Devotionals, Lady, personal development, self help

Open Hands, Humble Heart


Open Hands, Humble Heart

Written by Laura Story

When you worship what is your posture of choice? Hands raised, eyes closed, head bowed? As a worship leader, I have seen about every expression of worship you could imagine from worshipers kneeling in reverence to God in pristine chapels to teenagers at youth rallies, dancing with the joy and abandon of King David.

I believe God delights in the diversity of expression of praise, but the scriptures tell us there is something of greater concern to this Triune God we worship: the posture of our hearts. In Psalm 51, one of David’s most vulnerable and penitent prayers, he asserts that the Lord does not delight in sacrifice, and that he is not pleased with burnt offerings.

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Devotionals, writing

Quick Devotion with Stormie Omartian


STORMIE_OMARTIAN

Maturing in Prayer

Stormie Omartian

“You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3 (NKJV)

During the first couple of years I walked with the Lord, my prayers went something like this:

“God, help me get that job.”

“Jesus, please heal my throat.”

“Lord, send enough money to pay these bills.”

“Father, take away my fear.”

It took me a while to realize that those spur-of-the-moment prayers were not accomplishing much. I guess I thought the idea was to do the best I could on my own, and then if I needed a lifeline from God, I grabbed it. The only problem was I needed a lifeline every other minute.

BLESSED IS SHEI loved the Scripture verse that says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, NKJV). I took God at His Word and was asking, seeking and knocking on a pray-as-you-go basis. I also took to heart the verse that says, “… you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2b).

Great! I can easily remedy that, I thought, and proceeded to ask God for everything. But I still wasn’t happy, and I didn’t see the kind of answered prayer I desired.

One day as I was reading James 4:2, my eyes were opened to the next verse, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

Could it be that the “God give-me-this, do-that, wave-your-magic-wand-here, get-me-out-of-this-mess” kind of praying was not what God desired for my prayer life? In utter frustration I said, “Lord, teach me how I’m supposed to pray.”

He did exactly that!

I came to understand that prayer is not just asking for things — although that certainly is part of it. Far more importantly, prayer is talking with God. It’s getting close to and spending time with the One you love. It’s seeking Him first, getting to know Him better, being with Him and waiting in His presence.

Prayer is acknowledging Him as the source of power upon whom you can depend. It’s taking the time to say, Speak to my heart, Lord, and tell me what I need to hear. It’s partnering with Him. It’s aligning our spirits with His to see that His perfect will is done. It’s establishing ourselves and our lives as being connected to God.

STORMIE OMARTIAN QUOTE

We can’t receive God’s best for our lives, and we can’t push back the things that were never God’s will for us, except through prayer. We can’t leave our lives to chance. We have to pray about everything all the time, not just when things go wrong.

We have to pray over anything that concerns us, no matter how big … “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37, NKJV) … or how small … “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30, NKJV).

The Bible tells us the basic qualification for prayer: “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6b NKJV).

The more you pray, the more you will find to pray about, and the more you’ll be led to pray for others.

Don’t allow discouragement over unanswered prayer to cause you to doubt that God heard you. If you have received Jesus and are praying in His name, then God hears you and something is happening whether you see it manifested in your life now or not. In fact, every time you pray, you’re advancing God’s purposes for you. Without prayer, the full purpose God has for you can’t happen.

Dear Lord, Help me today to draw closer to You, in my words, my thoughts and my deeds. Help me share more of my life with You, and through that, help me discover Your perfect will. In His holy Name I pray, Amen.

 

Related Resources:
Stormie Omartian is one of the contributors for the new devotional, Joy for the Journey: Morning and Evening. This beautiful devotional book will make a lovely gift for a special friend or loved one.

Joy for the Journey also features devotions from Lysa TerKeurst, Sheila Walsh and Beth Moore, among other bestselling women authors.

STORMIE OMARTIAN SCRIPTURE

 

Reflect and Respond:
Looking back in your walk with Christ, how has your prayer life matured? In what ways does it still need to grow?

Have you ever had a prayer answered? Does this memory help you when facing discouragement over unanswered prayers?

