Tag Archives: prayer

Praying for Ice Cream

Praying for Ice Cream. Or How to Trust God For Your Hearts DesiresLast week, I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good, God is great.Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!”

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!”

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me,
“Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?”

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.

He winked at my son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.” “Really?” my son asked. “Cross my heart,” the man replied.

Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal.

My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.” ~ Author Unknown

How did this story make you feel? I read it the other day and it left me with a few different emotions. One happened to be frustration because for some reason we seemed to have grown into a people who feel we have to right to tell others what to do, think, or even how their relationship with God is either right on or not.

Then I started to think about how we do not use the faith of a child to ask God for what we want- no matter how big or small. And who really is to say what is big or small?

The Bible clearly tells us God gives us the desires of our heart {Psalm 37:4}. Why? Because He is a loving Father, He wants you to have what is good. Now does that mean we can just desire things that are not good for us and God will give it. Now, do I even need to answer that?

Sadly, most have viewed God as a dictating God who rules with an iron hand, or maybe like the woman in the story, some see God as only interested in “important” things and not things that seem trivial. But God cares, He cares about everything you care about. His heart is broken when yours is, He is sad when you are. He loves you, He wants to best for you and He is there with you, no matter what.

So today relish in the thought that He loves you and wants to bless you. And hey if you want to pray for ice cream at the end of dinner, then pray for ice cream.

One last thought I had when I read this, what did this teach this little boy about prayer and trusting God? He prayed for something he wanted…don’t we? He wanted God to answer his prayer…don’t we? But one of the great things I love is that he learned the lesson of praying, asking God for what he wanted, trusting God to do it, and watching God work through his mother who gave him what he asked for. It made me think of my superhero grandson who prayed one day that we would get Starbucks {now before you get all judgmental he gets chocolate milk in a Starbucks cup and thinks he is getting what Gigi gets}. I do not know what prompted him in our prayer time that day to ask for Starbucks, but he wanted it. And I started thinking about what lesson am I teaching him about prayer if I did not get in the car and take him! So we went! My prayer was that my little prayer warrior would know that he could boldly go to the throne of God and ask Him for anything his little heart desired. And that God does hear and prompt others to fulfill those prayers.

My superhero grandson

Where is your childlike faith? Has it left? Trust God, He loves you and wants to give you the desires of your heart.

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Prayer for our Nation

Prayer for our nationThe Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Jesus used this spiritual weapon when tempted by Satan in the desert. Each time Satan attempted to deliver a blow, Jesus blocked the attack with the Word of God by quoting scripture.

 Praying the Word is using your Sword and defeating the enemy! Let’s take up our Sword and wield it over our nation….

“Heavenly Father, I give thanks for our government (1 Timothy 2:1). I pray for all men and women having authority over us in any way (1 Timothy 2:2). Pour out Your Spirit upon them and make Your Word known to them (Proverbs 1:23). Cause them to be men and women of integrity, obedient concerning us (Psalm 25:21), that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:2). Let wisdom enter their hearts, and let knowledge be pleasant to them (Proverbs 2:10). Let discretion preserve them and understanding keep them (Proverbs 2:11), to deliver them from the way of evil and from evil men (Proverbs 2:12). Make their hearts and ears attentive to godly counsel (Psalm 1:1), doing what is right in your sight (2 Chronicles 20:32). Let the upright dwell in our government (Proverbs 2:21). Cause there to be a shaking in all areas. Let those complete and blameless before You stay (Hebrews 12:27), and cut off the wicked. Let the unfaithful be rooted out (Proverbs 2:22). Bring to light what is hidden in darkness (1 Corinthians 4:5), and expose the secret aims of the hearts (1 Corinthians 4:5). Let this nation remember from where they have fallen, repenting, and returning to doing their first works (Revelation 2:5), setting their hearts and their souls to seek the Lord (1 Chronicles 22:19), humbling themselves, praying, and turning from their wicked ways. Then hear them, Lord, and forgive their sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light (Acts 26:18). Soften the hearts that are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). Deliver them from their destructions (Psalm 107:20). Father, You have been longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Raise up a standard in this nation (Isaiah 49:22). Cause the rains of Your Spirit to flood this land (Zechariah 10:1), and revive Your work in the midst of us (Habakkuk 3:2). Raise up intercessors for this nation (Isaiah 59:16), to pull down strongholds over this land (2 Corinthians 10:4). And let the glory of the Lord be revealed (Isaiah 40:5)!”

