prayer

  • Does Forgiveness Equal Restored Relationship?

    forgiveness restored relationship“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example…”
                                                                                 Ephesians 4:32-5:1 NIV

    Life is so generous to give us lots of opportunities to extend forgiveness to people who hurt us. What’s the proper response to offence? Do we always have to forgive?

    Does forgiveness =equal= restored relationship?

    If we are to follow God’s example, as this verse instructs us, then forgiveness is a must and restored relationships need to be our intent.

    Sadly, I don’t think forgiveness can always lead to restored relationships, and we see that in Jesus’ relationship with the Pharisees.

    Isaiah 59:2 explains that our sin is an offence to God, separating us in our relationship with Him. The more we sin and the longer we continue offending Him, the more distant our relationship with Him becomes. Forgiveness can take place in an instant when a prayer is whispered, but it takes time to rebuild a relationship with God.

    Restoration happens when we take ownership of our offense and change our ways. We have to go through a process to rebuild our closeness with the Father.

    The same principle needs to be applied to our earthly relationships.
    We must forgive others for their offenses towards us. If we don’t, it keeps us bound in bitterness. It’s healthy to learn that a restored relationship is separate from forgiveness and requires a healing process.
    When approaching relationship restoration, we need to consider the whole counsel of scripture.
    Proverbs 4:23 warns,

    “Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life” (NLT).

    Proverbs 22:24 cautions,

    “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered...”
    Forgiveness + Ownership + Repentence = Restored Relationship

    Sometimes you’ll need to forgive and protect yourself from unhealthy or even toxic relationships. In the best of times, forgiveness leads to a better, stronger restored relationship.

    Prayer:

    Father, I thank You for Your forgiveness. I ask for the grace to forgive others in my life who have hurt and offended me. I take myself out of the judge’s seat and release them to Your judgement and justice. Please help me to guard my heart, without closing it in the area of relationship restoration. May I walk in Your wholeness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
    Drawing from the well
    1. Ephesians 4:32
    2. Isaiah 59:2
    3. Proverbs 22:24–25
    4. Proverbs 4:23

    Soul H2OThis post was first published on January 19, 2014 and then included in my first Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
    Devotion #17 – Forgiveness and Restored Relationship.  The original devotion also inspired a #musicpic post called, The Forgiveness Song

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  • Prayers – That Stick – For Your Children

    One day some parents brought their children to Jesus
    so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them.
    ~Matthew 19:13 NLT

    When my kids were little, we went through a lot of Band-Aids…I mean A LOT!

    BAND-AIDS THAT STICK

    Brandon loved to climb things, skateboard and do tricks on his BMX bike that often ended up in cuts, scrapes, gashes, and quite a few stitches.  Poor Shelby’s a little clumsy like her momma, so it’s safe to say, we kept the Band-Aid brand in business! I only tried no-name band-aids a couple of times and found they didn’t hold but the Band-Aid brand could be counted on to stick.

    PRAYERS THAT STICK

    Moms, you want band-aids that stick and prayers that stick for your children. Weak, ineffective prayers that don’t stick won’t the effect on your kid’s life that you want.  I’m challenged by this quote I saw from Abraham Lincoln.

    I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.
    ~Abraham Lincoln

    abraham lincoln-quote-prayer-children

    Clearly, momma-bear prayers are powerful {that would include Grandma, Auntie or any motherly prayers}.  Don’t underestimate the impact of your prayers in a child’s life!  In any case, I think the best way to pray effectively is to pray as Jesus did.

    JESUS’ STICKY PRAYERS

    Jesus is praying for Peter in Luke 22:32, knowing Peter’s upcoming temptation. He prayed for strength that Peter’s faith wouldn’t fail and for Peter to come back to faith after he turned away.

    John 17 records a bunch of Jesus’ prayers where He starts off praying for himself and then from verse 6 on He’s covering his disciples and all future believers in prayer: that’s you, me, your children, your children’s children… Jesus says,

    “I am not asking that you take them out of the world,
    but that You protect them from the evil one.”

