THE # 1 POST FROM 2015 MIGHT BE YOUR 2016 RESOLUTION

 

Prayerwalking: Taking Your Prayers on the Road https://beckielindsey16.com/2015/11/02/prayerwalking-taking-your-prayers-on-the-road/   PRAYERWALKING

 Over 45% of people usually make New Year’s Resolutions. Unfortunately, come the end of January, many have slumped into defeat.

The top two resolutions that I’ve heard mentioned throughout the month of January are:
BETTER PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH.
And guess what? Interestingly the top viewed blog post from 2015 combined both of these goals.

I decided a perfect way to wrap-up the month of January, would be to revisit the post on PRAYERWALKING.


All over the world, God is helping Christians to pray as they walk through the streets of their communities. The idea of prayerwalking through your community is to allow your prayers to extend beyond your own concerns, focusing on the needs of others, while opening yourself to see them with God’s eyes and heart.

Prayerwalking is simply taking our prayers to the very places we desire to see God’s presence manifested.

Another way to put is: Praying on sight with God’s insight.

Prayerwalks are taken by individuals, groups and even whole churches. They can be as short as one block or as long as many miles. The idea is to use the five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—to enhance the intercessor’s (those praying) understanding of prayer needs.

The purpose of prayerwalking is not to pray publicly in order to draw attention to yourself or group. Rather, the purpose of prayerwalking is to pray in the city among the people in order to gain an awareness of their specific needs.

Here’s an example: While walking, you pass a husband and wife having an argument. As you pass by, you silently pray for peace, kindness, and a healthy and happy marriage.

Although you won’t find the word ‘prayerwalk’ in the Bible, walking was a major mode of transportation in biblical times, and clearly people must have walked and prayed at the same time. When God made a covenant with Abraham, He said to him:

“Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession. And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted! Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.” Genesis 14:13-17 NLT (emphasis mine)

I remember the day we first moved into our home. We had waited months for it to be built and now we were going to move in! My family stood on the front porch and prayed, thanking the Lord and dedicating the house for His use. With great excitement we walked through every room, opening closets and cupboards, examining every detail. We walked around the outside, front yard and back. At first, it seemed like a dream, but over time, we began to take possession of “our” house.

I believe this is why God had Abraham walk his property. God wanted Abraham to truly take possession of his land and exert his authority over it.

Another important purpose for prayerwalking is to repossess land currently under the enemy’s control ( John 14:30, 2 Corinthians 4:4) and regain it for God’s kingdom. Remember there were other people living in the land when God told Abraham to walk through it. It would be hundreds of years before God’s promised land would be possessed by Abraham’s descendants. However, in the spirit realm, it belonged to Abraham the moment God gave it to him. It is the same for us, as Abraham’s descendants now.

The sin of Adam and Eve brought a curse on the earth, giving the devil legal grounds to exert authority over earthly realms. Jesus broke the power of the enemy by dying for our sins on the cross and leaves it to His church to enforce the power of what He did on the cross until He returns. While we wait, our job is to take back all the ground that Satan currently holds. Every place on this earth that does not have the full light of the truth of God’s glory and grace through Jesus, is there for us to claim and possess! While prayerwalking, we can boldly claim God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done.

Preparation To Prayerwalk

  • Pray for God’s Spirit to search your heart—Psalm 139:24-25
  • Confess and forsake all known sin—1John 1:9
  • Pray in repentance and faith—Mark 1:15
  • Pray for discernment to pray strategically—Ephesians 1:8
  • Pray for opportunities to share the hope of Christ boldly—Colossians 4:2, Acts 4:31
  • Sketch a map to focus on a selected street, businesses, homes etc.
  • Write out scriptures on note cards.
  • Keep track with a prayer journal where you are walking and scriptures being used.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

How To Prayerwalk

  • Ask God to remove barriers.
  • Invite the Spirit to accompany you.
  • Pray with a partner, group or alone.
  • Pray Bible verses aloud quietly (unless it will be drawing undue attention).
  • Watch for God to show you what He wants you to pray for.
  • Pray for present hour needs as God reveals them.
  • Use short sentences, talking to God in a conversational manner.
  • Walk slowly.
  • Be prepared to explain what you’re doing to inquirers. “We’re praying for God’s blessing on our neighborhood. Is there anything you’d like us to pray for you?”
  • Be persistent. Repeat the same areas near your work, school, or home on a regular basis. You’ll see it deepens your awareness of God’s heart.

After Your Prayerwalk

  • Record in your prayer journal what took place on your prayerwalk and any answered prayers.
  • Thank and praise the Lord for what He is doing in your community/city.

