Your Faith is Mixed if Your Doing This

Guy with PencilDo you have mixed faith?

Well, How do your prayers sound?

If your sending God mixed messages, it might look like this...

One anti-drug organization distributed some free pencils to schoolchildren. Sadly, it had the opposite effect than they intended.

Why?

The group passed out pencils with the printed message: "WAY TO COOL TO DO DRUGS."

Great message, right?

Yep. Until the pencil got sharpened. As the kiddos twiddled down their pencil points the message became: "COOL TO DO DRUGS."

Yeah, that's cool. And a little more pencil use plus a little more sharpening eventually made the message: "DO DRUGS."

Great. Same pencil. Mixed message. Time and use made the message evolve into something other than intended.

Does that ever happen to your faith? Or your prayers?

You start out with a faith filled prayer that covers all the bases. Then time starts to ware on that prayer. No answer twiddles away at your faith and you're left with less and less of it.

What does this sound like?

Though you prayed a powerful faith filled prayer, comments slip out of your mouth that are opposite of what you prayed for.

God, help us financially to meet our needs. But then weeks later, you're looking over your bills and you utter: "We'll never get out of debt!" If God is for us, why isn't he helping us?

Sure, you're frustrated, that's understandable. But you're sending a mixed faith signal up to the heavens.

Doesn't sound like you really believe God's gonna get you out of this mess, do you?

Or how about this: you're looking to passionately infuse your home with the love of Christ. You pray, "God, fill this place with your presence, let it overflow, let it ooze out of us on a daily basis."

Yeah, that's a nice mushy prayer. It'll work too, until you get sick and tired of your kids acting like hooligans, your spouse forgets to pick up the dry cleaning, and your car won't start because your teenager left the lights on all night.

Oh, and lets not forget the dog pooping all over the floor and your cat decides to spray all over the living room furniture.

Your emotions take over, you lose your faith-filled frame of mind, and you yell in desperation:  "My life sucks!" Oops. Too strong for you? Well, I'm sure you think it even if you don't say it.

Get real. Keep in mind who your God is. He's able to turn every situation upside down and get you out of your mess.

Do you realize who you're dealing with here? The Jesus I hope you serve is the same one who kicked the devil's booty out of heaven. Yes, he's the alpha and omega and in case you don't get what that means… just know he's got everything covered. Everything is under control.

You, my dear, don't need to sweat it. He's standing by your side even when you think you're all alone. And he's available if you'll just reach out with faith…

  • Unmixed faith.
  • Faith that won't dwindle.
  • Faith that stays sharp.
  • Faith that is faithful.

That's faith that will see you through, as long as you don't mix it up!

This Could be the Game-Changer for Your Prayer Life

I'm about to drop something on you that could be the game-changer for your prayer life. 

Ready for something to shift when you pray?

I'm talking answers.

Ready for a fresh way to interact with God?

I'm talking awakening.

Ready for your faith to be bumped up to a whole new level?

I'm talking inspiration.

Ready to kick it up a notch when you pray?

I'm talking results.

Ready for this?….

Coming December 20th. Click here.

Get ready to hop on board with us!

 

The Secret to Never Forgetting to Pray for Anyone. Guaranteed.

I'm driving in my car on my way to my next appointment. I pass a car that looks like it could be someone I know. Suddenly my mind wanders over into, "Hey, I wonder how her mom's chemo treatments are going?"  I think: "I'll have to remember to pray for her later."

I arrive at my destination. I park and hop out of my car. My mind thinks back to a conversation I had with my daughter. She was concerned about a test she was taking. I'll have to remember to pray for that later too. I'll make a mental note.

Then I grab a cup of coffee and get seated at my meeting. I bump into Greg who tells me his neighbor was hit by a car last week. He's still in ICU fighting for his life. Wow! Add that one to the top of the list to pray for...later.

By now I've got quite a list going. Problem is - as important as these prayer needs are, they will fall off my list if I don't write them down.  And then even if I do, will I remember to grab the list before I start praying? Maybe. Maybe not.

So what usually happens?

My great intention to pray for all of these needs gets sidelined by busyness, distractions, and yep - my wandering mind. It's not that I intentionally forget to pray for these needs. I just don't remember.

Confession - I have a wandering mind. Researchers say that's because I have more brain capacity than most, which allows me to jump to other thoughts while on a task or subject. Hee hee! (Love that!) You too?! How smart we both are! But wandering thoughts get us in pickles. Especially when it comes to prayer.

Want to know the secret to never, EVER forgetting to pray for something or someone?

Pray it now!

Later may never come.

How bout the next time you realize someone needs prayer - you stop right there and pray? I've adopted this philosophy: When I can, when someone comes to mind, or when someone asks me to pray for them - I pray it now!

