4 Challenges to Prayer and 1 Awesome Prayer

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” CS Lewis

I am finding that each morning this is getting easier to get up and leave all devices turned off so that I might talk with my Heavenly Father.  That I might lay before Him the challenges that are before me for today, the longings of my heart, and ever more precious the moments to just sit in His presence letting all thoughts fade into only seeing and delighting in Him.  What a place of peace that brings.

broken-and-contrite-heart-ronald-barbaUsed by permission of Ronald Barba who holds the copyright.  For more information go to http://www.barba-art.com

These are 4 challenges to prayer I have noticed and some helpful hints to overcome them.

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IS THE WAY JESUS PRAYS ACTUALLY VALUABLE FOR ME?

IS THE WAY JESUS PRAYS ACTUALLY VALUABLE FOR ME?

What can I learn from studying the prayer life of Jesus? After all, Christ being the True Son of God and part of the Tri-unity of God; why did He need to pray? He was perfect righteousness; what about the way He prays is of value to the prayer life of someone like me with all my frailties?

Jesus Christ, as Son of God has existed from eternity past as part of the God-head made up of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For anyone struggling with that concept, let me place that in its simplest of terms. Mankind was created in the image of God—body, soul and spirit. So, God is three distinct being (body, soul, and spirit) within one. That truth I will not belabor here. I did in a 2014 series titled, “The Good Pleasure of God’s Will”. Particularly, I addressed this in detail in (Part 2)  of that series

WHY DID CHRIST NEED TO PRAY?

When Christ came to earth in human form, He stepped outside of His immediate presence with His Father and the Holy Spirit. Though He was eternally a part of God-the perfect echoing of God’s essence; He was in human flesh tempted as we are. (Hebrews 4:15).

yskas0034

© Yongsung Kim/Licensed from GoodSalt.com

so that He would be able to redeem you and me. Had He ever chosen to disobey the Father’s commands, He could not pay the price for our sin. The burden of obedience lay very heavily upon His heart. Yet, the human body that He lived in had desires, temptations, hungers, and trials like you and I face. It was in this human state that the perfect righteous of Christ was proven. It was during Christ’s earthly journey that His obedience to the Father’s will was tested and fully manifested as perfect obedience. Because of His perfect obedience, He was able to pay the penalty for mankind’s sin. “14 For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10). If Christ, God’s only begotten son needed to pray; how much more we the adopted children?

We need to look both at the times that Christ prayed and the types of prayers so that we might gain insight into our own prayer lives.

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5 PSALMS TO ASSIST YOUR HEART TO PRAY

5 Psalms to Assist Your Heart to Pray

So, this is day two of our 30 day challenge in prayer.  How are you doing?  I must say that setting aside 30 minutes with no interruptions is not easy at first.  For me the interruptions are my own brain wandering away to other things.   So, what helped me today was the minute my brain seemed to wander: I pulled out my Bible and opened to the Psalms and began to out loud pray the words from the Psalms to God.

broken-and-contrite-heart-ronald-barbaPicture used by permission of Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws.

 A force that will empower us to success and guarantee victory!!!  What will that look like in my life?  I am not certain. What I am certain of:  whatever God’s view of success and victory is for my life, I want that.

Here are the words of  5 Psalms that helped me to focus today.  I hope they inspire you as well.

Psalm 8: O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens…3When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?…9O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

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WHAT ONE THING CAN EMPOWER SUCCESS WITH VICTORY GUARANTEED?

WHAT ONE THING CAN EMPOWER SUCCESS WITH VICTORY GUARANTEED?

 

 

pathway to success

It was 1986 and a time in my life that I felt very defeated as I had moved back into my parents’ home with my children. I worked night shift in ICU and got very little sleep. Perhaps a foolish idea to try to obtain my certification in critical care, since there was no time to study. After all it wasn’t required. Separated from my husband, feeling like a failure; I just wanted to feel successful in something. The test was going to be in St. Louis which was a 3 hour drive from my parent’s home. My plans to go the night before were thwarted when Alberto spiked a high fever. New plan: leave early in the morning. Daddy had gotten home late because he driven the school bus for a sports event. As I got into my car, it began to snow. The farther I drove, the heavier the snow was falling. Then it happened, about an hour into my drive; the lights began to go dim and the car was dying. I was barely able to get it to the side of the road before it died completely. There were no cell phones, it was freezing cold, and no one was on the highway that early in the morning. I walked until I found a gas station. When I called home, Daddy said, “I will be there as soon as I can.”

