What is Your Mission in Life?

martin-sattler-84515

Sometimes in the day to day minutia of life, we lose sight of the bigger picture of why we are here on this earth. Have you ever stopped to ponder the question, “How does God want me to use the unique gifts and talents He has given me?” I’m not talking about a job or career, or being a mom or a wife, but rather an overall mission in life that reflects who you are and why you were created.

Lately, I’ve been thinking and praying about my own personal mission statement. Here’s what I’ve put together so far:

My personal mission in life is to reflect the light of Biblical Truth as I encourage the hearts of others through writing, speaking and serving.

Now, I may adjust it or tweak it, but generally speaking, that’s what I’m all about. I encourage you to create your own personal mission statement. Think about the spiritual gifts you have, and prayerfully consider the passion God has placed in your heart to use those gifts to bless others.

As you create your mission statement, don’t be afraid to share it with others who can encourage you along your path. Your statement also helps you in making decisions, so that you are not saying “Yes” to every little activity that comes your way. Instead, your mission helps you stay focused and on track, keeping the bigger picture in mind.

Let me know your personal mission statement. I’d love to encourage you too!

 

Photo by Martin Sattler on Unsplash

Prayer Risk

myles-tan-91630

There are times when we may feel as thought the riskiest thing we can do is pray and leave the results up to God. Praying is risky in human terms, because it is stepping out in faith and leaning in on God to accomplish far more than we could simply try to accomplish on our own. Prayer is an everyday risk. A person who devotes the early morning hour(s) in prayer is taking a risk – a risk that the hour could have been spent sleeping, working, striving or trying to make things happen on their own. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Now that’s a risk taker and a praise maker. Luther had such strong faith in a great God who desires to answer prayer, that he risked three hours of his busy day on his knees!

When we look at some of the women in the Old Testament, we find several women who prayed and listened to God’s direction. Take Deborah for instance. You can find her story in Judges 4 & 5. Deborah had an extraordinary faith and ability to lead. Her giftedness seemed to stem from a woman who had an intimate relationship with God. She heard Him. She recognized His voice. God told her to go into battle, and He told her how to do it. We don’t know exactly how God spoke to Deborah, but we do know that she listened to Him. Her risk was not based on her own crazy ideas. The risk she took was based on the very words of God. There’s a lot of crazy opportunities in our world to take big risks, but let us be wise and move on the foundation of God’s word as well as looking to Him for direction.

Recently, a friend of mine struggled with some family members and their unwise choices. She wanted to fix them and change them, but she also realized her limitations to do so. As she prayed about the issues, she began to realize she was powerless to make a difference in her family member’s lives. She also realized that although she was powerless, God was powerful and able to do what she could not do. Instead of trying to fix the broken parts of their lives, she took the risk of pulling her hands off the situation and instead putting her hands together in prayer. She prayed consistently and emphatically that God would do the work and fight the battle.

Where do you need to take the risk of listening to God and praying for His direction instead of trying to fix things on your own?

positive_leadership

This is an excerpt from Positive Leadership Principles for Women.

 

Photo by Myles Tan on Unsplash

True Positive: Day Seven – Prayer

FullSizeRender (1)

Prayer can be the most powerful and positive moments of our day. It is in this quiet time of solitude when we turn our hearts toward God, that we gain strength and direction for the day. E. M. Bounds wrote, “Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.”

What could be more joyful than coming before the High King of Heaven each morning and spending sweet time with Him! I encourage you to find a place and a time each day when you can be alone with God. David offers a wonderful example of a man after God’s own heart – a true man of prayer. He cried out to God when he was in anguish; he cast his cares on God when he was in need. He praised God for his attributes and thanked Him for his blessings. He sought God for direction, guidance and help. Truly prayer was a fundamental part of King David’s life and the secret to his success.

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

Addicted to Prayer

typorama

Prayer must not be our chance work, but our daily business, our habit and vocation. As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer.   Spurgeon

 In his book entitled Prayer, Timothy Keller describes a conversation he had with his wife during a particularly challenging time in their lives. His wife Kathy urged him to pray with her every night, and she used the following illustration to convince Him:

Imagine you were diagnosed with such a lethal condition that the doctor told you that you would die within hours unless you took a particular medicine – a pill every night before going to sleep. Imagine that you were told that you could never miss or you would die. Would you forget? Would you not get around to it for some nights? No – it would be so crucial that you wouldn’t forget, you would never miss. Well, if we don’t pray together to God, we’re not going to make it because of all we are facing. I’m certainly not. We have to pray, we can’t let it just slip our minds.

Now please don’t think legalistically here. You are not going to die if you miss a time of prayer each day. Yet Kathy recognized her desperate need to go to the Father for everything in her life. Do we have that same kind of desperation in our own hearts? Last week I read through the book of Daniel and was inspired by his courage and faith, but more than that, I was moved by his commitment to prayer. Think about it, Daniel prayed even when the public policy was against him, and he faced the lion’s den.

If Daniel took life-risking measures to pray three times a day, then why am I not willing to get up a little earlier and spend time with the Father. Great work happens on our knees. God gives us insight on our knees. We grow more in love with Him, on our knees. Let’s make this a week of casting our cares on Him.

Here’s one of Daniel’s prayers of praise after God:

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king.

Daniel 2:20-23

Why wouldn’t we want to pray to such a great and mighty Father?

Check out my chapter on being Pray-pared for Every Day in:

958042: Becoming a Woman of the Word: Knowing, Loving, and  Living the Bible Becoming a Woman of the Word: Knowing, Loving, and Living the Bible

 

 

Will God Answer My Prayers?

March

The following is an excerpt from Becoming a Woman of the Word.

Do you want to know how to pray more effectively? Silly question, right? Who doesn’t want to see their prayers answered? A Newsweek poll titled “Is God Listening?” showed that of those who do pray, 87 percent believed that God answers their prayers at least some of the time. We have all had times when we prayed for something and didn’t seem to get the answer that we were hoping for, making us question, did I pray the right way? Is God mad at me? Did He really hear me? Why does He answer some of my prayers and not others?

The Bible is our guidebook for prayer. In His Word we not only see powerful examples of answered prayer, but we also find the teachings of Jesus on how to pray effectively. In the Scriptures we discover God’s invitation to prayer and His desire for us to cast our cares on Him. We also learn some of the reasons why prayers may not be answered exactly how we had wished. We learn to view prayer from a heavenly perspective, not an earthly one. I find it humbling to think that Almighty God invites us to pray. He loves us and cares about the details of our lives. From Genesis to Revelation we find examples of God listening to His people and answering their prayers.

The apostle John wrote, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” How do we know we are praying according to God’s will? His will is revealed in His Word, so if we are going to pray according to His will, we must pray according to His Word. Certainly we don’t find a listing of His will for every detail or every circumstance of our lives, yet the more we know of His Word, the more we come to understand His heart of love. We learn who He is and how He works. We want to approach God’s throne with confidence, and we can do that as we get to know His heart through His Word.

Honestly, I can look back at my life and thank the Lord for the prayers He didn’t answer exactly as I asked. Why does God answer some prayers and seemingly leave others unanswered? Because He loves us and sees things from an eternal perspective. Can we trust the God of love, the God who sees all things, the God who sees the beginning and the end? In His time and in His way, He is at work beyond what we can see. As the apostle Paul wrote,   For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Watch this video for a brief word from Karol about prayer.

How has prayer changed your life?