Power Verse:
Jeremiah 33:3, “‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” (NKJV)

stormie

© 2014 by Stormie Omartian. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Thomas Nelson Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

Devotionals, personal development, self help

Giving the gift of appreciation


Give the Gift of Appreciation – It Heals

Written by Mark Virkler

How to Be Emotionally Free! 

Thanksgiving is a time to remember to be grateful.

How much healing do you think you need for your spirit, soul and body?

The Bible Commands an Attitude of Thankfulness

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Col. 3:15-17 NASB).

“Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Eph. 5:20 NASB). “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18 NASB)

Not only does thankfulness bring health to your heart, it also releases the provision of God into your life. When Paul and Silas were in a tight spot (i.e. had been thrown in prison – Acts 16:23), their response was that at midnight they were “praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Wow! Thankfulness in the midst of unjust treatment. Look what this provided: release, freedom, supernatural intervention, and salvation of the heathen (Acts 16:24)!

So thankfulness not only heals your heart, it also warms God’s heart as He sees that we love and trust Him and call upon Him in faith and belief when the forces of evil appear stacked against us. This brings Him to our side to minister supernatural grace to us.

A Wound in Our Souls Is Healed When Thankfulness Flows…

People ask, “How can I know for sure that I have forgiven them (or God or myself) from my heart?”

A hurt is healed when I can see the gifts God has produced in my life through the experience.

Since God causes all things to work out for good (Rom. 8:28), I ask God to show me all the good things He has brought forth through this experience, and I journal out His response to me. I then post this list at eye level, so every day I can say, “God, I thank you for these wonderful gifts you have produced as a result of walking with me through this experience.”

This thankfulness in my heart and soul releases me to receive God’s healing power in my life and opens the path for restoration. Now healing power can flow unhindered into my life and being. Now I can experience healing in my spirit, soul and body. Now my blockages of anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness and judgment have been removed through a heart of thankfulness, because NOW I am LOOKING ONLY at the gifts God has produced in my life through the experience.

Here is God’s warning from Scripture concerning neglecting joy and gladness and the ways it cuts one off from the flow of God’s grace:

“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. (Deut. 28:47-48)

So every morning and evening we thank and praise the LORD (1Chron. 23:30; 16:4; Ps. 28:7; 54:6-7; 86:12,13; 145:10; Matt. 15:36; Lk. 17:15-19; 2 Cor. 2:14; Heb. 13:15; Rev. 4:9; 11:17)!

Prayer: Lord, may I never grumble or live discouraged, but may I strengthen myself in Your Spirit, always giving thanks in and for all things so that I might glorify You, and Your power, provision and healing might be released in my life.

 

Daily Exercises in Thankfulness

Thank God for the wonderful day.
Thank and appreciate those around you.
Thank God for His blessings in your life.
At the end of the day, ask yourself, “How do I feel?”

 

Additional Resources

A Greateful Heart is a Healing Heart – blog exploring heart coherence in more depth

Counseled By God is a training package which will restore faith, hope and love to your heart and soul so that you can live in a positive mentality, and with thankfulness in your heart to the Lord.

Counseled By God can also be taken as a CLU college course which ensures that you fully internalize the truths and are transformed by them.

Go Deeper – Get Healthy!

Check out this entire blog series on Vibrant Health!

Working through this series on health is ideal for both individuals and groups. The more we take responsibility for ourselves – spirit, soul and body – the healthier we become!

 

Here is another article on 5 Ways To Give The Gift Of Appreciation by Huffington Post

 

 

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Devotionals, self help

Life Lessons from the future Queen Esther


ESTHER HEADING

The Book of Esther is an exciting account which gives us insight into God’s remarkable  and purposeful plan for our lives. The story gives us some powerful lessons about courage, divine timing and God’s love. As The Old Testament reveals, Esther is a Jewish woman living in Persia and brought up by her cousin, Mordecai. She was taken to the King of the Persian Empire to be his concubine—but because he believed there was unique about Esther, he made her queen. However, Mordecai didn’t tell the king about a primary concern —Esther was of Jewish heritage.
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Devotionals, personal development

Quick Devotion on “How to be Still”


BE STILL CALLIGRAPHY

Trust can be an impenetrable thing. We like to be in control of everything ourselves, some of us more than others, “Being still” before God means that we quiet our anxious thoughts, we put our phones down, we eliminate all distractions, we get alone with God and we pray. We wait. We trust. It’s an act of relinquishing and consecrating all to God control of our lives. When you give your life to Him, He takes care of every detail. This is something that I am learning constantly, and still learning to do when I feel I can’t trust anyone or anything else that is going on.

