This Prayer I Keep Praying – Merry Christmas to Me!

I opened an e-mail from Dr. Carol this morning, knowing she always come through for me, but today she went above and beyond ( www.drcarolministries.com. Or you could also include the direct link: https://www.drcarolministries.com/christmas-prayer-for-your-marriage/

I’m going to share the prayer and suggest you do as I did: Pray it through aloud, and then pray it again as though it’s a done deal. I’ll share the prayer and then illustrate. Now, here’s Dr. Carol:

A Christmas Prayer for your Marriage

Choosing a gift for your spouse at Christmas can sometimes be frustrating. That may seem even more difficult this year as 2020 has disrupted everything. But much more than physical gifts, your spouse needs you. A prayer for your marriage would be just the thing to help you there. 

Every marriage has challenges, and it’s not easy to stay focused when the stress builds. That’s a big reason why praying for your own heart, your spouse, and your marriage is so helpful.

Let this prayer set your mind and heart in the right place.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the gift You have given me in my spouse. My vision is so often clouded by their failures and weaknesses that I forget to treasure who they are to me. Forgive me for taking them for granted. You’ve entrusted me with the privilege of caring for my spouse’s heart in a way no one else can, and I thank You for that honor. Fill me again with Your love for my spouse.

I ask You to bless me with special vision to see my spouse as You see them. Let me value them in the same way You do. Forgive me for trying to make my spouse into the person I want them to be. Help me to see the work You are doing in their life, and to support that work in any way I can. Let me rejoice in every step my spouse takes in becoming the person You have created them to be.

Give me an understanding and open heart to truly hear what my spouse wishes to communicate. When faced with a conflict let me reserve judgement until I fully understand. Give me the courage and wisdom to stick around through difficult conversations, and to always work toward not what is best for me, but what is best for our marriage.

Let me see frustrations and conflict between us as opportunities to understand better, and to offer my own character to You for any necessary changes. Show me who You need me to be in this season of our marriage. I give You permission to change me into the person You need me to be to my spouse. Use me in my spouse’s life in any way you can. I invite Your Holy Spirit to have full sway in my own heart and in my spouse’s heart.

Dear Lord, be the glue that holds us together. Surround our marriage and home with Your Divine protection from all that the enemy would do to drive us apart. Break down the walls between us, and show me whatever I can do to help that happen. Deepen the intimacy between us. Bring us closer together and closer to You at the same time.

I ask You to fulfill the purpose You have for our union. Heal us where we need healing. Change us where we need changing. Fill our marriage and home with Your Divine presence, peace, and joy. As you love us, may we continue to learn ever more how to love well. Continue making our marriage into a demonstration of the love You are and wish all marriages to know. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Perhaps you will want to share this prayer with your spouse, and pray it over each other.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that God bless you with His understanding, healing, courage, and wisdom you need in order to love well.

Your Turn: What gift from your heart are you going to bless your spouse with this Christmas?

__________________________________________

OK, that was all Dr. Carol, and here’s a sample of what I did (I’m sharing because it was SOOOO powerful). After praying the prayer, I went back and prayed as though it was a done deal. Like this: “Thank you, Father, that I don’t take John for granted, and for the privilege of caring for his heart . . . thank You for the treasure he is . . . thank You that I have an understanding and open heart to hear what my spouse wishes to communicate . . . thank You that I see John as You see him . . .”

Merry Christmas to me!

I Know That I Know

And my experience or fear doesn’t negate the Truth. I know Whom I have believed. Any fear is a revelation of the filth in my heart that says Satan is greater than God.

Any fear. Even if the worst I can imagine happens, I and all my loved ones end up together with Jesus. Even if my beloved country becomes yet another communist hellhole, He will provide.

But let us return now to the idea that my or anyone else’s beliefs or experience should be given more attention than the Word. I picked up a book at our local library (steam always coming out my ears when I visit public libraries lately) and it was, at least in the part I read, about people being harmed by someone in church, and thereby a denunciation of all Christianity.

Perhaps I should have read on, certainly I should not have lost my joy over yet another book written by someone who doesn’t know that they know. They don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior. They’ve never experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit. They don’t know Love.

Why then, should I expect anything else? Why should I be impatient, upset, or concerned? Because . . . (oh, I really hate that this can still be so), because there is that inevitable result of not believing, not really and truly trusting, that like every other evil or ill, God has got this.

