"I am guiding you on the way of wisdom and I am leading you on the right path." Proverbs 4:11

Category: 31 days | Pray (page 2 of 3)


Mimosa Tree

in the 1920′,  a young Indian girl from a Hindu family named Mimosa was briefly introduced to her Father in heaven.

…something had happened on that afternoon when she heard for the first time about a living, loving God, whom we had called Father, who had made everything in the world, and the sun and moon and stars.  She had understood that He loved her.  And a strange thing had happened.”

It is a story worth reading.  today i just want to share with you a few words from the end;


And this …[story] that is still being written goes forth with a great joy and with two earnest intentions-to comfort, if it may be, some who, depressed by the perplexities of these days, are almost tempted to think our Lord is not in His world now as He was in olden time; and to win help for those who need it.


Can one consider this solitary Indian woman-protected, comforted, sustained, fed with bread the world knew not of, given to drink of fountains in the desert-without feeling that the love of God has many ways of working, and may be working now unseen through all the clamer and sadness of a foolish generation?  Is not such a story a witness to the Invisible?


Are there those for whom we have long prayed for, who seem beyond our reach now?  Love will find a way.  Are we discouraged because we do not see our expected signs, and the solid rocks seem to be sinking under shifting sands?  It is not so.  Love is mighty and must prevail.  Terrible in judgments, marvelous in loving-kindness, Love will find a way,


Out in these corners of the earth, those who are face to face with the old elemental forces of sin know what it is to shiver at times with a sense of the almost omnipotence of the god of this world.  Is there not comfort for us in this story?  In and out of the deep, dark places of heathendom-yes, and as truly among the garish lights of a Christendom that has lost its first warm love-wherever there is the least, the faintest response to Love, there Love will follow and find, for nothing in heaven or earth or under the earth is impossible to Love.


And will not my second intention find fulfillment somewhere?  Will not prayer that can be as a shield in battle, as dew in heat, as a cool wind on a breathless day, as the light of moon and stars at night, be round about any anywhere who, enchanted by a glimpse of the loveliness of Christ, are following Him today-dear, unknown fellow-lovers?  For God has other Mimosas.

-Taken from the book Mimosa by Amy Carmichael; p.17, 159-161


Learning from Amy


Psalm 109.21.  A prayer that may be unfathomable comfort to the ill and tired:

“Do Thou for them, for him, for her. O God the Lord.”

When one cannot pray minutely or powerfully, this prayer suffices.  We need not tell Love what to do; Love knows.

-Amy Carmichael

Amy lived in the nineteen hundreds, this is how Psalm 109:21 read in her day;  “But do *thou* for me, Jehovah, Lord, for thy name’s sake; because thy loving-kindness is good, deliver me:” (Darby translation).  For anyone like me who doesn’t quite understand the phrase ‘do Thou,’ here it is in the Amplified; “But You deal with me and act for me, O God the Lord, for Your name’s sake; because Your mercy and loving-kindness are good, O deliver me.”  


keeping my eyes open


in exhaustion i hit my pillow thinking about how i need to write on prayer-very much aware of the days being missed, yet unable to form a thought.  in the past few days i have seen the dark side of chocolate, dark side of humanity and the dark side of my own soul.  coupled with the dark side has been so much beauty. so so much beauty.  the exhaustion comes from the whole of it all.


i breathe out thanks and praise for the bigness of the sky only to wonder if it’s all empty and shallow in my heart.

i groan out pleas and desperate cries for change and hope only to wonder if it’s all just empty and shallow in my heart.

i argue with myself and spin off into the rabbit trails that cause the minutes to tick away and away and away.


there is a very big part of me that just wants to shut my eyes to the whole of the world and the whole of my heart and the fight that it is to know what to say about it all to the One who’s eyes are wide open to both the state of this world and the state of my brain and my soul.


the temptation to just shut the door.  and walk the other way.

sometimes i think i make an idol of figuring things out.   i think prayer is something to figure out, so that it can help me make some sense of the beauty and darkness.


my son asks me a riddle.

