Praying the Scriptures

The Unexpected

It has been awhile since I have posted here, and I am severely behind on my “Getting to Know God” series here at The Prayer Journals. The “Getting to Know God” series is reflecting my writing a spiritual memoir of a time when my career abruptly ended in the summer of 2009.

Guess what?

It is has happened again. My current employer has abruptly decided to close-down their operations center and I will have a job until July 2nd.

My reaction was much different in 2018 than it was in 2009.

I did react bitterly. I did not cry and pound my fists into the air. I did not want my colleagues to do the same either. I went back to my desk and I prayed.

“Dear Lord, I give you all the praise and glory. You have brought me to this employer and I have loved being here among a group of fantastic people. Lord, I am much older with retirement not far off, but you know I am not financially ready either. I pray that you will be with all of us in this challenging time of grasping the reality before us. I know Lord that you will provide. Help me to help them who need the confidence of faith in Jesus Christ through my words, my actions, and in my prayers. I pray this in the name that saves, Jesus Christ. Amen”

My getting to know God since 2009 has helped me to realize His purpose for my life. He placed me with an employer who would shock their dedicated employees with a life changing decision. While I am disappointed with finding another job, I know He will again place me where He needs me. As I reflect on my current employment, God provided an opportunity through me to show my colleagues that life changing events can empower us to draw closer to God. It is an opportunity to pursue a more purposeful path not in terms of secular wealth but wealth in mind, body and spirit.

I persevere with confidence because I know my role is to simply love God and others. As I follow Jesus daily, He transforms me to encourage others as I share His love and truth wherever He sends me.

“I have commanded you, ‘Be strong and courageous.’ Don’t tremble and be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Praying the Scriptures

Praying the scriptures is part of my joy in my journal writing. There are different methods of praying the scriptures. I bring the scriptures alive for me by writing Bible passages in my prayer journal speaking in the first person. I often do this when life’s unexpected events happen to remind me the role God plays in my life and the role I play when these unexpected events occur in my life.  These Bible verses show me how I need to conduct myself every day.

Below are examples of Bible passages I have re-written from the Bible’s God’s Word translation. The words in the parentheses are my words that I have replaced from the biblical words.

Hebrews 13:5-6

(May I) keep my life free from the love of money and be content with what (I) have, because God said has said,

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

So (I) say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:20-21

“The God of peace brought the great shepherd of the sheep, (my) Lord Jesus, back to life through the blood of an eternal promise. May (my) God of peace prepare (me) to do every good thing he wants. May he work in (me) through Jesus Christ to do what is pleasing to him. Glory belongs to Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”

One of my daily praying of the Scriptures: Colossians 3:1-17

As I read the Bible daily, I look for where God is pointing me. Each day I read a passage I know He has directed me to  read and He wants me to personally adapt it to what I am currently experiencing. God shows me how to conduct my life in my walk of faith in Jesus Christ.

“Since, then, (I) have been raised with Christ, (setting my heart) on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Setting my heart) on things above, not on earthly things. For (I) died, and (my) life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is (my) life, appears, then (I) also will appear with him in glory.

(I put) to death, therefore, whatever belongs to (my) earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (I) used to walk in these ways, in the life (I) once lived. But now (I) must also rid (myself) of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from (my) lips. (I will) not lie to each other, since (I) have taken off (my) old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God’s chosen (person), holy and dearly loved, (I) clothe (myself) with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (I bear) with each other and forgive one another if (I have) has a grievance against someone. (I will) forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues (I) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (I will let) the peace of Christ rule in (my heart), since as members of one body (I am) called to peace. And be thankful. (I will let) the message of Christ dwell (within me) richly as (I) teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in (my heart) And whatever (I) do, whether in word or deed, (I) do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

I know I do not live up to this perfection. Yet writing it out in my prayer journal is like writing it on my heart reminding me of my faith in Christ and what he calls me to do each day. Each day I must try my best to live and breathe it in mind, body, and spirit.

