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. 

Reading this via email?  CLICK HERE to visit Julie’s blog and leave a comment. 

Can God Use Anyone?

Even when you’re a hot mess and a half (hand raised here!) God has promises for YOU and has plans for YOU! 

Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to visit my blog to watch this encouraging video! 

A Prayer for 2018

There’s something about a fresh new year that gives me hope. Stirs my heart. Makes me pray.

As we greet 2018 let’s prayerfully consider our ways, our plans, and our goals. Let’s take a sacred moment—whether that means intentionally setting aside an hour, an afternoon, a day, or even a week—to seek the Lord, asking Him to speak to us and give us ears to hear Him, to direct us, and to lead us afresh in 2018.

There are certainly no lack of options concerning which way we could go, things we could get involved in, and an endless array of new projects (including ourselves!) that we could tackle. But Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted (Psalm 127:1). I have no interest in starting (or continuing) anything that the Lord is not (or no longer) involved in.

Here are some questions I am asking the Lord right now. I pray they will serve as a jumping-off point for you as you seek God and invite Him to lead you and orchestrate all you do and will become this year.

In what area(s) do I need to change and grow?

Are there things (a job/a dream/ a goal/ a relationship/ a bad habit / a thought process…etc.) I should let go?

Are there new things I should embrace?

Should I continue to ______________________?

Please help me with the following decisions___________________________.

Here are the heart issues I am struggling with:_______________________Please bring healing and freedom and godly change in Jesus’s name.

Lord, do You want me to focus on a specific Scripture this year?

Lord, will You guide and direct my thoughts and make them agreeable to Your will? Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3) (AMPC)

A Prayer for 2018

Lord, help me and be with me this year. Bring my heart into alignment with Yours, and help me to grow in wisdom. Give me favor and order my steps. Grant me divine opportunities, divine relationships, and great grace to face all that will happen this year. Give me understanding and discernment, and help me to seek peace and pursue it. Help me to grow in godly character and all the fruits of the Spirit. May I consistently run to You in times of trouble. Help me to forgive, and show me when to speak the truth in love. Father, may Your very real presence increase in my life. May I experience Your unfailing love to a greater degree, and in 2018 may I more accurately reflect Your image daily. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.