Secret Prayer

"But Thou, When Thou Prayest, Enter Into Thy Closet, And When Thou Hast Shut Thy Door, Pray To Thy Father Which Is In Secret; And Thy Father Which Seeth In Secret Shall Reward Thee Openly."
Matthew 6:6

I have about 4 different posts working their way around my head and in deciding which one to write first, I came across this passage as I was seeking pictures, I knew I had to do this one first.

Plus I am still struggling with the wording on one of the other 3.

Upon reading this passage, I felt calm about the way I pray.

I try to seek complete solitude, mostly because I am distracted easily.

At the Altar, if others are there, I hear them, moving around, sniffling, whispering etc...

And that doesn't allow me to concentrate fully on my communion with Him.

I need the freedom from distraction, as well as the privacy, in order to bare my soul.

I don't have a prayer closet, nor do I always pray on my knees, I don't always close my eyes, rarely do I do it out loud and I don't have a specific time of day to do it.

I pray in the morning when I get up, and while I would like to spend the first few minutes of my morning with Him, before the day actually begins, life sometimes just doesn't allow that.

He is the last one I speak to though before I go to bed.

I need this time with Him and I need it alone.

The intimacy I have come to crave can only come from Him, otherwise I may end up doing something very stupid to hinder my walk.

Prayer is a way to communicate with God, and by praying, it will allow you to become closer and more connected with Him.

What happens if you don't know how?

You are sitting there right now saying to yourself, "I can't"...

Don't worry, He has you covered there as well.

The Holy Spirit will help you when you don't know how, or in the times when you just can't.

There are some things you need to know in order for your prayers to be successful...

Things you have got to have before you go to Him...

A humble heart.

A wholeheartedness when you seek Him

You have to have faith.


And you have to obey.

Now, don't be like me and think that because you came to Him just as I described above, and because He doesn't answer your prayer the way you prayed it, that He isn't listening.

He is listening, the question is are you?

Your prayers have to line up with His will.

That is the lesson that took me forever to learn.

I could have saved an awful lot of tears, had I learned that early on.

Sometimes no matter how hard you pray, the answer is just no.

Praying can be the most frustrating time of your life, you need that one thing I seem to never have, patience.

Just because you tossed out a prayer doesn't mean He is going to answer you right then and there, it could take days, months and sometimes years.

When your prayer is answered, just the way you want, there is no way to describe the feeling.

You almost float through your day, checking to see if your feet are even on the ground at times, giddy and smiley and at a complete peace within.

When your prayer isn't answered the way you wanted, it can knock you straight on the ground, leaving you breathless and full of tears and confusion, wondering what you did the first time to get your prayer answered and if it is possible that you did something different this time.

More often than naught, this is where I find myself, flat on my back, tossed within what seems to be a never-ending storm, a mountain so high and so wide, I just can't seem to see around it, emotions swirling so much throughout the day, that just taking a deep breath hurts.

In my "worldly" mind, my prayers and His answers are a contradiction to His word, however, if I delve deeper, look past man and world, have mercy at what I find.

I find my Father, in all His glory, pruning me, removing all that is in the path, He has planned out for me.

This morning started out rough, and I admit I didn't pray like I normally do, and during the process of getting things done before I left for work, as I am stressing about court coming up and work and what in the world I am going to do next, not really praying just basically letting Him know I had just about had enough, I didn't have room to carry anything else,

I heard this from Him,

"I know what is around the corner, I can see it, you do not, I do, stop fearing."

Even when I am not technically praying, He is still with me, listening, soothing me, calming my fears, chasing away the demons I so desperately try to hang onto, I am His daughter, and I can see, when I calm down enough to look at the bigger picture, that His hand is in everything I do.

The turning point in your prayers will come, the moment you choose His will over your will, plain and simple, even when it is something you want with every breath you take, even when your emotions are telling you that you are going to take this stand and never give in, even when your heart says this (whatever "this" may be) is the way it should be.

It may take you crying out to your Father, perhaps, like me, after you hit rock bottom, when you are left with no other choice and He becomes the last resort, though I would strongly suggest you get to this place before you hit rock bottom, as it will save you unnecessary pain.

Whatever it takes to get to this place, remember this; His love is pure & His trust is complete.

Though you may never agree nor ever understand why you are in this place, He will lead you in the right direction, as long as you submit to His will.

The sooner you learn that this isn't about you, but about Him, and the complete and unconditional love He has for us, the path He wants each of us on and His perfect will, the sooner your prayers will touch Him & His heart.

