Category Archives: Prayer

Day 3 …. Brave Moms, brave kids…reflections and give away!

Here we are on Day 3 of what has turned into quite a week here at the Journey…not only am I attempting to steer all of you into the possibility of winning the drawing for a copy of this book Brave Moms, brave kids to give or keep…

God answered prayers for someone to help me with the tech side of it all and my new friend Robin has been busy, busy…fixing up the back end of this little slice of the internet.

There are all kinds of changes and if you subscribe by email...spoiler alert…we changed systems yesterday, so you may get TWO for a couple of days…but that will end.

If you haven’t subscribed…easy peasy…just enter your name and email in the sidebar <3

And now on to the message for today….

Another chapter in my copy of Brave Moms, brave kids by Lee Nienhuis that is completely marked up with arrows and circles and underlings would be Chapter 9….Vigilant Prayer

She uses one of my go to passages from the years I prayed early in the morning while three little and then teen Reimer kiddos slept in the rooms upstairs.

Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger a the head of every street.    Lamentations 2:19

Back in those days, with their activities sometimes overwhelming our calendar…

and the influences of others outside the walls of our home becoming increasingly more powerful…

with personalities developing and independence from us being guided in the right direction…

during crucial relationship development with friends and mentors we did not know well…

prayer was just that.

My crying out did go through the watches of the night and the lifting of my hands was done in the wee hours of the morning over coffee and a dogeared Bible and spiral notebook …. both getting generously marked up with my pen, my tears and a few drops of coffee for good measure.

I could see clearly in those days that we would never be able to navigate their journey from tots to adults if God did not step in mightily.

Their mom was too emotional…too hypersensitive…too prone to bury her head in the sand…too reactionary…too frail herself to be the guide….too afraid of conflict…too selfish…too addicted to comfort.

And so pain and lack drove me to cry out for the help we all needed to bring them up in the fear and training of the Lord.

Seasons when things are going well…those didn’t usually drive me to my knees. And when you have three children spanning six years of development…there will be a measure of discomfort mixed in with all the fun.

And so, as Lee points out, we can look at the increasing opposition of the enemy at work through deceptions and shiftings in every area of life these days…home, community, schools, government, world…and yes..the church…and see that God is calling us to a new level of vigilance in prayer.

“With the increasing ferocity of the Enemy in our generation, and with his nasty strategy of picking on our children, attacking our marriages, and deceiving the people we love, we cannot afford to be wimpy prayer warriors. We must become vigilant in every way, recognizing that the way through is to stand firmly in the power of Christ and pray, pray, pray.”  Lee Nienhuis Brave Moms, brave kids  page 119

Lee has a Facebook page for Brave Moms and recently I watched a live video she did showing how she prays the Scriptures.

After writing the passage at the top of her notebook, she began to meditate on what it said about God…what it shows of His heart and His desires for us.

Then she marked off sections for each of her family and she prayed and mediated on the Word as she applied it to each individual.

You could tell it was early morning and at first she said she wasn’t going to show her own early morning face to us…yet eventually…one by one….little ones of her flock began waking up and joining her on the couch.

As she shifted her recording device, you could see them snuggling in with blankets and bedhead and such as she continued to show us her notes.

She allowed us to see the real her…praying real prayers over real kids…warrior prayer.

Vigilant prayer.

Honest prayer from a mom who loves the children the Lord has blessed her with.

This is the most powerful force known to man.

Prayer from a humbled, genuine, Jesus-loving, Christ-Following, obedient heart will change the tide of a culture that will lie to our children and tell them they don’t need God and then leave them abandoned to die.

But God.

He will not leave us or forsake us.

Now more than ever…we must ask Him to stir us up to vigilant, watchful, joy-filled, confident prayer for this generation …. for the babies and for the great grandparents…for all to know Him and to know His power available to those who belong to Him through the blood of His Child…His Son…Jesus Christ <3

Be blessed today and remember … if you want to enter your name in the drawing to get a copy of Brave Moms, brave kids:

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Because this is what is on my heart and mind this morning <3

You all know I love pictures that tell a story. Like this one says that at the time I took it, a bunch of people I love so much were walking in their sock feet all over our house.

Eating and playing and laughing and loving.

