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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.


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How I Stopped Rubbing a Useless Magic Lamp When I Prayed

Spiritual Disciplines Series:  Prayer

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.

Prayers often don’t work out quite like we imagine them.    A divorce might divide a family.  A child might die.  The innocent might suffer.  Life is difficult.  It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.

Look y’all,  if you are like me, and I’m betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests.  Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of  a partnership…more of a love fest…more of an expression of trust.

Remove Yourself

I found this great verse in 1 Peter 4:7, and I have included several different versions below.  I wonder if Peter was recalling the time he and his friends fell asleep while waiting in the garden with Jesus when he wrote this?

The end of the world is near. You must be the boss over your mind. Keep awake so you can pray. NLV

Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer. HCSB

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. NIV

First of all, I suggest that you set aside time to pray…not the praying you constantly do in your mind as you go about your day…and not the nightly prayer you say while falling to sleep on your pillow.  Jesus often removed Himself from the crowds to spend time with His Father.  We too should remove ourselves from the crowds and become disciplined about our time with God.  I found a place behind my closet door where I can go to have private time with my Lord.  Click here to read How I Found a Space to Pray in my Small House.

Seek Synchronization

There are two wills at play when I pray, mine and God’s.  My will seeks comfort and escape from suffering.  God’s will is more mysterious.  God’s will incorporates parenting and His immeasurable imagination.  And sometimes it requires prolonged suffering.  I am so glad the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to include his trouble with the thorn of Satan in 2 Corinthians.  It gives us a glimpse of the mind of Christ when He reminds the tormented Paul that:

“My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

The suffering obviously came from the enemy, but the suffering was prolonged by Jesus to keep Paul from becoming conceited. (read the whole passage here)  Who can understand the mind of God?  Not me.  But what should my reaction be to chronic difficulty and trouble?  How should I respond in prayer?  Should I shake my fist at the One who knows all?  Should I feel forgotten and discouraged?  This was Paul’s reaction:

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

To be able to pray for pleasure in weaknesses, to be able to ask that His grace be enough is my idea of a partnership of wills.  I may not feel it, but I can ask for Him to help me feel it.  Strength in the middle of pain.  My ongoing prayer for myself and for others on my prayer list is to be able to withstand God’s will, to be able to trust Him when things look bleak, and to have His grace be enough.  But mainly I pray this from Ephesians 3:14-19

For His unlimited resources

For power with inner strength through the Spirit

That I learn to trust Him so Jesus will make His home in  my heart

That the root of God’s love will keep me strong

That I will be given the power to understand how wide, how strong, how deep His love is

That I will be made complete with all the life and power that comes from God

 

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.

Diversify

In the past, my prayer time has been B-O-R-I-N-G!  Why in the world would I want to linger in prayer if I am distracted or uninterested?

One way I  solved this dilemma was by gathering together the latest in worship music on my Pinterest page so I have it available as I pray.   For example, I particularly love the song “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” by Lauren Daigle as I pray over the  lost and distracted people on my prayer list.  On some days I just put on instrumental meditation music, close my eyes, breath deeply and just BE with Jesus.

On other days if I am particularly stressed about something I will use a passage like Psalm 23 to remind myself through the scripture that God is my Shepherd while using my prayer journal to write it down.  My journal then becomes encouragement for me when I reread past entries.

If I run out of words to use in praise, I go to the Psalms.

Some days I try to just be thankful and not ask anything of Him.  I post pictures of my family and feel my heart swell with thankfulness as I look at their faces and know the Holy Spirit is bringing words I cannot say straight to my Father.

Be Ready

A couple of years ago something unexpected and scary happened to one of my children.  I got obsessed and worried and discovered I was not as strong as I thought.  I begged and pleaded and I was NOT filled with peace.   There was no syncing up with God’s will AT ALL.  There was no partnership. I was a total disappointment to myself.  The fiery arrows from the enemy were burning me.  Where was that genie when I needed him?   The only way I survived spiritually was because three people I loved reminded me of the things I forgotten. They prayed with me and read scriptures to me.

Then I remembered.

It was obvious that I needed more military training. More discipline in prayer.  I needed to learn to be the boss over my mind.   I pray that in the moment when your world seems to fall apart, you won’t fall apart like I did…that the discipline of prayer and Bible study will sustain you.  Be ready… because our enemy is prowling like a lion.

i love 2

 

 

You might like these other posts in the Spiritual Disciplines Series.  Click on the pictures.

 

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

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Here's how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.


