Trusting God in Prayer

This week, I went into our family “home-school” room and found that my seven year old daughter had drawn an illustration of Philippians 4:5-7 (NASB) which says, 

“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Oh, she didn't draw that picture with the purpose of the meaning that it had for me. All she knew was that she had drawn a kitten, in profile, including the brain. From the brain she drew lines that led to cat concerns like food, water, and people to love on. It was a powerful reminder of how much God cares about each and every thought that comes to mind. 

Trusting in God: Is He Trustworthy?

I feel in this season of my life as if God is on trial.

I have Christ on the stand, and I’m weighing His Words against my circumstances.

I believe we all do that when our circumstances are less than ideal. We’re trying to see if God is trustworthy or faithful, because our lives can look so disarrayed. We wonder where God’s promises are and if He is really able to do what He said.

Is God trustworthy?

For Those Who Are Control Freaks - How to Trust God.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. 

I'm a bit of a control freak.

Okay, maybe that's not much of a secret... it's actually pretty obvious.

I mean, I made the majority of the decorations for my wedding myself (because I wanted them the way I wanted them!), I regularly have my assistant go back over things and redo her work if it doesn't meet my standards, I work better by myself, and I rarely ask for help.

It's not always a great thing. 

Controlling everything stems from a lack of trust. 

Trusting people is hard. People are fallible, disappointing, forgetful, imperfect. And when they let us down, it's hard to trust again. 

But the lack of trust in my life doesn't just apply to human beings. It also extends to my relationship with God. 

It's taken me a while (and some difficult situations) to really understand that my trust in my Creator is often superficial at best. God has shown me, in the past few years in particular, just how little I actually trust Him.

I still somehow believe that my plans are better than His. That if God would just get with my program and follow my agenda, everything would be fine. 

Trusting that He knows best for me? It's difficult for me and I fight against it- hard.

Maybe you're in that place right now. That fighting place. That un-trusting place. Maybe God's using something painful or challenging or scary to show you just how much you need Him after all. Maybe He's breaking you and making you vulnerable to Him alone.

I'm there. I'm still working through all of this stuff, honestly- both in trusting people and also in trusting God. But when it comes to putting my trust where it truly belongs, I've learned a couple of things I can do that help me to give up my control.

31 Days of Trusting in God series. How to trust in God.

Recognizing Blessings

This has been a big one for me. Simply finding and recognizing all of the incredible gifts around me, and recording those blessings helps me to see God's goodness in my life. Giving thanks makes a difference. Not only does counting my blessings put me in the right frame of mind and set my attitude straight, but it also reminds me of how good God is to me- and why I can trust Him for good in my life.

Remembering His Faithfulness

We've all got situations in our lives when we thought, "There's no way I can get through this," or "Nothing good can come of this," but God redeemed them for our good. He's been faithful to us in the past- and He will be faithful to us now. Lamentations 3:19-23 says:
Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

When things are hard, when a situation looks hopeless, when our souls are bowed down within us, we need to remember His goodness. I reflect on God's goodness and redemption in my own life, as well as in the lives of people around me. I read my Bible and see how God was faithful. "Calling to mind" God's steadfast love helps me to remember that God's been trustworthy before, and I can trust Him now.

Remaining in Prayer

Despite my very best efforts, I still have trouble trusting God sometimes. It's almost an unconscious thing. I hold myself back, sometimes without realizing it, from truly being open and vulnerable to His will for me. I'm too human- can't completely trust God by my own power. That's where the prayer comes in. I try to remain in prayer as much as possible throughout my day.
When a situation out of my control pops up at work, I say a quick, "God, I know You've got this. Help me to trust You." 
When I'm afraid: "God, I trust You, even in the scary things. Help me." 
When I feel the ache that comes from God's plans being so different from my own: "God, You know best for me. Help me to trust in Your perfect plan."
It's only when we truly put our trust where it belongs- in God who is always good, is always worthy, and is always redeeming us- that we can truly be free to live how He wants us to live. Let's say a quick prayer:
God, we know that You know best for us... but it's so hard to let go of control. We know that You have a plan, a perfect one, for each of our lives. We know that You redeem our mistakes and all those hard situations and use them for good. We know it. But God, it's so hard to live out sometimes. Please be with us, help us to keep digging deeper, opening our clenched, controlling hands and our hard and stony hearts to You more each day. Thank You for being always good, and always worthy of our trust.
...   ...   ...   ...   ...
Ally loves coffee, motorcycles, blogging, and Jesus (not in that order, although coffee is toward the top of  her list). An accidental country girl, Ally often finds herself wondering how she ended up on
the back of a horse and living on a 21-acre hobby farm. She and her husband work at a Bible Camp ministry in Iowa, where they are blessed to share the love of God practically and behind-the-scenes.
Ally writes about what God is teaching her, finds the joy, and shares her blessings at A Home Called Shalom

An Invitation to Transformation through Trusting

… in quietness and trust shall be your strength … Isaiah 30:15

Have you ever contemplated the theology of denying yourself and losing your life to find it? These teachings of Jesus can leave one pondering for an authentic application.  What if they are words of invitation for greater obedience and trust?

If our attitudes were given a voice within our hearts, theirs would be as weighty as a pre-determined action carried to completion and can directly inhibit the work of God’s transformation through the Holy Spirit in our souls.  Is not the real desire of our souls to live in the abundance of life Jesus came to bring, to be all he designed us to be, and to belong to Him and then only do out of our being and belonging?
Derivative of original photo by Peggy's Pics

Trusting God: Are You a Chicken Little?

Trusting God is one of those subjects we all like to think we do well. The Christian answer to the question, “Do you trust God?” is always a resounding yes and we absolutely believe with all our hearts we are telling the truth! But when the rubber meets the road, are we truly being legit when it comes to the amount of trust we place in God?

One of the most obvious, yet heart-breaking things I have seen lately, especially in the realm of social media, is the amount of trust we have placed in our government, and away from our God.

Fighting the Uphill Battle.

Fighting the Uphill Battle

For months now, I've woken up every morning and just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. It has been constant struggle after struggle and battle after battle. There has not been more than a few days since March that I have felt relaxed or not stressed. For a 22 year old, (who's not in college) that's ridiculous. I have faced (and overcome) many challenges and I now want to share my story, and my inspiration with you.

Times of Testing

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

I recently read a description of the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ (St. John of the Cross) also referred to as ‘the Wall’ in Peter Scazzero’s book “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality”. I could immediately relate as I read about a difficult time when it feels like our prayers are not being heard and we experience weariness, helplessness, emptiness and a sense of defeat.  I believe I have experienced this four times in my adult life. The first three were traumatic events: the shocking betrayal of my first husband who engaged in an adulterous affair; the sudden tragic death of the same husband in an automobile accident five years later; and the traumatic brain injury and near death of  my two month old grand baby 14 years after that.  Each was intense, exhausting and the effects lasted months, even years.