Eph 6:18 (AMP) says,

"Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty."

Pray It Now!

This means we can pray anytime, anywhere. We don't have to wait until we are in the right mood to pray. We don't even have to wait until we are in the right setting. Anytime, anywhere is a good time to whisper a prayer.

I'm not suggesting we give up our scheduled prayer time and switch to praying by the seat of our pants. No, we need to have a quiet time set aside where we can zero in on God with no other distractions. But when a prayer need becomes a distraction - because the need comes to mind - Pray it now! 

Bet you'll make more of a difference in people's lives. And think, the next time you see that person who needs a prayer, you won't have to say: "Yeah, I'll be praying for you. You're on my FUTURE prayer list." Or, "I'll get around to praying for you - if I don't forget!" Nope! You can ecstatically say:  "I was praying for you the other day!"

Mission Accomplished. Feels good, right?!

Pray it now!

Has it been challenging for you remembering to pray for other people? When's the last time you dropped everything and prayed for someone who came to mind? Leave your reply in the comment section. 

How God Uses You Through Prayer

Prayer is like improv theater. Ever watched "Who's Line Is It Anyway"? That show had me rolling on the floor! The American version of the popular British improvisational comedy show starred Drew Carey as the host. Carey would take suggestions from the audience and assign roles and scenarios to the comedian contestants, who then improvised a skit on the spot. If you need a good laugh, Google it. The reruns will have you in stitches!

In kind of the same way, C.S. Lewis wrote this about prayer and I just love it. In effect, he said,

The scene and the general outline of the story is fixed by the author (God), but certain minor details are left for the actors to improvise. It may be a mystery why He should allow us to be a change agent of sorts.

What Lewis was describing is like a scene from "Who's Line Is It Anyway" or any other improv theater. It's as if God gives us the outline but we are left to improvise. And we do so by our prayers. God uses prayer as the method to make things happen.

Why would God use prayer as the method of change?

I can only guess. But this I know: God made things happen with his words. He made things, created things, and changed things with the words he spoke. How did he create the world? By speaking it into existence. Words spoken bring change.

The Bible says we are called to imitate God.

If we are to do life like him, it's no surprise then that prayer is the method he chooses for us to intervene in the world. By our prayers we speak. And when we do, things take shape. Things move. Things happen. If it's the method God himself chose, it makes sense then that it's the method he chooses for us to use as well. He wants us to be like him. To speak like him.

Jesus told a fig tree to wither up and die. It listened. The next time he passed by - it was a goner! In fact, Jesus tells us to speak to the mountains that stand in our way. You can check it out. Look what Jesus told them:

I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." Matthew 17:20 NLT

He actually instructed us to tell whatever stands in our way "where to go"! Bet there's a lot of people you'd like to tell where to go! Do it. But be nice!

Mark Batterson says in his book, The Circle Maker,

We control our world through prayer. What we speak occurs. Prayer is prophesy.

Prophesy is speaking something that is going to come to pass. Wow! If you have faith to make something happen by speaking to it - look out!

So prayer is like grabbing the outline that God has ordained and improvising or fleshing out the scene with our prayers. It's his method. When we use it, we change the world. Cool that he let's us do that!

And we don't just get to do it, we were told to do it. Genesis 1:26 (KJV) says,

Let us make man inn our image, in our likeness; and let them have dominion…over all the earth.

When God gave man dominion, he gave him the freedom to act as his authority figure on earth. So again, it's as if God sets the stage with the outline of his will. And we are the actors who improvise as we take dominion over the earth. We are told to make things happen, to take charge. This is why we pray. And this is why prayer changes things. And this is how God uses you through prayer.

Get ready to speak your lines. Prayer is not your prerogative; it's your assignment.

Who's line is it anyway?….It's yours. Speak!

This post is an excerpt from my newest book, Grabbing God's Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro. You can click here if you are interested in scooping up a copy. Amazon has it. Or if you would like the PDF version that you can print (which is especially useful if you want to write in the Taking-Action sections of the book): Clicky here!

What do you think about the idea that you get to improvise with your prayers and make things happen on the earth? What have you prayed for that recently took shape? Go to the comment section above the post and share with us. Looking forward to reading what you have to say!

Dr. Linda

 

A Sure Way to Get People Praying For You

So you're going through a tough time. Life has sucked the snot out of you and you are barely crawling to the finish line. Well, maybe it's NOT that bad! But you are up against a wall in some area of your life, right? I'm with ya. And a few times it crossed your mind, "I sure hope someone, anyone, is praying for me!"

That would be cool, huh? Feeling the prayers of others wrapping around you, offering you a hedge of protection, and issuing a wave of blessing in your life. Who wouldn't want that?

