Category Archives: Prayer

Promises

When my husband proposed to me, he could not afford an engagement ring. He felt bad that he could not give me one. However, he promised me that on our tenth wedding anniversary, he would get me my diamond.

Ten years and three kids later, my husband took our two-and-a-half-year-old son and went out to grab a few things he needed. It was a pre-cell phone era. He was late getting home, and I was a little concerned. When he finally arrived home, I went out to the garage to make sure everything was okay. He said he’d been waylaid. He walked over to me and dropped a box in my pocket and then got our son out of his car seat.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a jeweler’s box. I opened it, and there sparkled a 1/3 karat diamond engagement ring. My mouth dropped open, and I was too stunned to say anything. As he set our son on the ground, he said, “It’s our ten-year anniversary, and I needed to get you your diamond. I wanted to keep my promise to you.”

Just as my husband kept his promise to me, God kept His promise of a son to Abraham. When Abraham was one hundred years old, Sarah gave birth to a son, Isaac. Not only did God honor His promise, He did it in such an unbelievable way. After all, how many humans over eighty years old have babies? Only God could perform such a miracle. I believe He waited until Abraham and Sarah were advanced in age, so there would be no doubt that Isaac’s birth was a “God thing”.

The Bible is full of God’s promises. Even though, those promises are thousands of years old, they are still valid today. Abraham went to God in prayer many times reminding God of His promise for land, prosperity and a son. Sometimes, when we pray His promises, it may seem like it takes forever for God to answer, but He will. God is the same as He was back then. He never changes, and His words are true.

Sometimes, our prayer life gets stagnant. To make it more meaningful and to be more proactive look up some of the promises God makes us in the Bible. Make sure to research both the Old and New Testament. Begin to pray His promises in your life with faith. God is pleased when we pray His Word. By studying His promises, we learn more about who He is, how He feels about us, what we can expect from Him and what is pleasing to Him.

Where can you find some of His Promises? They are peppered throughout the Bible. Some of the more prominent ones are recorded in Deuteronomy, 2 Kings, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1 Corinthians, Hebrews and Revelation. Highlight them as you find them, no matter where they are in the Bible, so you can easily find them. His promises bring us encouragement and show His love for us. Like He kept His promises to Abraham, God will keep His promises to us, too.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8

Confess

My husband grew up among a lot of neighborhood boys. Almost all of them were Catholic. One evening a week, the neighborhood ball game was disrupted because the boys had to go to confession. My husband, who was about ten years old at the time and not Catholic, was curious about confession, so he went to observe. He watched as one at a time, each boy entered the confessional and was in there for a while and then came out again.
He asked if he would be allowed to go in there. The boys did not see any reason why he shouldn’t, so into the confessional he went. He was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect. The small space was dark. The quiet only made his nervousness worse.
Suddenly a deep voice spoke into the darkness, “How can I help you, My child?” My husband got so flustered that he blurted out, “I’m sorry, God.” He ran out of the confessional. His brief encounter with “God” scared him to death.
I can imagine King Abimelech felt much the same way when God spoke to him in a dream about his mistake in taking Sarah into his harem. She was already married to Abraham. Of course, Abimelech did not know this. Both Abraham and Sarah had told him they were brother and sister which they were since they both had the same father, but different mothers. Abimelech proclaimed his innocence to God in this matter. God acknowledged it, and told him that He knew he had not sinned against Him. But God told him to return Sarah to her husband, or God would kill him and all his people.
Of course, Abimelech woke early the next morning and sent for Abraham. He returned Sarah to Abraham and gave him gifts of livestock, slaves and silver to compensate for any trouble Sarah may have dealt with over the misunderstanding. Abimelech asked him why in the world he would do such a thing? Abraham confessed his guilt of deception and explained he feared he would be killed so the King could take Sarah for his wife. Abraham showed his lack of faith in God in this situation. God used Abimelech to show Abraham his sin and to force Abraham to confess.
In our society, confession of sin seems like an archaic religious notion. But, it is not and is expected of us, especially those of us who profess to have faith in God. If sin was not important to God, then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. Confessing our sin helps us to keep check on our behaviors and thoughts. It also opens our line of communication to God. We should be praying daily and confession of sin should be a part of that.
What is sin? Anything that is not pleasing to God. How do we know? Reading the Bible will show us what God expects of us. Galatians 5:13-26 is a good place to start. The hardest part of confessing sin is our ego. After all, who wants to admit they did, felt or thought something wrong? It’s much easier to sweep it under the carpet and not deal with it. If you cannot find a sin to confess, just ask God. He will bring your sin to light.
God knows we are human. No matter how hard we try, it is impossible to be perfect. Yet, He loves us anyway. He is pleased when we monitor our own spiritual well-being by the awareness of sin in our lives and will help us in our efforts to change.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

God Hears

Anyone who knew me while I was growing up, was aware I wanted a horse. That’s all I thought or dreamed about from the time I was in first grade. I wanted a black horse with a white star on its forehead. In my teen years, I named my horse- to- be Kentucky Rain after the Elvis Presley song.
I begged and begged for a horse. I’m sure my parents thought I was a broken record. I would bargain with them about household chores, grades, anything I thought would make them consider getting me a horse. The only way to hush me was to say they would consider it.
I persisted in asking for a horse from the age of six until I was sixteen. In the end, my parents were right in not getting me a horse. They knew the dream was better than the reality. Once I started driving and working part time, I dropped my dream and moved onto other things. They were glad they were not stuck with a horse to care for because I was now too busy to take care of one.
I was never afraid to ask my mother or father for anything. I knew I could go to them with my requests. It doesn’t mean they were always granted, but I was heard. The same could be said for Abraham and his relationship with God. He trusted God and knew he could go to God with anything.
God told Abraham that He was going to check out Sodom and Gomorrah because He heard their sin was flagrant. If He found this to be true, He would destroy both cities. Abraham was upset. He didn’t want righteous people to perish and asked if God found fifty righteous people would He spare the cities. God agreed. Abraham went back five separate times to ask God if he would save the cities if they had 45, 40, 30, 20 and ten righteous people. God patiently agreed each time.
God knew that there weren’t ten righteous people in those towns, but he still allowed Abraham to come to Him and ask. The same can be said today. We are to boldly approach God with all our questions, requests, fears, joys and intercession for others. He will never turn us away. He wants to hear our prayers.
Our prayers connect us with God and help to build a close relationship with Him. Like my parents, He will not always give us what we ask for, but we can rest assured that He hears every word we direct at Him and will do what’s best for us.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalms 5:3

Prayer

When I was a young girl, my grandfather (my mother’s father) would come and spend part of the summer with us.  I always looked forward to that time.  When he visited, we had really good dinners and lunches, my parents did not raise their voices too much at us, and Mom bought him candy which he shared with us more often than she ever knew.  He had arthritis and could not get around very well so he was confined to a chair, he loved for us to spend time with him and enjoyed talking to us.  He always had fun stories and thought his grandchildren were smart, good looking and wonderful.  Let’s face it who doesn’t like to hear that?  I know I felt so loved when he was around.

As a young teen I was a night owl and in the summer, I’d stay up mostly by myself to watch television – Johnny Carson and the late show which had great old movies.  One night at about two in the morning on my way to my bedroom, I heard my grandpa talking.  I stopped dead in my tracks and wondered who on earth he was talking to.  I remember feeling scared that it could be my grandmother who had died long ago and wondered if he was in his right mind.  Curiosity got the best of me and I crept closer to the door to hear what he was saying.

I very clearly heard him name several of his grandchildren and my name was in the mix.  I froze and wondered if he’d heard me outside his door.  Then he continued to ask Jesus to look out for us and to keep us close to Him.  I stood there stunned.  My grandpa was praying for ME!  There was so much love and caring in his voice as he petitioned the Lord with reverence and awe. I have carried that with me as a special memory since that time and have wondered how many times his faithful prayers helped or saved me from a bad situation.

That was not the last time I heard him pray at night.  He had trouble sleeping due to pain or the fact that he’d napped too much throughout the day.  My grandpa loved Jesus and had a prayer life and a quiet time that helped him endure his painful arthritis and the loneliness of not having my grandma around.  He almost always had his Bible opened before him in his room.  I often wonder what he would think of me now and if he would feel like his prayers had been answered.

These days I find myself in my grandpa’s position of not being able to sleep for various reasons.  I remember that when Grandpa couldn’t sleep, he made good use of his time by praying.  Though I don’t speak the words out loud because it would wake my husband, I find myself praying when I can’t sleep.  I’m never at a loss for things to pray about or people to pray for.  Sometimes He just lays people on my heart and I am compelled to pray.  Honestly, I can’t think of a better thing to occupy my time in the middle of a sleepless night.  I also know that prayer is powerful and helpful to those I pray for.

Prayer is an important part of the Christian life and connects us to the Lord.  It doesn’t matter if it’s five minutes or an hour or if it is morning, afternoon or evening.  The Lord loves to hear from you and will always listen to what you have to say.  He’s available 24/7, and you don’t have to worry about waking Him or disturbing Him.  The important thing about prayer is that it has power no matter what time we pray, and someone we love may need our prayers.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:15-16