Category Archives for Prayer

How Do I teach My Child to Pray?

September 1, 2015


 My pastor mentioned this Sunday that the devil always comes with His “A” game.  While the devil is on the attack, prayer is a powerful weapon against the enemy.  I want my children to be spiritually successful so I try to emphasize the importance of prayer.  Below are some tips to teach your child to pray.

    • Encourage your child to begin prayer with thanksgiving and adoration for Jesus.  When my children are younger I tell them what to say to start their prayers. My two year old prays the same prayer everyday but it is a starting point.  I start off saying, “I love” and she blurts out JESUS! With time we add on.  One of the first things they learn is that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and that is something to be thankful for.  I have them repeat the following after me, “Thank you God for sending your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins.”  This is foundational.  We then thank God for meeting our needs.  I may have them repeat the following,   “Thank you God for waking me up this morning,” “Thank you for giving me a house.”  “Thank you God that I have clothing and food to eat.”  These prayers of thanksgiving makes them mindful that God is a provider and He is worthy of our praise. As they get older and more comfortable with praying, I take the training wheels off if you will and allow them to pray from their hearts.  They offer up their own thanksgiving.  I must confess that they sometimes can become lengthy in their thanksgiving but praise God for teaching me patience.  I sometimes have to offer up a soft “amen” when they are praying, which is an indicator to them to wrap it up and give the next sibling a chance to pray.  Don’t worry I am not a mean mommy that is hindering the spirit of God.  They are more than welcome to continue to give thanks to God on their own.  I certainly don’t want their worship to go cold.  


    • Teach your children about the need for repentance, initially and throughout their walk with Christ.  I love how my Pastor’s wife offers up such a simplistic explanation for repentance, which is saying sorry to God and really meaning it.  Children also need to learn that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standards and that there is a need to repent (Romans 3:23).  Teach them to say sorry to God in prayer and let them know that it is important to admit their sins to God and ask Him for cleansing (1 John 1:9).  I have had to ask my children for forgiveness.  I have also had to repent in prayer in front of them on more than once occasion for being too snappy.  This is such a humbling thing to do but I want them to understand that we are all in need of God’s forgiveness.
    • Encourage them to tell God their needs.  I have been guilty of trying to be God to my children.  Allow me to explain.  Yes I have been given the task of training them, but God did not ask me to solve every one of their problems or pretend to know the answer to everything.  I am limited in what I can provide, what I know and even my ability to love. The Lord is teaching me not to become anxious about meeting my child’s every need and want, because truth is I cannot.  My job is to do teach my children to bring their requests to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6).  Humbly admit to your child that you can’t do everything and be everyone but God can.  This kind of response puts God in His rightful place in your child’s mind and heart.  Help them to connect the dots when God answers a prayer that they prayed. This then becomes their personal testimony which helps to foster a relationship with God, which is the end goal.  I want my children to understand that I can’t always be there but God is ever present. Prayer teaches them to tap into His presence!  Again this helps them to understand that I am not their savior, God is!
    • Encourage your child to pray for others beyond her immediate family such as church family, teachers, and government officials (I Timothy 2:1-It is so easy for us to become “self-centered” in prayer.  I want my children to cultivate a heart of intercession.  They sometimes come home with interesting stories about their classmates.  I encourage them to pray and not just think about how horrible a situation is.  I also make it a practice to pray for their teachers and other adults in their school building and they catch on and begin to pray for them as well.  Teach them to pray for the persecuted church.  Voice of the Martyrs have great resources for children.


How about you?  What have you done to help your child learn how to pray?  Leave a comment below and let me know.



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God Why Haven’t You Answered This Prayer Yet?

August 31, 2015

I have seen God move mountains in prayer like He promised. Beyond what I have read in the bible, I have my own mountain  moving testimonies.  However, there is one prayer that I have prayed for over 18 years and I am still waiting on the answer.  Do you want to know what it is?   Click on this link and scroll down to the sermon title, “God Why Haven’t you Answered this Prayer?”by Lady Anika Jones.  After listening please leave a comment below and let me know if you can relate to what I shared? How about you, have you been waiting on an answer to prayer?  Have you learned anything in the process of waiting?