Some Locations To Consider For A Prayerwalk

  • Your neighborhood or work
  • Government buildings
  • Churches or possible locations for new churches
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Business areas
  • Sights of other religions, false religions, or cults

I have experienced great benefits and results from prayerwalking (and jogging). But I’d also like to mention, to believe that prayers offered in any setting, or while in any position, are somehow ‘more effective’ than those offered at another time or in another manner is NOT scriptural. Our heavenly Father, who is everywhere at all times, knows exactly what needs are presently and will respond to them in His own perfect will and timing.
Let’s rejoice in the fact that He allows us to be part of His plans through our prayers!

What are your thoughts on prayerwalking? Please respond in the comments below.


Want to read more on prayerwalking? Suggested reading:

http://www.amazon.com/Prayer-Walking-Praying-Site-Insight/dp/0884192687

http://www.amazon.com/PrayerWalk-Becoming-Prayer-Strength-Discipline/dp/1578

3 WAYS TO JUMPSTART SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN 2016

JUMPSTART SPIRITUAL GROWTH https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/01/11/3-ways-to-jumpstart-spiritual-growth-in-2016/

 

 

Devotional practices like Bible reading and prayer are not the ultimate criteria for spiritual growth.

If someone asks you, “Hey, how’s your spiritual life going?” I bet your mind immediately goes to what Christians call “quiet time.” If we fall short in this area, we probably won’t rate our spiritual life very highly.

Sure, these are good practices, but can one measure the condition of their soul by how much time they spend in the Bible and in prayer? What would Jesus say? In His day, the people who would’ve rated highest on the devotional practices scale would’ve been the scribes and the Pharisees.

“Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:  ‘The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses. So obey everything they teach you, but don’t do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else.’” Matthew 23:1-3 (emphasis mine)

The Pharisees had no problem with commitment to their devotional practices. They did, however, have a problem with living out what they taught. With that being said, the first step to growing spiritually can be found in commitment to devotional practices, while also being just as committed to “fleshing out” those practices.

  1. COMMITMENT

Commitment must not be confused with Christlikeness.

Reading about Jesus doesn’t make you like him. Loving like Him does.

Commit to spending daily time in the Word and prayer. But also commit to obey what you read in the Word.

“Oh, that my actions would consistently  reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands.” Psalms 119:5-6

As Christians, we must be just as diligent at living out Christ’s love as we are to prayer, scripture reading, going to church, serving at church, and a host of other devotional practices.

“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

“If you love me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15

I know commitment can be a struggle. It is for everyone. But even the most uncommitted person is committed to at least something. And if you can commit to one thing, you can commit to more. My guess is, you wouldn’t be reading this unless you’re hungry for more Jesus in your life.

Commitment to God is not just about making a new habit. It’s far greater. It’s about surrender. Surrender means to allow something to influence or control you.

As for me, I have to commit to surrendering control of my life every single day to Jesus. Sometimes I need to surrender moment by moment. And that takes commitment.

  1. CONSISTENCY

Be persistent until you are consistent.

The only way to have consistency with anything is to start and then keep at it. Strive to be consistent over the length of time you spend. A few minutes everyday is the goal, rather than a longer period of time every other day.

Studies show that it takes three weeks (21 days) to form a habit. Commit to spending a few minutes daily to spiritual growth for three weeks. Once you’ve developed the daily habit of a few minutes daily, then gradually increase the amount of daily time spent.

Select a time to spend with God that best suits who you are.

If you’re not a morning person, then setting your alarm to get up at five in the morning probably won’t work well. The important thing is making it a habit.

Write it down.

Write down your plan of commitment and put it in a place you will see it everyday. A 3×5 card near your toothbrush is a suggestion.

  1. COMMUNITY

With community comes accountability.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Tell a few trusted people your spiritual goals and ask for accountability.

Most of us know that having accountability leads to better results. We increase the odds of attaining spiritual goals if we surround ourselves with others that are like-minded.

Jesus is our example of how community is the context for spiritual growth. He created a community of followers that traveled with Him, living and learning from Him as they went through life. They grew together in faith individually, but they did so largely in the setting of community as they prayed, learned and ministered together.

The first church in the book of Acts is another example of community.

“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

Finally, remember that spiritual growth is a process. When making your goal to grow spiritually, factor in that there will be days that you will fall short. DO NOT GIVE UP. If we didn’t fall short, there would be no need for Jesus. If you missed spending time on your spiritual growth today, rest in this fact— tomorrow is a new day to start again!

    COMMITMENT
           CONSISTENCY
                    COMMUNITY

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Lamentations 3:21-23


YOUR TURN: What are some of your goals for spiritual growth in 2016? Share in the comments below:

This post is linked to Literacy Musing Mondays on Forever Joyful. You should check out this wonderful blog that includes links to other useful blogs.
http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=708

liebsteraward

I’m honored to receive The Liebster Award! I’d like to thank Emily at Fearfully and Wonderfully Me. You should check out her blog at:

http://fearfullywonderfullyme.com/2016/01/15/the-liebster-award-strikes-back/

What’s The Liebster Award?
 
