Fear Is a Liar

Fear Is a Liar

April E

April E

I grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma Christian University. Right after earning my degree in Music Education I moved to Germany to do mission work for 5 years. During those 5 years, I married my husband and we eventually became parents to our spunky daughter! We settled back in Oklahoma and added an energetic son to our family! I am now a stay-at-home mom who is still very passionate about mission work, Germany, singing, family, and most of all, my relationship with God.
April E

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As a mother, wife and human being living in this world, there are not many days that pass by that I don’t constantly over-analyze what I said, what I did, my parenting choices or any aspect of my life. Many times my thoughts go negative and I believe that I’m doing it all wrong. It’s so easy to feel that way.

There are a plethora of books, blogs and opinions being shared about how to do everything under the sun. Social media sets us up for failure while comparing our life and decisions to all the “social media perfect” lives out there.

Why do we allow ourselves to feel like failures, even when we know in our hearts we are doing the best we can and we really care for our families? Well, the easiest explanation for that is that fear is a liar.

Fear Is a Liar

Fear creeps into our hearts and minds and tries to tell us that we aren’t living up to the standards the world thinks we should. Fear tells us we are failing in every way and in every aspect of our lives. Fear takes over our thoughts and feeds us lie after lie and makes us believe we will never be successful, we will mess up our children and our own lives.

The song, Fear Is a Liar, by Zach Williams talks about this topic and reminds us that fear only lies to us and takes away peace from us. I hope this is a good reminder for you, as it is to me, that God is the one who speaks truth and gives us grace to overcome our failures. Praise the Lord!

The Song

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough

Chorus

Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

When he told you were troubled
You’ll forever be alone
When he told you you should run away
You’ll never find a home
When he told you you were dirty
And you should be ashamed
When he told you you could be the one
That grace could never change

Chorus

Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

Oh, fear he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire

‘Cause fear he is a liar

A Prayer Over Our Hearts

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for your grace and your love that gives us peace and tells us the truth, that in You we can be saved and all our failures are wiped away. Thank you for helping us to fight against fear and Satan, who puts that fear in our minds. We ask that you continue to protect us against the evil one who tries to rob us of the peace you freely give us. May we always lean on you and accept your peace and strength to get us through all of life’s difficult decisions. We love you and we are so thankful for you. Without you, we would be nothing. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

Why Praying During Ramadan Is So Important

Why Praying During Ramadan Is So Important

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

You might be questioning why praying during Ramadan is so important. I did until I realized the significance behind the opportunity.

What is Ramadan? Why Praying During Ramadan is So Important?

Several years ago, I visited North Africa during Ramadan. I really didn’t think anything about it but realized quickly how this religious holiday impacted our travel or more so our ability to eat.

Ramadan falls during the 9th month on the Islamic lunar calendar and is considered by Muslims to be the holiest month. During Ramadan, Muslims give alms, fast, and pray during the day then celebrate with family and feasting all night.  They do this for an entire month. So our expectation of finding a restaurant open to accommodate our hunger when we arrived in Morocco was sadly unmet.

As with any “issue” there is always opportunity. 

Praying During Ramadan for Muslims Brings Hope

Ramadan begins today and ends roughly around June 14!

Yall, we have an amazing opportunity to be praying during Ramadan for Muslims who are hungry to know Allah better. They will be focused on prayer, giving alms, restoring relationships and pursuing the things of God. Many will be crying out to know Allah better.  What better time for us to be praying that they would come to know Jesus as their personal, Lord, and Savior!

They know Jesus is a prophet. The Koran speaks of him in this way, but like Saul, we can pray that the scales will fall from their eyes and they will come to know the one true and living God!

You can pray a simple prayer for those seeking and hungry to know God to see Him for who He really is or you can follow along with this video series for praying during Ramadan. These video prayers are great. They may even give you more of a heart for reaching out to Muslims as well!  Truly, this life is all about building bridges with others and then sharing Jesus too!