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Repentance is the warm up before prayer

August 3, 2015


Most workout enthusiast encourage you to warm up before exercising because it is crucial to an effective workout.  It warms your muscles, increases blood flow to exercising muscles and the heart, which minimizes the risk of injury and increases your energy.  The same is true for prayer.  There are times we want to jump in COLD and our prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling.  We know we have done wrong and we refuse to acknowledge it, we just want to tell God all we need from Him.   However, I have learned that REPENTACE melts the frost off our hearts causing the blood of Jesus to flow in our situation.  It is arrogant to think that we can just come into the presence of God expecting something without acknowledging that we have done wrong.  God is simply not pleased with arrogance.  He makes it quite clear that He resist the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).  True Repentance requires true humility.

Sometimes we say sorry because we don’t like the consequences of our actions, but would return to that sinful action in a heartbeat if there were no consequences attached; if we knew we would not be caught.   This is not true repentance.  Repentance is saying God I am sorry and I really mean it.  I regret what I have done and I truly want to change.  I want to turn from my sinful ways because I know it displeases you.  Repentance says I want to turn my back on sin and run forward into the arms of Jesus.  It is more than words, it is a shifting of the heart.  It is an invitation to Jesus to come in and make right all that is wrong.   Yes I prayed that initial prayer when I first came to Christ asking Him to forgive me of my sins, but that was not intended to be my only prayer of repentance.  As I go with Christ, His truth shines the light on the parts of me that need to change.  I have given up on trying to fix me because the list is long.   However when I repent, I am inviting Jesus to shower me with HIS grace to walk in victory. For His strength to turn away from the very thing that displeases Him.  It is an ongoing process, but one that brings great FREEDOM!

Is there something that you know you need to repent of so that your prayers will not be hindered?  Anger, jealousy, a bad attitude?   I encourage you to pour your heart out to Jesus and receive His forgiveness so that you can move forward in your prayers.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.  1 John 1:8-10 NLT


God Did It! My Testimony of Debt Forgiveness and A New Home

Note: I wrote this post in 2012 and God blessed us to have our 6th child a year after moving into our new home. He is so faithful!

I have settled into my NEW NORMAL!  The last few months have been quite an adventure and we are beginning to slow down FOR NOW.  We were blessed to move into a bigger home to accommodate our large family.  God moved in a supernatural way and opened a door that we could not open on our own. This post is to encourage you to stand in faith and to believe God for the impossible.  This is not just about a bigger house but it is to put spotlight on a God that still honors faith and moves mountains.  Put on your cyber listening ears and allow me to TESTIFY!!!!!

When my husband and I first moved into our previous home 8 years ago, it was so big.  It was just the two of us and we were expecting our first child.  That was in 2003.  But 2005 came and we welcomed our 2nd child, then wouldn’t you know it baby number 3 came in 2007.  We had developed a pattern of having a baby on odd years and the trend continued.  Baby number 4 came in 2009 and blessing number five came 2011.  If you were exhausted reading that imagine what it was like for us. Needless to say, we outgrew our humble abode and desperately needed more space.

But there was just one little problem.  The finances were telling us that we COULD NOT afford to move.  When we first moved in our home, it required a lot of TLC, so we took out a loan to do some home improvements.  After we were done doing what we needed to do to make the home livable, we had incurred a large amount of debt. We were not required to pay back the loan until we moved out of the house and there was no interest.  We did not anticipate having so many children so quickly and assumed that we would be in the house for quite a while.  God however had another plan.  My husband was the only one with an income. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 8 years, so we didn’t just happen to have an extra $28,000 hanging out in our savings to pay this debt so we could move.  But we couldn’t deny that we needed more space.  We petitioned the Lord and had other likeminded believers standing in faith with us. To make a very long story short the debt was FORGIVEN IN FULL!  God seems to major in forgiveness of debt doesn’t He, remember the cross scenario?  We received news that our $28,000 debt was forgiven in full the day that our fifth child came out of his first of three major surgeries.  The news was a great source of encouragement for us during this season of great uncertainty.  We were SUPER EXCITED!  But we still did not have any extra money to move forward to purchase a new home that would accommodate our growing family!

