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Archive for the tag “Holy Bible”

Day 15 Contend for Me

“Contend for me, my God and Lord.” Psalm 35:23

There have definitely been times in my life when, out of shear need and desperation, I have cried out that scripture with an exclamation point at the end! How about you?

God loves it when we fight for Him but even more when we let Him fight for us! When we hit our knees in prayer, God extends a mighty hand on our behalf and fights our battles for us. Keep fighting the good fight but let God fight for you. When we pray, we are letting go and letting God; taking our hands off and letting God put his hands on.

Remember – if anyone messes with us, they are messing with our God. When our backs are against the wall, God has our backs and when everything is on the line, God steps in.

God is our defender and He is contending for us if our causes are just and our hearts are right. So let God defend and contend on your behalf.

“If you are on God’s side, then God is on your side. God will fight for you as you fight for Him. And you can live with holy confidence, knowing that when God is contending for your cause, your cause is destined to succeed. This doesn’t mean there won’t be setbacks and sacrifices along the way; it just means the war has already been won.” says Mark Batterson.

Prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you. -Mark Batterson

I pray God contends for you today!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 14 Speak to the Mountain

“Say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” Matthew 17:20

Wow – Today’s devotion was so powerful for me that I highlighted the whole thing and locked up my iPad! I’ve decided to quote most of it here, directly from Mark Batterson, for those of you who aren’t reading Draw the Circle with us.

Mark says in Draw the Circle, “There comes a moment when you must quit talking to God about the mountain in your life and start talking to the mountain about your God. You proclaim His power. You declare His sovereignty. You affirm His faithfulness. You stand on His word. You cling to His promises.

“Goliath held an entire army captive through fear. His weapon was intimidation. And that is how our enemy operates. He prowls around like a roaring lion. But the important word is like. He’s an impostor. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. And when He roars, everything is shaken. All authority under heaven and on earth is His. And we are His children. Why don’t we live like it, give like it, serve like it, and pray like it?

If God is for us (Romans 8:31), who can be against us?

The one who is in you (1 John 4:4) is greater than the one who is in the world.

I can do all things (Philippians 4:13) through Christ who strengthens me.

In all things God works (Romans 8:28) for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

“What did Jesus do when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness? He fell back on the word of God. He used it like a skilled swordsman. And He wasn’t just defending Himself; He was delivering blows by citing chapter and verse!

“Maybe we need to quit playing defense and start playing offense. Maybe we need to quit letting our circumstances get between us and God and let God get between us and our circumstances. Maybe we need to stop talking to God about our problem and start talking to our problem about God.”

We are fighting with the enemy every time we hit our knees. And on our knees is where the battle is won or lost because that is where God fights our battles for us.

We must always thank God for the opposition in our lives and know that we don’t have to be afraid of the enemy’s attacks as these attacks are counterproductive when we counteract them with prayer. The more opposition we experience, the harder we need to pray. And the harder we pray, the more mountains God moves.

Quit talking to God about your problem and start talking to your problem about God. -Mark Batterson

Do you have a mountain to talk to today?

Prayerfully, Paige

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 11 First Class Noticer

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

As Mark Batterson states in his book, Draw the Circle, “Prayer is the difference between seeing with our physical eyes and seeing with our spiritual eyes. Prayer gives us a God’s eye view. It heightens our awareness and gives us a sixth sense that enables us to perceive spiritual realities that are beyond our five senses.”

It’s pretty simple. The more we pray, the more we are able to see what God wants us to see.

I’m often guilty of rattling off a prayer list to God and then forgetting to be still and listen. For me the easy part of prayer is talking as it’s much harder to listen and look. But we are reminded in today’s devotion that “prayer is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue. We speak to God with everything from words to groans to thoughts. And God speaks to us through dreams, desires, promptings, impressions, and ideas.”

When we are in prayer, we are able to open our spiritual eyes and start seeing God everywhere.

I pray you are becoming a first class noticer!

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 40 Prayer Alphabet

“Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1

Have you ever prayed with someone who prayed with such familiarity and authority with God that it made you feel like you barely knew God? I wonder if that’s how the disciples felt every time they heard Jesus pray? I wonder if that’s why they asked him to teach them to pray? They clearly didn’t ask Jesus to teach them to preach, lead, or even disciple. The only asked him to teach them to pray.

Based on my own experiences through prayer, I concur with Mark Batterson when he states, “If we change the way we pray, everything changes. It changes the way we work, the way we parent, the way we lead. It changes the way we prioritize and strategize. It changes the way we think, the way we feel, and the way we speak. Prayer changes everything from the inside out.

“The word prayer often induces feelings of guilt simply because we don’t do enough of it or because we feel inept when we don’t know what to say. For the record, I’ve never met anyone who felt that they pray too much or too effectively! All of us fall short. But instead of feelings of guilt, the thought of prayer should induce unbridled excitement because nothing is more potent than kneeling before God Almighty.

“While my prayer batting average is no better than anyone else’s, I’m determined to get back into the batter’s box because I can’t get a hit if I don’t take a swing. And if I swing enough times, I’ll hit a few homers and accumulate a lot of RBIs. So quit worrying about striking out, and swing for the fences!

“Don’t beat yourself up over past failures or present struggles. Simply do what the disciples did. Ask Jesus to help you, to teach you. Let their simple request become your modus operandi: ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’

“It doesn’t matter how much you know. Do you have a teachable heart? Are you hungry to learn? Are you open to change? Wisdom is knowing how much you don’t know. So you have to start there and ask God to teach you.”

Have you ever gotten to a point where you were praying the same words over and over? Or maybe your worship time felt small or cliched? The lyrics on the screens were like greeting cards? When this happens, we start saying words that someone else wrote but never expressing love to God in our own words. This kind of relationship with God isn’t enough. We must find new ways to worship; our own words to sing. God wants to hear our voices, our words, and our praise.

Batterson writes about, “the story about the grandfather who walked by his granddaughter’s bedroom one night and overheard her praying the alphabet, literally. ‘Dear God, a, b, c, d, e, f, g.’ She prayed all the way to ‘z’ and said, ‘Amen.’ The grandfather said, ‘Sweetie, why were you praying that way?’ The granddaughter replied, ‘I didn’t know what to say so I figured I’d let God put the letters together however He saw fit.’

“Sometimes I feel that way too. I have no idea what to say when I pray. And that’s OK. The first objective of prayer is prayer about what to pray about. Prayer isn’t about outlining our agenda to God; it’s about getting into God’s presence and getting God’s agenda for us.

“If you don’t know where to start, or if you get stuck, go back to the Bible. Start reading, and God will start speaking. That’s when you need to stop reading and start praying. Words, phrases, or verses will jump off the page and into your spirit. You need to circle them in prayer. And don’t be in such a hurry to get through the Bible that you don’t get the Bible through you.

“Prayer is the difference between appointments and divine appointments. Prayer is the difference between good ideas and God-ideas. Prayer is the difference between the favor of God and the luck of the draw. Prayer is the difference between possible and impossible.

Prayer is the different between the best we can do and the best God can do. -Mark Batterson

Begin where you are!

Prayerfully, Paige

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