October 17, 2017

Worry versus Thankfulness

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Philippians 4:6 NLT

Do not be anxious or worried about anything,
but in everything [every circumstance and situation]
by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
Amplified Version

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God does expect us to care about our lives (and about the lives of others).  But when that caring becomes filled with anxiety and fear, it is counterproductive and wrong.  Life presents us with many things to worry about—family, friends, relationships, jobs, finances…and on and on.  There’s no end to this list if we let ourselves go there.  However, God’s Word tells us to do something very different about all those things.  He tells us not to worry, not to be anxious about anything. That’s a tall order, but it is possible.  How?  God says, “Pray.”

I urge, then, first of all,
that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people.
1 Timothy 2:1

These Scriptures in Philippians and 1 Timothy tell us to pray about everything-–every circumstance, every situation, every person in our life.  We are to tell God about everything we need (and even the things we perceive we need.)  Why? Because He cares about you (each of us.)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—
whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.
Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
Matthew 6:25

When we pray, our focus is more on God and His mercy, grace, and provision. The more we pray, the more our mind is filled with Him.  It leaves less room for worry.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3

How often do you start your prayers with “Thank You, God….”?  I know I do pretty often.  In spite of my needs at the moment, I have so much to thank God for that I can’t pray without saying, “Thank You.”  He gave me the gift of salvation many, many years ago.  God has protected my family and me over the years.  He has seen me through many trials, and supplied for my needs.  Because of His faithfulness in the past, I can trust Him to care for me now and in the future.  Even as I write this, I am compelled to stop and say “Thank You, Lord!”

During this Thanksgiving season, make it a point to “thank Him for all He has done,” (Philippians 4:6) for all He is doing, and for all that He will be doing in your life.  Then make it a way of life to thank Him daily.  When caring starts to turn into worry…stop and pray with thanksgiving…reminding yourself how much He has done for you, and how much He cares for you.  Prayer, petition, and thanksgiving will bring you closer to God and farther away from anxiety and worry.  That’s what we all want, right?

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Dear Lord God, as humans we are presented with things to worry about almost daily.  But You said, “Don’t!”  Instead of worrying, You said, “Pray!” And pray “…about everything!”  Lord, we need our hearts and our minds open to Your Holy Spirit to help us to pray without worry, and to pray with thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for, and when we take time to be thankful our trust level goes up, and worry is pushed back.  That’s what we want, Lord.  Thank You for caring for us even beyond our comprehension.  May we grow in our trust that You will see us through the hard times.  You have done and are doing so much for us, thank You, thank You!  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

Pray

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I bow my head to pray
I don’t know what to say
I’m not sure how to fix
The things I’m dealing with
I’m in a desperate place
I need to share the weight
But I just don’t know how
To let it all pour out
And though I’m silent
My heart is crying
‘Cause I was made to
Come to You

So I pray
God, I need you more than words can say
Right here in this moment
You know my heart
You know my need
You know every part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray

I failed to find the time
But You’ve been calling out
I let the days go by as if I could live without
But it’s gotta be here and now
I won’t be pulled away
‘Cause it’s just You and I
So let the world around us fade

Father, will You meet me here right now
Father, I surrender, lay it down
Father, and every time I close my eyes I know that I was made
To lift my hands and pray

I lift my hands and pray
You know my heart
You know my need
And every single part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray
I’m gonna pray

You know my heart
You know my need
You know every part of me
and more than words
You want my life
Take it as an offering

Sanctus Real
songwriter: Mark Everett

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If you don’t pray, you’ll fall prey to the enemy at some point in your life. Prayer is so important to my relationship with the Lord.  I begin in the morning by just talking to Him.  First thing after I open my eyes, I say,”Dear Lord…” and I don’t stop until my eyes close at night.

Sometimes life gets chaotic and other things are so loud that I can’t hear His voice.  That’s when I know that I need to be intentional about my prayers.  I make hard stops and hit my knees and cry out to my Creator. Just looking up at Him and saying His name can silence the enemy immediately.  And when He feels far away, I whisper His name and He comes close.  I start my prayer with hands open to receive and end my prayer with my hands reached up high in praise for all that He is about to do.

And remember, just because He is quiet doesn’t mean that He isn’t answering your prayers.  Just keep praising Him for the answer and show that You trust Him in this season.  He will reward your faith.  Your life will be so full of joy and it will be because of constant communication with God!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Pray continually…

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Give thanks in all circumstances….

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2

Rejoice always…

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Because He always love you!

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Let us pray:  Dear Lord, thank You that we can come straight to You and talk to You.  We don’t need priests or saints or temples…we just need You. You promise that when we pray, that You hear us and You will answer us. You come near when we press in!  Help us to stay in constant prayer and to believe even when it looks like all is going wrong.  You never let us down and You are always on our side.  Grant us joy and peace, oh Lord!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pray

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I know that you think you can’t pray after that mistake
But I know it’s the only way you can make it better
And I know situations get too much for you to take
And you feel like you’re gone break and it makes you say

I can’t take it
When will things get better
I’m so frustrated, but it’s gonna be okay ’cause
Got Someone in your corner
Gonna be there for ya
Just fall on your knees, say a prayer and receive
When the world feels like it’s on your shoulders
(I pray, you pray, we pray)
When your life seems like its upside down
(I pray, you pray, we pray)
When your lonely nights are getting colder
(I pray, you pray, we pray)
I pray, you pray
(No matter how dark the day)
No matter how dark the day
(All you’ll have to do is pray)

I know you think you’ve gone too far and you waited too late
But I know that He loves you and there’s no love greater so
And I know that it’s hurting and you want your pain to end
And you feel like you can’t win and it makes you say

Our Father which art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
All you gotta do is say
Our Father which art in Heaven
(No matter how dark the day)
No matter
(All you’ll have to do is pray)
When the world feels like it’s on your shoulders
(I pray, you pray, we pray)
When your life seems like its upside down
(I pray, you pray, we pray)
When your lonely nights are getting colder
(I pray, you pray, we pray)
I pray, you pray
(No matter how dark the day)
No matter how dark the day
(All you’ll have to do is pray)
No matter
Pray, pray

It’s gonna be okay
We’re gonna be okay
It’s gonna be alright, have faith
Everything will work out

CeCe Winans
written along with Mario Winans and Michael Jones
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Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

Life is full of changes, situations, and circumstances that are out of our control. Life is full of unpredictable events and unpredictable people.  Through all of the changes and unknowns there is one constant that we can count on…and despite all that we cannot control, there is one thing we can control—our prayer life. We have the ability and power to turn to God at any time…any place.  As Philippians says, in every situation we are to pray.

I chose this song today because it reminds us that prayer is happy.  Although all songs about prayer are beautiful and touch the soul, many are geared more towards worship.  They have slower music and a softer tune which creates an atmosphere that helps us feel the words and feel closer to God.  This song, however, is more of a praise song.  The upbeat tempo and beat helps pull us from our feelings and situation at least for a time.  It is easy to feel down at times when we are dealing with life’s situations, but we don’t have to stay that way.

No matter how dark the day…. This song reminds me that despite what is going on around me, I can enjoy life. I can dance to the music I hear, I can laugh, I can smile.  Despite the things  I cannot change and cannot control, I can control how I react to it, and how I see my life.  Today I choose to pray.  I choose to dance.  I choose joy.  Join me in singing the words of this song, in feeling them in your heart and in living them each day—

in everything pray.

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Let’s pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, it is easy to get sucked into the feelings surrounding our life and our circumstances.  But today we choose to pray, to lay our lives at Your feet.  Your Word says to pray in every situation, large or small, no matter how dark the day, You will listen.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

I Need Thee Every Hour

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
Oh, bless me now, my Savior
I come to Thee

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed son

 

Words: Annie S. Hawks / Music: Robert Lowry / Sung by Fernando Ortega

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As I was interceding for some friends and family the other night, this hymn came to my mind.  I have several friends going through the battle with cancer and the treatments, and they are suffering.  I have friends in difficult relationships, and they are weary.  I have family whose teen is rebelling, and there doesn’t seem that there will be a happy ending.

What are you going through today…this week…this month…this year?  Do you need Jesus Christ to be with you and to bring you His peace, His wisdom, His patience?  Have you asked Him?  God wants us to come to Him with our needs.  He wants to answer our requests.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.
He will not rebuke you for asking.
James 1:5

I do need Christ every hour. He is my peace (even in troubled times.)

