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Category: My Prayer Chair Quotes

IN HIS HANDS

IN HIS HANDS

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Do you feel as if your prayers don’t make it past the ceiling? Does it seem like someone hit the mute button when it comes to your prayer life? Are you wondering why God isn’t answering your prayers?

Sometimes, in the silence, God is doing His greatest work.

Maybe you are at this point, “I give up! I’ve prayed for years for this prayer to be answered, but nothing… not a peep, not a word, not a sign, not an answer. I don’t think God hears me when I pray!”

When these thoughts seep in, take them captive and place them in the hands of God. We often fasten expectations to our prayers, like how and when we think they need to be answered. When these expectations go unmet, the feelings of disappointment and doubt begin to creep into our minds. Again, with a loud shout I say… take those thoughts captive and place them in the hands of Jesus!

As we pray, God wants us to give Him full access to do His will. For example, in a theater production, do they set up a scene behind the curtain or with the curtain wide open? Usually, the curtain is closed or the lights are off. As the curtain opens, the audience jumps right into the scene. Most of the time, we don’t even notice the backstage efforts of the crew. This is like God in action. He is always working behind the scenes, so when the curtain opens we enjoy the production.

Read this excerpt from my Bible study, Reflecting Him: Living for Jesus and Loving It, Week 7, Day 2…

In my early adult years, one of my pastors asked me to serve on a committee at church. With excitement and enthusiasm, I said, “Yes.” When I walked into the first meeting, I didn’t know a soul. After about thirty minutes, I realized one person dominated the conversation, and the more she talked, the more frustrated I became. Thoughts ran through my mind such as, There is no way I will serve on a team with this person!

A few days later, without praying, I should add, I decided to withdraw my name from the committee. A sweet Christian friend quietly challenged me to ask the Lord to help me see that person through His eyes. I resolved to pray, but with little expectation of changing my mind.

After a few more meetings, I realized my previous annoyances subsided. Amazingly, God started changing my heart, and I could then view my differences with her as a blessing. I grew to love her because of God’s gift of love! You see, the more I tried to control the situation, the more annoyed I became with the committee, and the more frustrated I became with our purpose for serving the Lord. I wanted things to change immediately, but God needed to teach me about waiting on Him. Once I relinquished control over the situation and started praying, God changed me!4

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Looking at today’s photograph, what comes to your mind? Now, read Psalm 40:1 with all of Psalm 5. What do you learn from these verses? Ask God to help you leave your requests in His hands. Trust that He hears your prayers. Believe that He is at work accomplishing His will. If Jesus can leave His circumstances in HIs hands, so can we!

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. —Psalm 40:1

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

PLACE OF REFUGE

PLACE OF REFUGE

Somehow a bird ended up in our house. During our renovation process, we opened the doors to let the paint fumes escape. Before long, I was prancing through the house chasing a bird from room-to-room. He was desperately seeking a Place of Refuge.

Imagine this moment…

IMG_1856I’m running around the living room singing in a high-pitched voice, “Come on, little birdie, fly out the window. You can do it! Find your place of freedom.” In a flash, the bird flutters over close to the window and then vanishes under my prayer chair.

Grabbing a flashlight, I look under the chair––NO BIRD.

Moving the chair to the right––NO BIRD.

Without thinking, I screamed, “Oh no, the bird is up INSIDE my prayer chair!”

The little feathery creature found a small opening underneath and made its way to safety in the innermost part of my prayer chair.

Suddenly, God opened my eyes to a spiritual truth…

In life, when the unexpected happens and we feel trapped inside the walls of confusion, God offers Himself as our place of refuge. A place of comfort in the storms of life. He is already waiting and ready to commune with us through prayer 24/7.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me. For my soul trusts in You. And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge until these calamities have passed by. ––Psalm 51:7

By the way, after leaving the room, when all was quiet, the bird did find the window.

LIFE CHALLENGE

Are you seeking a place of refuge? Seek Jesus. He is waiting for you to run into His arms. Rest in Him. His love is everlasting. His grace is overflowing. His mercy never ends. Live sold out for Jesus.

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal, Founder of Reflective Life Ministries


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DOG DAYS of Summer

DOG DAYS of Summer

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What comes to mind when you hear the term––Dog Days of Summer?

IMG_0010Many times is this phrase is used to describe the hot, dry summer months. Maybe your thoughts drift to your childhood when the sounds of locusts lulled you to sleep. Possibly you recall a scorching wind blowing in your face or walking barefoot in the heat of the day. The minute your feet touched the blistering pavement you started the sidewalk dance. This unique jig continued until your feet landed in the shade or in the grass.