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How I Found a Space to Pray in my Small House

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

 

Spiritual Disciplines Series:  Prayer

Before I saw The War Room, my prayer list was located on spiral note cards.  It never occurred to me to do my praying in a closet as was done in the movie, even though Jesus makes this suggestion in Matthew 6:6 NLT

 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

I became convinced that I needed a place in my home to pray, away from the family.  I liked the idea of posting my prayers in a permanent location.  My closet was too tiny, or maybe I should say, it was too full, so I looked at the back of my closet door as a better way for me to utilize the space I had available.

Step 1:  I painted the back of the door a fun turquoise color.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

Step 2:   I went to Hobby Lobby with a sample of my paint so I could coordinate colors of the paper I would use for the banner, labels, pockets, and the center board that I use for immediate needs.  The paper I picked had different patterns on each side.  I alternated patterns when making the pockets in step 5.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

Step:  3  I assembled the center board using:  hot glue, glue stick, twine, a chip board, coordinating paper made of card stock, and tiny clothespins.  Using the glue stick, I attached the card stock to the chip board.  Then I used hot glue to attach the twine to the back while it crossed in various locations on the front.  I found a cute burlap flower to add on the top.  The chip board has holes on back for use in securing to the door.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

Next, I created a PRAYING banner.  Since the paper I picked out was too big for my printer, I cut it to the right size , then used the scraps for the Immediate Needs board.  I attached the banner with twine and used duct tape on the top of the door so the new paint wouldn’t be ruined.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

Then, I printed labels and scripture cards and created pockets out of matching paper.  To create the pockets I folded the paper over and left about half an inch on the top (see picture).  I glued the scriptures and titles on the front of each pockets, then laminated.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

Pockets

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

 

The last step was to type up the list of people to fit into each category then place them in the pockets, ready to go.      Once complete, I positioned my chair next to the door, to make sure I arranged each item low enough for me to see.  I used the product Simply Tacky to attach everything. Next week I will write more about what I do during my prayer time.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

All my praying is integrated with worship music that I have saved on my Pinterest page.

 

Blessings, Alice

Click on the picture below for a link to all Sanctified Tourist’s printables, including these shown on “How I Found a Space to Pray in my Small House.”

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room.  Free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God are included.

You might be interested in more of The Spiritual Discipline series below

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.


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How I stopped praying to myself instead of to God…about my husband

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

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Spiritual Discipline Series:  Praying

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I discovered that when I spent time wishing that a certain weakness in my husband was another way, or when I replayed a scenario, or made comparisons,  what I was really doing was talking to myself instead of God….sadly, I realized that I was in essence praying to myself.  Then, forgetting that I have no power, I would speak words of correction and instruction, which seemed to always come out as criticism.  Look y’all, I was treating myself as if I were God, as if I were the one who could fix my husband.  This realization caused me to seriously look at what was going on in my thoughts.  It was time to do away with pointless mind games, and really go to spiritual battle for my husband.

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people (OR OUR SPOUSE, my insert) from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLV

This post is perfect for those of you who are single too.  Go to battle now for your future.

The Heart Always Speaks

The best gift you can give your spouse is unconditional acceptance and support.  The worldly culture that surrounds us tries to make us think that perfection is attainable, that imperfection is disgusting.  We create lists in our thoughts of  ways things could be better.  We compare.  We wish.

Even church culture can offer opportunities to make comparisons.  Our spouse just doesn’t seem to measure up to what is being said from the pulpit, or to the family on the neighboring pew.  What if your spouse is lacking in religious fervor?  What if spiritual initiative mostly comes from you?

The moment one of your thoughts come out of your mouth…the instant a suggestion passes your lips it will inflict pain, it will tear down.  No matter how it is framed, it will always come out as criticism.

Jesus talks about this very problem.  It’s the heart y’all.  After a wish  has lived so long in our minds, it settles into our hearts.  Once it is in our hearts the mouth can’t help but speak.  It’s up to us to re-frame what is in the heart.

But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. Matthew 15:18 NLT

 Weakness is Opportunity

I love this quote from the book The Love Dare by Steven and Alex Kendrick

“Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse’s hidden faults?  Do you really think it’s for endless nagging?  No, its for effective kneeling.  No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you.”

So do inventory of your spouse’s weaknesses. Some are trivial and in love will need to be overlooked.  But some are of a spiritual nature and need to be brought before the Father.

Wage Spiritual Battle

In your mind, change the way you see the weakness. If the issue is, for example, the way he spends his  time, or a problem with negativity, restructure your mind to see the weakness for what it really is, an attack from the enemy.

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

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My suggestion is to pick two to three simple prayers, with spiritual goals for your mate.   Rework the negative with a positive spin.  For example, a problem with a short temper might be changed to a prayer for increased fruit of the spirit. Capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle.

