• How To (Re)Connect With God

    John 15:4

    This week, we are excited to have Jason Campbell, our Director of Theology (and Melissa’s husband), sharing with us. Jason started Regnare Project, a ministry teaching people how to develop spiritual disciplines that help them grow in their relationship with God. We hope this short guide to establishing or re-establishing a connection to God will be a blessing!


    In these days of constant busyness and distraction, it has become more difficult than ever to maintain a life-giving relationship with the Father. This is a short guide to (re-)establishing that life-giving connection with the one that loves us and calls us into the good life of his kingdom.

    Start small.

    As always, we start small, beginning with ten minutes with God. That may not sound like much (or it may sound like a lot!), but rest assured that this is plenty of time to connect with the one that gives life freely to all who come to him.

    Pick a time (and keep picking until you find a time that works).

    It doesn’t matter when we do this: morning, lunchtime, evening, right before bed—just pick a time that appeals to you and try it. If it doesn’t work well at that time, don’t worry too much about it; just pick a different time the next day and try that.

    Repeat this until you find a rhythm that works for you. Remember, you aren’t angering or disappointing God if you have trouble with this; he knows every crazy detail of your life and is working with you to carve out this time. Jesus is called “Rabbi” (teacher) for a reason: pay attention to what he is teaching you about how and when to connect with him.

    Begin by laying down your burdens.

    Begin your time with God by laying down your burdens—whatever is on your heart, give it up to God. Could be good things, could be worries about upcoming events, could be something difficult you’re struggling through, could just be the condition of your heart (bored, frazzled, tired, thankful—anything). There is nothing too trivial, too embarrassing, too shocking, or too insignificant to share with God. He is your Father and he cares for you; if you care about it, so does he. That’s how love works.

    Listen for God speaking to you as you read Scripture.

    After you’ve spent some time laying down your immediate concerns, prepare your heart to listen. Now it’s God’s turn to speak.

    Open the Bible either in its printed form or on a reading device that is convenient. Then ask God to speak a personal word to you as you read or listen to a passage of Scripture.

    Listen closely as you read, paying attention to what God is saying to you through that Scripture. This is a particular approach to reading: we aren’t scanning a newspaper or a Facebook timeline looking for something interesting; we aren’t studying a textbook to pass a test; we aren’t even analyzing a passage of Scripture so that we can master it. We are coming to the living Word of God, listening for a personal word from him that speaks to us in our circumstances right now. Think of a soldier poring over a love letter from his bride-to-be while out on the front lines: he reads the words slowly, savoring them, picturing the one who wrote them, hearing in the words his beloved’s voice as the text brings her near.

    Stick to a chapter or so at a time, or even a smaller, contiguous chunk. After you’re finished reading it through, go back over it. Linger over sentences, phrases, or even single words that stand out to you. Ask yourself why that phrase stands out.

    Let the word lead you to the deep places of your heart. Let the word bring to mind thoughts you’ve had recently or nudges from God that you brushed off. Let the word unearth moments of thanksgiving that you’d forgotten about. Let the word bring to mind relationships in your life. If someone comes to mind, offer a brief but heartfelt prayer for them.

    Treasure whatever you hear from God—and act on it!

    Above all, if God has brought to mind something during your time in the word, write it down somewhere: put it on your calendar, write it on a sticky note, jot it down in a journal, share it with someone in a text message. If your time with Scripture or in prayer leads you toward an action (even just an inkling!), take it seriously! Don’t let the moment slip by. Give it weight by carrying it with you into the day and act on it.

    Nothing will ignite a thriving relationship with God like going where he goes and doing what he calls you to do!

    Try this out for a while and see how it goes. It might take a week or two to get into a good rhythm with it, but that’s okay. Talk with a friend about how it’s going and what you’re hearing in Scripture or during your times in prayer. Invite them to try the practice with you and see where it takes you.

    The good life of God’s kingdom is open to all, and it always starts small like a mustard seed (Luke 13:18-19). But given that small beginning, you can count on even small efforts to grow abundantly under God’s blessing. God can do wonders with even a few short minutes a day!

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  • The Power of Prayer In Revival

    My husband and I have been in ministry in the Pacific Northwest in some form or fashion for almost 20 years. There have been some encouraging moments of watching people fall in love with Jesus and live their lives boldly following Him. But to be honest, it has been a lot of hard stuff too. There have been a lot of people who have rejected me and shown animosity toward me for being a Christian. I have watched Christians walk away from God. But in each context, I have ministered in, my heart breaks more for those suffering without the knowledge of Jesus. My heart hurts for Christians who are desperately trying to connect with God, but just don’t know how. 

