The tale of ten lepers

This event has been playing in my mind these past two weeks:

And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:12-19)

We are called to live a life of thanksgiving. But how often do we pause in our busyness to say “thank you”? I’m mainly referring to thanking God, but I think that a life of thankfulness will flow out to those around us, too.

I have seen God answer prayers my entire life. Sometimes the answer comes in an unexpected way or season, but it does come.

Revelation 8:3-4 tells us that the prayers of the saints rise before God as a fragrant offering! John 16:23-28 tells us that the Father will give us anything that we ask in the Son’s name.

We quote the above scriptures all the time when making requests of God. But how often do we return to Him and say thank you? Do we quickly forget that we made a request at all? We cry and rail at Him in our need, but once it’s met then we run ahead and forget.

Turn back and thank God

When you journal, do you take time to note down praise points? Do you have a record of testimonies to God’s faithfulness? Are you bold enough to share your thanks of what God has done in your life with family and friends? Do you remember His past faithfulness when coming before His throne with new requests?

Let’s be like the leper who turned back and praised the One who healed him!

Respect dare series – day 8 – Intercede

Luke 18:1-8

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'”

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

1 Thessalonians 5:17

. . . pray without ceasing,

I want to be 100% faithful in presenting God with requests on Glenn’s behalf. I want to pray constantly and not lose heart.

God has especially been laying on my heart the need to intercede for Glenn. I can be quite sporadic with this and I feel the need to become both intentional and constant in it. I am trying to make it a daily undertaking to trust the Holy Spirit to highlight areas where I need to be fighting for him.

My action for today: Last night I was praying during the night for him. I will keep praying and allowing the corresponding peace flood in. I will also go for a beach walk to specifically intercede for Glenn. And not just for today; I want to make this a habit. I want to do it intentionally until it becomes second nature.

My prayer for today: Keep me praying; keep me interceding; and keep me in your peace. Amen

Spend time in prayer**


**Image by Lucky Gumbo, curtsey of The Inductive Bible Study Companion; Unlock the Word ©2015

Respect dare series – day 7 – Pray

Philippians 4:6-7

. . . do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What don’t you have peace about in your marriage, or your life? Have you given it to the Lord in prayer? Are you thanking the Lord all the while that you present your requests?

God is my guardian. He is Glenn’s guardian. He is your guardian. He is your spouse’s guardian. Entrust yourself and your spouse into God’s hands.

We are in the unique place of seeing the best and worst in ourselves and our spouse. If there are areas in their life that need to change, or where they need growth, take it to the Lord in prayer. God is impressing on me that prayer is the single most, important thing that I can do to encourage, strengthen, build up and plant into my husband.

I can pray for his areas of strength. I can pray protection over him. I can pray for him to have wisdom for our family (definitely a natural gifting for Glenn). I can pray for his work, his hobbies, and his dreams. I can pray for strength and health. I can pray for his relationship with God, me, and our child. There is so much I can pray for on Glenn’s behalf. And don’t forget that we do it with thanksgiving! Let’s praise God for our husbands and His work in their lives!

I’ve found (and this should come as no surprise, although we seem quick to pass on prayer) that the more I pray: The more peace I have about our future. The more peace I have about our circumstances. The greater joy I have in the role of wife. The better I grow to understand and appreciate Glenn. The easier it is to pray and find time for prayer. The better I love.

My action for today: Pray and let peace flood in. Go for a beach walk and pray. Pray when shopping. Pray cooking dinner. Pray whilst feeding baby. And not just for today; make it a habit. Do it intentionally until it becomes second nature.

My prayer for today: Keep me praying; keep me praising; and keep me in your peace. Amen!

Spend time in prayer**


**Image by Lucky Gumbo, curtsey of The Inductive Bible Study Companion; Unlock the Word ©2015

Angry over Prayers being Answered

Tonight I realised that I was angry at God. Is it okay to be angry with God? I hope so because I certainly was tonight. And I’m pretty sure that He is big enough to handle it. More than this, it was when I brought the emotion before Him that He was able to show me the reason for my anger – in this case, it was simply that He was answering my prayers; my prayers to be formed in to the likeness of Christ and to live a life serving Him.

Unfortunately, the moulding process has been a little out of my comfort zone recently. I’ve experienced God as my Healer (both spiritual and physical), my Comforter, my Companion, my Father. I am now learning of Him as a Provider. I am seeing how He has provided for me all of my life, and now I am seeing it more clearly as day by day I rely on Him for provision; not only for myself, but for the work of Redefined Ministries International. It is a blessing to see His hand so clearly, but also challenging as He removes my cultural desire for “financial security” – whatever that means!

It is easy to pray nobly for Him to use us, for Him to increase our obedience to His will, that He will mould us in to His likeness . . . And yet how do we respond when He begins the work?

What I forget in the moment of the prayer is that His ways are not our ways. When He begins to answer my prayers, I rage up against Him because the change does not come in the way that I wanted or expected it to. More often than not, I desire the change to occur through a miracle and forget that God works through a process.

When He begins to work, my spirit begins to get wriggly, and I become focused on me and my wants. I forget that He is God. I forget that He is a good God. I forget that Scripture says we are to rejoice when trials come, for these build character. I forget Him, and focus on myself.  I forget to love others, and focus on myself.

Stretching times are “good for the soul”. They mould us in to the likeness of Christ. They bring us to the point that I arrived at today; the realisation that we cannot bring change in our own strength, and we cannot complete what He asks of us without His help. This brings us to a point of desperation and we cry out for God. This is when we see Him most clearly. This is when we attune our ears to really hear what He had been saying.

I am inherently selfish and I put my needs first. God calls me to turn my eyes first on to Him, and then on to my neighbours. It rankles when He reminded me that it is not all about me, that I am not at the centre of all things, but it has done my perspective a world of good! When I look to Him I forget my growing pains, and my heart is filled with joy and love for the Great King.

Turn your eyes on to Christ when you reach that place of desperation. Remember that isn’t all about you, you can’t continue in your own strength, and that, as hard as the moulding process is, it is for your good that God does it.

Let the Potter mould you

To finish, I think the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi is appropriate (if you’re brave enough to go through the growing pains that God will use to mould you to be such as this):

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen