When I am Weak- He is Strong (Moms In Prayer)

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~2 Corinthians 12:9
This Friday morning our little group of praying moms finally had the first gathering of the school year. I have been allowing myself to be available to God through this ministry despite the nagging doubts, feelings of inadequacy and sometimes seemingly “unanswered” prayers.
As the day approached I found myself feeling overwhelmed. Three weeks into Homeschooling 8th grade and this mom, right here, was already ready to hang it up.
The most negative voices taunted me from the corners of my mind, echoing through my head, as if in an empty corridor, on challenging days. The voices reminded me of every possible reason why I was not fit to pray with my sisters, let alone lead them in prayer. The reality was that these “voices” were voices in my mind, but they seemed to take on attitudes and personalities of their own with one intention:
To take me down.
By Thursday, I hit the ground running, and focused prayer time was minimal. So much to do. Clock ticking…and yet there was this still, small voice, just faint in the background. Not condemning…quietly present. Less a voice perhaps, and more a presence, which seemed to keep me somewhat on track despite the messes, challenges, distractions, and outright opposition.
That night, as I prayed, I told God just how I felt,what I thought, what the voices in my head were saying and how I was starting to believe them. I asked Him to show me His will. I reminded Him that each of these sweet ladies was capable of leading and my presence was not even absolutely needed.
I gave Him my big objection, which was basically the same thing I always tell Him.
The two words I’m convinced He accepts BUT refuses to receive…

“I can’t.”
So I moseyed on up to His throne of grace and told Him, in my bravest, big girl voice…the one He knows I don’t really believe, but use when I really want Him to know that I am s-e-r-i-o-u-s. 

I said, Lord, but if you really want me to do this, despite all of my excellent arguments. Despite all of my imperfections. Despite all of my ME. I am willing. If you promise to show me clearly if it is really not your will. Deal?
Then I slept.
Friday morning I was awake before the alarm. My head was clear. It was Go Time. 
God gave me a perfect extended time of refreshment in His word and prepared my heart. His peace draped over my shoulders like a soft garment. 
The time of prayer with my praying moms turned out to be a  blessing, naturally. 
He was present, and I realized just how blessed I was to be able to pray with this handful of gracious women. It’s not that I am the best candidate to lead. It’s not that I am such an awesome prayer warrior, it’s not that I have been the best mom, or am some kind of Super Christian Chick.

In myself, I am completely inadequate to lead these women.
But somehow, our weakness is His strength…and in the smallest acts of obedience, He runs out to meet us with open arms. 
Can you get this?
It’s not my adequacy, ability or anything me at all that equips me for His will.
Same for you. 
It is all His grace. All gift. 
And that which I think, is mine, is after all really His-
 yet He blesses through that which He calls forth…
even as He calls us to trust and obey.
Is there no other way?
So what are you waiting for?
Is He calling you to step out, again?
What have you walked away from that you suspect He wants you to turn around and walk back to? 
Despite all of your good arguments, do you know, that you know, that you know, He has something for you to do, which will require you to rely on His strength and not your understanding, power or might? 
Trust me, there is no other way…
To be happy in Jesus
is 
to trust and obey.
 Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts
Zechariah 4:6
Are you longing to pray for your children with another mom?
For more about gathering together in prayer with one or two or more moms, 
please check out Moms In Prayer

*I have been praying with a Moms in Prayer group since 2008 and have been blessed beyond belief. I have been “leading” which is to say I have been praying alongside women who are gracious enough to allow me to be responsible for staying on track, starting and finishing on time and never talking too much (Can you see God’s sense of humor in this?) since 2010. 
God is Faithful.
Linking with these online Communities:

Missional Women

Prayer Warrior Mom by Marla Alupoaicei (Book Review)

