Getting Our Attention, A Faith Series #1

Several months ago, a dear friend asked me, “I wish I had your faith.”

Softly and without any intentional judgement, I answered, “You do. You have chosen to put your faith elsewhere.”

The exchanged reminded me of a similar question many years ago when I moved to another state to open a branch office for my employer. The woman whom I had hired to be my assistant was a few years older, so I was a bit taken back by her question.

Gwen asked, “where does your confidence come from in making your decisions?”

I do not remember my answer to Gwen. I know it wasn’t how I would have answered that question today. My spirit today is not restless as it was for much of my life. In fact, God has used a persistent restlessness to draw me closer to Him. Each time He was trying to get my attention, I chose to put my faith elsewhere until a major crisis in my career ten years ago. The United States economic crisis beginning around the time of 2008 caused my employer to close their sales operations in the summer of 2009. I was crushed. I had put my identity into my career. Yet, God was getting my attention and I was finally ready to listen.

Our Restlessness

Whether it is a job loss, loss of loved one, a divorce, a health scare or a life-changing diagnosis, God gains our attention when we have put our faith elsewhere. He is not the one that causes our crisis, but during our crisis, God is speaking to us. Unfortunately, we either choose not to listen or we simply don’t know Him to hear the call. We job hop, we move from one relationship to another, we fall into addiction or into a deep well of depression, or a combination of all these behaviors.

Although I have been a Christian most of my life, I did not recognize God’s voice until a major crisis caused me to drop to my knees in prayer. I did all those things that on the outside looked like I was a Christian – sitting in the pew every Sunday, church committee meetings, providing a Christian education for my children. My restlessness of the summer of 2009 drove me to not just know “of” God, but to really get to “know” God through faith in Jesus Christ.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “It is impossible for people to save themselves, but everything is possible for God.” Matthew 19:26 GW

If I had a true faith back then that I have today, my answer to Gwen would be, “My confidence is not mine. It is the confidence of Jesus Christ who strengthens me every day and in every way.”

That’s not saying that I will not continue to be restless in my life. When I do become restless, I know God is trying to talk to me. I will take His call every single time.

Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners, and clear your minds, you doubters.” James 4:8 GW

Gentle Rain-Father

My Prayer

Lord God, I give all the glory and praise your name. Give me the grace and wisdom to understand that in Your gentleness there is power, in Your kindness their is valor, in Your forgiveness there is life. Help me to listen when I become restless. Help me not to rely on my own power or any other purpose than Your purpose. Help me to understand that wisdom is born and grows to maturity through faith in Christ. Grant me confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Getting to know God

I have written a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. If you are facing restlessness in your life, I encourage you to begin a prayer journal today to draw closer so you can know Him too. When you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. Is He trying to get your attention today? Answer the call. I know you will be glad you did.

Getting Our Attention – A Faith Series is a four part series. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read the first post in this series. I pray you will continue to follow The Prayer Journals blog.

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

 

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

A Courageous Heart

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on my blog, The Blogging Owl, my three new words to live by in 2020. I added three action verbs to existing words from 2018 and 2019 that will motivate me to get on with my purpose by using the talents God has gifted to me. My three action words are silence, commit and fulfill.

Living by faith means expecting the best.

As I look forward to a new year in the next few days, I look back in my prayer journals to see how God has blessed me throughout this past year. There are highs and lows in any given year and my brokenness – that which breaks my resistance and self-reliance in my journey to looking and living out God’s will for my life has and will not always be easy.

As I read through the pages of my prayer journals covering this past year (and those of past years), all that was intended was not accomplished. As I have drawn closer to God and getting to know him better, I have gotten to know my own identity better too. Knowing God and knowing myself better has helped me to define my responsibilities in all ways. It has helped me to silence self-doubt, commit to God’s control, readying myself to fulfilling His plan for my life.

When I listen to God and follow His will and not my own, I receive His very best for my life. Not only does God’s Word tell me so, but the pages of my prayer journals reflect how God has answered or still has me waiting for His best. When I fully reflect on this past year, I have experienced the greatest joy and unimaginable fulfillment when I lived out my responsibilities with my God-given talents. When I live this way, I no longer feel directionless and anxiety.

Three Verses

While I carry the entire Word of God with me today and into the New Year, I especially pray these three verses.

Psalm 31: 24 GW – Praying the Scripture:

“Be strong, all (I) who wait with the hope for the Lord and let your (my) heart be courageous.”

2 Corinthians 12:6-10 GW – Paul writes:

“If I ever wanted to brag, I wouldn’t be a fool. Instead, I would be telling the truth. But I’m going to spare you so that no one may think more of me than what he sees or hears about me, especially because of the excessive number of revelations that I’ve had.

Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I am forced to deal with a recurring problem. That problem, Satan’s messenger, torments me to keep me from being conceited. I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. But he told me: “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So, I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ’s power will live in me. Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It’s clear that when I’m weak, I’m strong.”

Romans 14:12 GW – Paul writes:

“All of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God.” 

Job 23

My Prayer

Dear Lord, where there was darkness in my life you have given it light. May that light continue to shine today and in the coming days so that only You will be reflected against the darkness of this world. I cling to all Your promises. As written in Isaiah 40: “You give strength to those who are tired and give strength to those who are weak… and the strength of those who wait on the Lord will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired.” The journey of looking and living out Your Will for my life has not been easy at times. I pray Lord, that you will renew and clarify within me the purpose you have planned for me. There is no faith without risk. Silence any fear and let my heart be courageous to fulfill the purpose you have given today and always. I pray this in Jesus’s name. Amen

May You have a Joyous New Year!

I encourage you to start your prayer journal today if you haven’t already done so. Prayer is the most important conversation you have each day. You will be amazed as you too look back and read the pages of your journal how you heard, felt and saw God’s presence in your life.

I am grateful that you have taken the time to read and follow The Prayer Journals blog. If you have specific prayer request, please email me at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com. The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts.

Blessings on Your New Year!

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

 

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved