The Power of Prayer

I’m going to be completely honest, one of the areas that I’m weaker in spiritually is prayer, so writing this was a good reminder of why it’s so important and why I need to work to get better on improving my prayer life and view on prayer.

When it comes to praying, we are to…

  • Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Go boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16)
  • Give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Pray for our daily needs (Matthew 6:11)
  • Pray for forgiveness of sins (Acts 8:22-24)
  • Pray for God’s will to be done (Matthew 6:10)
  • Pray for other Christians (Philippians 1:9-11)
  • Pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44)
  • Pray for strength (Matthew 6:13, 2:41)
  • Everything–

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”-Philippians 4:6

When I was younger I prayed to God about everything, I remember losing a frog that I snuck into the house once and praying to God that I would find it, I thought it was a miracle when that frog hopped across my foot a few seconds later.

I also remember thinking that I was the reason my sister Kathryn was my sister, because I had prayed for a little sister right before my parents told me they were pregnant with her.

A few years ago, my sister Kathryn prayed a prayer I’ll never forget…

We were having lunch and she wanted to pray for her food. We both were inside alone eating lunch since it was Saturday and I think the rest of our family was still outside working, she closed her eyes, bowed her head, clasped her hands and said with 100% seriousness: “God, thank you for my food, and please give us a second story, I really want stairs. I know you’re God and that you can do anything, so I know that when I open my eyes there will be stairs. In Jesus’s name, amen.”

Yes, she did proceed to get up and search every room of the house for that staircase.

It was something my family and I laughed about and still do occasionally, but Kathryn was onto something, she knew that God was God, and she trusted that He could make her staircase possible because with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). It’s that childlike trust and perspective, and aren’t we all supposed to be like children (Matthew 18:1-5)?

I know you’re God and that you can do anything,”

I’ll be honest: sometimes I forget that God is God and that He can do anything.

“God is not a genie. or a vending machine.” I have found myself saying, and while that is true, I often forget that prayer still has power.

I forget that fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).

I forget that God is a good Father who wants a relationship with us, and like any good parent, He wants us to talk to Him and go to Him when we are hurt, scared, or even joyful.

What happened to attitude of knowing that God was powerful and that we needed Him?

We grew up, we got hurt, we realized that this life was never promised to be easy, and that God doesn’t always answers prayers with a “yes”.

But have we forgotten the power of prayer? I know I have.

God will answer our prayers if we…

  • pray as obedient children of His (Isaiah 59:2, 1 John 3:22, John 9:31)

“Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.”-John 9:31

  • are righteous (1 Peter 3:12)
  • pray according to the will of God (1 John 5:14)
  • pray with faith (Matthew 21:22, James 1:5-7)
  • have the right motive while praying (James 4:3-6)
  • pray to God through Jesus (our mediator) (John 14:13-14, Colossians 3:17)

Maybe like Kathryn’s stairs, it isn’t always a yes, but that doesn’t mean God didn’t listen, or that the prayer wasn’t effective.

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication  with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”-Philippians 4:6

“Everything” the greek word here is “pas ” and it means each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.

God wants us to pray to Him, not just for the big things, but for the small things, for all the things.

When I was four I prayed to God about frogs and baby genders because it was important to me and I knew that He cared about me, and I knew that He was listening to me.

Now I look up and find myself in the attitude of “what difference does it make?” at times.

What changed?
That shouldn’t have changed.

…the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”-James 5:16

We might not know all the ways God works, but we do know that He is good, that He loves us, and that prayer is powerful.

You Might Not Get Married, And That’s OK

Lately, I’ve been stumbling onto many homemaking niche instagram accounts.

You know the ones.

The pretty pastels, happy kids, spotless white kitchens, moms with full faces of makeup on rambling about their beautiful family in the posts.

I’m not dissing these pages, they’re cute. I’m sure they’re helpful to plenty of expecting and new moms and are sources for encouragement. I’ve even considered following one, but my finger stopped above the follow button…

I looked at those perfectly lit aesthetic pictures, and I felt a bitterness wash over me, and I knew then that it wasn’t healthy for me to see that on my feed. I knew it wasn’t healthy for me to want what wasn’t mine, and that was what I was doing in that moment.

I felt discouraged, not at the thought of not currently having a family, but at the thought of never having one.

Fast-foward a bit, I came across another one, but this one was different.

It was a homemaking page run by a young teen girl and a self-described “future-homemaker”.

I wasn’t sure what to think about it.

On one hand, homemaking is beautiful. I wish the stay-at-home mom life was still looked at as important in today’s culture. I’m glad this young girl sees the beauty, and I’m glad that she wants that for her future.

On one hand, it is important to learn how to keep a home running.

On the other, I didn’t like it because a future that might never be, was shown as her whole identity and purpose, when it’s not.

Marriage is not a right; it’s not promised.

Neither are kids.

Yet, we act like our life is on pause until we get married and have kids.