You can even follow this prayer and specifically pray over each aspect observed during Ramadan.

Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim, went a step further than praying during Ramadan while he was alive. He would fast and even participate in the feasts, which are open to non-muslims too. He would use these moments to build bridges of relationship like Jesus did. Read more about how he viewed this as an opportunity to reach out and love people to Jesus.

Praying During Ramadan for Our Fellow Brothers & Sisters in Christ

During the time of Ramadan, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ stick out like Daniel in his prayer window when it was forbidden to pray. They obviously do not take part in the Ramadan rituals, and are often exposed as Christians because they do not partake in the fasting or calls to prayer.

Due to their non-participation in these events, they are more likely to be harassed and discriminated against.  Sadly, some radical Muslims will even take this harassment to the extreme and perpetuate physical violence or persecution against those who choose to follow Christ instead of Allah at this time.

Praying during Ramadan specifically for our brothers and sisters in Christ to be strengthened in their faith and for them to withstand any type of abuse they may receive just as Christ did is of the upmost high importance.  We can pray freely and often through the next thirty days. May their strength and courage come from the Lord.

Let’s Grab Hold of this Opportunity

For the entire next month, we, as believers in Christ Jesus have an opportunity. An opportunity to not only be praying during Ramadan for Muslims to come to know God and our Lord Jesus Christ, but to be praying for the protection of our brothers and sisters in Christ ,who will be extremely noticeable as they do not partake in these celebrations.

Praying Over All Hearts

Lord, you are holy and the beyond compare!  We pray for those who do not know you yet to come to know you fully and completely. We pray that they will see the amazing blessing that comes from knowing the Creator of the World personally. You are not far from us. You did not make us only to keep us arms length. Our sin has created a barrier between us but praise be to you, you sent Jesus, who took all our sins upon Him on the cross, so that our sins would no longer separate us from you!  Thank you, Lord, for your immense mercy, grace, and love.

We pray that as Muslims cry out to Allah this month, that you will reveal yourself to them. May the scales fall from their eyes like they fell from Saul’s eye. May the come to realize that Jesus is more than a prophet but their salvation!

Lord, we also lift up our brothers and sister in Christ during this time. For their willingness to put you first in their lives no matter the cost, you are to be praised. We pray that their faith, courage, and trust in you will be emboldened no matter the discrimination or persecution they face. May they use these moments of facing their “enemies” as an opportunity to point them to you.

Lord, we pray that our faith will be emboldened too.  May we seek you with such passion that there is no doubt where our treasure is stored. In the One who took on the sins of the world – Amen!

Romans 12:12 {My Favorite Verse}

Romans 12:12 {My Favorite Verse}

Candace B

Candace B

I am a proud wife and Mother! My hubby, Tyler, and I both attended Oklahoma Christian where our love grew! We got married, had two beautiful kiddos, our son Gunner and daughter Brooklyn, and we are living a truly blessed life! I am currently a stay-at-home-mom and I help my husband in every way in his position as a youth minister (It's a true labor of love and we wouldn't be anywhere else!). I am also working on my teacher certification so when both my kids get into school I will have a job that I am passionate about, get to see my kids all the time, and will be out when they are out. I am most importantly a Christian and strive daily to keep God #1 because he is the reason I have all the amazing blessings, I give him all the praise!
Candace B

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My Favorite Verse

Romans 12:12 (NIV) “Rejoice in hope, [be] patient in affliction, [be] faithful in prayer.” 

I think that as I have grown there have been different verses that “speak” to me or become my favorite verse. When I first became a Christian at twelve, I loved John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

I still enjoy this verse. There is something about it that speaks to the world and most people know this verse…which is AWESOME!

I believe there are times that you read the Bible and God speaks to you. Verses that you have read before suddenly have a whole new meaning. We know that God shows us these in times of need, or to get us prepared for something, or to show us someone we can bless with God’s love.