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Actually, the original definition of dog days carries a whole different meaning. According to Kake.com, the Romans associated the hot weather with Sirius because it is the brightest star in the constellation, Canis Major, meaning Large Dog. Interesting to note, this star, Canis Major, rises and sets with the sun. As for the timing of Dog Days, it varies from region to region. In Texas, Dog Days of Summer usually begin in mid-July and run through early September.

God uses real life situations to teach us spiritual life lessons. For example, the weather affects not only our physical bodies but also our emotions and spiritual conditions. The Sun is vital to our human existence. As the Sun emits visible light, heat, and ultraviolet rays, the human body experiences the Sun’s impact. It is easy to see how visible light affects us. Ultraviolet light is unseen by the human eye and not felt by the human body, but its effects on a body’s health are far reaching. In fact, some of its most essential health benefits go unnoticed. One of the greatest advantages of ultraviolet light is the production of Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential to calcium metabolism, the formation of bone growth, and fighting skin diseases. In the northern regions of the world, the Sun only shines a few hours a day throughout the winter. During this time of darkness, people are prone to depression. One reason for this disorder is a deficiency of Vitamin D.

Isn’t this like the Christian life? There are times when God allows us to view glimpses of His mighty hand of healing, peace, judgment, protection, etc. At other times, we experience the heat of situations and circumstances in life that need purification. Yet behind the scenes, the Lord is continuously accomplishing His purposes. God is daily injecting doses of spiritual vitamins, which our souls need to overcome sinful diseases that work to invade our thoughts, hearts, and lives. Many times we are unaware of these expressions of God’s love that are so vital to sustaining our spiritual health.

Are you experiencing some dog days in your personal life… marriage, children, illness, work, finances, commitments, relationships, responsibilities, or decisions? Is the heat of a situation zapping your spiritual energy? God calls us to do the sidewalk dance and run to Him, so we can abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Prayer keeps us under the shelter of His wings.

PRAYER CHALLENGE

…Overall the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. –Isaiah 4:6

Ask God to be your continual shade from the heat. Praise Him for the unseen things He is doing in and through your life. Ask Him to open your eyes to recognize His hand of protection, love, purpose, grace, and mercy. At the same time, pray for others experiencing their own heated circumstances. Just a thought—you might be the only one praying over their situations. Lifting others up is a privilege given to believers by God Himself. What an privilege and an honor.

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

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SPIRITUAL FITNESS

SPIRITUAL FITNESS

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How does regular exercise benefit our ability to breathe? When we exercise on a regular basis, our lung capacity increases, allowing a larger volume of air to enter our lungs. High-intensity workouts require deep breathing, which in turn causes the lungs to increase air intake. Making it beneficial for everyone because an increased lung capacity not only enhances our stamina, but it is good for our overall health. A larger lung capacity and increased oxygen level help circulate blood in the body. A better blood flow aids in cleansing the veins and arteries. So…

Increased lung capacity = increased oxygen intake = increased blood flow = blood and vein cleansing

How does spiritual exercise benefit our spiritual breathing? As long as we are alive, we breathe air. There are ways to improve our breathing capacity. We can do the same with our spiritual breathing. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more we enhance our intake of the Holy Spirit. The minute we become alive in Christ, the Holy Spirit resides within us forever. And when we desire to live a life sold out to Jesus—walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh—we increase our spiritual lung capacity. The deeper we breathe in the Holy Spirit, the more we allow Him to flow through us. He cleanses our lives of impurities. As we breathe Him in, we experience the fulfillment of His presence. He gives us the yearning to exercise a prayer life with Him, stay fit through Bible study, and work out our daily problems through Him. Wow…

Increased time with Jesus = Increased spiritual understanding = Increased Holy Spirit flow = Spiritual cleansing

LIFE CHALLENGE

Seek Jesus first in the morning before your head leaves the pillow. Commune with Him at the dawning of your day. Before going to sleep at night, ask God to help you seek Him first thing in the morning. I love what my daddy says each time we pray together, “Jesus, I love you and just want to love you more.” How simple and sweet, yet so powerful! God desires from us a heart that says, “Jesus, I love You more and more each day!” Exercising our spiritual lives, allows us to become spiritually fit. Remember, just as oxygen is to the blood, so the Holy Spirit is to our spiritual walk.

Walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. –Galatians 5:16

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

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