What started out small began to grow. The small crack grew until it spanned halfway across the windshield and dropped down. It didn’t happen overnight but it happened. Why? Neglect. You know what I mean. You think to yourself, well it’s a small crack, I can take care of it later. Only to realize too late that later never came. Maintenance. Whether a vehicle, a home, or a relationship, they all have one thing in common: maintenance. In order to keep your vehicle running smoothly, you have to take care of it, have routine maintenance, and fix the small issues when they are still small instead of waiting until it becomes a big deal. The same thing applies to maintaining a home or even a relationship. You have to have routine maintenance in order to keep things running smoothly.
Years ago my husband wanted a truck. (Must be a Southern thing. 😉 Or more likely a guy thing.) So we got a truck. It’s been around for quite awhile now and has been in the shop off and on for multiple issues. We fix one thing and everything seems fine but after awhile something else needs to be fixed. We also own another vehicle and it is getting to the age where it too will need additional work.
As I thought about what we needed to save up for in the vehicle maintenance department, I thought about relationships. More accurately, I thought about our relationship with the Lord and how we need to maintain it.
Hey there! What do you see when you look at the door? Do you have grand visions for the new year or is it just another door? Another year of the same old things? Have you already decided that nothing’s going to change and you are basically stuck in a rut? I’m thinking if I were your enemy, this is going to be a great year for me since you’re already feeling defeated. I’ve already won because I’ve worn you down to the point that you can’t see beyond your state of chaos. Good news for me bad news for you. One less prayer warrior out there standing in gap praying.
It’s time to open the door and change how you view your present and your future. It’s time to take back what the enemy stole from you. It’s time to pray. Pray believing and knowing with confidence that He will hear and answer according to His purpose and in His time.
Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Prayer is such a powerful tool. It has the power to change the way you think, feel and act. It can fill you with hope, peace, comfort and impact others around you. It can open doors that seem shut to you. Have you ever had someone ask you to pray for them and you said you would? Did you stop and pray right then or did you go on about your day and prayed later? I have to be honest here, I’ve stopped and prayed right then, but there were times when I’ve also gone about my day saying I would and most of the time, I did. But sometimes I would forget until the next day. Sure I prayed but did my prayer have as much impact as it could have if I had stopped to pray right then?
As we enter into a new year, I’m working on being better at taking the time to stop right then and pray when someone asks for prayer. If someone takes time to stop and ask for prayer, then I need to stop and make the time to pray with them. 💗
I’d like to challenge you to join me on a 21 day prayer journey. Keeping a prayer journal I imagine you’ll see changes in how you pray. Pray before you start you day. Sounds easy enough but not always the first thought that pops in one’s mind. Psalms 51:10 “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” This is a good way to start your morning before your feet hit the floor. Pray for yourself. That’s right yourself. Talk the Lord as if He’s right there with you, because guess what? He is. If someone asks you to pray for them, don’t put it off instead, pray for them where you are. [Don’t be shy, boldly pray for that person-you don’t have to shout the prayer for all the world around to hear- just don’t put off the prayer because of a public setting. Guilty. 🖐 I have done that. Put off praying because of a public setting and felt bad afterwards.] Pray throughout your day and when someone comes to mind to pray for them, stop and pray even if you don’t know why. God knows why He put that person on your heart. Pray for your family. Pray before you go to sleep. At the end of the 21 days something’s going to happen. How you handle situations will be different. Even seasoned prayer warriors find a renewing in their own prayer life when they stop to refocus and renew their spirit man. You may find that Jesus is one hundred percent at the forefront of your life when maybe He wasn’t always at the forefront of your thoughts. You’ll probably begin to see life from a different perspective and even though your circumstances may not fully change, how you handle it does. You may find with continued open communication with the Lord that things seem to fall in place. The chaos you may feel begins to fade away. Will every day be perfect? Doubtful. In fact I can almost promise you that you may feel under attack even more so and it would be easy to back off and not pray as often. Don’t do it. Don’t back off. I encourage you not to give up, but instead press in and keep the prayers coming. Pray. Take back the territory the enemy has taken from you. Put the enemy on notice that he no longer is in control.
On the side bar you’ll see the 21 Day Challenge. I’ve listed some scriptures that encourage me to press in and pray. If you decide to take the challenge with me, I’d love to hear from you at the end of the challenge and let me know how it impacted your prayer life. You may be that person who never really had a prayer life or maybe your a seasoned prayer warrior whoever you are at the end of the challenge you’ll find you’ve changed. Behind the door you’ll find the Lord waiting for you. Are you ready to see what changes are coming your way? I’ll be praying for you! God bless!
It doesn’t take much these days to become hooked on games. I checked out some of the more popular games played and wasn’t surprised to find quite a few were fighting type games, sports, and a some fun looking games that upon closer inspection were also fighting games just made to look innocent. The titles alone for some of them make you wonder, why on earth people would even play such a game. Whatever happened to Mario Kart? Whatever game, your children (whether young or older) play or even if you play them yourself, if you aren’t careful you may find yourself hooked. It can consume you to the point where you neglect those around you and even yourself. I should know. I’m hooked on games and I’m not even considered a gamer. My games are mostly puzzle gaming apps that you download to your phone, you know, the ones that aren’t addictive? Right. Keep telling yourself that.
“I can stop anytime I want.” “Just one more level and I’ll quit.” “What’s the harm?” “At least I’m not out running the streets.” Excuses and poor ones at that. But still excuses nonetheless. Do you hear the enemy whispering in your ear? Did you know that a person could end up spending hundreds of dollars on those In-app purchases that come with phone games? (And for the record, no I don’t spend money on the In-app purchases for that very reason.) There’s even a new incentive out there nowadays, look it up and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
The enemy will take something tantalizing to use to lure you away from Christ. Away from studying the Bible, from praying, even from your family. Games are one thing he uses and in this day and age it’s easy enough to use to distract you. If I were your enemy, I would delve into the deepest darkest areas of your life looking for that one thing that could lure you away from the Lord. It could be anything. Temptation comes in many forms. For me eBooks are my weakness, worse than the games on my phone, and the enemy uses it against me every chance he gets. As I write this post, I discovered that I have actually gone five months without purchasing a book. A record for me considering I would buy anywhere from four to eight books a month! Temptation can be something that seems good on the surface but in reality it isn’t. Sound familiar?
James 1:14 says “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
Matthew 26:41 says “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
It’s no wonder we are given instruction to watch and pray.
Decide today to carve out time for you and your family. Reconnect with each other. More importantly, be sure to take the time to reconnect with God through prayer, reading and planting His word deep in your heart and mind. Talk to Him like He is a friend or even family and not some unreachable person that you can’t talk too. He’s reachable, you need only to seek Him out. God bless!