How to Pray Scripture Over Your People

The world is so complicated that, at times, it’s hard to know what to pray. In those moments, learn to pray Scripture. I have several that I use as general guidelines when I pray over my family – certain ones for my children and others for my husband.

This is one that I pray over my babies because it covers many things that we, as parents, tend to want for them: God’s presence, provision, and protection.

scripture doodle

Psalm 20 (A Mama’s Paraphrase)

Child, may the Lord be quick to answer you when you are struggling, hurting or lonely. May the name of God protect you when you aren’t even aware that you need protection.

May He send you help when the enemy seeks to do you harm and may His angels support you when you’re too weak to stand.

May He remember all your acts of obedience and regard with favor your pleas for forgiveness.

May He grant your heart’s deepest desires and give you success wherever He leads you.

Your mama will shout for joy over your salvation and I will praise God for what He has done in your life.

My child, God knows how to protect what is His. You be faithful to listen because your God is faithful to speak. There is no hole so deep, no mistake so grave that His mighty right hand can not save you.

Some people around you will place their trust in money, power, government, popularity, or prestige. Not us, dear one. Our trust is in the name of the Lord our God and nothing or no one else.

You watch because, in the end, they will all collapse and fall while God’s people rise and stand tall.

O, Lord , save my children and answer them when they call.

heart sugar cookie

You are loved.

Mom Talk Monday: Why are you sleeping?

Does anyone else feel like summer ran over them like a Mack truck? I don’t even know what happened, y’all. It has been a constant stream of activities and birthday parties and the hot! Mercy. The children are bored and I would love to help but I am too busy positioning myself underneath the ceiling fan with ice packs under my arms. Do not waste too much time trying to picture that. It isn’t pretty. Mom Talk

So, I apologize for neglecting my sweet fellow mamas out there. I promise that you are not forgotten. In fact, I have been meaning to write to you for the last couple weeks about a passage in Scripture that has stuck with me.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Instagram about her tendency to take a nap when life became too overwhelming. I could completely relate because sleep has often been a refuge for me, too. Whether it is just the everyday stresses of life, insecurities regarding motherhood, financial struggles, or issues with loved ones, it is tempting to pull the covers over our heads and disappear for a while.

After reading her status update, I coincidentally found myself reading in Luke 22. It was the part where Jesus asks His disciples to wait for Him while He goes to pray. He returns to find them asleep. I’ll be honest. I have always kind of rolled my eyes in disgust at those lazy men. I mean, seriously.

Then, I read this verse – slowly.

And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” – Luke 22:45-46

Do you see it?

They were not lazy. Or exhausted. Or bored.

They were sleeping for sorrow. They were burdened. They were overwhelmed. They were anxious. They were sad, y’all. Now, can you relate? I know I can. Suddenly, I see these men in a completely different and much more compassionate light.

Are you feeling burdened? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Just. plain. sad?

Jesus has your answer.

Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray

We need to train our bodies so that our first instinct is not to sleep, but to pray. Perhaps, we begin with a simple prayer asking God to give us the desire to stay awake. Ask Him to give you the energy to just do the next thing. Do not retreat into sleep. Rise and pray.

Why?

Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.

Satan is always waiting for an opportune time to strike. (Luke 4:13.) What better time to strike than when you are neglecting prayer or feeling overwhelmed or retreating into isolation?

Naps are good. Do not get me wrong. I am all about a Sunday afternoon nap. But, if sleep is your go-to defense mechanism, than you may want to rethink your pattern of behavior. The first step is as simple as answering Jesus’ question:

Why are you sleeping?

You are loved.

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When God Resurrects an Old Dream (Luke 1)

rainy dayI’ve read a story on the internet several times about a group of farmers praying for rain. Drought conditions were killing their crops and the situation was desperate. They decided to all gather one morning for prayer and, so, they all showed up clad in their overalls. One farmer, however, showed up wearing his waders. Why? Because he didn’t want to walk home wet. The point being that, when we pray, our expectation should be that God is going to answer. Why else would we pray?

The gospel of Luke starts off with Zechariah performing his priestly duties in the temple. Zechariah and his wife were upright and blameless. They loved God and did all the right things. There he was in the temple – an opportunity that came along only once or twice in a lifetime. And, so, he prayed.

We are not told what he was praying in that moment. Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, did not have any children. She was barren and, now, they were both quite old. Many believe that he may have been praying about his lack of descendants. One commentator believed that, because of their age, Zechariah would not likely be praying for children at this point.

Either way, an angel appears to Zechariah in the temple and informs him that his prayer has been heard.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” – Luke 1:13

What must have gone through Zechariah’s mind? I’m tempted to agree with the commentator who doubted that, at that very moment, Zechariah was praying for a child. I think he had probably accepted that a child was not in God’s plan for them and was praying about something else. Most likely, he was praying for the coming of the Messiah which, oddly enough, would be intimately connected to the child he and Elizabeth would have.

