Getting Comfortable in my Weaknesses

Written by: Sarah Walker

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who was hesitant to step out into a new opportunity. I can see enormous potential in her to do an amazing job, but currently this new opportunity isn’t quite in her wheelhouse. She was feeling insecure and afraid of the task at hand.

It made me think about how often I also shy away from new prospects, mostly because I see myself weak in a particular area. I really don’t like to fail! I prefer to take on opportunities where I am confidant that I will succeed.

Because of this, I find it so easy for me to relate to Gideon (Judges 6-7). Gideon was an Israelite, living in a time when God’s people were being violently oppressed by the Midianites. In an amazing divine encounter, the angel of the Lord came to Gideon personally, greeting him with, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” He lays out a plan where Gideon will be the chosen one that God would use to deliver His people from their enemies.

Gideon replies, “Pardon me, my lord…..My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

Gideon worried that he didn’t have what it took. Even a face-to-face encounter with the angel of the Lord was not enough to convince him! He was so doubtful that he asked God to give him two signs which would “prove” that this divine calling was real (v. 36-40). God graciously answered his request.

Gideon was known for being the weakest of the weak. Even when he had a real life encounter with God, where God gave him an amazing opportunity, Gideon still doubted, and still asked God to “prove” to him that he really was chosen for this incredible mission!

That is so often how I see myself, as weak, and just like Gideon I often long for an amazing “sign” to prove that I really am supposed to do something. Sure, once in a while I might receive confirmation from the Lord, but most times it seems like God is looking for me to step out in faith and trust Him – without a sign.

As the story of Gideon continues, Scripture says that as he stepped out in faith, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet that called the men of Israel together to come and fight for their freedom. You can read the rest of the story of how God miraculously delivered His people! As fearful as he was at first, when the Holy Spirit came upon him, Gideon had the strength and the ability to take on and succeed at the task at hand.

With God all things are possible! And isn’t it amazing that, on this side of the cross, we have the Holy Spirit with us always – the same Spirit that led and empowered Gideon to succeed!

Even after Gideon had his army of men gathered together, God thought the army was too big – Israel might feel like their own strength and expertise was what delivered them (Jg 7:1-8). We know from the story most of the men were sent home, leaving only 300 men behind to fight an army of thousands upon thousands. God was setting the stage in such a way that only He and only He would receive the glory!

The LORD chose the weakest man from the weakest clan in the weakest tribe in Israel, and made sure that he had the weakest army – one that could not possible overcome the enemy. God wanted to show His strength and power – He wanted all the praise!

It’s unfortunate that our world (even our church world) loves strength and gifting so much. Because of that, we feel like people can only do things who are gifted, and we miss out on so much! We seem to have lost a love for weakness, which in Scripture is something that God uses over and over and over again to do amazing things! Within my life I have found that the areas where I am most successful are often the areas where I have the most insecurities!

Jesus said to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2Cor 12:9). When He said that, Paul’s response was, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me!”

Gideon knew this too, and eventually trusted that his own weakness and his insecurity didn’t matter at all when God was with him!

Within The Funhouse

Written by: Sarah Walker

There are often times that I see myself through distorted eyes. It is like I am looking at myself through the lens of a funhouse mirror, which twists my reflection in crazy ways. What I see in my altered reflection is the not the same as reality, but that is not always easy to see.

I am reminded of a Dove commercial with the slogan, “You’re more beautiful than you think.” Within the video, several women were asked to describe their physical appearance to a forensic sketch artist, who had never met them, and who was sitting facing away from them and could not see them. He would then draw a picture of them based on their self-description. In the same experiment, the women were also asked to meet with another person, a total stranger. After the woman left the room, the stranger would then also describe the woman’s appearance to the sketch artist.

In the end, there were two pictures drawn of each woman by the artist. One picture was drawn from each woman’s own self-description, and the other came from a description from the stranger she had just met. Side by side, the two pictures were vastly different from each other. The women typically emphasized the things they disliked about themselves, while the strangers tended to notice their best features, and described qualities like, “She had nice eyes that lit up when she spoke.” In every case, the women’s self-description picture was noticeably more negative and exaggerated than the gentler (and more accurate!) picture that came from the stranger’s description.

(For full impact, check out the commercial here!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk )

So we maybe don’t see ourselves as accurately as others do. I wonder how God would describe me, compared to how I would describe myself?