    As I read how the early church spread in the book of Acts, I felt a longing in my soul. How I wish my community could experience a revival like I see in the book of Acts. To witness the Holy Spirit moving powerfully, transforming lives, and furthering God’s Kingdom. Has a revival like that ever happened in other places in history? Could a movement of the Holy Spirit be possible in my context? 

    I began to study history and look closer at the Bible and found that the answer is a resounding yes! It has happened time and time again in the two thousand years since Jesus walked the earth (and even before Jesus in the Old Testament). As I’ve studied the Bible and looked back over the history of the church, I’ve noticed a pattern with each revival: they are always preceded by prayer.

    One example that blew me away was the story of a man named Jeremiah Lanphier. He was a former businessman who loved the Lord and felt called to help a small church in Manhattan. His ministry began in 1857 at a church that was struggling to survive after a huge fire displaced many people in their community. As new businesses and immigrants began to move into Manhattan, the city experienced a season of cultural change. A financial crisis loomed and many people seemed indifferent to spiritual things. On top of that, many churches moved out of the downtown area, but a few remained including the church that hired Jeremiah, the North Dutch Reformed Church. Jeremiah had experience in business himself and he wanted to try and reach the businessmen and immigrants working and living alongside them, to help them know and love God.

    At first, Jeremiah tried getting to know people in the community and inviting them to church, but to no avail. After several weeks, he decided to change directions and started offering a time and place for people to pray during their lunch hour. His hope was that a time of prayer would be a blessing for stressed-out businessmen and workers and an opportunity for them to share their burdens with God. Jeremiah kept the format simple, with just a few songs and scripture reading, followed by praying. People could come and go as they pleased, staying only as long as they wanted. 

    The first prayer meeting he offered was September 23, 1857. Out of the hundreds of flyers and invites he made, six people showed up. But he was not daunted by the small numbers. He continued to offer the prayer time on Wednesdays at noon. After just three weeks, the number rose to over 40, so they decided to offer prayer time every day. Within 5 weeks, there were around 100 people coming every day to pray. 

    Then other churches started offering similar prayer meetings. By March of the following year, thousands of people were gathering to pray every day and the movement had spread to other cities. People from all walks of life were coming to Jesus. God was on the move in a hurting and broken United States, all because one man offered an opportunity for people to pray.

    This pattern of turning to God in prayer, and then watching the Holy Spirit sweep through and change lives, has been around since the beginning of the church. In Acts 1, Jesus gives his disciples some final instructions before he heads back to heaven to be with his Father. They were to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from the Holy Spirit to go tell everyone everywhere about Jesus. (Acts 1:8). 

    After Jesus left, they didn’t put together a complicated evangelistic plan, or create elaborate outreach programs. Neither did they wait in their homes, isolated from one another. Instead, they gathered together and prayed (Acts 1:12-14). 

    One of those days, when they were gathered together, the promised Holy Spirit showed up and empowered all who were there to be Jesus’s witnesses. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter, an uneducated fisherman, preached the first gospel sermon, and 3000 people were saved. The rest of them were empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak in other languages, all to accomplish what Jesus had told them.

    From the beginning, we see that when God’s people wait on Him in prayer, at the right time, He empowers them to accomplish amazing things that help transform the broken world around us. If you read through the book of Acts, every time you see the word prayer, try underlining it in one color and then underline every act of the Holy Spirit in another color. You will see prayer always precedes a movement of the Holy Spirit and the bold, world-changing actions of Christians.

    God himself creates revival movements through the work of His Spirit and He does so when we wait in prayer for Him to do so. Jeremiah Lanphier and the disciples in the early church were both tasked with growing the church and in both cases, they didn’t know how to do it. So, they waited on God in prayer. 

    Jeremiah found that his own efforts to evangelize weren’t working, so he chose to simply offer an opportunity for people to come together and pray. And even when the first prayer meeting was smaller than he probably would have liked, he kept at it, knowing it would be a benefit to those who came, whether that was six people or a hundred. And at just the right time, God opened the floodgates, and thousands of people began following Jesus. 