Am I Praying Properly?

Sandra Hersey. live life out loud. Keys to victorious faithPrayer is vital to our lives, as most of us know. However, most give their “grocery list” prayers I like to call them, which sound something like this: “God, help me pay my mortgage this month. Help my mom to feel better. Send me someone to give me some HELP. Make my spouse understand me more. Please God make my children mind! Thank you Jesus. Amen.”

Though prayer is important, it is of the most importance that we know how to pray properly. And as with anything we must look to the Bible for the correct answer, and who better to look at as an example than Jesus!

When we face times of trials, and storms rise up in our lives, we can seem to be like a tossed ship in raging waters. But God intends for us to chart those “storms of life” with the promises He has already laid out for us in His Word. Jesus knew this when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Now you may say “I’m not being tempted to sin, I just need an answer to my prayer.” Think of this my friend, when we are worried we ARE being tempted to sin by not trusting God. God does not want us to worry or His Word would not declare “Be anxious for nothing!” ( Read here for more on why we should not worry). The point I want to show is not about temptation, it is how to follow Jesus when we have Satan bringing on a storm in our life.

Let’s look at Matthew 4: 1-11- 1THEN JESUS was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. 2And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. 4But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.  5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. 6And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 7Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God. 8Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them.  9And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me.  10Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. 11Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

Notice Jesus had the same reply to everything the devil threw at Him; He said over and over “it has been written!” Jesus took the Word of God and declared “It is written” then He spoke out what the Word said about His particular situation!  For example when Satan tried to tell Jesus he would give him all things Jesus said in verse 10 “Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” Jesus spoke out it is written and backed it up with Deuteronomy 6:13. Jesus also said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). We must have God’s word abiding in us so we can declare it out when we need answer to our prayers!

It is vital we follow Jesus’ examples and instructions. He knew how to talk with His Father  and get His prayers answered, as well as how to send the devil packing when he showed up!

First, find the scripture which has already been promised to you in God’s Word. If you need healing find a healing scripture like 1 Peter 2:24. If you need help in your finances stand and declare Philippians 4:19. If you have an unsaved loved one; bind up the devil over their life according to Matthew 12:29, and pray the Lord of the harvest according to Matthew 9:38 will send labors into their lives to lead them to Jesus! There is a promise from God to you in His Word for EVERY situation in your life! You must find that promise!

Second, you pray out “Father, in Jesus Name, it is written in your Word….” then add the Scripture you are standing on!

Third, give thanks to the Father IN ADVANCE for doing what He promised He would do. THIS is walking in faith! When we know BEFORE it comes that God WILL do it, THEN we are walking in faith. Faith is NOT hoping God will. Faith is not wringing our hands and pleading with God; it is declaring out of our mouths the Word of God. Declaring “it is written, and in Jesus Name” to the Father. Then we keep thanking Him that it is done, NO MATTER what we see in the natural!

We must come to the point where we know we must declare first “It is written” before we can claim “it is finished!”

Know someone who is facing a storm they can’t seem to get out of? Sandra’s book The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary to Become a Vessel Used By God is a book of trials and triumphs! She takes you through her real life trials and how she overcame! See how you can move God to change your situation!

How to Worry Less

Want to worry less?Imagine a life without worry! As impossible as this may seem God intended a better life than a life of worrying about our children, bills, health, etc. The apostle Paul tells us exactly how to handle worry in Philippians 4: 6-9. I know we have heard these passages over and over, but have we made them part of our day-to-day lives?

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]9Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”

I put in bold the words I want us to really focus on: We are not to worry about anything! What? Yes! Worry is not something God wants us to do, however we are always worrying about something are we not? So from today on each time we begin to have worry creep up into our minds we must replace that worry thought with prayer. As we are praying we are to let God know what our desire is for this circumstance we are in. “God help me” is not specific enough! Notice we are to make definite requests. Tell Him verse 6 says what we need! And while we are making our requests known we are to make sure we are thinking back on how many times God has come through for us in the past. We must spend some time setting our thoughts on things God has ALREADY done for us and thank Him for those things. We are to read in the Bible how many times a situation seemed impossible and God showed up and showed out! My friend He knows your name and loves you very much, I believe He led you here today to read this just so you can be reminded of that! He wants the best for you, He wants to work this out for you, but He wants you to ask Him.

