I used this beef shank recipe and served it with roasted mini potatoes.
I also made this chicken breast recipe suggested by a good friend. It was super easy and delicious. To continue with the theme of easy, I just cut the chicken up and put it on top of a bed of premade salad mix from Costco.
What delicious recipes did you make this week? Leave a comment and let me know.
The church I attend host a prayer call every Tuesday at 8PM. We call in and bombard heaven with our different request, determined to flow in our God given purpose. For those that desire to pray, the opportunity is granted. However, for some, praying out loud in a group setting can be terrifying. Below are some things to consider when praying out loud that will help to ease some of the anxiousness.
1. Spend time in personal prayer. Simply put, praying to God in private makes it easier to pray to Him in public. Spend time by yourself with the Lord in prayer. Pour your heart out to Him. Learn to become comfortable in His presence, and give Him a chance to speak back to you. Private prayer helps to train your ear to hear His voice.
2. Spend time studying His word so that you can pray His will. I cannot go wrong praying scripture. I can be sure that I am praying on point when I pray scripture because it is God’s will. 1 John 5:15 tells me that God hears me when I pray His will and I can be confident that He will grant my request. Don’t neglect the studying of His word as this helps to improve your prayer life, and when you pray in front of others, they in turn are blessed!
3. I am praying to God not the individuals who are listening. Keeping this at the forefront of my mind helps me to pray from a sincere heart. There are times when I pray and I may misquote a scripture, mix up my tenses, or mispronounce a word. God is not concerned about that. He is not sitting in heaven going, “oh I can’t answer that prayer because she said ‘is’ instead of ‘are.'” Thinking too hard about how I “sound” and making sure I say the right phrases causes me to miss the true purpose of prayer. My prayer then becomes a performance instead of a sincere offering. Yes, others are listening as I pray out loud but I am not focused on how they will grade my prayer. I am more interested in moving the heart of God. So take a deep breath and relax. Don’t be anxious, just let your words flow from your heart. This is your daddy you are talking to, no need to be afraid.
4. Close your eyes. I find that when I close my eyes especially when praying in front of others this helps me to tune everyone out and focus in on God. When my eyes are closed, it helps me to get in a prayer zone.
5. Don’t hold back. Don’t be concerned about looking composed when praying in front of others. Real prayer requires real vulnerability. If the tears begin to flow as you pour out your heart, let them flow. I know there are times when I am praying out loud and I am determined not to get loud and before I know it, my volume goes from 2 to 15. I am learning to be ok with that, just as long as it is not a work of the flesh. Additionally don’t try to censor every word that comes out of your mouth. Make room for God to use you prophetically as you pray. I have gone into prayer with a “script” in mind and then I feel God leading me to pray something else. I used to struggle with going off script only because it was so uncomfortable and a loss of control. I have prayed before and feel God leading me to pray something that seems to have nothing to do with the subject at hand. However when I am done I have had people come and say that I prayed exactly what they needed to hear. Let your hair down and PRAY!
Do you struggle with praying in front of others? What are some things you have done to help you become more comfortable with praying out loud?
In Luke 18:9-14 Jesus tells the story of two men who went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a dishonest tax collector. The Pharisee was so full of himself. He proceeded to pray the “perfect” prayer, telling God how wonderful he (the Pharisee) was. He was sure to point out to God that he was not like everyone else. He drank his own Kool-Aid through the entire prayer. He gave God his spiritual resume if you will. I don’t sin, I don’t cheat, I don’t commit adultery, I fast not once but twice a week and to top it all off God, I tithe! Aren’t I wonderful?
In contrast, the dishonest tax collector recognized his brokenness. He prayed from such a humble heart. He acknowledged that he was a sinner and begged God to have mercy on Him. His prayer was not filled with platitudes. Instead it was filled with humility. That pleased the Father.
If we are going to be honest (and honest is good); we can admit that we have been guilty of praying like the Pharisee. Telling God how wonderful we are in prayer and reminding Him of all we have done can be an avoidance strategy. We somehow feel that focusing on our “spiritual” accomplishments, keep the spotlight off of all that we are not doing. We may give our money but do we give the gift of forgiveness to the one that hurt us? We don’t cheat on our taxes but do we cheat God by not giving Him our time in prayer and the study of His word? Instead we waste our time on social media and unfruitful activities. Checked boxes on our spiritual to do list does not address the issues of our hearts.
It is also easy to compare ourselves to others in prayer. The question should never be, “how am I doing in comparison to others?” Instead we should ask, “how am doing in comparison to God’s righteous standards?” An honest answer to this question sets the stage for a posture of humility in prayer. It reminds us of our DAILY need for God’s mercy.
Is it easy for you to admit your need for God in prayer? Which one are you most like in prayer, the Pharisee or the tax collector?
I cannot fly or leap over tall buildings but I have another superpower…PRAYER!
When I pray the prayer of repentance from a sincere heart. I am promised eternal life. I live forever, I NEVER DIE! Now that’s superpower!
