31 Thoughts From 31 Days of “Dare to Pray”

pray copyThis is it, Day 31 of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge! Here’s the  beginning, Day 1   just in case you missed it. 

In this last writing, I am pulling out some thoughts that I want to take with me. I may even stop back here occasionally and pull a “Thought for the Day.” For example, if it’s November 15,  I’ll skim down to #15 and meditate on that nugget for the day. I hope you’ll join me. Have a wonderful week. See you soon!

Thoughts for the Day

  1. Prayer creates a channel for God’s power to flow into the world. (Day 2)
  2. We can flash hundreds of instantaneous prayers at people near us or faraway all throughout the day. (Day 4)
  3. If we believe that prayers change the course of history, we will pray more.(Day 5)
  4. Learning to spend the day in the Presence of the Lord is the single most important thing we can do for the world we live in.(Day 6)
  5. In playing the Game With Minutes, we try to call Him (Jesus) to mind at least one second of each minute. (Day 7)
  6. “What a nation thinks about, that it is.” We cannot control the thoughts of our world, our nation, or even those closest to us, but we can direct our own thoughts toward the Lord, and inspire others to do the same.(Day 8)
  7. The Game With Minutes helps us to guard our heart, encourages us to bring Christ into our day to day activities, to converse with Him throughout the day, and to bring Him into every minute of our day. (Day 9)Beautiful-Sunset-in-Marrakesh
  8. If you will start with trying to be faithful to pray just five minutes each day, you will soon start to love prayer and will find yourself praying, ten minutes, then twenty, and more. (Day 10)
  9. The results of the Game With Minutes begin to show clearly in a month. They grow rich after six months, and glorious in ten years.” Frank Laubach (Day 11)
  10. “The sense of being led by an unseen hand which takes mine while another hand reaches ahead and prepares the way, grows upon me daily.” Frank Laubach (Day 12)
  11. “I do not need to strain at all to find opportunity. It piles in upon me as the waves roll over the  beach, and yet there is time to do something about each opportunity.” Frank Laubach (Day 12)
  12. “I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself.” Frank Laubach (Day 12)
  13. “My part is to live this hour in continuous inner conversation with God and in perfect responsiveness to his will, to make this hour gloriously rich.” Frank Laubach (Day 12)
  14. The silent words that make up our thoughts are really inner conversation with ourselves. Instead, as we turn all of our thoughts to God, we make all thought a conversation with God. (Day 13)trees
  15. When our mind wanders away, as it will, we gently bring it back to God. Every minute is a new beginning. (Day 13)
  16. “I am finding every day the best of the five or six ways that I try to keep contact with God is for me to wait for His thoughts, to ask Him to speak.” Frank Laubach (Day 13)
  17. What matters to you, matters to God. (Day 14)
  18. “If you forget to play the game for minutes or hours or days, do not groan or repent, but begin anew with a smile.” (Day 15) Frank Laubach
  19. We can take every day irritating events or frustrating circumstances and turn them into life-changing adventures by praying. (Day 15)
  20. “Flash Prayers,” Breath Prayers” or “7-second Prayers” can take only a breath or a few seconds to pray. You can have one ready at all times. (Day 17)
  21. We turn every thought to Christ, teaching ourselves to quickly turn a thought into a prayer. If we don’t know what to say, we can bring up what or who is in front of us. (Day 17)sky3
  22. Making all thought a conversation with God is the greatest, most productive, and joyous activity we could possibly engage upon. (Day 18)
  23. When you are happy, you can lighten the load of those around you. (Day 19)
  24. God’s love for us is greater than anything we could imagine. (Day 20)
  25. Look at the horizon, lift your eyes up and see as far as you can see. Trust God to take you there.(Day 21)
  26. Expect to hear His Voice, and your sense of spiritually hearing will improve with practice. (Day 23)
  27. Look for Him to speak through the things and people around you. (Day 25)
  28. Sometimes the beauty of the heart can only be expressed with the absence of words. (Day 26)word-of-god
  29. God is not limited by words. (Day 27)
  30. “There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.” Betsie Ten Boom (Day 28)
  31. Because of the Name of Jesus, all of our prayers and all of our days can be full of life and joyful answers. (Day 30)

As I make the final keystroke on this Challenge, I say, “Good-bye for now!” Please stop in often and share your thoughts.