Everybody's Scared To Death
When They Decide To Take That Step
Out On The Water
It'll Be Alright


Just That Simple

"The LORD Preserveth The Simple: I Was Brought Low, And He Helped Me."
Psalm 116:6

Last night was my night to feed the homeless, I was running late, which I don't like to do and only upon getting there did I see that the kitchen was full from a local fraternity, who was kind enough to come over and help us out.

So since my services weren't needed, I spoke to some of the regulars, had a few words with some Church members and headed to the one place that brings me complete peace, the Sanctuary, more importantly, the Altar.

No one was in the Church, only one dim light shining over the pulpit as I knelt with Him, and I say with Him because in my mind and in my heart, He is kneeling beside me as I call upon Him.

The Altar is a very sacred place to me.

The one I kneel at has been a holder of so many tears, some smiles, a bit of joy and a foundation of strength.

I stood here when I became a member of this Church as well as when I was baptized, it is here that I take Communion and it is where I prefer to pray.

It is here where I have felt His presence pressing down upon me, to release all the burdens I used to carry, to give them all to Him.

Before I actually learned how to do that, I would still walk away crying, seeking a peace I just couldn't get, because by the time I would get to the door, I would already pick it back up again.

That is a great song by Casting Crowns by the way ~ The Altar and The Door.

I thought perhaps either I was broken beyond His repair, because I couldn't even figure out how to just leave it be or I was unworthy of His love.

Other people seemed to get "it" and I couldn't, no matter how much I prayed, I just didn't "feel" Him with me, near me or around me.

I didn't give up though and one day, His voice broke through all the others in my head, (I am not mental, but I hope you understand what I am saying here) a whisper, unlike anything I have ever heard.

Filled with an indescribable love and authority, and I knew that was His and His alone and He was speaking to me.

Now I have a running conversation with Him from the minute I get up until I go to bed.

If I am in the car alone and you see me, well I most likely do look like I belong in an institution somewhere with padded walls, because you will see me carrying on a very animated conversation with the "empty" seat next to me.

One hand on the wheel, the other waving all over the place, alternately watching traffic and looking at the passenger seat next to me ~ Don't judge.

Laughing, sometimes crying, yelling and sometimes just silence...

It doesn't matter, because He is listening to it, all the time.

He hears my thoughts before I do, He knows my heart inside and out, He knows my fears, shame and sorrows, my joys and secrets.

He is the best friend you will ever have, because He will never, ever betray you.

And He is available 24/7, always by your side, all you have to do is call on Him, it really is just that simple.

I learned the hard way, it doesn't have to be a long, drawn out process, with you on your knees for 3 hours at a time.

I started on my knees with two words, "Have Mercy."

I needed His Grace and Mercy to get through the past two years, I know this now.

You can sit in silence with Him or you can just talk to Him, you can pray or carry on a running conversation, it doesn't matter, what matters is you just do it.

Take your anger to Him, your fears, your heartache, your joy etc....

Whatever is in your heart, talk to Him just like you talk to your friends, your loved ones, your spouse etc...

If you can't speak to Him like that, how about you just say thank you?

Thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed upon you.

Thank Him for the curses as well ~ If it wasn't for the curses, you wouldn't learn the valuable lessons He is trying to teach you.

Thank Him for the doors that He has opened as well as closed and the ones that haven't even materialized yet.

Thank Him for the blood He shed for you.

(That is a post in the making that I am struggling with)

I have a burning desire for people to understand this, and I will say it over and over until I get through to someone, it is just that simple.

He isn't hiding from you.

He isn't angry at you.

He isn't unavailable to you.

He isn't sitting there waiting for you to call on Him, only to deliver a lengthy admonishment, letting you know He is disappointed in you.

You may think, based on what you have done along your walk, that you are unworthy of being in His presence, I am here to tell you that isn't true.

You are His and He loves you for you, not for whatever you have done in your past, not for what you may do in your future, not for what you are, nor what you may become. ~ Just. Because. You. Are. You.

If you have been here with me for any length of time, or if you know me in person, you know I am not perfect and I struggled deeply with feeling unworthy of being in the presence of Him, thankfully, though I do still struggle, those days are becoming fewer and fewer.

He loves you. Period

Because you are worthy.

Because it really is, just that simple.

There's A World Full Of People Dying From Broken Hearts
Holding On To Their Guilt Thinking They Fell Too Far
So Don't Be Afraid To Show Them Your Beautiful Scars
Cause They're The Proof
Yeah, You're The Proof


One Simple Breath

"He Said To Them, Because Of The Littleness Of Your Faith [That Is, Your Lack Of Firmly Relying Trust]. For Truly I Say To You, If You Have Faith [That Is Living]
Like A Grain Of Mustard Seed, You Can Say To This Mountain, Move From Here To Yonder Place, And It Will Move; And Nothing Will Be Impossible To You."
Matthew 17:20 (Amplified)

I love the last 6 words of that passage - Nothing Will Be Impossible To You... Nothing, nada, zilch.

