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B Moments, remodel

Lent Is the Perfect Time to Remodel Your Prayers

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today I am out of the studio, but I am still thinking about how Lent is the perfect time to remodel our prayers.

I always see the Lent season as a time to go deeper spiritually, so I’ll often look at how I’ve evolved in some ways and where my work lies in others. It feels like I’m focusing on the before and after. Imagine you’re watching HGTV and you see the before and after images of a house that has been remodeled.

For example, I can remember the days when my prayers were very “me” centered. I would get on my knees and would sometimes even pull out a writing pad to put my prayer requests in writing just in case God missed my verbal request.

I was so absorbed in my own needs when I prayed this way. I spoke my prayer requests as if I was rattling off my Christmas wish list. The tone of these prayers was always “me, me, me.”

While Scriptures, such as Mark 11:24 teach us, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you,” they also teach us that we should continually mature in our spiritual walk.

Therefore, I have since learned the importance of kneeling before God and worshiping who He is before I engage in any type of request. I’ve also learned to pray for things beyond my immediate needs and the needs of my family and friends. Finally, I’ve learned to give thanks before asking.

What is the before and after picture of your prayer life? Can you see how it has evolved over the years? As you think about that, remember these words: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t let your prayers be too “me” centered.

B Moments, expect

Expect the Unexpected When God Answers Your Prayer

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Daniel 4:3 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today I am encouraging you to expect the unexpected. By this I mean that it’s important to keep an open mind about who or what God chooses to work through.

Recently I was reading about the Israelites and their long journey toward the Promised Land. They became very hungry and thirsty along the way, so God instructed Moses to command a nearby rock to pour out its water.

Moses struck the rock twice with his staff, and suddenly water spurted forth. There was actually enough water to satisfy both the people and their livestock.

After reading this passage, I thought to myself that we just never know who or what God will use to meet our needs. Moses and Aaron only saw a rock, so they didn’t think twice about that rock being their source for water—even though that is what ultimately ended up quenching their thirst.

In the same way, we may judge a person or a new opportunity and quickly dismiss it for not being a source that can fulfill our need. I know this is especially true for me because I oftentimes become fixated on one way a problem can be solved, and lose sight of all the other ways God can solve things.

Sometimes it is the one we least expect or the new opportunity we resist the most through which God will choose to answer our prayers. In what area of your life do you need to expect the unexpected?

As you think about that, remember these words: “How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion endures from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:3 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, expect the unexpected.

B Moments, intimate relationship

God Hears Your Spoken and Unspoken Prayers

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalms 66:19 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about what is really going on when God answers our prayers.

In this series, we’ll be focusing on God’s intimate relationship with us. To gain a better understanding of just how intimate our relationship is with God, it’s important to understand His three key attributes.

God is omniscient, which means He knows everything about you. He’s omnipresent, which means He goes everywhere with you. And He’s omnipotent, which means He has the infinite power to fulfill the desires of your heart, if that is His will for you at that time.

David makes this level of intimacy even clearer in Psalm 139. He says, “Lord, you’ve examined my heart and you know everything about me. You know when I sit down and stand up. You know my every thought. You know what I’m about to say even before I say it.”

This prompted me to think about how God hears our prayers. Specifically, it made me recall the story about Abraham’s servant.

One day, Abraham put his servant on an important assignment where the stakes were very high. His servant was both fretful and exhausted, so he stopped to pray. God, of course, was with him. He knew what the servant would pray about before he opened his mouth. God answered his prayers before the servant even opened his eyes.

If you are a little tired and fretful, be comforted in knowing that you’re in an intimate relationship with God. He knows your prayers before you even utter them to Him. As you embrace that idea, cling to these words: “But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.” Pslams 66:19 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that God hears your prayers, both spoken and unspoken.

B Moments, turmoil

During Political Turmoil, God’s Plan Is Already Underway

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Habakkuk 2:3 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about when it seems all is lost.

When I turn on the news these days, it feels as though we are living in political turmoil. For comfort, I turn to the book of Habakkuk, the prophet who also felt as though he was living in a day of political turmoil. It was this turmoil, and the fact that Habakkuk thought that his prayers weren’t being answered, that caused him to engage in a pretty dramatic dialogue with God.