We must continue to pray, remembering that our prayers change the course of history.

Have you developed the habit of praying every time you see a flag or a symbol of America? It is so easy to forget to bring our requests before the Father. Let each symbol remind us to pray. Dare to Pray for America. God bless America and God bless each of you!

america

 

 Linking up with Kelli and the beautiful community that gathers at

Please click the link above visit there too!

 

 

The Invitation

sky3As we begin to wrap up the 31 Days of Writing Challenge on this Day 30, I want to offer you the invitation of a lifetime! I invite you to accept Jesus into your life. When I was five years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have never made a better or more important decision. My life would have been completely different if I had turned left or right and left Him out of my life. I am so thankful to have been raised in a Christian home and to have married a wonderful Christian man and raised three boys who accepted Jesus as their Savior at an early age.

It is very likely that you, my reader, have also already accepted this invitation. If you have not, please go to this website and read further: Salvation Prayer Info by Bible Gateway.com. If you would like to, pray the prayer and  begin a new life in Christ. If you have any comments or questions about this, please feel free to ask.

Without accepting this invitation the 31 Days of Writing “Dare to Pray” would have been of no avail whatsoever. Because of the Name of Jesus, all of our prayers and all of our days can be full of life and joyful answers.

Please share your brief testimony of salvation in the comments. This will encourage others who may read this. Thanks so much for taking these few minutes to read and comment. All who stop by to read are considered a friend. Have a wonderful day, friend and don’t be a stranger.

Until next time. . .

Every time you see a flag or a symbol of America:

Dare to Pray, “We declare the blessing of God over our country to keep us safe, healthy,  and prosperous. We pray that our hearts toward Him as never before.

Continue to Day 31

america

 

Let’s Be Friends!

pray copyThis is Day 29 of my 31 Days of Writing Challenge called “Dare to Pray.” I started four days late on this challenge and by the grace of God, I caught up. Now we are in for the home stretch, and I have Days 30 and 31 planned. Tonight, I didn’t know where to go. I wanted something light and airy after last night’s “Where is God?” So here it is:

Let’s be friends!

halloween_birthday_october_31st_postcard1My birthday is coming up on Friday, October 31. I am bountifully blessed with the love and attention of my family during the month of October, but I am a firm believer that a person can’t have too many friends. That’s what I would like for my birthday this year: more friends. I am inviting you to be one!

The benefits to you are as follows:

  • I will think of you often and pray for you.
  • I will write this blog with you in mind and with the the idea of offering you encouragement and something of value to brighten your day.
  • I will come and visit you at your blog, if you have one, as often as I can.
  • I will offer you encouragement there on the things that matter to you.
  • I will receive constructive criticism and will treasure your encouragement as well.

Isn’t that what friends do?

So we can keep in touch, would you do me a favor, and follow me by putting your email address in the space provided at the top right corner of this page. When I get the notification with your website, I can hop right over there and visit and follow you, as well. This is going to be great! And to be sure, I will not be writing every day for quite some time, maybe twice a week at best. How about you?

Now let’s get to know each other: Idea from Bree West at bree-west.com Have fun answering some or all of these 5 questions. You will find a short version you can cut and paste into the comments. I can’t wait to find out a little about you. By the way, my dear friends, who have been around awhile, tell me what I don’t know about you!  Have fun. You are valuable!

  1. halloween birthdayHow many people are in your family and ages of children and type and name of pets?
  2. What is your current occupation and your dream occupation? (I know for many of you, it is being a writer, but how about a second occupation that sounds fun, not necessarily feasible.)
  3. What is your favorite leisure activity?
  4. What could I pray about for you? (If you knew He would answer one prayer prayed today for you, what would it be? It doesn’t have to be world peace, you get another chance tomorrow if you want it.)
  5. If you could pray one prayer that God would answer for your country, what would it be right now?