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

I am so thankful that He is near me always (even in the times when I don’t sense Him.)

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20

I’m very grateful that temptations don’t have power over me when I allow His Holy Spirit to guide me.

God is faithful.
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Corinthians 10:13

I am most grateful that whether I am living through the pains of life or the joys of life, Jesus is with me and every hour with Him is worth it all.

The truth of these refrains ring true for me.  Does it for you?  The Lord is gracious, and He wants each of us to recognize our need for Him so that we will come to Him and He can bless us.  Are you calling out to Him today? He’s listening.

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Lord, we need You today, every hour we need You!  Please forgive us when we forget to come to You.  Please, Lord, teach us Your Will, and remind us of Your rich promises.  We desire to be Your’s always; and to hear Your tender voice guiding us, strengthening us, comforting us, and loving us every moment of every day.  Thank You that You are with us every step of our way.  In Jesus’ Loving Name, all God’s daughters say, Amen!

He Always Listens

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In those days when you pray, I will listen.
Jeremiah 29:12

Finding God is not a difficult task. He is all around us! The Bible explains, “They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:19-20). Stepping outside and basking in what God has made can bring you near to Him.

Even better, we have been gifted with the privilege of prayer. Should we need to find God we simply need to “go a-calling.”

The thing I love about prayer the most is that prayers don’t have to be formal for God to listen. I can recall many times when I have briefly thought about things (not specifically praying for them) that have come to pass. To name a few:

  • Prior to being saved, I wished that I had a friend in my life who knew who I had been and could appreciate and celebrate the progress I had made. The Lord spoke to me and told me that He was that friend and now I have plenty of friends who are walking this faith journey with me. I never would have imagined such a “small” desire would have such a tremendous affect on my life.
  • I had the idea of working in daycare well before the opportunity presented itself. And now I work at a preschool.
  • I had a passing thought about writing for GCH when I first got connected with this community. And when I say passing thought, I mean just a passing thought. It was a quick “Oh, I’d like to write for them.” Of course, my negative mind chatter came up with a million and one reasons why I couldn’t and I didn’t think anything more about it until the opportunity presented itself.

Intentional prayer is important. However, I believe that God listens to all our requests. He hears the ones we cry out. He hears the ones we bow our heads for. He hears the ones we kneel for. And He hears the ones we whisper in our minds. God listens. Even when we may not be talking to Him directly…He always listens.

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Lord, thank You for seeing me. Thank You that the words I speak and the thoughts I think reach You. And thank You for caring enough about the “little things”—the things I feel are “too small” to bother you with—to answer the whispers that I don’t intentionally bring to you. Thank You for always listening.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 12 / Day 2 – Recognize the Holiness of God

 

It is very fitting that the final week of our study is coming to a close just before Christmas.  It could not be more perfect to recognize that God wants to “come alive” in our hearts and lives than at Christmas when we celebrate Jesus coming to live with us.  We began this study learning who we are to God and just how much HE loves us.  We continued the study to learn how we are to respond to HIM as Father.  It has truly been an awesome journey to realize what A DAUGHTER IS WORTH to God.  He gave His only Son for you.  Your life matters to HIM.  How will you show Him how much HE matters to you????  Words are cool and everything, but ACTIONS speak louder!!

How are you going to bring HIS love to LIFE inside of you?  God calls us to be different from the world.  He wants us to be holy, like he is holy.  Today’s lesson focuses on church and how we are to recognize God’s holiness.  I would like to challenge you to think outside the box (the church box) and apply God’s call to YOUR LIFE – how you live every day.  When people think of you, do they think “holy”?  Hmmmm

The only time many of us use the word ‘holy’ is when we need an adjective to make something seem important.  Like cows and moly and poo.  Well, “HOLY” is important. It means to show a devotion to God and to a life of virtue; to set apart or worthy of respect by association with God.  Holy means being completely WHOLE just like GOD.

