Tag Archives: Heart

Tuesday Tidbit- Growing in Prayer

I have the privilege of leading a weekly woman’s Bible study.  We are currently going through Stormie Omartian’s book and study guide “Prayer Warrior”.    I don’t think many people regularly put these two words together, so it might seem like a strange book title to you.  Either way  I hope you will grow in prayer with me as I share how I’m growing in this study.

In the first chapter Stormie shares why our attitude toward prayer needs to be deeper than the basic morning, night time, and meal time prayers.  Life as a follower of Christ places us in the middle of a unseen battle that calls us to live as prayer warriors in Christ’s army. The apostle Paul writes about this battle in the book of Ephesians and goes into detail of our response in Ephesians 6:10 -18.  Where he describes the Armor of God we are given and the two weapons his warriors are given the sword of the Spirit(the word of God) and prayer guided by the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18).   If you are not familiar with Ephesians 6 take some time to read it.  I believe it is foundational for recognizing the battle of good and evil is real and continues daily.

Do believe there is an devil?  Do you believe he has plans for the destruction of you and your loved ones?  The most dangerous position to be in a battle is in-between two fighting forces- the impact zone.  We can find ourself there when we live our life in blissful ignorance.  Choosing to ignore the warning signs that we are entering a danger zone.  Please don’t ignore this sign today.  Step into the protected zone.  You might still be wondering what is a prayer warrior?

Stormie defines it as a person who “has a heart of compassion for suffering people and bad situations, and desires to do something to make a difference.”  The heart of a prayer warrior fulfills Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  It is a person who prays for others using the truth of God’s Word lead and prompted by the Holy Spirit.  Here are Seven questions from “Prayer Warrior” that  Stormie proposes as insights into the heart of of prayer warrior.

Do you have the heart of a prayer warrior:

  1. See suffering and it bothers you?
  2. Recognize evil proliferating the world?
  3. Experienced injustice in your life or identify it in the lives of others?
  4. Observe wrong things happening around you and want to right them?
  5. Have certain people heavy on your heart and it concerns you but are unsure why?
  6. Observe tragic situations happening to others and feel helpless to to anything to stop it?
  7. Become grieved in your spirit when you see blatant disregard for God and His ways?

If you said “yes” to any of the questions you have the heart of a prayer warrior.  Are you surprised?   I’m not, I think because as God’s children, who are being transformed into Christ’s image we can’t help but have heart of prayer warrior.  Christ was a prayer warrior in John 17:6 -26 he prays for his followers both current and yet to come.  I don’t know about you but I think it is pretty clear we all have a role a prayer warrior.  The question is will we answer the call?

When we say “yes Lord I am willing to be your prayer warrior” we are taking a step closer to the Lord so we can hear his heartbeat.  I hope you are taking that step.  I know it is a scary one.  It might be overwhelming because you don’t feel prepared or ready to pray in this new way.   We can grow together.  Keep meeting me here as I share insights from my experience and the book.

Call to Action:

Read Ephesians 6: 10 -18

What verse stands out to you today?

Who or what are you burdened to pray for today?

Personalize this scripture as a prayer for you today:

Prayer adapted from Ephesians 6: 10-12; 18

” Lord help me be strong in You Lord and in Your mighty power.  Remind me to daily put on the full armor of God, so that  I can take my stand against the devil’s schemes.  For my struggle’s are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, again the powers of the dark world and again the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  “Please Lord teach me to pray according to your Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  Keep me alert and always praying for the Lord’s people.”  In Jesus precious name, Amen

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

 

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Week #46 Proverbs 4:23

Proverbs 4:23

“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”

Happy Veterans Day to all of my Veteran friends!  I thank you dearly for your selfless service to our country and pray for your continued peace and protection.

It is hard to believe we are in the middle of November already!  For many, this time of year for many marks the preparation for the amazing holidays ahead and for reflection on all the memories already made.