In verse 8 Paul tells us what we are to think about. We all have thoughts come into our minds but whether they get to stay and hang out is up to us! We are to give our minds a purposeful thought. This verse tells us our thoughts need to be set on things that are true, honorable, pure, lovely, of good report. Not things of worry, doubt, confusion, or anxiety. When we have the former thoughts; those are not pleasing thoughts to God. We must drive out those invading thoughts and replace them and think on purpose the thoughts God wants us to think on. By replaying in our minds past victories God has given us – and standing on His Word and declaring “My God shall supply ALL my need!”  This is a great way to get our minds off of our problems and get them on God and His promises to us. Remember if God said it in His Word He will do it no matter how much time has passed!

Look at Daniel 9:23 and what the angel of God said to Daniel about the fact he was praying “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” Now look at Isaiah 65:24 “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” God doesn’t have to check his Facebook inbox or text messages to see when we send up a prayer to Him. He hears immediately and He immediately answers, however those prayers are not always revealed for us in the natural for many different reasons. But take comfort in knowing God hears us and answers us immediately and now it is our responsibility to trust Him and His Word and wait for the manifestation of the answer! Notice verse 9 tells us we are to practice what we have learned! We can only change our worry but acting on what the Word tells us to do instead!

God has blessings stored up but they are released when we pray and ask Him – so stop worrying and start asking!

{Need more help? Help! I’m Alone with My Mind; A Guide To Gaining Victory Over Your Thoughts}

Developing Daniel Like Character

How to have character like Daniel. keys to victorious faith.

As I read the Bible I constantly remind myself – this is a true life story of a real person; not a person of fiction or “Bible character” as they are so often called. I love to read books and watch movies about real life events. I enjoy watching the day to day struggles and victories they have in their life and I wait in anticipation to see how the events play out. Daniel is one of those people. He was a young man when he was taken by force from his home in Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar’s army because of the personal traits he had which qualified him for the “job.” However in the midst of being kidnapped, exiled, forced to be in the King’s Court, and facing the threat of being killed on more than one occasion he remained true to his convictions of who God was and what He would do in Daniel’s life.

Our society always seems to want a 5 point lesson and 3 part series. So I am going to give you my points on how to develop a character like Daniel’s.

Stand on your convictions – Daniel refused to give up on his convictions when the King’s commander instructed him to eat the rich foods of the King. Think about a young teenage boy who has been kidnapped from his homeland and now instead of being in slavery with the others he is one of those chosen by the King to get “special treatment.” Most young boys of this age may have thought “wow I am in exile but this is a very plush way to go! Thank you God!” But Daniel did not; to him eating the rich food was defiling his body and dishonoring his God. He stood on his convictions! You and I must come to the point where no matter what the world says or does; we too are going to stand on what the Word of God instructs us to do. When we are wronged – we forgive and walk in love. When we are given a bad report – we stand on what the Bible says. The world will try and sway us, but we must stand on our convictions, and the proper convictions to have are what the Word of God says, not what the world says.

He indulged in prayer – While he was not indulging in the luxuries of the King he was indulging in his time of prayer with God. He was preparing himself daily for what God had in store. I think of those who are called into the military. They must first go to boot camp to strip away the process of the world they know and learn to prepare themselves for the battle ahead. That is exactly what this young boy was doing; preparing before the crisis. He may not have known exactly what lie ahead but he was going to honor his God and spend the time with Him so he would be ready when the battle alarm was sounded. I dare say as he was taken away he did not keep asking “why God, what is happening, why me!” Instead he went about his day to day fellowship with God – why? Because he had ALREADY developed this commune with God which helped him to endure when the times were tough. Instead of “why me God” he was saying “you’re with me God.” He knew who God was and what God would do, all because he ate carefully and lived prayerfully. Now fast forward from being a young man of 18 years to a seasoned man of 80, again he is facing another “fire,” instead of a fiery furnace he is thrown into a den of lions. Listen to what others said about him “we’re unable to find any such damaging evidence, because he was trustworthy and guilty of no negligence or corruption.” Praise God! THOSE are words I want to have others say about me! What about You?

