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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is teaching the basics of God's Word to help you live a life you love and love the life you live! 

Devo

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Monday through Friday: Fresh, fun and empowering Bible basics to build your faith and impact your life in practical ways. Whether it's a short Bible-based devotional, a funny image to brighten your day or to post on your social meda, a link to our podcast or a nugget of truth -- you will be strengthened, inspired and challenged in the basics of your faith.

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Filtering by Category: Prayer

ASK BIG!

Jennifer Cole

God has a LOT to say in the Bible about asking! But why? After all...hasn’t He already paid for all of the blessings and provisions in your life? Yes. Hasn’t He promised you that whatever you pray for (in accordance with the Word) He will give you? Yes. Doesn’t He already know what you need? Yes.

>>But friends, there’s something huge about ASKING. Don’t miss this!

The Bible says: “...you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2 NKJV). That oughta stir all of us up! What are some examples of BIG things to ask for?

How about the salvation of your entire family? Ask! We know it’s not His will that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). When we ask in agreement with His Word, He hears and goes to work. Also, ask the Lord to use you! Make yourself available to be used in whatever way He sees fit to reach your family, and others. Pray big!

How about praying out the dreams in your heart? Have you asked for doors to be opened, to be in the right place at the right time, for favor and grace? For God to take the seemingly impossible and make it possible? Ask big!

James 1 tells us that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights! None of us want to find out when we get to Heaven that God had all kinds of presents ready to come down for us, but we never asked for them! Ask! He wants to bless you, prosper you, and help you succeed -- for your enjoyment and so you can be a blessing to others! Today, make a decision to focus on asking BIG...and watch and see what the Lord will do in and through your life!

Say This: “Father, thank You that everything I ask in accordance with Your Word, You provide! Lord, with faith that nothing is impossible for You, today I ask for ________. (Ask for BIG things here!) And I ask You, Lord, for the salvation of all my friends and family. Use me, Lord, to reach others for Christ. Thank You that I am blessed to be a blessing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

you've got help!

Jennifer Cole

Friends, today’s devo will be short and sweet but I genuinely hope it encourages you! If you haven’t read last week’s devo yet, I highly recommend reading that before jumping into today’s. (You can check it out below, on this blog page.)

Today, let’s talk about something that may not be talked about enough but I believe many may be struggling with this...let’s dive into what to do if you feel “stuck” in your prayer life. Sure, you likely know all the benefits of prayer and you genuinely desire to be a pray-er...but for some reason, you just feel like you can’t break through whatever is holding you back in prayer. I’m here to tell you today, there’s hope! You will break through!

The secret is being filled with the Spirit. When you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, He helps you pray out God’s perfect will. We see this in God’s Word: “...for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will” (Romans 8:27 NLT). You can pray out what you know in your own understanding...but then you don’t have to feel “stuck” or “stopped” there. Pray in the Spirit, and He’ll help you pray out all of the mysteries, the things you don’t know but He does!

So, are you feeling burdened about an issue or situation in your life and just struggling to find the “right” words to say in prayer? Pray in the Spirit! Are you fearful, scared, anxious, nervous, agitated, frustrated or confused? Pray in the Spirit! Worried about your future, wondering what path to take or choice to make? You guessed it...pray in the Spirit!

>>You don’t have to have all the “right” words or know all of the details...the Holy Spirit will help you!

Romans 8:26 NKJV explains it like this: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” And, I love 1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV as well: “...in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.”

So take a few deep breaths, do a few shoulder rolls and sit up a little straighter -- you are not alone in this, the Lord will help you pray! Pray with your own understanding, speaking out in faith the promises of God. But also pray in the Spirit. Allow Him to help you pray out mysteries, laying out the track you’ll run on in life. You don’t have to have it all figured out, just lean into Him and He’ll help you pray it out!

Say This: “Father, thank You so much that I am born of the Spirit and also filled with the Spirit. Thank You that the Holy Spirit helps me to pray out mysteries and to pray according to Your perfect will. Thank You that I don’t have to know it all -- You help me pray! I thank You for helping me to experience breakthrough in my prayer life as I pray more in the Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

let's pray it up!

Jennifer Cole

Sometimes I think we can over-complicate prayer. I mean, how many times have you not prayed because you felt you didn’t know the “right” way to pray, or didn’t have a full three-hours of time to pray, or felt like God was far off and unapproachable? Let me encourage you today, friends, that prayer really is simple. It’s basic, if you will! While there are certainly some “rules of engagement” for specific types of prayer, which we can learn from the Bible, today just start! Start praying! Start talking with the Lord every day, start prioritizing your conversation time with Him and don’t let the enemy keep stealing that powerful time away from you.

The enemy knows that prayer pulls down the power from Heaven into your life. He knows that through faith-filled prayers you can experience salvation, healing, blessings, restored relationships, increase, favor, protection, freedom from fear and addictions, and so much more. Can you see now why the enemy works overtime to keep us feeling like we can’t pray? Like we don’t know how to pray, are unworthy to approach God, or any other number of lies? Knowing that he’s so actively opposing our prayer time should stir up some passion in you to not let him steal that from your life!

Today, I hope you’ll lay aside any preconceived notions of some lofty and unattainable standard on your prayer life and just get real with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 tells us: “Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]” (AMPC). Being “unceasing” in prayer means we can pray all day, all the time, anytime and anyplace. That’s freeing, isn’t it? 

This means you can talk to the Lord while driving to and from work, while running the kids to school, while washing the dishes or literally any time throughout your day! He’s your best friend, always with you...and you can talk with Him about anything. And, it’s worth noting that you can talk with Him using real words, truly pouring out your heart -- you don’t have to speak in the “King James” words, saying thee’s and thou’s! You can show Him genuine love, respect and adoration using your everyday, “normal” language.

