Reinforcing His Armor

This little blog of prayer is for all my ministry wife friends out there.

As I lay in my bed last night, jolted awake by some random noise outside, my mind focused in on all of you. You beautiful, often battle-worn ladies, my sisters in the fight, as we aide our men in their leading of God’s churches. So I began to pray, to seek God for what He was trying to tell me. Here is what He whispered to my heart.

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints

Ephesians 6:13-18 (NASB)

We all know to put on our armor everyday, and I know our husbands do too. But God was impressing upon me, that as my husband’s helper, I held the responsibility of helping to repair and reinforce his armor. After days on the front lines of a spiritual battle, he will need help. How do we help? Prayer. That may be quite obvious, I know. We all pray for our husbands daily, or at least I hope you do. But do we honestly consider the spiritual battles that rage around him. We are deceiving ourselves if we don’t think they are real. We’re their back-up ladies!

Father, as my husband has armed himself for battle today, I pray that you will strengthen his armor as he heads to the front lines. Strengthen his stance in You, Father. Fasten tightly Your belt of Truth around him as he studies Your word. Guard his heart with Your breastplate of righteousness as he strives to live for You. As my husband laces up shoes of peace, give him Your stability, Your peace amidst the enemy’s fire. Strengthen his traction as he moves forward to spread Your Gospel message. As he takes up his shield of faith, place him in line with Your other leaders on the front lines. Encourage them to link their shields together creating a stronger guard against the flaming arrows of the enemy, thus becoming an immovable force for You. Pushing through the front lines of the enemy together in full faith in You. Tighten upon him, the helmet of Salvation, Father. Do not allow the enemy to invade his mind. Protect him from the discouragement and negativity that abounds in the church and the world. Renew his mind daily to reflect Your own. Father, sharpen his Sword as he lives in Your Word daily. Bestow upon him Your wisdom through the Word, so that he may courageously and confidently combat the workers of the enemy. Finally, grow in him a deeper desire to be a man on his knees. Make his prayer life a most precious time with You! In this, he will be more alert to the schemes of the enemy and more focused and aligned with Your perfect will.

Protect him today, Father. Use him today, Father. In Jesus name, Amen.

This may be nothing new to you, I don’t know. I’m just sharing what God placed on my heart.

This world is a mess, ladies, and our husbands are called to no easy task. The war is raging in churches across our country, and we can no longer sit and observe from the pews. We must stand up. We must pray. We must join them on the front lines of battle and tend their wounds.

Praying for all of you and your men today!

-De

I Will Be Audacious!

I just sat down on my couch after a blessed, blessed day! Our church hosted the Living Proof Live Simulcast today, & what a WORD God gave to Mrs. Beth!

Leading up to the event, I prayed for God to speak to the women who attended. To move in their heart. To prepare a word just for them. Here’s what I didn’t expect…He prepared a word just for ME!

Backstory: My hubby and I, for years, have prayed that no matter what, we would do what God calls us to do. Whether to go or stay and serve, just to follow Him & hear His direction. Now, for sometime now God has been building a ministry calling within me in addition to were He has me now. He has given me a great passion for worship leadership, & I adore preparing His church to approach His throne in worship. But, He has also been speaking a ministry of encouragement to ministry wives (and women in ministry) to my heart. My pastor hubby has been diligent in asking me what my hold-up is. Why haven’t I just stared DOING it? My answer has always been, I don’t feel prepared & most of all I don’t feel confident enough in myself to speak to these women. Fear ladies, it’s all fear. And we know who is the author of that fear!

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When Christ is the Supreme Romance of our lives, we can do ANYTHING!!!  Even face/conquer our fears!!!  Praise Jesus!!

Thank you Mrs. Beth (if by some miracle chance you read this) for calling me out! “Zero confidence in the flesh! 100% confidence in the Holy Spirit!”  Thank you for helping me realize that I can be Audacious! I am a mighty woman of God because Christ lives in me! Because Christ lives in me I can do anything that God has called me to do, or speak, without fear!!

“I’ve got the guts to give Him the glory!”

Be blessed & be AUDACIOUS!

-De

A Prayer For Our Nation

As I sat before our congregational prayer time this morning, I found myself reflecting over the events of the past week.  Not personal events, but those that deeply impact our country.  And honestly, not only the past week, but so much longer.  As my pastor hubby called the church to a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 85.  As I fell to my knees, my heart cried this prayer for our nation.  (Italicized words are mine.)