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Devotionals, Lady, personal development, self help

Quick Devotion with New Life


 

A New Life Daily Devotion 

Belonging

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:20-21

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Devotionals, Lifestyle, personal development, self help

Quick Devotion on Making a Difference


Making a Difference (Colossians 4:2-18)

 

Read Colossians 4:2-18. Anything in particular interesting to you in this passage?

Remembering the rest of the letter you have already studied, why do you think Paul tells the Colossians to be devoted to prayer, keeping watchful or alert?

Focus on the Meaning: In prayer we call on God to work, and we express our faith in Him.

The Christian who does not pray is demonstrating independence from God (John 15:5). The accompanying exhortation to ‘keep awake, be on the alert’ (gregoreo) is drawn from the imagery of guard duty (Nehemiah 7:3; Mark 14:34, 37).

Read verse 2 again. What is to be our “attitude” in prayer?

How do you think your attitude can make a difference in your prayer life?

Relate this to what you learned in Colossians 3:15-17

COLOSSIANS PRAYER
Scriptural Insight: The repeated emphasis on thanksgiving makes this epistle one of the most “thankful” books in the New Testament (1:3, 12; 2:7; 3:17; 4:2)

Staying Healthy: Is there something that you are praying for today? How can you have an attitude of thanksgiving? List at least three things for which you can be thankful in your circumstance/situation.

For what two things does Paul ask in Colossians 4:3?

Why is it so important for Paul to be able to proclaim the gospel clearly?

See also Ephesians 6:19-20 and 2 Timothy 4:2-3

How can we be “wise” toward those that don’t believe?

Ephesians 5:3-20

Thessalonians 4:1-12

1 Peter 2:13-17

What do you think Paul means when he says we should make the most of every opportunity?

What does it mean to have your conversation be full of grace, in a sense “seasoned with salt?”

Examine what is said in Colossians 3:12-17 and Ephesians 4:29, 30 to derive your answer.

Focus on the Meaning: “Speech most effectively expresses what is inside the believer. The Christian’s speech should mirror the gracious character and conduct of his or her God by demonstrating love, patience, sacrifice, undeserved favor, etc. Salt probably represented both attractiveness, since salt makes food wholesome, since salt was a preservative that retarded corruption in food…one should wisely suit his or her speech to each need.”

Why would you want to watch your words?

Staying Healthy: Does your speech mirror the gracious character and conduct of your Lord? Ask your Lord to reveal to you speech that doesn’t mirror Him and trust Him to help you replace it with grace-filled speech.

Staying Healthy: Are you praying daily for an open door in which to share the gospel with someone? If someone asked you what the “gospel” or the “Good News” is, would you be able to tell them?

Write down simply the content of the Gospel message that you would need to communicate to win someone to Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

 

First-Corinthians

 

Romans 10:9-10

SAMSUNG

 

What skills or information do you need to sharpen up?

Read Colossians 4:2-18

Looking specifically at verses 7-18, view these names as representing real people with real functions in their world.

Beside each name, give Paul’s comments about the person and their function in the ministry. Follow cross-references to see what else is mentioned about them.

Tychicus
Onesimus
Aristarchus
Mark
Barnabas
Jesus Justus
Epaphras
Luke
Demas
Laodicean brothers
Nympha
Archippus
In this passage, we see one of the ways women were very important to the establishment of the early church.

See also Romans 16:3-5 and 1 Corinthians 16:19

What do you think Nympha’s and Priscilla’s ministry involved for her?

Staying Healthy: Your home is one of your most valuable assets for ministry. Is your home used in any way for a faith-filled environment? If not, why not? What is holding you back?

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Devotionals, personal development, self help, Thoughts

Quick Devotions with Joyce Meyer


Christ is Your Strength

by Joyce Meyer – posted July 26, 2017

How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.
—Matthew 12:34

THE OVERFLOWING HEART

Continue reading “Quick Devotions with Joyce Meyer”