A Prayer for Our Mouths

Lord,

I confess that I sometimes say things I shouldn’t—things I regret. Will you please help me to grow and mature in this area?

When a snarky retort or unkind word is on the tip of my tongue, help me to rein it in and remain silent. When I’m tempted to speak careless words, help me to walk in self-control. Set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips. Keep me aware that You hear every word I speak.

Help me instead to speak words that encourage, bring truth, and offer hope. Help me to be a wise woman who builds her house, not a foolish woman who tears it down.

May the words I speak be truthful and kind, and may every word that comes out of my mouth honor You and bless those around me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.


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Declare Truth Over Yourself!

Something I’ve done throughout my life that has helped me grow in faith and understand who I truly am in Christ is writing out and reading aloud specific Bible verses. If faith comes by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), then declaring God’s Word aloud on a regular basis will strengthen our faith, encourage our hearts, and help us to walk in truth.

Here are some specific verses that I have personalized and often read over myself. I hope they bless you and help you as much as they have me!

I will take a firm stand against the enemy – at his onset – and be strong, rooted, and determined in my faith. (1 Peter 5:9)

I will keep on doing what is right, and trust myself to God who made me, for He will NEVER fail me. (1 Peter 4:19)

I will humble myself before God and resist the devil, and he will flee from me. (James 4:7)

I will be disciplined and earnest in my prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)

I am strong and courageous. I will not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. (Joshua 1:9)

I will trust in Your unfailing love. (Psalm 13:5)

I will be filled with JOY because of You. (Psalm 9:2)


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A Prayer to Displace Fear



God,

Sometimes fear hits me so hard it takes my breath away. But if I really knew how deeply you love me, Lord, I would never be afraid, because You are ALWAYS with me, and Your perfect loves casts out ALL fear.

When fear knocks the wind out of me, help me to remember that You are greater, and You love me. Lord help me not to allow fear to stop me, bully me, or shift my focus. Help me to know—deep down—how precious I am to You and rest in the TRUTH that You are greater than fear’s lies.

Help me not to be afraid but to experience Your love for myself and rest in your awesome, deep, unshakable peace. Strengthen me heart with Your precious presence and displace ALL fear. Send Your very real peace and encouragement to my heart and help me to consistently walk in courage by the power of Your Holy Spirit.

In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.

The Most Amazing Place We Can Stand

In my lifetime I’ve stood in some interesting and amazing places: At the foot of Clingman’s Dome in Yosemite National Park, on an ancient mosaic floor in the Vatican, and on top of the Rock of Gibraltar. 

I’ve stood in hushed gratitude at the foot of each of my children’s cribs, stood in no small amount of pride at both of our sons’ military graduations, and stood in sober heartbreak next to the hospital bed of my friend’s dying husband.

I’ve stood at my kitchen sink washing countless dishes, stood at church singing countless worship songs, and stood on the hot summer asphalt in amazement when the name of Jesus stopped a loose pit bull from attacking me and my dog.

As a child I stood in filth, I stood in chaos, I stood staring into an empty refrigerator, and I stood in frightening insecurity.

I’ve stood and believed God even when all looked lost, stood up to the enemy’s lies, and stood for what is true and right in a morally corrupt world.

But until recently, I never truly comprehended where my faith allows me to stand. It’s not something I’ve pondered. So when I recently read this section of Scripture, my heart was flat blown away.

Because in all honesty I don’t come from a place of privilege. I come from the exact opposite place—a place of neglect. And though I’ve walked with the Lord for many years now, I’ve never seen this particular verse in the context framed for me by God’s Spirit on this particular day.

God’s Word declared—loud and clear—that I stand in a mind-blowing place of undeserved privilege.

And so do you.

Here’s the verse:

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (Romans 5:1-2)

Because of our faith, Jesus Himself escorts us into a place of undeserved privilege. Isn’t that amazing? Jaw dropping? Glorious?

Say it out loud: I stand in a place of undeserved privilege!

When we stand in undeserved privilege we stand in God’s security, His strength, and His victory. We stand confidently looking forward to the day we will see Him face to face. We stand knowing we are truly known, accepted, loved, and cherished. We stand without wavering because He enables us. And we stand knowing who we really are in Christ because we believe His Word.

Wherever you have stood over the years, and wherever you currently stand, know this: If you are a woman of faith, Christ has brought YOU into this place of undeserved privilege.

It’s the most amazing place we can stand.

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What I Learned On A 21-Day Daniel Fast

This summer I’m highlighting some of my most popular blog posts. Enjoy!

I recently participated in a church-wide fast. Typically my church engages in a 3-day full fast (no food at all for those who wish to participate and are medically able) every year in January. But this year the leadership felt we needed to change things up.

A Daniel Fast restricts you to eating only fruits, vegetables and (for some people) whole grains. No meat, no dairy or animal products, no sweeteners (although some people use honey, maple syrup or stevia, I felt led to abstain), and no baked goods. (Did I mention no chocolate?)

It's based on the book of Daniel, chapter 10, if you're curious.

Although I have fasted throughout the years, it remains difficult for me, because fasting always stirs up deep memories of painful hunger from my childhood. In that respect, this time was easier because I could eat as many fruits and veggies as I wanted. I particularly liked the longevity of this fast. It wasn't a simple 3-day thing. It was a persevering thing. It was a learning to deny myself thing. It was a get in God's face thing.

On this fast, I learned:

1. I reach out for food far more than I reach out for Jesus. This revelation floored me. Yes, God designed us to require food, but I noticed how often I absentmindedly reached for some morsel just to have something in my mouth. I'm amazed at the number of times I think about food. Good grief. God, help me desire you more than any earthly thing...even things that I truly need!

2. I can pray far more often. I profess to be a woman of prayer, but this fast taught me to pray even more. Every time I craved chocolate (or any forbidden food), I'd pray instead, and let me just say, I prayed constantly. If only my prayers were as continual as my cravings. Lord, help me to pray without ceasing!

3. A fast is warfare. I encountered an incredible amount of opposition from the enemy, particularly in my emotions. At times it felt like I was walking blindly forward in a raging blizzard, with a frozen, tear-stained scarf stuck to my cheeks. God tries our emotions (Psalm 7:9, "for You, Who try the hearts and emotions and thinking powers, are a righteous God.") Healing is a process, so I cry out, God, continue to heal my heart and emotions!

4. A fast is powerful. I've already begun seeing breakthrough in specific areas for which I prayed. But I'm expecting much more throughout this year.

5. To stop complaining--even in my thoughts. Let's face it, America has more food than most of the world. I felt chastised for even allowing myself to inwardly grumble about yet more veggies when so many others have so much less. We are incredibly blessed, and although I always thank God for my food, I felt a deeper sense of appreciation--and a reluctance to complain about eating beans for dinner again. Help me to cultivate a grateful heart, Lord!

6. The amount of sin still in my own heart. Fasting opens our eyes about ourselves like nothing else. Our hearts become tender and more acutely aware of God's still, small voice. That's a good thing. It's layer by layer that He reveals the truth to us, and it's truth we need to face, confess, and be free of. It's the truth that makes us free. (John 8:32) Thank you, Lord, for ever increasing freedom.

7. A fast is about trading the temporal for the eternal. When we willingly give up something we desire (lasagna and chocolate lava cake) for something we yearn to desire far more (Jesus), I believe it grabs God's attention. Yes, I gave up my favorite foods for three weeks. But in return, I touched God's heart in a powerful way--and He touched mine.

I'm still processing everything I experienced in this fast, but I believe God accomplished great things, and I'm excited about what He has in store for me and my family.

How about you? Have you ever participated in a fast? What did you learn from it?

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