Crafting Prayers

I stumbled across a phrase in a book I am reading that set my mind and heart on fire, and I want to share it with you.  “Crafted prayers.” Does that stir your heart like it does mine?  The moment I read it, I recognized a concept that I wanted to invest in more deeply.  Crafted praying is a phrase that expresses how I desire to live.  It gave me ‘vocabulary’ for the passion of my heart–that is learning I believe in and love to share!

Terry Tykel, a self-described ‘emissary for prayer’ uses it in his book, divine strongholds.  It is a beautiful term depicting the prayers of Scriptures and the timeless prayers recorded in Christian books through the ages.  It is a tool we can employ individually and corporately in seeking the vision of God.

Crafted praying is the essence of communion with God.  It flows from worship of who He is and from understanding His desire to commune with us.  Teykl offers some key questions to help readers develop their own crafted prayers for situations they are facing—or situations God has placed upon their hearts.

  • What do you want to teach me through this situation?
  • How should I pray about this?
  • What do you want to do in and through this situation?1122171304e
  • How do you want us to change and grow?

To help me grasp the depths, I added these:

  • What do I not see or understand in this situation?
  • What more can I know (do I need to know) about God’s glory in the context of this situation?
  • How do I personally play into this situation (or a mirror of it in my own life)?

A vital component of ‘crafted prayers’ is the Word of God.  There is nothing that weighs upon our heart that God has not addressed in His Word.  Crafted prayers weave the Word of God into prayer—because both flow from His heart.  Seeking God’s heart in worship and prayer combined with seeking His heart in His Word provides the content for crafting words into prayers.

As Teykl says, this praying is ‘praying the answer’ from the beginning.  It is exciting; it is grounding…it is powerful.  God spoke the world into being with Words…we have the privilege of using words as we live out our lives.  Let’s use them well…for the good of others and the glory of God!

In this day and age where constant crises abound, deep prayers are so needed.   The immigration horrors, the political biting and devouring, this culture of shaming and disrespect that destroys people, the devaluing of life…the list is nearly endless.  Prayer IS participation.

Should God lead you to craft a prayer, won’t it you share it for others to join with you in storming the gates of heaven? Post it as a comment here, email it to me or post in on the Heartsong Facebook page!

NO MORE BULLIES!

Bullying is an increasing problem, but it isn’t a new problem nor is it confined to schools.   Social-media bullying is rampant; actually every area of life is vulnerable to the phenomenon of bullying. Businesses bully, politicians bully, police bully, minorities bully, families bully–and sadly, even Christians bully.

Bullying isn’t always violent, but it is always an attempt to control.  It manipulates, pressures, shames and intimidates.  It’s a learned behavior that destroys lives as it proclaims, “It’s all about ME!”

  • Bullies want their own way more they want anything else.
  • Bullies are bossy.
  • Bullies demand their own way when they want it & how they want it.

Bullies act as if they are God.

But the truth is GOD IS NEVER a bully and yet His way is the only way.

As Christians, we have the answer to ending bullying, and we need to work at it!  We can stop bullying…and the creation of bullies…by living as a child of the Most High God and helping others learn to do the same.

A World of Bullies

Self-centeredness and resentments are root causes of bullying in our world.  Selfishness and unhealed, open wounds create bullies…and victims.  Unforgiveness is poison to yourself and the world around you!

The answer for both self-centeredness and resentments is the same:  

Jesus, the Healer….Jesus, the reconciler.

Bullying is not solved by becoming a bigger bully.

Bullying stops when we refuse to bully–and when we refuse to be bullied–the same WAY Jesus responded.  Instead of taking offenses to heart and holding on to them, we must know who God is and who He created us (ourselves & our offenders) to be.

Victors not Victims

Knowing God as the Bible reveals Him to be gives us victorious courage.  We can walk through life secure in His care.  That does not mean we will never have trials.  Learning to trust God enough to die to self is a daily (moment-by-moment) necessity.

Jesus is the Way…and if we look at His life, we see His earthly life ended by bullies.  In America, that is not a common danger–though it is in some places and sometimes is true here.  Jim Elliott, who gave His life that others would have life, speaks eloquently to that concern:

Image result for he is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep

Finally, the cure to bullying is in knowing the value of every life.  The King of Kings died on the cross for individuals–not the masses.  He died not as a martyr but as a sacrifice with great purpose:  destroy the works of the devil and re-open the Way to relationship with the Father in heaven.  He gave His life that we would be able to live in union with God and others.  Our lives flow with that power and purpose when He lives in us.

Victors over Bullying

  • Victors want God’s way more they want anything else.
  • Victors are humble and meek.
  • Victors respect people’s right to choose.
  • Victors bow before their God and enjoy His presence.

WE WANT TO HELP YOU, HELP CHILDREN BECOME VICTORS OVER BULLYING WITH – NO MORE BULLIES!

God NEVER bullies. He is humble, generous and good.  His Way is the way to end bullying!  Jesus is that Way! This brief powerpoint helps you discuss these deep truths with children.  Let’s be part of building the solution.

No More Bullies – Powerpoint Presentation

12 minute slide presentation to be used to discuss bullying from a Christian viewpoint. Includes narration, notes and suggestions for supplemental activities. Purchasers are welcome to shut off the narration and lead the discussion more interactively if they are comfortable doing so.