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Poetry Sunday-Prayer’s Song

Prayer’s Song

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

I come to pray dawn’s early hour

That I might seek Your strength, Your power

Prepare my soul to battle sin

The fears, the doubts that rise within

I do renounce my foolish pride

That in Your Glorious love abide

 

Chorus:

Oh, Lord; I long to see Your face

The wondrous beauty of Your Grace

It is Your love that draws me near

Your Joy that lifts my heart with cheer

Fountains of joy to quench each fire

Until You are my one desire

 

Then as I go about my day

How oft I pause-must stop to pray

A whisper here or whisper there

Your Holy presence rich and fair

Is always there to hear my sigh

To guide my way, my needs supply

 

Chorus:

Oh, Lord; I long to see Your face

The wondrous beauty of Your Grace

It is Your love that draws me near

Your Joy that lifts my heart with cheer

Fountains of joy to quench each fire

Until You are my one desire

 

Then as the day draws near it’s end

I turn to God, my dearest friend

To tell Him of life’s ups and downs

Of all the laughter and the frowns

I fall asleep there in His arms

Safe, secure from all life’s harms

 

Chorus:

Oh, Lord; I long to see Your face

The wondrous beauty of Your Grace

It is Your love that draws me near

Your Joy that lifts my heart with cheer

Fountains of joy to quench each fire

Until You are my one desire

You may safely leave your comments by clicking here.

The artist that drew the picture “A Broken and Contrite Heart” featured on my header  is Ronald Barba.  Please go to his website ( http://www.barba-art.com) for information regarding obtaining copies or to commission him to create a masterpiece for you.  Feel free to email him at Ron@Barba-Art.com to discuss any art projects.

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Really, God? That is the battle plan for Victory?

Really, God? That is the battle plan for Victory?

Truth is hard sometimes. Today it felt like a knife ripping through my heart. A Battle was raging within my spirit and I needed to know the battle plan. I needed to know God’s battle plan for my life. When I started my blog in 2010, I started it with one purpose in mind. I wanted just to tell any weary disheartened soul that might find my page; “There is hope in Christ.” Occasionally along this path of blogging, speaking and writing; I get caught in the dream of growing this to where I could do it full time. How glorious it be to be able to make a living helping people find a joyous life in Christ!! Yet, I have been unwilling to compromise and allow advertising on my site; because, I haven’t found a way to control the advertising well enough. I want the message of Christ to go out to the world!! Not a bunch of conflicting commercials that may cause harm.   For me the time, the money and the work I do with this website is a labor of love first and foremost for my Savior and for you whomever might come to read for a while.

smcas0189© Steve Creitz/Licensed from GoodSalt.com

REFLECTION AND REFOCUS

Today I realized that once more I had allowed myself to become concerned about “growing my numbers and pressing forward to success.” I have been studying, rewording, revamping and doing what all the sources say do. That is not the problem. The problem comes only if I lose sight of the true purpose for which I began this ministry.

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How to Actually Conquer Your Fear of Inadequacy

How to Actually Conquer Your Fear of Inadequacy

Sometime in 2005 the desire to be an orator for God began. It was about the same time that I was drawn to writing “A Broken and Contrite Heart.” I began to study, pray, and journal as I prepared to write this book. Occasional words of poetry began to be also in my journal. Still there was another voice inside that paralyzed me from continuing, “Why would God choose me to speak or write? I had speech therapy as a child and I still sometimes stutter when I get nervous. I don’t have any special talent like comedy or singing to draw the people. I am just me. If the people look deep and discover how often I have failed in this Christian walk, the times I have been filled with trembling fear, or lost my way because of jealousy-anger; they might condemn me. Instead of helping God, I might just mess things up. Why would anyone want to hear my story?” Still, deep within me a soft voice pushed me forward.

fear-of-inadequacy_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUST TELL YOUR STORY

Then, I heard David Ring say, “If you want to make an impact for Christ, just tell your story.” So, I began; but only intermittently until emergency surgery forced me to sit down for two months. I had to smile, as I told God, “I guess I have run out of excuses. I will finish the book now.” I did and I published it later that year. My hesitation had been my own fear of inadequacy. I was so afraid that I might fail God in what I wrote. Or worse, if I let people too close and they see my scars will God be embarrassed of me. Sound familiar? It is the story of almost every one of God’s Biblical Heroes of Faith. God was so kind that in each of their stories, He included all the blemishes and all the failures in the narratives of their stories. Yet, in Hebrews 11; they still were the heroes. That is God’s amazing Grace and love. He chooses ordinary people (like me) to do His extraordinary work.

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7 Steps to an Unconditionally Joyous Heart-Absolutely Free

7 Steps to an Unconditionally Joyous Heart-Absolutely Free

In September of 2013, I was accused falsely of having committed a “crime “against the company where I had faithfully served for 10 years. The so called crime had been invested for 9 months unbeknownst to me.  It, without my knowledge, had been discussed at every board meeting from January until September. I had not done anything wrong, nor thought of doing anything wrong; so indeed, the news of this had been a shock to me.   When all the dust had settled, I was cleared of any wrong.  What was obvious to me that one power hungry medical assistant had been the catalyst. The events actually lead to my placing my resignation exactly at God’s timing for me to make the move He had already ordained. Although, in September; I understood what God was doing. I, even told my boss, “All of this was God’s hand at work. God had whispered that I should be leaving for Missouri. He blinded your eyes to the truth, so that the whisper would become a shout. I have to go. Something I would have resisted because of my devotion to this company. You have been like a brother to me all these years; but, I have to leave.” Understanding the truth that God ordained everything should have meant the incident was over in my own heart and mind, right?  Yes, it should have.  However, in my heart I was angry and hurt.  The anger, the resentment toward my accuser, and the pain should have been gone. But it wasn’t for quite some time.

me and Pete

For that moment in my life, it didn’t. You see, there was still that darkness within my own heart.