Romans 12:12 has been my favorite verse for about six years now. It reminds me, quite simply, what to focus on and to show Christ in ALL I say and do.

Rejoice in hope:

Hope is something wonderful to have in anything you do! I have been known as the eternal optimist, and I love that. Most importantly I have hope that stems from the life I live in Christ. I have hope, no matter what the cost, no matter how good or bad the situation is. As long as I have hope and faith in God, He will take care of whatever it may be.

Patient in affliction:

I don’t know about you, but this is something I have to pray for daily because I seem to never have enough! Kids, marriage, LIFE, there are so many stresses that require a constant need of patience. This portion of the verse is very powerful, because it shows me that I can show God’s love by being patient.  By being patient, it shows others that I am different, that I am set apart. Christ is shining through me.

Faithful in Prayer:

This should bring it home for all of us. How is your prayer life? I try my best to not only pray daily but have a constant communication with God because this is how we strengthen our relationship with God. How do you strengthen any relationship you have? As a wife, mother, and friend, I make a point to be a part of their life. I have communication with them on a daily basis to show that I love and care for that person.

My husband and I encourage our kids to pray for the sick, the good and bad situations, and also to pray for things that they might be struggling with, such as talking back or throwing a fit when they don’t get their way. When we bring it before God, we are putting our full faith in him that he will help us in whatever we need.

Contributing to the Needs of the Saints

Verse thirteen concludes by adding that Christians should be “contributing to the needs of the saints, [and] practicing hospitality.” I love that this verse solidifies what we have focused on. By focusing on others’ needs and showing love and care to everyone we encounter, we are given daily opportunities to demonstrate how we rejoice in hope, have patience in trials, and are faithful in prayer.

What a wonderful world it would be if we would facilitate love, patience, and hospitality to all we know! Let’s be prayerful and focus on these words that God has gracefully given to us and simply show more of God’s love to all we see.

We want to hear from you!  Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

 

When Prayer Doesn’t Come Easy

When Prayer Doesn’t Come Easy

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

Growing up, I loved it when my mother would sit on the edge of my bed and pray over me. Often she thought I was already asleep. I would stay quiet and take in the words she prayed over me. I have learned to love to pray out loud over my family and others and enjoy it. But sometimes prayer doesn’t come easy.

When Prayer Doesn’t Come Easy

When prayer doesn’t come easy, my first reaction used to be fear.

What am I doing wrong?

Why can’t I pray?

Why is my mind just an absolute blank, when all I want to do it cry out to God?

What is going on?

Instead of giving in to that knee-jerk fear, when prayer doesn’t come easy, I’ve learned to do some simple other things.

What to do When Prayer Doesn’t Come Easy

Maybe some of these will help you, when you just can’t pray.

Confess

Sometimes, prayer doesn’t come easy because I haven’t been close to God. Maybe I’ve been accommodating my sin or just pushed God to the side in “my busy life.” I haven’t allowed Him to be the Lord of my life in all areas and so feel guilty and distant.

When that happens, I start to confess or ask God to open my eyes to why I’ve been avoiding Him.

BUT….

Sometimes, it’s not because I’ve been avoiding him. Sometimes, it feels like prayer doesn’t come easy because, my mind is just an absolute blank. It’s like I can’t think. I can’t process. It’s scary and frustrating.

When this happens, I simply confess exactly where I am….

”Lord, I love you.  I don’t know what’s going on, but the words aren’t coming. I want to express to you my need and I want you to hear my prayer, but I can’t.”

(Even though it’s a few words, that’s technically a prayer. Talking with God in any form is praying, right?)

Trust in the Holy Spirit Going Before Me

When I get to the point of not being able to even put words together, I lean in and trust that the Holy Spirit is going before me. I thank God that even though I don’t have the words, his Holy Spirit knows my heart and knows I want to follow and love Him all my days.

