Commit Your Ways to the Lord

Throughout the night the Lord watches over us, and when we awaken He is there with us and He hears our prayers. David prayed to God, saying,“In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare (a prayer, a sacrifice) for You and watch and wait (for You to speak to my heart). (Psalm 5:3)

David began His day by submitting his will to God and waiting on Him. The best way to begin our day is to commit it to the Lord first thing in the morning. That means we put Him in charge of it. We ask for His will to be done. We trust that He will lead us along the best path for our life. And we know that He is always with us.

Commit your ways to the Lord

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Commit your Ways – Begin Your Days

When we begin our day with God, we are more conscious of His presence with us throughout the day. Every morning we can practice His presence by emptying our minds of negativity and worries, and filling it with the awareness of God – acknowledging Him as the name above all names and the One who meets all of our needs.He is our Healer, Hiding Place, Strength, Deliverer, Counselor, Friend, Security, Peace,Restorer….
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

We can commit our day to God by praying whatever is on our hearts. There is no set rule or ritual we must follow. Some mornings we may feel a greater need to submit a certain area of our lives to Him. We may need to give Him our fears and trust Him more. Or we may need to be open and obedient to His direction and guidance.

Today’s post is written by Krystal Kuehn, author of 365 Motivational Starters for a New Day.  Krystal is a psychotherapist, best-selling author, teacher, musician and songwriter. Krystal specializes in helping people live their best life now, reach their full potential, overcome barriers, heal from their past, & develop a happiness lifestyle. Her inspirational and empowering approach has been helping people all over the world for over 20 years. Her books, articles, poetry, and songs have been published locally and internationally. Krystal has a passion for encouraging others. She believes everyone has untapped potential for greatness, and everyone can live a life of fulfillment and true happiness.

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Morning Devotions – Coffee and Jesus

After salvation, spiritual growth can begin. I have found that setting a daily devotional time for prayer, worship and bible study have been the best source for spiritual growth for me. In my morning devotions, I draw near to God and feel his presence most clearly. Very often I find a verse or a passage that resonates with my soul and draws me into prayer and thanksgiving. Its a time to listen and talk and enjoy relationship.

Morning Devotions or Evening Devotions

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Click on the photo to jump to Redbubble if you want to purchase this design on a mug or notebook.

There are a lot of different ways to approach a devotional time. What works for some people doesn’t work for others. At different times in our lives, we may be called into deeper spiritual times which may require longer devotional times. Many people seem to think that first thing in the morning is the best time for devotions. I also like a morning devotion time, but not first thing in the morning for me. I need to wake up a bit first, have some coffee, do some little chores. I have also had periods in my life where evening devotions worked better for me – a time where I laid down the worries of the day, and moved into peace. I think the important thing here is not what time or for how long, but that I keep showing up and Jesus draws me closer.

The Purpose of Devotions

As a child of God, I seek a closer relationship with him. And as I seek, I find God is closer than ever. In my daily devotions, I want to draw close to God’s heart, understand more about Him, obey His commands, and hold on to His promises – especially hold on to His promises. This is the way I prepare to trust and be obedient, to face life and exercise my faith in the midst of the obstacles and opportunities that face me everyday.

Becoming a Prayer Warrior – Fervent in Prayer

One of my goals in life is to be a prayer warrior, fervent in prayer. Yet lately I have felt a reluctance to pray, my usual set aside time was getting sucked back into other things. I felt a need to finish up quickly and get on to those other things. So like I often do, when having some kind of problem, I started looking around for a book where the author had experienced something similar and perhaps had some suggestions I could implement. I started reading:

prayer warrior art

Be a Prayer Warrior – Fervent in Prayer. Design available for sale – click on photo to see more.

Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer

Fervant, written by Priscilla Shirer, is more than a book about prayer, its actually a work book to plan very specific prayers that align with God’s plan. I am working through a chapter on getting my passion for prayer back when its gone. The perfect chapter for me! “Fervent prayer is fueled by passion. By faith. By fire.” As my fire and passion have seemed lower, my focus has shifted towards myself and the general not-enoughedness of being me. I need to let my weakness point me back to God’s grace and His strength.

I am creating a specific prayer after reading these words:

“The presence of passion, faith and belief in our hearts is a gift…instead of feeling guilty – personally responsible – whenever your passion in prayer is weak or missing, realize instead that it is God’s work both to give it and then to fan it into flame inside you. Which means you cannot manufacture it on your own. So go to Him to get it back.”

And I mediate on God’s word:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh – from Ezekial 36:26

Fervent, written by Priscilla Shirer is available at this link:

Personalized Story Books for your Children

My Book Of Prayers

My Book Of Prayers

Today I would like to introduce you to Susan, a team mate of mine on Etsy. Susan runs We HIVE Personalized Story Books. I am so impressed with her lovely books and wanted to know more about her motivation and background. Here is the interview we did:

Susan, what motivated you to start your business?