Here are my answers:

cruise shipFamily: 1 husband, 1 22 year old son at home, 1 30 year old son away, 1 married son 24 with beautiful wife and amazing 19 month old little girl. Truly blessed. No pets.

Current occupation: Marketing Representative

Dream Occupation just for fun: Cruise director

Leisure Activity:blogging, reading, being on the beach, playing games with family

What could you pray about? That I would continue to be more successful playing the Game With Minutes, and blessings for my family. Oh and I want to write and publish a book.

Your Prayer for our country I pray for safety and protection for our country and wisdom for our leaders and that every heart would be turned to Jesus; that every Christian would demonstrate the love and life of Jesus every day.

Now It’s Your Turn

Family:

Current occupation:

Dream Occupation

Leisure Activity:

What could Sharon pray about for you?

Your Prayer for your country:

 

Closing out Day 29 offering a big hug to all readers.

Dare to Pray for safety and protection for our country and wisdom for our leaders. That every heart would be turned to Jesus, and that every Christian would demonstrate the love and life of Jesus every day.america

SharySignature

 

 

 

 

 

Where Is God?

Tpray copyhis is Day 28 of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge! Only three more days left of the Challenge. You will find the complete list beginning on  Day 1. You will find Day 28 a bit different from the way I have been traveling down this Prayer path. A valid question was asked, and when I became aware of the wondrous answer, I had to place it here with our exploration of Listening Prayer.

Since July 25, 2014, my dad has been in Five Oaks Nursing Center in Kannapolis, NC.

There are some wonderful benefits offered to him there:

  • They have Bingo.
  • They have quality care.
  • It is located close to my sister.
  • It is very clean.
  • It has no unpleasant smell.
  • They have regular planned activities.
  • They help him become more independent.

Aside from these benefits, it is a place of pain, suffering, distress, and misery.

At any given time, you are likely to hear pitiful cries bellowing from rooms. You may hear someone rolling their wheelchair down the hall while hollering, “Somebody, help me. Oh, Jesus, somebody help me!” Sometimes you hear, cursing, or moaning, and alarms going off when someone has crossed their boundaries of movement.

I visited him there twice this week, and Jay asked  this thought-provoking question: “Where is God in this?”

children calcuttaI thought about this for some time, and I thought about the sad fact that as bad as this was, there were much worse places on the earth. For example,250,000 homeless children live on the streets of Calcutta encountering daily dangers and abuses with barely enough nutrition to stay alive another day. Where is God in this?

One of the most horrific places and times in recent history was the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany, where Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsie were imprisoned for hiding Jews in their home. Corrie tells her story in the Hiding Place. One example of the pain, misery, suffering and distress that has invaded our earth is this place.Here’s a description taken form this article:

“Barracks built for 250 women later housed 1,500 or 2,000, with three to four to a bed. Thousands of women did not even have part of a bed, and were lying on the floor, without even a blanket. When 500 Jewish women arrived from Hungary in the fall of 1944, they were placed in a huge tent with a straw floor and died in masses. A plague of lice and danger of disease from the water made life in the barracks even more unbearable.”

Many asked, “Where was God?”

Ed Rouse3Jay’s question demanded an answer. “This is not God,” he said. We’ve taught our children that God is love, and life, and joy, and peace. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. What is going on here? Pain will remain. Suffering will continue. Distress lingers; misery persists.Where is God? God showed us the answer.

  • He is in the kind nursing assistant who patiently warmed the tray of cold food my dad had been offered.
  • He is in the sister who goes day after day to bring a smile, love and sunshine, making sure he has everything he needs.
  • He is in the son-in-law who drives 15 minutes both ways to bring a milkshake because “Pop” couldn’t eat his supper.
  • He is in the wife who answers the phone, though she’s been asleep for hours, and patiently answers his questions.
  • He is in the volunteers who take the residents on outings.
  • He is in the nurses who work long hours and still maintain a pleasant demeanor.
  • He is in the volunteers that take time to come and sing, entertain, engage or pray.
  • He is in the touch on the shoulder, the hug, the time spent listening.