He knows the struggles I am having and why my thoughts won’t form.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

–  Romans 8:26-27

Praise God that he is always faithful and won’t turn from us, simply because our prayers are not eloquent and wordy!

 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

-Jesus, Luke 18:13-14

The Lord hears the cries of our hearts and knows what they are before we ever understand them. We can seek comfort in the fact that he knows some moments in our lives are going to be minute by minute, day by day and gives us our daily bread – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Read Other People’s Prayers

When praying doesn’t come easy, reading other people’s prayers encourages my heart. It almost kick starts my prayer muscle so I can feel that there is life in my prayers. I might not have the words but God has provided someone else’s heartfelt words so that I can still connect with Him.

Sometimes, their prayers lead me into my own words and sometimes I can only read theirs.

Did you know God doesn’t keep prayers from being heard because they are not your original words? It’s true!

He gives us plenty of prayers that vary from a few words to a few paragraphs in the Bible. I believe these prayers not only help to show us that prayers are as varied as people but help us in times when our own words aren’t coming.

Pray Directly from the Bible

There are times I read other people’s prayer and then there are times I read over scripture and pray those exact words. God’s word is powerful. Trusting that God means what He says and wants that in my life, allows me to lean into His words in order to pray.

Maybe it’s praying the blessing from Numbers 6:24, praying a Psalm, or praying whatever passage I’m reading.

No matter what scripture or Bible verse we choose, it can easily be turned into a prayer. Or simply even, “Lord, help my life start to reflect this passage.”

Ask Someone to Pray Over You

Asking your husband or a friend to pray with you is wonderful. If you have a prayer accountability group, letting them know that you feel blocked or unable to pray is a much needed request and allows honesty to encourage your faith instead of thinking that you have to be a perfect prayer warrior. Even prayer warrior’s get wounded and need extra help.

Draw Near to God…God Understands

We all go through ups and downs in our spiritual life. They may look differently from person to person, but if you ever find yourself having a difficult time praying, don’t take that as a sign that you are a bad person. Take it as a sign that you are going through a difficult season. Trust God will get you through it.

When prayer doesn’t come easy, it often feels like we are grappling to hold on to God. The good news is, when we draw near to God even if words don’t come, he holds us tightly in his hand. He knows our hearts and what is happening even when we don’t.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
2 Thessalonians  3:3

Using Your Inability to Prayer to Encourage Others

Maybe, just maybe, part of the reason prayers aren’t coming easily now is because you will need to encourage someone else down the road whose prayers aren’t coming easily either.

Encouraging others to hold on to their faith, when our faith walk isn’t easy, is definitely a theme threaded throughout all of Scripture. Personally, I count these times of not being able to pray the way I wish I could as trials that allow me to just hold on and not give up.

If you’re in the midst of this right now, remember the best thing of all, God is holding you tight and won’t let you go just because your prayers aren’t coming easy.

What have you found that is helpful? 

Prayer for Moms Across the World

Prayer for Moms Across the World

Lori S

Lori S

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

My husband and I adopted our son almost three years ago. Ever since we decided to adopt, I have had a wide range of emotions on Mother’s Day. Knowing that I will always share that day with my son’s biological mother encourages me to think of other women who may experience grief and joy on this day. This reflection helps focus my thoughts and prayers during this time. Join me in honoring these women in our thoughts and prayers this week!

A prayer for moms everywhere

Dear God, we come before your throne today, asking for your intercession in the lives of women across the world. We pray for…

  • the women who become moms today. Guide their hearts, minds, and emotions as they experience motherhood for the first time.
  • the moms who have lost children. Bring them the peace that comes only from you.
  • the mothers who work outside (or from) the home to provide for their children. Whether they work one (or three) jobs, help their work and sacrifice to be appreciated and noticed.
  • the moms who stay home with their children. Help them feel loved and appreciated by their children and spouses.