But then you wonder… “Is there anyone praying for me? Am I on anyone's radar? Do I come to mind as others are praying?”

There is one sure way to make that happen:

Pray for them.

Pray for who?

Anyone who comes to your mind.

The janitor who empties the garbage in your building, the guy who whizzed by you on the highway this morning, the gal who checked out your groceries, the pastor who preached his heart out to you last Sunday, the babysitter who watched your kids, the telemarketer who illegally called your cell phone after 9pm the other night…you get the idea.

Pray. Pray for ANY of them. Pray for ALL of them. Pray for them when they come to mind. Pray when you know what they are up against. Pray when you don't have a clue what's going on in their world. If you want others praying for you…you have to get the ball rolling.

How do I know it's up to you to get the ball rolling?

Take a look at Matt 7:2b

…the amount you give to others will be given to you [or the standard you use for others will be the standard used for you; with the measure you measure, it will be measured to you]. (Expanded Version)

This principle works in all areas of our lives:

  • If you want to have friends, you must show yourself friendly (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)
  • He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25)
  • Forgive and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37-42)
  • What you sow comes back to you (Galatians 6:7)

Jesus was the one who started this whole thing:

[So always; So in everything] Do to others [Treat others as] you want them to do to [treat] you. This is [sums up; is the essence of] the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets…Matt 7:12 (The Expanded Version)

Can you say boomerang baby?! What you throw out there is gonna come back to you! You can't get out of the way! This principle will hunt you down and chase you. What you do for others will end up back in your lap! That's something to bank on.

So yes, I believe it's safe to say, the amount of time you spend praying for others can determine how much time others spend praying for you. 

Funny how we want to reap a harvest we didn't plant for. Before you determine what kind of harvest you want, figure out how much seeding or planting you're willing to do. Only then will your harvest be guaranteed!

You want two people praying for you? Ok, then pray for two people.

You want 20-30 praying for you, ok, then get praying for 20-30 people.

You want the masses praying for you, ok, you get my drift don't you?!

Sow the kind of seed you want to reap.

It's up to you how many people will be praying for you…and how many won't!

What say you? Leave your thoughts for us to chew on in the comment section. Thanks!


What Ripped Prom Pants Have to Do With Praying and Solving Your Problems

He had the pink rose corsage atop a glamorous rhinestone bracelet, he had the prom tickets, he had the stunning date. Everything was perfect.

Until he was about to walk out the door.
Then the scream.
“Mom?!”
“Yes, son?”
“I have a hole in the side of my suit pants!”
Ut oh!

What did he do? He called for help.
Did he call for dad? Shoot no! Dad would fix the hole with duct tape.
Did he scream for his 14 year old sister? Nah...she'd probably staple it together.

He screamed for the best person for the job.
Mama to the rescue!
In under two minutes and 17 seconds, I grabbed my sewing kit, whipped out my needle and thread and said, "Ty, give me those pants, I'm gonna take care of this for you."
Within moments the problem was solved. Tyler rushed out the door, whisked his date off her feet, and they danced the night away!

Let's rewind.
Imagine a different scenario.
Tyler could have freaked out.
He could have tried to solve the problem on his own.
Or both...freak out and solve the problem on his own.

Know what he would have created?
A bigger mess.
And a frazzled state of mind.

....He would have been a fun date. Not!

But isn't that what we sometimes do when we discover a glitch that keeps us from going where we want to in life? We freak out. We try to fix a problem that we don't know how to solve. And most of the time we end up doing both, freaking out AND trying to fix the problem. Which causes a bigger problem; a bigger mess.

Here's a better option:
Fix your thoughts on God and you will have perfect peace while he gets the thing fixed.

You relax. You step aside. You surrender and let God solve your issue. You will finally be on your way without missing a beat.

Unless you freak out….Trying to fix it yourself.
Then your fix will be delayed. And so will your arrival.

I'd hate to picture this, but if my son was brainless enough to lose his cool over the rip in his pants and try to fix the hole himself, he would have made the pants look even worse. Can you imagine? Had he taken the do-it-yourself approach he would have spent three times longer on the ripped pants and arrived to the prom a half hour late. His date miffed, her dad ticked, and the whole night a downer.

When we try to take things into our own hands rather than running to God, who can fix our problem much better than we can, we risk delaying our solution.

So next time you are faced with a crisis:
• Don't freak out
• Don't fix it your way
• Ask for God’s help

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…" Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Toss him the pants. He's gonna get it done faster and better than you can!
Mission accomplished.

Do you tend to freak out, fix it yourself, or have you found another way to deal with the problems that smack you in the face? Share in the comment section.