    Jesus’ prayers that stick are not prayers to give us an easy life, remove us from this troubled world and take all our problems away.  Jesus’ sticky prayers are for us to be strong when facing trials, tribulation, and tragedy.

    I imagine these are the kind of prayers Abraham Lincoln’s mother prayed over him because he’s someone who is remembered well for his tenacity to not give up when some of his businesses failed, he had a nervous breakdown or when he lost a lot of elections. Those prayers empowered Abe to reach the destiny God had for his life.

    YOUR MOMMA-BEAR STICKY PRAYERS

    Just like the prayers of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, your prayers can be the glue that helps your children stick-to God’s plan and not give up.  Your prayers have the capability to produce cushioned kids who can’t handle problems or confident, overcoming, world-changing children that do something for His Kingdom! So, this Mother’s Day, it’s time to get busy and start praying tough prayers that stick!

    Prayer

    Father… I come to you in the tenacity of a momma-bear.  There is nothing I want more than for my children to have all the strength, boldness, and confidence it takes to fulfill the destiny You’ve placed within them. Please do the deep work in my children, in ______________ that you need to do, in order for them to have what it takes to live out their calling to the fullest.  May my children be known as Your faithful followers, living boldly for You!  In Jesus Name…Amen  

    [tweetthis]Your prayers can be the glue that helps your children stick-to God’s plan and not give up! #prayforyourchildren #prayersthatstick[/tweetthis]


    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

     

    Drawing From The Well

    1. Matthew 19:13
    2. Luke 22:32
    3. John 17:15
    4. John 17:18

    WHERE YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP MY BLOG WITH OR PLACES WHERE MY WRITING HAS BEEN FEATURED

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

     

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  • 6 Power-Packed Prayer Meetings In The Bible

    I was writing my weekly Soul H2O Devotion about how God Still Answers Our Prayers and it started getting toooooo long, so I decided to make this another post to just include these incredibly inspiring stories! I’m hoping you’ll possibly use this post as a Bible Study to help increase your faith.

    6 Power-Packed Prayer Meetings In The Bible

    1.  Oh Baby!  {Luke 1:5-25}

    This corporate prayer meeting (vs. 10) resulted in an angelic visitation followed by the miraculous conception and birth of John the Baptist to a woman past menopause!

    2.  Gift Received  {Acts 1:4-5, 12-15, 2:1-4}

    At Jesus ascension, his last words of instruction to his disciples (both men & women) were to stay and pray; waiting for the power of God to come on them to witness through the power that would come from the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  And boy did it come!  The believers praying in the Upper Room received the baptism and began speaking in tongues, which caused such a stir in the town that it led to Peter began to walk into his destiny and began to preach.  About 3000 people got saved that day alone (Acts 2:41) and the church moved forward in boldness and power!

    3.  Pre-Service Prayer  {Acts 3:1-10}

    When Peter & John were on their way to prayer meeting (vs.1) they saw a man who couldn’t walk. In boldness, they were used by God to see the man miraculously healed and then Peter spoke boldly and told every there for the prayer meeting about Jesus.

    4.  A Holy Shaking  {Acts 4:12-31}

    When Peter & John were brought before the authorities and threatened not to continue preaching about Jesus, the church got together and prayed for boldness to testify more about Jesus.  It says that when they prayed the place shook and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and went out to speak the word boldly!

    5.  Who’s Knocking At The Door?  {Acts 12:1-17}

    When Peter was thrown into prison, the church began praying at John Mark’s house for him (vs. 3).  Miraculously, the angel of the Lord visits Peter in jail and sets him free!  Peter’s chains literally fell off when he began to move forward as the angel said.  I think this is the only sleep-walking miracle in the Bible (vs.11) 🙂 Peter runs to John Mark’s house where they’re all praying for him and when Rhoda hears Peter’s voice at the door she’s so shocked that she leaves him standing outside waiting while they all argue that it couldn’t be Peter!  Oh, I wish we weren’t like this; doubting God’s answers to what we’ve prayed about.

