Five Minute Friday – Empty Prayers

Today the Lord convicted me that I was praying empty prayers devoid of faith when praying for God to intervene in circumstances in my life.
My prayers have been passionate and my feelings have been laid bare before the Lord.  Each day, I’m praying for God to move in the circumstances and intervene on my behalf.  While I was praying the Lord helped me to see that I was being double minded.  I was asking for the Lord to be at work in my situation and immediately following that prayer I was planning how to handle it if or when the Lord did not answer my prayer as I had asked.
I’m wrestling about praying with faith and accepting God’s will.  I desire to pray with confidence in God and be assured that He is able to handle what concerns me.  Nothing is too hard for God.  
Then the doubt creeps in…I need to be practical, after all what I’m praying may not be God’s will for my circumstance?  
Erring on the side of faith, when I’m praying within the will of God as revealed in the Bible, I can pray with a confident expectation that God will act. 
The fine line is praying with expectation and a confident assurance in God, but not demanding my way when God chooses to act differently.  I need to remember that when God chooses to answer my prayers differently, it doesn’t change one iota who He is and what He is able to do.  I can trust the plan He is working out.  I will only know God’s will as He works out the circumstances in my life. 
Lord, may I err on the side of faith, of believing that You are well able to handle all that concerns me today.  Help me to pray Lord with unwavering faith and trust You in all circumstances.  May I not be double minded and remember that You are pleased with those who walk by faith. 
 
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Heb 11:1
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. – Heb 11:6
7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. – James 1:7-8
This post is being linked to 5-Minute Friday courtesy of The Gypsy Mama, where you simply write for 5 minutes without worrying if it’s right or not.  Head on over and take the challenge today.
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Grace Filled Bloggers

They are grace filled bloggers
Blessing their readers
Sharing what they’ve learned in this journey called life
They share from their heart
What the Lord is teaching them today
Dare to reveal their hopes and dreams about tomorrow
They openly share about trials and temptations
Failures and what they’ve learned
Praising God for their victories in Christ
They share with photographs
Too beautiful for words
Of God’s abundant blessings in their lives
They give a picture into their lives
Telling of family and friends
Even their heartfelt passionate prayers
They encourage readers to stand firm in their faith
Never waver or doubt
But only believe
Some old friends, some new
Some whom I know personally
Some I will one day meet in heaven
They bless me as I read what they share
In their journey of life
Lord, for this I give You thanks
By Susan Wachtel
March 3, 2012
Thank you to the many bloggers who have blessed, challenged and encouraged me.  Truly there have been day’s the Lord has used your word and pictures to bring me much needed encouragement.  Abundant blessings to you in Christ!

Just Thinking…Trials & Tribulations

It’s easy to love the Lord when things are going good in our lives.  But I find out if I really love the Him during difficult times and trials and tribulations. 

Fear is unbelief in action.  It reveals who my focus is on, is it on the Lord or is it on me?  Do I depend upon the Lord or rely on my strength? 

Trials and tribulations are instruments God uses for good in our lives.  If I trust God during hard times my faith is strengthened.  My love for Christ Jesus grows.

Do I really believe, do my thoughts and actions reflect the truth of Scripture that He is the Potter and I am the clay?  Clay being molded doesn’t get off the Potter’s wheel and protest, whine and complain.  Instead the clay submits to the skillful hands of the Potter.

But now, O LORD,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

If I Really Believed

If I really believed that God hears my prayers would that change how I prayed?  If I really believed that God cares and that He answers prayers…how would I pray?  If I was confident that God is who the Bible says He is and can do what He says He can do…what would I pray for? 
 
The first thing that comes to mind is that I would pray more often.
 
I would pray about everything.
 
I would pray with boldness and confidence. 
 
I would be more faithful in prayer for family, friend, strangers and even my enemies. 
 
I would pray with a sense of peace and assurance that my heavenly Father hears me.
 
I would pray more personally. 
 
I could hardly wait to pray…to run to the throne of my Abba Father who cares for me.
 
I would pray with trust and know that no matter what, God is doing a good work in the situation and my character.
 
I would be certain that His “No” is because he is working out a greater good.
 
My prayers would have an eternal vision…not only looking for answers this side of heaven. 
 
I would care less about what people thought about me and more about what my heavenly Father has to say.
 
I would desire to have more time with my Abba Father.
 
I would be excited to share with others the wonderful news about the Gospel message so that they too can be saved and have their sin debt paid in full by Jesus Christ.
 
I wouldn’t give a hoot or holler what unbeliever or doubters had to day…because I would believe God.
 
When attacked by the enemy…I would run to the throne of grace.
 
I would desire to be sanctified, set apart so that nothing would interfere with my prayer life and relationship with God.
 
I would pray more fervently. 
 
Salvation, salvation, salvation would be my primary prayer because I know that God desires that no one would perish but all would come to repentance…and there is nothing more important in life.
 
I would have the joy of the Lord even during the hard times.
 
I wouldn’t try to get through life and difficult circumstances on my own strength.

Sight Walking Faith

Oh the error
Of sight walking faith

Instead of believing the Lover of my soul
I believe the one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy

I surrender certain victory in Christ
For continuous daily defeat

I swap the strength of the Lord
For my weakness

I exchange the truth of God
For a lie

I trade the peace of God that passes all understanding
For worry, anxiety and stress

I substitute praying to God in faith
With meditating on my problems
 


by Susan Bunts Wachtel
May 18, 2010

Not of God

Discontentment, a critical attitude, a negative spirit, doubt and unbelief are not of God.

I may think that I’m just being critical of another person…but more importantly I’m being critical of God.  When I do that I demonstrate a lack of trust in God, His character and His purpose in allowing difficult people or challenging circumstances into my life.
 
Yesterday, when my mind was jumbled with emotions, God helped me to recognize that I was sinning against Him and others.  He helped me to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 
 
Basically, God told me to drop and give him 50 praises.  Every time that I was tempted to whine or be critical…God challenged me to instead turn it around and give Him praise and offer thanks. 
 
It’s not easy to do that…but it is good and it is right.  To do that I am fighting my own selfish, sinful nature.  I can choose to be lazy and let my thoughts take me wherever they want to go.  Or I can take captive every thought.  When I do that, I’m denying myself and choosing to believe God. 
 
One thing that has proved to be a huge help when my mind is clouded is to recite or write out scriptures that I’ve recently memorized. 
 
God calls each one of us to have the mind of Christ.  How can I do that without knowing God’s word and hiding it in my heart?  How can I do that unless I actively choose to believe God?  That includes deep down to the very thoughts and intentions of my heart.  Do I have a living faith that’s manifest daily?   

Eyes on Jesus

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of myself
I have hope that does not fade

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of being overcome with fear
I stand firm in faith

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of my circumstances
I have a peace which passes all understanding

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of focusing on my enemies
I believe that He will deliver me

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead my weaknesses and limitations
I pray with confidence that He will do the impossible

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of remembering my sin
I have the assurance of God’s forgiveness

When I have my eyes on Jesus
Instead of the here and now
I have the promise of heaven that will never pass away

Susan Bunts Wachtel
September 23, 2009