While having an ongoing conversation with God as we go about our day is terrific, it is also very important to prioritize some dedicated quiet time with the Lord. Carve out a time each day to steal away with the Lord...to get free from the distractions of life and have quality time with Him, offering up heartfelt and faith-filled prayers. Jesus was our example of how to live when He walked on this earth…and we see from Mark 1:35 that He was intentional about setting aside specific time to pray: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (NKJV). God promises that when we call to Him, He will answer (Jeremiah 33:3)...that time you spend with Him will be so worth it!

>>Don’t miss this! By spending time with the Lord, you’ll grow stronger in your relationship with Him, experience His love for you, find the answers you’re seeking and be charged up spiritually for your day!

If you have a friend, neighbor, spouse, or other relationship you’re pouring into, what’s one of the number one ways to grow that relationship? Spend time together and talk to each other! In much the same way, you’ll find that as you spend time with the Lord in prayer, you’ll experience more and more the fullness of His love for you and experience the guidance and peace in your life that can only be found in His presence. So pray it up, friends! You can do this!

Say This: “Father, thank You that I can talk with you anytime, anyplace about anything! Thank You that through Jesus, I can approach the Throne of Grace with boldness, and I know through Your Word that when I call to You, You will answer. Lord, help stir up in me a greater desire to prioritize prayer in my life -- I choose to make quality time with You a priority! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
 

Tighten Up Those Laces

Jennifer Cole

“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, MSG

We live in a culture where if it doesn’t happen instantly, we move on to the next thing. Or we get distracted by something that is shiny, has more wow-factor and will make a better Instagram post. Let’s acknowledge that’s reality -- but then be aware of that when it comes to our spiritual growth.

Here’s the deal...it may not feel like the most exciting thing when you first make that commitment to have prayer time with God every day and to read your Bible daily. But listen, if you will show up to that time with the Lord being ALL IN -- no distractions, fully focused and pressing in to hear from Him...you will not be disappointed. Sometimes, doing what God says is best for us starts first with simply developing the discipline...and then comes the excitement as you see it impact your life!

Let’s think of it this way...how many of you have ever started out to train for a running race? You know to finish that race you have to practice. You have to increase your mileage, strengthen your body and build your endurance. But man oh man, that first run -- or more like an I-hope-nobody-is-watching jog -- is anything but graceful! You’re tired, sore, out of breath and feel like your legs don’t even know what they’re doing. You may feel like that the first handful, or even first dozen, of your practice runs. But you can’t stop there! You know it’s going to get better. You’re going to see your body respond to the discipline, and hey -- you might even start to enjoy running. And before you know it, it’s race day and you finish strong!

So, my encouragement to you today is to not give up! Keep showing up ALL IN to your prayer and Bible reading time -- keep making that a priority in your daily life. God WILL speak to you! It’s not about getting goosebumps every time or weeping or “feeling” changed -- although you may have all of that sometimes. But it’s not our feelings that prove He’s at work in our lives -- you’ll start to see the evidence in your life because your faith is growing, you’re receiving His wisdom to make decisions and He’s showing you things to come. That life change and personal relationship with the Lord is what makes it exciting -- so strap on your running shoes and keep on going!

Say This: “Father, your Word shows me that my prayer time with You and reading my Bible -- Your living Word -- needs to be a priority in my life, so that I can hear from You, I can gain wisdom and direction from You, and I can grow stronger and stronger in my personal relationship with You. Help me, Lord, to remember how vitally important this is, so that even on the days when there aren’t goosebumps or tears, I still know my time spent with You has deposited living and active Truth into my life -- and that enables me to live the satisfying, faith-filled life that You have for me! I love you, Lord, and I look forward to our daily time together. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Essential & Indispensable

Jennifer Cole

“God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:17-18 MSG

I love this verse! It paints such a clear picture that prayer is so vital and highlights the importance of praying for others. Literally, your faith-filled and Bible-based prayers are dispatching angels on someone’s behalf (Psalm 103:20), are making tremendous power available (James 5:16 AMPC) and are doing supernatural warfare to help someone (Ephesians 6:12). If we truly understood how much our prayers help others, wouldn’t we make this more of a way of life?

There are lots of ways to keep your prayers for others on your priority list. Try listing out people who are on your heart and pray for them regularly over a period of time -- and then switch over to others whom God puts on your heart next. You may also notice that at times someone just pops into your mind -- that's often a nudge to say a prayer for them! Your prayers may sometimes include specific names...and at other times, it may be certain groups of people that God puts on your heart, like “my future grandchildren” or “all Pastors around the world” as some examples.

Whatever your prayer flow is when it comes to lifting up other people, I encourage you today to see the value of those prayers as what they truly are -- ESSENTIAL and indispensable! So let’s be people who invest our time and effort on purpose to lift up others. Your prayers don’t have to be long dissertations to be effective! Simply lift up the person who’s on your heart, pray in the Spirit if you don’t know what specifically to pray for and also pray out verses over their life. If they need peace, look up verses on peace and pray those over them. If they need healing, speak Scriptures about healing over their life, and so on.

Today, be encouraged that your faith-filled prayers are moving mountains for others, whether you can see it yet with your five senses or not!

Say This: “Father, today I ask You to stir me up to pray for others -- to pray fervent, heartfelt, faith-filled prayers that will make tremendous power available in their lives! Please put on my heart who You’d have me pray for today and help guide me to which Scriptures I can pray in faith over their lives. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”