Monthly Worship

Monthly Worship

It’s been five months since I’ve started participating in the worship calendar I made based off of Numbers 28. Today is the 2nd day of September, so I got to enjoy participating in the Monthly Worship event. In short, I make a special meal, reflect on the past month and how God has worked, anticipate the next month and its challenges, write down who needs prayer, and what I’m looking forward to. It has been such a rewarding event on my calendar.

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The meal in the picture above, is an example of the type of meals I like to make on Monthly Worship day. When people are available, I love inviting them over to share in the blessings God has given me. He is generous and always provides me with more than enough food. It’s a pleasure and joy to share it with others!

I write in my journal daily, so one of my strategies at the first of the month is to read through the past month’s journal entries and write down how God provided during that time. I had ten things on my list of how God provided for me in August! And not just little things like, I-made-it-to-the-gas-station-on-fumes (which is a blessing btw), but big financial, codependency recovery, ministry, professional, and spiritual provisions! God is good and I was able to praise Him all over again today by reflecting over this past month.

Provisions are followed by anticipation of the upcoming month. This part has been great because I feel like I’m walking into the next month prayed up. I look at the foreseeable challenges and surrender them to God. I acknowledge that He has been faithful the past month and will continue to be faithful in the next. He is a great God! This month I have quite a few intimidating tasks coming involving ministry prep, art, and tuition fundraising. It gave my heart peace to think on those things ahead of time and give them to God.

After eating and reflecting, I get to turn my attention to others. The next step of Monthly Worship is writing down who needs prayer. Many times, I find myself praying for those that are closest to me. I don’t know why this is, but I end up praying for people outside of the home more than I do for those right around me. Maybe it’s because I see my close friends and family more so I take them for granted? I’m not sure, but every month, I am reminded of the needs those closer to me have and get to bring them to God.

A blessing from all of this reflection is the gratitude that comes. My spirits are always lifted after celebrating Monthly Worship, so the last step ends it all perfectly! I close the celebration by writing down what I’m looking forward to in the next month. It helps me start out on a positive note. This month, I’m looking forward to school, hanging out with family and friends, and seeing ministry ideas develop. It’s all quite exciting. 😄

I hope this summary encourages you as you start out September. If you decide to celebrate Monthly Worship or join in on the Worship Calendar, I’d love to hear how it goes! Have a wonderful Labor Day and enjoy the goodness of God! ✨

 

The Art of Prayer

The Art of Prayer

Hey all!

I’m currently working on training materials for a ministry I’m developing. When looking for volunteers in ministry, it’s important to me that they have a vibrant walk with God. How can people reach and inspire others for the gospel if they feel empty themselves?

I’ve posted below what I’m calling an evaluation and self discovery exercise. If you’d like to fill it out and send me feedback that would be awesome and super helpful! I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions. 🙂

PRAYER EVALUATION AND SELF DISCOVERY

  1. Give three words to describe your prayer life currently.

 

 

  1. Write below why you chose those three words.

 

 

 

  1. Do you feel like God’s love and engagement with you is conditional based on your prayer life? Whether yes or no, why?

 

 

 

 

  1. What three words would you like to use to describe your prayer life?

 

 

  1. Write below why you chose those three words.

 

 

 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul encourages his readers to pray without ceasing. This could bring to mind a seemingly impossible task of speaking to God every second of the day. However, I believe this kind of praying without ceasing to be a state of being, rather than an ongoing essay of sorts. God has given each of us unique ways to communicate with Him. We are not all the same. Some people love to journal their prayers, others like to go on prayer walks and speak with God or sort through their thoughts with Him, some like to sing prayer and praises to God, and others use art to express their feelings and desires. There are ways I cannot even think of because I don’t know you and how God made you!

  1. Write down some of your strengths, gifts, or pleasures below. What do you enjoy doing?

 

 

  1. How could you incorporate these into your prayer life? Prayer is all about engaging with God. He is not limited to one form of communication!

 

 

 

Another element of prayer is surrender. We cannot fully experience the freedom of God’s grace until we give Him our weaknesses, obstacles, and troubles. After becoming a Christian, it’s all too natural to continue carrying the weight of our responsibilities, dreams, and issues. When we do that, we are missing out on one of the greatest gifts of salvation! Accepting Jesus as Savior begins an adventure of trusting God in every step and having Him work through us. It’s all very exciting.

Jesus urged His listeners and disciples to not worry or be anxious. The apostle Paul followed that same thought in his letter to the Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer places you under the protection of the peace of God. This peace can only come through Jesus Christ. Any time you are struggling with an emotion, specific life situations, or fear over upcoming obstacles, surrender it to God! He will accomplish His work through you and take care of you. As you watch God do this for you on a daily basis, the prayer without ceasing will flow from you naturally. You will find yourself living in the joy of God’s peace more and more with those worries and troubles having less of a hold on you.

Once you start consistently experiencing the joy and peace of God, there will be times when you once again feel overpowered by life. Do not be discouraged! Do what you did at the beginning. Surrender! We are not perfect. That’s why we need Jesus. Our imperfections are a reminder of our need. Our times of fear and pain bring us back to God if we have wandered off a bit. We need these negative emotions to warn us when we’ve gone outside of God. Don’t run from them, but embrace them and take it all to God.

You Ready?

This coming Sunday is the end of daylight savings. The sun sets one hour earlier and we will begin our official season of rest. This time of the year has the potential of being a phase you look back on with warm nostalgia. It can also take the opposite route and be a time in your life you wished had never happened. My hope for you is that this will be a time of both. Why? Because without adversity, there is no growth. We need challenges in our lives to draw us closer to God and become more like Him. We also need fun! What is life without joy?!

So, we have shorter days coming and the question is: Are you ready?

You may not know. I’m not sure, myself. The certainty is that we will have good and bad times during this season. In Galatians 6:14-20, Paul gives encouragement to his readers on how to face tough times.

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Adversity comes from our adversary: Satan. He knows we have weaknesses coming with shorter days and will be on the prowl to attack. According to Galatians 6, there are three things we can do this week to prepare for his attacks:

  1. Stand (v. 14-15) It can be tempting to cave when life closes in on you, but that is not the way to go when you have the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit slows down the scenarios around you and grants you awareness. You can see what’s going on and stand. Stand firm! Depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness… whatever negative emotion plagues you, will come. You can anticipate their arrival and stand against them.

  2. Take Up (v. 16-17) Whether you realize it or not, you are walking armor. Your faith is powerful. Nothing Satan throws at you can overcome or defeat the sound faith that is wrapped around you, the salvation that protects you, or the word of God. All these things God has given you to equip you for any attempt Satan makes to bring you down.

  3. Keep Alert (v. 18-20) You have awareness through the Holy Spirit, but it’s important to be alert. Someone could be showing you signs all day long but you have to look for them to see them. Look for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Look for opportunities to pray for yourself and others around you. Prayer is our most powerful and instant connection with God and yet it is often so poorly utilized.

One of Satan’s main goals is to cripple us from doing the service of God. The best thing we can do this season is prepare ourselves spiritually and interact with God daily.

Paul needed protection, truth, and prayer to carry out the job God had given him to do. We need the same. Satan wants you at a safe distance from God, if you must be close at all, and he knows where to get you. That’s why we must know God. We need to read His word and talk to Him. We need to place ourselves under Him. It is through His truth and His strength that we can stand against the devil and his schemes. Once we are standing in the truth of God, we combat evil with prayer. We take it to God who can actually do something about it. What better way to spend this Season of Rest than in constant communication with God who loves you?

Get in tune with the Holy Spirit and enjoy the rest of your week!