“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God — who chose you to be his children — is holy.  For he himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:15-16

Peter says we have been chosen to be God’s children – HIS Daughters – and we are to be holy, LIKE HE is HOLY.  God is calling out this generation to bring HOLY back.  Don’t be afraid, BE BOLD.  Can there be any safer place to be than a chosen daughter of the King of KINGS?  When God makes a promise, HE DOESN’T BREAK IT!!  All those promises in the Bible; they are still good.  God is still providing for every promise He ever made.  All those promises in the Bible – they are YOURS.  Claim them, they are free.  Let those promises bring holy to life inside of your heart.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 ESV

God knows what is in your heart.  Do not be deceived to think that you can say one thing and act another and God will not know.  Give God permission to change your heart to be like HIS and He WILL.  It’s a promise.  You won’t regret living your life for Jesus, but you will regret it if you don’t.  This season of Christmas when we celebrate Jesus being born as a baby and coming to life a life as a human, embrace the story of His holiness.  Take it inside you and let it change your heart.  Let your heart break for the things that break HIS heart.

Let Love Come to LIFE Inside of YOU this Christmas!  As Ava tells us, “As a worthy daughter, being holy is both challenging and rewarding.  You may not be perfect every time, but working toward purity is all that God asks.  Don’t be frightened by a lifestyle of holiness; after all, the Holy Spirit is in you, making all things possible.  Praise God for His presence, and most of all, acknowledge His awesome holiness.” (p. 171)

Let’s Praise God together:

Father, we praise You for WHO You are.  We thank You for Your promises to care for us and lead us and guide us every day.  Father, we give You permission to bring our hearts to life inside us and make us burn to be Your hands and feet.  Make us holy like You are holy.  Make us whole and complete in Your love.  We love You, Lord.  Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to this earth as a baby to be a sacrifice for our sins.  May our generation be one that lives to love others the way You would have us to.  Continue to teach us your ways.   AMEN

My love to you all and Merry Christmas,

Mama T <3

If you have come to a place that your heart is telling you to ask Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior, please ASK HIM.  It’s easy, it’s free and it’s the best gift you could give Him for Christmas.  We invite you today to ask Him into your heart.

Please pray with us:

Lord Jesus, I come to You today and ask You to be my Lord and Savior. I have learned who You are through this bible study Lord, and I want to know You personally.  I admit that I am a sinner, I confess the sins that I have in my heart, and I believe You will forgive me for all my sins. I ask You now to come into my life, as my personal Lord and Savior. AMEN!

If you prayed that prayer today, let us know.  We would love to rejoice with you as you celebrate you BIRTHday as a sister in Christ.

If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf  
Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 10 / Day 5 – Reach Non-Believers Around You

Prepare your hearts

As we come to the end of 10 weeks, we have been discussing how to tell your story to others, how to keep your life clean, continue to grow, and how to influence your younger ‘sisters’. That is a lot for some to do. Don’t feel overwhelmed though, you have a great resource to help you through all of this, God and His word, the Holy Bible, and your friends. Now it is time to discuss how to reach the non-believers.

Was there someone in your church or family that you looked up to? Did she talk to you every week, or maybe everyday at school? Is there someone who looks up to you? Ava gave us a check list as an indicator as for living our lives. Here is just a couple: Do you pray for unbelievers to see God, do you invite them to church? The list she gave was not all-inclusive but a good way to gauge where you are in your walk.

When we read about Paul’s situation in Acts 26: 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.(ESV)  This is a high road for anyone to follow, let alone Paul.

You see, Paul was a Pharisee, a man who was chosen to STUDY the Jewish laws and customs. A Rabbi never chose anyone to mentor unless that young man had potential. Paul was ready and willing to prove his love for the Jewish people no matter who he hurt in the process. While on the road to Damascus, Paul had a divine meeting with Jesus in a very unique way. Paul was blinded by a bright light. He could not see, but he could hear. Those with him probably did not hear what was being said to Paul, but could hear Paul Jesus speaking. Paul was told, as it is said above, to preach the good news of salvation to the Gentiles, that they may receive forgiveness of sins.

We should never assume someone is saved just because they go to church. Just because we sit in a church every Sunday, this does not mean we are saved. We are saved by asking Jesus into our hearts, professing Him as Lord of our life and following Him. In order for us to witness fully to our friends we need to do 4 things:

1) read God’s word daily and pray. Ask God for those moments when we need to share our story with someone. Maybe write out a short version pf your testimony and then write out one for when you have more time to sit and explain why it is important to have that relationship with God.