Ed Rouse2You find him as your father tells you once again of stories of his childhood. From his wheelchair, even though he has fallen out of bed the night before, even though he is confined to the inside of this building, even though he has barely been able to eat for days, he shakes his head and says, “I’ve had a great life.” And then he says it again.

You find Him in the prayer prayed by the grandson asking for healing and for peace for his grandfather.

Many are the people you encounter who have that same pain, suffering, distress, and misery right within the confines of their body, soul, and mind. You meet these people every day. You sit near them at church and pass them at the grocery store. You interact with them on a daily basis. Some may be family members and friends. Where is God? Look for Him. He is there. You are there.

It isn’t easy to see God, or hear God in a place like Five Oaks Manor with so many suffering, helpless people. You have to look closely. If you don’t find Him, you must look within yourself. He is there.

He is there in a glimmer of light, a glimmer of kindness, a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of love. He is there.

Betsie Ten Boom died on December 16, 1944. Before she died, she told Corrie,

“There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.” He is there.

Can you find HIm?

Ed Rouse4Continue to Day 29

 

 

 

Not By Words Alone

 pray copyThis is Day 27 of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge! Only four more days left of the Challenge. You will find the complete list beginning on  Day 1.

With the understanding that God clearly wants us to hear Him and makes it possible for us to do so, let’s see what happens when we ask Him the next question (taken from a January post, “A Conversation with God.”) Listen and write down what He is saying to you about this, and please feel free to share in the comments.

Do I have some power to affect things for the better here in our world?

I went on to tell God what I would do for the world if I could.

If I could, I would put love in the hearts of everyone I know. I would give peace to everyone I know. I would provide the finances that each one needs and some more for fun, but wisdom would come with it. Confidence love, joy, and peace would be the norm.

And here’s me continuing the conversation today:

Lord, I have meditated on this question all day today, and I have not heard an answer from you. Is this becoming a pattern that You aren’t going to answer?

No, this is becoming a lesson.

(Now that sounded like God.)

words2I am learning the lesson: You are not limited by words. I have been talking to Jay about this, and Nick also confirmed the idea that words are limiting. I have always loved words as  you well know. I have not considered them limiting as there are so many of them, and so many things you can say with them, and yes, you are right, so many ways to get in trouble with them.

Lord, you are showing me that You often communicate by:

  • impressions
  • or listening to others
  • or even by our own talking
  • by gentle nudges that we had no idea were You (but when we look back, we see your handprint)
  • by “anything and everything” in Your power (which is everything)

butterflyI am in awe of You, and there I go using words to say something that I feel more strongly than words can say. And that is why You love finding creative ways to show your love, and lead us, and teach us, and answer our questions. I am listening now. With Your help, I will listen for more than words!

And with just a few more days left in the Challenge, remember to pray for our country:

americaDare to Pray, “Lord, keep our country in safety, peace, and prosperity.We declare the name of Jesus over the United States of America.

 

Continue to Day 28.

 

 

The Beauty of the Heart

Day 26

Beautiful-Sunset-in-Marrakesh

 

Sometimes the beauty of the heart can only be expressed with the absence of words. Maybe God’s love is not just something that can be expressed with words, but something that has to be experienced in a timeless journey with Him.

( by Jay Christopher Jordan)

Jay 10-25-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dare to Pray for America. We pray that Your people will rise up like a mighty giant across the land and show Your love to the world.

america

Speaking Through Pictures

pray copy

This is Day 25 of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge! If you want to catch up, click right over to Day 1 for a list of all the posts.

 

The Game With Minutes is trying to win every minute by thinking about the Lord, bringing Him into our thoughts, making every thought an inner conversation with Him. He speaks to us, and we want to hear. In the last few days, I felt I heard Him tell me three important principles that I want to remember and use on a daily basis.

trees1.  Ask for Wisdom. Breathe in, and let His words flow out of me.
2.  Look for Him to speak through the things and people around me. What are you saying to me through the beautiful green trees that I am looking at, Lord. The impression that came to me was life, growing, bearing fruit.  By being planted in Him, I have life, I grow, and I bear fruit.
3.  God wants me to hear Him, and He will use creative ways to communicate with me.