“mom, can God make a rock that He can’t lift?”


“Since He can do anything, He can make a rock that He can’t lift.  but since He can do anything, He could lift that rock He can’t lift.”


wait, what?

this.  this is the middle of the wrestle.

i think i’m willing to stay in the tension.


with eyes open, i’ll wait.





Learning from Gayle learning from Moses

East India man making bricks via Compassion International

sometimes someone speaks and all of a sudden my breathing begins to slow and my racing thoughts halt and burdens lift.  this happened to me the other day when my friend Gayle was sharing what she had learned from Moses in those same chapters i’d read;

Suffering either drives me towards God or away from God.  The only response to suffering and discouragement is to go to God.  Moses goes to God with his feelings, honestly and humbly pouring out his heart:

1. questioning God’s goodness; “why have you brought trouble upon this people?”
2. questioning God’s purpose; “is this why you sent me?”
3. questioning God’s actions; “You have not rescued Your people at all!”

What does God do when His discouraged one comes to Him in this way?

God doesn’t answer Moses’ questions, instead He reminds Moses of what is true:

1. God is in control (exodus 6:1)
2. God keeps His covenants. (exodus 6:2-5)
3. God saves. (exodus 6:6-8)

-Gayle Osterberg



in my own discouragement-even in regard to prayer as i desire it to be-this is the ‘prescription’ i need.  it is so very simple and so very powerful;

go and keep going to the one with the Mighty hand. keep running to the One who is a High Tower and Shelter from the storms.  the One who proves the fullness of His enabling love
over and over and over again.  



Learning from Paul


For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.

-ephesians 1: 15-19


Learning from C.S. Lewis


An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayer.  He is trying to get into touch with God.  But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him.  But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God-that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him.  You see what is happening.  God is the thing to which he is praying-the goal he is trying to reach.  God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on-the motive power.  God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal.  So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers.  The man is being caught up into the higher kinds of life…he is being pulled into God, by God, while still remaining himself.

-from Mere Christianity


proving His fulness*


Before the winds that blow do cease,
Teach me to dwell within Thy calm:
Before the pain has passed in peace,
Give me, my God, to sing a psalm.
Let me not lose the chance to prove
The fulness of enabling love.
O Love of God, do this for me:
Maintain a constant victory.

Before I leave the desert land
For meadows of immortal flowers,
Lead me where streams at Thy command
Flow by the borders of the hours,
That when the thirsty come, I may
Show them the fountains in the way.
O Love of God, do this for me:
Maintain a constant victory.

found in the book Rose from Brier by  Amy Carmichael

*this is how the word is spelled in the book which was published in 1933 in Great Britain.


it’s not about the dishes


i sit across the table from her and share a little about this desert i’ve been in.  and she gives me some tips;

have you tried praying God’s word back to Him?

do you have a set time to meet with the Lord?

have you tried singing hymns?

 -yes, i do that, i’m doing that.  on and on-the suggestions go. and it’s not that they aren’t good ones-they are disciplines that have worked so for a very long time.  they are wise and life giving.  and in writing this series, these things are already assumed-if you’ve never practiced praying God’s word back to Him-start now!!


but i’m not writing about a new discipline or finding a new method.  and, yes, i’ll admit i am the least consistent person i know…in anything!   Myquillyn wrote recently about rhythm vs. routine.  for the most part, i live in rhythm more than routine.

it would be easy to read some of the things i’ve shared and think;
I need to start doing the dishes.
That would never work for me.


and that would be missing the point of it all.  the point about the dishes is that God knew some things that i didn’t know myself.  i didn’t know before i lived in a house with a clothesline how restful laundry could be.  and when we moved into this house 5 years ago i debated about installing a dishwasher.  do you see in that picture above? that is it for my counter/cupboard space. you can see-dishwasher space is prime space!  i tried a week without one just to see. i concluded i needed the dishwasher more than the space.

light dandilion IMG_1658

but here we are 5 years later, and this is the way the Lord is coming to my aid?  He knows how i work, He knitted me together.  and He knows the desert i’m in.  and really, it’s His enabling that i can even see the provision, the rest that the chore invites me into.  i don’t understand it and i can’t explain it.  in my prayer closet i am dry and empty, dull and colorless; standing at the sink the world takes on color and i am left with nothing but Wonder.


it’s not really about the dishes.  it’s the movement of the One who set the earth to spinning.  it’s that in Him i live and move and have my being.  and my Counselor and my Guide has to show me what that really means in a practical way for this season of life that i am in.

