The Perfect Prayer for Your Family!

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

I love praying God’s word over my family. It’s powerful, living and active (see Hebrews 4:12). Not only that, but God actually watches over His Word to perform it (see Jeremiah 1:12)

I don’t know about you, but the idea of praying words that are alive with power, words that God Himself watches over and tends to, is irresistible.

So at the beginning of this year, when I read a couple of verses that described exactly what I desperately want for my family, poof! a family prayer was born. I printed these scriptures out on a 3x5 card and turned it into a prayer.

These scriptures focus on knowing God’s will, spiritual wisdom and understanding, and living lives that honor and please God. They speak of knowing God better and better and being strengthened with His glorious power so we’ll have all the endurance and patience we need.

Doesn’t that sound like a perfect family prayer? 

Here are the verses:

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. (Colossians 1:9b-12a)

And here is how I personalized it and turned it into the perfect prayer for my family: 

{You can click on this and print it out, if you'd like!}

I am convinced that praying God’s word is one of the wisest, most strategic prayer choices we can ever make. If our prayers were darts, praying scripture would cause us to hit the bullseye every time.

I hope you print out this prayer (or write it out on your own 3x5 card) and pray it often over your family, like I do.

Lord, thank you for Your amazing Word. It’s life-giving and life-changing, and I pray You will help us to know Your Word well and pray it often. Help us to regularly pray this over our families this year. Please bring authentic change in the hearts and lives of our family members that only You can. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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How to Pray for Your Children {FREE Printable!}

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

Motherhood has always been a hard job. And maybe it’s just me, but it seems like our culture is making it harder than ever to raise wise, godly kids.

And so, I pray.

Yes, my kids are older. But I still pray. And I also have grandkids now, so my prayers won’t be stopping any time soon.

It grieves me to see so many children struggling against the powerful tide of our culture and all of its distractions, enticements, and outright lies. Truly the enemy desires to destroy the faith of our next generation.

But the enemy underestimates the power of a praying mom! I just can't sit idly by and allow our nation and our world's ungodly beliefs and the enemy's plans to steal my children (and grandchildren's) faith. And THAT is why I pray.

Consistently praying for our kids is probably the most important thing we can ever do for them. 

If you're not sure where to start or how, exactly, to pray for your children, I’ve created a powerful, Scripture-based prayer printable for you called Essential Prayers for Your Kids. And it’s completely FREE. A gift from my heart to yours (and from one mom to another!).

To get your free Scripture-based prayer printable, just CLICK HERE. (Or visit my Free Resources page.)

Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave me a comment. 

Happy summer and happy praying!

A Powerful 15-Second Prayer!

One of the things I most love about Scripture is the simplicity and power of using specific verses in my prayers. Scripture is living and active (Hebrews 12:4), which means when we declare it aloud, THINGS HAPPEN.  In addition, God watches over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12), which means when we pray it, GOD MOVES. 

And what could be better than that?

So today I want to share one of my all time favorite verses that I regularly pray over my marriage, and sometimes over my entire family. It’s on a 3x5 card on my fridge near the water dispenser… a simple and effective reminder to PRAY it.

Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. (2 Corinthians 13:11)

Here’s how I pray it:

Lord, may Keith and I (and our children and grandchildren) be joyful, grow to maturity, encourage each other, and live in harmony and peace. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

That’s it! It’s simple. It’s fast. But most importantly, it’s a powerful, Scripture-based prayer for you to declare over yourself, your marriage, and/or your entire family.

Happy Praying! 

When You Feel You're Not Enough {And a Give Away!}

My sweet friend Sharon Jaynes has written a book I absolutely love! (Especially chapter 6!) If you struggle with confidence, you want "Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence". Here's Sharon: 

When I was six years old, I skipped off to school with a new box of crayons, a Swiss–polka dotted dress, and fresh hope that I would be smart. But first grade only confirmed my greatest fear. I was “not enough.”

As soon as my first-grade teacher held up that initial spelling flashcard, I knew I was in trouble. We lined up our miniature wooden chairs in a row like a choo-choo train. The teacher held up a spelling flashcard for us to identify the word. If we missed the word, we had to go to the caboose. I spent most of the first grade in the caboose. I just couldn’t spell to save my life. For some reason, I especially had trouble with the word the.

I’ll help her, my teacher must have thought. She made me a nametag that read
t-h-e, and I had to wear it for two weeks. Students came up to me and asked, “Why are you wearing that tag?” “Is your name ‘The’?” “You must be stupid.” “What’s wrong with you?”

Well, I learned how to spell the word the, but that’s not all I learned. I learned I wasn’t as smart as everybody else, and once again, not enough. And even though I ended up doing well in school, many times I’ve still felt like that little girl in the caboose of the spelling train.

Moses was a man who felt he wasn’t good enough. When God spoke to him through a burning bush and called him to lead His people out of Egyptian bondage, he had a big case of the “not good enoughs.”

That’s when he had a one-sided argument with God. Moses told God he was the wrong man for the job. He wasn’t brave enough, strong enough, smart enough, eloquent enough, charismatic enough, or confident enough.