 

As I started writing on Listening Prayer, I referred to the post, “A Conversation With God” and promised to listen to God in answering some of the eight questions I had posted there. These questions seem to be leading me to other thoughts and ideas to talk about along the way but today. Here’s the second question and today’s conversation with God about it.

 

Can You impart that sense of knowing that everything is okay?

Here’s me entering into this conversation:

Lord, when I asked you this question, I must have been disturbed or concerned about something. I don’t know what it was, but I come to you now and ask that same question. Whether I see you preaching to people on a hillside or sleeping in a boat with Your disciples, you are “unruffled.” You are calm; You are not upset. Why do we get so ruffled and upset at things in our lives? My question is how can we be like You, and be calm and unruffled, knowing that everything is okay when it seems like it’s not?

Jesus on hillside2

I’m listening:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

I’m not hearing anything else as I had expected to, but the sense that I get is that picture of Him being “calm and unruffled.” I believe that the answer is to hold that picture of Him. When opportunity comes to be upset or to think the worst, see Him “calm and unruffled.” The truth in this remarkable scripture is what enables me to be as calm and unruffled as He is. He has given me peace.

As you can see, God does not only use words to speak to us. When I embarked on this experiment, I thought He would let words roll and roll out of my fingertips in answer to my every question. However, early on during my experiment He showed Himself powerfully out of my box and revealed a wonderful answer to the question through a picture of Himself. My heart wraps around the scripture given and around the picture of my calm and unruffled Jesus giving me peace in the potentially unsettling or upsetting circumstances my day may bring me. Thank you, Lord for speaking to my heart as only You can!

 

america

 

Dare to pray for the safety and protection of our country, for Wisdom for our leaders and for each of us and that our hearts would turn back to God.

Continue to Day 26.

Does God Want You to Hear Him?

Tpray copyhis is Day 24 of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge! If you want to catch up, click right over to Day 1 for a list of all the posts.

As you play the Game with Minutes, bringing Christ into every thought and making all of your thoughts an inner conversation with God, we will meet with obstacles.The enemy will try to convince us that we cannot hear His voice and should not hear His voice. He will try to frighten us and confuse us, and even distort the voice of God. We have a scriptural answer to make the truth plain:

John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

and in Mark 4:9,

“Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

These words are repeated in several other passages in the New Testament. The Old Testament in Isaiah 32 gives us this beautiful picture. It is a picture and a prayer of God’s Will for His beloved children.

Isaiah 32:3-4

 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
The fearful heart will know and understand,
and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.

He wants us to see and hear, know and understand, and speak fluently and clearly.

Today’s Exercise: Take a few minutes and listen, what do you hear Him saying to You?

I love you. You can trust me. Rest in me. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I hear your prayers, and I see your heart. Open your heart up to me more and more. Look up, and allow the sunshine of my love to warm you and reveal Truth to you. Walk in my ways. Love others with my love. Rest in me. Walk with me. Smile with me. I love you.

Can you wait to see what He shows us in Day 25?

Remember to:

america

Dare to Pray for God to reveal Himself to every person and to keep our country under the Shadow of His Wings.

 

How Is Your Hearing?

pray copyThis is Day 23 of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge! If you want to catch up, click right over to Day 1 for a list of all the posts.

How is your hearing? We are so used to our five senses interpreting our world and our circumstances, that it takes exercise to strengthen our spiritual senses. By playing The Game With Minutes, we are strenthening our spiritual senses. Learning to think God’s thoughts opens us up to see, smell, taste, feel and hear as He does. It is challenging at best, but it is quite the adventure of life to play this game and learn to live His Way.

5 sensesListening Prayer is when we do our best to quiet our busy minds and hear what He is saying. If we can learn to ask Him for his thoughts, He will give us those higher thoughts and  our words and actions will be wiser and more productive.

There are certain tests through which we should filter the words we hear. When we try to hear His Voice, remember that our own thoughts reside right along with our spirit. The more our mind is renewed to the Word of God, the more accurately we will hear His voice. Naturally, some of our own habitual thoughts will mingle with His thoughts. When reading back over what you have heard, you can test the words by asking these questions:

  • Does it agree with the Word of God?
  • What fruit does it produce? If these words lead you down a path of life and peace, rest in it.
  • Does it stand the test of time? If you will look at these words again in a few days, weeks, and even longer, the life of these words will be apparent compared to other words you have written.