    For the early church, Jesus told them first to wait, and then they would receive power to accomplish their mission. But they didn’t just wait by going through the motions of their jobs and then going home at the end of the day. They waited in prayer together. And when God decided it was time, He empowered his disciples with his Spirit, and the Gospel began to spread like wildfire to the ends of the earth. And today, we get to be a part of that very same commission that Jesus gave so long ago!

    History contains so many incredible stories of the Holy Spirit powerfully working among His people. But how can we experience that same kind of powerful Holy Spirit revival in our lives? Maybe we begin by following the examples of the Christians who have gone before us and create space for it. We set aside time with no other agenda than the opportunity for people to commune with God in prayer and see what He does.

    It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Start with being simple and consistent. 

    In my home church, we offer a one-hour prayer time similar to Jeremiah Lanphier’s. We sing a few songs, read a Scripture to center our minds and break up into groups to pray. It’s something that could be done anywhere, at your church building, in your home, in the park, or in a space where you work. All you need is a regular time and space for people to be able to come together to pray and see what God does. I can only imagine what will happen when there are groups of people lifting their voices to God everywhere. 

    As we regularly come together into the presence of our Creator, to know Him and be known by Him in prayer, we will see the movement of the Holy Spirit flood into our lives and the lives around us. May we set our minds and hearts on Him and boldly join Him where He is working.  

    “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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  • Praying for Those Who Don’t Know Jesus

    A few miles from where I live, there is a butte that overlooks my town. I love driving to the top and gazing down on the place I call home. There is a little river that meanders through town with tall green deciduous trees adorning the landscape. Off in the distance, mountains call out to me, luring me to go hiking, fishing, and camping. For an outdoorsy girl like me, it is a great place to live. But I don’t go up there just to admire the beauty of the town. I go there to pray for the people who live there.

    While everything can seem great from high on the hill, things are not all roses and daffodils down in the valley. It seems like every week I hear stories that break my heart: a kid is removed from their home because of abusive parents, another person who becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to escape emotional pain or stories of people struggling with loneliness and lack of self-worth. I know Jesus could speak into their hurt and pain, but only 1-2% of the population have a relationship with Jesus, and it doesn’t seem like the rest are interested.

    I can’t help but feel the effects of the hard and heartbreaking things that are happening all around me. I get tired of watching helplessly as people struggle in pain and suffer the consequences of their own bad choices or the choices of others.  Sometimes, my fatigue can even turn into frustration and anger directed toward these hurting people, instead of on their behalf. 

    Sometimes as Christians, it’s all too easy to build a metaphorical hedge around ourselves. We want to block it all out, and just live at peace with Jesus in our comfortable safe places. Then, once the world gets its act together, it can come visit us in our cozy “spiritual compounds.”

    Yet we know that is not the heart of God. God did not sit back in his protected spiritual domain while the people He created needed a savior. Instead, He became one of us, suffered like one of us, to show us a better way to live. He did it because “God is patient towards us, not wishing anyone to perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Christ came and died for those of us who have accepted Him AND for those who don’t know Him yet. (1 Peter 3:18)

    God calls us to come out from behind our “spiritual safety hedges” and share His gospel. But how do we begin reaching people in our own backyards with the gospel,  when most of them don’t want to hear it? There are so many people that don’t know how much Jesus truly loves them and it seems overwhelming. The Bible shows that I should begin with prayer.

    Prayer is where the early church started in its quest to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. Before the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, you don’t see the disciples out evangelizing yet. Instead, Acts 1:12-14 shows them gathered together in prayer. At just the right time, God sent the Holy Spirit to empower them to spread the gospel. In Acts 2, we see Peter preach the first gospel sermon and he preached it to his own people. The very people who, just a few weeks earlier, wanted Jesus dead.  

    But Peter didn’t turn his back on them.  Instead, God sent Peter to the very people that killed His Son, knowing they needed forgiveness and salvation, too. Thousands of people who once hated Jesus were now turning to Him for love and forgiveness.  

    Just like me, the early disciples didn’t know where to start or how to reach the vast number of people who still didn’t know Jesus. But instead of giving up and walking away, they met together and prayed. Then, at the right time, God sent his Spirit to empower them to reach people they never thought possible.

    As a disciple in the 21st-century church, it is now my turn to pray for those around me. Instead of running away and ignoring the angry, hurt, and broken people around me, I get the privilege to intercede before God on their behalf. 

