Stir Me in the Morning

I can’t believe the first month of 2018 is already half over! Is it just me or does life go by faster the older we get? At the start of this new year, I chose the word STIRRED as my word for the year.

I want to be stirred by a heightened understanding of God’s love for me. I want God’s Word to shake me up and provoke me to change. I want my relationship with Him to be the most captivating thing in my life. Is that too much to ask?

[My Daughter,] keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT).

I’ve been talking with the Lord about this, and here are a few instructions he’s whispered to my expectant heart.

Start your day with Me and not your phone. Woo wee! God doesn’t waste any time, does He? I use my phone as my alarm clock, so I’ve gotten into the terrible habit of checking emails and social media notifications the instant I wake up. Some mornings, I even find myself checking my bank balance. So, before I even stand up for the day, my mind is swirling with the cares of this world. I once heard Lysa TerKeurst say something like this: “Before you face the day, seek God’s face.” I think that’s pretty sound advice. I created this prayer graphic to use as the wallpaper on my phone to remind me of Who deserves my first moments.

Seek Me first; not the approval of others, not your business goals, not your hopes for the future, and certainly not your past. If I were to do a tally of my thoughts, I’m pretty sure my thoughts about the Lord would come up short compared to those other things. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33 NLT). I’m pretty sure Jesus knows what He’s talking about.

Sleep in peace by spending the last moments of your day with Me without the distraction of electronics.  Something tells me God thinks I’m on my phone too much. I’ve read studies that say sleep quality is greatly improved when you turn off electronics at least an hour before bed. And just yesterday, my buddy, Leah, challenged me to join her in turning off electronics at 9:30 p.m. Well, since I’m writing this at 12:26 a.m., this will obviously be a process for me. Last night, I plugged in my phone away from my bed, so I wouldn’t be tempted to grab it. I read a Christian book until my eyes grew heavy, and I slept like a rock. When I woke up, my phone screen reminded me to let God influence my first thoughts. And I did.

I know I won’t get it right all the time, but I know God sees me trying. He sees me seeking, and I have no doubt He’s going to do some stirring in this heart of mine! I think He already is.

Lord, Thank you for being so patient with me. Thank you that You want to spend time with me. That You delight in me. That I’m Your girl no matter what. Please stir my heart with deep affection for You as I commit to spending more time with You in the morning, at night, and all through the day. I know if I seek You first, You’ll take care of everything that’s heavy on my mind. I can trust You. In Jesus’s name I pray, AMEN

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Invitation to Pray| Pray Without Ceasing Tip of the Week

I got a special piece of mail a few weeks ago. It wasn’t in a bill-size envelope. It wasn’t in a junk mail-size envelope. It was in a lovey-dovey-size envelope. I got a wedding invitation!

I met Amber when I first moved back to Louisiana. She was the smiling and enthusiastic music teacher, and I was the wrung-out and overwhelmed substitute at a local Christian school. The thought of watching her speak her vows to her sweetheart makes me smile.

Her invitation has been sitting in my room for a couple weeks, but the other  day, the Lord whispered into my heart.

What if you prayed for Amber and Wyatt every time you saw that invitation?

Hmmm, what if?

Planning a wedding is a joyous but stressful time. I’m sure they could use my prayers about that.

Shifting from being single to married is exciting but challenging. I’m sure they could use my prayers about that.

Gaining a son or daughter-in-law is a huge blessing but a tremendous adjustment. I’m sure Amber and Wyatt’s parents could use my prayers about that.

And then there’s the whole Satan thing. I know from experience that the evil one wants Christian marriages to crash and burn. I have no doubt this precious couple needs all the prayer they can get.

So Amber and Wyatt’s wedding invitation is displayed in my bathroom. Yes, my bathroom. When I get ready in the mornings and clean my face in the evenings, I like to pray for folks.

I have a couple names written on my mirror in green dry erase marker (right above my weight-loss log). Mainly friends going through challenges that need concentrated prayer. I also have a prayer card for a man named Muthu I got from the Voice of the Martyrs. He’s a Believer in a country where persecution is rampant.

And now I have a beautiful invitation to a beautiful girl’s special day leaning up against my mirror. And I vow to pray for her and her sweetheart and their parents on these days leading up to the wedding day.

Here’s my prayer for them today.

Lord,

Marriage is a beautiful picture of our relationship with you. The love. The commitment. The intimacy.  It touches me deep to see this beautiful couple begin their life together. 

Cause these days leading up to the wedding to bubble over with joy, happiness, and laughter. Help them to keep all the preparations in perspective and to not get stressed over things that won’t matter in the long run.

Surround this precious couple with godly people and solid couples who can share practical wisdom, and help Amber and Wyatt to soak up every ounce of it. 

Help them to pray together as if their marriage depends on it. Because it does.

Help them to dig into Your Word as if they’re digging for hidden treasure. Because it is.

Help them to listen to Your voice as if  You’re leading them down a narrow path. Because You are.

keep Your hand on Amber and Wyatt and they keep their eyes on You.

In Jesus’s name I pray, AMEN

Next time you receive an invitation, don’t just write the event in your calendar and toss the invite. Tack it up where you’ll see it or tuck it in your Bible, and commit to pray for the sender until their special  day arrives. There’s no greater gift than prayer.

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