In Prayer Warrior Mom:Covering Your Kids With God’s Blessings and Protections, Marla Alupoaicei writes 15 Chapters to “…inspire you to establish a new habit of praying for your children with power, authority, gratitude and renewed faith.” While writing it she asked God to reveal some themes that would serve as a foundation for the writing of this book and she was led to Luke 4:18-19, which is the primary focus of her ministry: “to preach the gospel, to help heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to moms wounded by sin, to restore joy to your oppressed spirit, and to proclaim this year as a season of breakthrough prayer and intercession for your kids.” Colossians 3:23  affirms the ministry of motherhood and second theme for Prayer Warrior Moms in the making: the attitude of the mother with regard to her family. Philippians 2:14-16 undergirds all of what is said and done through us in our called roles of praying moms and highlights our humility. Lastly, God led Marla to 2 Corinthians 10:5 which serves as our “marching orders”, recognizing the spiritual battle at hand and yielding to our Commander- The Lord Jesus Christ.

I have read a lot of books on prayer, because if I can get one helpful tidbit that helps me be stronger in storming the gates victoriously for myself and others, especially those I love then I want to gain that truth. I have to say that this is one of the most useful books I have read for praying moms, yet.

Some of my favorite chapters were : Pray With Power and Authority, Fast for Spiritual Breakthrough, and Hold Your Children Loosely. Initially I wondered what this book could offer me that I had not already learned or read, but I found that Marla pinpointed specific areas I really needed to work on in my prayer life! Instead of feeling like I was reading another to do list, I found some fresh ideas and new inspiration. As a leader for a small Moms In Prayer group, I am always seeking resources to encourage my praying mom friends; I think this would be a wonderful book to work through for any praying moms groups. Truly she has fulfilled her above stated purpose in writing this book and sharing this ministry!

The breakdown of the book is perfect for partners or groups to go through together and is meant to encourage exactly that. With each chapter’s end there follows “Today’s Prayer” which is a beautifully  expressed, through scriptural prayer based on the presented topic. Suggested scriptures are included and the next part and called “The Sword of The Spirit”. Finally each chapter concludes with “Small Group Discussion Questions” which one could do in a journal if working through book on own or with a group. I read through the book once but want to go through with a group or partner in the near future.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson through their blogger program Booksneeze for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own. One note I should make is that I am very careful to choose books for review I am fairly confident I will like or are useful, due to my slower reading pace than many book reviewers. I hope you find my review (s) helpful!

I review for BookSneeze®

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A Flicker of Hope {Praying for Sandy Hook Elementary School Community}

Image Credit by George Ascencio Designs

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15:4
In light of the events of that took place last Friday in Connecticut, I find myself moved to share a few thoughts, links and scriptures that have given me hope. Although I have managed to stay away from all television coverage, I did read two news stories, one on Saturday, the other tonight as I felt compelled to know the names of the victims. I also read a few of my fellow bloggers posts who shared their hearts as we do here in this fellowship and community. I have tried to steer clear of the media with minimal pops onto Facebook as well. 
I wanted to dedicate a post to the victims of Friday’s tragic shooting. I know there are many tragedies throughout the world. I do not mean to take away from anyone or anything but just to allow a pause and acknowledgement in this particular one. It seems so close to home, in many ways beyond geography and has gripped my heart. 
Below are two fellow Bloggers who have have offered hope in their own ways.

Amy Sullivan shares a number of links that are helpful for those who’d like to offer hope/help: When You Want To Help The Sandy Hook But Don’t Know How

Wendy over at Saved Sister is coordinating a  Blogger Day of Silence on Tuesday, December 18th and also attempting to raise money for The Newtown Youth and Family Services.
Also Moms In Prayer Connecticut State Leader, sweet Pat Kenney,  has created a very helpful prayer sheet for her praying moms (but perhaps also for those who long to pray but can’t quite find the words or where to start)
I am grateful to belong to Moms In Prayer, and today I will be praying with other moms for our children, school and teachers.We will also be praying for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Praying for hope to be restored to those who are feeling the hopelessness that comes in times such as these. Praying for hope to return for us all. 
If you have passed this way today, will you hold up the family of each one taken in this tragedy?
Would you pause with me for a moment and pray for hope to be restored to their hearts?

“Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31

CHILDREN

Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, (age 6)
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05,  (age 7)
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, (age 6)
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05,  (age 7)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, (age 6)
Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, (age 6)
Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, (age 6)
Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06,  (age 6)
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05,  (age 7)
Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06,  (age 6)
James Mattioli, 03/22/06, (age 6)
Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05,  (age 7)
Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, (age 6)
Jack Pinto, 05/06/06,  (age 6)
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, (age 6)
Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06,  (age 6)
Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, (age 6)
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06,  (age 6)
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, (age 6)
Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06,  (age 6)
ADULTS

Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, (age 29)
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65,  (age 47)
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, (age 52)
Lauren Russeau, 1982, (age 29)
Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56,  (age 56)
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85,  (age 27)
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; Lamentations 3:21-25

Mom’s Prayer Journal {Book Review & Encouragement}

 I bought the Mom’s Prayer Journal ( A Guided Prayer Journal) by Fern Nichols a couple of years ago. It was one of those books that I anticipated using, but wanted to wait for the right time. You see, although this book is mostly blank, there is room to write. This is both inviting and daunting. It remained beautiful and unmarked until this Summer. Summer is both a wonderful and challenging time. We relax and look forward to enjoying lives with a little less structure and a bit more freedom. But there is one who waits for us to let our guard down, get a bit too comfortable with our free and easy days, waiting for us to be too busy to pray, connect and commune with our True God and Guide. My desire was to be vigilant in prayer for my daughter and to keep myself in tip top prayer shape for my return to leading our Moms In Prayer Group in the Fall. I did not want to let my prayer life dwindle or let my faith get flabby this Summer! It’s not like we mean to, it’s just subtle how Summer can lull us into letting our guard down!
Well, whether you lead a Moms In Prayer group or not this guided journal is a wonderful way to focus on God’s Attributes and Character while prioritizing prayer for your precious child/children. When I first looked at it, I thought the actual amount of area allowed to hand write prayer would be too small but after having used it, I am satisfied that it gave me just enough room to write the prayers, but not so much that I was not guided gently towards clarifying my thoughts. 
What I love about the format is that it follows the Moms In Prayer flow of prayer, which means each page has a focus prompt and topic. The flow is Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving and Intercession. The prompt is aimed at focusing on one of God’s attributes or characteristics as a topic for prayer and scripture. 
As Fern Nichols says, 
“Planning is the key to success of a regular quiet time. 
Even if you can only get away for 10-15 minutes, 
God will use that time to refresh and inspire you.”

Some of the prompts for reflection include: 
God is Righteous, Jesus is the Beloved, God is Compassionate,
God is my Deliverer, God is Sovereign and God is my Helper. 
The goal is to draw you closer in intimacy with Jesus as you seek Him in this time.
I only wish that some of the scripture references were listed along with the topic presented for convenience.
However, one can topically search out scripture that support the theme for reflection.
Some Scripture and references are included but I would have liked 
to see more just as we have available in the Leaders Corner for Moms In Prayer. 
The way the journal is structured is a wonderful way for 
praying alone moms or prayer partners to pray for and also keep track of prayers.
I wanted to share a couple of helpful links below as well as encourage
 you to perhaps make your own 
Prayer Journal to see if it is useful to you. 
Sometimes it is good to explore different ways of
praying or adapting our quiet times. 
Making Your Own Prayer Journal
You could purchase any spiral notebook, blank book or even use ruled sheets to put in a binder.
You will have a page for Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving and Intercession (in a smaller size journal). With ruled Binder Size paper you might use one or maybe two sheets split up into 4 sections on a page or two sections using two pages.
Keep it simple. 
I think that is why I am enjoying this little journal so much, it is not too elaborate or complicated.
It gets me zoomed in on God through scripture and prayer.
It provides enough guidance without feeling too restrictive or overly formulated. 
Prayer Helps:
This list will help you focus on some key scriptures
 to meditate & base your prayers on.
A Cute Example:
Moms In Prayer:
Helpful Books:


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