While I'm in Kokomo this week, I asked a dear friend to share her heart with you all. April has been my # 1 "Red Hot fan" since the beginning (it's a title she gave herself before I even started writing the Bible study), and boy was she correct. If you don't know April Garretson already, you are going to love her!
First , some quick history...
April and I met a few years ago at a conference and we immediately connected.
Thankfully our friendship has continued to grow across the miles ~ (she's from VA, while I'm here in MI). In fact, if we had to pay for long distance, our phone bills would be through the roof!
One of the sweetest gestures (besides her gold shoes) was last November, when April drove from her home in Virginia to Knoxville, Tennessee (where I was speaking for the weekend). April just wanted to be prayer support.
Now is that a good friend or what?! :)
Enjoy April's powerful words as she shares on Stickin' With Prayer!! :)
Stickin’ With Prayer!
My newest endeavor is being the momma of a red-headed Kindergartener. There are volumes to be written about all the questions and anxieties I had at the end of summer. You may think that is totally different than Cindy going to Kokomo, Indiana to film her testimony this week, but I beg to differ…
What if she needs help opening her
Who will she sit with
Will she get a good, caring, and patient
Will they like
When we have all of these questions (and more!), anxiety, and even fear, how are we supposed to deal with it?
Well, my answer came in the form of a bucket.
See, about a month before school, we took an afternoon and made “Jeremiah’s Prayer Pail.” This bucket was full of craft sticks with our written “prayer requests” about school starting. You know, those things that were making me anxious and fearful. I know what you are saying, “Why didn’t the bucket say April’s Prayer Pail,” right? I was trying for one of those teachable moments…and, got one!
As I was writing down all these “prayer requests” fast and furious…we had a bag of 500 craft sticks so I thought I was safe to get a good start…my five year old said, “I want to write one down, Momma.” Of course! What do YOU want to pray about, Jeremiah? His answer was so simple and humble, “I want to ‘OBEY’ (orange) and not ‘SIN’ (black).” As I spelled the letters for him to write out his prayer stick, peace started to wash over me about every Kindergarten concern I had.
At that moment, I got a glimpse into Jeremiah’s heart and my own. I wanted to petition and ask for what I wanted.
Jeremiah wanted to please and affirm what he knew.
I thought, “prayer isn’t just about STICKing to my petitions, but is about totally STICKing to His promises.”
Of course, there is no “right” or “perfect” way to pray.
>However, I find it interesting that Jim Cymbala, shares in his bible study, 'When God’s People Pray', that of all the things that the disciples could have asked Jesus to help them do while He was on earth, they asked, “Master, teach us to pray!”
Two months into school and with our dear friend Cindy off to Kokomo, I find myself not wanting to “kick the bucket” because there are specific petitions to ask of God, because His word says, “we have not because we ask not.” So, we do need to ASK! But Lord, teach us to pray!
…With boldness & courage in our hearts.
…With the leading & guidance of the Holy Spirit filling our minds.
…With your Word & Will on our lips.
As I have been learning more about prayer in a Moms In Touch group, I personally love to envision myself walking toward the throne of God getting ready to talk to him. Then, I find these parts of prayer just tumble out of my heart and on into Heaven…
PRAISE. First and so easy, in the presence of the King! Simply stating who God is, is SO full of power! Know why? Satan has to flee from it. It helps us focus on God and not on ourselves. Praise of who God is dispels Satan’s power. Just simply praising God in prayer, immediately releases the power! What a great way to start prayer…POWERED-UP!
CONFESSION. Confession naturally follows, then. Praise helps me recognize who He is, and confession reminds me of who I am. I am not perfect. I am a good work, but still a work! But for me, the evil one would love to just use my confession time against me. But I try to remember to be specific of the sin, grateful for the grace, and seeking the Spirit. Reciting lots of scripture helps me here, too.
THANKSGIVING. Giving thanks for all that he has done is just like politely paying God compliments for the small and the tall in my life. May the Lord never find me without my manners for His miracles! I want to make sure I first thank Him for what He has already provided and accomplished in my life before asking more of Him. But remember…you can never out give God!
INTERCESSION. Ok ya’ll (yes, I’m from Virginia)…now let’s ask! I often picture me carrying things to God who sits on the Throne, then placing them at His feet, asking, pleading, and petitioning for God to do a work because of the victory we have in Jesus. It is only by Christ’s blood that I can go before the Throne in the first place and begin the process of prayer. Thank you, Jesus! It is in the power of your name alone that we get to ask these things. Ending with Jesus is promise!
Join me. “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God” Philippians 4:6.
God bless your time in Kokomo, Cindy! We are PRAYING! God will fill every need. Answer every question! Absorb every anxiety! And hear every petition made on your behalf. ~ April
About April: Writing for His glory is what excites April Garretson. She is currently enrolled in the Liberty University Home Bible Institute and a graduate of Carol Kent's Speak Up with Confidence Seminar. Wednesdays find her at church with middle and high school girls chatting about biblical characters and real life situations. Her husband and son would encourage you to read more about how she loves to go barefoot at her blog: Barefoot Offering.
What a kind, powerful Word, April! Thanks for sharing and for your amazing prayer support! (And Jeremiah is just too cute!)
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*, dear friends! May your week be filled with much joy!!
Let's all Keep Stickin' With Prayer! :)