Well, as many Mothers can relate, I desperately wanted to be home with my family, and I understood that it would definitely be a financial sacrifice. I didn’t know if it was possible but I wanted to try to make it work, so to help out financially I started We HIVE in 2007.

Tell us the reasoning behind your personalized story books business

I have learned to love reading but it was not always that way. I struggled to learn when I was young. I didn’t understand the connection between letters, sounds and words. After struggling for some time, I was given a book that someone, I can’t remember who, thought would help me. (They will never understand what a gift they had given me.) The book title and story had my name in it: “Susan’s Secret Garden”. I will never forget it. It was explained to me that the story was about me and that it actually had my name printed in it. I was so excited. I knew what my name looked like in print and went through all the pages looking for it. The story was so much fun as I could imagine myself in the story. I had the book read to me over and over and over! Soon, I was looking through the book by myself after having heard it so often and memorizing most of it. After that I was starting to put things together myself as far as reading went. It took some time but finally I wanted to read and was excited about it rather than afraid. I am so grateful for that book. I still have it after 38 years and will treasure it forever!

Tell us a bit about Personalized Stories and Personalized Companion Journals

Each story is personalized with a child’s full name, up to three friends can be involved in the story and also a child’s hometown. A dedication on the front page will remind the recipient of the person, occasion and date they received this wonderful gift. Depending on the story more information can be included in the story as well. Also, in each of the stories you will find a learning experience or wonderful memories. We have sport themes that deal with sportsmanship, safety, counting and rhyming, memory books and Christian books such as:

My Book of Prayers

Book of Prayers

Book of Prayers

Here are some entries from the book: __________ would be filled in with personalized information.

Sometimes, _________, you may wonder about the words to say to God. You want to thank Him for all He does for you throughout your day. This special book was written to help you talk to God.

You can pray anytime, _________, no matter what you are doing. God is always ready to listen to you. You can even make up your own prayers. Say anything and everything you want to God.

_________, it must make you very happy to know you are surrounded by people who love you so much.

Book of Prayers

Book of Prayers

Dear God, thank you for my family and friends. Please help me to say only kind works to _________, _________ and _________.
Dear God, please let me play in a loving, sharing way with __________, __________and _________today. Amen.

I do not write the stories but I do personalize, print and bind each one with love and care. My Personalized journals include your personal message to the recipient from the gift giver and can be lined or blank. I call them companion journal’s because you can choose from any of our stories and have a journal made with the same cover. So as with the story above you may choose to order a companion journal of the same cover or different for the recipient to journal their prayers in.

What do the people who buy your books say?

  • Wow! Can’t say enough. First of all the order process was quick and easy. They worked with me to create a personalized book that turned out to be the highlight of our family Christmas! Shipping was very fast and the book exceeded our expectations.
  • I bought this for my friend’s son who I have not been able to meet yet. She called me in tears when she received it. It’s such a great idea!
  • My son LOVED this book & wants us to read it again & again. So perfect for a hockey loving 5 year old boy. Very clever concept, well done!
  • This is really the coolest gift ever. This is so, so well done. My girlfriend cried when her daughter opened this. She said she could not have imagined a better gift.

Where to find We HIVE and Susan

I hope you’ll stop by for a visit. We have many themes to choose from for any occasion. Imagine your child growing up and reading a story about themselves to their own children. Your grandchildren! What a wonderful experience to look forward too.
Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/wehive
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/We-HIVE-Personalized-Gifts-Fundraising/358554087506297
Etsy facebook shop: wehive.etsythemeshop.com/

Blessings, Susan

Praying for Your Elephant

I just finished reading Praying for your Elephant by Adam Stadtmiller and wanted to share some ideas that continue to resonate with me. This book is about asking prayer and that is the focus, the author makes it clear that asking prayer is one element of prayer and needs to be combined with praise and thanksgiving.

Prayer and Faith

I think I have always had some confusion about prayer, specifically around how much faith I need to have in the results to make them turn out the way that I want. Turns out that I have it backwards, for sure its my job to ask, but its God’s job to answer. So from now on

I am in the business of prayer creation and I am leaving the editorial and distribution responsibilities to God.

Relationship

Asking prayer is about relationship – between me, a daughter and my father who happens to be king of the universe. He delights in giving me good things, in seeing my heart full of joy and wonder. So when prayer comes to be more about the answers than the giver, I am getting it wrong.  I am opening myself to the temptation to feel unloved when my prayers are not answered on the timeline or way I expected. I have faith that God can, as to whether he will, that part I will leave in his hands.

It`s through asking prayer, and experiencing God`s responses that I can become aware of what he is doing in my life:

Prayer informs me of the movements and rhythm of God around me.

Intentional vs Off the Cuff Prayer

Its interesting to note that here I am doing this important thing, prayer, this precious thing that the Holy Spirit himself is collaborating with me on, and yet my prayers are often off-the-cuff. This book has made me rethink that idea, and to track my prayers so that I can see how God is responding, record it and be thankful for it.

