Month: July 2018

Does your pride keep you from loving well?

Does your pride keep you from loving well?

Oh, pride.   The word in itself has so many different meanings.  We take pride in our country.  We pride ourselves on our accomplishments.  I’m proud of my children when they meet their goals.  I’m proud of the hard work I put into that project.  I’m too proud to admit that I let my children’s behavior dictate my feelings toward them sometimes.  I was too proud to admit I was wrong in an argument with my husband.  My pride keeps me from humbling myself and letting God work in my heart.

 

While feeling proud of hard work or an accomplish may seem innocent enough, I have found that many times I let that feeling of being proud turn into arrogant pride.  I took credit for the things that God accomplished.  You see, I now know good and well that I would never have been able to accomplish some of the things I have without Him.

 

Is your pride keeping you from loving others well? Jump into this 30-day Scripture writing plan and let God do His refining work in your heart!

 

My career has been a perfect example of this.  Several years ago, I taught middle school English.  I was a good teacher.  I knew it.  My data proved it.  I received the affirmations from my students and my administration.  Other teachers were sent to my classroom to see how they should be running their classrooms.  Oh gracious me… I found myself in such a heaping pile of pride that I couldn’t see straight.  I can see now how much damage and hurt I caused the teachers around me.  My friends.  I was absolutely not giving God credit for the great things happening in my classroom.  Sure, I acknowledged that He gave me gifts as a teacher, but it was MY doing that increased those students scores.  It was MY doing that the administration applauded my accomplishments.  Those other teachers should be doing things MY way.

 

Thankfully, God has done some bigtime work in changing my heart.  And if I’m brutally honest, it hurt.  I was humbled…. rather, my pride humiliated me.  True humility came later.  And it’s still an area where I’m still being refined.

 

In Luke 18:9-14, we read the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Then, Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness ans scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray.  One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank You, God, that I am not like other people – cheaters, sinners, adulterers.  I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give You a tenth of my income.’ 

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed.  Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

 

Oh how I’ve been that Pharisee.  How I’ve judged and exalted myself above others.  By the grace of God, I can see how He’s working in me.  I hate my pride.  I pray regularly for Him to continue to humble my heart so I can love those around me.  I’m so thankful that God is a redeeming and faithful God.

Is your pride keeping you from loving others well?  Jump into this 30-day Scripture writing plan and let God do His refining work in your heart!

Starting on August 1, I challenge each of you to work through this Scripture-writing plan over pride.  I pray that God will move mountains to remove these hearts of stone that we hold on to.  I pray that we will humble ourselves to see where our pride has damaged relationships.  I pray that we will see where where we can love instead of judge.

 

Please join us.  I’ll be posting over in our Gather & Dwell Facebook group.  We’ll continue the conversation, pray for each other, and encourage each other as God does His refining and redeeming work in our hearts.  I’m so excited to see where He leads us through this next month!

 


 

 

 

20 Psalms for Your Prayer Time

20 Psalms for Your Prayer Time

Happy Thursday!  I’ve received a few messages that some of you are waiting on the Write the Word plan for July.  First, I’d like to say that I am beyond thrilled that you all are enjoying those and that they are blessing you.  They are so fun to write and I love spending that intentional time each morning with the Lord.  I’m glad they are serving you in that same way!  With that being said, the next plan will be published at the end of this month, for a start date of August 1.  For the month of July, I have something else for each of you!

 

A few years ago, a sweet friend of mine made prayer rings for each lady in our small group.  They were simple rings of index cards that she tabbed with each category of prayer.  Many of us use the ACTS model of prayer, so she included Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  Each of us used these rings in our own way, and they were such an incredible impact for our prayer lives.

 

In my prayer ring, I wrote verses for each of the categories.  As I’m in my prayer time, I would pray through a verse or two from each category as I added my own prayers.  I found that praying a verse first helped focus my mind on what exactly it was that I was praying.  I mean, let’s be honest… our minds tend to wander as we pray (at least mine does).  Side note: I’ve been of the mindset that we should not let ourselves feel guilty or shame over a wandering mind.  Often, those are the very things that we should be handing over to God in prayer instead of dwelling on it ourselves.