Return to us (our Nation), God of our salvation,
and abandon Your displeasure with us (and forgive our abandoning of You).
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger for all generations?
Will You not revive us again
so that Your people may rejoice in You? (Father, oh please, revive Your people.  Let revival begin in each of us.)
Show us Your faithful love, Lord,
and give us Your salvation. (Fill us with Your love for all, so that we will not fear sharing Your truths. Our nation’s only hope is You.  Spark a revival in the hearts of Your church, grow it there until it can’t be contained.  Then allow it to spill over into the streets, cities, states, country & world, Father. )

God is our only answer, guys!  We keep allowing Him to be pushed out of every aspect of our nation.  He will never abandon us, but we are continually abandoning Him.  This, my friends, is why there is so much hate, so much anger, so much apathy everywhere.  Will our country ever return to God?  I don’t know, but as believers, will we continue allowing Him to be pushed out?

prayernation

I ask that you take this chapter of this book of the Word of God and meditate on it.  Join me in praying it during this week leading to Memorial Day.  If the thought of losing our nation to the world doesn’t pierce your heart, it’s time for a check-up.

Psalm 85 (HSCB)

Lord, You showed favor to Your land;
You restored Jacob’s prosperity.
You took away Your people’s guilt;
You covered all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all Your fury;
You turned from Your burning anger.

Return to us, God of our salvation,
and abandon Your displeasure with us.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger for all generations?
Will You not revive us again
so that Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your faithful love, Lord,
and give us Your salvation.

I will listen to what God will say;
surely the Lord will declare peace
to His people, His godly ones,
and not let them go back to foolish ways.
His salvation is very near those who fear Him,
so that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Faithful love and truth will join together;
righteousness and peace will embrace.
11 Truth will spring up from the earth,
and righteousness will look down from heaven.
12 Also, the Lord will provide what is good,
and our land will yield its crops.
13 Righteousness will go before Him
to prepare the way for His steps.

Pray and be blessed!

-De

And I Almost Gave Up

Don’t you just love how God can reach out and smack you in the head sometimes?  I don’t know about you, but I need it on occasion, and today was one of those occasions.

Yesterday afternoon, the hubby and I were sitting at our kitchen table discussing Bible studies.  I was lamenting how I was really wanting a good, beyond surface level study to do during my quiet time.  Not a book on spiritual formation, or a feel-good 2 minute study, but a real “dig in” kind of study.  He told me to go out and find one. (I love him and his simplistic answers.)

Background: A few months ago, a friend from seminary posted on facebook that she was seeking some accountability as she wanted to go through Beth Moore’s 90 Day Journey with Paul.  I had the book already, so I said sure.  We formed a little group on fb and got started.  Shortly after this, we were called to a new church and the task of moving began.  As much as I tried to keep up studying, I failed, and Paul got packed away with everything else.

I got so far behind everyone else, I thought to myself, why bother picking it back up.  Catching up isn’t going to happen.  You know, I was really rather embarrassed to let the other ladies in the group know how far behind I was.

Back to Yesterday:  I mentioned to my hubby that I had been enjoying the study, while I was doing it.  It may not have been as “deep” as what I thought I wanted, but it didn’t really matter now.  I was so far behind there was no point in picking it back up.  He lovingly gave me that “whatever you think you should do” look, and we continued on with a new conversation.  (Ladies, don’t you just love how your fellas can speak a million words with just a look.)

This morning, I put my risen sour dough loaves in the oven to bake, fixed my cup of coffee and sat down with my Bible.  Not really having a clear direction, I felt nudged to go grab Paul from my desk.  Here’s what was at the end of our little lesson:

How does it help to know that a real enemy is engaged in battle against you, an actual foe who is seeking to deceive you and distract you? Rather than suffering endless pangs of guilt over your inconsistency or weakness of character, does it strengthen your muscle to know that your acts of obedience are blows against Satan’s army? This is war! Wanna fight?

Thanks for that, Beth!  God has used your words to smack some sense into me this morning.  I was so wrapped up in me and what I had failed to do. I was allowing the enemy to distract me from the whole point.  Here was my reply to her question:

It helps me to not condemn myself as harshly. It’s so easy to forget that the enemy has an army surrounding us, trying to beat us down & prevent us from getting in the Word, & spending time in prayer. We should acknowledge our victories!  Celebrate them & then seek them our more often.

distractions

It’s so easy to allow Satan to distract us every day.  And after a while, we start blaming ourselves, beating ourselves up because we were distracted.  Then, we just want to write the whole thing off, and never get God’s blessing for us.  So what if you get behind in your quiet time?  Here’s a thought…pick it back up!  Proclaim a victory!  Be obedient and give the enemy the blow he deserves!  Rejoice in your victories over Satan’s distractions!  Keep at it!  Distractions will happen!  Worry more if they don’t!  When Satan sees you as a threat, he’s going to pound you with everything he’s got.  Kids are going to need you.  The phone is going to ring.  People will knock on the door.  Etc, etc, etc.