At one point, Moses said, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13-15).

Moses was 80 years old when he had his argument with God at the burning bush. But even the weakest knees in the hands of I AM can become a mighty force to be reckoned with.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that you too, at one time or another, will struggle with feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy just like Moses did. And the underlying statement feeding the sense of worthlessness is “I’m not __________ enough.” You can fill that blank in with any number of qualities.

But here’s what we need to remember: Whatever we feel we are not, God is. He is the God who fills in our gaps; He is I AM who fills in our blanks.

·        When we say, “I’m not strong enough,” God says, “I AM.”
·        When we say, “I’m not wise enough,” God says, “I AM.”
·        When we says, “I’m not bold enough,” God says, “I AM.”
·        When we say, “I’m not smart enough,” God says, “I AM.”
·        When we say, “I’m not good enough,” God says, “I AM.”

Once we let go of the lies that we are not enough and take hold of the truth that we are more than enough because of Jesus’s presence and power in us, then we will be set free from paralyzing insecurity and be on our way to experiencing courageous confidence to do everything He calls us to do. It’s time get out of the caboose and sit up front with the Chief Engineer.

You want to know something amazing? One of my greatest weakness as a child was spelling words. And now that is what God has called me to do today…write with words. I stand with Paul who lamented about his weakness: “But he [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).

That’s what happens when we allow God to fill in our blanks. He turns what we perceive as our greatest weakness into our greatest strengths.

What is God calling you to do today? In what areas do you feel that you’re not enough? Oh friend, because of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross, and His power in you, you are more than enough! Don’t forget it.

Share this post with 5 or more people, then leave a comment that says, “I did it!” We will randomly pick one comment to win a FREE Enough” bracelet made by the ladies of Fashion and Compassion.

TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment that includes your email. One randomly chosen winner will be chosen and notified via email on Friday, 
April 6. Sorry, open to U.S. residents only. 

Order Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence by April 6, 2018 and you’ll receive 3 FREE eBooks plus more! Click here for details.

Sharon Jaynes is an international speaker and best-selling author of 21 books. For those who know her best, she is a simple southern girl who loves sweet tea, warm beaches, and helping women live fully and free as a child of God and co-heir with Christ. 

Learning to Wait with Grace

If there’s one thing that doesn’t come easily for me, it’s waiting.

And if there’s one thing we cannot avoid in life, it’s waiting.

I think it’s human nature to dislike waiting, though certainly our instantaneous-you-can-have-it-now culture and mindsets don’t help. We can watch movies on demand (no waiting!), order coffee on an app (no waiting!) and cook with an insta-pot (hardly any waiting!).

We choose the shortest line, feel frustrated when traffic halts, and want instant results.  Let’s face it: Waiting is hard. It’s boring. It’s tedious. And it delays the very thing we’re longing for.

At the beginning of the year we put our house on the market; it’s finally time for us to downsize. In preparation we scrubbed, gave away literally hundreds of books, cleaned out closets, and got rid of junk we haven’t used in years. We pulled weeds, made repairs, and cleaned the windows.

And then the wait began. I just now calculated that as I write this, our house has currently been on the market for 78 days, and trust me, it feels like 77 days too long.

Each of us is probably—at this very moment—waiting for something. We wait for a marriage proposal, a baby to arrive, test results, news from a loved one, a new job opportunity, and for a deployed family member to arrive back home safely. Regularly we wait for the grocery line to shorten, traffic to budge, dinner to be ready, and a delivery to arrive.

With all the waiting we endure, we can lead exasperated lives or…we can learn to wait with grace.

When we’re tempted to panic, feel frustrated, or grow weary because of the wait, we can instead choose to remember that:

God is developing His character in us. If love is patient, (and God IS love), we are not acting at all like Him when we feel exasperated by our waiting. Through waiting God tries and proves us, changes our hearts, and prepares us for what’s ahead. Consider how Joseph was wrongly imprisoned for 13 years, Abraham waited 25 years for the fulfillment of God’s promise, and Moses’ long 40 year wait in the backside of a desert prior to facing off with Pharaoh. Clearly God uses waiting to accomplish His purposes in us. This fact alone helps me relax and endure the wait with a better attitude.

God is trustworthy. (He really is.) It’s His very character, and the more we meditate on His character (try reading the Psalms!) the more our hearts will be at ease and trust Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Our times really are in His hands. We don’t have to be anxious; God hasn’t forgotten us, He isn’t neglecting us, and He knows the exact timing of every detail of our lives. (See Psalm 31:15)

God is sovereign. Ultimately His plans and purposes will come to fruition in our lives—maybe just not on our timeline. (See Isaiah 46:10)

A Prayer to Wait with Grace

Lord, You know the thing(s) I am waiting for. Please use this time to develop more of Your character in me. God, I’m grateful that You are trustworthy and my heart can be at ease and trust You. I’m thankful that as I wait I can rest assured that my times are in Your hands, and that You are sovereign and will accomplish all of Your purposes in and for and through me. Give me grace and peace as I wait, Lord. In the strong name of Jesus. Amen. 

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