For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)

When I read these verses, which say that God has formed every part of me, and that He has plans for me, and that I am His work of art, and am precious to Him – I know within my soul that every part of me has been wonderfully made.

But, in times when my judgment has been clouded, I have had no problem justifying that I shouldn’t feel good about who I am.

My four-year-old daughter came up to me this week and made a negative comment about her appearance. Yikes! As her mom, I know she is beautiful and perfect in every way! As a parent, to hear my young daughter form a negative opinion about herself was absolutely heartbreaking.

Until I had this experience as a parent, I had never considered how my self-critical attitude might affect my own heavenly Parent. I can only imagine how God our Father in Heaven must feel when I look down on myself. He literally knitted me together in my mother’s womb, breathed life into me and predestined assignments just for me to accomplish!

My love and devotion for my daughter is beyond measure, and yet it cannot compare to the love God has for my daughter, or for me. She is His masterpiece! And so am I.

We are children of God, formed in HIS image, dearly loved by Him! How have I thought it is ok for me to carry negative attitudes about myself, when God has put so much love and detail into every part of my life?

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; make and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Watching my kids grow and discover life is an incredible experience. It also has brought me new insight into how God sees me and loves me. The way I feel towards my own children gives me a glimpse of how God sees and loves His. And what He sees is so much better than I how I might see myself!

Under the Microscope

Written By: Sarah Walker

Recently I have been studying various scriptures about how God “sees” us.

“From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth.” (Psalm 33:13-14)

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry.” (Psalm 34:5).

These verses fill me with a sense of awe and wonderment! When I think of how God is watching over me and is attentive to the sound of my voice, I am filled with a deep sense of peace and love from my Saviour!

But then I came across this verse:

“The Lord is in His heavenly temple, the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; His eyes examine them. The Lord examines the righteous.” (Psalm 11:4-5).

I was still in awe that the God of the universe watches over me, but to hear that He is also examining me made me feel a bit anxious at what He might be finding!

It made me question: how many times do I choose to act or respond in the wrong way, or how often are my inner thoughts and attitudes not what they should be? It is hard to think about God examining me, because when I examine myself, I don’t always like what I see.

I love that John 13:1 says that Jesus was coming to the end of His time on earth, and “Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.” Even though Jesus, the “examiner,” knew His disciple’s everyday sinfulness, and even more, knew those who would eventually deny and betray and abandon Him, He still got on His hands and knees and washed their feet.

Not only did He become like a lowly servant to show His love and care for them, He also laid down His life for them despite all of their present and future failures.

And He laid down his life for you and me, despite all of our present and future failures!

“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4)

The verse above says that even though I still struggle with sin, even so when the perfect, holy, and righteous God looks at me, no longer does He see my sin and shame, because I am tucked in safe with Jesus and His perfect righteousness! When He looks at me, He still sees me – but now He sees me joined with Jesus’ perfection. Because of this, the Lord’s eyes on me are a lot less scary, and a lot more hopeful, and gives me a lot of reasons to praise Him!

My First Ticket

Written by: Sarah Walker

After sixteen years of driving, I received my first traffic ticket ever that day. It was not a great day, to say the least! My daughter, who was home sick from school and was in the car with me, thought it was great! She loved telling everybody, “Mommy got her first ticket ever today!”

The worst part is that I was two minutes from my house; I was in my own neighborhood!

Now for those of you who know me well, you may find this funny. I am constantly complaining about the drivers in my neighborhood. Everyone drives incredibly fast. People are always talking on their phones or texting. We have no sidewalks in our area, and I am often infuriated when people whip past us when we have our young kids out for a wagon ride or when they are riding their bikes in the driveway.

There have even been a handful of times where I have been jogging in my neighborhood and have had someone speeding right towards me, only to swerve away from me at the last minute because they had been texting and not paying attention to the road.

I, on the other hand, would never be so reckless. Especially when my kids are the in car with me, I always drive the speed limit, taking my time with everything.

That day, I drove up to an intersection with stop signs, where the posted speed limit is 10km/h, so you know I was already going incredibly slow. The corner was completely empty with no signs of life. I slowed right down to an almost stop and turned the corner, only to find a policeman on the next street, just waiting for people like me, with his lights already flashing, standing in the middle of the street and waving me over to the side of the road to receive my punishment.

My ticket says, “Disobey stop sign- failure to stop.” Had I slowed down a little bit more, I could have saved myself $110.