Part of my reflection is the journey of these weekly “Wisdom Wellspring” page posts.  Each one has taken shape in a way that reflects where the Lord is taking me that particular week.  This weeks verse, Proverbs 4:23, is the verse I chose because putting the Word of God at the forefront of our minds creates a mighty fortress; a fortress that will guard our hearts above everything else.   Our heart is a wellspring that our choices, our attitudes, our responses, and our wisdom flow.

What is the overflow of your heart?

How is your security system?  ~~  Do you need an upgrade?

Philippians 4:6-7 is a good place to start when looking for guidance on a security upgrade.  Check out this related “wisdom wellspring” post.  Click here.

Keep the wellspring of your life vibrant with the living water of God’s Word and watch your life  and those around you flourish!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #42 Psalm 27:13-14

Psalm 27:13-14

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Last week we talked about having to wait and this week we are again being encouraged in our waiting.  I love it!   Psalm 27:13-14 inspires me to remember why I can be confident in the Lord, why I can be strong, and why I should take heart in the Lord even as I wait for the Lord.  How can I do it?

Be Confident:  I have to take time to recall the Lord’s faithfulness in the past and reinforce my attitude of thanksgiving.  Sometimes when the waiting has been lengthy or the situation isn’t looking very good I have to literally write out my list.

What do you do?

Be Strong:  I get my strength from the Lord and do my best waiting when I keep myself in a prayerful mindset.  I usually turn to a verse that speaks to what I’m waiting on the Lord for and personalize it in prayer.

What do you do?

 

Take Heart:  I keep my heart connected to and focused on the Lord.  The word “take” gives a picture of capturing and controlling my heart as an act of power to continue to turn to the Lord for strength as I wait on him to lead me through my situation.  Again, it calls me to turn to the power of the Word of God to fortify my heart with his truth. Usually, I start with Philippians 4:8-9.

What do you do?

However we do it we must~

Be Confident, Be Strong, and Take Heart in the Lord alone!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #39 Romans 12:11-12

Romans 12:11-12

“Never be lacking in zeal , but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

As followers of Christ we best represent our Savior when our life is lived out with zeal and spiritual fervor as Paul shares here in Romans 12:11-12. He suggests zealous living is evident in those who serve the Lord. Our zeal shines through as evidence of our joyful hope, our patience in affliction, and our faithfulness in prayer.

Self reflection is always good.  Let’s do a zeal heart check.

Heart Check Questions:

Are we serving the Lord?

Are we joyful in our hope in the Lord?

Are we patient in affliction?

Are we faithful in prayer?

 

Our heart check helps us to refocus and help us be more intentional about staying plugged into our power source for zeal and spiritual fervor.

 

 

Click here to dig deep with a look at staying connected with our power source

 

 

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #31 Hebrews 4:12

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This verse is a powerful reminder of why we are to daily read and think on the word of God.  If we are truly seeking the Lord then prayerfully reading His word will be a continuous part of our relationship with Him.  To prayerfully read the word of God in a thoughtful manner that allows it to soak into the fabric of our heart is key to growing in deeper relationship with the Lord.

The writer of Hebrews ensures us we won’t be disappointed~

The Word of God is~

Active and Alive Daily fresh and relevant to sustain us like the daily mana sustained the Israelites in the desert.

Penetrating Sharpness– Personalized and specific to our lives needs for healing and restoration.

Judges– Reveals His truth in our thought life and hearts.

Lord, as we read your word this day open our hearts and minds to experience your word as it is alive, active, with penetrating-sharpness, and truthful judge of us each individually.  We desire to be drawn closer in daily relationship with you.  Speak to us through your Word.  Thank you for your word and it’s life giving power.

In Jesus Holy name, Amen

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 14 Wisdom Builder 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7:14

” if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear fro heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Maybe this is a familiar verse for you like it is for me.  I was first introduced to 2 Chronicles 7:14  when I was a National Day of Prayecoordinator for our Chapel in 2006.  I’ve always seen it as a call to prayer for the people on behalf of our nation.  But in studying the original context of this verse I have discovered it’s richness extends beyond a call to prayer.