But today I saw a picture of empty shoes that will haunt me throughout the hours and I will lift prayers for some feet I do not know.

Young girls…over a hundred of them…left worn and dusty sandals scattered across yet another school yard in Nigeria.

Another abduction leaving parents wailing and asking the government to act.

It is beyond comprehension that this continues and yet is buried on the back page of the local paper in a tiny paragraph.

I had to google BBC to get more of the story.

So today, don’t forget to pray for them.

Pray for the over a hundred of the 276 girls taken in 2014 who never returned home.

Cry out to God on behalf of those who have no advocate around the world except for Him.

Blessings dear ones.

Your prayers avail much.

Do not cease to cry out for those who have no voice in this world  <3

Hello to you on a soggy Wednesday <3

Nineteen seconds.

That’s how often our sump pump has been running since yesterday.

Every. Nineteen. Seconds.

And yes, I am counting.

Because there is an OCD bent to my brain anyway and when something is happening that rhythmically, besides my breathing and heart beat…I start counting.

I may need therapy soon.

So as I tap out letters into words and try not to count…three, four..ok…sorry…I’m back…I am sharing a quick thought and then I am going to get dressed as fast as I can and go find a dry and quieter place to ride out the next few hours.

On one of our not-raining days over the weekend, Russ went out in the morning for a run and came right back in the house.

Apparently one of us named me had left the garage door open all night.

At our old house, we had a mutual agreement with the family across the street that involved a text around bedtime if either of us had forgotten this little task sometime during the day.

We have not set up said arrangement here and thus…it went unnoticed throughout our sleeping hours.

I felt strangely vulnerable and exposed since nocturnal animals seem drawn to us like a moth to a flame and I cringed thinking of what critter may have visited whilst we had snoozed.

I also felt bad that I had been the last one in and failed to press the button, leaving our house open throughout the night.

I acknowledged the neglect and carelessness on my part and prayed to do a better job  to keep things secure around our home.

There has been a recent flap in the media calling into question if Jesus can speak to people and I tell you, I think He does because I often feel an impression of a voice in my spirit and I would say this is how He talks to me.

As I was chiding myself for my mistake, I recognized that the Lord might be taking this opportunity to remind me how even more important it is to be mindful of “spiritually securing” the perimeters each day.

My prayers for Russ and for me, for our marriage and for our children, for our grandchildren….for the places we work and the areas we serve in ministry…for the spheres of influence God has designated to us…these avail much in securing what God has entrusted to my care.

Sometimes I get busy just going from day to day and while I do think of my family and friends, I can find myself in a rut of vain repetitions that do not qualify as prayer.

You see, counting is not my only problem. I also default to worry and fear when I feel threatened or I perceive danger for someone I love.

And this is not a biblical nor spiritually mature response.

Securing the borders around my inheritance and yet leaving room for God to move and work in ways outside of and inside of the circumstances of our lives requires diligence and vigilance in praying His protection even in the midst of His permissive will.

It means having open communication about my thoughts while seeking His thoughts regarding the days of our lives.

Prayer helps me set up appropriate boundaries while keeping doors open when needed.

Prayer invites God to do what only He can do and seeks Him to instruct me/equip me/guide me/correct me as to what my part involves.

So I am developing a new habit before I go to bed.

As I check the three doors that would allow intruders access to our home, I pray over the homes of those I love so dearly that the Lord would be a hedge around them as they sleep.

I pray for wisdom for each of us to know how to set appropriate boundaries while also being willing to  swing wide the doors of hearts to share the love of Christ with others.

It is a balance I can only achieve with the help of Jesus.

I am so thankful He speaks to us if we will have ears to listen <3

The long road that leads to the end of ourselves <3

The handful of comments I have received from this series – whether typed or spoken to me in passing – have got me swelled up with tears so often.

Satan likes to wield what’s known in the boxing world as a sucker punch.

And even when we are purposely wearing God’s armor, that blow can knock the wind out of us as it slams up against that shield of faith.

The armor is divine but the warrior wearing it is 100% human and we can reel and stagger when the enemy roars hard in our life.

But if, in the midst of recovery, we can gather enough breath to ask God this one prayer…

Lord, don’t waste an ounce of this season….

this is a prayer He delights to answer.

