Tag Archives: God

A Christian Who Can’t Pray

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I’m a Christian who has a a hard time praying. Wierd right? That’s like being a bee who has a hard time making honey, or a fish that has a hard time swimming. Prayer seems like one of those things that should come naturally to someone who was raised by a pastor and has been a Christian her whole life. But alas, it is something I struggle with. There are lots of different things that make prayer difficult for me, but the major one is that I often don’t know what to say or exactly how to pray. I don’t just want to give God a laundry list of things I desire. I want prayer time to be meaningful and to be a conversation, but I don’t always know how to do that.

My small group leader a few years ago taught me that prayer has four parts: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. I remember it as ACTS. This little acronym has helped improve my prayer life immensely. Whenever I go to pray and am just completely stumped as to what to say, I write out ACTS on a piece of paper and start at the top.

Adoration- First, tell God how great He is. Repeat his attributes to Him. For example, “God You are wonderful, You are the creator of heaven and Earth. You are Alpha and Omega. You are loving and kind.”

Confession- Confess your sins. All the sins…even the little ones.

Thanksgiving- Thank God for everything. I make it a regular habit of thanking God for my car and my iphone because without those two things my life would be much more difficult.

Supplication- This is wherre you get to ask God for things for yourself and on behalf of other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for big things! Obviously, we shouldn’t be asking for needless material possesions but there are major life issues that require serious prayer. Pray that your mom is healed of cancer. Pray for God to take away your drug addiction. Pray for the salvation of your coworker. Pray that God miraciously provides food for your family even though your out of money. Pray for a job. God love us and wants to bless us and hear our prayers but you have to ask!

This may seem too structured and too much like a formula for some people. If you don’t need it, that’s fine, but if you are struggling with prayer I strongly suggest you use it. Think of it this way: do you always have meaningful coneversations with important people in your life? Are you able to have a deep emotional conversation with your roommate every time she walks in the door? Do you and your husband always have a million things to say to each other? Does your family talk non stop at the dinner table? Most likely, no. In those times we all revert to formulaic questions to get the conversation going. For example, we ask “How was your day” or “What did you do this weekend?” Think of this formula as a jump start to the conversation with the Big Guy. Its something to help you get in the habit of prayer so that eventually, it just comes naturally to you.

So there you go, my quick little guide to prayer. How do you pray? Do you pray out loud or write in a journal? Do you pray for big things? Share your thoughts in the comments below

Christianity, Noah and Neon Pink Baseball Hats

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When I was in third grade I scored a sweet role in the church Christmas pageant. While all my friends had to be angels with the first and second graders (what a bunch of babies, muahahaha) I got to be a dancing shepherd with the fourth, fifth and sixth graders. I honestly thought I was the coolest thing since mint ice cream. The day of the big performance came and I got my costume on. Like everyone else I had on black pants, a white turtleneck and red suspenders. However, while the other shepherds sported black baseball caps I decided to make statement and went with…are you ready?…hot pink. Blinding hot neon pink. After all, what’s the point of being awesome if nobody can see you?

Last week Joe and I led a lesson in our small group that was about how we as Christians should live differently from the rest of the world. We started talking about how hard it is to set ourselves apart from the selfish, sinful ways of society. With media, friends and the general population advocating sin all the time, its just so hard to be righteous and God fearing. Being a third grader with an affinity for pink accessories is cute, but being a conservative adult doing God’s will is often something that is mocked. It’s so hard being a Christian. Waaaa!!! *tears*

Just as we were feeling discouraged and sorry for ourselves, I remembered Noah. Most people know the general story: world wide flood, an ark, animals two by two and a rainbow.  you read the story in Genesis you will see that the Bible is very clear in explaining that every But what is often overlooked is the fact that Noah and his family were literally the only righteous people on the entire planet. Go to Genesis and read the story again. The Bible states, multiple times, that every single human EXCEPT Noah and his family was sinful. Every. Single. Human. All their friends, all their coworkers, everyone they passed on the dirt roads or in the market. Literally every single person they came in contact with every day was incredibly sinful. Amongst all of that, Noah and his family were able to live upright lives. They maintained a relationship with God,  followed his commands and were found righteous. They didn’t just wear pink hats. They wore giant, blinged out pink hats.

Today, there are thousands of Christians in different countries who have to live out their faith alone, just like Noah and his family. They live in countries that supress religious freedom and therefore cannot freely fellowship with other Christians. Many of them don’t even have Bibles to read. And yet they believe in God’s sovereignty, pray, and often risk their lives in order to do the right thing. My pink hat goes off to those people.

So the next time we feel sorry for ourselves and complain about how hard it is to be righteous in an unrighteous world, let’s take a second and realize we actually have it pretty good. Most of us have friends, family, coworkers, church family or classmates who are also Christians who we can turn to for support, encouragement and accountability. And if you really don’t know any other Christians, tell me. We will be BFFs and run around the world proclaiming Christ and wearing the biggest, pinkest hats we can find 🙂

Just Sex

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I’m sad that frustration has brought me back from my week long blogging hiatus. I have been super busy and have so many interesting things to report. Yet it is my most hated blog topic, politics, that consumes my thoughts to the point that I can’t wait to blog on my laptop but must pen these thoughts on the iPhone.