A beautiful passage that makes you stop and re-examine your faith, or lack of.

Can you honestly say that you have the faith to move a mountain, that you trust Him with every single aspect of your entire life?

That your worth is found in Him, and not any one here on Earth?

Just writing that takes my breath away.

For 2 years I have wandered around in the valley, a valley filled with fear, darkness, sadness, anger, uncertainty...

Cloaked in a thick fog that never seemed to end.

Day by (sometimes never-ending) day I walked, I stumbled, I fell, lost, sometimes walking circles around myself, seeking a way to overcome the valley I had been tossed in to.

Angry at Him, for even allowing this to happen...

That hurts my heart to admit, to think that at one point in time, I was so self-centered, I actually thought this was all about me, and that I was arrogant enough to think He would "make it better," just because I demanded it.

Humble pie is now being served at my table.

See when you allow others to establish your worth, you can come out thinking you are so much better (or worse) than you really are.

You may come across as arrogant, hostile or pompus, you may be rude or temperamental, a liar or a person who is domineering, condescending or a control freak, you think you are so much better than those around you.

On the other end, you can come across as indifferent, anxious, hopeless, disparaging or doubtful, pessimistic or timid, fearful of everything (sound familiar?) and woe is me seems to be the theme you live by because you think you are so much worse than those around you.

Since I was in the second batch of those traits listed above, that was something I had to overcome, a balance had to be found in order for me to get out of that portion of the valley.

Not a medicinal balance either, I sought His hand, His light, and His strength out of the valley.

And I will say, it wasn't easy, some days seemed like they weren't ever going to end and in the beginning the days just ran into one another.

I was speaking to a friend last night and he said something that stood out to me...

"There have been days I wondered if I even wanted to keep breathing?"

Followed by "Thankfully, God reminds me what a gift a simple breath is."

Those two sentences are so completely different, one filled with sheer pain and the other, well to me it is just breathtaking.

In order to overcome your valley, you have to be thankful to even be in the valley, just as he has shown with these two statements.

So what happens when you get to the end of the valley?

When you actually see a light and can take a breath without feeling like you are going to crumble?

Only to look up and discover that you are now facing a mountain, standing as tall and as far as the eye can see?

You can't go around it, nor go through it and expect to learn all of the valuable lessons awaiting you.

You have to go over it...

One single step at a time.

One simple breath at a time.

Sometimes It Takes A Second To Sink In
That Your Life Is Never Gonna Be The Same Again
Breathe In, Breathe Out, It'll Be Okay
Breathe In, They Say The Pain Will Fade Away


You Should Look Different

"But That's No Life For You. You Learned Christ! My Assumption Is That You Have Paid Careful Attention To Him, Been Well Instructed In The Truth Precisely As We Have It In Jesus. Since, Then, We Do Not Have The Excuse Of Ignorance, Everything—And I Do Mean Everything—Connected With That Old Way Of Life Has To Go. It's Rotten Through And Through. Get Rid Of It! And Then Take On An Entirely New Way Of Life—a God-Fashioned Life, A Life Renewed From The Inside And Working Itself Into Your Conduct As God Accurately Reproduces His Character In You."
Ephesians 4:20-24 (The Message)

"What are you so happy about?"

Is the question posed to me this morning.

"I woke up... Somewhere, someone didn't have that blessing today."

Was my response.

But, but, but... This, that and the other is going on right now, so really why are you happy? (What an amazing way to ask a question and thanks for the run down once again, on what is happening in my life, as if I am not living it day by day)

I made a choice to no longer allow my circumstances to dictate my life, and come hell or high water, I will stand by that decision.

I trust Him in each area of my life and no matter how many waves crash over me, I know He is standing there holding me.

The exact moment I made that choice, was the exact moment I found peace within.

I was in Church yesterday, it was my Sunday to usher and afterwards one of the ladies came over to speak with me.

She started with my face, how different I looked, how everything shows on my face (apparently I won't be seeking a professional poker career) and all she saw yesterday was light beaming from me.

No stress, no sadness, nothing hidden beneath the "smile," no pain behind my eyes, nothing but pure joy emanating from me. (Thank you Jesus for that, because when I look in the mirror, I am still unsure of what is looking back at me.)

She went on to say, I looked like I was enjoying what I was doing and it was nice to see someone having fun doing His work.

Let me tell you a secret, I am not the best usher to have in your Church.

Go ahead get your laughs out now, I will wait a minute...