These words of the Lord were spoken to King Solomon at the completion of building the Temple in Jerusalem.  The Lord appeared to him at night following  fourteen days of celebration of the Lord filling the Temple with his glory and  the Festival of Feast of Tabernacles with the people of Israel.  The people all went home joyful and glad.   While Solomon’s experience continued with a visit from the Lord.  God chose to personnally tell him that he heard his prayer of dedication(that is recorded in 2 Chronicles 6: 14-42(hover over this passage location to read it)).   Take a moment to read the prayer.  It is fascinating.   If you read the complete response, 2 Chronicles 7:12 – 22, you will recognize it as though Father God is continuing his conversation with Solomon.  He responds to him with the same phrases that Solomon used in his prayer.   I love it.  It is another sweet example of how relational and intentional the Lord is with his people.  We should find hope in this verse for many reasons.

  1. It is reassurance that the Lord listens and responds to his people.
  2. The Lord himself gave guidance for how to approach him:
    • in prayer
    • by seeking his face
    • by turning from our wicked ways
  3. The Lord is in heaven ready:
    • to hear our humble prayer
    • to respond with forgiveness
    • to respond with healing

Don’t we have such an amazing Father in heaven!  He is loving and holy.   We are to approach him in reverent humility.  The Lord is fully aware of our inability to live holy as he is without his righteousness covering our sin(Romans 3:21-31).  Solomon’s father King David knew this from personal experience and he certainly passed down, to his son, his understanding of God’s heart as David expressed it in Psalm 51:16 -17.  David approached the Lord with a sacrifice of his “broken and contrite heart”, rather than one for the altar, because he knew the Lord delighted in a heart submitted to him more than a sacrifice of grain or burnt offering, as prescribed in the Law of the Old Testament.  Both of these King’s experienced God the Father in a very unique personal relationship because they were chosen by him to rule his people and they responded to the Lord’s heart with reverence.  Before the new covenant, consummated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, only a few chosen people were able to experience God the Father in a personal relationship(2 Corinthians 3: 1-18).  Now, under the new covenant, we are called the temple of the Holy Spirit(1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  The quality and closeness of our relationship with the Lord is a matter of our heart condition.

How would you describe your heart relationship with the Lord?

I encourage each of us to take time this week to humble ourselves before the Lord in an attitude of prayer as we seek his face.  When we do this we are better prepared to respond to his prompts to turn from any wickedness that has crept in-between us.   When we seek the heart of the Lord we can be fully assured that he will hear us from heaven and respond in love with forgiveness and healing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new way to look at our treasure verse this week.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #12 Wisdom Builder 2 Corinthians 7:10

Wow it is hard to believe this is the twelfth week of 2017 already!  Twelve treasure verses down and forty more left to discover this year.  This week we will reflect on 2 Corinthians 7:10 with the purpose of storing it in our hearts.

Godly sorrow.  What does it mean to you?  Can you recall a time that you experienced sorrow?  Romans 2:4 suggests that “Godly sorrow” is our personal awareness in response of the “riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience” towards humanity and us individually.  The very purpose of the Lord’s kindness is to lead us to repentance because his desire for us is to experience his gift of salvation that “leaves no regrets.”   I believe “the no regrets” it’s referring to is eternal life.   Which is opposite of those who only have worldly sorrow– regret or sorriness of not achieving a standard or goal rather than in response to God’s kindness.

We all experience some level of sorrow and regret in life because none of us have the ability to achieve perfection in this world.   I am challenged daily with where my sorriness leads me.   I know I am naturally very selfish in my thinking and actions.  This tendency permits me to regularly view life through the lens of my perspective rather than God’s perspective.  Reflecting on this verse reminds me that I should be more concerned with how my actions or lack of action effects my relationship with the Lord and others desire for relationship with him- “Godly sorrow”.  Rather than personal regret or embarrassment for how my choice has effected my reputation, my opportunities, my relationships, or my life in general.   I hope you get the point.