    6.  Chains Breaking  {Acts 16:25-40}

    This two-person prison prayer & praise meeting resulted in the miraculous release of Paul and Silas’ from jail.  The Bible records that when they prayed together it caused an earthquake that broke open their shackles and those of all the prisoners!  How crazy is that!  When the Jailer woke up he feared the prisoners had all run away and was going to kill himself before the Romans killed him.  Paul calls out and lets him know they were all there.  Paul proceeds to boldly witness about Jesus to the jailer whose whole family comes to faith in Christ! Next, the authorities come and personally escort Paul and Silas out of jail and they went straight to Lydia’s house to see the brothers. Could they have been holding a prayer meeting too?  We’ll never know until heaven.  One of the many questions I’ll be asking up there  🙂

    This is just a few of the prayer meetings recorded in the Bible.  I hope reading about them has sparked your interest to believe what I said in the Soul H2O Devotion God Still Answers Our Prayers

    [tweetthis]When people get together and pray; God releases His power… His provision… and His presence #praymore[/tweetthis]

    In His Grip,

    ~Sherry
    xoxo


    Here’s the list you can save to Study later, Pin on Pinterest, Save To your Device, or Print out for a constant reminder.

    6 Power Packed Prayer Meetings In The Bible


    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
     Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,

    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin 

    Read More

  • God Still Answers Our Prayers

    Hey Everyone!  Sorry I missed sending out my Soul H2O devotion last week, but my mom took my sister and me on an unplanned trip to NYC!!!  We’ve never done anything like that.  I had the time of my life!   I was glad to hear so many of you missed the devotion and hope this week is a double portion of refreshing to make up for last week’s miss 🙂

    ~Sherry


    "I also tell you this: 
    If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, 
     my Father in heaven will do it for you. 
     For where two or three gather together as my followers, 
     I am there among them." ~Matthew 18:19-20 NLT

    Every year, Braeside Camp runs a Labour Day Weekend camp. It’s such an amazing time of the year.  The air is fresh and crisp; not so hot like at family camp in July.  There’s just an ease around Braeside as the long holiday season winds down.  This one last summer fling is such a treat.  But, last year the joy was almost stolen at the Board Meeting on the Thursday before the weekend began.  During the meeting, we learned the insurance company wasn’t going to pay for the full price to re-shingle the tabernacle roof.  The quote to finish was about 100 thousand dollars… and that was $100,000.00 we didn’t have.  The next day as I led pre-service prayer, I had planned that we would pray and ask God to bring in the funds. What I didn’t plan for was how overwhelmed I felt as we started praying, but this was the beginning of my lesson in how God Still Answers Our Prayers!

    As the group assembled, I began looking around the platform.  I’d never noticed it before, but the leaks in the roof had left water stains running down the center column of the Tabernacle where the cross is displayed.

    It was as if I could hear God charging the Israelites in Ezra’s time when he said to the people, “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?”1 You see, we were just like them.  There was no way any of us would have ever let our houses get as bad as we’d let our chapel get.  The carpet was frayed; worn threadbare in so many places with more gum stuck in it than a 2nd-grade desk.

    I began weeping over our negligence and when I shared with the group what I was feeling, they too began to get emotional.  We repented and asked God to forgive us for neglecting to care for His house, and then we asked Him to provide money to finish the roof, get new carpet and fix the water-stained center.  It all seemed like an unreachable goal, but we asked in faith believing that God could do it… well, weakly hoped for actually, but God did it all with our mustard seed of faith!

    God Still Answers Our Prayers

    A few weeks ago (9 months later) my friends, Mark and Andrea Giancola, who run the camp, told me how someone donated over $100,000.00 for the roof!  They were excited because God had shown them favor with the contractors so there was money left-over to fix up the sanctuary and put in new carpet and the center of the church is getting repainted in a week!  When I told them about pre-service prayer on Labour Day weekend we all thanked God for providing in miraculous ways.

