Is it hard for you to reach out for prayer? Do you feel guilty or like you are being a burden?
I took some time to talk with my good friend, Renee Swope, and ask her about a blog post she wrote about asking for prayer called, “When You Need Prayer But Hesitate to Ask“.
She shares why we fear asking for prayer, what we are missing out on by not asking, and what baby steps we can take in order to ask without feeling like a burden.
Mentioned in this episode:
Renee’s Office in what was her master bedroom:
“If God can do this for me, He can do it for anyone.”
“What if you gave up on your dream today, and tomorrow was the day that it came true.”
“Never let your dreams die!”
You’ve been working so hard – maybe it’s a business, a ministry, a relationship – and you realize it’s not happening. You keep praying and hustling and for some reason, some unknown reason, the thing that you knew was supposed to happen, the thing you felt in your bones was God’s will for your life, is not happening.
I’ve felt this several times.
- The job as manager of a bridal boutique when I was in my early 20’s.
- My first marriage.
- A radio show. (For two different major ministries.)
Oh there are many more. But these three? I remember where I was standing, what I was wearing, who I was with when that particular dream died.
One of these dreams was killed for me. It was a long painful death that caused me a lot of hurt and heartbreak. And the other two? I had to be the one to let it go – to make the decision that these particular dreams were over and it was time to move on.
Those were some of the hardest decisions of my life.
I was past the point of being sensible. Others saw that my dream was not going to happen. But I had those voices inside my head (and later, on Facebook) that told me differently.
“You and God can do anything.”
“Don’t give up on your dream!”
“With God, all things are possible.”
So I kept willing my dreams to stay on life support instead of letting them die with the dignity that they (and I) deserved.
Because even though everything is possible with God, it doesn’t mean God gives you every possibility.
Oh, I say I want God more than anything else. I know all the right things to say. But I want God through my dream. I want God to do what I want God to do, and give me my dreams so I can point to Him and say “Only God.”
But God promised his presence – not my presents.
So how do you let a dream die? Something that you’ve prayer for, prepared for, and invested in? How do you say goodbye? Here are some hard steps I’ve needed to wrestle through:
1 Acknowledge that it was important to you. This is not a time to be the fox with the grapes who said, “They probably were sour anyway.” So many times we try to explain away disappointment instead of feeling out way through it. It is good and right to grieve a dream that will never happen. It is important to acknowledge this was important to you. And then, there is a process of letting go. For me, this process involves praying, reading God’s word, talking with trusted people (my close circle of friends, my husband, my pastor,) and honestly, crying.
Looking at the five stages of grief that we go through when someone close to us dies, I think it’s interesting and helpful to note that we must go through those five stages when a dream dies.
1. Denial – refusing to let the dream die
2. Anger – Feelings of injustice that the dream is being taken away
3. Bargaining – Trying to make deals with God to get the dream back
4. Depression – Mourning the loss of the dream
5. Acceptance – Moving on and making room for a new dream.
But I believe for those of us who know God, there is a 6th step to grief.
6. Hope – We get to hope for better things. Yes, a dream has died, it is worth grieving. But when our faith is made real? We get to experience real hope.
If a dream is worth dreaming, it’s worth properly grieving.
2. Spend some time wrestling with God. It might be worth examining whether there was a reason God is withholding this particular dream. Is there something in my life that God is trying to get me to pay attention to? Is there sin that needs to be resolved? Or my favorite – has the dream become an idol. (Ugh – the ugly mirror.) Psalm 139:23 says “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” That is a bold verse to pray, but in order to have true breakthrough and understanding of what God is up to in our lives, we must be willing to confess every part we try to hide from God.
3. Understand that there is more than one way for a dream to happen. Maybe the dream isn’t dead – maybe the method is. Maybe you have been working, trying and striving, and God is saying, “Wait.” Maybe, this is not the right time, the right method, or the right person. The dream is alive, but the way is different.
4. Pay close attention to the other things God is doing in your life. Ten years ago, I wrote down 50 dreams I wanted to pray over and commit to God. 34 of those dreams have come to fruition. There are seven that I am still praying over. The other nine? I’ve come to understand that they are not part of God’s plan for my life.
And that is just fine with me.