Prop 8 was ruled as illegal by a federal judge today. But what I would like focus on is something I heard on Kiss FM this morning. Callers were discussing the idea of “open marriages” in which spouses decide that it’s ok to cheat on each other as long as they follow the rules agreed upon by both husband and wife. Most people, most women actually, were outraged by the idea. One wife, however, said she is involved in such a marriage and has been for ten years. Her sex drive is much stronger than her husbands, so she goes outside of the marriage for sex. She clarified that it was “just sex” and that she “made love” only to her husband.

Just sex. That is the moral dilemma facing current culture. The attitude that it’s just sex before marriage, it just sex outside a marriage, it’s just homosexual sex, it’s just a marriage, just a divorce, just a relationship. Nobody cares about sexual morality. Nobody cares about commitment and promises. Nobody cares about each other.

I find it extremely ironic and painful that in a society so focused on loving and accepting everybody, we refuse to see the damage we are doing to one another with our promiscuity. My husband and I had sex with each other before we were married. And I regret it every single day. Everyone told us that it was fine since we had been going out for so long and were planning on getting married. Even my Christian friends approved. And yet on my wedding night, I felt disappointment and shame. Not only for myself, but for my husband. When I decided to have sex, I wasn’t thinking about what was best for him, I was thinking about what I wanted. I let my selfish lust take away something he could never get back. And that, my friends, is a shitty way to start a marriage.

I can hear the comments now. People are going to make the illogical assumption that I am accusing all this opposed to prop 8 of being sexually promiscuous. I’m not. I know lots of people in committed and healthy marriages and relationship who simply want homosexuals to be able to experience that same joy. And you want to know something? I do to! I wish with all my heart that God, the source of truth, allowed homosexuality. I wish he allowed premarital sex. It would have been awesome not to feel guilty every time I did it without a wedding ring. I wish I could stay happily married to my husband and still make out with David Boreanz from Bones. But it doesn’t work that way. So, while I do want my single girlfriends to live it up, meet new guys and have fun dating, I can’t support their one night stands. And while I can imagine the frustration of a husband whose wife no longer has sex with him, I cannot justify his cheating. And while I would love to see my homosexual friends in legalized happy marriages, I could not justify voting no against prop 8.

It’s not “just sex.” It’s a gift God gave us. It’s a privilege, not a right. And I will no longer stand silently by as I see ALL sexual immorality slowly destroy the lives of my friends, my family, my culture, my country.

God is a friend of Haiti

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So day two of my weekly fast was much easier than the first day. I was able to wait until 5:30 to eat and i just felt hungry all day, not light headed and sick like last week. I think next week I will only eat fruits and veggies for dinner…and maybe the week after that I can go a whole day.

During my prayer time,God revealed very little about my job search. Go figure. That King of Kings is not into revealing plans right away. But, He did speak to me about Haiti. I was listening to my Ipod when one of my favorite songs ever came on, “I am a Friend of God.” (there are lots of different versions of the song, but my favorite is by Israel Houghton). Here’s a video of Israel singing the song

God is a friend of Haiti. God hears the people of Haiti when they call. God is mindful of Haiti and loves the people. I just kept singing the song over and over and speaking these words and was praying that some how, my prayers were reaching the Haitians and they would know that God is thier friend who loves them and is hearing thier cries. A few hours later I got an answer to my prayer. A friend of mine posted that she was listening to the radio and a guy who was in Haiti called in and said that the people on the streets were singing and praising God! How awesome is that? I hope that as more Christians reach out to help, the Haitians will continually feel Christ’s love and feel hope instead of abandonment.

Good Steward

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I’m very serious about finding a new job before summer hits. One thing that God has been telling me repeatedly, usually through sunday sermons, is that I must seek His will first. My goal cannot simply be to find a new job, it must be to find the job that He wants me to have. So I should be praying just as much, actually even more, than I am filling out resumes and applications. I decided that I was going to dedicate one day a week to fasting and praying specifically for a new job. My first day was last week and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it all day. I made it to 4:30pm. But for someone who has never fasted before, and who is very much in love with food, I thought that was a pretty good start. I’ll get to a full day eventually. Anyways my prayer time that day was very interesting. Not gonna lie, I was secretly hoping God would reveal my dream job to me on day one. But He didn’t. Instead, he told me that I need to be a better steward of the job I already have.

This struck me as odd at first. I thought I was being a great steward of that job. I show up on time, I do what my bosses tell me, I rarely call in sick. I consider myself a pretty darn good employee. But further prayer and introspection showed me that I’m not doing anything to build relationships there. I’m not mean to people, but I’m not really friendly either. I just go in, do my job,and leave. At my company, culture and community mean alot and I’m starting to realize that alot of people think I don’t like them because I don’t talk to them. That’s not the case at all. There are lots of reasons why I don’t talk alot at work, which I won’t get into right now, but its never because I don’t like people. It has become very clear to me that I need to make a bigger effort to get to know people. Even just little things like saying hi to individuals at the beginning of a shift, asking someone how his weekend was or complimenting a girl on her new hair cut. It’s not like I need to change my personality over night and become this super out going yappity yap girl. I just need to make an effort.

I always thought I was working at In N Out again just to make a paycheck. But maybe God actually has a purpose for putting me there. Maybe there is someone He wants me to reach out too, to love, to help. I’ll never know if I don’t lift my head up every once in a while and say “hello.” So while I am definately still going to look for a new job, I’m going to try to have a better attitude about the one I have and maybe make a bit of a difference in someone’s life before I leave.