    Can you tell I’m a little excited 🙂  We even got a new riser to preach from.  #futuregoal

    God’s Word that we’re focussing on this week in Matthew still holds true today.

    Matthew 18:19-20

    No matter how big or small our request may be.  When people get together and pray; God releases His power… His provision… and His presence.

    In a few weeks, the summer camp season will begin again. People will drive in and see how great the Tabernacle looks with a newly shingled roof.  They’ll walk through the doors when a whiff of that new carpet smell will awaken their senses as their eyes see a freshly painted tabernacle, that didn’t leak this winter!  Everyone will be amazed when they hear how God miraculously provided the funds we prayed for.

    I’m asking God to increase our faith so we all believe for even greater things than shingles, carpet, and paint.  This year I’m going to join with some friends to pray and ask God for miraculous times at camp where He releases His power… His provision… and His presence!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m so thankful that You Don’t Change.  I’m thankful that you still forgive me when I get my priorities mixed up and forget about You and Your house.  Help me to not become overwhelmed with the needs around me but to have confidence in Your goodness.  I ask for a release of Your power, Your provision and Your presence in my life!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]When people get together and pray; God releases His power… His provision… and His presence. #praymore[/tweetthis]

    6 POWER-PACKED PRAYER MEETINGS IN THE BIBLE

    I knew this Soul H2O Devotion was getting long,
    so I didn’t want to add too much,
    but if you have the time and want to learn about
    6 Power Packed Prayer Meetings In The Bible
    You Can Read Here.
    They’ll help you to believe for greater things when you pray!

    Soul H2O Book

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

     

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!


    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. Matthew 18:19-20
    2. Jeremiah 29:12
    3. 1 John 5:14
    4. Mark 11:24

    ENDNOTES

    • Haggai 1:4

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
     Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,

    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin 

    Read More

  • God Speaking through

    A CHILD’S HEART ART

    Keaton Heart Art
    My friend Danielle sent me this wonderful piece of heart art. To me, it’s a masterpiece! During a prayer time at Braeside Camp this summer, I told Danielle’s mom about my husband Todd’s heart problems. Well, Grandma told her grandson Keaton and Keaton’s art delivered the message to his momma, Danielle.
    You see, Keaton is a big prayer warrior and has his own prayer journal. One night, Danielle went to pray with him before bed and saw this ‘heart art’ in the front of his prayer journal. She asked Keaton who Todd was and what the picture meant.
    I hadn’t talked to Danielle about Todd’s heart problems yet, but she put two and two together and began to join in prayer with Keaton for Todd. When my Danielle told me about the heart art in Keaton’s prayer journal, she said to “expect miracles, because he’s a serious prayer warrior and God moves when he prays”!
    I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous!

    [tweetthis]I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous for my life![/tweetthis]

    Last Saturday morning I was up doing my devotions and praying for Todd. We met with the surgeon and it was all a little overwhelming. Hearing of the possible issues that can follow a heart valve surgery was disarming. Up to this point when we talked to people we have only heard positive reports about how better people felt after valve repair or replacement. We didn’t understand the possible complications, but the doctor made us fully aware of them!   Maybe a little too aware of them!

    THE ORIGINAL HEART ART

    Art Ache

    ART ACHE (c) Todd Stahl

    The night before last Saturday morning’s epiphany,  I had made a quick comment to Todd, my artist hubby, about how much more his Heart Art entitled, “Art Ache” means in light of his current health issues and the fact that he painted this masterpiece back in 2009 or 2010…five to six years before his heart problems!  Back then, God was speaking to Todd about the inner healing He was doing on his heart after divorce.  Now, this painting is holding a whole new meaning!
    As I prayed I couldn’t stop thinking about Todd’s Heart Art, so I went and got it off the wall.  As I looked at the painting, I felt a sense of peace coming over my soul.  Fear was washed away with faith.  I could have broken out in the song “It Is Well With My Soul”, but everyone was sleeping and they would have woken up thinking a cow was dying in our house…singing is not my gift 🙂
    God began to speak to me about all the messages He had intended to come out of the art; some Todd understood as he created, while others are still being revealed.

