Category Archives: Prayer

Some thoughts on prayer <3

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Anybody else marveling we are three months into 2020? 

In some ways it has flown by and in other ways, have mercy…it has been the longest three months of our lives. Bar none. 

I think back to January and how very few, if any, people had the entire world being unified by one battle on their radar. 

But God did. 

I can assure you of that one truth. 

None of this takes the God of the universe, who sees the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end, by surprise. 

He has no beginning and He has no end and He exists outside of time and space and origin. 

He always is and always will be.

He formed us and all that is out of absolutely nothing and He cares for us and loves us and has provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him though we blatantly have disregarded Him. 

We are invited during this time of a global pandemic that is shaking all the foundations of health, relationships, governments and the economy to engage in even more intimate and personal fellowship with the God of our hope and salvation. 

That is my view today and will be my view always, by His grace that holds me fast to His mercy and truth.

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So this morning as I have studied along with Kelly Minter’s fourteen day glimpse at portions of the Sermon on the Mount regarding prayer, I offer you my paraphrase of Jesus’ teachings on prayer from Matthew 6: 5-8 and then I plan to put it into practice:

Whenever you go to pray – 

Go in a private space

Shut the door to all distractions and just be very alone with God

Pray to your Abba Father who dwells in the deepest and most hidden places of your heart and soul.

Don’t babble and run on with what you think sounds like good prayers. 

Pray from your heart.

Talk to Him like you would a good friend about what is on your mind and heart. 

Speak honestly and sincerely and with raw, unedited words. 

Sort things out with Him that you do not understand because…

He does…

Because He knows. 

Because He listens.

Because He hears. 

Because He helps. 

Then quiet your own words and heart and lean in. 

Be held as you listen for any words He has for you. 

And if He is silent, then just be held <3

paraphrase of Matthew 6:5-8 Laura Reimer <3
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For the birds <3

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I just came in from a walk. I am usually a fair weather walker, but these days it doesn’t seem to matter the temperature or moisture content of the air. I get out when I can and walk. Partly to reduce anxiety temptations, partly to clear my head and partly to walk off the effects of too much time spent too close to the pantry if you know what I mean <3

As I walk, I hear the birds singing.

I step over worms who are venturing out after yet another rainfall. Nature is going on about its business with no thought or concern. The soggy fields seem blissfully ignorant of the trouble all those pools of water will cause our farmers in a few weeks and do not frown as more grey clouds gather overhead. 

This week I listened to a teaching from Matthew 6 where Jesus reminds us to consider the birds and flowers and how they do not work or toil and yet the Father cares and provides for them. He encourages us with the words…how much more are you worth to the Father than these? 

We watch our bird feeder each morning and think how the Father has provided for their needs by prompting us to fill it each day. 

They give us so much joy in their feathered beauty. You all might notice a heart changed here, because birds are not my thing…but these little song birds have captured my attention these past winters and with all that is going on they are a delight to behold. 

The squirrel that tries to steal from the feeder, not so much…still some room for growth regarding those critters…

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So God uses the things of nature to remind us of His nature and then this morning I was reading in 1 Kings and just had to get my pen out and mark up some passages because God revealed something new about who He is in a story that is so familiar I could have been tempted to skim it. So thankful I didn’t. 

I have prepared many lessons around Elijah and his show down with the prophets of Baal. I have read through it numerous times. I would have thought I had wrung all out of it I could. 

But this morning; fresh off of filling the bird feeder and meditation on Matthew 6 for a good bit yesterday, I read with a new set of eyes these words of God to Elijah immediately after he was told to pronounce to the evil King Ahab the coming of an extensively long drought in judgment on him and his acts of disobedience:

“Then the word of the LORD came to him {Elijah}, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.”

1 Kings 17: 2-6 NKJV

It caught me by surprise to see that God was using these birds…that neither sow nor reap…the ones for whom He tends and feeds…to feed His servant Elijah. 

Now I am a picture person and the idea of a bunch of ravens swooping in and dropping off my meals from their yellow beaks is not evoking all kinds of tea party images, but think about it. 

Elijah was kept fed and watered in the most unusual of ways by the very creation that neither toils nor spins nor works nor worries. 

God used the most simple and helpless of means to provide for this man’s needs. 

A twist in the story that would not be expected. 