    So I head to the top of the hill and pray for them. I go to my kids’ sports events, and I pray. In my favorite prayer spot in my house, I pray for them. So far, thousands of people haven’t come flocking to my church, but my heart is changing. I have more compassion. I see the sin and brokenness in my community more through God’s eyes which gives me the boldness and strength to regularly sit before him and beg for my town’s salvation. It has given me the courage to step into the difficult lives of some of my fellow neighbors and share the good news about Jesus’ love and sacrifice, and the brand new life they can have in Him. And as I see small changes in them begin to happen, I am encouraged to pray all the more.

    I don’t know what life is like in your town. I don’t know who your neighbors are. But I do know this: God loves them and desires them to have the same relationship with Him that you enjoy. 

    So how can you make time to pray for people around you who don’t know Jesus yet? If you’re looking for a way to get started, here are a few ways you can add this important calling into your prayer life:

    1. Go on a regular walk around your neighborhood or town and pray for your neighbors and the people you see.
    2. Pick one or two people you personally know who don’t have a relationship with Jesus and add them by name to your daily prayer list
    3. Get together once a month with other Christians to pray specifically for your town.

    As you pray, may your heart be transformed to be more like God, who stepped right into the middle of the mess to bring redemption, love, and hope.  May He give you the courage and boldness to tell others about Jesus, so that all may truly know Him.

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  • Why Should We Pray For Our Enemies?

    “She said WHAT about me?!”

    I could feel my cheeks flush as a shockwave of anger spread across my face, and through my chest, before it fell like a rock in my stomach. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could someone who had known me for so long, believe lies about me? 

    I struggled to process the harsh reality in front of me: an old friend (I’ll call her Nichole) was spreading lies about me in an effort to save face. And another dear friend (I’ll call her Marie) had believed her without a second thought. 

    I knew Nichole well and had learned to be a little cautious in our friendship. She had a little bit of a reputation for being less than honest. 

    But I looked up to Marie. I sought her approval and wanted to have a good relationship with her. When I tried to reach out to her, I was given a cold shoulder in return. There would be no chance for me to set the record straight, no hope for justice, and certainly no apology.

    As someone who prides herself on being friendly, I don’t enjoy having an enemy. I am a peacemaker at heart and I want everyone to get along, but I’m also a bit scrappy. I’m not one to go down without a fight, so not having a chance to defend myself and put certain people in their places was a special kind of torture. 

    It kept me up at night and chipped away at my self-confidence. I would lie awake, replaying conversations in my mind looking for ways that I could clear the air and change how Marie saw me. I cried big tears of frustration and grief. I had lost not just one friend, but two, and there was nothing I could do about it. Or was there? 

    One night around 2 am, after a particularly good fake conversation in my mind where I really stuck it to them, I began to pray for justice. My heart was filled with righteous indignation and I was certain that the Lord had my back on this one. 

    Then the strangest thing began to happen. While I started praying for myself, I ended up praying not just for me, and how I was feeling, but also for Nichole and Marie. I prayed for the places where they were broken to be healed, so they wouldn’t hurt others the way that they had hurt me. I prayed for their eyes to be opened and hearts to be softened to the love of Christ and for the Holy Spirit to work within them. I prayed that God would help me to forgive them, and to be set free from the bitterness that had taken root. I asked God to bring about the best possible outcomes for all of us so that He could be glorified. 

    Friend, it was not by my own strength that I prayed these prayers. It was God at work in my heart through prayer that formed the words and began to change my entire perspective. 

    In Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT) Jesus tells us, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.

    While my conflict with Nichole and Marie happened before social media was really a thing, it’s not unheard of in situations like this to put someone on blast in a one-sided rant on Facebook. We’ve all seen the posts, maybe we’ve even posted some of them. If it had been an option at the time, I would have loved a chance to get my side “out there” and maybe get in a jab or two of my own. 

    But Jesus says if we are going to behave like true children of God, we should love our enemies and pray for them. I know–crazy right? It’s totally counterintuitive. 

    Left to our own devices, our perspective remains narrow. We see only through the lens of our hurt and frustration. Before long, bitterness begins to build up, and brick by brick we become imprisoned behind a wall of unforgiveness and pain. 

    But when we bring our enemies before Jesus in prayer, suddenly things don’t seem so big and overwhelming compared to the magnitude and sovereignty of God. The simple act of prayer helps us to transcend the situation before us, and invites God to go to work in our hearts. 