 

So today I’m starting you off with your own set of verses!  I’m giving you five Psalms for each category.  If you create your own prayer rings, I would encourage you to add to this list as you pray.  As you come across a verse that you love, jot it down and pray over it!  Also, if you would like to share the verses you find, please use #praytheword and we can all bless each other!

 

Looking to be more intentional in your prayer time? #PraytheWord with these Psalms each morning!

 

 

A ~ Adoration 

During a time of adoration, praise God for who He is.  This is not about you, but all about Him.  As I’m praying these, I love to listen to hymns or a favorite worship song.

 

Psalm 52:9 ~ I will praise You forever for what You have done.  In the presence of Your faithful people, I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good.

 

Psalm 63:5 ~ You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth with praise You with joyful lips.

 

Psalm 139:13-14 ~ For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.

 

Psalm 96:1 ~ Sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to Yahweh, praise His name; proclaim His salvation from day to day.

 

Psalm 135:3 ~ Praise Yahweh, for Yahweh is good; sing praise to His name, for it is delightful.

 

C ~ Confession

During a time of confession, get humble and be real about where you have fallen short.  I have a series of questions that I ask myself to really dig deep.

 

Psalm 51:10-12 ~ God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore the joy of Your salvation to me and give me a willing spirit.

 

Psalm 32:5 ~ Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You took away the guilt of my sin.

 

Psalm 19:12 ~ Who perceives his unintentional sin?  Cleanse me from my hidden faults.

 

Psalm 25:11 ~ Because of Your name, Yahweh, forgive my sin, for it is great.

 

Psalm 69:5 ~ God, You know my foolishness, and my guilty acts are not hidden from You.

 

T ~ Thanksgiving

During a time of thanksgiving, give sincere thanks for His goodness.  His blessings are abundant, and we should be living with grateful hearts.  There is always, always, always something to be thankful for!

 

Psalm 100:4-5 ~ Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.

 

Psalm 69:30 ~ I will praise God’s name with song and exalt Him with thanksgiving.

 

Psalm 75:1 ~ We give thanks to You, God; we give thanks to You, for Your name is near.  People tell about Your wonderful works.

 

Psalm 79:13 ~ Then we, Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will thank You forever; we will declare Your praise to generation after generation.

 

Psalm 9:1-2 ~ I will thank Yahweh with all my heart; I will declare all Your wonderful works.  I will rejoice and boast about You; I will sing about Your name, Most High.

 

S ~ Supplication

During a time of supplication, ask God to give you His desires.  Seek His plan and purpose for Your life.  Go boldly before His throne and ask for what you need.  Remember that He already knows what we want, before we even ask… so pray without hesitation!

 

Psalm 5:3 ~ At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly.

 

Psalm 34:4 ~ I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

 

Psalm 6:9 ~ The Lord has heard my plea for help; the Lord accepts my prayer.

 

Psalm 119:169-170 ~ Let my cry reach You, Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my plea reach You; rescue me according to Your promise.

 

Psalm 95:6 ~ Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

 

Throughout various seasons of life, I’ve found that my prayer life and daily time with the Lord looks different in each season.  There was a season when I was able to spend over an hour each morning in silence and solitude.  If I’m honest, I’m not in that same season now.  My quiet time isn’t always so quiet… and sometimes it’s broken up throughout the day.  But one thing remains the same… intentional time spent with the Lord is never wasted.  Praying the Word is something that sparks a deeper, more genuine prayer.  When I go through the intentional acts of worship, confessing my sin, and thanking Him, I find that my time of supplication isn’t as “drive through order” as it has been in the past.  My prayers are no longer just a wish list, but a desperate seeking of Him… and seeking to align my heart with His.

 

I pray that these verses bless you and spark something new in your prayer life.  Please share your #PrayTheWord and #WriteTheWord journals!  Also, if you haven’t joined the Gather & Dwell Facebook group, be sure to come join the conversation!