Father, we also pray for the moms who…

  • have chosen to place their children into adoptive families. Give them the peace and clarity they need in their lives. Help those around them celebrate their choice for life, but allow those moms an emotional space to grieve.
  • live in poverty. Help give them the emotional, spiritual, and financial supports they need to lead their family toward you.
  • are raising their children on their own. Remind their neighborhood or church communities to rally around them so those moms never feel alone.
  • became mothers through adoption. Bless their motherhood journey and give them the strength and clarity needed to raise their children in a new family.
  • became moms through foster care. Give them courage to fight for what they know is right and the ability to love even when it hurts.

psalm-113-9

We pray for…

  • the moms who protect their children from violence, war, and abuse. Let them know that there is still light even in darkness.
  • the women who have lost their own moms. Encourage us to surround these women with love. Help us give them the space they need to celebrate and grieve simultaneously.
  • the women who suffer from depression, anxiety, or mental illness. Put people in their lives to encourage them and help them get the support they need.

And we lift up these women as well…

  • the moms who love their children but not their spouses. Help them realize that one of the best ways to show love to their children is to love their spouse.
  • the moms who are struggling in their relationships with their children. Let them know that you are with them. Always.
  • the women who are “mother figures” in the lives of children in our homes and communities. Equip those women to engage, mentor, and love children.

We ask you to cover these moms (and others) with your love, peace, and mercy. May we never forget the importance of what the word “mom” means. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Six Tip to Prepare for a Mission Trip Praying the Psalms We all struggle  A Mother to More than Your Own

prayers-for-moms-across-the-world-pinterest

prayers-for-moms-across-the-world-social
Remember Them as if You Were One of Them

Remember Them as if You Were One of Them

Tamika R

Tamika R

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I moved to OKC after quitting my jobs as a teacher and YouthIntern to pursue the call into ministry. I started as a non traditional student at Oklahoma where I met my husband. He was a non traditional student working on a 2nd degree after moving from Poland to pursue a degree in Ministry. We dreamed together of serving the Lord in Europe. Now we are blessed to be witness to the awesome way that God works all over the world. We live in Vienna, Austria with our3 kids. We work with Eastern European Mission. We provide Bibles and ethics materials in native languages of Eastern Europe. That means we get to seeGod's hand and providence all over Europe. I am Publishing Assistant at EEM and a fitness trainer. I fill my days caring for my family, teaching gym classes and designing book covers and working on details to provide quality materials to those who need God's word. In my free time I paint, cook, make jewelry and run 2 blogs.
Tamika R

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persecuted, church, christians, prayer

I have a had a difficult couple of months. I wake up many days already fighting off tears. Sometimes all I need is a little perspective. I may have difficulties, but I really don’t have it hard.

Remember the Persecuted Church in Prayer

There are many people around the world who do. I just need to remember them.

Each year a group of us meet to pray together for the persecuted church. This is always an emotional and uniting time. We meet together for hours to pray country by country for those who suffer from religious persecution.

Face-to-Face with Religious Persecution

In a way it hit closer to home as we all have had recent experiences with the thousands of refugees who have come to Austria. We have come face to face with displaced families, walked past babies lying on the cold floor of the train stations with their families.

Remember the blessing of being able to Worship God

Many of these people are fleeing for their lives to be able to do something I often take for granted. To openly worship, pray, read my Bible, and talk about who I am. I can believe what I want without fear of death. I can talk about God on the streets with my kids. I am blessed.

Remember Them As If You Were One of Them

Next time you read your Bible, gather for worship, or pray,  remember those who are hunted down for wanting to do the same. Take some time to think on them and ask the Lord to give them strength.  One day in November each year  has become the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. But we don’t have to wait for that date to pray. Why couldn’t we all take some time to join the Christians who suffer for the name of Christ?

Learn More about the Persecuted Church

If you feel called to do so, take the time to learn more. You can learn more here and here. These are good places to get you started. I challenge you to gather some friends and bring these people before his throne! It will bless you and it could save lives.

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