Enlarging Your Faith: Never Say Never

Enlarging Your Faith: Never Say Never

enlarging your faith

Shortly after getting married, in fact it was on our honeymoon, when I slipped into my flirty pajamas, jumped into bed next to my husband and exclaimed, “OK, I’m ready!” and he asked, “For what?”

I replied with the obvious response, “To pray together … you know, a couple that prays together, stays together? That is what my mom always says.” To which he replied, “I will NEVER pray with you, that just isn’t something I do. It’s personal and between me and God.”

To be fair, maybe my timing was a little off. But I absolutely deflated. My spirit was crushed. Not only did I feel deprived of the coveted marriage ideal that couples are supposed to pray together, it was worse than that. I felt totally duped by my new husband. After all, we prayed together during our courtship.

I was devastated. Something so clearly beneficial to our marriage was rejected. My parents prayed together! And I was certain I fell in love with someone who was going to pray with me. It didn’t seem right!  I knew God and I knew He loved me. I knew this was the man He meant for me to marry. He moved mountains to bring us together.

I come from a long line of prayer warriors. I like to think my sweet grandma lived to 103 because she had prayers God still wanted her to be praying. Growing up, when situations arose, my parents always told me to “just pray about it.”

The fact my husband and I didn’t pray together other than to bless our meals unsettled me and rocked my faith. I didn’t want anyone to know because I was certain every other Christian couple prayed together. It was like a cardinal rule for a good Christian marriage.

I loved my husband and I wanted to stay together. But I didn’t like the situation. Honestly, the only thing I could do was “just pray about it.” Instead of “Run Forrest, Run!” It became, “Pray Julie, Pray!” Originally, my prayers were that my husband would pray with me because I knew better and you NEVER say never, especially to God.

I truly believed Matthew 21:22.

You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

What I received by praying was far different than what I thought I wanted.

Through the process of praying without ceasing, God changed my heart and He changed my prayers. My heart turned from criticizing my husband, to seeking to understand my husband. My prideful prayers of me telling God how my husband needed to change eventually evolved into prayers of loving my husband for who he has been created to be.

Through the years, my prayers became more powerful. My husband witnessed first-hand how God faithfully answers even my smallest requests.

A few seasons back, I went through some personal challenges. I was really struggling, and I needed help. I asked my husband to pray for me and he did, without hesitation. He also prayed for me without my asking, just because he sensed I needed him to pray.

I cherish those moments when he pulled me close and prayed over me the most beautiful, loving prayers. Those times assured me how much God loves me and how my faithfulness and prayers honored Him and the man He gave me.

In the past, my husband and I have had this running joke that the first thing out of my husband’s mouth is “no.” This may have been what plagued him on our honeymoon, but I always say, “never say never” because he is definitely not the same man I am married to now.

He has since challenged himself to say “yes” more often. In fact, he took his “yes” a step further and ordered “promise cards” printed with the words: “because I said I would.” He hands these out at random times to people. This year for my birthday my husband gave me a promise card. It was the best gift a wife like me could ever receive. The words on the card said “I will pray with my wife. Because I said I would.”

enlarging your faith

Over twelve years ago my prayers stemmed from my own selfish motivation to change my husband, but God used them to change me. My consistent and persistent prayers changed the trajectory of our marriage for the better. I never know how or when God will answer my prayers.

But as my faith has grown, so has my trust in God and “knowing” no longer matters. I only do what I am called, which is to obediently seek Him. Today I teach other women how to pray for their husbands as this has simply become an act of obedience in response to an ever-loving God.

enlarging your faithJulie Landreth has a passion for healthy and thriving relationships–especially in marriage and friendship. She is a speaker and a “wife coach” who loves sharing with women her passion for prayer and ways to actively cultivate a thriving marriage.  She leads a growing number of women in San Jose, CA through her curriculum: Consistency and Persistency: The Art of Praying for your Husband. Having been married 12 years, she and her husband have cultivated a marriage filled with intentional love, effective communication, sustainable fun, and a date night every Friday night for the last 9 years. She also finds deliberate ways to spend quality time with her 9-year-old son who shares many of her artistic talents. In addition, she is a freelance photographer and designer. 

If you would like to hear more from Julie and receive 5 Days of Prayers to get you started praying for your husband, please visit her and sign up at
http://eepurl.com/cmn9CX.


Now available! 

In this six-week Bible Study you will, possibly for the first time, truly understand how God wants you to be free. Free from clutter so you can be free to change your world. We have an online version as well as a traditional workbook with DVD option.

Find out more: http://www.kathilipp.com/clutter-free-bible-study/

 

The Best of Kathi Lipp-#125 Wanting God More Than Anything Else (Revisited)

The Best of Kathi Lipp-#125 Wanting God More Than Anything Else (Revisited)

Never-Take-the-StirringSQUARE
ListenNow

This week Kathi has been flying all over speaking to audiences so we decided to go into the vault and bring back a favorite. We can all use a reminder to come closer to especially as we head into the holidays.

Do you want God more than anything else?

After a quick trip down memory lane (does anyone else still use Elizabeth Arden Sunflower perfume like Kathi does?), this week’s guest, Lisa Whittle, author of I Want God, shows us how to find spiritual revival in the midst of our crazy, scary lives. She helps us see that a close, deep, deconstructed relationship with God is not only possible, but is actually simple to get. She tells us how:

• We can get over our fear of revival and get started on a journey to go deeper with God in a real way.
• The disconnect between our desire for God to deconstruct us and the fear that he will can stand in the way of our  spiritual growth.
• To allow yourself to fully feel the God hunger within you and then to do something about it.
• Christians can hop off the roller coaster of passion with God for a truly, deep relationship with our God.

Download Lisa’s free 7-day Wanting God devotional to start your own soul revival. Plus, tell us in what area of your life your heart is crying for God most and you will be entered to win a free copy of Lisa’s book I Want God.

“Hello, Beauty Full” by Elisa Morgan

“Hello, Beauty Full” by Elisa Morgan

elise morgan 11051918_753048061489108_273059673020936139_nGod loves me. But honestly, most of the time, I don’t believe it. And because I don’t believe it, I don’t see myself the way he sees me: beauty full.

I’m not the only one stuck in ugly. A recent survey by Dove found that 96 percent of women would not choose the word “beautiful” to describe how they look.[i]

elisa morgan meme

Instead of listening to what God says about me, I tune in to the Hissssssss that says God does not love me!

  • Not Me! I’m the one big exception to God’s love.

I’m too much. Too broken. Too much of a mess. Too needy. Too ugly. Oh, I recite in obedience that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins, but I live like he died for everyone but me.

  • Not Me! I’m afraid of God’s love.

When I keep listening to the Hiss, I discover that it’s often fear that drives me to hiding from God and his view of me. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of failing. Fear of being known—really known—and maybe not liked.

  • Not Me! I have too many doubts about God’s love.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if God literally appeared in the mirror right beside us each day and reminded us that we are beautiful? That beauty is about more than the way we look—but that even our looks are beautiful to him? God is just so . . . intangible. The Hiss is so loud.

  • Not Me! I’m not good enough to deserve God’s love.

hello beauty full 2Not-enoughness plops me on a hamster wheel of comparison that pushes me into competition and wears me weary. How am I doing compared to her? What about him?

The Hiss erases my perception of beauty and whizzes a lie of ugly in place of the twinkly hope that maybe I could somehow be okay, loved, even beauty full.

God knows this. He knows that I’ve heard the Hiss—God does not love me—and that I have believed it. That because I’ve believed the Hiss, I do not see myself the way he sees me. The Hiss in my ears distorts my vision of who God is and how he sees me, and therefore, how I see myself.

Beauty, as God defines it, is pre-fall and post-resurrection. God created us in his image. Male and female he created us. And along with everything else God made, he saw us and said we were good. Very good (Genesis 1:31).

hello beauty full 3

Then came the great lie. God does not love you. The fall caused clear consequences of separation for Adam and Eve, God’s love for them did not change. What changed was their understanding of God’s love and their ability to grasp that he still saw them as good, even beautiful.

Just as Adam and Eve believed this hissssss, we do as well.

So God gave his Son—his one and only Son— that believing in him, we might be restored to God. God wraps the bleeding body of his Son over our “un-ness” and restores us to his original design, inviting us to see ourselves once again as good—just as he always has. Beautiful.

I still struggle. I poke at the prospect of God’s unending favor, exploring from a safe distance, wrapping control around me like a cozy muffler in a chilly breeze. But I am further convinced, and in that further conviction, I am more whole and therefore more able to receive his love and believe and be who he says I am: beauty full.

As are you.

If you’d like to see the promo video for the book, click HERE!

Elisa-8735croppedElisa Morgan is a much-requested speaker and the author of The Beauty of Broken, She Did What She Could and the newly released Hello, Beauty Full. For twenty years, Elisa served as CEO of MOPS International. Currently she is the co-host of the syndicated radio program, Discover the Word (discovertheword.org). Married for over three decades to Evan, she is the mother of two grown and married children and two grandsons. Her Rottweilers, Wilson and Darla, love to take her on walks in the open space behind her house.

Click HERE to order Hello, Beauty Full!

  1. [i]“Dove Real Beauty Sketches,” Dove, http://realbeautysketches. dove.us.

 

#126 The Restless Moments in your Life — When God Burdens your Soul

#126 The Restless Moments in your Life — When God Burdens your Soul

ListenNowWhat is born from the restless moments in your life?

Jennie Allen, the author of Restless and Anything and the founder of IF Gathering, believes that God burdens our souls with the people who he wants us to reach. Listen in as she gives you simple tools and ideas to:

• Be faithful where God puts you, regardless of how big, how small or how chaotic your dream is.
• Move in obedience when God gives you a burden in your heart.
• How to help raise up a generation of people that love Jesus with our entire hearts so that we can be unleashed to move in big ways for His kingdom.

Listen as Jennie Allen shares her heart behind the IF Gathering and get some ideas on how you can become part of it. Plus, head to IF: Table to sign up to host your IF: Table.

What is IF: Table? A place to gather women and share a simple meal and dive deep with people over real stories and Christ centered conversations. A time for a whole lot of laughter — and maybe a few tears — but time spent that leaves us with glad hearts. Full hearts. Grateful hearts.

 

What-Can-Be-Born-Out-of-Our-Restlessness

#125 Wanting God More Than Anything Else

#125 Wanting God More Than Anything Else

ListenNowDo you want God more than anything else?

After a quick trip down memory lane (does anyone else still use Elizabeth Arden Sunflower perfume like Kathi does?), this week’s guest, Lisa Whittle, author of I Want God, shows us how to find spiritual revival in the midst of our crazy, scary lives. She helps us see that a close, deep, deconstructed relationship with God is not only possible, but is actually simple to get. She tells us how:

• We can get over our fear of revival and get started on a journey to go deeper with God in a real way.
• The disconnect between our desire for God to deconstruct us and the fear that he will can stand in the way of our  spiritual growth.
• To allow yourself to fully feel the God hunger within you and then to do something about it.
• Christians can hop off the roller coaster of passion with God for a truly, deep relationship with our God.

Download Lisa’s free 7-day Wanting God devotional to start your own soul revival. Plus, tell us in what area of your life your heart is crying for God most and you will be entered to win a free copy of Lisa’s book I Want God.