All My Ducks in a Row

ducks

Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)

On a rare day we can find that everything lines up just right. They are few and far between but it is wonderful when it happens. We can look at these times as God’s hand works out all of our circumstances to our advantage. But we need to be careful when everything is coming together so nicely. King David found himself in a situation where everything lined up to his advantage. 1 Samuel 24:1-5 tells us how David’s circumstances lined up like ducks in a row.  David was seeking refuge in a cave because Saul sought his life.  Saul needed to take a “break” and just so happened to walk right into the same cave where David and his men were hiding. David’s men advised him to take Saul’s life while he had the chance.  He was so close he could have killed him easily. It all lined up so perfectly. Even though all the circumstances lined up, David only snipped a piece from Saul’s robe. It would seem that God was arranging these events so perfectly and yet David did not follow through on this golden opportunity. Why not? Beyond his circumstances, David knew the principles of God. “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed.” David knew that killing Saul was not what God would have him do. God’s commands were greater then his circumstances. He chose God’s Word and principles rather than taking an easy way out.

God may be lining up all your ducks in a row. Things look good. But what will drive your decisions today? Will it be your circumstances or godly principles from the Word of God?

Kathy

Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves as Director of Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and teaches a Bible Study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.

This devotion originally appeared in Real Victory for Real Life, Volume 2. You can purchase a copy by calling America’s Keswick, 1-800-453-7942 or on amazon.com.

AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

give thanks

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

It’s easy to be grateful when life flows along like we think it should – when the sky is blue, the sun shines brightly, pleasant breezes blow, and a surplus builds in our bank accounts.  But what about those times when health wanes and money is scarce?  Even during such times of need a spirit of thankfulness is important because it reminds us of the trustworthy character of God.

The psalmist wrote, Many … are Your wonderful works … and Your thoughts which are toward us … they are more than can be numbered (Psalm 40:5).  In response, we are challenged: In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God … for you (1Thessalonians 5:18, bold added).  The simple power of a grateful heart is impossible to exaggerate.

An attitude of gratitude encourages a feeling of well-being.  Occasionally, I write down the things for which I’m thankful.  For example:

  • Faith in a caring heavenly Father
  • The comfort and direction I receive from reading the Bible
  • The love of family and friends
  • Health that is reasonably good
  • The challenge and enjoyment of work
  • The privilege of contributing to the lives of others
  • The ability to meet my financial obligations
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Waking up to the smell of coffee and burnt toast (I like burnt toast)
  • More than my daily bread to eat
  • The privilege of taking our thirteen grandchildren out to breakfast one at a time, and learning their likes and dislikes
  • Fellowship and inspiration with the people of our local church
  • Finding a parking place, especially when I’m late
  • Laughing enthusiastically until it hurts
  • An occasional afternoon nap – “nature’s sweet restorative”
  • Pruning roses in our garden or picking berries
  • Reading a good book
  • Listening to old songs … and remembering when …
  • Watching the sun rise and then set at the close of day
  • The sound of rain beating on the window pane
  • Chatting with neighbors about small things

Especially, I’m thankful for the privilege and pleasure of prayer.  That, in all the experiences of life, I’m invited to, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let [my] requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).

Above and beyond everything else, I would join with Paul the apostle in saying, Thanks be to God – for what? – for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

The worst moment for an unbeliever must be when he’s really thankful and has no one to personally thank.  But for believers, an attitude of gratitude is a solid foundation on which to build our lives.

From Too Soon To Quit: Fifty Ways to Experience the Best that Life Has to Offer, reprinted with permission of Dr. George Sweeting

This devotion originally appeared in Real Victory for Real Life, Volume 1, available through America’s Keswick or on Amazon.com

 

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

 

It’s easy to be grateful when life flows along like we think it should – when the sky is blue, the sun shines brightly, pleasant breezes blow, and a surplus builds in our bank accounts.  But what about those times when health wanes and money is scarce?  Even during such times of need a spirit of thankfulness is important because it reminds us of the trustworthy character of God.

The psalmist wrote, “Many … are Your wonderful works … and Your thoughts which are toward us … they are more than can be numbered” (Psalm 40:5).  In response, we are challenged: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God … for you” (1Thessalonians 5:18, italics added).  The simple power of a grateful heart is impossible to exaggerate.

An attitude of gratitude encourages a feeling of well-being.  Occasionally, I write down the things for which I’m thankful.  For example:

 

  • Faith in a caring heavenly Father
  • The comfort and direction I receive from reading the Bible
  • The love of family and friends
  • Health that is reasonably good
  • The challenge and enjoyment of work
  • The privilege of contributing to the lives of others
  • The ability to meet my financial obligations
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Waking up to the smell of coffee and burnt toast (I like burnt toast)
  • More than my daily bread to eat
  • The privilege of taking our thirteen grandchildren out to breakfast one at a time, and learning their likes and dislikes
  • Fellowship and inspiration with the people of our local church
  • Finding a parking place, especially when I’m late
  • Laughing enthusiastically until it hurts
  • An occasional afternoon nap – “nature’s sweet restorative”
  • Pruning roses in our garden or picking berries
  • Reading a good book
  • Listening to old songs … and remembering when …
  • Watching the sun rise and then set at the close of day
  • The sound of rain beating on the window pane
  • Chatting with neighbors about small things

 

Especially, I’m thankful for the privilege and pleasure of prayer.  That, in all the experiences of life, I’m invited to, “by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let [my] requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Above and beyond everything else, I would join with Paul the apostle in saying, “Thanks be to God” – for what? – “for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

The worst moment for an unbeliever must be when he’s really thankful and has no one to personally thank.  But for believers, an attitude of gratitude is a solid foundation on which to build our lives.

 

From Too Soon To Quit: Fifty Ways to Experience the Best that Life Has to Offer, reprinted with permission of Dr. George Sweeting

Fast Food or Gourmet?

fast food

 They who wait for the Lord… ( Isaiah 40:31 ESV) 

Today I want to share two possible examples of waiting.  One I’ll call fast food and the other gourmet.  I choose this illustration because it quickly brings a picture to mind that makes a clear distinction between these two types of meals.

As someone who enjoys eating, I can tell you without hesitation that I get pleasure from both fast food and gourmet.  However, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that one is definitely better than the other.

Fast food is just that, fast.  We rush in, inhale it quickly to fill the void, and just as quickly get back to the busyness of our day.  Our tummies are full, our appetites momentarily satiated and our desire for food is no longer pressing in on us.

            Gourmet, on the other hand, requires lots of time.  Ingredients must be gathered and prepared.  Each course having its own steps, details all fixed on the presentation of delightful flavors and an experience our palate won’t soon forget.

There is no rushing.  Focused attention to each course is essential for the end result and the final presentation.  Whether it’s a three, five or seven-course meal, you sit for the full length of time required, savoring each delectable bite, allowing the senses to be aroused.  You rarely, if ever, rush away from gourmet.

Why? You’re usually so satisfied that all you want is to sit still and marvel over its goodness.  When you do get up, it isn’t to rush away and get busy, but rather to sit in a comfortable chair and revel.

Now take a leap and imagine the difference it would make in our everyday lives if our time with God was more often than not gourmet.  Believe me, I am fully aware of the arguments that can be made for time.  Gourmet requires time, and fast food is after all, still food, and most definitely meets the need.

My question for you is simple, does it really meet the deepest need your soul and spirit have for the Father, the One who is the Lover of your soul?

I, for one, know from first-hand experience that in the natural and in the spiritual, fast food is not enough to keep you healthy and strong.

May we choose today to plan, prepare and enjoy a gourmet meal with Him who was and is and is to come. 

I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.   As the deer pants for the water brooks,
so pants my soul for You, O God.  
(Job 23:12, Psalm 42:1)

Stephanie D. Paul

Stephanie served on staff at America’s Keswick as Women of Character Director. She is married to Sesky; together they have 2 adult children.

This devotion originally appeared in Real Victory for Real Life, Volume 2. To purchase your copy, call America’s Keswick at 1-800,453-7942 or go to amazon.com.

 

Remain Calm!

calm

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:6-8 ESV

I am currently reading Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado. It’s a timely read as I feel anxiety creeping up over my shoulders. We all have situations in our lives that bring us a measure of anxiety. What is causing your anxiety today?

Max Lucado shares Philippians 4:6-8 and creates an acronym let will help us to fight the emotion of anxiety. What we need is peace in the midst of what we don’t understand and God promises to provide that peace to our anxious thoughts and souls.

Here is how we can remain calm:

Celebrate God’s goodness. “Rejoice in the Lord always” v 4

Ask God for help. “Let your requests be made known to God” v 6

Leave your concerns with Him. “With thanksgiving….” v 6

Meditate on good things. “Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise” v 8

Celebrate. Ask. Leave. Meditate. C.A.L.M. *

Today you and I need to practice being C.A.L.M. Expect the peace that passes all understanding as you remain calm today.

Blessings,

Kathy

*Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado, page 10

Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves as Director of Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local church and teaches a Bible study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.

Take a Beat

Festive couple smiling and looking up

Festive couple smiling and looking up on white background

Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. Psalm 34:5

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and with the approaching holiday season, that is even more so.

Planning family gatherings, gift buying, food preparations, office Christmas parties, trips to the mall… and then there is the traffic.

Sometimes the approaching holidays bring a more somber mood because the holidays do not hold fond memories, or there is tension in the family that everyone wants to pretend is not there or dreads because it can’t be avoided.

With all that vies for our time and attention, Jesus can be pushed further and further from our central vision and life takes on an earth-bound perspective.

When this happens we have to take a beat. Mentally stop and look up and call to mind Jesus.  Take a few moments to meditate on Him: His presence, His purpose, His power, His love, His grace, His sovereignty, His mercy, His mission.

Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.[i] The ESV study note says in this verse – ashamed means “disappointed at not finding what was hoped for.”[ii] So in other words, when we look to Him we will not be disappointed.

So take a beat.  Pause. Close your eyes and see Him.  Your earth-bound perspective will dissipate and a heaven-bound perspective will fill your soul.

Blessings,

Diane

[i] Psalm 34:5

[ii] ESV Study Bible, note Psalm 34:4-7, Page 978

Festive couple smiling and looking upDiane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event, please contact her at dhunt@americaskeswick.org

Hiding Place

Arbeit macht frei with cloudy sky

Main entrance to Auschwitz concentration/extermination camp. This photo was took in August 2015 in the morning. There was a cloudy sky which gives even more drama to the picture. Now it is the entrance to the Memorial and Museum.

When you read the title “Hiding Place,” what comes to mind? Truly, many things could spring up in one’s thoughts. For instance, Hide & Seek. Most, if not all, of us remember playing this much loved childhood game. Whether you’re the one hiding or the one doing the seeking, it was always a game bound to deliver loads of fun and laughter. For others, however, hiding place could have a much more sinister connotation.

In the last year or so I’ve begun listening to audio books via an app on my iPhone. My latest listening was a much loved and heart-rending favorite, which is also a movie of the same title, “The Hiding Place”.

In case you aren’t familiar with the book, I’ll give you a little summary. The author, Corrie ten Boom, tells the story of her much beloved family by inviting us to take a long and detailed look at how they lived life as a family of Christians. In addition, she gives us a glimpse of how their faith led to life-altering choices during a time of war. It led to a decision that would make their home a place of escape, a hiding place for Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany and other parts of Europe. Even after the Nazis invaded their homeland, the Netherlands, the ten Booms continued to provide a hiding place for virtually everyone who came knocking.

Up to a certain point in the book the hiding place is the strategically designed plan and space that was built for the purpose of hiding Jews (literally strangers) from their enemy. Within the very walls of their home, they became facilitators, ushering many Jews to safety and freedom.

After some time had passed, the day came when they were arrested and imprisoned for the laws they broke while helping their fellow human beings. The horrors of their captivity led from one prison to another until they arrived at one of the worst unimaginable places.

Herein is where the much deeper understanding of hiding place shows up. This place (Person) of refuge turns out to be the only true place to which they would run, over and over and over again. It was there (in Him) they sought refuge, shelter, solace and a sort of escape from the evil torment they were existing in. Wide awake! Not in a dream! This hiding place was in the reality of Jesus! In Him, they literally lived and breathed!

God’s Word says, You are my hiding place. You preserve me from trouble: You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. You are my hiding place and my shield, I wait for Your Word. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings…For You have been a refuge to me, a tower of strength against the enemy. God is to us a God of deliverances; and to God the Lord belongs escapes from death. Psalm 32:7; 119:14; 17:8; 61:3; 68:20

Dear sisters! Is there a pain or sorrow you bear that you believe will certainly be the death of you if you have to carry it one more moment? Do you believe that God and God alone can cover you, hide you, shelter you? Are you willing today to put Him to the test?

He’s big enough! He’s more than able to make a way out of what seems to be no way!

In the book “The Hiding Place” there are many moments where God does the seemingly impossible, and there are also accounts where Corrie’s sister, Betsy, does the seemingly impossible! She gives thanks to God for everything – even lice! Yes! Lice! Crazy right?! But it turns out that the very presence of those lice was a means to an end, a means of grace. Lice kept the guards out of a certain area. As a result, the reading of God’s Word took place uninterrupted.

You’ll have to read the book to get the rest of the story. I hope you do. You won’t be disappointed and maybe your resolve to stay the course NO MATTER WHAT will be encouraged because He, the Living God, is our hiding place.

Stephanie D. Paul

Stephanie Paul previously served as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women’s Addiction Ministry. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. Stephanie serves alongside him as Care Group leaders in their church. They have two grown children.

All Except

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth by the power of His word.  As He spoke – creation obeyed His voice.  (Gen 1-2)

Psalm 29:3-9 reminds of the power of His word and the obedience of His creation:

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
    and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
    and strips the forests bare,
    and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

This called to mind Job 38 when God answers Job out of the whirlwind:

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Job 38:4

Who determined its measurements… Job 38:5

Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place… Job 38:12

Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? Job 38:34

Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Job 38:35

Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? Job 39:27

God speaks and His creation obeys His voice.

As Jesus walked along the way, And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. Matthew 21:19

In the midst of a storm, Jesus disciples were afraid, And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. Luke 8:24

And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. Luke 4:39

I hope you are seeing the theme here:  God spoke or acted and His creation obeyed Him.  The sun, moon and stars obey Him.  Animals nest and give birth, clouds drop their water at His command.  Trees bend and sway and seas part, wind and waves cease and fevers flee – all at His command.

God’s creation obeys Him…

…all except His own children made in His image.

Creation obeys our Creator Father without hesitation, argument or attitude. All except the ones for whom He sent His Son. Jesus left the glories of heaven, came to earth, dwelt among us and was crucified to redeem us.

We have a choice.  Too often we chose to NOT obey Him.

The sparrows obey better than I do.

This has given me food for thought today, I trust it will do the same for you.

Oh, Father forgive us.  May You be glorified in and through us as we choose to obey Your voice without hesitation, argument or attitude.

Blessings,

Diane

Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event, please contact her at dhunt@americaskeswick.org

 

Who are YOU??

City of Nazareth in Israel.

 

I recently went on a life-long dream journey to the nation of Israel.  There were so many places where I felt God’s presence and He spoke to my heart.  I honestly do not think I will ever be the same.

In that place I came to a fresh new understanding of the depth of God’s love.  Ladies, He sent His Son Jesus to die for us.  I am in a place of recognizing a new level of the love Jesus had for His Father and for us, a love that would cause Him to lay Himself down and become payment for our sin.  Amazing love for sure!!

Today I want to share with you about a place in Nazareth and a particular message I received in that place.  Do you remember the time when Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth and the people rejected Him so completely that they wanted to throw Him off a cliff and stone Him? (Luke 4:14-30)  There I was standing at the place in Nazareth, which was near the remains of the temple, a place where there was a cliff and was told it is believed to be the place the people tried to throw Jesus.   My heart was grieved that the people of Nazareth missed the truth of who He was.  As I looked around there to my right was Mt. Tabor.  Mt. Tabor is the place where it is believed Jesus was transfigured, although the scripture does not name the mountain.

It occurred to me that within vision of the place where man rejected Messiah, God honored His Son so much so that His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as light.  Even Moses and Elijah appeared with Him and the Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear Him” (Matt 17:1-13).  WOW!!

When the world throws words of rejection or hurt at you, dear woman of God, do NOT receive it.  God has something better for YOU.  Stop, and ask the Spirit of the Living God to speak TRUTH to you.  HEAR HIM!!  No matter what man might say, to God you are His beloved.  Even if you have messed up for the 99th time, He will never leave you or reject you.  He is faithful, He loves you unconditionally, He will make a way even if you find yourself in the wilderness.  Go to Him.  Open His Word and read what He says about you.  Allow Him to turn what the enemy meant to harm you into an opportunity for renewing your mind and receiving your identify in Christ Jesus.  You might even start today with Song of Songs.

Be blessed in the warmth of His love for YOU!!

Patricia

Rev. Patricia Wenzel is the founder and director of a state-wide prayer ministry, PRAY New Jersey Inc., since 2002.  The ministry is committed to praying for and blessing those serving in authority positions in our state, particularly in government.  The ministry is also committed to equipping the saints to pray for those serving in government.  The vision and ministry is guided by the Word of God, in particular, 1 Tim. 2:1-4 and Is. 61:11.  Pat is thankful for the ministry of America’s Keswick.  She graduated from Women of Character in July 2008.

