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Do you long to pray better? Here you will discover encouragement on everything to do with praying.

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Discovering the Power of Earnest Prayer

Maybe you doubt whether your prayers can really be effective, especially when you’re asking for the impossible or what seems unlikely. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, “will my prayer really make a difference?” Or, as one of my readers asked, “Can I move God?”   I have found myself struggling with these Read more…

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A Prayer to Trust God’s Protection

On a trip to the Mediterranean some years ago, I let my imagination run loose as I stepped into a real world of medieval fortresses and tales of knights in shining armor on the Greek island of Rhodes. The old town of Rhodes, with the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, looked in Read more…

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A Prayer When You Need Shelter

The Bible is full of words of encouragement telling us that God provides shelter. His shelter is described as a sacred tent, his dwelling, a pavilion, and the perfect getaway.

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A Prayer to be Overflowing with Gifts

God is generous with his gift-giving to us, too. The gifts we receive from God, though, are not like physical gifts from family members or friends. They are special in other ways.

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A Prayer to Make Lives Brighter

Spilling out onto the streets—seeing the soul of a restaurant on the sidewalk—has made NYC a brighter place. And it’s made me think about the new life we have received from God that we need to let spill out onto the streets of our lives.

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A Prayer When Struggling to be Thankful

I have a friend who keeps a gratitude journal. She writes in it every morning. I’m impressed. She gave me a journal, and I started to do the same. But, I don’t write in it regularly. It takes time to form a habit. It’s not that I’m unthankful, I just don’t naturally think about being Read more…

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A Prayer to See Beauty in Everything

Sometimes our circumstances are like a dirty, dark street, a loud din, or a large gaping hole. But seeing the beauty is possible if we will only look.  Use this prayer to help you see beauty whatever your circumstances.

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A Prayer to Enjoy Your Forgiveness

Tied to the railings of an old stone church in our neighborhood is a big canvas sign. In large type with red and white colors, it says ENJOY YOUR FORGIVENESS. It’s a visible reminder to everyone who crosses the street at Park Ave and E 21st Street on their way to work, the coffee shop, Read more…

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Being Bold in God’s Presence

Quite often we are timid in our praying rather than being bold. We may feel we do not deserve to be in the presence of a holy God. But, understanding God’s mercy can help us. The other morning I pondered the words Lord, have mercy on me as I walked and talked with God. To me it is Read more…

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A Prayer for God’s Undivided Attention

We want God’s undivided attention. Selfish? Not at all. We need his attentiveness to our prayers because without him, we know life can become futile, and we lose purpose. There is one who has “the ear of God”—who is listened to. It is Jesus. No one has a closer relationship with God than Jesus Christ. Read more…

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Uncomfortable But Equipped

Waves lapped gently onto the rocky shoreline. The water shimmered and sparkled as the morning sun climbed higher in the sky. A gentle onshore breeze blew the hair away from my face and rustled the reeds behind me. I stood looking at the glistening water, pondering the historic moments of this place. This is where Read more…

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The Rewards of Faithfulness

Jesus says we are to have faith—great faith. But, even faith that is the size of mustard seed is rewarded.  Having faith, in Jesus, begins with the greatest reward of all—receiving forgiveness and being given a new heart and fresh start.  But, faith is more than an initial one-off step, it is an ongoing walk. Read more…

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Jesus Teaches Us to Act and Not Overreact

For many Christian visitors to the Holy Land, it is not how they imagine it to be, nor how they picture it from Bible times. The piercing call to prayer from the minarets scattered around Jerusalem, prompting the city’s Muslim inhabitants of their duty to pray, can be a surprise to the first-time Christian pilgrim. Read more…

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Putting Your Trust in Jesus in a Crisis

When I visited the Sea of Galilee the water shone like a mirror. The sturdy fishing vessels that lined the harbor seemed excessive for such a tranquil setting. Yet, the Sea of Galilee experiences an unsuspecting phenomenon. The “sea” is actually an inland freshwater lake fed by underground springs and by the River Jordan. It sits well below Read more…

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Allowing Jesus in Your Everyday Life

Nestled on the northwest shore of Galilee, Capernaum, lies in ruins. It was deserted long ago. I visited on an October day of bright blue skies. The sun high overhead burned the back of my neck and the tops of my arms. I sought relief under the branches of a Ficus tree, a species of Read more…

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Make Praise in What You Say, Think, and Do

I sing with gusto when it’s one of my favorite worship songs. Standing in semi-darkness, spotlights bathing the stage, the worship band drawing me into the mood, it is easy to give thanks to God in such an atmosphere. Drums, guitars, and the worship leader breaking into song, all invite me to join them in Read more…