Sailboat Haiku

For my prayer journal

“Dear Lord, I thank you for the physical, intellectual, and the spiritual gifts with which you have equipped me for the privilege of serving others. But Lord there are so many who need employment as I do that are soon to be unemployed. I ask You to take us into Your divine care and keeping assuring us of Your love and favor. I know You will provide according to Your promises of faith in You. Please help our families not to suffer preserving our sense of dignity and self-respect and giving us the conviction that in our place we are making contributions wherever You see fit for us to serve You. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.”

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series relating to this theme. If you have just joined The Prayer Journals, I hope you will take the time to explore previous posts on this site.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. Use your gifts to communicate with God, however you wish in your prayer journal.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook:          Facebook/ThePrayerJournals/PrayerPrompts
Twitter:              @PrayerPrompts
Email:                 Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Getting to Know God Series – A Ministry

(This is the fourth post in a 30-Week Series – Getting to Know God.)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 

Easier said than done, right?

On the outside I was confident I was following God’s direction by starting a contracting business in the spring of 2010, but inside I was weak with anxiety and insecurity. I reasoned that I had no choice since after literally hundreds of unanswered online job applications and circulating my resume, my family would soon be teetering on bankruptcy. My pride could not allow that to happen. And neither could my pride allow accepting government assistance so with a sizable withdrawal from my 401(k) retirement plan, I set out to earn a living on my own… of course it could not have happened without God and His “angels.”

The Value of Prayer

The temptation to give up is often easy when there doesn’t seem to be a way around a circumstance. When Jesus started his ministry, he encountered Satan in a series of temptations that are representative of what faces each of us. Satan confronted Jesus when he was most vulnerable. Satan does the same thing to us in our vulnerability.

Jesus was led by the Spirit

Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights Jesus was hungry. Satan would tempt Jesus three times.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” Mark 4:1-11

I didn’t know at the time if starting a business would be my wilderness, but I followed Jesus’ lead by relying on the value of prayer. And with every temptation to give in, give up, or give out I immersed myself in Scripture, so I could be reminded of the truth and wisdom in the face of Satan’s temptation and lies.

Jesus’ begins his ministry

Although Jesus did not hold an official position nor was he specifically trained to be a priest, he began his ministry wherever common people were found. He taught and performed miracles around the Sea of Galilee and throughout the entire area. It is here that Jesus was rejected in Nazareth.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” 

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land.

26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 

28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.

30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” Mark 4:16-30

Rejection

As I have mentioned in previous posts in this series, I relied heavily not only on prayer and Scripture, but the angels God had placed in my life as I started to learn the industry I was endeavoring, making contacts for work assignments, and my many years in sales positions. Was I a fake as I thought earlier after my layoff? Only time would tell.

Had I never learned about Jesus or if I had stopped reading Scripture after Jesus’ experience in Nazareth I may never have learned in starting my own new venture that Jesus’ life teaches each one of us about rejection and acceptance. My faith would be the key to my success.

I was rejected by prospects and I was also accepted by others to keep going with my new line of work. I just kept praying that enough work would come along and that my clients would be paying me timely. My husband and I were trying desperately not only to catch up, but not fall behind further in our bills. Would my faith pay off? Only time would tell.

Trusting God

A prayer from my journal

Lord of my life, bless me Lord, my daily life and especially my work. May my work reflect Your goodness in all I say and do. Help and guide me so my work does not turn toward selfish purposes. Forgive me when I fail. Lift me up in your Word.

Lord of my life, help me to remember You are still in control when I feel discouraged and useless or when I am anxious and angry. Help me to realize that all good comes from You when I am satisfied and pleased with my work.

Lord of my life, take my work into Your own hands and bless not only the work but the people involved. Use what I accomplish to be a benefit not only for my family but to others and that it further Your purpose and will for my life and others for Jesus’ sake, I pray. Amen

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals are my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series relating to this theme. If you have just joined The Prayer Journals, I hope you will take the time to explore previous posts on this site.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. Use your gifts to communicate with God, however you wish in your prayer journal.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

Connect with The Prayer Journals

Facebook:                   https://www.facebook.com/PrayerPrompts/
Twitter:                      @PrayerPrompts
Email:                         Hoot@thebloggingowl.com

© 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved