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Archive for the tag “church”

Day 13 One Day

“One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision.” Acts 10:3

Today could be THE DAY! It only takes one day for God to answer your prayer, perform your miracle or keep your promise. But if we are going to experience any of these one day, we need to pray every day.

“God listens more to our hearts than our words. And what God loves more than anything else is childlike faith. It’s our childlike faith that moves the heart of our heavenly Father. It’s simple childlike trust. It’s the bedrock belief that God is bigger than our problem, bigger than our mistake, bigger than our dream. says Mark Batterson

“When we pray, we tend to rank our requests by degree of difficulty. We see our requests as big or small, easy or difficult, simple or complex. But let me remind you of this simple yet profound truth: to the infinite, all finites are the same.

“The size of your prayers depends on the size of your God. If your god is small, you’ll pray man-sized prayers. But if your God knows no limits, then neither will your prayers.”

God can accomplish more in one day than you can accomplish in a lifetime. -Mark Batterson

May you pray every day with a childlike faith, trust and belief in our great God. And may today be your one day.

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 12 Sow a Seed

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

If we are going to understand the true potential of our faith, we must first understand the power of a seed. Mark Batterson states, “Jesus spoke of our faith in relation to a mustard seed, the smallest known seed in that culture. Like every seed, it needs to germinate, and this seed can take up to 10 days to germinate. Some plants, like some dreams, take a lot longer.

“Faith is what keeps those dreams alive, even when it seems as though they are dead and buried. But that is the very nature of seeds. They go underground. They disappear. And while it may seem like they are dead, they are not. They’re just germinating beneath the surface.

“If you saw a mustard seed but didn’t know what it was, you would have a hard time imagining what it would become. The potential is disguised in an awfully small package. Would you guess that an acorn would become an oak? You’d never guess that a black seed would become a green watermelon with a red interior that tastes amazing!”

Faith is much like a tiny seed. It may not look like much at first but we never know what it may become. In fact, a little faith goes a long way and even lasts an eternity.

“Praying is planting. Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations. Even when we die, our prayers don’t.”

Today we live in an instant gratification world. We want to reap the second we sow. We want our prayers to be answered at the speed of light rather than the speed of a seed planted in the ground, and our dreams to come true overnight. But that isn’t the way it works with God. We must have the patience of the planter, the foresight of the farmer, and the mind-set of the sower. We can’t make things grow but if we plant and water, God promises to do the growing.

To sow a seed – keep praying, obeying, giving, serving and loving. If you keep sowing the right seeds, no matter how big or small your faith is, you will be blessed in God’s time and in God’s way!

If we do the little things like they are big things, then God will do the big things like they are little things. -Mark Batterson

Have a little faith.

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 10 Crazy Faith

“This woman is driving me crazy.” Luke 18:5

The parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). A woman on a mission, for what no one is sure but whatever it was she wasn’t going to take no for an answer!

How desperate are you for an answer, a blessing, breakthrough, or miracle? Desperate enough to pray through the night, circle the promise an unlimited amount of times? How long will you knock on the door of opportunity? Until your knuckles are raw or until you knock the door down?

The persistent widow did not follow protocol and neither should we because God doesn’t care about protocol. Jesus, our great teacher, honored the prostitute who crashed a party at a Pharisee’s home to anoint His feet. Jesus honored a tax collector who climbed a tree in his three-piece suit just to get a glimpse of Him. Jesus honored the four friends who cut in line and cut a hole in someone’s ceiling to help their friend. And Jesus honored the persistent widow because she wouldn’t stop knocking on he judge’s door.

Each of these people had faith. They all took desperate measures to get to God and God honored them for it.

The viability of our prayers has more to do with how hard we pray than what we say. It has more to do with what we do than what we say. So don’t just pray about it, do something!

There is a pattern repeated in Scripture: crazy miracles are the offspring of crazy faith. Normal begets normal. Crazy begets crazy. If we want to see God do crazy miracles, sometimes we need to pray crazy prayers.

Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers. -Mark Batterson

Have you gone crazy?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 9 Dream Factory

“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Some commentary interprets this scripture in negative terms. “Take captive sinful thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.” However, we must not only focus on the negative implications and get them out of our minds, but capture creative thoughts and keep them in our minds.

God can do amazing things with just one idea and just one prayer! That’s what God did with Mark Moore as he sat in Ebenezer’s coffeehouse in Washington, D.C., conceiving the vision for MANA (Mother Administered Nutritive Aid), a company manufacturing and providing RUTF (Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food) food packets to address severe cases of malnutrition in children all over the world.

When you have a God-idea, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:5, take it captive to make it obedient to Christ. Steward every word, thought, impression, and revelation inspired by the Spirit of God.

Keeping a journal is a great way to capture your thoughts but that’s only the first half. The second half is making your thoughts obedient to Christ which requires hard work on your part (see the post for Day 7 on ‘Making a Move.’).

Begin where you are. I believe no God-idea or prayer is too big or too small. And we know that our God is big enough to make any dream happen!

Never underestimate the power of a single prayer. -Mark Batterson

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 8 One God-Idea

“But ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will teach you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.” Job 12:7-8

George Washington Carver was known for inventing the many uses of the peanut and attributing his ideas to being God’s ideas. In fact, he testified on many occasions that his faith in God was the only mechanism by which he could effectively pursue and perform the art of science. It is said that he spent his mornings in prayer asking God for answers and God led him to Job 12:7-8.

God-ideas are only revealed in the presence of God so why wouldn’t we be on our knees in prayer with everything? Day 8 of Draw the Circle was so inspiring for me, I think I could quote the entire chapter! Here are key takeaways for me –

“We have to trust God to do what only God can do.”

“After all, prayer is the difference between the best you can do and the best God can do.”

“Going to God in prayer is the solution to every problem and the answer to every question.”

As Mark Batterson states, “If we hit our knees, the Holy Spirit will reveal things that can only be discovered in the presence of God and he will give us God-ideas for our ministry, family, business – for our lives.”

We have to ask ourselves the question – Are our problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than our problems? Until we come to the conviction that God’s grace and God’s power know no limits, we will pray small prayers. But once we embrace God’s omnipotence, we’ll pray big God-sized prayers.

If God is bigger than your biggest problem, pray like it!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 7 Put on Waders

“Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Mark 16:20

We all have dreams. Hopefully God-sized dreams. Dreams that are destined to fail without divine intervention. But if your dream is not the will of God, or for the glory of God, it’s a waste of time, energy, and money. It’s so important to first take your dreams to God in prayer, and then take a step of faith because God is honored when we act as if He is going to answer our prayers! And if your dream is ordained by God, then your step of faith will honor God.

Mark Batterson gives the example of the Israelites standing at the edge of the Jordan River and God commanding the priests to take a few steps into the river. They are finally just on the other side of their dream and they have to take the first step. Otherwise, they would never see God part the Jordan River or see their dream. I think it’s important to note that God had ordered their steps throughout this journey (Psalms 37:23) and was doing so again in asking them to first get their feet wet. By this time along the journey, they knew God, trusted him and did what he commanded. The rest is history (Joshua 3).

If you want to see God move, make a move. -Mark Batterson

I’m absolutely all for dreams, especially God-sized dreams that require divine intervention! And I believe in making a move to see God move (and I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion). But if your dreams haven’t brought you to your knees in prayer seeking his will, then you might be out-of-order.

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 4 Don’t Pray Away

“This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3

I’m not sure about you but I found myself highlighting most of day four in Draw the Circle! If you, like me, have been through tough times in life, on more than one occasion we’ve begged God to get us out of circumstances and sometimes to just simply get us through life struggles. Author Mark Batterson states, “We’re often so anxious to get out of difficult, painful, or challenging situations that we fail to grow through them. We’re so fixated on getting out of them that we don’t get anything out of them. We fail to learn the lessons God is trying to teach us or cultivate the character God is trying to grow in us.”

Take a look at Romans 5:3-5. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

This scripture has helped me to find God in my life struggles, asking Him to teach me, help me to grow, and to use me for His glory.

Sometimes God delivers us from our problems; sometimes God delivers us through our problems. -Mark Batterson

Where have you found God today?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 37 Prayer Contracts

“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” Matthew 18:18

Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle states, “The word bind has a legal connotation. It means ‘to place a contract on something.’ This is precisely what happens when we pray in the will of God. Our prayers place a contract in the spiritual realm.”

As previously emphasized (see post Day 31 Spell it Out), the purpose of prayer is not to get what you want; the goal of prayer is to discern what God wants, what God wills. But if your prayer is in the will of God, then it is backed by the full authority of the King and His kingdom.

“A.W. Tozer wrote, ‘What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.’ So let me ask the question: When you think about God, what images come to your mind? For most people, I suspect the dominant image is Jesus hanging on a cross. That gruesome cross is the most beautiful picture of what true love looks like. But let me make and observation that may sound a bit sacrilegious. You aren’t praying to a God who is hanging on a cross; Jesus is seated on the throne, and the earth is His footstool. All authority is His. And if you are His, then His authority is yours.

“We grossly underestimate the authority that is ours because we are children of God. And we desperately need a vision like the one Isaiah had (Isaiah 6), who saw the Lord high and lifted up.

“I think Tozer was right when he stated that a low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils and a high view of God is the solution to ten thousand problems. Our biggest problem is our small view of God. God is so much bigger than our biggest problems (see post Day 8 One God-Idea). God is so much better than our best thoughts. He is infinitely wiser and more gracious and powerful than anything we can imagine.”

When we dream big, pray hard and think long, God pushes our limits and stretches our faith. And we steward the miracle by believing God for even bigger and better miracles.

“We tend to view the goal as the goal, but in God’s economy, the process is the goal. It’s not about what we’re doing at all; it’s about who we’re becoming in the process. It’s not about doing great things for God; it’s about God doing great things in us.

“After explaining the binding nature of our prayers, Jesus explains the power of prayer circles. If two of you agree (Matthew 18:19-20) on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or more have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

“The word bind means ‘to tie together.’ It’s the same word used to describe marriage vows. Just as the two become one flesh, when we agree in prayer, the two become one spirit.

“Something powerful happens when we agree in prayer. Our faith isn’t just added together; it’s multiplied. If we are praying in the will of God and for the glory of God, then agreeing with someone in prayer is like getting our prayer contract notarized.

“Finally, the word bind means ‘to chain.’ There are more than 3,000 promises in Scripture, and according to the apostle Paul, all of them ‘are yes in Christ’ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Our most powerful prayers are chained to the promises of God. Don’t just pray your words all the time; pray the Word of God because His word does not return to Him empty (Isaiah 55:11).

“Chain it to your mind through memorization. Chain it to your heart through meditation. Chain it to your past, present, and future through prayer.”

Agreeing with someone in prayer is like getting your prayer notarized. -Mark Batterson

Are you bound in prayer?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 36 Senior Partner

“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Matthew 6:20

Guess what? No matter how hard we try, we cannot outgive God.

We are introduced, in today’s devotion, to a friend of Mark Batterson’s named Stanley Tam. Stanley is the founder of the United States Plastic Corporation. More than half century ago, he made a decision to make God his Senior Partner and gave his business over to God believing that God would bless his business, as he wanted to honor God from the start. Feeling convicted, Stanley transferred every share of company stock to his Senior Partner and became a salaried employee of the company he had started. Since that day, he has given away more than $120 million.

During a memorable meal between Mark and Stanley, Mark was blessed with a lifetime of wisdom. He says, “Stanley discovered the key that unlocks the joy of generosity: what we keep we ultimately lose; what we give away we ultimately get back. So Stanley said, ‘I just send it ahead by giving it away.’ Stanley also puts it, ‘A man can eat only one meal at a time, wear only one suit of clothes at a time, drive only one car at a time. All this I have. Isn’t that enough?’

The same God who helped Stanley is the same God who can accomplish the plans and purposes He has put in your heart. As Mark says so well, “If it’s God-ordained, it’s inevitable.

“Few things are as inspiring as seeing childlike faith in a very old person. That’s Stanley Tam. He is the youngest oldest person I know. He simply takes God at His word. And when we take God at His word, God stands by His word.

“One of the biggest mistakes we make in reading history, whether biblical history or history in general, is thinking that those who lived before us were different from us. They weren’t. If God did it for them, He can do it for us. And if we do what they did in the Bible, I’m convinced that God will do what He did. Nothing has changed. God wants to renew His deeds in our day. But we need to pray the price. Leonard Ravenhill put it this way: ‘One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed. We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed (and after that to be obeyed).’

“The greatest legacy a person can leave is a complete surrender of their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. If we don’t hold out on God, God won’t hold out on us. Take God at His promise as expressed by the psalmist: ‘No good thing (Psalm 84:11) does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.’ And these good things will pass from generation to generation and become great things. God will answer our prayers in the lives of offspring we won’t meet until the Father’s family reunion at the marriage supper of the Lamb. But every prayer we pray, every gift we give, every sacrifice we make, and every step of faith we take is an inheritance left to the next generation. And our prayers live on, long after we die, in their lives.”

What we keep we ultimately lose; what we give away we ultimately get back. -Mark Batterson

Are you leaving an inheritance?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 35 The Longest Lever

“Do not despise these small beginnings.” Zechariah 4:10

A friend recently came to me saying that she’s been praying during our 40 Day Prayer Challenge but things don’t seem to be getting much better. I know it’s hard to pray and wait on God (see post Day 23 Not Now) but small beginnings is where we must start. And if we continue to pray like the members of the early church (Acts 2), Pentecost can happen anytime, anyplace!

Mark Batterson reminds us of the value of small beginnings, “In Zechariah 4, the Jewish remnant who returned to Israel are getting ready to rebuild the temple. It is an overwhelming undertaking. But the Lord encourages them with these words: ‘Do not despise (Zechariah 4:10) these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s land.’

“The plumb line was an ancient measuring tape. All they had done at this point was measure! That’s it. But God was already rejoicing over them. Like a parent that celebrates a baby’s first step, our heavenly Father rejoices when we take the smallest of steps in the right direction. And those small steps become giant leaps in God’s kingdom. If we do little things, God will do the big things. But we have to do the little things like they are big things.

“We cannot worry about what we cannot do; we have to simply do what we can. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things. And if we do the ordinary, God will add an extra to it.

“Prayer is our plumb line. It’s also the true measure of a person. No one is greater than their prayer life. Our potential is directly proportional to our prayer life. It is the single greatest indicator of our success in any endeavor.

“Archimedes of Syracuse is famous for his quip, ‘Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth.’ He was referencing the lever, one of six simple machines identified by Renaissance scientists. A lever amplifies the input force to provide a greater output force. Simply put, the longer the lever, the greater the leverage.

“Let me borrow a simple statement and substitute one word: Give me a place to kneel on, and I will move the earth. In the kingdom of God, humility equals authority. Call it bold humility or humble boldness. That is our lever. If we try to exalt ourselves, God will find a way to humble us. But if we humble ourselves, God will find a way to exalt us. There is no leverage like kneeling in prayer. If we hit our knees in humble prayer, God will extend His mighty hand on our behalf. He will leverage us in ways that are humanly impossible.

“Humility is how we get out of the way of what God wants to do. And if we stay out of God’s way, then there is nothing God cannot do in us and through us.

“There is nothing magical about kneeling, but there is something biblical about it. Posturing our bodies helps us posture our hearts. Bowing our hearts in reverence before God is what really matters.”

If we do the ordinary, God will add an extra to it. -Mark Batterson

Is daily prayer your plumb line?

Prayerfully, Paige

 

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