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Build Your Life on Foundational Words

When I was a child, my Sunday School class would sing a song about wise and foolish builders. It came with actions. Perhaps you know it. It goes like this: “The wise man built his house upon the rock” — arms spread wide“and the rains came tumbling down” — hands raised high above the head, Read more…

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We must love each other

I’m sure your family is just like mine. We can be kindhearted to each other and get along, but we can also be inconsiderate and fall out. We say nice things one minute, but then criticize behind the other person’s back the next minute. In a crisis, when we should pull together, stress often seems Read more…

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God watches over your life

My husband is insistent that our whole family wears helmets to protect our heads when we ride bikes or go skiing. He purchased me a neon green helmet to wear when I’m zipping down the bike lanes of New York City’s streets. I do not look cool! And he urged me, some years ago, to Read more…

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When You Can’t Do It Alone

I am delighted to welcome my guest Leslie A. McLeod giving encouragement on an important prayer topic—praying with others. If you find yourself having or wanting to pray for a person in need, then you will be reminded of the privilege of doing so. And you can find some valuable guidance on specifically how to pray—keep Read more…

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God says forgive others – again

Forgiving others can be tough to do. It’s hard to forgive people who hurt us or frustrate us—he or she has said something or not said something, done something or not done something. The issues can be big or small, life-changing or microslights, from long ago or more recent, a one-off or persistent. The list Read more…

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God says commit your plans to me

Some of us are better planners than others. My husband, for example, is better at planning to get to the airport for a flight than myself. This is something I have worked on after a badly planned experience. I calculated how long it would take me to drive to the airport and drop off the Read more…

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God says you are his masterpiece

On a visit to a glassblowing and pottery studio in Vermont, I got to watch a potter working on a wheel. The skill with which he turned a grey, wet lump of clay into a beautiful and valuable object was truly amazing. With firm, but gentle, hands he pressed and molded the clay into a Read more…

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God asks “Where are you?”

We can rely on God’s generosity to show compassion and forgiveness and give us a fresh start. When we own up, then we discover God is willing to forgive, forget, and change us from the inside out. 

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God says come close

When we come to God in respect instead of fear of his greatness and holiness, with regret and humility because of our wrongdoing, and with faith in what Jesus has done for us, God comes close to us. He showers us with grace and forgiveness, makes us pure and holy, and gives us protection.

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Advent Prayers

As a child, on the first day of December I would receive an advent calendar. Each day up to December 25, I opened a little door on the calendar to reveal a Christmas image inside. If the idea was to focus on the lead up to the birth of Christ, then it was wasted on Read more…

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Creating an attitude of gratitude

The challenge is to quit complaining, and turn our gripes and grumbles into gratitude to God remembering everything he has done for us and continues to do for us.

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A Prayer Strategy for When You’re Troubled

Worry and sleeplessness seem to go hand-in-hand. Just this last week, running through the details a big event coming up left me tossing and turning, and rearranging my pillows in the hope it would bring the rest I needed.  As someone who believes the promise Philippians 4:6-7 has for us — that bringing our anxieties Read more…

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Prayer Inspired by Christian Meditation

I am delighted to welcome Sarah Geringer as guest on my blog. Sarah and I have known each other for a number of years through Proverbs 31 Ministries’ COMPEL Training for writers. It’s been wonderful to see how God is using Sarah’s gifts and skills as a writer to encourage others. Sarah is an avid Read more…

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When Prayer is a Love Language

Welcome to my guest, Lisa Appelo, who is reminding us that prayer is more than a discipline. Lisa shows us that prayer is part of the love relationship with God through Jesus, our Savior. I am not a disciplined person. My older sister got all the Type-A genes and me? I was the girl who Read more…

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A prayer for When You Need to Trust God

Have you ever considered how much trust we put in people each day? We depend on the barista to give us the best caffeinated coffee they can make. When we go to a restaurant, we count on the chef to keep his kitchen as hygienic as possible. These matters might be of small importance, but Read more…

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Goodbye Anxiety, Hello Joy!