To be honest, at the time I thought it was a bit harsh. I was not happy. There are way more unsafe people out there than me! But, as I thought about my “rolling stop” throughout the day, I had to admit that I had indeed broken the law, even if it was a smaller offence. I did it! In my grumbling, it was really easy to justify why there are so many other drivers out there that day that deserved a ticket WAY more than I did!

I can so easily do this with my sin. I can think that my sin doesn’t really count compared to someone else’s. “I would never do that!” I think to myself. Sometimes when looking at another’s sin, my secret struggles seem like nothing by my comparison!

Even though my ticket seemed silly compared to other “more serious” traffic offensives, I still broke the law. Like it or not, I deserved my ticket.

Even though I considered my traffic offence minor, it didn’t count as any less of an offence, and even though I may count many of my sins minor, it still doesn’t make them any less sin.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

My sin, whether small or great, gives me grounds to be separated from God forever, but because of Jesus’ glorious sacrifice of dying on the cross for me, I no longer receive that ticket I deserve, but instead I receive a wonderful pass to everlasting life.

What I thought was a trivial ticket, the police officer saw as a very real offense. He was just as concerned with a minor driving error as he was concerned with the big ones. All of it is unsafe for myself and others on the road. God is the same, He sees my sin the same as he does everyone else’s. All sin is unsafe, and is dangerous for me and others – which is why a loving God tells me to avoid it!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The good news is that, even in my sins and offences, God has wiped my sins and offences out! My ticket has been ripped up, and everything I’ve done, big and small, has been forgiven. My experience this week brought me new understanding into how I look at myself, and how I look at sin, and has made me even more grateful for what Jesus has done for me!

Words Written Within My Heart

Written by: Sarah Walker

Bind these words on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. (Proverbs 6:21-22)

Each month my children learn a new Bible verse at church. The verse will stay the same for the entire month, and will be repeated often whenever their class gets together on Sunday mornings. The verses are recited with lots of inflection and are accompanied with fun and funny actions, which help the kids to remember each one. Repetition is a great way for kids to learn (and adults too!).

Each night in our house, we say the month’s Bible verse as a part of our bedtime prayers, but once we are finished saying this month’s verse, my daughter insists on saying all of the verses that she has learned so far.

Joined with actions and lots of energy, our nightly routine sounds like this:

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever!

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid; for the Lord your God goes with you!

My God will meet all your needs!

I have loved you with a love that lasts forever!

God’s way is perfect!

Nothing can separate us from the love of God!

As a mom, my heart is full hearing their little voices speak out God’s word with so much excitement! Going over these verses has become a big part of our bedtime routine. Not only that, I have memorized them too! I have found that not only am I helping to write God’s truth on their hearts and minds, I have been writing it on my own as well!

I was unsure of my ability to take on something new this week, and in my moment of doubt, all of a sudden a common phrase entered my mind: “Be strong and Courageous, do not be afraid; for the Lord your God goes with you.” The words that we repeat as a family every night sprung into my thoughts, reminding me of God’s promise, and immediately changing my attitude toward the project at hand.

There was another time recently when my inner attitude towards someone was less than loving. I was beating myself up about my bad attitude. Suddenly, the words came to mind, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God,” and “I have loved you with a love that last forever,” two more verses from our bedtime repetition. Remembering those verses stopped me from traveling down the road where I would question how God could love me and my sinfulness.

To be honest, I have not put so much time and energy into memorizing Scripture since I was a child in Sunday school, when I would memorize Bible verses for a candy prize. Now I realize what a valuable exercise that was, and how I wish I had done more of this in my life! God’s Word encourages us, convicts us, protects us, and leads us, and we never do wrong by reading it, speaking it and committing it to memory.

Christmas Is A Time Of Joy

advent

Written by: Sarah Walker

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing.

As that special time of year rolls around and the classic Christmas songs begin to play on the radio, twinkling lights start to line the streets of my neighbourhood, and decorations and sweets fill the shelves of every store. My heart can’t help but swell with what many might call “Christmas spirit”. It’s that wonderful time of year when nostalgia, traditions and anticipation fill my heart with great joy and wonderment for the season ahead!

Inevitably, as we ring in the New Year and put the decorations away, it becomes a lot harder to find that sense of “Christmas joy” in the busyness of our day-to-day routine. Something about the season makes it a bit easier to find that joy, but of course, we don’t live in December all year long!

There are definitely times in my life when experiencing and finding joy is easy, but of course there are times when trials have come along that make it seem impossible to find any joy. In those times, I know I have to make a choice: will I choose to wallow and stress or will I choose to be joyful regardless my circumstance?