Recognition of the perspective we are looking at our life from is the first step in following the kindness of God to repentance that builds a solid relationship with him full of love and grace rather than empty regrets.  Chances are as you read this something has stirred within and brought to mind a time when you too experienced remorse.  May I suggest that the weight of any regrets we have now is pale in comparison to the regret we will experience in eternity if it is spent separated from God.  Jesus spoke of the tormenting regret that awaits those who only respond to his kindness with “worldly sorrow” in Luke 16: 19 -31.  The scene ends with a rich man in Hades.  After living his life of luxury with a selfish perspective.  He is now living in eternal torment begging for relief as he looked into paradise where “Father Abraham” could see and hear his pleas for water and rescue.   Abraham replied “between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”(Luke 16:26)  The rich man then begged Abraham to send someone to warn his five brothers who were still alive “so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”(Luke 16:28)  My prayer is that those within my influence will experience the kindness of God and refocus their perspective to build a solid relationship with Christ.

Which lens are you looking through today?  God’s perspective or yours?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring“. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #10 Wisdom Builder Romans 5:8

This weeks treasure verse is Romans 5:8.  Here we are reminded of God’s demonstration of his love for us.  He chose the proof of his extravagant, never ending love to be one matchless in cost,  immeasurable in accomplishment, and pure perfection all in one.  The one true God displayed his enduring love for sinful humanity when he provided the only acceptable sacrifice— his very own sinless Son, Jesus Christ– required for the canceling out of all the sins of humanity.  God did not wait for us to recognize our sin and then demonstrate his love for us.  No, he showed “his love while we were still sinners”.   This kindness extended by the Lord was done with the purpose of leading humanity to repentance(Romans 2:4) and reconciliation with himself to experience intimate relationship with him once again. A relationship like he shared with Adam and Eve before sin entered our world(Genesis 3:1-24).  I encourage us each to take a moment to reflect on the extravagance of the Lord’s sacrifice to reestablish a direct

personal relationship with us.  How does his sacrifice speak to your heart?

Lent season, a time to reflect on our lives in light of the meaning and results of Jesus sacrifice, started last Wednesday.  Some choose to set aside this 40 days before resurrection Sunday(Easter April 16th,2017) to reflect and even to partake in honoring the sacrifice of Christ with a personally fasting or giving up something to demonstrate their love and appreciation for Christ’s love for them.  (If the concept of lent is new to you find out more at this link http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/lent-101-honoring-the-sacrafice-of-jesus-1382259.html )  

As you have been reading this  reflection, you may be feeling the Lord nudge your heart or even have feelings that you need to do something as your personal demonstration of your love for your Savior.   That is lovely and beautiful.   A good scripture to keep in mind as you reflect on how you will express your love is Psalm 51: 16 -17 “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring you it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  My scarf, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

 

Lord I pray that we will present to  you the delight of your heart with a personal sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart before you.  A heart that responds to your kindness that leads to repentance and a desire to live in an intimate love relationship with you through the indwelling of your spirit in our hearts.  Thank you Lord for your matchless expression of love toward us while we were still sinners.  In Jesus’ Holy name,  Amen.

Is there a word in the dictionary that describes how you feel about God?  I’d love for you to share it with me.  He is my Rock!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring“. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 8 Wisdom Builder Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust is something we begin to learn from the moment we take our first breath.  We trust unknowingly most of our early years.  Until one day we experience something that is hurtful or scary that awakens the reality that not everything or person is worthy of our complete trust.  Each of our life experiences have developed the level of trust we give within the relationships we develop and daily determine our level of interaction with the world around us.  These realities also play a role in how we trust God.   

Proverbs 3:5-6

It isn’t easy to trust the Lord all the time.  We tend to reflect our trust level with the things of this world  into our relationship with God.   Our hesitancy to trust could be due to memories of how things have gone in the past.