Let me end this with Beth’s prayer from 1 Peter 5:8-10

We heed Your call, Lord, to be sober, to be on alert! For our adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. May we resist him, Lord, firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by our brothers in the world–knowing, too, that You, the God of all grace, who called us to Your eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support us after we have suffered a little.

Don’t give up!  Don’t let Satan beat you down with distractions and life.  Let’s celebrate our victories (even the smallest ones) together!

Be blessed!

-De

A Prayer for This Christmas

Father above,

As I sit this morning, coffee in hand, to catch up on the news of the world, all my mind can think is how badly we need to cry out to You.  Our world is lost and crumbling without You. Forgive us in this Season of Holiness.  Forgive us for our lack of holiness.  Forgive us for abandoning You.

Break our hearts for You, Father.

I close my eyes and see Your perfect love…

In a tiny little stablearts-graphics-film_1189811a
So very far from home
You gave up Your throne in glory
For a humble bed of hay
You put Yourself in the care
Of simple mortal men
To allow Yourself to learn and grow
To fully understand
How broken and in need of You
Our world truly is
You taught us faith and showed us love
As You walked upon this land
You endured our pain and took our place
While shamed upon that cross

Father, give us each Your eyes to see through during this Christmas season.  Let us not see with the hate of the world, but with Your unconditional love for all of mankind.  Give us Your wisdom and desire to pray.  Pray like we’ve never prayed before.  Prayers for a lost world to come to You.  Prayers for wisdom to show Your love to those who need to see & experience You.

Help us focus on You!  Rejoice in You, for You are worthy of so much more than we can give!  Remind us to praise You on Christmas morning for Your greatest gift and abundant blessings!

Amen

If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Merry Christmas & Be Blessed

-De

Ministry: The lonely calling

My husband and I have served in some sort of ministry for the majority of our lives together, be it lay service or staff service.  God has placed a definite calling on our lives and our family, and we would have it no other way.  Our lives and gifts belong to our Heavenly Father, and service to Him is an honor.

However, we have both continually struggled with loneliness.  Not in a marriage way, but in friendships.  I’ve always been dumbfounded by this.  We meet people we have lots in common with, begin to develop a friendship but then, out of the blue it seems, it just seems to dissolve.

I’m very thankful to God for the friends we found during our seminary experience.  They may be distant, but we know we can count on them to pray for us!  Unfortunately not all ministers have this experience to build upon.

lonely

But, that’s not really why I started this post.  God has been working STRONGLY in my heart lately.  He has grown a GREAT compassion for people in ministry within me.  My heart breaks a little bit every single time I talk with a ministry wife and am told by them that they don’t really have any close friends.  They have no close connections with other ministry wives.  They don’t feel that they can be truly themselves with anyone. See where I’m going?  Praying and talking with my husband, I know that ministers feel the same way their wives feel.

Something isn’t right about that.

True we have to live guarded lives, Satan prowls around for ANY way he can destroy the ministry of one of God’s chosen workers.  But, can’t we support each other, pray for each other??

So many churches seem to view the other as competition.  Oh, but it isn’t!!!  It’s about leading people to Jesus!!!

Can you imagine the image shift that churches would make in society if the ministry leaders banded together, supported each other, loved each other, befriended each other, and went out into the world as comrades?

Is there an easy solution?  No.  I know that.

But, if you are reading this, and you are a minister or ministry wife, please know this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  There are so many others just like you, feeling the same way you feel.  Pray for them.

There are ways to connect with them. Seek them out. Ladies, one of my favorites is Contagious Joy 4 Him.  Go join with other ministry wives & be encouraged! Men, if any of you know a way for pastors or ministers to connect, please share in the comments.

Pray, pray, pray, & pray some more for the ministry leaders in your lives.  Pray that God will send them true friendships!  Encourage them!

-De

Father, I pray today for your workers.  I pray that you would send each of them true friendships built around a mutual love for You and your people.  Men and women that they can trust to be themselves around.  Free of judgement and gossip. Remove all fear of competition from between fellow workers.  Fill them with Your love and encouragement. Most of all, Abba, in the waiting, draw them into Your arms and relieve their loneliness! – Amen

 

Word Box: Joy

Let’s add the word “Joy” to our word box this week!

joy

Here are a few of my favorites:

James 1:2-3

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Psalm 47:1

Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

John 16:22

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Psalm 30:5

For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

Hebrews 12:1-2  – Christ’s joy at the cross

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

When you find yourself down, or letting someone steal your JOY, take a moment to stop and pray.  “No one will take your joy from you.” “Count it all joy.” “May the God of hope fill you with all joy.”

Please share with us some of your favorite joy verses!

-De