What struck me in this passage was that God was resurrecting an old dream. He was breathing life back into a prayer that had, most likely, not been prayed in quite some time. What prayers have you and I given up on a little too soon?

Pray without ceasing. That is what Paul says. Do not give up. Do not grow weary. You may be just a moment away from something miraculous.

Pray without doubting. That is what James says. Pray with faith. Pray with expectation. If you’re praying for rain, for crying rainout loud, show up with your waders on. Like the psalmist, present your requests to God and wait expectantly!

Consistency in prayer has, in the past, been difficult for me. I tend to be consistently inconsistent in many areas of my life. Often, it’s just laziness on my part. In some instances, I just do not know what to pray. Other times, I’m afraid of being hurt or disappointed when a prayer is not answered in the way I had hoped or on my timetable. None of those things, by the way, are good excuses.

Whatever it is that you are currently praying for – don’t be afraid to get your hopes up. Wear your waders proudly or, at the very least, carry an umbrella.

You are loved.

Speak, Lord: The Samuel Project (Introduction)

Something had to change. Sitting alone in a bathroom stall at a women’s conference, the conviction was so heavy on my heart that I could barely breathe. I knew I was missing something.

I had allowed myself to become so busy with good things. So busy, in fact, that I was terrified of missing the great work He had for me. I kept whispering, over and over, What am I missing, Lord? What am I missing? The woman in the stall next to me must have thought I was crazy. But, then again, maybe she nodded in complete understanding.

Maybe she, like me, had allowed herself to become Martha. Maybe she could completely relate to the fact that I had been, for quite some time, anxious and troubled about many things.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42

Just like Martha, I was distracted with much serving. I was missing something. And it wasn’t just any something. It was what Jesus called the one thing necessary. There I was running myself ragged trying to be the perfect wife and mother and Christian and woman and sister and friend and daughter. Can I just tell you that I was exhausted? Physically, mentally, spiritually. In every way imaginable, I was spent and empty and it all came to a head right there in a bathroom stall with a line of women waiting their turn.

I was missing the one thing that I absolutely had to have and that was time at the feet of the Lord. I had forsaken worship. No longer did I just sit and allow my Savior to speak to me. I was not listening for His voice or seeking His guidance. If I were honest, I could not remember the last time I had just put all else aside and allowed Him to have my undivided attention.

I turned my back on the one thing necessary and I was paying dearly for it.

You’ll be happy to know that I did, eventually, leave the bathroom stall. The pounding in my chest, however, was relentless. All I could think was, How do I fix this, Lord? How do I fix this?

That women’s conference ended. I drove back home. I did not want to just go back to the way things were. I could not go back to the way things were. So, I lay in bed and begged God to speak. And He did. Samuel. Samuel. That’s what I heard deep in my heart. Samuel. Samuel.

I have to admit that I had no idea what that meant.

I grabbed my phone from beside the bed and opened the Bible app and began to read in 1 Samuel. In chapter 3, the Lord tries to speak to Samuel. Samuel does not recognize His voice. Three times this happens. Then Eli tells him that it is the Lord. So, when Samuel hears his name again, he responds with, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

I had been shamefully guilty of not listening. I knew it. With tears in my eyes, I whispered, Speak to me, Lord. Your servant is listening.

And, so, The Samuel Project begins.

For 30 days, I will rise early, read Scripture and let Him speak. No agenda on my part. No genie-like wishes for Him to grant. Just me before Him with Bible open studying a passage where God spoke to His people and listening.

•30 days of listening for His still, small voice.

•30 portions of Scripture reminding me of how He spoke to His children in days past.

•30 days of choosing the one thing necessary.

I have read that it takes 30 days for something to become a habit. Lord, may it be so.

Speak, for your servant is listening.

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Day 1: Introduction to The Samuel Project
Day 2: God Speaks to Abram
Day 3: God Speaks to Moses
Day 4: God Speaks to Joshua
Day 5: God Speaks to Ezekiel
Day 6: Saturday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 7: Sunday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 8: God Speaks to the Exiles
Day 9: God Speaks to Gideon
Day 10: God Speaks to the Thirsty
Day 11: God Speaks to the Worrier
Day 12: God Speaking
Day 13: Saturday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 14: Sunday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 15: God Speaks to King Jehoshaphat
Day 16:
Day 17: God Speaks to Me Martha
Day 18:
Day 19:
Day 20: Saturday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 21: Sunday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 22: God Speaks to Hagar
Day 23:
Day 24:
Day 25:
Day 26:
Day 27: Saturday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 28: Sunday (Family Time – No Post)
Day 29: God Speaks to the Glory-Seeker
Day 30 & 31: God Speaks to Me
(This page will be updated with links as the month progresses.)

Will you join me for the next 31 days as we eavesdrop on conversations between God and His children? I promise, He has a word for us as well! (I’m linking up with Nester for this writing project. Visit her to find TONS of other great 31 Days series!)