Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'll Pray for You

You've said that little 4-word phrase a gajillion times, haven't you? Me too. I actually said it this morning to a dear friend while chatting.

I'll pray for you.


I will pray for your situation.


I will have my _____________ (insert group name here) group from church pray about that for you.

I'm smirking as I recall the numerous times I have said this phrase and DIDN'T follow through.

I'll pray for you. When we say that, we are making a pretty important promise to someone. We are given an opportunity to minister or not. I'll pray for you means something when you are on the receiving end of the phrase. It means "hey, I care about you and know that God will get you through." Or "I have compassion on what you are going through my friend and I will present your request to God." OR "I know that the God I serve can help you through this and I am going to pray for you."

A specific verse comes to mind as I think about prayer. Phil 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (emphasis mine)

Did you let that verse sink in? If not, go back and reread it, allowing the words to settle deep within you. Did you do it this time? Did you see the 2 key words there?

with thanksgiving....

What a splendid display of God's grace that we get to come to him in prayer WHENEVER WE WANT TO! When we say, "I'll pray for you, " we are expressing our gratitude to God for the fact that we can come to him WHENEVER WE WANT TO because of the door that was opened through the death of his son on the cross.

I'll pray for you is not to be said lightly. When we say this we need to understand what that phrase truly is saying to the person. Most importantly, we need to follow through.

Here's my challenge to us all, myself included. The next time we say, "I'll pray for you, " do it right then and there. Pray with the person. Pull our car over to the side of the road and present that prayer, with thanksgiving, to God. Turn off the TV, close the computer screen, put down the book, close your Bible...STOP what we are doing and present that request to God. Whatever we do, we NEED TO FOLLOW THROUGH.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I Miss Running

hahahaha....I'm cracking up at my title because I honestly never thought that phrase would come out of ME!!!

I have been sick since Sunday and haven't been able to run for 4 days. If you've been keeping up with me you know that I started running about a month ago. I have worked my way up to a little over 1 mile at a time. My goal is to run around Syracuse Lake (5 miles) by next summer. So, I have been running 4-6 days a week. Being sick with sinus grossness tends to keep one from being able to breathe while sitting down, let alone while running.

And I miss running. I miss that 20 minutes of worship each day. I miss being outside. I miss that good sweat! I miss the time that I talk to Jesus. I miss the exhilirating feeling when I finish my run. I just miss it.

It is amazing how we are such creatures of habit. I am anxious to get back into my new habit. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

I love this Psalm! It is so beautiful and it has been my prayer for a while now. When I say prayer, I mean that literally. I have been praying this Psalm to the Lord for a few months, not every day, but often. I love how The Message says verse 1..."God, invesitgate my life; get all the facts firsthand." WOW!!! There is no other that can do that. God is the ONLY one who can fully investigate our lives. He is the only one who knows us inside and out, before and behind, forever. I've been trying to wrap my mind around that....the infinite-ness of God.

Verses 13-16 are a constant reminder to me of my identity. It is in God, the maker and creator of me. He designed me exactly for HIS purpose. I have not been feeling this for the past few days. I really struggle to see myself through God's eyes. I see my self through blinders and lies. Blinders that hinder me to see the beauty of God that comes through my life. Lies that I am nothing and never will be, that no one wants me.

Moment of complete bareness for you readers:
Tuesday night was one of the lowest points I have reached in a long time. I have been running like crazy and working so hard to lose some weight. My clothes are noticeably looser, I feel better than I have since highschool bball, people have made comments about "the weight you must be losing". So, I braved the scale.......there it was, 258.6. I hated it! I was instantly fuming. I'm sure my blood pressure went through the roof!!!! I have been seeing numbers at or close to 260 for almost 2 years now every time I step on the scale. I have been working my BUTT off. I have spent money to go to the doctor and have tests done. I have completely changed my eating habits. I have begged and pleaded on my knees to the Lord to take this burden of weight from me. Then, I get on that stupid scale and am crushed. There is just no other word for how I felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I left school and cried....wept.....heaved.....lost my breathe in sorrow. I felt completely helpless and didn't know what to do.

I sent a text to 3 friends that said, "got on the scale today. no change to the weight. crying." Here is what I got back.....Jenna said, "I can imagine it is rough. I am praying for you. I think you are beautiful and you are amazing! Keep working hard" AJ said, "Don't let the enemy deafeat or discourage you...God is beyond any scale. You are loved friend!" Jamie called me just to make sure I was okay and to affirm me. Those were enough to get me moving and go for a run. And I ran hard....I was pissed!!!! I listened to my music, I ran hard, I repeated the words of my friends to myself over and over.

Later that night I journaled and was honest with myself and God. I can't really explain how I felt other than to say that I was overcome with a peace. A peace that can only come from God and the words of Psalm 139 filled me. I am a creation of the Most High. Nothing in my life can defeat HIM! No scale, no weight, no lie, no person can ever take that away from me. And I went to sleep.

Yes, it is a struggle. Yes, the lies are almost too much some days. Yes, the tears come easily most days. Yes, I stumble into the pit of lies. BUT MY GOD IS STRONG ENOUGH AND BIG ENOUGH TO PICK ME UP AND CARRY ME INTO HIS SAFETY.

"I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.....I know that full well."