For those who love free stuff, I have created a printable prayer sheet with instructions for use in carrying out this exercise.  You can easily make your own, but this is done for you with hearts and all.  Just sign up to receive my posts in your email one or two times a week.   Click on the graphic below and I will send the PDF file to you in a welcome letter.

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.i love 2

 

 

Pictures:  +on the road to California to our son’s wedding, taken by our daughter in the back seat, ++State park in Tucson, AZ on the same trip

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.


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Why Spiritual Pajamas are not a Good Idea for the Wedding Banquet

Spiritual Discipline Series- LOVE

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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Time is of the essence to me.  The enemy is a robber, a thief of time.   Because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, and that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” as the Steve Miller band sings so prophetically, I have chosen the word URGENCY to define my year.  Urgency to be dressed in spiritual depth,  suitable clothes for the wedding banquet.  It boils down to this equation:  days left on earth+spiritual depth desired=URGENCY.

Look y’all, church buildings are filled with people like me doing their best spiritual impressions…glancing occasionally beyond the surface…content with their spiritual pajamas…never time to go diving into spiritual disciplines…the word later climbing up on center stage and demanding an audience.

So now is later.

I have defined my own set of spiritual disciplines, and encourage you to create your own list.  This begins a blog series that I hope you will find useful for your own battle for time.  These include:  love, prayer and meditation, reading and memorizing scripture, private praise, fasting, and resting.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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My anchor scripture that will guide each discipline will be Luke 10:27.  Every urgency, both internally and externally, will be directed away from self and toward fulfilling this scripture.

….“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLV

Dealing with my selfish self causes my urgency to be sluggish, and my love for Him to become unfocused.  Spiritual depth for the Bride of Christ is what I am after, and it starts with love for my Father.  Loving him with all.

All.

All your heart.

All your soul.

All your strength.

All your mind.

If I am honest with myself and if you are too,  what that means is that there is no room for empty longing in my heart…no vacancy in my soul…no strength training with feathers…and  the eyes constantly protecting the mind from the fake.  Then and only then can I serve my neighbor the way the rest of the passage suggests  as myself…a self filled to the brim with Yahweh.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

More in the Spiritual Disciplines Series you might like:

 

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

i love 2

Pictures:

+  Closeup of my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress,

++  A beautiful church window found on a Hawaiian excursion.

+++  I love this gate I found in Key West, Florida

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

copyright 2016 Alice LeBlanc, Sanctified Tourist

 

 

 

 

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.


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Curb Shopping at Christmas

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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I have been feeling a bit Scrooge-ish lately and haven’t been able to put my finger on the problem until I found myself curb shopping in my neighbor’s trash last week.   It’s excess y’all.  We are a people who can put our excess to the curb without a thought…most of the time to make room for more.   Tis the season of excess.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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In stark contrast, I have observed a different kind of curb shopping taking place in Cambodia, my future home.  I have seen a man hand-cutting a certain kind of grass in the front of businesses in order to  feed his ox.  I have seen an older woman pulling a cart, stopping at every trash heap looking for cardboard to sell.  I have seen beggars sitting on curbs, and girls with baskets hoping someone will buy their boiled snails.  My daughter observed a tiny girl, perhaps six, struggling with a buggy much bigger than her, going from house to house searching for cans to recycle.  A daily struggle to survive for some.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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Back here in Texas, I have a gorgeous tree, I have spent lots of money on gifts,  I watch the holiday shows, I attend parties,  I meet up with family, I eat scrumptious food…all in excess.  I celebrate in a cheery little bubble that floats high above Bethlehem.   Sometimes I glance down lovingly at the manger as I float through the holidays, but to be honest, I am trapped in cultural distractions that steal my focus.  The cultural noise of excess drowns out His holy birth.  I have put Jesus to the curb while making room for meaningless diversions.   My Scrooge-ish mood feels a little like guilt.

So this year I will line up behind the wise men with my gift for the baby Jesus.   I will bow before Him and ask Him to make me more like Him.  To open my eyes to suffering.  To warm my heart to the helpless.  To cleanse my desire for material possessions and replace it with a desire to love Him more.  To fill me.  Then I will be ready to serve.   I don’t have much to give, but I do have me.

I have been curb shopping in my neighbor's trash y'all. I found more than I bargained for.

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i love 2

 

 

+Closeup picture of my Christmas tree

++Picture of the treasure I found on the side of the road

+++Picture taken in Cambodia during the water festival

++++Picture taken of the Christmas decorations outside The Woodlands Pavilion.  We were on our way to a concert by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.

 I am not paid to endorse any products or ads on Sanctified Tourist.