And humbling for the prophet to be provided for by a flock of birds and a stream kept filled in a drought by a God who was watching over him. 

I have been hearing of resources for hospitals being raised up from the most usual places. Donations of masks from the Morman church in one city. They had them stockpiled for some reason and decided to donate them to the local hospitals. 8,000 masks mind you, delivered to hospitals. 

 In another place, a private business in a small community donated masks to a hospital in a city far away that is in deep need. 

God raising up resources from unlikely places. 

As we are tempted to be worried, let’s look at the birds and follow their example.

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Perhaps if we do this, God will use us – through our prayers or through our activity – to care for and tend others who are in need at this time. Our prayers of faith avail much and move the hearts of leaders in industry, government and the Church to be open to the nudges of God. 

Let’s keep our ears tuned to hear how God is working behind the scenes in incredibly unusual ways and let’s share those stories to urge one another on in faith!

May God bless and watch over each of you during these times of great uncertainty.

May you be filled with the certain knowledge of His love and mercy, grace and salvation extended to all people. 

You are loved and prayed for and I hope you don’t have to wait for a raven to feed you, but if you do…wash your hands

Be blessed   <3

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In honor of my mom <3

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one of my fav pics of my mom and dad <3

Today is the anniversary of my mom’s birth. She left us in December of 2008 and if you have or had a complicated relationship with your mom, let me tell you it is with great joy and deep gratitude to God’s healing and restoration of relationships that I can say, I miss her. 

I am so thankful for her and have grown to appreciate all of her as time has passed, and I know that throughout her whole life she loved and cared for my sister and me to the very best of her ability. 

We humans are fragile and we fight our demons and sometimes it interferes with relationships and I continue to grow in the understanding of this as the years pass. 

When we brought my parents to our area so we could help advocate the care of my father’s further descent into Alzheimers disease, my mom had to live on her own for the very first time in her entire life. 

In solitude she grew in her faith in incredible ways and she overcame some issues that had plagued her. She met Jesus in a personal and profound way and was in many ways transformed and yet in many ways remained her unique self. 

God gifted me and my family a relationship with her that we all treasure. Five years of return on the years the locusts had nibbled on and we are so grateful.

One of my most precious moments from this time with her was a day when I had been called to meet up with my aunt, her sister, who had severe dementia and had taken yet another spill in the nursing home. 

When the hospital called, I had asked if they would hold off on all tests until I could get there and help assess her mental state. She fell regularly and the care facility had to follow through with their end, but often there was a barrage of unnecessary scans and tests because she seemed “confused”. 

The tests and scans were invasive for her and as her advocate, I wanted to be able to speak up. Also if the tests were deemed necessary this time, she would need someone with her to help explain what was happening. Over and over and over… 

Well, the nurse I spoke with as I was scrambling to get out the door assumed I was Dr. Kevorkian’s friend because she lined me out on the phone like I was the cruelest person the planet. 

I called my mom to update and told her I was concerned about what would happen once I got there given the impression I had left with the staff and then I headed out to face the music. 

Of all our ER visit’s this one was the smoothest ever. 

The nurse greeted me warmly and said that after speaking with my aunt she certainly understood my call. They had checked her over and determined she just needed a little bandage. 

After a very short wait, she was attended to and dressed and carefully placed in my car to be returned to her facility. 

I considered having them check me out because I was entering into all the signs of shock. 

After I got her settled in her room, I called my mom. 

She was so relieved and shared that since she had hung up from me she had just sat in her chair holding her Bible in her lap and had prayed for me. The kicker is she didn’t even make her bed. 

This is important. 

I thank God for answering machines and house phones in that time because she had left a message reporting all of these details while I had been taking care of my aunt. Over the ensuing years, when I was tempted to forget how faithfully God works to transform us, I would replay that saved message. 

Because my mom could drive herself to medication with worry and anxiety. 

My mom never didn’t make her bed. 

My mom created worse case scenario’s that would make mine pale in comparison. 

But that day, she let that bed go unmade.

That day when her daughter needed someone to intercede for her, she took her bible and sat in her chair and read and prayed. 

That day she did not the only thing but the best thing she could do for me.

We have a world in great need of help right now and our words to each other about it and our worry over it and our keeping busy with our stuff won’t provide the help it needs. 

So people of faith, sons and daughters of the Most High God, open your Bible and pray.

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