When you see the other areas where God is moving and growing you, it’s easier to give up the things that no longer matter, that are no longer important. It’s so much easier to let a dream die when you have a record of all the great things He has done.
5. Make Room for God to give you a new dream. Just because the dream is dead, doesn’t mean the dreamer is. And the author of our lives? He is alive and waiting for you to take part in His amazing plan for your life.
Pray that God would give you the desires of His heart, so that when you dream, you can live bigger than even you can imagine.
Dream boldly. Great things have been accomplished because God’s people dared to dream boldly. But listen carefully. Is God doing something new in your life that you need to make room for?
What dream have you had to let die?
Many women find it easy to pray for the concerns and well-being of others. But when it comes to praying for themselves, it’s another story. If you are letting go of a dream and want to pray through your grief (which I highly recommend) Praying God’s Word for Your Life is a great tool to walk you through the experience.
In this book, I give you simple strategies that will:
· create a habit of praying with renewed boldness
· generate the desire for consistency in her prayer life
· provide proper expectations to see her prayers fulfilled in God’s ultimate plan for her life.
We all face challenges to get our Quiet Time in each day and we feel un-Christian that we struggle in this area, but what if we could set ourselves up for success ahead of time? What if the key was to declutter a quiet time space so it was an inviting place to go to each day already prepared with the tools we need?
Creating a routine is so important because when you do that you are telling your brain, your heart, your mind, your body it’s time to settle and focus on my quiet time. It’s time to focus on the Bible, scripture, and prayer time.
In this episode, I talk with Erin about the essentials I need to make Quiet Time a daily habit. You can download the Essential Quiet Time Checklist for Success below and be on your way as well!
Mentioned in this episode: Peel Off Lip Gloss
Are there areas in your life where you don’t have the freedom to do what God wants you to do?
Are there things in the past that keep you stuck where you are making it hard to move forward?
In Life Unstuck: Finding Peace with Your Past, Purpose in Your Present, Passion for Your Future, Pat Layton helps you get past stuck and on to the life you were created to live. Listen as Kathi and Erin ask Pat questions on how to get Unstuck.
Harvest House, my publisher for Happy Habits for Every Couple, is doing a “New Year, New You” promotion and they’ve included my book in it!
From January 6 – 14, Happy Habits for Every Couple will be $9.99 for the ebook version. This is such a great deal!
You can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Google Play or Kobo.
Not familiar with the book? Here’s what it’s all about:
When was the last time you flirted with your husband? Was it before you had kids? Do you spend more time on the couch with your wife watching movies or with a bag of chips watching The Game? Does your idea of a hot date include a drive-thru and springing for the extra-large fries? What would your marriage look like if for 21 days you turned your attention to happy habits that will better your relationship? Plenty of books describe how to improve a marriage, how to save a marriage, even how to ramp up intimacy in a marriage. In Happy Habits for Every Couple, Kathi Lipp and husband Roger show you practical, fun-filled ways to put love and laughter back into your marriage. Here are just a few of the results you’ll see when you put Happy Habits for Every Couple into practice: new levels of warmth and tenderness in your relationship; a deeper sense of security with your spouse; and a marriage filled with fun and flirting.
If you haven’t given up the dream of being head-over-heels with your spouse again, following this 21-day plan will give you just the boost you need to bring you closer together.
Why not start today creating some new and happy habits?
Are you ready to be Clutter Free? Start the 21-Day Clutter Free challenge! Sign up now!
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. -Theodore Roosevelt
Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now. -A.W. Tozer
Thanksgiving is a time when the world gets to see just how blessed and how workable the Christian system is. The emphasis is not on giving or buying, but on being thankful and expressing that appreciation to God and to one another. – John Clayton
Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. – Henry Van Dyke
Dear Lord; we beg but one boon more: Peace in the hearts of all men living, peace in the whole world this Thanksgiving. – Joseph Auslander
Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. -E.P. Powell
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude! -Henry Ward Beecher
If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that? – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. – W. T. Purkiser
“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” -William Arthur Ward
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into God’s presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God! It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Praise the Lord.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever.
He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy,
they are established for ever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever!
We Give Thanks
Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.
– Harry Jewell
And just for giggles…
What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? -Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981