, stumble, mistake, misstep or mindset that separates you from God, Jesus took on the cross.

Every judgment, justice, neglect or wrong done to you by others, Jesus took on the cross. This is why you can be unhindered in prayer for others and honest in prayer for yourself.

Let no excuse stop you today from getting in a safe quiet place and praying, even for five minutes.

The Connection Point

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One day when my son was about 11 years old, he came into our bedroom with his shoulders slumped and said, “The charger is broken- it won’t charge the laptop and it just died”.

My husband brought the laptop into our bedroom and the first thing he checked all the connections on the cord. A few minutes later, I noticed that he had put the laptop down and didn’t seem too worried about it.

“Did you fix it?” I asked.

“Oh, yea I did”, he said. “The connection just needed to be cleaned. It was just dirty. After I cleaned it, it connected just fine and now it is charging.”

It was that simple, a clogged connection.

On our way to church this weekend, Justin’s phone wouldn’t charge…for the same reason. He cleaned it out and it started to work again.

Your connection point to God is your heart.

Your heart is your connection place to God. It is where the power of God fills you and the grace of God heals you.  Your heart gets clogged and dirty from the wear and tear of life, with bits of small lies believed or big judgments perceived getting in the crevices.

Your heart needs to be cleaned often.

Forgiveness asked for and given.

Mercy asked for and given.

Tough love asked for and given.

When life seems like it’s just not working right, check your connection point to God and ask Him to clean it.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It is amazing what a difference it makes when your heart is clear and your connection with God is restored to full power. 

Love in Action

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“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

1 John‬ ‭3‬:‭18‬ NIV

The Greek word for “love” here is agape. It is the description of God.  A love that gives generously, cares first, forgives first, extends endless second chances and never gives up.  It is the word that describes who God is: uncontainable, unrelenting, unending, unchanging LOVE.

Love is heaven’s greatest treasure and earth’s most desperate need.

It is why Jesus came to earth. He brought Himself, then took upon Himself what separates us from receiving this love. Then He rose again to make it available for all who would receive Him.

God has put people in your life that need to see His love in action.

Let God love through you.

Love them authentically, without expecting anything back.

Find a need and fill it for them.

Forgive first, not because they deserve it. 

Give them a second chance.

Don’t give up on them and ask God to show you how He sees them.

Love founded in truth and put to action is the most powerful force in the world.

Who has God given you to love?

How are you going to love them today?

Forgiveness is…

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Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for itwhatever it is.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God.

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them.

Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with your heart.

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them.

They don’t even have to know that you have them released them to God.

What you have to do is make the choice to forgive them today and remake that choice every day after.

Eventually the feeling of releasing them to God will line up with the decision.

One day you will be able to remember what happened without reliving the pain what happened.

“When we forgive an offense, we set a prisoner free, only to discover that we were that prisoner”.

– Freedom Groups, Week 7

One Step at a Time

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“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”     ‭‭

2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Walking is a pretty mundane activity.
It’s not as glamorous as running.
I’ve always wanted to be a runner but am definitely not one.  I am simply a very good walker.
Walking is what you learn early by falling down a lot.
It is what gets you to the kitchen in the morning for your first cup of coffee.
It is basic and boring and taken for granted unless you can’t do it anymore.
Charles Spurgeon said,
“That man has not yet learned the true spirit of Christianity who is always saying, ‘I can preach a sermon by faith.’ Yes, sir, but can you make a coat by faith? ‘Can you cook a dinner by faith?”.
The real work of life isn’t using your gifts by faith but living your life by it: Paying your bills, doing your job, cooking dinner, cleaning the toilet.
It is in these small necessary everyday things that God’s power is revealed not just in the great things but in the small ordinary ones. 
It is when God’s grace and power are evident in washing the dishes when you are tired and spent.
It is when you stop yourself from going all buck wild on the attitude you just received from your teenager.
It is when the holiday isn’t working out to be what you hoped for but you are able to roll with the punches and still enjoy the special moments that would otherwise be buried in resentment and disappointment.
When what you see does not dictate how you behave.
That is when faith leads your life instead of sight. 
It isn’t very exciting but it is totally life-giving.
Don’t worry about running your faith race today, just focus on walking it out faithfully.
Love you.
Today may you walk slowly, steadily and consistently in faith in who Jesus is, what He has done and in who He is re-creating you to be.

The Key

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“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Real strength doesn’t come from pretending you have it but in admitting that you don’t.

Real power comes from knowing you can’t do this on your own and that you need help.

Needing Jesus every day is not admitting defeat.

It is the key to victory.

Your Freedom is Worth It

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God doesn’t say, “it will be easy” nor does He say ” there will be no battles”.

He says:

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No matter what is happening around you, you are not alone and you have God’s presence within you.

Rest in His love, power, grace, peace, knowledge, goodness and faithfulness.

Your journey to freedom is not going to be easy but it is going to be worth it.