He was consistent– His days were spent over and over being consistent about his daily walk with God. As a young boy he was trained on how to eat properly and he honored it even when he was offered what could be seen as the “good stuff.” He was consistent in his prayer life. This is how he spent his days according to Daniel 6:10 “Three times daily he was kneeling and offering prayers and thanks to his God just as he had been accustomed to do previously.” He indulged his life in prayer! Consistency is the key. The word “consistency” is defined as “Reliability or uniformity of successive results or events.” As we remain consistent evidence proves reliability comes. Daniel was consistent in his prayer life his whole life and God proved his reliability to Daniel no matter what Daniel was facing.

You may be facing a fiery furnace with the trial you are in or maybe feel as if you are about to be thrown to the lions. My encouragement to you today is to look at your life. Examine it and see if you are standing on your convictions of the Word of God, indulging in prayer, and being consistent. As you walk in these examples of Daniel you will begin to see God move; you will come out not smelling of smoke. And when your enemy shouts out “Was your God whom you serve so faithfully able to rescue you from the lions?” You will be able to answer “My God shut the mouth of the lions so they would not hurt me!” And out you will walk with not a scratch on you! Trust in the Lord, He will do it for you too!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How Can I Be Sure?

How can I be sure of my Faith? keys to victorious faith inspirational blogRemember those commercials on TV which tell us how we are in a good place – protected by their product or service if we would only buy what they are selling? I recall these advertisements telling us “like a good neighbor State Farm is there,” and one which assures us; “we’ve got you covered.”

As a child of the Most High King we have the best assurance of all – Jesus Assurance! Jesus assured us in John 14:13 “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do…” Jesus assures us we can ask – we have been given permission to ask the Father using His name! In this world of doubt, lack, and sickness we see fear running ramped. How do we stop this fear? I have always said when fear is present pay attention because there is the enemy! Why? 2 Timothy 1:7 explains ” For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity…” Therefore we must come against fear with the Word of God. We ask in the Name of Jesus and it SHALL be done! If we have needs which must be met – then we come asking in Jesus Name! God is a God who is the giver of good things, every good and perfect gift comes from Heaven (James 1:17).

Now I am a big advocate against the “help me, do for me” prayers we so often like to give. I like to call these our “grocery list prayers.” We rush into a time of prayer and give our “grocery or to do list” to God and out the door we run. Then we allow words to come out of  our mouths all day long which go against the Word of God all together. We speak of lack in our lives, we talk about being sick, we get out of love with the person we work with, and complain about this, that or the other. All the while we are sabotaging our lives. Our words are the seeds in our lives. What seeds we sow with our mouth will come to pass!

We are to set ourselves to seek God as Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20. Starting in verse 6 is what I consider a model way of praying. Jehoshaphat began, as we should, by praising God for who He is. Praising God for what He has done. Then Jehoshaphat asked God to move on their behalf! Of course at that time Jesus had not come, so Jehoshaphat did not pray in Jesus Name, but this is where we are to ask in the Name of Jesus. Notice then the Holy Spirit moved on the people of Judah and spoke to them.

We are so busy and rushing through our prayer time that we do not even wait to hear what the Holy Spirit has to tell us! We are to set ourselves to seek God, praising Him, worshiping Him, thanking Him in Jesus Name (Ephesians 5:20), asking in Jesus Name, and waiting for Him to give us our instructions for the day. Then we are to go out standing on what the Word says and speak over our lives as the Word says: we are healed, we are not in lack, we are blessed Children of God!

Jesus loves you. He came to this earth for you. He died for you. He took stripes on His back for your sickness and diseases so you do not have to carry them! He gave it all for you! What do you need right now? Ask the Father in Jesus powerful and precious name and He will do it for you! You have been given the best assurance anyone can give you – Jesus Assurance!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Rules From God

Sandra Hersey A Christian Inspirational Blog

1. Wake Up!! Decide to have a good day. “Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up!! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up!! Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. “He who guards his lips guards his soul.” Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up!! For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.. “Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…” Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up!! To the Lord. “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up!! For something higher. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up!! Your Prayers. “Do not worry about anything; Instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.” Philippians 4:6