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ZMI Family Ministries International > Articles by: Stephanie Miller

Is Prayer Your Steering Wheel or Spare Tire?

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
Jeremiah 29:12

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12

Have you ever felt that God wasn’t hearing your prayers? Have you ever just felt far from God for no apparent reason?

The verse in Jeremiah tells us that God does hear us, and he is near (even when it doesn’t feel like it) But to get a better understanding of what he means when he says “then” we need look at little deeper to get the full picture.

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:10-13

We notice that God tells us specifically of his promises (to prosper us and not to harm us) and the very next verse we are promised that when we call on him and pray to him we will listen to us.

Whenever someone listens (and not just hears) what I have to say it means alot to me. How does it make you feel when someone listens to you? When is the last time someone just listened to you?

Yeah that’s what I thought, usually when we go to people in hopes that they will just listen, we are met with unsolicited advice and several possible solutions thrown at us instead of just a listening ear.

Why do we keep going to other people to listen when it goes against their human nature, when we can go to God who infallibly listens to us?

We set ourselves up for failure when we look to man to fill a void that only God can.

Now think of who you know that is more likely to listen to you (and you are more likely to listen to them) Usually they have two traits in common:

  • We care we have a higher level of compassion and empathy.
  • We have a intimate relationship with the person.

Relate this to our heavenly father, He listens because he cares and because we have an intimate relationship with him. Here’s the deal though because He listens to us, He wants us to listen to Him. He longs to be our first thought instead of our last resort.

Blessings and Love,

Stephanie

 

 

 

Photo Credit: image created via wordswag

Unlock the Mystery of Prayer

“And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.”
 1 John 5:15
1 John 5:15
 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.

Think of a time where you had to approach someone about an important topic (maybe your spouse, friend or even boss) and consider the different approaches you could take depending on if you thought your voice would be heard or dismissed.

HEARD:

  • you have confidence in your voice and your viewpoint.
  • speak in authority

DISMISSED:

  • lack confidence in your voice
  • question yourself

Confidence in asking makes a difference in HOW we ask and WHAT we ask. No request is too small or too large for our God.

Having the confidence in knowing that we are heard allows us to claim the power God has waiting for us in prayer.

” we know that we have what we ask of him.” NIV

Let’s look at this part of the verse in some other versions.

AMP: “we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.”

NLT:  “we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”

MSG: “and if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.”

Does this mean that a raise at work, new house, new car and free beach vacation we pray for is ours as long as we’re confident and bold in our request?

Most likely not. The good news is though, the things that we do ask for that are in His will, are the very things He already has waiting to give us. Being aligned with God in prayer allows us to ask for things he already plans to give us.

Prayer is less about a gift being given to us, and more about a door being unlocked for us.

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” – Mother Teresa

Blessings and Love,

Stephanie Miller

 

Photo Credit: image created via wordswag

 

Feeding the Spirit and Starving the Flesh Part 2

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41

The second part of this verse shows us our true nature without the saving power of Jesus inside of us. Our flesh is drawn to feels good now without thought of consequences of our actions. Doing what feels good to us in the moment to please the flesh will only make it harder to ignore it in the long run.

Have you every fed a stray cat? What happens once you feed the cat just one time? In my experience the cat keeps coming back and even seems to tell a few of his friends!

Our flesh is like that stray cat, keeping feeding it and instead of going away it will come back consistently and grow louder.

That is why it is so important to we are praying in the spirit to withstand these temptations.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18

Praying in the spirit is our strongest defense against all of the temptations of this world. Whenever we feel tempted we can know that all of the power we need to withstand this temptation is already inside of us.

Despite how we feel in the moment we are never forced to sin, we always have a choice.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Be comforted dear friends that just as Satan has crafted “traps” to trick us, God has given us His strength to overcome them!

In Him,

Stephanie

Photo Credit: image created via wordswag