Adjusting prayer time to quiet moments alone was so out of my comfort zone. When I came to the realization that prayer is not dictated by place and time; that it’s place is everywhere, it’s time is any time, this revelation was the beginning to a pray life of truly knowing Him and experiencing His presence in my life.
Scripture Memorization: “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.” Jeremiah 29:12
I see how my life was similar to the struggle of Martha in the story of Luke 10. I was so busy serving, working and doing that I was not spending time daily preparing my heart for service by having conversation with God, listening to God, spending time in worship and singing praises, and reading God’s Word.
Read the story of Martha and Mary. Are you a Martha or a Mary? Read their story in Luke 10
Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were considered good friends of Jesus, often hosting him in their home in Bethany on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Martha is said to have run the household, although she was the middle child—Lazarus was the oldest and Mary the youngest of the three siblings.
Early historians believed Martha to be the daughter, wife, or widow of Simon the Leper, and that the house became hers when he died. This has not been substantiated, but what is clear is that Jesus did not return to his own home for rest and relaxation during his three years of ministry. It was to the warm, hospitable home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus at Bethany He retired. We also know that their home was large enough to host Jesus and his followers, and we suppose the family had means because the Bible does not mention a family trade, although they were never noted as being wealthy.
All we know about Martha and Mary come from two encounters with Jesus that were documented in all four Gospels. The first is a visit from Jesus to Martha and Mary’s home during one of his many trips to Jerusalem. We realize that because of the casualness of their visit that Jesus visited their home often. On this day Jesus arrived in time for dinner and Martha became angry that she was doing all the work in preparing for the meal while her sister was simply sitting around listening to Jesus. Martha insisted that Jesus tell Mary to get up and help her. Jesus rebuked Martha and told her that her sister had it right—she was focused on what was important (Luke 10:38-42). The next encounter comes after Martha and Mary’s brother fell ill and they’d sent word for Jesus to come, but several days had passed. Lazarus died. Martha meets Jesus outside their home—her brother had been dead four days. After complaining about his tardiness, Martha affirms her belief that even now God will do anything Jesus asks. Jesus says that he is the “resurrection and the life” and asks if she believes this. Martha confesses, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world” (John 11:27). Her words are similar Simon Peter’s reply to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15-16). Martha was a woman with managerial talents, the gift of hospitality, and a woman of means. Once she recognized Jesus as her Messiah and confessed her faith in him, her whole world changed. She found new meaning, purpose, and life.
Have you found success in this world and yet still wonder if all your hard work here amounts to anything? Have you been frustrated that God was not there when you needed him most? Martha can speak to you:
- Martha was doing what she thought God was calling her to do—serve him with her gifts and talents, but when Jesus rebuked her, she learned a great lesson. All of her ‘doing’ needed to be balanced with time for ‘being.’ You can’t work your way into God’s favor. He is already impressed with you, so take time to sit at his feet and allow his approval to shine upon you.
- Martha’s disappointment in Jesus was great. Have you been disappointed in God? Yet, Martha didn’t hide her disappointment from Jesus. Instead she took her anger, fear, and belief directly to him. Then, in spite of her doubts, she declared her faith. Great was her reward, and great will be yours, too, when you have the courage to share even your disappointments with God. Then declare your belief in spite of your doubts and new life will come to you, too. He is your resurrection and your life.
Complete page 53 in Excellence with Simple Elegance: The Study.
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If you have no format for your daily prayer life, please take the opportunity this week to use this simple format from Nehemiah. These will be the beginning steps to having a Mary heart. A.C.T.S.
It is a time of praising God for Who He is, His attributes, His Names, and His character.
Exalting the Name of Jesus Christ “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.”
I challenge you to select one of Jehovah’s Name each week and praise Him for that particular attribute and character.
