Sunday, August 7, 2011

finding grace when i miss 3 days!

  friday was a fun day! although i have to say i was up, with the whole family, at 4:00 a.m. i didn't really give much thought as to how i was going to get my early morning prayer in today, i just knew that we'd all be up really early. the kids and i had a day of fun and swimming with friends which meant that my husband had to wake up late (or should i say got to sleep in) while we woke up very early so as to drive him to work to use the shared family car during the day.
  i really did drop the ball here. i could have better planned to spend time with the Lord, even if it was only thirty minutes. i totally was not intentional here!
  saturday was a bust as well. my husband awoke unusually early and made the coffee and tended to the children as they awoke, gifting me some extra time in bed. it really was a wonderful gift for him to do that for me, but i still had guilt about sleeping in and not spending quiet time with the Lord before the house got noisy.
  that night when my husband was setting the clock for the next day (sunday) i was half asleep and didn't set my own clock on my side of the bed too. at 7:00 a.m. i woke up to the sound of silence. squinting without my glasses on, i tried to read his clock - and of coarse it didn't go off! it was set for p.m. not a.m.
  grace is good, always. even if you need to have it for yourself. i really think i was more upset about missing my mornings with the Lord, three mornings in a row, then the Lord was. i will chalk it up to excitement for monday morning's coffee date with the King.
  so that is my update on how i've been doing with intentionally getting up to spend my morning with the Lord. i was really hoping to be able to post every night how each and every day went, but as life can be very unpredictable, i have to remember to allow flexibility in my evenings. this allows for impromptu late night trips to the craft store with the whole family, and unexpected dates out with my husband! and being available to receive these as gifts! gifts from a God who loves to love on us!! thank you Jesus!!
  i want to finish sharing with you elizabeth george's five feats prayer accomplishes in our heart and life.  this comes from her book life management for busy women living out God's plan with passion and purpose. it is such a good book and has really helped me to drawl closer to the Lord. i highly recommend this book if your in need of meat to feed your soul!

  feat #3.) prayer guides us in the path of righteousness. this part of the book is so good i'm going to quote elizabeth george right from the book off page 37. "we've already discussed the necessity of praying before we read God's Word. why? because we so desperately need a soft, pliable heart so as not to miss God's message to us as we read. and there are other reasons we must pray for God's direction. for instance, because we so desperately desire to live in obedience. because we so desperately want God's leading as we make decisions, both large and small, ranging from our service to God to the schedule we make for our busy day. because we so desperately require God's help in order to live our lives His way. because looking to God helps us to love others. because our hearts are so desperately wicked (jeremiah 17:9 (niv) the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it?)! through prayer we open up our hearts to God. and when we do He searches them, ferrets out our motives, and afford us the opportunity to bring our wills into line with His plan." their is no better way to say it! summarizing that one would have really been a disservice!

  feat #4.) prayer assists our relationship with God. elizabeth george says, "the daily discipline and act of prayer helps maintain our relationship with God. and, when we fail, it also restores it.
  psalm 32:5 (niv) then i acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. i said, "i will confess my transgressions to the Lord" - and you forgave the guilt of me sin.
  psalm 51:1,12 (niv)   (1) have mercy on me, oh God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. (12) restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
  judges 16:23-31 although samson did not always walk closely with God he asked God to "remember" him one more time and to "strengthen" him. the Lord answered his prayer and used samson to destroy a "pagan temple and it's evil worshipers."

  feat #5.) prayer strengthens us against our tendency to sin. again i'm going to quote elizabeth george right from her book on page 38. what does the bible say to do instead of fretting, worrying, and anxiety? pray.
  phillippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  mark 11:25(niv) and when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
  what does the bible say to do instead of hating those who hurt us? pray.
  matthew 5:44 (niv) but i tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
  when you are tempted to sin, pray, dear one, instead."

  good stuff, yes? yes! i can't say enough good things about this book and so i want to encourage you if you can, buy it or borrow it from someone! it's by elizabeth george and it's called life management for busy women living out God's plan with passion and purpose. i'm only going to be sharing from the third chapter called developing a passion for prayer, but the rest of the book is just as good as this special chapter!

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