2) Pray about specific non-believers that you know and ask the Holy Spirit to be with you when you are sharing.

3) Speak from your heart and share what God lays on your heart to share.

4) Know that the Holy Spirit is there with you, praying you through and giving you the confidence to share.

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We need to prepare our hearts in order to share effectively with others. Ask God to reveal places where forgiveness is required and ask how to receive or give forgiveness. Do you need to rededicate your life to God? Then do it, you will reap such huge benefits. Now Ava asks that you think of 3 people whom you will pray for regularly for the right opportunity to share what God has done for you and how living in His perfect will has made a huge difference in your life.

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Let’s pray:
Father, we come before You asking that Your Holy Spirit reveal in us places where forgiveness needs to be given in order for us to share Your love, grace, and mercy with others. Lord use me as Your mouth piece even when it is scary. Help me to slow down and listen to Your prompting and help me see God opportunities as they appear. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Online Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

 

Lord, Teach Us to Pray – Week 10

Today we continue a series entitled Lord, teach us to pray!  Do you ever cry out with that same desire as Jesus’ disciples did — “Teach {me} to pray”?

 

Each Saturday over the next couple of months, we will intentionally pursue asking the Lord to do just that—teach us to pray.  I believe that, as we continue to look at learning how to pray through the Scriptures, we will develop into daughters who delight, yearn, love to pray to their Father!!!  This is my heart’s desire.

Jesus was asked this important question by His disciples. One of the places that it is recorded is in Luke 11, verse 1: “Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray.”

Listen to the words that He spoke to them when they asked….

Pray, therefore, like this:

Our Father

Who is in heaven,

hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts,

and have given up resentment against) our debtors.

And lead (bring) us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13

The first week, in this series, we focused on the very first, and most important aspect, of Jesus’ instruction—addressing God Almighty as “Our Father….” We found that He wants to be our Father…our Abba Father!

The second week, we looked at the very next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed of  importance—”Who is in heaven.”  This attribute tells of the utmost importance of God Who is in heaven.  And we also were reminded of an awesome promise from God, that we will dwell for all eternity with Jesus and our Father, Who is in heaven.

Then we came to the third aspect, as we followed Jesus’ instruction,— “hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.”  And we looked at five examples in the Scriptures where Almighty God is described as holy: we saw the Psalmist proclaim that ‘You are holy’…that the prophet Habakkuk called Him ‘my Holy One’…that Isaiah saw in a vision God seated on His throne with the seraphim proclaiming ‘holy, holy, holy’…that Jesus our Lord prayed  ‘Holy Father’…that one of the seven angels praise Almighty God saying ‘You Who are and were ‘O Holy One.’  What a privilege that our Father…Who is in heaven…would allow us to come before Him and call Him ‘holy!’

After that we looked at the next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed important—‘Your Kingdom come.’  We considered the question, “What is the Kingdom?” by focusing on just two ways to understand what Jesus meant.  The first connotation that “Kingdom” has refers to the eternal Kingdom.  And then to understand “Kingdom” in another way, we looked specifically at Matthew chapter 13  where Jesus spoke in parables and used tangible examples to help His disciples (and us!) to understand the importance of having the Kingdom established in our hearts.  He wants you and me to be in that Kingdom along with Him.

The following week we focused on another aspect of Jesus’ instruction: ‘Your will be done.’  It is Almighty God’s will that we are to be concerned about…not our own.  We considered scripture after scripture and saw our Lord’s constant example showing that it was not His will that was important but His Father’s.  If it were ever possible for anyone to justifiably state and act on their own will, it would have been Jesus; true?  Jesus always desired His Father’s will, always sought His Father’s will, always purposed to know His Father’s will so that He always did His Father’s will.  And what did we find was His Father’s will?—salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.  We were assured that at the very foundation of God’s will lies our hope, which is salvation through Jesus leading to eternal life.