I’m delighted to welcome fellow contributing author, Colette Schaffer, of Whispers of Grace to be sharing with us on the comfort we receive when turning to God our rock if feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Anxiety. It’s a subject we seem to hear a lot of nowadays – especially since the pandemic. Just recently, we watched Read more…

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A Prayer for When We Need Justice

Sometimes I just want to put things right. I want to step in and dispense a dose of justice. Whether it’s, still many years later, confronting the “friends” who bullied my daughter in college to talking sense into those who make racial slurs. Perhaps there is undeserved hurt in your own life, or unfairness inflicted Read more…

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3 Ways to Find Peace When We Face the Heat

I am delighted to welcome Cecille Valoria teaching us lessons from the Hydrangeas in her garden. I encourage you to take to heart and put into practice the three things we need to do to give us peace when we are in trouble and facing the heat. Brutal triple-digit temperatures predominated last week’s weather. This Read more…

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3 Principles to Help You Trust God

Trusting God might be easy to do when life is going well but when things get difficult, trust is much harder. Scripture tells us we have what it takes to build our trust in God and continue to have confidence in our heavenly Father.

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How to Give Depth to Our Prayers

I am delighted to welcome Peg Arnold as my guest this week explaining a structure for prayer that has added depth to her prayers. Even if you are familiar with the ACTS acronym, you will find it useful as a reminder to help you focus when you pray. Peg and I are both contributing authors Read more…

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Why Prayer Includes Being Watchful and Alert

All of us have good intentions when it comes to prayer. Yet, we still find ourselves getting distracted. Perhaps you’re reading this and realizing you haven’t found the time to pray today. Maybe you manage a regular prayer time for a few days, but then your routine gets disrupted by work, children, appointments, or an unwanted crisis. It can seem like everything is stopping us from making prayer a habit.

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Bringing Your Real Words to the Welcoming Heart of God

The welcoming heart of God is at the center of the gospel, and it’s at the center of a praying life. When Jesus offered the invitation, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28), it was not a want ad for the pulled-together and the omni-competent. In A Praying Life, his classic book on prayer, Paul Miller expounds upon the verse this way: “The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.”

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How to Find Comfort Through Prayer

When we are in distress and life is full of problems, we can gain comfort from remembering who God is and giving him praise and thanks at the same time as we cry out to him.

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How to Use Our Imaginations Well

As we grow into adults, all too often the most we use our imaginations for is considering the what-if’s of life. What if I fail that test, miss my plane, get into a car accident, get lost, or I or my loved one get hurt? But what if we consider the positive side? What if we use our imaginations to think on what is lovely, pure and true?

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When Prayers Are Being Answered But Yours is Not

We may not even be aware of our reaction, but comparing how God is answering our prayer to that of someone else’s prayer can lead to our minds running away with all sorts of unhelpful thoughts and questions. Our response to the answers to our prayers, whether they are yes, no, or wait, should be to focus on God and his graciousness shown to us.

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3 Things to Do When You’re Angry with God

Over the years I’ve learned to do three things when I’m furious with the man upstairs. It doesn’t change my circumstances, but it does take me off DEFCON 1 anger alert. I’m more able to cope and feel His peace and love. I can keep my head above water when life threatens to drown me. – Guest Niki Hardy

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When God Says “No” — part 2

Sometimes when our prayers are answered with a “no” it can feel like God is not taking everything into account. Does he know how I feel? Does he know what this means? Does he really think there is good in what has just happened?

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How to Pray for Adult Children

My adult children live their own lives, which can drive me crazy. Maintaining a healthy relationship with them when they make wacky decisions is challenging. But I’m able to restrain myself from nagging or offering unsolicited advice when I talk about it all to Jesus instead of them.

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When God Says “No” — part 1

We live in an imperfect world and with prayers which are not always answered in the way we would like or how we think are best. So how should we react when God says “no” to our requests?

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Recognizing Spiritual Hunger

When I looked back over the weeks that had preceded that day, I discovered that I had been living on spiritual cotton candy–listening to an occasional Christian radio program, sending up prayers on the run. These were good things in themselves but not sufficient as the primary nourishment of my spirit. I ended up with occasional short sugar highs but was malnourished inside.

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When God Says “Wait”

When we’re waiting for our prayers to be answered, we can behave like we’re in a doctor’s waiting room. We may be patient to begin with, but then impatience sets in. We ask God “why ” and “when.” The longer the wait, the harder it becomes. We don’t rest. We can’t relax. “If God answers my prayer, then everything will be okay,” we think.

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When Prayer Feels Empty

If prayer feels empty, we need to keep coming to Him. Keep showing up. Keep seeking Him. He longs for our presence far more than our perfect prayers.

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Praying with Expectation and Hope

Does it seem like you have faced problem after problem this year? In the middle of unusual circumstances, we have a chance to find glimmers of hope and focus on those things, however small, that bring us joy.

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Turning Scripture into Powerful Personal Prayers

Why not take some time in your own devotions, to transpose a portion of Scripture into a powerful personal prayer? Writing it down in a journal will be a great way to keep track of God’s answers in the days to come.

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60-SECOND POWER PRAYERS FOR 60 days

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