The book opens with Habakkuk’s complaint. In verse 1 he says, “Oh Lord, how long shall I cry for help and you will not hear?…why do you idly look at wrong?” Habakkuk 1:2-3 (ESV). He also believed that God was allowing sin to go unpunished and that God’s inactivity had caused the injustices of the day to become even worse.

However, in the second part of chapter 1, starting at verse 5, God answers Habakkuk. He inspires him with the idea that He has already begun to answer Habakkuk’s prayers. In fact, in verse 5 God tells him, “For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” Habakkuk 1:5 (ESV)

Sometimes we can be surrounded by political turmoil, or even personal turmoil, and wonder how much more has to happen before God takes action. Be inspired today that He is already acting. As you do so, remember these words: “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that all is not lost.

B Moments, promptly

God Will Respond to Your Prayers Promptly

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

Today, I am reminding us about how promptly God responds.

In this series, I am thinking about all of the ways God will move to comfort us. One way He comforts us often is by hearing our prayers and responding to them promptly.

This was precisely the case for King Hezekiah, who strived to follow in the footsteps of King David. He also genuinely trusted in God as he took away all of the shrines and false gods that his people had been worshiping for years.

However, fourteen years into his reign, an enemy king named Sennacherib came against Judah. He demanded that Hezekiah pay him eleven tons of silver and one ton of gold. To get that much, Hezekiah had to take all of the silver from the temple and all of the gold off of the doors.

Yet even after Hezekiah paid him, Sennacherib came back asking for more. This time, he wanted to take over Judah entirely.

When Hezekiah learned this, he went to the temple, crying out before the Lord and begging God to open His ears to his prayers. God heard his cries and responded promptly. That very night, an angel of the Lord killed 185,000 men in Sennacherib’s army, including Sennacherib himself.

Whatever situation you need God to respond to, remember that you serve a God who has the ability to respond promptly. As you turn your situation over to Him, remember these words: “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that He is responding now.

B Moments, evolved

Take the Time to Remodel Your Prayers

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Today, I am reflecting on how our prayers have evolved.

In this series, we’re focusing on our before and after. Imagine you’re watching HGTV and you see the before and after images of a house that has been remodeled. The same can be true for our spiritual growth.

For example, I can remember the days when my prayers were very “me” centered. I would get on my knees and would sometimes even pull out a writing pad to put my prayer requests in writing just in case God missed my verbal request.

I was so absorbed in my own needs when I prayed this way. I spoke my prayer requests as if I was rattling off my Christmas wish list. The tone of these prayers was always “me, me, me.”

While Scriptures such as Mark 11:24 teach us, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you,” they also teach us that we should continually mature in our spiritual walk.

Therefore, I have since learned the importance of kneeling before God and worshiping who He is before I engage in any type of request. I’ve also learned to pray for things beyond my immediate needs and the needs of my family and friends. Finally, I’ve learned to give thanks before asking.

What is the before and after picture of your prayer life? Can you see how it has evolved over the years? As you think about that, reflect on these words: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t let your prayers be too “me” centered.

B Moments, walk

The Before and After of Your Spiritual Walk

While watching HGTV, we often find inspiration in the before and after pictures of a remodeled house. In reality, a similarly impressive makeover can be seen in the evolution of our spiritual path. Continuously growing spiritually, we strive to ceaselessly deepen our connection with God, finding new ways to strengthen and transform our spiritual walk.

Here are 3 ways to evolve spiritually:

  1. Take the time to remodel your prayers. In Mark 11:24, we learn that “if you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” This verse and our knowledge that God is all powerful and can bring any and all of our desires to fruition may lead us to treat our prayers like a Christmas wish list. Instead of delving into our relationship with the Lord, we may just rattle off what we want and call it a night. However, the Scriptures teach us that it is imperative we continuously mature in our spiritual walk, meaning we need to outgrow this self-centered form of prayer in favor of selfless worship. Today, put God first by truly worshiping Him and giving thanks for your blessings before praying for yourself and your family. As you think about that, reflect on these words: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 (ESV)
  2. Shift your priorities toward God. It is easy to put yourself and your own interests first in your day to day life; in fact, this was exactly how Peter behaved. Peter thought about fishing morning, noon, and night, going out on his boat when he was happy and retreating to fishing when he was defeated. Yet there came a time when his spiritual walk evolved and his priorities shifted. One night, he and some of the disciples went on an unsuccessful fishing trip. As they rowed back, they saw Jesus on the shore and heard him call out that there were more fish than they could imagine just beside their boat. However, instead of excitedly lowering the net, Peter jumped straight into the water and swam to shore: Jesus was now the most important thing in his life. Today, shift your own priorities toward God to transform your spiritual walk. As you do so, remember these words: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
  3. Let your heart come full circle. Not only can we transform our own spiritual walk by remodeling our prayers and shifting our priorities, but we can also open our hearts to allow others to change us for the better. Before Joshua conquered Jericho, he sent two spies ahead to stay in the house of Rahab, a former prostitute. During their time there, Rahab asked them question after question about their God, and her heart was touched by their answers. In fact, she began wishing that their Lord could become her God as well. The heart that had once guided her to prostitution had come full circle and now yearned to know God. Today, open your heart to God and allow it to come full circle. As you do so, remember these words: “I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 11:19 (ESV)

Today, turn your blues to blessings by continually remodeling your spiritual path.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15 (ESV)

Share this reflection with 5 others, and click here to order your copy of Blues to Blessings: from Fearful to Faithful today.

B Moments, problem solver

Make Time for the Problem Solver Today

B Moments, problem solver

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Isaiah 40:28 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about the way in which, even now, we still don’t realize what God, our problem solver, will do for us.

After the Lord’s supper, Jesus began to prepare his disciples for his physical departure. He told them that they shouldn’t be troubled. Clearly they trusted God, so now they simply had to trust in Christ. Jesus told them that if they knew who he was, then they also knew who his father was.

However, the disciples were still somewhat confused, so Philip responded by stating that if the Lord would show them the Father, they would be satisfied. Jesus’ reply? “Don’t you even yet know who I am?”

Phillip’s response reminded me of how we sometimes behave today. Even now, we doubt. After all of the ways God has shown Himself to us, we remain unconvinced. We tell ourselves that we just need God to reveal Himself in our current dilemma—just one more time—and we will feel satisfied. Sometimes until he does, a cloud of doubt hovers over us.

If Jesus speaks to us like his disciples, I feel as though he might be asking us, too, why we don’t yet know who he is after all the times he revealed himself to us, answering both our spoken and our unspoken prayers.

When we focus more on the problems of the day, rather than on our problem solver, we regress spiritually.

Instead, let us dwell on who God is by clinging to these words: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, dwell on your problem solver.

b moments, prayers

While on My Knees, God Answered

b moments, prayers

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalms 66:19 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about how our prayers have already been answered. Recently, I talked about how Abraham sent his servant on a long journey to find a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham took this matter very seriously as he even made the servant take an oath prior to his departure.

The servant, however, feared that he might not be able to fulfill his assignment.  He worried that it would be difficult to find the ideal wife who was also willing to travel so far from her homeland to marry Abraham’s son.

The servant set out anyway. One day during his trip, he reached a town very tired and weary.  Shortly after resting, he decided to pray.  In Genesis 24:12 he prayed – “…help me to accomplish the purpose of my journey.”

Imagine the pressure he felt.  It would be similar to the pressure that one would feel if their boss gave them an assignment that their entire department was counting on for them to successfully complete.  To release this pressure, the servant began to pray fervently.  

The scripture reveals that while he was praying, a woman named Rebekah appeared.  Rebekah is the one who provided water for him and his ten camels, and she is also the one who would ultimately become Isaac’s wife.

God answered his prayers while he was praying.

The Words that inspire me are, “But God did listen. He paid attention to my prayers.” Psalms 66:19 (NLT)

Tomorrow, let’s talk about how we might try to assist God. Please share this reflection with others, as they desire to be inspired.

So today, be encouraged that while you’re on your knees, God may have just answered your prayer.