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Poetry Sunday: Oh Father, I Love You

On this Father’s Day, I want to give tribute to all you father’s out there who so exemplify Christ in your sacrificial love and devotion to your family.  I learned so much from my earthly father who went to join my brother in heaven in 1993.  I have written many poems and tributes to him.  One such tribute was “I Am His Child”

Today, I was drawn to write a poem about my precious heavenly Father who has loved me with His Everlasting love, unconditionally.

Oh Father, I Love You

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

Oh, Father I came to you first in my youth

Ready to run and tell of Your truth

I studied and worked to make you so proud

You’d see all I’d done- I’m not like the crowd

 

Polished and shined Your Glory I’d show

From mountaintops shout to the valleys below

I knew I could do it-then you would see

All of my beauty-then you’d love me

 

Then came the years when all seemed so wrong

I fell to the ground-crushed by the throng

Though I struggled so hard with all of my might

Nothing seemed good, nothing seemed right

 

Oh Father, my Father; I don’t understand

Weary and worn by the years in this land

I’ve failed you so often, I’ve made Your heart sad

When all that I wanted was to make your heart glad

 

All of the struggles, the trials of life

The sickness, the pain, the sorrow and strife

I’m covered with scars, the battles I’ve lost

While chasing vain dreams at such a high cost

 

“Dear Child don’t you see it is all as I planned

So, please, my dear child, come take my hand

Your beauty doth shine more bright than the stars

Aglow with a radiance shone forth from the scars

 

Your eyes are so tender, washed by a tear

My Grace to reflect to all who draw near

Your heart that was broken-stripped of your will

A vessel now emptied- my spirit could fill

 

Oh, how I love you, my child don’t you see

I’ve heard every whisper, I’ve heard every plea

It was I who held you in the dark of the night

I sang you a love song until the dawn light

 

I’ve watched how you’ve grown, the love in your heart

That sparkle of joy you to strangers impart

You could not become the person you are

Were it not for the tears or occasional scar

 

I’m so proud of you child, all you’ve become

I’ll shout from the heavens, my child “Well Done”

You’ve been faithful and true through all of your life

Through the trials, the heart breaks, and even the strife

 

Covered with righteousness bought by my son

Redeemed you have been, your victory won

You never were meant to win by your might

The battle was mine, mine only to fight”

 

Oh, Father, I love you with all of my heart

My greatest treasure you’ve been from the start

The Joy I know now, came from all those years

A precious, rare gift  that you gave me through tears

 

If you want to leave a tribute to your father, please feel free to do so here—COMMENT HERE.

The artist that drew the picture “A Broken and Contrite Heart” featured on my header  is Ronald Barba.  Please go to his website ( http://www.barba-art.com) for information regarding obtaining copies or to commission him to create a masterpiece for you.  Feel free to email him at Ron@Barba-Art.com to discuss any art projects.

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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When is Devastating Pain Actually God’s Wondrous Grace?

When is Devastating Pain Actually God’s Wondrous Grace?

When I look back over all the years of my life; I am amazed by God’s Grace. How many times have I run ahead of God? How many times have I tried to help him accomplish his plans in my life, my way-not His? How often have I been impatient or pouted even because I couldn’t see His blessings? How often have I said, “If you would only…., then I could serve you better.” It has been God’s gracious hand that has lead me each step of the way. There have been moments of devastating pain along this journey. Yet, I have found those moments of devastating pain-both physical and emotional; were actually God’s Wondrous Grace working out His plan for my life in spite of me. Much like the life of Jacob, recorded in Genesis. Still Jacob made God’s “faith hall of fame” Hebrews 11, “21By faith, Jacob … worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.”

prcas0633 (1)© Providence Collection/Licensed from GoodSalt.com

JACOB WAS HUMBLED THAT HE MIGHT RECEIVE GOD’S SOVEREIGN BLESSING.

WHY WAS JACOB LEANING ON HIS STAFF?

Jacob had wrestled with God throughout the beginning of his walk with God. He wanted to do things his own way.  Pride, arrogance, and fear all were part of his life. There came a moment in his walk with God, that he came face to face with the truth of his utter unworthiness. It was a moment of devastating pain that allowed Jacob to actually see God’s Wondrous Grace. God touched his hip and he fell to the ground. He would from that day forward walk with a limp and require a staff to lean on; but, it was there that he realized God’s Grace gave him life. None of his own works could make him worthy. All that God bestowed upon him was a gift of a Sovereign God who would accomplish His plan for Jacob’s life because God chose to and not because Jacob deserved anything. That is Amazing, Wondrous Grace!! Join me as I tell you Jacob’s story.

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