Why does it seem that there is this unrealistic, “Oh, I just want to skip this stuff and get married and have kids.” As if that’s when the credits roll as you ride off into the sunset, into a happy ending? Forget the part where life goes on and continues to be stressful and hard work in different ways.

My dad tells me this story about how he and his roommate had a calendar in college, and they would celebrate the end of each day by crossing another day off with a red pen.

“You’re counting your life away,” someone remarked to my dad once.

My dad said he never understood that remark until years later when he looked up and realized that he had done that.

We all are guilty of doing that, especially in this area.

It’s always when I meet someone, then I’ll-

When I get engaged, then I’ll-

When I get married, then I’ll-

When I have children, then I’ll-

What about the “now’s“?

Now, I’ll-

There are so many opportunities to serve God and others now.

There are so many things you can do now that you won’t be able to do if (or when) you get married and have kids.

You have a life and a purpose now.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”-Ecclesiastes 12:13

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”-Thessalonians 5:11

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”-Matthew 5:16

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”-Matthew 28:19-20

Your purpose will never be found in a significant other, marriage, kids, grandchildren, etc. Your purpose is found in Christ and you can live your life for Him now.

I’m not writing this to be a feminist or take away from the beauty and importance of marriage and the home, I’m simply here to tell you to stop wasting your time pining for a season you’re not in yet.

Enjoy the spring when it’s spring.

Enjoy the summer when it’s summer.

Enjoy the autumn when it’s autumn.

Enjoy the winter when it’s winter.

Enjoy being single while you’re single.

Enjoy the now.

Every season has its pros and cons.

I pray that we both find good, godly people to marry one day, but if not and if this season decides to stick around, we’ll be ok.

I’m not sure if I’m talking to you or myself in this post. I guess it’s a bit of both, but we have got to stop waiting for and idolizing the next thing–whether it be graduating high school, a major, a career, a relationship, marriage, a job promotion etc.–and we have to start focusing on what we can do now for God and for others, and what we can learn now.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”’-James 4:13-15

I might not get married.

You might not get married.

I’m not writing this to be discouraging or pessimistic, but simply to tell you and myself that it’s ok.

Your value as a person and as a child of God is not depended on a relationship status.

Your identity will never be found in a significant other; it is found in Christ.

Marriage is not going to solve your problems. You will be disappointed if you put that much expectation on another human.

God has not promised us marriage, and that’s ok.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be guilty of seeking after a relationship more than God.

Dear reader, you might not get married, and that’s ok.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
 And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
-Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in God in this time of uncertainty, acknowledge Him and His purpose for you even when you cannot see the big picture and can’t understand all of the “why’s” in life.

No one said that this life would be easy and that all our dreams would come true. All we can do is pick up our cross and follow Him, no matter the season we are in.

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”-Matthew 10:38-39

Coffee Dates: Are You a Morning Person?

Coffee Dates: Are You a Morning Person?

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these, it’s also been a while since I’ve posted. To be honest, I’ve been a bit stressed which results in me freezing up when it comes to things to post and words to write.

I get the most anxious at night, I come home and suddenly I’m just hit with this wave of loneliness and feelings of hopelessness, even when I’ve had a good evening out with friends.

Everything seems ten times worse at night, maybe that’s one of the reasons why I’m no longer a night person, but a morning one.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” -Lamentations 3:22–24

I love mornings because they are new, they’re a reminder that we have been granted more time to be the people we ought to be because we aren’t promised another day.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

In this life of uncertainty, God’s love is certain, and I will hope in Him.

I will hope in Him even when all hope seems lost.

I will hope in Him even when I wake up to a chaotic world full of sickness, death, failure, and grief because I know that His love never fails.

And you can hope in Him too.

I’ve had the playful argument of “sunrises vs. sunsets”, and I’ll always be on the side of sunrises, even if I’m not always awake for them.

Last year, I would watch the sunrise every Friday as I drove to my co-op.

I remember one morning it was raining and cold and I was driving down the freeway as the sun rising finally broke through the clouds, and suddenly, things weren’t so deary anymore. I saw that the grass was green from the rain, I watched as creation woke up to show evidence of God another day, as the sunrise proved that He is the best artist ever overhead.

I love the morning because, in the stillness, I remember so many of His words.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”-Psalm 46:10

In the stillness, I remember the hope that there is to find in Him, and that hope doesn’t waver even after long, anxious nights.

“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”-Proverbs 30:5

Maybe you’re like me, and maybe you have hard nights at times.

Maybe you tossed and turned in your bed, as anxious thoughts battled for your attention in your head.

Maybe you feel asleep with a feeling of hopelessness in your chest.

Wake up now. Wash the sleep out of your eyes. Wait for a second before thinking about the busyness of today.

Be still.

Hope in Him.

Find joy in Him.

God is good and today is new.

“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.

 Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies;
In You I take shelter.
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.” –
Psalm 143:8-10

Are you a morning person?
What reminds you of the truth?