|Jehovah’s Name (prayertoday.org)
- Jehovah – The Lord – Exodus 6:2-3
- Jehovah-Adon Kal Ha’arets- Lord of Earth – Josh 3:13
- Jehovah-Bara – Lord Creator – Isaiah 40:28
- Jehovah-Chatsahi – Lord my Strength – Psalm 27:1
- Jehovah-Chereb – Lord the Sword – Deut. 33:29
- Jehovah-Eli – Lord my God – Psalm 18:2
- Jehovah-Elyon – Lord Most High – Psalm 38:2
- Jehovah-Gador Milchamah – Mighty in Battle – Ps 24:8
- Jehovah-Ganan – Lord Our Defense – Ps 89:18
- Jehovah-Go’el – Lord My Redeemer – Is. 49:26, 60:16
- Jehovah-Hamelech – Lord King – Psalm 98:6
- Jehovah-Hashopet – Lord My Judge – Judges 11:27
- Jehovah-Helech ‘Olam – Lord King Forever Ps10:16
- Jehovah-Hoshe’ah – Lord Saves – Psalm 20:9
- Jehovah-Jireh – Provider – Gen. 22:14, I John 4:9, Philip 4:19
- Jehovah-Kabodhi – Lord my Glory – Psalm 3:3
- Jehovah-Kanna – Lord Jealous – Ex 34:14
- Jehovah-Keren-Yish’i – Horn of Salvation – Ps 18:2
- Jehovah-M’Kaddesh – Sanctifier – I Corinthians 1:30
- Jehovah-Machsi – Lord my Refuge – Psalm 91:9
- Jehovah-Magen – Lord my Shield – Deut. 33:29
- Jehovah-Ma’oz – Lord my Fortress – Jer. 16:19
- Jehovah-Mephalti – Lord my Deliverer – Psalm 18:2
- Jehovah-Metshodhathi – Lord my Fortress – Psalm 18:2
- Jehovah-Misqabbi – Lord my High Tower – Psalm 18:2
- Jehovah-M’gaddishcem – Lord my Sanctifier – Ex 31:13
- Jehovah-Naheh – Lord who Smites – Ezekiel 7:9
- Jehovah-Nissi – Banner – I Chronicles 29:11-13
- Jehovah-Rohi – Shepherd – Psalm 23
- Jehovah-Rophe – Healer – Isaiah 53:4,5
- Jehovah-Sabaoth – Lord of Hosts – I Sam 1:3
- Jehovah-Sel’i – Lord my Rock – Psalm 18:2
- Jehovah-Shalom – Peace – Isaiah 9:6, Rom 8:31-35
- Jehovah-Shammah – Present – Hebrews 13:5
- Jehovah-Tsidkenu – Righteousness – I Cor 1:30
- Jehovah-Tsori – Lord my Strength – Psalm 19:14
- Jehovah-Yasha – Lord my Savior – Isaiah 49:26
- Jehovah-‘Ez-Lami – Lord my Strength – Ps 28:7
- Jehovah-‘Immeku – Lord Is With You – Judges 6:12
- Jehovah-‘Izoa Hakaboth – Lord Strong -Mighty – Ps 24:8
- Jehovah-‘Ori – Lord my Light – Psalm 27:1
- Jehovah-‘Uzam – Lord Strength in Trouble – Is 49:26
Scripture says that God is faithful in forgiving us and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
God requires us to believe and to be thankful. Be thankful in all things. Offer a prayer of praise each morning using the words of the psalmist. Note that I have 2 categories of adapted prayers from the Psalms that you can access Worship & Praise and Petition & Blessings. Simply use these prayers daily to offer your words of admiration to our wonderful heavenly Father.
Scripture says we have not because we ask not. Share with God your needs and your heart’s desires. As you are faithful to His call on your life, watch how He blesses you. Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for me?” Again if you feel you lack the words, please use the adapted prayers found on this blogsite http://www.bonnieliabenow.com and http://www.facebook.com/bonnieliabenow The petitions to God is our ‘want list’ the adapted prayers from the psalms titled Petitons and Blessing will launch you into His presence and into a meaningful personal time with God.
“Pray without ceasing”
Just like many of you there are situations that I have no control. It is in these moments that have driven me to pray. My life as a Christmas tree farmer leads me to pray often as farms are vulnerable to environmental attacks. The beginning days of summer of 2013 had brought extreme heat, dry weather and sunny skies to Michigan which is unheard of up north. And of course My fraser fir farm suffers greatly in these weather conditions. So No problem! I will turn on the irrigation system. But the Irrigation didn’t respond. No water! Equipment breakdown! This can’t be happening and the worse news was it could not be fixed for several days. “Lord, what do I do?” PRAY! I walked thru the fields asking God to protect these trees and to send rain Soon.
My Psalm reading for that day– Psalms 65 “You take care of the earth and send rain to help the soil grow all kinds of crops. Your rivers never run dry, and you prepare the earth to produce much grain. You water all of its fields and level the lumpy grounds. You send showers of rain to soften the soil and help the plants sprout.”
The next day–Rain, 50 degrees and cloudy skies! Thank you Lord for taking care of my “bit of earth”.
Complete pages 54-55 in The Study.
Are you excessively critical of the language and style of your prayer? Do you find yourself stumbling along and groping for words? I always felt my language was too simple, kinda uneducated far from sophicated so I didn’t prayer much. But I have since grasped the understanding neither God nor others are concerned with eloquent words, only that genuine communication takes place. Paul assures us in Romans 8:26 that” In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us where we are weak. We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words.” Many times the best prayer is the one most difficult to express,coming from the heart and reflecting genuine concern. As John Bunyon said. “In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
The Lord’s Prayer is the model of prayer that Jesus taught us, as recorded in the gospels of Matthew and Luke consider beginning with this prayer.
|Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen
|Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and for ever. Amen