But, as true as that is, I have also found that when “I” have tried to be joyful on my own, it is not always enough. It doesn’t always work. I can’t always do it on my own.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

When I consistently set aside time to spend with Jesus through things like prayer, worship and reading His word, I find that HE fills my heart with joy through the Holy Spirit!

It’s not always as simple as just “choosing” to be more joyful. Some days, that’s just impossible. But I have learned that when life is hard and difficult, I need to choose Jesus.

When I’m sad, I need to choose Jesus.

When life is busy and filled with endless routine, I need to choose Jesus.

And when life is wonderful and fun, I need to choose Jesus.

It’s like that amazing Christmas anthem says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Regardless of the season, my mood, or any situation, I must always make room for Jesus. The more time I spend in God’s presence, the more true joy finds a way in, no matter what time of year it is. I become more joyful, gentle, patient, loving, and kind. Put simply, spending time with Jesus makes life easier!

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory! (1 Peter 1:8)

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Sarah is married to her best friend Chris and together they have two energetic and sweet kids! She currently lives in Southern Ontario where she is the children’s director at her church.

 

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Sign up for our Winter Online Book Study, HERE!

 

Back to Basics

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Sarah WalkerWritten by: Sarah Walker

This September my youngest baby is heading off to school. I have mixed emotions about my son starting Junior Kindergarten! Of course there is sadness and nostalgia mixed all together as his days of staying home with me are coming to an end, but in the end, I am mostly excited for him!

I have loved watching my older daughter grow in wisdom and confidence this past year since she herself started Junior Kindergarten. Not only has she learned the school basics like reading, writing and arithmetic, but she has also been able to exercise her faith muscles each day! We have had many opportunities to teach her how we should show God’s love in every situation, like befriending the new kid in class, sharing her lunch, or how to act and respond to conflict with gentleness and patience. I am incredibly proud of the young lady she is becoming, and school has been a big part of helping her grow!

Starting school is a huge step towards new freedoms and independence. My little man is excited about going to school with his big sister, and I am excited to continue to watch him mature and grow into who God has created him to be.

Along with my son’s growing freedom to make choices and decisions without his mom always by his side, I also am about to find myself with some newfound freedom! Our two kids will both be in school, and for the first time in many years, I’ll suddenly find myself with many child-free hours every day!

Over the last several months I have been asked countless times, “What are you going to do with your time?” This is a question that has often consumed my thoughts. Go back to work? Back to school myself? Volunteer? Actually keep the house clean, for a change?

Usually when we meet someone new, “What do you do?” is one of the first questions we ask. I have always found so much identity within my titles, and in a few days, my “stay-at-home-mom” title is about to shift. With the changing of this title, much bigger questions arise like, “What is God calling me to do next? Where am I to go? What am I to do?”

Jesus told us that one day we will stand before Him, and give Him an account of what we did with our time here on earth. In the parable of the sheep and the goats, He shows us what pleases Him; to the righteous, He says:

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and cloth You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’
And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)

Through this verse, I was reminded exactly what I am called to do with my life, whatever my title may be! I am called to feed the hungry and thirsty, to help clothe those who are in need, and visit the sick and hurting. God is very concerned about how I help others!

I have noticed that sometimes I can get so caught up in the day-to-day aspects of family life, and the never-ending list of things to do, that I can forget to slow down, look around and ask God for opportunities to show His love to others, outside just my own family.

I fully believe that God has a plan for this next season of my life, but when I stand before Jesus, I don’t think He is going to care much about the next title I achieve, if I conquered my personal ambitions, how many Facebook likes I got or how big my platform was. I think He is going to be really interested in how I treated others!

As we take time to teach our kids this year about the small ways in which they can show love to others while at school, away from our watchful eyes and quiet reminders, I am also looking forward to those small opportunities to strengthen my own faith muscles as I step outside of my daily “to-do” list and focus on how I can bless others!

Sarah Walker

About Sarah:

Sarah is a beautiful mix of sweetness and strength, and walks with a sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit as well as a strong foundation in God’s Word. She is a clear communicator with a great ability to encourage and inspire, and likes to share what God has put in her heart with as much honesty and transparency as possible! She has a strong desire to see women grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus, to discover their spiritual giftings, and to confidently walk in their life’s calling!