If that’s so, you may be thinking, why are we here? Because of pride (not because of dishonest politicians or rigged voting machines or China). If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways . . . It’s in II Chronicles 7:14. Let’s look again–If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

I repent of fear, anger, unbelief. I repent of the pride that says I can do anything apart from Him. I repent of the pride that makes me forget that there but by the grace of God, go I. And I remember: I know that I know. I know Whom I have believed. I know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and He is my all in all.

II Timothy 1:12 – For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Thanks for your time, and Merry Christmas!

P.S. Some scriptures for your perusal–either as a reminder of what God has done, or what He’d so love to do for you, His beloved:

Romans 3:23–For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.;

Romans 5:8–But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:8–For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; s, so that no one may boast.

Romans 10:9–that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Focus on Freedom

He came to set us free, indeed to make us “free indeed.” Freedom must be the song we sing, the thoughts we think, the air we breathe. We must, as we walk out history, as we’re amid the battle of our lives, understand and know that we’re all here for such a time as this.

This Red Sea moment is about the spiritual taking of Dominion, and we are in the glorious position of seeing manmade solutions fail. Let us not be dismayed or disconcerted about Supreme Court, FBI, Attorney General, and/or any other disappointments.

Let’s wait for the miraculous healing, deliverance and victory that is our promised end, and the outcome that gives God all the glory–ours simply via humbling ourselves, seeking His face, turning from our wicked ways.

Wicked ways–might I suggest that what’s true for me is perhaps true for you? Could it be that there’s a bit of pride still at work, of lacks both in the love and in the humility departments? Could it be that it’s way past time to stop ignoring God’s promises, that it’s time to take Him at His Word?

Let’s focus, press in, pray. Let’s believe that He is Who He says He is.

He’s our only hope, and that’s more than enough.

Twice Buttered Toast

Tis the season to do more, not less; to expand your tent stakes, not retract them. This socially prevalent minimalism is ruinous to much that should be joy, and as a man thinketh . . .

Let’s do an in-your-face to the enemy of all abundance with such antics as having twice buttered toast. Here goes: beginning with a delicious bread (maybe even homemade!) let us add butter. If you’re really in the spirit make it a fine European butter and do a bit of slathering. Toast it up a bit, take it out and add more butter.

Better still . . . butter your toast on both sides, or even six sides. True story, this can be done. I once cut the crusts off a yeasty breadmaker loaf, and then divided it into six long sticks of bread, each with four sides, a top and a bottom. I then proceeded to butter all six sides before putting them in the oven to toast.

We-John, me, and the kids, were enraptured. No one made a sound as they carefully and almost worshipfully ate their toast.

Let us proceed to the likes of cinnamon rolls. “What is the deal,” my son Seth asked, “with these people who call these giant dough balls cinnamon rolls.” I knew just exactly of what he spoke. Not enough cinnamon, not enough brown sugar and butter, too much dough and not enough glaze.

“It’s like they’re still using their great great granny’s recipe from when the cinnamon had to be hauled across the plains in a covered wagon,” Seth continued. We talked of thick maple flavored glazes, loaded with pecans and/or walnuts, to be enjoyed with excellent coffee graced with heavy cream, or simply fresh, hot and black. (But I vote for heavy cream whenever and wherever possible.)

Heavy cream. A sure sign of God’s favor. If you’re worried about the calories, remember worry is a sin. If you’re concerned about the expense simply put back the cheapo junky stuff in the cart and add in cream. And butter. And excellent bread.

Better still, learn how to make buttery butter-filled croissants and when they’re hot out of the oven, or even cold, add butter. Oh, and while you’re at it, beware of FOSS when you’re cooking and following recipes created by FOSS sufferers (Fear of Salt Syndrome).

Aren’t you getting full and satisifed and satiated just thinking about it- enough salt, plenty of cream, too much butter?

No, it will not make you fat. Thinking about food all the time because you’re never satisfied because you never eat butter or heavy cream—that will make you fat. To my long ago assertion that all you have to do to lose weight is lose the bread, a wise man replied, “But bread makes the meal.”

“Ah aint innersted,” said a wise woman, “in a life without bread” (we were speaking of the “unsustainability of most diets). Amen to that, sister, and don’t forget the butter.

Red Lipstick Smiles

This is the time to put on the Red. Red lipstick may not be your thing (it’s not mine) but I’m wearing my big smile anyway. It’s time to do the exact opposite of what we feel like doing. It’s time to act like winners–to think and talk like winners.

God works through faith and when we do the woe-is-we we give Him nothing.

Let’s pray like what we are–overcomers, and let’s smile all the while.

Yay!

