prayer results start with the heart.


I love how the connecting with others on this road to faithful living creates community and accountability, and that is what I find such a blessing as I write this challenge today. Friends, you hold me accountable, whether I talk to you or not, because I want to write words that are true and words that I believe. I want to live those words and be honest enough to tell you when I miss the mark. Last week  my challenge to you was to speak life words into the situations that surround you and the relationships that are molding you.

 {How did you do?}

I have to be honest; I faltered a few times this last week. Well, let’s say more than a few times I gave in to that beast that my tongue seemed to control and it brought me no joy or peace in the process.  In fact, it brought me to a place of seeking repentance and forgiveness. Isn’t that how it works, though? When we purpose to change, we find ourselves lifting up the shield of faith to quench an ambush of fiery darts the wicked one is sending our way?

That challenge kept coming back to remind me to speak operable words, life-filled words, words of hope and destiny into the very situations that looked bleak, hopeless, and impossible. There was one day where I let it all get to me and I ended up in tears because I found myself again on the opposite side of where I wanted to be.  I think of Paul when I have days like this when he said. “For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered}. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].”

Gratefully, GRACE rushes in on the wings of repentance.

I hate when I grieve His heart in the giving in to self, but I am ever grateful for  the garment of grace He places upon me when I come helpless and broken to the mercy seat of Christ.  Hebrews reminds us to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and well-timed help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) This scripture has been rolling through my head repeatedly as of late.

In those moments when I listened and obeyed, I knew the protection of that grace covering. It was, however, the moments that lacked love, and I knew it, that my knees were bowing and my heart was hurting.  That petition for grace was deeply rooted in my regret and I realized that I was missing the most important lesson … I needed to pray.

When I am caught in the moment, unaware of how to respond in love, the only answer is to pray. 

My inability to instinctively turn to the throne of grace in my less than grace-filled moments, robbed me of the peace and joy that are meant to be ours In Christ.  I let the schedule dictate my time frame and the issues that appeared at the most inopportune times were just enough to rub the edges raw. When the planned schedule  and perfected timeline run the show, there is no room for life to happen. The irony is, life will happen, as usual, right in the middle of my ‘to-do’ list’, and I have to make a choice to react with my speech sweetly salty. ( 2 Corinthians 4:6)

 {When you get bumped, what spills out?}

Random disruptions occur frequently enough that I have learned to weather those bumps, trying to be a grace-dweller.  Yet, the days when the pot boils to the top, I sometimes spill out. And there was a day the pot overflowed, this past week, and it was a hot mess that was the result.

Even when we are a HOT Mess, He provides a way out.

Even in my less that graceful moment, God met me and provided in abundance the very help I needed with grace flowing out. That was humbling because I didn’t deserve it, that is for certain.

Friends, HE knows exactly what we need long before we do.  It didn’t seem like a blessing, but often the result of our overflow brings about the conversations, revelation, and healing we need to face to move forward.

He provides the way back to grace through the path that prayer paves.

Once I had a good old-fashioned cry, I felt better. I could sit and look at what I needed to accomplish and what was feasible and merge the two together creating an atmosphere of possibility where mercy is draped loosely and the light spills into the crevices that darkness seemed to hide when my eyes were shut.

Grace often shines brightest when we realize how easily it can sift through the cracks our overflow creates.  When we spill out all that is not rooted in Him, we make room for more of Him.

The conviction to speak life words presented new opportunities daily, literally almost every single second.  It also presented the reality that if I am not constantly conscious of truth, I can easily steer my cart towards the road of indecision, selfishness, and judgment.

Which leads me to this week’s challenge:

When we purpose to speak life words, it is inevitable that we a will be bombarded with the trials to detour our path.  We have to actively pull down every stronghold, principality, and high power that exalts itself against the Word of God, but this can only be done speaking His Word rather than ours.( 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)  And sometimes, it means we have to bow the knee, submit the heart, and pray.

Praying through the strife of the trial prepares our heart to speak abundance. More importantly, it covers us in the garment of grace and mercy so that we can respond in peace and love rather than anything that is not true and lovely. (Philippians 4:6)

Details can distract us when our eyes are on the issue rather than the finish line.

This weekend as we hosted a High School Graduation party for out strong-willed first born, I was tested every single moment in the preparing. I am not sure if that is normal or not, but it felt like I was placed in a dress that was way too tight and I just couldn’t get comfortable. (I should say I am a details person, but I can easily get sidetracked by them.)With each new distraction I found myself behind in all the preparing, along with meeting deadlines, etc.

I heard His voice calling to my heart in the middle of the chaos, but I didn’t stop to obey the whisper to pray and let Him order my planning, give me wisdom to meet the deadlines, and patience to do it all with a smile and a soft word. When I fail to obey, I am the one who misses the chance to clothe myself in grace. Instead, I find myself backtracking and trying to reroute the course, usually taking much longer to get to the desired destination, and joy seems absent from the journey.

Prayer is the art of communicating with our Father. It is our lifeline and the single most effective tool to reroute the misdirection our lives can easily take when we allow other things in.   Prayer will produce immediate results in our lives, most specifically, starting in our heart. When we come to God, believing He is exactly who He says He is then we know we are heard.  We can bare our soul in honesty and humility, always  honoring His Holiness in our approach, but never forgetting that He is Abba! He longs to meet our needs and loves to touch our lives

So if you, like me, had a few moments of temporary forgetfulness in the sowing words of life last week, don’t fret dear one. Stop, recognize, repent, and PRAY through the strife.  The beauty of walking with God is that we don’t have to be perfect, He is the one perfecting us (Phil 1:6), usually through the hard lessons, but always in grace and patience. 


{Are you ready to take the next step in the challenge?}

Step 1: Speak Words of Life

Step 2: Pray through the Strife


Praying for you from
1:9-12 today.

For this cause, I pray for you to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. I pray that you will walk in a way that pleases the Lord and are abounding in fruitfulness.  I pray that you would increase, daily, in your knowledge of His ways.  I pray that you will be strengthened with the power of the Holy Spirit as you go about your day for the Glory of God, growing in patience and joy as you bloom for the King. I pray, with a thankful heart that you would glory in the portion of His love assigned for you being delivered from the power of darkness and transferred into His love! 

 All In the precious Name of Jesus! -Amen.


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Linking up with life changers and grace chasers:

Jen @ Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

Sybil @ Make A Difference Mondays