    HERE ARE SOME OF THE MESSAGES FROM TODD’S HEART ART

    The Band-Aid is on the left side of the heart…the same side of the heart where Todd needs the valve repaired or replaced!
    How cool is that! In Todd’s painting where the healing is taking place under the Band-Aid, is beginning to glow yellow. God is at work where no one can see what He is doing. It’s hidden from others. Healing happens in the secret places of our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t see things happening we assume God isn’t doing anything about our problem. God is always at work!
    [tweetthis]Healing happens in the secret places of our hearts <3 [/tweetthis]
    The bottom of the heart is black. All those things that have happened in life to bring hurt to the heart and create unwholeness weigh us down.  The heart has strings around it. On the unhealed side the strings are woven tight and close together like they are holding the heart bound. The strings on the healing side are coming loose, setting the heart FREE!
    [tweetthis]God wants you to live FREE![/tweetthis]
    The side that is being healed turns red as God created his heart to be. A red heart symbolizes LOVE in our culture. The healed heart is full of God’s love! Healing doesn’t just affect one area of your life. Healing spreads!
    [tweetthis]The healed heart is full of God’s love![/tweetthis]
    As the healed heart begins to pump healthy blood properly, love is beginning to flow to the other side. The colors are beginning to lighten up as it turns to purple. Even under the black, you can see yellow: a visual showing how God is at work in the darkest places of our heart. The darker the heart, the deeper the wound, the longer the healing process. Allow God time to heal your heart.
    [tweetthis]Allow God time to heal your heart.[/tweetthis]
    Soon the whole heart will be filled with God’s love.
    You can see red starting to peek through around the edges showing that the heart is not destroyed. The heart is going to be healthy again as God originally created it to be!
    The verse that comes to my mind is:     Joel 2:25


    “I will repay you for the years the loctusts have eaten…
     you will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the LORD
    your God who has worked wonders for you.”
    Joel 2:25(NIV)

    We don’t understand all that Todd has had to go through or what he possibly is going to have to face, but we will walk forward each day in the confidence that God is at work in places we don’t see.
    We trust God is giving Todd a new heart to accomplish all of the great things He has for him to do—That book needs to hit the shelves and more artwork needs to be painted! We know that God is with us. Whatever way God chooses to bring about this miracle of a new heart, we know He’s going to do it! We in boldness proclaim the promise of God that when this is all over, God will have repaid Todd for all that has been taken away to the point that he is walking in abundance of life and health, prospering and praising God for His goodness!
    Waiting for a miracle,
    Sherry
    xoxo


    heart art surgery
    Todd going into surgery

    This post was originally written on July 24, 2014, before Todd had his surgery and made a miraculous recovery from complications after the surgery!  Then, I wrote a post called Heart Art Music from some of the songs you all sent me to encourage me.
    Man CaveSince then, Todd is back playing hockey, firefighting and creating art in many forms.  Within a year of surgery, his first book, 40 Days In The Mancave was published by Word Alive Press!  To hear Todd’s retelling of this miracle check out his site.
    To see more of Todd Stahl’s art, Check Out:
    Todd’s website: http://www.toddstahl.com
    His facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ToddStahlArtist
    The page dedicated to Todd’s testimony:  https://www.toddstahl.com/the-significance-of-art-ache/
    To read a sample from Todd’s Devotional, 40 Days In The Mancave: Click Here: https://toddstahl.com/devo_06_sample.pdf 
    To Buy his book on  AMAZON, Click the word Amazon

    [tweetthis]I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous for my life![/tweetthis]

    [tweetthis]God is at work in places we don’t see![/tweetthis]

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