If you find that some of the words do not meet the tests, do not be alarmed. Celebrate the fact that you were able to discern the difference. Expect to hear His Voice, and your sense of spiritually hearing will improve with practice.word-of-god

Today’s Exercise: Set a timer for five minutes and stay focused on the Lord, listening. If you would, please share something from your experience with us.

I thought I wasn’t going to hear anything tonight,but this is what I felt I heard:

“I am not limited by words when I want to speak with my people. There are many ways that I will speak to you. I will use anything and everything within my power to communicate to you. Look for signs of my love everywhere you go. You will see me in flowers, trees, birds that sing, bricks that build, people who smile. Look for me and sing out the message that you hear.”

In the next few days, we will experiment with hearing God’s answer questions like this:

Can You impart to me a sense of knowing that everything is okay?

Let’s see what He has to say to us on Day 24.

america

 

And of course, as you have for the last 22 days, please remember to:

Dare to Pray for God’s hand to be upon our country in safety, protection, love and peace.

 

I am linking this post with Holly Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart

Are You Ready to Experiment With Listening Prayer?

pray copyThis is Day 22 of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge! If you want to catch up, click right over to Day 1 for a list of all the posts.

The Game With Minutes is bringing God into our thoughts at least one second of every minute. It is making all of your thoughts a conversation with God. In the last half of our Writing Challenge, we are experimenting with the listening side of this conversation. I have been going back through the Archives of my posts because there have been occasions where I knew that God spoke to me through writing. I found one originally published on January 23, 2014, entitled “A Conversation With God.” Come with me as we explore the answers to some questions I asked God several months ago. You’ll have more fun if you put yourself with Him on the sofa and picture yourself there, listening to my questions and anticipating His answers.

I started out writing my thoughts as I closed my eyes and imagined Jesus was sitting on the sofa with me.

There is nothing in the world more precious than your Presence. Let’s say that I am in your Presence right now. I am aware that You are here on the sofa with me. You are willing to listen and talk about anything I want. Just being with You brings me peace and joy. I feel calmer now. I can see the love in Your eyes. I can sense the wisdom that You have. You are totally unruffled. I just sense that You are not the least bit concerned about any of the things we are, though you patiently listen and smile. They just aren’t that important in the scheme of things. I am looking into Your eyes and knowing suddenly that none of this matters. You have much bigger plans and ideas. You can see it all fitting together.Presence3

Next I asked Him a number of questions, but in the original writing I didn’t write His answers. Perhaps, I didn’t even really stop to listen, but just asking the questions drew me into a place of peace and located where my heart was. Tonight and over the next few days,as an exercise in listening, I am going to take some of these questions and record what I hear Him saying. Presence5

Here’s the first question:

Would You be able to impart wisdom to me?

I’m closing my eyes. I am listening. You can do the same with your pen and paper or open document, and you may hear something different than I do. Please share what you hear.

Here’s what I heard:

You ask me if I would be able to impart Wisdom to you that would enable you to see how things fit together. I say to you he who wants wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally. Just ask me for wisdom any time any place and I will l give you wisdom.Trust in me. Wisdom is the principle thing. Solomon, my son, asked for wisdom, you know the story well, and I gave him riches and wisdom. People came from afar to hear his wisdom. Breathe deeply and let wisdom come to you. Stay ever close to me and when others ask questions of you, train yourself to silently ask me for wisdom and breathe in. Then share what words I give you. Let them flow out of you as words of life. Lean not unto your own understanding.  Trusting me for Wisdom means not thinking and reasoning and planning and analyzing, but let my words flow to you and bring you Truth.

Continue to Day 23 for more answers.

, america

And every time you see a flag or a symbol of our country:

Dare to Pray that the people of the United States of America will hear the Voice of the Lord and turn to Him as never before!

 

 

My favorite post of the day can be found at Holly Gerth’s Coffee for the Heart.