    He can smooth out the rough edges where we need to repent, and fortify our souls where we need encouragement and love. When we pray, God meets us with compassion and reminds us that we are loved. What a gift when we feel wounded and rejected by others! Through time with God in prayer, He begins to mend all of the broken places in our hearts. 

    But something else miraculous happens through prayer. As we are reminded of our own belovedness, we are also reminded of the belovedness of others. God never made a person He didn’t love, including our enemies. 

    When we pray, we begin to see them the way God sees them, and our hearts are softened. It’s like weed spray for the heart, killing the roots of bitterness before they can get established and helping pave the way for true freedom and forgiveness. 

    We see in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, that forgiving others is something that the Lord requires of us. He knows it is not easy work, especially when the person we are trying to forgive may not seem sorry. But God never asks us to do anything alone. When we pray to Him, He helps us and heals us so that in due time, we can sincerely forgive and move forward. 

    It’s ok if you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry if your words aren’t pretty or if your anger bubbles over. God does not require you to check your emotions at the door. He wants you to bring all of your heart to Him. The Holy Spirit will help you find the words and communicate your heart to God. God promises to work all things out for good for those who love Him. He won’t waste a thing. He will use it all to bring about purpose for your pain and beauty for your ashes.  (Romans 8:26-28)

    Part of God working all things for good is so that others will know that He is God. He’s doing more than just settling a disagreement, or bringing about justice, He is working through our situations so that everyone can know Him. 

    In the book of Exodus, there are a couple of occasions where Moses prays for his enemy, the Pharoah of Egypt, who has enslaved the Israelites. In that part of the story, we get a little glimpse of why and how God is working. He is working through the stubborn heart of Pharoah so that all of Israel will know that Yahweh is God. God is also working through Moses’ prayer for Pharoah so that Pharoah will know that Yahweh is God. (Exodus 8:8-1010:1-2)

    When we humble ourselves and pray for our enemies, God reminds us and shows everyone else, that He is God. He can reach into the hearts of people where our best arguments and defenses would fall flat. God can bestow wisdom and grace, change minds and soften hearts, including our own so that all will know that He is God. 

    About a year after the fallout with Marie and Nichole, after praying and working toward forgiveness, I had finally let go of the whole situation. By the grace and strength of God, I rested in the comfort and security that God knew the truth and that was enough. I had reached a place where the opinion of these two friends no longer defined me. My worth was not in what they thought or said, but in who God says I am. 

    One day I found out that another friend had bumped into Marie and set the record straight on my behalf. Marie felt terrible about the whole thing and had no idea that all this time she had been believing a lie. 

    I saw her not too long after that and she came up to me and hugged me. She praised me for the way that I handled the whole situation. 

    Up to this point, there wouldn’t have been anything I could have said to change Marie’s mind. Only God could have accomplished that. And only God could have kept my heart soft enough to receive her kindness and be willing to reconcile.  At that moment, I was reminded of who God is, and other people, including Marie, saw God at work, healing and redeeming a friendship that had been lost. 

    I know we don’t always get the ending that is tied up neatly with a bow. Marie never really did apologize-not in so many words. But God had already restored my heart and grown my faith in ways that I never could have anticipated. And it was easier to give Marie grace because of the abundance of grace that God had been giving me all along. 

    So my friend, pray for your enemies. Not sure if you have any? Pray anyway– someone’s name may come to mind that you’ve stored neatly in the back of your mind. 

    Bring your heart to God, bring any conflict, hurt, betrayal or grief. Lay it at His feet and watch Him take a heart full of frustration, anger, and bitterness, and transform it into one overflowing with peace, freedom, and grace. 

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  • More Than We Ask Or Imagine

    For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

    Ephesians 3:14-21

    Looking back over the last five years of ministry for Revive, I am amazed at all that God has done, is doing, and will do. I continue to stand in awe of His goodness, faithfulness, and love as He takes our meager offerings and multiplies them to accomplish Kingdom work before our very eyes. It is nothing short of miraculous. 

    And so much of this Kingdom work began with this prayer from Ephesians 3:14-21. It has been our hearts’ cry for each woman that we encounter at the coffee shop, in our online Bible studies, at church, on social media, at events, or in just the park. 

    We pray that she will be rooted and established in love. That she will experience the love of Christ in tangible ways, and that as her grasp of God’s love for her increases, so will her passion for Christ. 

    We pray that her relationship with Jesus will be the defining relationship in her life, the one that becomes the measure of how she sees herself and others. 

    We pray that her sense of self-worth and value will be wrapped up in who God says she is and how God esteems her, instead of the noisy opinions of the world.

    We pray she would know this love that surpasses knowledge: that she is fearfully and wonderfully made and a beloved daughter of The King.

    We pray that in the security of being fully known and fully loved by God, she will confidently step out in faith, using all the ways that God has uniquely created her to bless God and others. 

    We pray that she will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live the abundant life that God invites us to and that she will walk confidently in her purpose as a citizen in the unshakable Kingdom of God. 

    In a world that is broken, hurting, and lost, we need God’s daughters to rise up. We need to know God and who we are in Him. We need to shine the light and love of Christ to our families, friends, and to the next generation of women who will follow in our footsteps. We need to be a reflection of God’s love and a beacon of hope that there is more to this life than what the world can offer. Because we know that someone, somewhere will experience revival because of God at work within us. 

    So we pour out our hearts in prayer, confident that God will continue to work powerfully. We pray that He will continue to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, and we thank Him daily for the chance to join Him in the work He is doing. 

    There’s room for more people to join us in this Kingdom work. Pray with us and for us! Pray that as God continues to grow Revive Ministries, more and more women will begin to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who they are in Christ. The power of God is at work through His people, and His love will transform this generation and the generations to come. 

    “To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

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  • Merciful God And Father, Hear Our Prayer…

    Merciful God and Father,

    You are good, you are mighty and you are just. Our hearts break with our brothers and sisters in the black community as we grieve the tragic and unjust loss of yet another soul. Our hearts ache for our friends and family who are not just grieving, but also shouldering the weight of fear, misunderstanding, bias, discrimination and hate. 

    We come to you in lament, Lord, eyes straining to see your face, and thankful that we can call upon your name. We draw near to your throne, hearts in our hands. 

    God, we call upon your goodness. May your Holy Spirit stir in our hearts compassion, love, kindness, and gentleness. Show us how to help carry the weight of our neighbors’ sorrow and share in their tears. Break our hearts wide open over what breaks yours. Open our eyes to see as you see, and our hearts to love as you love. Lord, instill in us your goodness and mercy. May every word we utter, every action we take glorify you and and point to Christ, so true healing and transformation may take place. May the light of your love shine so brightly through your people that there is no room for darkness to take hold.

    Father, we call upon your might. You sacrificed your own Son that we might live. Lord we are all created in your image, with no one person better than any other. By your son’s sacrifice we are saved under one blood making us brothers and sisters. Let there be no divide in our minds, hearts, and actions. Mighty God, let the power of your presence defeat hatred, racism, injustice, and evil. Reconstruct our hearts and our humanity through the lens of the sacrifice of your Son. Come near to us Lord, and do your mighty work in us and through us today. 

    Lord, we long for righteous justice. Our hearts burn with a desire to see to wrongs made right and justice delivered. But first Father, examine our hearts, and fix what is broken within us. Realign our vision not just to recognize injustice, but to speak boldly and to put love into action. Work in the hearts and minds of our leaders-in government, in our churches and communities and in our very own families. Please grant us wisdom and discernment, and boldness to not be silent, but instead to stand for what is right. You did not give us a spirit of timidity but your Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Help us in all circumstances to do what is right and just. Please forgive us when we fall short.

    In all things Lord, you are God and you are good. Help us to really love one another, to hate what is wrong, and to hold tightly to what is good. 

    In Jesus’ Name, 


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  • A Blessing in the Waiting

    We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22

    The days all seem to run together lately. While there are so many things to be thankful for, I’m also feeling a bit like a caged animal, wearing a track in my carpet from walking the same path day in and day out. It can be hard to hang on to optimism when it feels like there’s no true end in sight. I long for open roads to bustling cities where I can pop into a local cafe, and nestle into a window-seat with my lavender latte and write and work and visit with people. The things I took for granted like health and safety and community are now rare and precious commodities, locked away for another day.

    Hopefully that day is not far off, but we’re two months in and I’m standing face-to-face with my real self, with my weaknesses and wounds laid bare before me. Ordinarily I’d hop in the car for a long drive, music blaring, pouring my heart out to God, while He helped me reconcile the fact that He knows my weakness and loves me still. But instead, I am surrounded by kids that need my help, in a house that needs twice the maintenance now that we are living in it 24-7, and extra time to be stuck in my own head to stew about it.