And the next week we studied the phrase ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ from the perspective of our Lord’s life and ministry.  In John 6:38 we read that Jesus came down from heaven not to do His own will but to do the will of His Father on the earth.  Jesus was always the perfect example to His disciples, and of course, to us.  We, too, can live with that same heart as Jesus did.  God has promised to lead us, to guide us, to show us His Will.  We looked at a number of promises that God has given us regarding our knowing His will.  Jesus, Who knew His heavenly Father like no one else did, desired to do God’s will.  God’s perfect will.  He simply and clearly taught His disciples AND US to do the same.

The following week we considered the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  We recognized that Jesus IS the ‘bread of life.”  We looked at John chapter 6 where Jesus spoke repeatedly about this.  We clearly saw Jesus’ heart of compassion, wanting them (and us!) to live forever by partaking of the Bread of Life—Himself—and receiving that blessing.  We also looked at  Jesus’ instruction that if they would pray, “give us this day our daily bread…” they would be humbly acknowledging that their heavenly Father already KNEW what their needs would be that day.  For us, just like Jesus’ disciples, it is when we recognize our immense need for God’s provision that we step back from trying to accomplish it (whatever ‘it’ may be for that day) and let the One Who has so much to give to us provide so perfectly for us!  Let’s remember: Jesus answered their plea to teach them to pray, and in the midst of that instruction, He directed them to pray, “give us this day our daily bread.”  Then, He gently reminded them that God already provided that daily bread for them!  (AND for us!)

Then we focused on the next direction Jesus gave as He taught His disciples (and now us!) to pray.  It is the request to “…forgive us our debts.”  In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus addressed the issue of forgiveness in two different ways.  We looked first at the record where Peter asked Jesus how many times did he need  to forgive him and let it go? Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!” Nothing has changed.  We, too, are to forgive “…seventy times seven…”  (In other words, just keep on forgiving!)  Then Jesus gave further clarification and direction to Peter and the other disciples.  He held nothing back in communicating that forgiveness, or the refusal to forgive, is an issue of the heart.  We saw (in verses 21-35) a righteous example of compassionate forgiveness (the king forgiving the servant his debt of 10,000 talents).  And, in comparison, the depiction of the forgiven servant having a hardened, merciless heart that refused to forgive  his fellow attendant’s small debt.  In the completion of this parable, the king then does have him thrown in jail because of his lack of forgiveness.  Jesus tells His disciples (and us!) in verse 35, “So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.”  God through Christ has forgiven us for so, SO much!  And He compassionately, mercifully, and lovingly, continues to forgive us as we repent and ask.

Then, last week, we looked at His next direction to His disciples (and us!): to ask our Father to “lead us not into temptation…”  This phrase must be kept in its context firmly attached to the next phrase, “but deliver us from the evil one.” Of great importance is to remember that God does not “tempt” anyone (James 1:13,14).  And in Matthew 4:3 we clearly see that THE tempter is satan, our enemy.  We are so thankful to know, that Jesus, our High Priest, our Intercessor, our Mediator, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Lord, is right there to help us (Hebrews 4:15).  We are not alone in handling temptation.  He understands and has shown us how to handle satan’s tempting.  We see Jesus’  great example in Matthew 4:1-11.  His response—the very thing that kept Him from being tempted—was the truth of the Scriptures.  Jesus replied to satan each time, “…it is written….”  We, too, can have the assurance of the truth of the Scriptures when our enemy tries to tempt us.

“For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.  Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]”  (Hebrews 4;15,16).

 

This week we look at the final instruction Jesus gave to His disciples (and us!) as He taught them how to pray.  He began to teach them about prayer saying, “Pray therefore like this…” Now, here in the final words of His instruction, He continues teaching them, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Jesus used the word “but ” showing that these two phrases are to be understood together in their context.  (Perhaps it would be helpful to refer back to last week’s blog to review about “…lead us not into temptation.”)  Jesus clearly stated that not only did they need to recognize temptation and evil but also recognize that they could not ‘handle’ it on their own—they needed to pray for God’s deliverance.

In John’s Gospel, chapter 17 are recorded the words of a beautiful prayer that Jesus prayed to His Father.  (Remember the timeline of the actual occurrence of this event!  Jesus and His apostles were together at the Last Supper.  He prayed this prayer at the very end of their meal. Then He immediately left to go and pray in the Garden of Gesthemene with Peter, John, and James.  And we know that is where He encountered Judas coming to betray Jesus.)  Here is a portion of Jesus’ prayer during the Last Supper.

