Tag Archives: transforming

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!

Transforming Love for a Rebel

Truth is, he was a worthless pony.

Truth is, love gave value to his life.

An untrained stallion, the pulling pony bullied larger horses, kicked and bit unwary humans and rejected all authority. In the eyes of my pre-teen daughter, he was a dream filled withdakotapossibility. His rebel heart drew out her desire to love—and be loved even in her own rebellions. Her desires are the same desires every heart has—to love and be loved despite ourselves.

Named Dakota by his owners, she saw much more. Under his untamed forelock lay a blaze shaped like a question mark. She re-named him “Moonlight Mystery.” Her love for him reveals some of the great mysteries of love.

Loving his potential, she poured her heart and her time into him. She gained his trust in tiny increments. The rebel in him could not resist the time and attention she lavished upon him. The love of God is like that too. As we allow Him to touch us with His love, we cannot resist its transforming power. The love of God draws us toward the potential He intends for us to fulfill.

It would make a sweeter story to tell you that this young girl’s love transformed the rebel pony into a productive, prancing cart puller. Sadly, her love was not empowered by ownership. Disgusted with the pony, the owner sent him away. She never stopped loving Moonlight Mystery—and his life has meaning because of that.

Her love allowed him to teach valuable life lessons on rebellion, love and purpose. Love is like that—it takes a muddy mess and transforms it with purpose into its potential. The love of God not only offers us the chance to fulfill our potential, it includes an offer of adoption into His family. Jesus paid the price to redeem us from the rule of sin—and transport us into His Kingdom as His children.

Love fulfills potential and purpose.

If earthly love does not fail, how can we resist eternal love? Refusing our rebellion, submitting to His sacrificial love, brings purpose to our lives. Jesus believed we were worth dying for…do we believe He is worth living for?

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.
The Message: Ephesians 1:4)

Sweet Post-script to this story:  We learned that “Moonlight Mystery” has since found an owner who loves him and is doing well!  Those seeds of love have been harvested!  Hallelujah!

Fresh Look at the Past

Just like the important individuals in our lives, circumstances and traumatic events of life shape us.  What one finds traumatic, another may not; this is personal feeling and is not right or wrong.  Healing comes by spilled milkplacing the past in the hands of Jesus.  There are folks who do that easily–but truly letting Jesus into the memories enlarges your capacity and understanding of His presence.  We cannot give to others what we have not received.  The more we accept of His love in the details–the more we have to give to others.

Current medical research finds that ‘unhealed’ childhood traumas surface in a vast array of medical issues.  In fact, studies indicate that 80-95% of all medical and psychological illnesses originate from unresolved trauma.  Christ still heals and He is the Mighty Counselor.  You can trust His love to re-frame anything you have, do or will face!  Consider which of the influences have impacted your life in the past (or in the present):

Family Fighting/Divorce
Alcohol/Drug Abuse
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse/Rape
Illicit Sexual Activity (promiscuity, homosexuality)
Death of a loved one
Other addictions:  gambling, food, pornography
Abandonment (including adoption grief)
Other trauma:  fire, accident, major illness/injury etc

There is often fear involved with even looking at difficult things of the past.  That spirit of fear is a tool the enemy uses to hold you captive.  Discipleship Coaching aids in finding the treasures buried in the dark times; God never allows what cannot be transformed.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  (1 John 4:18)

As you look at the INFLUENCES, write a list of the top three stressful influences in your life.  Prayerfully consider the following questions as you journey toward God in those areas.

  • What feelings rise up for each…list specific words as best you can.  If you need help with identifying (or being persuaded to feel emotions), visit:  Discipleship Coaching:  Emotions.
  • How did/does each experience influence how I see myself?
  • How does this experience influence how I relate to others?
  • How did/does this experience influence how I see God?

Finally, assess (on a scale of 1-10) how ‘healed’ do you feel from these experiences.  0 being “I feel the pain as sharply today as then”, 5 being “I survive” and 10 being “God is using this for great glory in my life.”
Life does not happen without hard, painful things.  In fact, the greatest opportunities lie in those dark times.  However, a barrier to blessing is unforgiveness.  True forgiveness is rare–and incredibly difficult.  It does not excuse wrong behavior but it does not use wrong behavior against another.  Forgiveness is the foundation of the Christian faith and such a major topic, it demands focused attention in its own right.

The forgiveness of Christ gives us life; our forgiveness of others is also life-giving.