    It’s sometimes discouraging to hop on social media and see the moms that seem to be crushing quarantine life like domestic goddesses, cooking Pinterest worthy meals and rocking craft time like they were born for it. Meanwhile I’m heating up corn dogs, loading yet another load of dishes, and praying that my kids will finish their school work before 7:00 pm.

    But here’s the thing: We are each uniquely gifted and equipped for such a time as this. There are talents and traits that I possess that make a difference in my family, my community and in the world around me. Just like my talented “domestic goddess” friends have their own set of skills and gifts that impact the people in their circles. Why should I feel bad about them just because I’m overwhelmed during this season and they are in their sweet spot?

    So shine on, you quarantine-rocking mamas! I know you have your hard days too. And it’s okay that I have mine. You are keeping your head up and inspiring others to do the same. We are all in the same sea, fighting the waves, looking to the skies and praying for a blessing.

    And that’s what I want to give to you now–a blessing. The Biblical definition of a blessing is a gift from God or to ask God’s favor upon a person. So here is a blessing for you, the weary mama, the lonely soul, the weary worker, the contented heart, and the restless one:

    I pray, dear friend, that God himself would draw near to you this very moment. May you turn your face toward the heavenly sunlight of our Lord and Father and feel the radiance of His love fall gently on your cheek like sunbeams on a summer day. With each cool breeze, may He breathe new life into your lungs and whisper comfort, peace and renewal to your heart. May you rest in the strong arms of the Savior and stand tall in the knowledge that He loves you simply because you are who He created you to be, a masterpiece, His beloved, a cherished treasure. May your heart be filled to overflowing with how He delights in you. May this knowledge that is too wonderful to comprehend, begin to settle in your heart until it makes its home there and you can’t help but believe it. May His grace be sufficient for you, filling every empty or wounded place in your heart. As deep cries out to deep, may the love of Christ fill you with joy and peace and confidence as co-heirs with Him and Daughters of the Most High. May you see yourself the way God sees you, radiant and unashamed, made righteous through Jesus’ willing sacrifice. And when you lift your gaze and rise today, may you see God at work in every detail, walking beside you at every moment, proud to call you His.

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  • Expensive Prayers

    Back in my college days, I was a part of a bible study with a few other students. About 4 years earlier, I had started learning about Jesus and what it meant to follow Him. One night, at this bible study, my college pastor gave us a challenge. He said, “Go home tonight and take some time to pray. Ask God specifically, ‘If there is anything standing in the way between us God, please take it away.’” You see, he knew that in order for each of us to grow deeper in our relationship with God, we needed to be willing to surrender anything that hindered our walk with Him.

    I’ll admit that the idea of this type of prayer was a bit intimidating. My heart eagerly wanted to please the Lord and walk in His ways, but there were things in my life that I hadn’t yet surrendered to God–things that were keeping me from living the life God wanted for me. As I walked home that night, my pastor’s question kept rolling around in my head. I knew that I needed to take it to God.

    That night, as I sat on my bed, I prayed. As I prayed those exact words my pastor had told us to pray, it was as if I reached out my hand to God with a willing heart and a closed fist. I was trying to take the first step. My heart was willing but I couldn’t quite give God what I was still holding onto with an open hand. It can be difficult to let go of the things in our lives that we have grown used to, even if they may be hindering us.

    God took my small, imperfect, but willing effort and faithfully did the rest. He was able to pry open my grip (knowing I couldn’t do it myself) helping me to let go of those things. One of those things that I was having trouble letting go of at that time was a romantic relationship that wasn’t a godly one. Within a week of praying that prayer, my 3-year relationship ended—just like that.

    God had been waiting for me to be willing to let Him take away what wasn’t best, so He could bless me with something so much better. Looking back, I can see how God wanted so much more for me. While it was a painful process at the time, it was so rewarding in the end.

    I call these types of prayers, “expensive prayers” because they are the type of prayer you pray when you are willing to lay it all on the line and surrender the outcome to God. These types of prayers involve vulnerability and risk. We pray the words not knowing the outcome or how God will work. We can pray this prayer of surrender because we are confident of who He is. He is the One that we can trust completely to always have our best interest in mind and to give us His very best.