If you will fight the good fight through the ups and downs of your very human reactions and responses….through your fits and through your rants…through your breakdowns and your meltdowns…through the surrender and the temptation to retaliate…God will work in ways that not only bless you but make you a blessing to others.

But you sure don’t feel like it a lot of days.

Because as I stated yesterday and will declare til the day I am standing perfected BY HIM…before Him…

I am … you are … a WORK. IN. PROGRESS.

On the road to healing we will stumble many a time.

We will not always be gracious to the ones who have wounded us.

We will not always rejoice with our friends who are getting more while we mourn our less.

We will not always want to forgive and forget.

We will rehearse the wounding.

We will allow our minds to play out scenes that we feel should be happening if everyone had played fair.

We will struggle to find joy and contentment with what we do have because we can’t shake off what we don’t have.

And yes…we will then beat ourselves up for all of the above and we will look around at our friends and mentors and think how much better each of them would be handling this and we will sink into an even deeper level of recognizing our failures.

So we need to remember this other forgotten aspect of prayer.

Confession…recognizing before God what He has known all along…our humanity…our frailty…our tendency to think that we should be better than all of those things I just mentioned…and acknowledging that we really are not.

Repentance…saying it is not okay to be that way when we see it in ourselves…no longer excusing our bad behavior in the grief process by saying it’s just the way we are and God loves us anyway…reversing the things above, literally….

Lord, I want to be gracious towards those who have caused me pain, because YOU were gracious to me when I was apart from you

Lord, give me joy and gladness when my friends receive the blessings I have lost. Help me to be happy for them and to rejoice with them in true fellowship.

Lord, you have forgiven me much and cast my sin and iniquity into the ocean of forgetfulness and mercy. I choose to forgive and forget because of this grace you have extended to me.

Lord, help me to stop myself when I am tempted to go over the details of the whole event long after You have asked me to lay it down. Like someone pulling out old home movies and cherishing the good times and then mourning the bad, I repent of dwelling in what no longer is and I choose to live in the present. I will actively engage in today and trust you for tomorrow. You were always writing the future and You have not changed.

Lord, I will not use my vain imagination to compare myself to others and waste precious time today conjuring up images of how well they would be doing my journey. My friends and mentors are fellow travelers. By assuming they could carry my backpack better than I am, I am robbing myself and them of the camaraderie we should be sharing as we link arms and help each other along.

Forgiveness…by faith I am forgiven my gaffs and faltering steps as I progress through the season.

By faith, I find my prayer to be a cry for mercy…and in His answer, I am enveloped in peace.

I am reminded in closing of one of my favorite teachings from Beth Moore on the difference between Satan and Jesus and it is also a boxing reference.

She said once that Satan is like the boxer who targets his opponent in a place of wounding. He pounds relentlessly into the open cut under the eye. He shows no mercy and will repeatedly attack in the place of weakness.

Jesus takes a nail scarred hand to that same wound and He presses hard to stop the bleeding…to draw healing into the pain.

My friend…if we are beat up in our sorrow…it is not from God’s hand.

Oh…conviction hurts…but it leads to healing.

Guilt and condemnation are not from God.

I pray today in all areas of grief and loss and sorrow that you know the Hand of God holding you tightly throughout the process and that you will yield to His loving guidance.

Remember YOUR sucker punch, right back at the enemy of your soul, is the conviction and prayer that nothing of this season will be wasted but that all will be used one day to bring glory and honor and praise to the God who brought you through <3


Happy Monday <3

Hope you had a good weekend and whether you were rooting for the Patriots or the Eagles or Justin Timberlake or could care less that it was Super Bowl Sunday, can we all agree that the scene stealer of the whole event was that winning quarterback’s darling little one in her NFL denim jacket and Eagle green hair bow the size of a football perched under those headphones?

Come on.

You would have to have a heart of stone to not think that was just the most adorable trophy presentation ever.

Right down to her tiny little hand grabbing that microphone.

She could have cared less who won any game in the world…she just had her eyes on her daddy.

Which brings us nicely to our next topic on prayer during times of Deep Healing.

(See what I did there?)

PC/Rachel Maxwell <3

On Friday we talked about the role of prayer for ourselves and others who are hurting during a time of deep wounding in our own lives.

Today we turn even farther outward to the next deep level we are called to as Christ-followers.