Moving bring my hesitancy to trust the Lord into the spotlight.  Each move our family makes is an opportunity for me to trust God and lean on him to make my paths straight.  The last duty station move I was faced with the choice—- was I going to trust and lean on Christ or turn to my own understanding.   It was a struggle because, as many of my Military friends can relate, our moving assignments known as “orders” don’t always come at effective and helpful times.  This particular time we knew we would be moving and the decision on when and where was long overdue.  There was talk of the possible locations and housing was highlighted by all our friends who had been there as an “immediate” concern.  Deep in my heart I knew I could and should just trust the Lord with all of these details.  Each conversation, over the months of waiting, I had about the pending move chipped away at my resolve to trust.  The looks and words spoken continued trying to knock me off balance.  Maybe you can relate to these– “really you don’t ______ yet” and “what are you waiting for” or “if I were you I would have already______”?  These statements left me to question my peace I had in trusting God.  I was tired of feeling that way so I asked the Lord to “please give me a verse to cling to during this challenging time.”  Psalm 5:3 was the answer and my motto for the move became “waiting expectantly on the Lord.”  It was like my trust banner that my heart and mind would wave in the face of doubts that would come my way with every new thought, opinion, and look.  The waiting continued to the point my husband had changed jobs just a day before the next assignment was given.  I’m pleased to report within a few hours of the long awaited news of our next assignment the Lord provided a house that has blessed the whole family.

Do you trust the Lord with all your heart?

Who’s understanding do you depend on when you are making decisions each day?

Do you believe if you submit to Christ’s way he will make your paths straight?

Remember straight paths can come in the form of right way of life, conduct or thought, and sometimes even experienced as smooth and unhindered.  Straight paths are not promised to be perfect and without challenges.

Do you have a story of when you chose to trust the Lord and he made your path straight?

I’d love to hear so join the conversation!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Walls or Bridges?

Walls or Bridges?

I was leading a Bible study group through Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer when this “tidbit” rocked my world. I hope you are encouraged. In this study, at the end of each study day, she asks us to write down our “Actionable Intel”(a personal take a way). This particular day we were studying the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. Priscilla asked us with each piece of armor, we studied, to step back from our life circumstances and ask the Lord to reveal the spiritual realities influencing our daily interactions and experiences. That day we focused on how the enemy seeks to demolish the peace that God gives us in life. One way he does this is to keep us off balance and distract us from close relationship with God, the people of God, and the other people in our life.

Ephesians 2:13 – 18 tells us “he (Christ) himself is our peace, who has made the two groups (Israel and Gentile) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility (verse 14 parentheses added). Christ reconciled both Israel and Gentile to God through the cross. The cross is the bridge he built to bring the peace of God to mankind for all mankind to have peace with him and one another.

My “actionable intel” for that study day was the following:

“Christ builds bridges of peace~unity~strength~love. Our enemy builds walls of deception to separate~isolate~weaken~spawn hatred. Which architect will you hire?”

This “actionable intel” is a challenge to be alert and ready to stand strong with our “Shoes of the Gospel of Peace” strapped on securely. Living as peacemakers who build bridges in the power of Christ through love, forgiveness, gentleness, and unifying strength.

Reflect on your relationships.   Which are they more characterized by tension or peace? The answer to this question will reveal if your life is full of bridges or walls?

 

Reflective Prayer:

Lord we come to you asking you to strengthen us in your love and peace. Help us to recognize the areas where we have worked with the enemy to build walls in our heart, our relationships, and our lifestyle.   Soften our hearts with your love, forgive us of our sins, and restore us to our peaceful relationship with you. Guide and teach us how to build bridges and walk on those bridges with you. Thank you for the bridge of your cross, which secures for those who believe in you, Jesus, that nothing can separate us from you— no wall, no sin, nothing! In Jesus name— Amen

Romans 8:38-39 Nothing can separate those in Christ from God!

What walls need bridges in your heart?  I’d love to hear……

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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