Aside from being a weekly blog writer for We Are His Daughters, Sarah is a pastor’s wife and has worn many different ministry hats while ministering alongside her husband over the years, including serving in children’s ministry, women’s ministry, small groups, and prayer ministry, amongst other things!

Sarah lives in Essex County, is married to her best friend, and together they are doing their best to raise their outgoing and energetic children in the ways of Jesus!

WE HAVE EXCITING NEWS!!!!!

 

Good morning, sweet friends!

Many of you journeyed with us for our very first Online Book Study: Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, at the beginning of this year. We so enjoyed getting to know y’all through that journey and are incredibly excited to announce that we will be doing ANOTHER Online Book Study!

Check out this brief video announcement. 🙂

We will have more details for you soon, such as: when and where to register, etc. We hope you will join us!

If you plan to be with us for our Summer 2016 Book Study, would you kindly add a comment to this post saying “I’m in.”

Have a WONDERFUL Sunday, friends!

Team WAHD

 

{Faith} Finishing the Fast

Sarah Walker

Written by: Sarah Walker

The pastors and leadership at my church recently called our congregation to fast for Lent this year. In my denomination, we don’t traditionally participate in Lent, but we are currently in a season of transition at our church. We are looking for a new lead pastor, looking into some major developments in our community outreach, and discussing various ideas to accommodate our steadily growing congregation. Our leadership is in need of godly wisdom and discernment for major decisions affecting our church body, and so, we were all called to fast and press into God on behalf of our church.

On a personal level, I have fasted many times for wisdom and for answers to prayer within my own life, but this is the first time I have fasted specifically for wisdom and for answers to prayer for the leadership of my church.

And even though I am very excited to hear about the leadership’s journey and decisions they make as a result of our season of prayer and fasting, I have been overwhelmed with the work that God did within my own life through this fast. God answered prayers that I had yet to ask for or even think that I needed!

I have been a bit anxious about my youngest starting school this fall, and not just because I will miss him (which of course I totally will!) But I’ve been more nervous because being a stay-at-home mom has become a major part of my identity. When I first got pregnant with my firstborn, I struggled when I first left my career to become a stay-at-home mom, and now my world is changing all over again.

As I fasted and prayed, God did not give me a vision or direction as to what I would be doing in this next season of life when both my kids are in school, but He did reveal to me new things about who I am and who He created me to be. Knowing and understanding more about my personality has given me incredible peace moving into an unknown future. It has also given me new freedom from the way I would sometime criticize myself for not being more like others.

It is always incredible how faithful God is! I have always fasted for a reason, but after this experience I have realized the importance of regularly incorporating fasting into my every day life solely for the reason of gaining intimacy with God.

Fasting and prayer is a time to separate yourself from your regular patterns and from things of the world and come closer to the Lord. There are so many benefits and reasons for fasting and so many ways to do it.” (biblereasons.com/fasting-and-prayer)

Here are some other reasons that Scripture gives for fasting and pressing into God:

For God’s intervention2 Samuel 12:16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.

For repentanceDaniel 9:3-5 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.

For guidanceActs 13:2-4 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

For WorshipLuke 2:37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.

For strengthening prayersEzra 8:23 So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.

For mourningNehemiah 1:4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

For humilityPsalm 35:13-14 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother.

There is never a bad reason to fast and press into God. Even with my own fast, I was not expecting anything for myself, but as I drew close to God He kept his promise and drew close to me! I am so grateful for the time I spent with Him, and grateful for the things that have happened as I fasted and connected with Him!

{Saturdays with Sarah} Fervent Week 6: Nagging Persistency.

Written by: Sarah Walker

Fervent: having or displaying a passionate intensity.

For the last six weeks, we have been learning how to pray fervently by applying the word of God alongside our requests and petitions to our Heavenly Father. When I hear the term ‘passionate intensity,’ as “fervent” is defined above, it reminds me of a beautiful romance. Within the Bible, God calls us His Bride, and there is no closer and more intimate relationship than that between a husband and wife. It is a wonderful way to view our communion with God! He so desires closeness with us, and a fervent prayer life is a great way to create that closeness!

Here are a couple of ways that Jesus tells us how to pray, which He explains though parables:

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’  And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’  I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. (Luke 11:5-8)

Interestingly, Jesus tells us to pray like a nagging woman or an annoying friend! He tells us to come before Him with shameless audacity, praying and not giving up. It’s hard to imagine likening the beauty of my prayer life to that of a nagging women or an irritating friend, but that is the sort of intense persistency He calls us to!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”(Luke 5:9-10)