March 8, 2005

Encouragement for Today

"Popsicles"

Leigh Gray

Key Verse:

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance to God's will." Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)

Devotion:

Do you ever go through a time in your prayer life when you just don't know what to say or better yet, you just don't know how to express your thoughts and feelings? I try to sit down, concentrate on what the Lord may be revealing to me and, when it is time to speak back to Him, I just go blank and sometimes even fall asleep.

It's like being in a conversation with someone. You ramble on and on about things that are happening in your life or concerns that are gripping your heart. You continue, without taking a breath, until you suddenly stop and realize that no one is listening or, at the very least, no one is connecting with you. You have been totally misunderstood or they now know for sure that you are a little "off". If you just had an interpreter!

One day, while sitting outside eating Popsicles, my 20 month old shouted in a confident way, "FHIEIREIlkdirahHTEuhndkfh!" She went on and on. I thought she would never stop. There was obviously a lot she needed to get across, and I was listening, just not connecting with her.

I guess my 3-year-old son could tell by the confusion on my face, that I did not understand her and needed an interpreter. With his hands out to the side in his preachy way and a "duh" look on his face, he explained, "Momma, she said that she wants another Popsicle and then she wants to go swing. And actually she wants a blue one and so do I."

That is when it hit me like a ton of bricks. Sometimes we may not know exactly what to say to the Lord, and we may be very confused in our words. It is then that the Holy Spirit takes our true intentions and translates them to the Father in a way that only He can understand. The connection is made.

I believe it is so important to praise and worship God, to seek forgiveness and even make our requests known to the Father in our prayers. It is not about how eloquent or impressive we can be! Most importantly, we need to take the time, daily, to spend with Him and He will teach us just what to say.

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Please teach me to pray! I know what I want to say, but I can't always get it out...pretty. Lord, I know that is not what really matters. I know that talking with You consistently is what matters. Help me to take time for You everyday and thank You for always being there to listen! I love You! Amen

Application Steps:

Commit today to spending quiet time daily with God.

Go to a quiet place, e.g., your bedroom, your bedroom closet, a private corner in the family room. If you don't know what to say, relax. Be silent. Wait. He knows. Read a favorite Psalm.

Reflection Points:

When are the times you are most confused about how to pray?

What is it about those situations that cause you to be tongue-tied?

Read Mark 6:30 - 31. What did Jesus call His disciples to do? Why?

Power Verses:

"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Matthew 6:7-8 (NASB)

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen." Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

"He said to them, 'When you pray, say; Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.' " Luke 11:2-4 (NIV)

"Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people)." Ephesians 6:18 (AMP)

"Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them." Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

"Even now, my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God." Job 16:19-20 (NIV)

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1 (KJ)

"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.' " Mark 6:31 (NIV)

Additional Resources:

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanlistens.html

Prayer Closet - Proverbs 31 Ministries website, www.proverbs31.org

A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life - Finding God's Refreshing Priorities for You by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/secretbalanced.html