Buy it here

Ìf you want to buy Praying for Your Elephants, the link below will take you there.

Kingdom, Power, Glory – Lord’s Prayer Matt 6:13

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen. Some versions of Matthew 6:13

Kingdom Power

So our model prayer from Jesus ends, as it began, with praise and worship – acknowledging who God is, his power to answer prayer, that we are praying within his Kingdom, for Kingdom purposes and that our answered prayers would bring him glory.

The other day, after grace, our little girl was asking why we say ‘amen’ at the end of our prayers and what does it mean. I was pleased to have an answer – that it means ‘it shall be done’ and that it is a statement of our faith in God to answer our prayers. I am reminded of Martin Luther’s advice – to add a great big AMEN to our prayers.

The End of our Lord’s Prayer Series

This is part 5 of a series on the Lord’s Prayer, check out parts one through four here:

Part one: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name

Part two: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Part three: Give us today our daily bread, forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors

Part four: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one

kingdom, power, glory

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen

Your Kingdom Come – Lord’s Prayer

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Matthew 6:10 (Part 2 of the Lord’s Prayer Series)

Today I re-read the Lord’s prayer in the Message version of the Bible. I learned the Lord’s prayer as a child in the King James version, and I love the poetic flow of the words. But sometimes its good to read another version, so the words and ideas seem new and fresh.

In the King James version, the second part of the Lord’s Prayer is: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. And in the Message version its: Set the world right. Do what’s best, as above, so below.

A Heart’s Response

This second part of the prayer is a heart’s response to the first part of the prayer where we have praised God and put Him in his appropriate place in our lives. We have ascribed him power, greatness and holiness. We have looked up from our daily lives and seen the true glory of the Lord.

In the second part of the prayer, we are responding to this glory of God in our lives. As God is the best and the highest, it inspires us to focus on what He wants, on his kingdom, on his will, here on earth right now. It inspires trust and faith that He knows what is right and is always working towards His goals.

Setting our Sights on the Kingdom

Jesus was always talking about the kingdom of God, telling us what this kingdom was like, to open our eyes to his Father’s plans. I know I get captivated by my own problems, my own needs and wants. I get lost in these little things and constantly forget to watch for God’s kingdom, to see his hand in all the circumstances that surround me.

With this part of the prayer, we shed my earthly vision and give our circumstances over to the Lord with the hope and courage to let Him use them for his kingdom and his purposes.

We pray to see more of the kingdom, to see things through God’s eyes, to know his purposes in the things that surround us right now. This is a whole discipline in itself, to live in surrender and hope that his word is true – that he is working things out for good – including the details of daily life.

Give me vision, give me hope – I surrender this day to your will and watch for your hand. Keep me vigilant, I don’t want to miss one thing You are doing.

This post is the second of a five part series on the Lord’s prayer. Please enter your email address over to the right to get the next part of the series. Tell me about your experiences with prayer in the comments!

Your kingdom come

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

 

This is part of a series on the Lord’s Prayer, the complete series is available at these links:

Part one: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name

Part two: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Part three: Give us today our daily bread, forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors

Part four: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one

Part five: For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

Our Father in Heaven – Lord’s Prayer

It is one of our great privileges to come to our Father in prayer. I cannot express how much its meant to me to understand that He wants to hear from me and build a relationship. Throughout the Bible we see all kinds of examples of how people prayed, in faith, in desperation, in pain, in joy. One of the verses that keeps coming back to me over and over is to pray without ceasing, so I have been on a bit of a journey about how to pray.

Jesus on Prayer

Dig into this subject at all and much starts to come out about the teaching of Jesus himself on the matter of prayer. I, and probably you, was taught the Lord’s prayer when I was too young to understand the words. We repeated it verbatim on a daily basis in school and at church. This kind of repetition can become exactly what Jesus talks about in the verse before the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:7, warning us not to use vain repetitions.

The Lord’s Prayer as a Model

Since Jesus did not want vain repetitions, he clearly wasn’t looking for us to keep saying the Lord’s prayer over and over, but rather to use it for a model, a basis for building our prayer that would be pleasing to the Lord. Like a good teacher, he gave us a structure to use that would place us in the right mind frame to form worshipful prayer.

Start with Reverence

The start of the Lord’s prayer is addressing our Father, ascribing him power, greatness and holiness. This is a good place to start in prayer. What I have been doing lately is to select a psalm and read it carefully for what it tells me about the nature of God. I let the psalm – God’s word to me – inform my heart about the character of God where I should focus my praise and adoration as I start my prayer.

This post is the first of a five part series on the Lord’s prayer. Please enter your email address over the the right to get the next part of the series. Tell me about your experiences with prayer in the comments!

Our Father in Heaven hallowed by your name

The Lord’s Prayer Series – First Reverence

This is part of a series on the Lord’s Prayer, the complete series is available at these links:

Part one: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name

Part two: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Part three: Give us today our daily bread, forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors

Part four: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one

Part five: For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.