"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD...He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." Micah 4:2

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Whispers of HOPE

Once a week, I join about 12 ladies in a hang out to discuss and encourage each other to develop the habit of prayer. 
We're reading WHISPERS OF HOPE by Beth Moore. We've committed to a 10-week devotional time which we hope grows our understanding of prayer habits and teaches us to genuinely focus on set times of PRAYER. 
Beth takes a passage of scripture for daily reading and then, allows us to peek into her journal for the lessons God taught her while she read the given passages. We take the time to share how God used His word during our daily mediating on prayer and how we are learning to make it a focal part of each day.

In Whispers of Hope, Beth suggests using the acronym PRAISE in prayer, but because I'm already comfortable in a routine of habitually thinking in color, I'm trying to adopt her word into my own colorful outline. Praying in color has helped me stay focused whether I pray audibly or silently. It's just a simple outline of three colors.

These three colors have already become my primary outline in daily priorities and show up in my Bible studies, my schedule, and my relationship building. Using the 3 colors in prayer has helped me categorize what I want to say in my 3 relationships to keep my mind focused on Christ and give him glory. 
So, while reading a Bible passage, I look for any revelation about God and his personal relationship with me. I highlight it in YELLOW.  These phrases emphasize first on my relationship with God, as Creator and what He has revealed through Scriptures about Himself. Then, my position IN CHRIST because of his atonement on my behalf draws me to who He is to me. This draws my thoughts to his glory, splendor, and majesty and His gifts of grace and mercy.
The second color in my small is BLUE. I chose blue because of the blood that I see running just below my skin and giving life to my body parts. Life is in the blood. Spiritually, I was adopted into God's family of believers when I accepted the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse me of all unrighteousness. His family is royal. His family is unique and throughout the New Testament, there are characteristics that describe members of His family. These I color in BLUE so that I can learn to make them part of my choices and character.
Finally, I use RED to remember the stop sign I wish to put in unbelievers pathways so that they have an opportunity to consider Christ for the forgiveness of their sin. There are many passages that warn such people to stop and turn around on their paths, accepting God's gift of GRACE. Any warning or characteristic of these unbelievers I highlight in RED so that I will remember them when confronted with these behaviors.  

Now, getting back to Beth Moore and her book, she suggested using the acronym PRAISE in prayer.
I took the first week to just focus on PRAISE and grasp what each letter would represent while I use my three colors. I found that her PRAISE letters actually fit words I already use, making it easy for me to fit her whole devotional into my daily walk with Christ without referring to my notes during prayer! 

My prayer journal has become a doodle pad as my heart overflows with colorful details I want to discuss with my heavenly Father!

YELLOW: the Presence of my majestic Father of LIGHT and Glory...
I began with P in focusing on PRAISE to God for His glory, splendor and majesty. I thank Him for His continual PRESENCE with me throughout my day.
R causes RESTORATION in my heart as I mediate and claim by faith God's promises to conform me into the image of His Son. I consider who Jesus is and pray that throughout the day, I am a good REFLECTION of His glory.
A helps me ACKNOWLEDGE Jesus as God's Promised ONE and surrender to his Lordship in my ACTIVITIES for the day. Often I find myself just writing Scripture that proves to my faith what God has declared, and that reminds me to bow my knee ASKING him to steady my staggering steps on his straight paths.

BLUE: Christ's love which units His family through His blood...
INTERCESSION is going to the One you believe has the power to meet needs. I bring my list of ITEMS on behalf of others and give each to my Father for His purpose and planning. I tell him what I would like to happen, but realize it is His WILL that will heal their ILLS. There are so many who need to hear from the Creator. 
S moves me into SUPPLICATION for my friends and family and even for myself. All those in Christ Jesus face STRUGGLES that can overwhelm and so I ask God's SPIRIT to STRENGTHEN their inner person and help them live God's purpose today. For many of my believing family members, there are SPECIFIC needs I mention while I am in talking to the SAVIOR'S heart. I also include Jesus' request to His Father and ask that our SOURCE of witness will be love for each other.
Our need to be EQUIPPED, leads me to pray for faithfulness in reading God's WORD daily. I pray His compelling love ENCOURAGES and EDIFIES his children through the inspired WORD. I pray that it does its work in EACH of us.

RED: Those needing to know Christ's forgiveness for sin and who can't yet PRAISE him with thankful hearts...
Time with my Father seems to always linger over my longing to share the Love of Jesus with those who do not yet know His forgiveness and have no Praise. How they need His PRESENCE in their life. My REQUESTS mention the specific names of my ACQUAINTANCES, longing for them to join God's family and know His grace through Jesus Christ. I ask God to IGNITE a fire in them that would burn with longing to know the SAVIOR. I ask Christ to give them ETERNAL LIFE as he promised those who come to Him. 

What a wonderful day His children will have together in the future when we circle His throne in glory, PRAISE and honor! I want all my family and friends to join me there! So, I close my prayer thanking my Father for His work of drawing many loved ones into a relationship with Him, then tell him I've enjoyed the special time of prayer I've had with Him, and how I cannot wait for the future day he promises each of us in his PRESENCE FOR ALL ETERNITY!

Whatever your method of PRAYER, I hope you enjoy your time with the Father and find PRAISE for our wonderful God, His grace, and His mercy on your lips today!

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