    God was waiting for me to let go, so He could give me His best and the blessings I couldn’t have imagined yet. Right after the break-up, God led me to an amazing campus ministry retreat that I wasn’t planning to attend. He surrounded me with the most amazing people who showed me God’s love. I had not grown up in the church and I hadn’t yet known God’s unconditional love. I had relied on being in a romantic relationship to fill the need for love in my life. What I didn’t realize until that point was that I was holding on to counterfeit love instead of having the real thing.

    We hold onto the things we think are best. We are afraid to let go of them for fear God will give us something we don’t want. But God is a good and loving Father who longs to give us His very best. He is waiting for us to open our hands and to let Him take the less-than-best and give us more than we can ask or imagine.

    Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”

    Luke 12:31-32

    God not only showed me that I had been settling for less than the best, He then replaced that imitation for a real, authentic love. At that retreat, I not only met friends who showed me the love of Christ, but in that very same group was a man who several years later would become my dear husband–a godly man who is more than I could have ever asked for. God filled me up with His joy and love. He has truly given me a deep relationship with Him that has made my life so rich and full. That “expensive” prayer that day may have been a simple prayer, but boy was it powerful! It was an important turning point in my life and relationship with God. Maybe a similar turning point is waiting for you too.

    Is there something in your life that you are holding on to with a tight grip? God might be waiting for you to let go so He can give you His best. Maybe it is a relationship, a job, a false belief, a habit, unforgiveness or fear–whatever it is, don’t let it stand in the way of you growing closer to God and accepting His best for your life.

    My challenge for you today is to pray the same prayer I was challenged to pray so many years ago. It’s okay if you are wanting to say the words but a little afraid of the outcome. Remember, the God you are praying to is loving, faithful, and desires to give you His very best.

    My friend, don’t settle for less than His best in your life–seek God, His Kingdom and an unhindered, full relationship with Him. Simply start with this prayer: “If there is anything standing in the way between us God, please take it away” and see the amazing things God will do in your life!

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  • A Prayer For You

    So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

    We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

    Colossians 1:9-14

    This prayer from the book of Colossians is our prayer for you. It is our heart’s desire that you will grow in your faith, in your purpose and in wisdom and understanding of God and His word. We pray that you will hold steadfast to your identity as God’s beloved one and know without a shadow of a doubt that you are deeply loved. As His child, God has given you the Kingdom of Light. He will strengthen you and empower you so that you can live a life of purpose and love. May the world see Christ’s love through you as you allow God to work in your life.

    We would love to pray with you! Feel free to comment below and let us know how we can be praying specifically for you.

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  • Praying Confidently

    While prayer can be as simple as talking to God about the little things in our day-to-day life, sometimes we are hesitant to go to God for the big things–the things that really matter to us. There is a level of vulnerability involved in asking God to heal a broken relationship, to save a loved one, or to bring us a miracle in a difficult situation. While my instinct is to turn to God for strength during these times, I am often afraid to truly ask for what I want. There is part of me that worries what will happen if my prayer isn’t answered in the way I’m hoping for. It’s a lot easier to pray for something big when we have nothing to lose, but so much more difficult when we do.

    When we pray, we are placing everything in God’s hands–including our control over the situation. This is not always an easy thing to do. In order to do this confidently, we have to trust that God has our best interest in mind. We must believe that God’s love for us runs deep–that He delights to give us all that He has and all that He is.

    Sometimes the best way to see this truth in our lives is to look back on God’s faithfulness to us in the past. When we are in the middle of our current circumstances, it is easy to forget how God has been there for us or answered our prayers in the past. Leaning on our remembrance of God’s faithfulness to us before, helps us to trust Him again with the future unknown. We can look back on a history of His loving faithfulness and kindness to us–the ways He has gone above and beyond all we asked or imagined.

    This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

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

    The power and confidence we have in prayer can only come from the power and confidence we have in Christ as God’s beloved children. We may not always feel worthy to approach God in prayer, but He has reassured us that we can do just that, simply because we are His. Our good Father delights in giving the world to His children. Nothing is too small or too big for our God. He can be trusted with our most vulnerable requests and has given you permission to ask what is on your heart and the reassurance that you can trust Him, no matter the outcome.

    And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

    Luke 11:9-13

    May God give you a deep understanding of His love for you as His daughter. May you find your confidence and power in your identity in Christ so that you may boldly come before the Throne of Grace with freedom and confidence.

    Keep on praying, my friends!

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