This post was previously published back in 2016. It’s still timely for today, so I thought it needed to be revisited. Hope it blesses you!
Ever have one of those days when everything you've worked hard for seems to be falling apart? Like you're nothing but a big stinking failure? And everything you touch doesn't turn to gold, but rather mud?
Failure. I think that is based on a FEAR that we aren't good enough. Aren't worth having good things happen to us. We've made bad choices. We've charged ahead in our lives, wrapped up in trying to succeed, into making a living, in simply surviving. And all our spinning and toil results in nothing but a pile of straw.
In the White Road Chronicles, one of the first human characters Alyra comes upon is a farm boy name Jerin who lives in the town of Yarholm.
Jerin has a big problem. Or rather, his problems are small little things, but there are a lot of them and they can be quite vicious when angered. Yes, I'm talking about the invasion of okbolds that have overrun his town and nearly taken it over.
This is the final installment of this Effective Prayer series. I hope you’ve gained a little inspiration and insight that will help strengthen your prayer life.
I can’t express enough how life-changing it has been since I've begun to take my prayers more seriously. Between collecting prayers that I can read over and over, and gathering scriptures that I can use against the enemy’s lies, even when I’m down, I’m not down for long.
Such as this morning. Over the past week, I’ve been feeling a little down and sluggish. I knew that I’ve been letting my emotions get the better of me. So, yesterday, I paused a moment and asked the Lord what it was that is dragging me down.
Paul encourages us to run our races unhindered. Toss aside anything that drags you down. Run with perseverance. Right?
Well, this morning, I was able to work out what lies were hindering my walk and stopping me from living the abundant life that God promises us.
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. ... But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
I believe that since the movie The War Room, prayer closets have become more of a thing. However, I’ve found that having a designated place to meet with God, helps me to avoid all the pitfalls and distractions I often encounter when I settle down to pray.
If you want to help your mind and heart get focused and down to business, having a place to do that is a great way to start.
For some time now, I've wanted to do a companion devotional book for the Chronicle books.
I had started it some time back, a collection of thoughts and scriptures for the journey. It sat on my computer for some time until this year when I decided it was time for me to finish the half-done projects I started and abandoned.
I believe that the Lord inspires the ideas that come my way. I want to honor those inspirations and not brush them aside for whatever reason I have at the moment such as, I'm too busy, I write fiction, not devotionals, blah, blah, blah.
Creativity is a gift. One that needs to be appreciated and not taken in stride.
So, today, I present you with the first of what I hope will be many more devotional for your spiritual walk.
The Passion Translation
Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward Him boiling hot. Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let Him fill you with excitement as you serve Him. Let his hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy.
Don't give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.
Don't give up. Keep yourselves fueled and aflame by His word. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.
Don't quit in the hard times.
Don't allow fear to cloud your hearts.
Don't forget that you are part of a greater whole if you have dedicated your life to God and to serving in His Kingdom.
Sing His praise no matter what is going on in your life. Find reasons to praise. They are there if we'll only look. Keep our passion burning so that we will stand out in a world of anger, hate, and strife.
Because, in the end, only one thing truly matters....
Over the past few weeks, I’ve given tips and shared my thoughts on how to pray more effective prayers, such as checking your motives, keeping a journal, and praying according to scripture. But there’s more to effective prayer than just doing things. It also requires that we be present. Get quiet. Open our hearts and ears. And most of all, that we pray without ceasing.
This week we will discuss how to Abide. Or, how to include the Lord into your daily activities, decisions, and triumphs.
When we pray according to God’s word, there is no room for dispute or doubt. God’s word is true. When we pray according to scripture, we are lining up our will and desires with those of God. Do you want your prayers to be effective? Find a scripture that backs up what you are praying for. Don’t forget to watch for your answers to come. Document them when they do so that you won’t forget God’s power in your life.
Below are a few scriptures that I’ve collected and turned into prayers. I do not pray the scripture word-by-word. I want to make it personal. So, some of the words have been changes to fit my life and situation. If I’m praying for a friend, I will insert their name. Or if I’m praying for a situation, I do the same: naming the issue I need help with.
Do you have a favorite scriptural prayer that I’ve not included? Share in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for more to collect.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last,
but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly;
I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.
No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so
that after I have preached to others,
I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I Corinthians 9:27-29 NIV
You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind.
How can we truly win in life?
And never forget, we do not have to run alone.
Is it really this easy?
Not gonna lie. I've battled giving up and taking an easier road many times in my life. Daily jobs are truly easier than trying to learn how to run my own business.
Easier is not always better. It's just not.
Whatever you might be facing in your life, stand on the promises that God is for you, not against you. Stand on the belief that He is good and that He loves you.
If you can stand firm, the storms will blow on by and things will work out for the best.
It takes that mustard seed faith to stand.
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.