John 17:14-21

I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world.

I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.

They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.

Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.

I am always humbled seeing that something of great importance to my Lord at this time was His asking His Father to “…keep and protect them from the evil one.”  It also shows the great love that Jesus and God shared for us!  Take note of verse 20:

Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

THAT IS US!  You and me …mentioned in Jesus’ precious prayer to God!  He knew we  could not handle it on our own!  Our reliance on our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus (seated at His right hand) gives us the ability, the power, the strength to be delivered from evil.

Oh. How. He. Loves. Us. So.  <3

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This week, in our study A Daughter’s Worth, we have been focusing on finding God at school…no matter what your “school” looks like.  We have looked at dealing with all the different relationships that you girls have as students. And at dealing with pressure and expectations. And recognizing that God is always with us!  And one thing to remember is that His Presence protects us from evil!

Ask yourself:  ______ (insert your name here), how much worth do I have knowing that my Lord prayed and asked our heavenly Father to protect me from the evil one?  How much worth do I have knowing that He always covers and protects me from evil?   <3

“…deliver us from the evil one….”

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 9/ Day 4 – Peer Relationships are Difficult

 

Peer Relationships are Difficult

I was always the type of girl who stayed to myself, until I got grown. I was a very shy young lady :-/ It wasn’t that I didn’t want friends, because I had them; it was just that my friendship circle was small. I valued my friendships, but like I said before, I was shy and wasn’t comfortable being around a lot of people. I don’t know, maybe some of you are like that too. I can’t say that I was a social butterfly like my two sisters were, and are, but I had some friends who were very close and dear to my heart.

Whenever you are in any kind of relationship, it has its potential of being difficult at any given time. You can be so close to someone that it can get to a point where maybe some of the things that they have always said or did, may begin to bother you, or get under your skin. We are being honest…right? Well, for me, that is true. I am the type of person that when I am bothered by something, I would never say anything about what bothered me, and girls, that is so not good! Learn from me!!! If something is bothering you about someone, go to them. It will be hard, and yes, you all have heard me say this before, but it will be beneficial to your relationships and friendships.

I can hear God saying…  “Is anything too hard for Me? NO! Nothing is EVER too hard for Me!!!”

Peer relationships can be difficult because these are the people that you possibly spend as much time with, as you do your own family, so that means that you are so close to these people that sometimes you can get on each other’s nerves, but that is okay.  Love each other enough to always make amends.  Anytime that you are really close to someone, small problems will happen from time to time…arguing, being upset with each other, etc…

Peers that you may not be so close to…you know…the ones that may pick at you or get on your nerves, all I can say is do what I KNOW works…pray, pray, pray for them! God will handle those types of peer relationships as well.

 

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord thank You for the girls that You have placed in GCH: Decaf. Help them to remember that You love them oh so much and that You want what is best for them. When they start to feel like the relationships that they are in become too stressful for them, remind them to gently come to You and place those relationships at Your feet and You will take care of them. I seal this prayer with the name of Your precious Son Jesus. Amen.

Love,

Tonya

 

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Online Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

Lord, Teach Us to Pray: Part 6

Today we continue a series entitled Lord, teach us to pray!  Do you ever cry out with that same desire as Jesus’ disciples did — “Teach {me} to pray”?

Each Saturday over the next couple of months, we will intentionally pursue asking the Lord to do just that—teach us to pray.  I believe that, as we continue to look at learning how to pray through the Scriptures, we will develop into daughters who PRAY—who delight, yearn, love to pray to their Father.  This is my heart’s desire.

Jesus was asked this important question by His disciples. One of the places that it is recorded is in Luke 11, verse 1: “Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray….”

Listen to the words that He spoke to them when they asked:

Pray, therefore, like this:

Our Father

Who is in heaven,

hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts,

and have given up resentment against) our debtors.

And lead (bring) us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13

The first week, in this series, we focused on the very first, and most important aspect, of Jesus’ instruction—addressing God Almighty as “Our Father….” We found that He wants to be our Father…our Abba Father!

The second week, we looked at the very next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed of  importance—”Who is in heaven.”  This attribute tells of the utmost importance of God Who is in heaven.  And we also were reminded of an awesome promise from God, that we will dwell for all eternity with Jesus and our Father, Who is in heaven.

Then we came to the third aspect, as we followed Jesus’ instruction,— “hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.”  And we looked at five examples in the Scriptures where Almighty God is described as holy: we saw the Psalmist proclaim that ‘You are holy’…that the prophet Habakkuk called Him ‘my Holy One’…that Isaiah saw in a vision God seated on His throne with the seraphim proclaiming ‘holy, holy, holy’…that Jesus our Lord prayed  ‘Holy Father’…that one of the seven angels praise Almighty God saying ‘You Who are and were ‘O Holy One.’  What a privilege that our Father…Who is in heaven…would allow us to come before Him and call Him ‘holy!’

The following week we looked at the next aspect of prayer that Jesus deemed important— “Your Kingdom come.”  We considered the question, “What is the ‘Kingdom’? by focusing on just two ways to understand what Jesus meant.  The first connotation that “Kingdom” has refers to the eternal Kingdom.  And then to understand “Kingdom” in another way, we looked specifically at the 13th chapter of the book of Matthew where Jesus spoke in parables and used tangible examples to help His disciples (and us!) to understand the importance of having ‘the Kingdom’ established in our hearts. .He wants you and me to be in that Kingdom along with Him.

Last week, we focused on the next aspect of Jesus’ instruction ‘Your will be done.’  It is Almighty God’s will that we are to be concerned about…not our own.  We continually saw Our Lord’s constant example that it was not His will that was important but His Father’s.   We looked at number of records in the Scriptures which clearly spoke of Jesus’ great desire for His Father’s will.  If it were ever possible for anyone to justifiably state and act on their own will, it would have been Jesus; true?  We were reminded of the great humility and the beautiful love that He and His Father shared in Their relationship.  Jesus always desired His Father’s will, always sought His Father’s will, always purposed to know His Father’s will so that He always did His Father’s will.  And what did we find was His Father’s will?—salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.  We were assured that at the very foundation of God’s will lies our hope, which is salvation through Jesus leading to eternal life.

Now in this sixth week of wanting our Lord to teach us to pray, we come to the phrase “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  There are a few different avenues of approach to understanding the meaning of this phrase.  But, as always  Jesus gives the very best, the simplest understanding.  In John 6:38 we read,

“For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will and purpose but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me.”

Clearly Jesus states the essence of today’s study.  He was coming to earth from  heaven to do His Father’s will.  Jesus always exemplified the type of heart and behavior that He was teaching to His disciples.  He taught them so much by example.  So, it makes sense that when He was teaching them how to pray, He would include this critical aspect.  The disciples probably had no true concept of what ‘come down from heaven’ really meant.  But they were convinced that what Jesus taught them was of vital importance.  As we, too, should be convinced.

We, too, can live with that same heart as Jesus did.  God has promised to lead us, to guide us, to show us His Will.  The following are just a few of the many, many promises God has given us regarding our knowing His will.

Proverbs 3:5,6

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Psalms 32:8

I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Romans 12:2

…But be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

James 1:5

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and begrudgingly, without reproaching or fault-finding, and it will be given him.

Jesus, Who knew His heavenly Father like no one else did, desired to do God’s will.  God’s perfect will.  He simply and clearly taught His disciples AND US to do the same.

How thankful are we to know that?  Oh. How. He. Loves. Us. So.  <3

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This week , in our study A Daughter’s Worth, we have examined some negative and positive emotions, and focused on the truth of knowing God’s will in each of those areas: that when we are disappointed, it is God’s will to help; when we have anxiety, it is God’s will that we give Him our concerns because He cares for us; when we allow jealousy in by having an ungrateful heart, that it is God’s will for us to be thankful; that when we experience confusion in our relationships, it is God’s will for us to reconcile and to have peace.

Ask yourself:  ______ (insert your name here), how much worth do I have if my heavenly Father—Almighty God—desires to show me His will?  <3

“…Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven...”

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage.

If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Our new study is A Daughter’s Worth! Please email megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information