$1.99

 

Let the Weeds Teach You

It’s my annual battle with the weeds of South Carolina that live on a precious old fence in our yard.  Weeds is a misnomer.  They are invasive aggressors that strangle, kill and destroy.  Every spring I tackle the vines and try new approaches.  Each year I’ve cut the fence a bit freer; I’ve used weed barrier and mulch.  Each year, the vines thrive.  Now, truth is, they are pretty, and they do give shade.  The work hasn’t been wasted…the blueberry bushes and old rose bush have also thrived.  But the vines are destructive; they need to go.

Every year, it strikes me how the vines are like sin in our lives.  The vines do look good when they are kept under control.  But the work of keeping them under control gets harder and harder.  The battle is never-ending.  The big roots grow stronger–thicker, hairier and uglier.  The young vines wind around everything!   Sin is the same.  It can’t be managed; it must be given to Jesus Christ.  It is the only thing we really can give Him…He died for it.  He wants to destroy it.  He is able.

Clearing Out

The annual battle against the vines always makes me think of what it must have been like to settle the Carolinas. But it also makes me think of the battle against sin. The leafy greens hide twining young roots–and hairy giant roots that latch onto structures. The roots force their way around structures and tear it apart. Isn’t that like sin? It can look good on the outside. But it covers a massive mess of destruction. It won’t go away just by changing behaviors & cutting out the symptoms. The roots just go stronger and go deeper.

Looking Deeper

The tangled roots are nasty…and hard to remove. Sometimes they even strangle other vines or even kill healthy, productive plants/trees. Sin that roots deeply in us becomes a playground for unholy spirits that make things even worse. Exposing the roots is a step toward healing.

Losses & Costs

It’s been about 5 years I’ve fought these vines–and fought to keep the fence they were attached to. I love history; I loved the old picket fence. But the weeds did too much damage. Sometimes we feel the same about sin…we’re afraid to let God have His way for fear of what it will cost us…what we will have to lose. But not removing it, is a losing battle!

Partners

Clean up is as much work as destroying the weeds! We need others to help us. Thankful for the patient help of this guy! He’s been advocating for ripping out the fence for years…but let me decide when I was ready. That’s an approach that works in spiritual matters too.

The next generation

There is some fun in the hard work of conquering the invasive weeds. Got Riesa into the project with a bit of a bribe…but she did great! We have to pass on the spiritual fight to the next generation too. God doesn’t have Grandkids! We all have to learn to fight those spiritual battles.

We all have weeds in our lives.  Jesus came to destroy the work of the enemy who sowed the seeds that became sin that needs to be fought against.  This website has a wealth of tools for spiritual warfare.  Browse about.  Send a note if you can’t find what you are looking for.  Victory is ours as children of the King.

Courage for Life!

Life is hard.  Suicide is NOT the answer.

There are no easy answers and no short cuts to the clichéd idea of ‘a life worth living.’  The spate of suicides we’ve seen among the rich & famous scream out the emptiness of fame and fortune.  The devastating statistics on addiction declare a dead-end for escaping through mind-altering drugs. LIFE is worth living!

There is only one path to full, abundant living:  Jesus Christ.  He understood–and understands–the difficulties of life and made a way where it seemed there was no way.

John 16 33

ALL life is a gift from the God of the Bible…the One who spoke the world into being and created from nothing.  There is but One God.  He doesn’t want life to be hard…but He uses the ‘hardness’ to draw us to Himself.  He wants us to bring the hard things to Him, trusting His plans for us are good–and His power to accomplish those plans sufficient!

omins

The courage we need to face life is found only in the character of God.  We must know who He is and live in that awareness.  What our mind knows that our heart can’t feel is useless to us.  It isn’t being able to state the ‘omni’s’ of God; it is being able to rest in those truths.

As difficult things come to us, we need to rest on the Truths of God’s identity–and our own.  We who believe in Jesus Christ–in the truth that we are lost/doomed to a dark eternity without the Saving work of Christ–are God’s beloved children; His chosen.  Those who do not have that kind of faith in God seek to make their own way to peace.  It is a hard road with a harder ending.

If you have faith but not victory, this short video from Kirk Cameron might give some insights on enjoying the benefits of relationship that aren’t found in religion.  If you do not have any faith, my prayer is that this same video will give you hope and this one offer clarity.

The essence of ‘salvation’ – of believing that Jesus is our personal need – is a reality we must live moment by moment.  Salvation is a one-time decision; living its truth is a daily necessity.  The Bible IS a light for our path.  We need to mine it daily to find the Truths that will transform even the hardest things into treasures from the King Himself.  God meets us right where we are if we will turn to Him.

God’s children can know that He is present in every difficulty.  Any challenge is a Father-filtered reality and His love surrounds it.  There is nothing that happens in our lives that takes Him by surprise or derails the good plans He has for us.  His power is unlimited.  What He purposes will take place.  He promises guidance.

Our task in life is simply this:  seek God’s face in all things.  In His presence is purpose and peace…abundant life for us and those around us.  He wants us to be connected to each other, loving each other and spreading His glory as we live.

How can I pray for you?

Comment below or send an email to:

billiejoyoumans@heartsongministry.net