Last month, I forgot a whole row during collection, I let people in when they shouldn't come in and let others out when they shouldn't go out, I go faster then I should during collection, (all 4 of us should be in perfect step) I forget to hand out visitor cards and if by chance I remember to hand them out, I forget to pick them up.

There are no less than 4 ushers on the floor at any given time (sometimes more, depending on if we have a special program), 2 at the back door, one on each side of the Church, I was on the side yesterday, determined to "do" everything the way I should.

I should know by now that when I have one set of plans, chances are He has other ones in mind.

So there I stood, underneath a stained glass window with a Cross and as I am looking around the Church, making sure everything was the way it should be, I "feel" eyes on me.

Ha - This is a normal feeling for me, but these eyes felt different, so I glanced around trying to figure out who was staring, I looked down and there is a little boy sitting in a pew beside where I was standing, he was no more than 2 and new to Children's Church...

I say new because I have never seen him before, he slinked over to the end of the pew so he was closer to me, one foot on the floor, the other making it look like he was still sitting...

Side note ~ When I am dealing with any of the children, I always get down on their level, in my Sunday best, I stand 6'2 and I know that can be scary to them so if you see me with a child, I am most likely on my knees ~

I smiled at him and he moved a little closer, then hopped off the pew and stood in front of me, just staring...

I bent down nonchalantly to guide him back to his seat and he puts a hand on my shoulder and offers a little squeeze, and quietly goes back to his seat...

I stand back up and see my Pastor watching the transaction taking place and he is just smiling away and of course I can feel my face flaming because there I am once again not "doing" what I am supposed to be "doing."

And as the rest of the service went on I stood there thinking about the people I see on a daily basis, the ones I see on a weekly basis and the ones I haven't met yet.

And once again I wondered what people "see" when they look at me.

I remember a time in my life when I would beg to "look" like my friends, to not be so tall, to have darker hair or brown eyes instead of blond and blue, to have different skills then the ones I have now, anything, other then the gifts He has bestowed upon me.

I despise standing out, that isn't a secret, yet as I stood there, thinking, I realized, I should stand out.

As a Christian, you all should stand out.

If I look at you, I should "see" something different in you that I don't see in a non-believer.

I want you to see something in me that you don't see in others.

Be it love or joy or light or peace...

Anything to tell you I am in your family or you are in my family.

Anything that shows I am/you are His.

Yet sadly, that isn't the case.

We seem to care more about what others think than about what He thinks, I am guilty of this as well and frankly we shouldn't care a rats whisker what others think...

We need to get to the point where we can honestly say, "It is amazing, how much I don't care."

Now when I say this I am not telling you to be callous, cold-hearted and mean, I am saying it meaning that you need to love one another, however you don't need to accept the cares of them...

Let me try that again...

"Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself," the second greatest commandment and no where does that say you need to wallow around with them when they want to have a pity party.

Their cares can not become your burdens - (G should be thrilled to see I have learned this lesson) - That falls on Him and Him alone.

I struggled with this lesson for a very long time, because I tend to feel what others bring to me, I was seriously worried about how I could be a Pastor, show empathy, yet not "care" and have a balance with my emotions.

I have talked about this more then once with my Dad as well as with G, both kept telling me it was a fine line, yet neither could tell me how I could follow it without crossing one side or the other.

If after offering a helping hand to someone, and they still choose to play in their own mud, then say a prayer for them and walk away.

I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself.

That isn't to say I am giving up on you, it is saying that I will not allow your craziness to affect my path and for to long, I am sad to admit, I have allowed others to dictate where my next steps will be, instead of allowing Him to dictate them.

This lesson has been hard for me, basically because I am a people pleaser and I want everyone to like me, well news flash (for me), the world isn't always going to like you, and there will be people that despise you for no apparent reason other than you are sharing air with them.

Suck it up and move forward....

The world can be ugly and cold and it will bring you to your knees if you allow it to.

As a Christian, you shouldn't allow it.

You should be trusting in Him to know that no matter what is happening around you, He. Is. In. Control.

You job is supposed to be imitating Him, loving His children as He loves you, walking in forgiveness, spreading His word, learning, teaching, never, ever forgetting what He did for you.

Your job is not to please yourself, or to please others...

It is to please Him.

To honor Him in all that you do, each and every single day you are blessed to be here.

That is how I should be living.

That is how you should be living.

That is how I should look different.

That is how you should look different.

That is how I should know you are of Him.

That is how you should know I am of Him.

If I can't tell and you can't tell....

How do we know, He going to tell, when the time comes?

You're The Only God
Whose Name And Praise Will Never End
You're The Only God
Who's Worthy Of Everything We Can Give
You Are God
And That's Just The Way It Is


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