We continued to stand in faith and not focus on our bank account.  We went looking at homes that we knew we couldn’t afford, all the while praying for yet another miracle.  The house hunting process was a very long one and we had many moments of feeling discouraged but pressed forward in faith.  There were many believers standing and believing with us.  In the process of looking for a home, a dear sister at our church told us something that we initially did not have the faith for.  She told us that she was believing the Lord to give us a house that was no less than 4000 sq. ft. and that our new mortgage would be the same or less than what we had been paying for our 1100 sq. ft. home.  WHAT? That was just crazy. We did the smile and nod script when she first shared this impossible desire with us.  But with time, we began to believe the Lord for just that.

To add to the frustration of the house hunting process, no one seemed to be interested in our home that was now on the market.  By divine intervention we had some teachers from our children’s school LITERALLY show up at our front door expressing interest in renting our home. We had previously dismissed the idea of renting because we did not want to deal with having people in our home that we did not know.  BUT the Lord stepped in and sent these tenants to our front door.  They were very serious about renting the property, so much so that they were willing to give us the security deposit months in advance.  It was also an added bonus that they were not total strangers to us. We agreed to rent them the property but expressing to them that we still had not found a home to purchase.

Right when we hit the point of fatigue, my husband came across a home on the internet in an area that we had not even thought about.  The home was only 5 years old and had recently gone into foreclosure. When my husband saw it on the internet, it had been on the market for a few days.  I must admit that when he first showed me the home online, I was not impressed and thought that it looked too good to be true.  I assumed that there had to be a catch and they were lying about the measurements of the home considering the listing price.  He called our realtor and had her schedule an appointment.  RELUCTANTLY I went.  I had my “I told you so” speech all ready for after we viewed the house and realized that it was a scam.  But wouldn’t you know it, God blew our minds!  The home was beautiful, perfect for our family.  We made an offer that was lower than the already reasonable listing price.  We were told that the bank would not entertain our price because the asking price was already so low.  We figured God had brought us this far so why not!  The bank did budge and fast forward to a few months later, I am now sitting in that same house on my computer typing my TESTIMONY!

Yes that’s right, the home is now ours.  Not only is it a beautiful home but it is 4103 sq. ft. and oh yeah our mortgage payment is $25 dollars cheaper than what we were paying for our 1100 sq. ft. home. GLORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now God is not our genie who just gives us whatever we want whenever we want it.  This was a process and it served a purpose. During our season of waiting God taught us:

  1. To give out of our lack, even when it just doesn’t make sense.
  2.  God’s timing is certainly not ours but don’t give up if it doesn’t come when you desperately want it to or expect it.
  3.  To Serve Him faithfully even when we don’t have what we WANT.
  4.  Continually surrender and relinquish control even in areas that is downright uncomfortable (e.g. having all these babies when we just didn’t see how on ONE income?)
  5.  Continue to walk in faith and not be concerned about appearing negligent and foolish in the eyes of others. 6. When the blessing comes, it may not be in the package you expect it but it’s just what you need.
  6.  Look to Him and not man to be our provider.
  7. We don’t have to try to defend why we serve Jesus, He always silences the naysayers in a LOUD WAY
  8. Praise Him in LITTLE and in PLENTY cause He is the same good God regardless of the season.
  9. Serve God and not the blessing!

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Striking a pose on closing day in our new home!

Striking a pose on closing day in our new home!

Tyrone opening the door of his new home as Naomi looks on with much joy and excitement!

Tyrone opening the door of his new home as Naomi looks on with much joy and excitement!

5 Tips to help you become more comfortable with praying in front of others

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?


Praying from a humble heart

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?



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