The Best Time To Pray

“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”    Jonah 2:1 NIV

When is the best time to pray?

– when you are running from God.

– when you have been disobedient and rebellious.

– when you have done your own thing, your way and find yourself in the center of a devastating storm.

– when you realize that God is BIGGER than your fear and STRONGER than the storm.

– when you are in the very center of something that is far bigger than you and you have no power to get out of it.

– when you are ready to let go of your preconceived ideas of what God is calling you to and willing to serve wherever you are, with whatever God has given you, right now. 

When is the best time to pray?

NOW… whatever your “now” looks like.

In the Storm

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”  

Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭24‬ NIV

Since living in Southern Florida, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon.  

Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. 

Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.

The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fishermen feared for their lives.

And what was Jesus doing?

He was sleeping

The storm did not disturb him.

How?

Jesus knew three things:

  1. That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
  2. Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
  3. He knew that His mission was not over yet.

The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest. 

Rest in God’s sovereignty:  He knows the moment you will cross into eternity.  This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.

Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.

Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.

Press On

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.PHILIPPIANS 3:12 NIV

Today, I want to challenge you to let go of:

– trying to earn God’s love (He already loves you).

– your fear of failure (you have nothing to prove).

– perfectionism (you have nothing to fear).

– habits that sabotage your growth (you don’t need them anymore).

– trying to control everything (you can’t anyway and it’s exhausting to try).

And I want to encourage you to take hold of:

– God’s grace.

– your faith in Jesus.

– the vision Jesus has for your life.

– the hope of love’s transformation.

– trusting Jesus with it all.

Jesus will not give up on you or let go of you.

He loves you so much that He will continually press you to press on to become who He has created you to be.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12 ‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Let go of what is holding you back and go after with all your heart all that God has for you.

Stress Won’t Help

I don’t know what you’re facing today but I want to tell you that stressing is not the solution to it.

Striving is not the solution either.

Trusting God is.


Surrender is the solution.

Surrender yourself to God.
Surrender your situation to God.
Surrender your fears to God.

This isn’t about giving up but it is very much about giving over of yourself into God’s hands.

Not because you understand how God can work a miracle but by believing He can work a miracle.

Surrender is about trusting Him to be who He is – your loving Father. 

God assured us in Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you, we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?

Your Father is here, ready to help.

Stress won’t help you but God will.

You can trust Him with what seems impossible.

What do you need help with today?

Burden Bearer

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”PSALM‬ ‭68‬:‭19‬ NIV

Every day also brings old memories that linger, mistakes still bearing consequences, fears that refuse to die, emotional baggage that demands space and attention.

Every day brings new choices to make, new challenges to face, new fears to conquer, new burdens to bear.

God will bear your burdens every day. 

Old, new, heavy or light.

Everyday.

You may not know what burdens will be thrust upon you today but God does. 

He stands with open arms and strong shoulders to bear them for you.

What burden do you need God to bear today?

The Journey To A Sacred Place

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” PSALM 84:5 NIV

A pilgrimage is the journey to a sacred place.

A pilgrimage for a Jesus follower is not about going somewhere that God has been before, it is inviting Him into where you are:

Your home.

Your job.

Your relationships.

Every place you invite God into becomes sacred.

When you walk with Jesus, He will give you what you need for every step: His abundant love, cross-forged forgiveness, sustaining strength, perfect peace, deep joy, and unrelenting hope right where you are.

Transformation lives on the way with Jesus.

It is a journey that will test your strength, challenge your tenacity and grow your faith. 

What do you need to invite Him into where you are today?

He is Peace

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper.”

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” here in the original Hebrew is “shalom.” 

It has become one of my favorite words. 

At its core, “Shalom” means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

I think that the most difficult moment to look God full in the face is when you are broken. 

When you have failed or fallen or lay wounded at another’s hand.

That is exactly when you need Him the most.

That is when you need to see the face of God and how He sees you.

That is when you need to see His love, mercy and grace as He gazes at you.

You need to know that when He looks you full in the face, He is looking at someone He loves, believes in and will put back together through the power of His love.

May God look you full in the face and make you prosper.

Shalom

He is the peace you are looking for.

Dare to Trust

“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”ROMANS‬ ‭4:17-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Dare to trust God wherever you are and in whatever you are facing. 

Even if you’re feeling hopeless.

Stay on the journey.

Though everything in Abraham’s life seemed to indicate otherwise, he chose to focus on the power of God and not on the impossibility of the promise God had given him.

I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed and struggled with massive doubt. I am sure that there were days that he was holding on to a thread of hope, he was human.

God will not take away your humanity or your emotions.

His plan is to work through both.

God has called you to trust Him, lean on Him and rely on Him as you walk the road before you. 

Stay on the road.

Keep going.

Walk forward with the confidence that you may not know where you are going, but God does. 

His promises come with His power. 

Power to base your faith on what God can do, not on what you can see.

Hold on, my friend, you may have only had a thread of hope but in Christ, that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear

Wrapped in His Embrace

“You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.”

Colossians 2:9–10 MSG

My prayer for you today is that you will bring the lies that haunt you to Jesus and allow yourself to be wrapped in the embrace of God’s grace.

I am praying that the brand of “broken and worthless” will be destroyed by the enormity of His love for you.

I am praying that today you would know you are valued not because you are good but because you are chosen by Jesus for a life of love.

I am praying that this minute you will know that you are forgiven not because you deserve it but because you ask for it.

I am praying that you will live cherished not because you love Him well, but because He loves you eternally.

Wait For It

“But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything.  Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
Isaiah 30:18

When the boys were in elementary school they got out at 2:20 pm and I would try to get to the school at the latest by 2:00 pm so I could get a good spot in the pickup line. If you have ever experienced the stress of picking your child up in the craziness that is the end of an Elementary school day, you know how important this is.

One day I had to pick them up early from school and as we walked from classrooms to the car, Kyle looked at all the cars waiting in line and said: “Oh, they are already here?” Then he said, “I thought you just got here right when school is out.” I said, “Nope, if I waited until then I’d be way in the back of the line, so I get here early so I can be right on time for you.”

As I pulled in to wait in the pickup line the next day, I thought about what Kyle said and how we can think the same thing about God- that He just shows up when we see Him.

Just as I got to the school early so that I could be “on time” for the boys, so God is working in ways we can’t see or understand.

My friend, God is not finished with you.

Just because you can’t see what He is doing in your life right now, doesn’t mean He is not there.

He is.

He is working and preparing a way for you.

Rest in this truth and wait for all God has for you.