The Liebster Award is passed from blogger to blogger as a source of encouragement. Who doesn’t love to be encouraged? Each Liebster Award recipient should:
  • Post the award to her blog
  • Answer the nominating blogger’s ten question interview
  • Nominate 3-10 other bloggers with fewer than 3,000 followers whom she wants to encourage
  • Create ten questions for the new nominees.
Now here’s the fun part! Time to answer Emily’s questions:

Emily’s Questions for me: (Which may be very random):

  1. Why did you start blogging? To use social media to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and encourage other Christians.
  2. What other forms of writing do you like to practice (if any)? I’m a freelance writer and author. I’ve been published in children’s magazines and my local newspaper. I’m currently writing a YA novel and a women’s Bible study (in collaboration with three other women). I also write poetry and songs.
  3. Coffee or tea? Both. But coffee first.
  4. Do you have any other artistic interests/hobbies? I’m a singer and songwriter. I l help lead worship at church. I love, love reading and research—especially of the Bible and history. I enjoying jogging and will do it as long as my knees hold out.
  5. What is your biggest New Year’s resolution? To finish my YA novel to present to  agents/publishers at The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in May.
  6. Do you keep a journal or diary? Yes! I have a personal journal and a prayer journal. I blogged about my prayer journal at:
  7. What is your favorite blog post that you have written so far? I wrote a series of blogs about Prayer in October and November.
  8. Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars!
  9. What is the name and artist of the last song you listened to?Chis Tomlin, You’re a Good Father
  10. What is the best dream you ever had? A dream where I’m with my mom. She passed away 4 yrs. ago. I miss her deeply and it was wonderful to see her again in my dream. I look forward to seeing her in heaven with Jesus 🙂

My Nominees are:

Patty of Girl on Adventure: http://girlonadventure.com/
Rebecca of The Rebecca Koontz site: http://rebekahkoontzsite.com/
Nelie of Neli Betancourt: http://nelibetancourt.com/
Tai of A Spirit-Kissed Soul:  https://aspiritkissedsoul.wordpress.com/

Now it’s your turn!

YOUR QUESTIONS:

1.  What is most rewarding aspect of blogging?
2.  Besides blogging, what other writing do you perform?
3.  Name a fun, random fact about yourself.
4.  Favorite book?
5.  What’s your greatest motivation for writing?
6.  What was your favorite subject in school?
7.  New Year’s Resolution?
8.  Favorite movie?
9.  Favorite dinner to eat.
10. Dog or cat?

 

Okay, have fun! I follow some amazing bloggers. These are only a few who I thought may enjoy participating.

 

BEFORE YOU MAKE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

 

2016 hand

 

I was one of those people who made New Year’s Resolutions. But as I’ve grown older and closer to God, I started something new, which I’ll share with you shortly.

Did you know that 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions? Sadly only 8% are successful at keeping them, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute. Why is it that so few are successful?

Psychology professor Peter Herman and his colleagues have identified that many make  resolutions that are significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-worth

According to brain scientists, making resolutions involves changing behaviors—and in order to change a behavior, you have to change your thinking (or “rewire” your brain).

Interestingly, this lines up with what Christians have been reading in the Bible for centuries.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” Ephesians 4:22

So before setting a resolution for 2016, consider doing these three things first:

1. Change the way you think

Making a resolution means that you want to change something, that you’re not satisfied with something. This can be a negative and discouraging pattern of thought.

The only way to make lasting change starts in how we think. We must exchange a negative for a positive (Ephesians 4:22-23). Psychologists say this is how to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits.

2. Make A Blessing And Personal Accomplishment List

I like to start each new year on a positive note. A great way to do this is by making a list of blessings and personal accomplishments.

Here’s an example of a few things that I wrote in my journal:

I’m thankful for:
My health
My family
My son got married
God’s daily grace and mercy

Personal accomplishments:
I went to two writers conferences
I was published on websites, in my local newspaper, and magazines this year
I lost ten pounds and didn’t gain it back
I have over 2,000 readers on my blog (That’s YOU! Thanks)

What will your list look like?

3. Pray

Once you’ve made your list of blessings and things you’ve accomplished throughout the year, pray for guidance on any new goals. Doesn’t it make sense that we’d ask God before making a major life change like a resolution?

It pleased the Lord when Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3:7-14), and it pleases Him when we ask as well.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5

Finally,  it’s important to remember we are not alone. We have God’s help to accomplish the goals that He has given us. In fact, God has given us all we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). His Spirit is at work within us, giving us new desires to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13), which make us more and more like His Son.

And isn’t that the main goal—to be more like JESUS?

WISHING YOU MANY BLESSINGS IN 2016


Do you make resolutions? If so, what have they been and have you accomplished them? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.