How is the Great Shepherd coming to your aid personally and specifically in the season you are in?  if you take anything away from my words-let it be that.


Known and Seen | Every Bitter Thing is Sweet book release

two words on those thin and worn pages of my Bible cause me to pause, i inhale a deep deep breath and take in the depth of their meaning;

I know…

He knows.  He knows the ins and outs of the struggle.  He knows my frame and remembers i am but dust.  He knows the details and circumstances.   He knows everything.  oh the wonder of being known.


two more words on the page cause me to pause, inhale a deep deep breath and take in the depth of their meaning;

I See…

He sees me here in the struggle.  in the struggle with prayer, in the struggle with life.  oh the comfort of being seen.

about a year ago i stumbled upon this blog by Sara Hagerty; Everybitterthingissweet.com  Learning to breath out adoration of the God who knows and sees me has carried me through many a day when that’s all the praying i can do.  Here’s 4 minutes of being known and seen….

Sara’s message  is one of intimacy with Jesus and adoration of Him.  I’m still waiting for my copy of her book-which releases today.  i have found Him afresh via her instagram posts, and the devotional guide written to accompany the book.  i anticipate finding Him afresh in the pages of this book as well.   anyone who orders by October 14th will get a free download of a song by Ben Woodward and the devotional guide -for more information click here.  

The satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7 


laundry and dishes


in the summer as time slows and the sun warms and dries our clothes faster than the drier can, i find the rhythm of hanging up the laundry to be so life giving.  as my hands clip one side, than another, my thoughts are free to find their way.  i find talking with my Father to be so conversational, so natural, flowing so freely.  sometimes i lose myself and awareness of others around me-the noise of the game being played on the tramp 15 feet away sounds 50 miles away.  with the last clip-i pick up the basket and re-enter the world, filled and strengthened and made new.

even thru this drought that i’ve been in-this dry place-hanging the laundry becomes like a cup of cold water.

but it’s October now and the rain hinders my clothes ability to dry outside, coupled with the start of school and all the fullness that is fall and there is no time to spend hanging the clothes up one by one.  and so laundry becomes just another chore.


i’m still fighting against this dryness in my walkings with God, this struggle with prayer and reading of His word.  there are moments where He breaks thru but much of the time it’s that trudging through the mud.  but i don’t give up and i am aware of the workings of the Spirit in that.  i keep asking him to help me break thru the fog.  i keep asking Him; “Lord, teach me how to pray.”  and i keep asking Him; “Lord help my eyes learn how to see You.”


the dishwasher breaks.  it’s a bit annoying to think of the added work, but the timing is bad to even begin to address what is wrong with it, so i just start washing dishes.  the first day i’m washing all the dishes that were in the dishwasher that didn’t come clean and all the dishes that were waiting to be loaded in.  it takes a long time and just isn’t fun at all.  but then a rhythm begins to take shape.  i find that the few dishes generated in the morning take 10 minutes to clean up.  i find that the 10 minutes there at the sink begins to feel like the minutes spent at the clothes line.  i find that lunch doesn’t generate enough dishes to bother with and the dinner ones take a bit longer-but there are helpers and they each take their turn.  there’s a forced slowness that i am beginning to appreciate.  while my hands work in the morning my mind looses itself in the presence of my Father.  in the evening as i work alongside the one whose turn it is, conversations flow a bit easier too.


i honestly never thought i’d say these words; but i am enjoying doing the dishes.  it’s become something more than a chore-it’s become prayer.


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