Shiloh – A Place of Prayer

Unrecognizable woman praying, hands clasped together on her Bibl

 

In Israel there is a very interesting archeological dig that has been going on for some time.  By the grace of God, I had the blessing to go there and see it.  Archeologists have uncovered Shiloh, which served as the place Israel would gather together and where they set up the tabernacle of meeting (Joshua 18:1).  It was a major Israelite worship center before the first temple was built in Jerusalem.  In essence, it was the first capitol of Israel.  There were yearly feasts celebrated to the Lord in Shiloh  (Joshua 21:19). It is where Eli the priest and his sons served the Lord.  It is the place Hannah came with her husband and prayed that God would bless her with a son. It is the place she brought the son God blessed her with after she had weaned him.  His name was Samuel (1 Samuel 1).  He grew in stature and in favor with the Lord and men (1 Sam. 2:26). The Lord established Samuel as a prophet and judge to the Jewish people (1 Sam. 3:21, 7:6).

The prayer of a desperate mother, Hannah, resulted in the birth of Samuel.  Her son would be used mightily by God to call the nation to repentance.  His relationship with God was such that God used him to anoint the first and second kings of Israel.  The second king, King David, was the line from which Messiah was born.  A nation was transformed through Samuel’s ministry because a desperate mother cried out to God.  She did not go through the priest, which was unheard of in her day.  She went alone and pleaded with the God she loved and served.

It was a convicting moment for me.  I had to ask myself, how desperate is my cry for God to heal my nation.  How desperate is my cry for God to give life to the men and/or women who He can use to shift our nation.  I long for our nation to turn from its wicked ways and for God to transform our nation.  I long for us to walk into the destiny He has prepared for our nation.  I believe we can fulfill what the pilgrims wrote on the very first government document declaring: “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith….”.  We can be a place that gives glory to God.  We can, in our lifetime, see the fulfillment of the words Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg and be, “… one nation under God”.

I invite you to join me and ask Holy Spirit to teach us to pray as Hannah prayed.  I want to pray a desperate prayer that will transform our nation.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Ps. 33:12).

Blessings,

Patricia

Rev. Patricia Wenzel is the founder and director of a state-wide prayer ministry, PRAY New Jersey Inc., since 2002.  The ministry is committed to praying for and blessing those serving in authority positions in our state, particularly in government.  The ministry is also committed to equipping the saints to pray for those serving in government.  The vision and ministry is guided by the Word of God, in particular, 1 Tim. 2:1-4 and Is. 61:11.  Pat is thankful for the ministry of America’s Keswick.  She graduated from Women of Character in July 2008.

A Simple Command We Need to Understand

Beautiful woman portrait with gorgeous curly hair praying for something

The second shortest verse in the Bible is 1 Thessalonians 5:17. It says “Pray Continually.” Such a simple command, but how many of us actually take action with that? Do we understand the power of praying continually? It does not mean praying nonstop. It means having an ongoing conversation with our God.

When I was younger, I understood this verse to mean to just be sure to pray routinely… almost ritualistically. In 2014, when I met my mentor, I observed her prayer life and it stirred something in me. I was inspired by it. I admired it. I wanted it. It wasn’t ritualistic at all, it was conversational and it was real. I loved how she spoke to God as if He was right there, because He was. I knew that too, but I never prayed like it. If something great happened, she would say “Hey, thanks God!” If something went wrong she would say “Hey God, I need Your help here!” It was really cool.

See, 18-year-old Erin knew that God was closer than her next breath and that He cared even about the little things. She prayed often. But she prayed as if God was distant, foreign, and had “more important things to worry about.” She prayed because she felt that she had to in order to be a good Christian. At 22, I’ve learned a lot more about how personal of a God the Lord truly is. Prayer is not something to check off of my “Christian To-Do” list anymore… it’s a joy. I can spill my heart out to Him, say a simple prayer asking for help and guidance, or look up and say “I know that was You” when something good happens. …The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Jeremiah 29:12 – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

James 5:13 – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

Psalm 17:6 – I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 145:18 – The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Is prayer for you something you feel like you should do? Is it simply part of a daily routine…or is it personal? Our God is a personal One, and we can be real with Him in our prayers. God knows our hearts, He knows when our prayers are ritualistic or when we’re doing it to check a chore off of our “To-Do” list. He wants our sincerity. He wants our honest prayers. Look at David – his prayers to the Lord were really honest and authentic. I want my prayer life to be meaningful, powerful, and intimate, instead of treating it as if it’s a duty – instead of saying what I feel like I should say, but not benefitting from it at all.

Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new makeup, buying dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!