Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stand Firm


Hey MPs,

Reminder: tomorrow is the 4th Monday and we’ll be meeting at Daily Grind around 4:00. We will begin our study of Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. We are also studying that book on Wednesday mornings at KMHS. Whether you have the book or not, join us if you can. Any of you reading this who are unable to meet either time with us should get a copy of that book (copyright 1975 – been around a long time) and read it. It is an allegory based on Habakkuk 3:19. It will give you strength for the journey with our Lord.

Alright ladies, I think it’s safe to say that the relationship with our Heavenly Father is evolving. It’s a wonderful journey that we walk with Him, even though some days are better than others. We won’t fully understand this sacred relationship until we enter His heavenly kingdom, but while we’re here on earth we have to trust Him to walk alongside us, maybe even carry us.

In this developing relationship, we have discovered that at times we must watch and wait. What about those times when we are told to stand firm? Scripture tells us to stand, Ephesians 6 tells us four times to stand, and I gather from verses 10-20 that Paul means for us to stand firm. So what exactly does that mean? 


Well, to STAND means to resist without yielding; to maintain a position; to persist; to endure; to remain upright; to encounter; to meet face-to-face. Are you tired yet? Now put on that armor of God from Ephesians 6 and stand in prayer – verse 18 says praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints---. 

Now that’s heavy, literally and spiritually. Sounds like our prayers must be intensely persistent. Another reason to be tired, right? Well yes, if we’re doing all this standing and praying on our own. But we know that we cannot stand through anything or pray persistently without help. Where does that help come from? Psalm 121 gives us the answer:

I lift up my eyes to the hills----
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip----
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you----
The Lord is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm----
He will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
(NIV)


This psalm tells us that God will help those who seek Him. It may require our persistence, standing firm (on our knees) in prayer, looking to the One who can help us, looking up, not around or within. Here’s an anonymous saying that I’ve kept in my Bible for years:


“To look around is to be distressed;
to look within is to be depressed;
to look up is to be blessed.”


If we are looking up, our feet will not move; we will stand firm. Verse 3 of Psalm 121 says so. But that doesn’t make sense. Have you ever been walking in the evening, noticed a beautiful full moon, couldn’t take your eyes off of the beauty, and tripped on a crack - smile - (or something on the sidewalk). OK, so that’s not what this psalm is talking about. Your feet are firmly planted on that sidewalk ONLY when you are looking up; that’s FAITH.


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)


Continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. Colossians 1:23 (NLT)

And another assurance from Psalm 121 – God doesn’t sleep. Now that’s amazing to me. I’m useless if I don’t get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. But He’s God and I’m not. I must remember that when my eyes look anywhere but up. I can go about my day and sleep at night knowing that my Daddy God is awake. He even stands guard over me. Verse 5 says that He is my keeper, protecting me during night and day, protecting me wherever I go. Yet do I act as though I believe that Word? Do you believe it?

Today at church we sang a song with a refrain that went something like this:
I live only to see your face so shine on me. 


Are we truly walking by faith, not by sight - 2 Corinthians 5:7? Picture yourself looking up to your Daddy God, disregarding the circumstances of darkness that surround you. If we really live to see His face, looking up, His light will shine on us. 

Can you see the ray of sunshine coming from heaven? It envelops you, it’s allowing you to stand firm in your faith, and it will guide your next step. And as you persist in your prayers with your armor on, His glory shining on you, you should break out in strength, not sweat. YOU WILL STAND!

Scripture gives us many examples of people who stood with persistence in prayer. Next week we’ll focus of some of them. Meanwhile, stand firm looking up to your Helper. He longs to shine His glory on you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prayer


Hey MPs,

When was the last time that you met up with a life-long friend? The excitement of catching up probably gushed into your conversation. Did you chatter for hours? Or how about that close friend that works in the same building as you? Do you sometimes want to steal away just to chat a moment and share life’s experiences? I look forward to every second and fourth Monday when we MPs, who are also friends, catch up with the happenings in our lives as we study and pray with our best Friend.

Communion with others is uplifting and inspiring. Relationship is essential to our well-being. God created within us the need for fellowship. He enjoys the fellowship as well. His desire is for us to build relationship in order to freely share thoughts, chat a little or a long time, and tell Him about the events in our lives, the good times as well as the bad. He longs to hear about our day.

I remember when my children were in elementary school. I couldn’t wait until they got off the bus so that I could hear about their day. Sometimes they shared their experiences and other times they communicated with short responses. Though I enjoyed even the brief conversations, I was somewhat disappointed with their curt answers. I wanted more. I desired relationship.

That’s why God made Adam and Eve. He desired relationship. He desires relationship with us; He enjoys those two-way conversations, the communication of prayer. He yearns to hear about that presentation you delivered last week to a room full of executives. He longs to comfort you and wipe away the tears that flowed when you found out about a friend’s diagnosis of cancer. He aches to rescue you as you wail out to Him about your children. He is a faithful Friend.

Do you follow His example? Are you His faithful friend? Do you run to meet Him and tell Him of your day’s experiences or do you feel as though your situation may inconvenience Him? 


I hope you sprint everyday to meet with Him, praise and thank Him, cry on His shoulder, or ask for advice. He says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” 

He’s there waiting, anxiously waiting, to hear about your day, your “daily grind”. He’d be delighted to lend support when you have a meeting with your boss. He yearns for the opportunity to guide you as you raise your children, and He wants your prodigal to come home. 