Because it is not enough to pray for ourselves and for others wounded in the fallout or affected by our pain in some way.


As followers of Christ, we look to Scripture as our guide and it is here we find an established pattern calling us to pray for the one who caused our heartache.

And just as we prayed for the circle around us, we must pray for the circle around that one.

Because no matter how much we feel we were wronged, the offender has a posse just like we do who will stand by that person and support him or her.

Let’s face it.

Seeing the one who hurt us feeling the love of people we thought were our friends is truly salt in an open wound.

And that burning can ramp up our pain, but remember…one of the properties of salt is that it helps heal wounds.

Which is why I believe that God commands us to pray for those who are hurting us.

It’s like the added aggravation to our pain can become a stimulus to remind us to pray for those who brought it on.

Or as I like to call it…one-upping the devil.

Let’s look at a few passages of Scripture to set the tone.

In Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses because of his marriage to an Ethiopian woman. Miriam must have been the instigator because the Lord punishes her by turning her leprous.

Moses, wrongly accused by his siblings, is justified before God in this.

Yet he is the one who cries out in verse 13 for the Lord to heal her.

Or Job, who had three good friends who came and sat with him in his grief and sorrow and then decided to play God with their judgment and advice.

They raked over him pretty harshly and in the end convinced Job to speak up to God about how He had handled the whole situation.

After a lengthy interrogation from God to Job about who should be passing judgment on who..

(or whom or…help me sophomore class English teacher, wherever you are)…

Job acknowledges the Sovereignty of God, which is of course the correct answer…

so God turns to the three and expresses His anger with them and then tells them that Job will pray for them and they will be forgiven.

Then we have our own Lord and Savior who prayed for forgiveness for those who hung Him on the Cross…

as He hung on the Cross…

every word painfully exhaled…

Father, forgive them.

Breathing out the very lesson He had taught throughout His ministry and recorded in Matthew 5:43-48…

But I say to you….love your enemies…pray for those who mistreat you…God sends the same sun and rain on each of you…so be like your Father and pray for them as you would a friend. (my paraphrase)

So here is what I do in applying God’s Word in obedience.

When the stabs come through reminders that the one who inflicted pain is going along with life seemingly untouched by the fall out, and in this day of blessed social media we can tell by the “likes” and “comments” affirming them who is comfortable in that one’s camp, so to speak…

I attempt to use that sharp pain to prompt me to pray for any and all of them.

And let me emphasize here…I don’t do it quickly or well or easily.

But I try very hard to discipline myself to say things like this (in the most sincere and least snarky way possible in each moment):

<3 Lord, they do not owe me anything. By forgiving them, they are free and so am I.

<3 Lord, even though this hurts me and I have no affection or love or respect for these, I know that YOU love them. You love them as much as you love me. So give me your love for them.

<3 I try to list all the blessings I would desire for me and mine, and then ask for those to come to that one and theirs.

Please hear me, this is a process.

An extremely humbling, awkward and painful process.

And, most assuredly, t’s not my first response in the early stages of betrayal, but the Lord faithfully works me toward it as I keep my heart open before Him in honest prayers and tears.

Well, this is a fun start to the week, right?

But I can tell you that this prayer initiative has huge dividends down the path of your journey.

I have seen the two-fold blessing of it being answered because I have lived a fair amount of years now and gone through a lot of seasons.

The first blessing is when some evil does befall the one who wronged you and your heart fills with compassion and genuine sorrow for him or her.

Let me tell you…THAT is far sweeter than any false victory the devil would pawn off as revenge.

Don’t let worldly wisdom convince you that to see someone get what was coming to them will bring you Joy.

It is an ugly win and one that will sour in your mouth and further serve to harden your precious heart that Jesus has given His life to heal.

The second is even more a miraculous work of God and that is the day the one who wounded  you is blessed with the very thing you thought was stolen and you can celebrate in your heart for this.

On that day, you will shake your head in amazement and know that you know that it is the LORD who transformed your sorrow into a Christ-like heart.

Then you truly will know that Christ alone has healed your heart, mind, body and spirit and made you whole again.

That nothing was taken from you that He did not give back a hundred-fold.

It’s a process dear friends, and one we don’t do perfectly, but we are led through it all by the One who perfects us.

Praise His Name forever <3