Rom 8:31: What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

New Sound

Day in and day out I am reading scriptures about praising God, about shouting, singing, going into battle prefaced and protected by songs of praise. Last night as I went to sleep I began singing snatches of a forgotten song, and as it began to come together I sang it over and over, knowing my sleep would be sound, my dreams beautiful.

Phil Driscoll’s New Sound was, I believe, a gift to my heart from the Holy Spirit. There’s a new sound in the earth, there’s a new voice to be heard.

Listen. Be blessed. Praise Him.

The Big “I Will” Trap

Even as I speak that the tongues of liars be tied, or better still that it becomes true–liars’ pants really do catch on fire, I MUST, we all MUST, forgive.

Satan, the enemy of all freedom, is full of tricks. He is, after all, “The Great Deceiver” and “The Father of Lies.” The Apostle Paul said, “We are not unaware of his schemes,” but it seems that perhaps we are, at least when it comes to the pit of unforgiveness, into which we fall again and again. The stakes are too high now. We can no longer afford the luxury of being offended–that account is way overdrawn.

In “Limitless Love” Gloria Copeland says, “The devil is continually devising plans and schemes to throw believers off course. He is constantly sending offenses, troublesome circumstances, pressures and temptations designed to trip us up and keep us from finishing our race in God.”

We must win this race, and God’s way is the only way we can do so. I have been praying we will be steadfast. I have been praying for a strengthening of the hands that hang down, and for unity in the body of Christ, that our prayers be not hindered.

No more hindered prayers! I have prayed deliverance from fear that our prayers be not hindered, as God works through faith, not fear. And now I am praying that we will be finished with the pride that will destroy us, the pride that says we can do anything apart from God, the pride that He resists.

Pride says I will take offense, I will denigrate and despise and deplore the denseness and debauchery of those people, I will ignore what very Word of God says about who the real enemy is, and I will take offense. Not only will I take offense, but I will hide it deep in my heart and pet it and feed it by continually talking about it.

No. Try this, Bev: When someone mentions certain witchy women in government, put on Gollum and say, “We do not speak its name.” Or do as Pastor Mark Hankins’ mama did when things got negative. She began to sing, “Let’s Talk About Jesus.” She was fighting against the I wills.

I will, regardless of what God says, refuse to trust and obey. My prayers will be, as the Bible assures me, hindered, as I coninually consider “evil reports” rather than considering what God says.

Oh and by the way–lest you think your anger at man is accomplishing a single thing, let me assure you, again as the Bible says, “any fool” can be angry. Let’s get angry at the real enemies, Satan and our own big mouths and small faith. Small faith is what we have when we put our faith in anything or anyone except God.

“We the People” trusting the One who made this great nation is what will save us all. Let’s do all we can to stand and then stand. Amen.

II Corinthians 2:10-11

From Lavender and Rose!

My daughter Rebekah (aka Lady Rose) wrote the following post for our new venture: Lavender and Rose, which is an e-store/website featuring lovely thoughts and things Lavender and/or Rose (or Rosewood, Rose Geranium, Lavender and Orange, etc.). I hope you enjoy Rebekah’s post and that you’ll visit us at https://lavenderandrose.shop/ very soon.

Hello, My Lovelies! 

As I knit away, which is so very condusive to contemplation, I am pleased to report that I am becoming more enamoured by the stitch of the benefits of knitting (oh, stop, hear me out). Regardless of your ability, knitting provides a calm, relaxing way to get your mind off your troubles and vexations (don’t you love that word?), and you get to create something at the same time.  Of course, I can’t guarantee that it will look anything like the picture (that part is entirely up to you), but maybe yours will be more interesting than the picture. 

While there are some who would poo-poo the idea of such a ‘”granny” activity, it might behoove them to realize that worthy young women of old were knitters.  In fact, it was often the only way to get warm items such as mittens, scarves, hats, sweaters, etc.

Generally one started young to be any good at it, but it is not strictly necessary as knitting can be a bit like riding a bike once you’ve got the basics down. And anyway, being “good” at it isn’t really the issue, as troubles seem to melt away after a few rows.  I find that I’m almost unconsciously relaxing into my nice comfy chair as I go along, and I believe you will, too, provided you’re not overly concerned with perfection and skill.

To make your knitting escapes even better, include a nice hot cup of tea, perhaps an herbal blend with a bit of honey, and to that add the delightful scent of your new Lavender and Orange Soy Candle.

Whether you wish to make Christmas presents for your family and friends or something for yourself, knitting is the way to go for us old souls. 

Until next time, my Lovelies, 

Lady Rose