His desire is for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Luke 11:2). And He’s taught us to help Him make things happen through prayer. Prayer produces perfect communion with our Friend. Our cries affect Him and He longs to answer. Read Matthew 7:7-11. The Word says we are to ask and when we ask, He will give us good things.

Ladies and mothers, let’s boldly ask Him to bring home our prodigals. Let’s ask Him to restore peace in our homes and pray for protection over our families. Let’s give Him thanks for answered prayer and remind Him that He promises to give us a hope and a future. While we wail and wait (remember that “t” represents the cross, our hope in Christ), let’s ask Him to fill us with His supernatural strength.

We are at war with the enemy of God, and prayer is our only communication with our Commander-in-Chief. As Martin Luther said, “Prayer is that mightiest of all weapons that created natures can wield.” Pick up that Sword of the Spirit and pray God’s Word back to Him. He longs to answer.

I’m sending out a new prayer list through my new email mothersforprodigals@gmail.com
If any of you reading this devotional know of anyone needing prayer, please send me names through the email address. 


And MPs, we must be vigilant with our prayers for each other. When you receive our prayer list, call out each name aloud. Cry out to God for each mother’s child. Scripture says, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20 (NKJV)

Thank you, Jesus, for Your Word to us. May we persistently and intensely pray for Your will to be done here on earth. God bless us as we engage in our daily lives. We love you, Lord. AMEN.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Carrying His Message Forward


Hey MPs, the devotional for today consists of a psalm and a song. To God be the glory for His works in our lives. As we progress into this modern age with our message of faith in God’s promises, we remain hopeful for the plan and future that He has for our children and grandchildren. He is faithful from age to age.

As we give Him thanks for His working in our lives, we must also submit to God and resist the devil. Below is what God’s Word says in James 4:7-8a:


Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (NKJV)

I want to share the footnote for verse 7 from my Bible. It speaks loudly to us MPs.


We must follow in order the two commandments in this verse. First we must submit to God by abandoning our selfish pride. Submitting to the Lord also involves putting on the whole armor of God, an image that includes everything from placing our faith in Him to immersing ourselves in the truth of God’s
Word. Second, we must resist any temptation that the devil throws our way. Then the Evil One will have no choice but to flee, for we will belong to the army of the living God.


So let’s begin praising God, immersing ourselves in His truths and promises. Read Psalm 104 and give praise to the Sovereign Lord for His creation and providence. Then read Psalm 105 and give thanks for the eternal faithfulness of our God. Now praise Him with an ancient but steadfast hymn entitled “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” by Joachim Neander.

1. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is your health and salvation!
Let all who hear now to His temple draw near,
Joining in glad adoration!

2. Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things is wondrously reigning
And, as on wings of an eagle, uplifting, sustaining.
Have you not seen all that is needful has been
Sent by His gracious ordaining?

3. Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you;
Surely His goodness and mercy shall daily attend you.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do
If with His love He befriend you.

4. Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that has life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the amen sound from His people again.
Gladly forever adore Him!


AMEN and thank you Jesus! Please read all the pages of our blog becoming familiar with the verse that God speaks to call back our children to Him, our logo and all its meanings, the history of MPs, and our mission statement. Feel free to comment in a post. Stand firm, MPs! Wail, watch, and wait for He is right beside you managing all the details of your lives.

Putting on God's Armor


Heavenly Father,

All praise belongs to You for You are holy and worthy to be praised. Bring Your Kingdom here on earth, Lord, for I desire to do Your will and work by Your side as Your warrior bride (Matthew 6: 9-13). Come, Lord Jesus!


As the day begins, I ready myself for the task ahead, wearing Your attire! Around my core is Your Belt of Truth for You tell me in Your Word that You are near and all Your commandments are truth (Psalm 119: 151). 

Because the issues of life spring from my heart, I guard it with the Breastplate of Righteousness that my heart may be covered with the blood of the Lamb. And I say with the psalmist that God, You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73: 26). 

Lord, I maintain position wearing the Shoes of Peace, waiting and believing that out of the miry clay You will set my feet upon a rock, causing me to STAND FIRM (Psalm 40: 1-2).

God, I lift up that Shield of Faith, extinguishing Satan's fiery darts while believing You are who You say You are and do what You say You will do. I trust in Your holy NAME (Psalm 33: 20-21). 


Father, when those darts and doubts assail me, I will take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, having the mind of Christ by wearing the Helmet of Salvation (2 Corinthians 10: 5).

Dressed and ready, I wield that Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, being warned by the Holy Spirit and keeping Your every command (Psalm 19: 7-11). I cast off the works of darkness and put on Your armor of light (Romans 13: 12). I trust You, Lord God, and stand steadfast and ready to serve (Psalm 20:7-8).

Vigilantly, with praise and thanksgiving, I seek You and Your strength, Father God, with all my heart forevermore (Colossians 4: 2, 1 Chronicles 16: 11, Jeremiah 29: 13). 


Lord Jesus, I believe all things are possible with You, and where I doubt, help my unbelief (Mark 9: 23-24, 11:24). Make me able to lift holy hands in praise to You without wrath and doubting (1 Timothy 2: 8). I stand as a soldier of Christ ready to obey Your commands, for it is in Jesus' Name that I pray. AMEN.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thanks and Praise


Mothers for Prodigals is a ministry from God and to Him be all praise and glory! Many thanks to AW for setting up this God-inspired blog design. He created a perfect design for us that absolutely represents the heart of this ministry. I also thank his mother for her input that has been a blessing. Thanks to all of you MPs who have impacted this ministry, supported me, and helped me in getting this blog up and running.