I am in a war with unseen forces.With prayer I can stop the forces of darkness, speak against generational curses and command them to be broken; I can change the course of my life! I can speak life to dead situations. Don’t believe me? Ask Lazarus who was brought back to life after being dead for three days! That is superpower!
I can pray for the sick to be healed. Don’t believe me? Ask the woman who constantly bled for 12 years. She spent all of her money going to doctors but they could not heal her. However, after touching the hem of Jesus’ garment she was immediately healed. I also have my own personal testimonies from my last two children Isaiah and Faith. They were both in need of healing, we prayed and Jesus answered. That is superpower!
Prayer coupled with praise can free us from the prison the devil tries to put us in. Don’t believe me? Ask Paul and Silas. They did not complain or hold a pity party when they were imprisoned for the sake of Christ. They PRAYED and PRAISED which broke their chains and set them free! That is superpower!
Prayer allows me to transcend my natural circumstance and enter a state of contentment and true joy. I never have to worry about anything. When I pray according to God’s will there is an overflow of confidence that He hears me and it is done.
If all of the above is not super enough. In prayer the one who created the universe, speaks to me PERSONALLY! He tells me His heart and His will. Don’t believe me? Ask Abraham. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were great and God shared His intentions to destroy these cities with Abraham. In this dialogue, Abraham is given the opportunity to intercede for Lot and his family. That is superpower!
Is prayer your super power? What miraculous things have happened in your life as a result of prayer?
If I am not careful, I can think too much on a situation of concern. I have been guilty of overthinking things which leaves me spiritually and emotionally drained. Someone offends me and I play the offense over in my mind. I said something to someone, and later start to think if I said too much. Did I say it in the wrong way? Has this ever happened to you?
Thinking too much opens the door to worry. If I am not careful I can find myself worrying through the pain, instead of praying through it. Worrying allows your emotions to get the best of you. Living in your emotions can be deceptive. Trust me, I can tell you stories on this one. Worrying is an insult to God. It says, “I do not trust you. I do not believe you have my best interest at heart. You do not know what you are doing so let me worry my little finite heart out and come up with a solution.” Worrying makes no sense!
The Lord invites us not to worry about ANYTHING but to pray about EVERYTHING!
Worrying is tragic while praying brings a peace that is out of this world. Prayer says, “Jesus not only do I want you to take the wheel but I want you to pick up this vehicle and carry it.” I cannot even sit in the passenger seat yelling out which way we should turn because I don’t know. Prayer is a liberating experience.
It lifts burdens that are too heavy to carry
Brings order where there is confusion
Gives hope for what seems hopeless
Affirms me when human words have torn down
Gives strength when my strength has failed
Reminds me that nothing is too hard for God
Helps me to close my mouth and allows God to do the explaining
God’s word tells me to mix in thanksgiving with my praying. When I begin to thank Him, I am reminded of all He has done in the past. This builds my faith and creates an expectation for what He will do in the future. Thanksgiving chases worry away and welcomes in the peace of God, one that will guard my heart and mind.
Worry too much? Today I invite you to join me in changing those thoughts to prayer and get ready to be overwhelmed with God’s peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
As you all know by now, I am expecting…great things from God.
In my first and only birthing class over 12 years ago, I learned that I should not let my emotions get the best of me when the pain from the contractions during delivery came. It was recommended that I use a breathing pattern to help to keep me calm through the contractions. I did not understand why there was such a strong emphasis on staying focused and breathing until that faithful December morning over 11 years ago. I had NEVER felt pain like that before, it was unreal. The temptation was there to scream and totally lose it but I REMEMBERED! I made up my own unorthodox breathing pattern when the excruciating pain from the contractions overwhelmed me. The” breathing instead of screaming like a mad woman” approach did not cause the pain to go away but it helped to put me in a zone. I knew that there was no going back, the baby had to be delivered. The pain was a part of the package for life to come. THE. PAIN. WAS. A. PART. OF. THE. PACKAGE. FOR. LIFE. TO. COME. And so it is with life…
Many of my revelations come from my experiences as a wife and mother.
God reveals so much to me in what may appear to be mundane. But in my barefoot and pregnant, wiping noses, potty training, nursing, “I said no for the 10th time,” “what do you want for dinner” seasons of life I have come to get a greater revelation of Jesus. Making the mundane magnificent. In life Jesus is teaching me not to get distracted by pain. He is teaching me to keep calm and pray on.
The pain of waiting for an answer to prayer can cause you to lose it.
The pain of uncertainty and the realization that control is an illusion can cause you to lose it.
The pain from a negative diagnosis from the doctor can cause you to lose it.
The pain from too little money and too many bills can cause you to lose it.
The pain from lost dreams and disappointments can cause you to lose it.
The pain of life is inevitable. If you are not careful, you can be distracted by the pain. You can forget that you are in labor and though the pain is great, something beautiful awaits you on the other end. Do not get stuck in the middle of delivery and lose what God has promised. Screaming and letting your emotions get the best of you can prove to be detrimental. Today I encourage you to refocus, breathe in the goodness of God, and stand on His promises. Get in a zone and keep calm and pray on! Prayer indeed birth great things!
“…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 NLT