The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

What Christian woman doesn’t want a better prayer life?

We are relationship-orientated creatures to begin with and we crave the relationship with our Creator and Lord most of all.

Yet, somehow the precious time of communication with God is often pushed to the side when it is what we need the most in our busy, frustrating, crazy lives.

Honestly, I wish I could say that my prayer life was so much better when I was single with no husband or kids threatening every quiet moment of my life but that was not the case.

Yes, I had the opportunity for many more quiet times with God but I failed to take them. (Oh, how I regret those times now that I don’t have them.)

If anything, the more crazy my life has become, the more dedicated I have had to be to making time in my day for prayer.

Along the way, I have found several resources to be helpful and I wanted to share those resources with you.

Keep in mind that these are meant to supplement and help you along, they are not to replace your time in the Scripture or your prayer time. And, as always, remember that the best way to grow in your prayer life is to just pray!

But for those looking to keep growing in their prayer walk with God, try checking these out! 🙂

Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God by Eric and Leslie Ludy

My all-time favorite book that has encouraged me to grow in my prayer life is Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God by Eric and Leslie Ludy.

Personally, this book challenged me to even make prayer a part of my life. I read this book during college and it was the catalyst that I needed to make prayer a priority in my Christian faith.

Honestly, I have prayed my whole life growing up in a Christian home but this book showed me how to approach God’s throne boldly and to ask God to do the impossible.

In a world of prosperity gospel prayers and feel-good prayer books, this book rose above the crowd and built in my the desire to pray for God’s will to be done and for God to be glorified in HUGE ways and in little details.

If you want a book to give you the first glimpses at what Christian prayer should look like or if you need something to refuel your already active prayer life-Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God is the book!

As a caveat, I will say, my husband cannot stand this book. Their writing style alone drove him crazy. So, before purchasing it, check it out from your library or at least read a small sample on Amazon to be sure that you like their writing style.

That being said, you should totally ready this book! 🙂

The Armor of God Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer

This past several months, the Bible study group I am a part of completed this study together.

It’s intense. We had two weeks to complete each week worth of homework and I still sometimes didn’t get it all done because she has such amazing, thought-provoking, actionable questions and activities jammed into this one book!

But let me tell you, it has infused my prayer life with a new vigor and I feel prepared me to fight spiritual battles that before I would have cowered to (or not even perceived to be spiritual battles in my life!)

Find a group of Christian gals or simply do it on your own time, but take the time to work through The Armor of God.

The Power of a Praying® Wife by Stormie Omartian

This is a whole series of books that are designed to help woman in different seasons of life to build their prayer life.

My first time through the The Power of a Praying® Woman, I put the book down. For some reason, I really struggled to get through it. It seemed slow and tedious.

However, after getting married, I decided to give The Power of a Praying® Wife a try and found myself pleasantly surprised. While this will never be my top pick, I do find that all of her books are helpful for daily getting myself geared to pray specific prayers and to focus my heart on God rather than all the distractions going on around me.

And while, I find her books to be a little slow, I have several Christian momma friends that love her books for just that reason! So, again, this is a matter of personal preference, check it out before purchasing to make sure that it will be a good fit for you!

The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer

Please do NOT let the thickness of this book (or the small print) scare you away!! If ever a person could be said to literally having written the book on prayer, it is E. M. Bounds!

This is a set of seven books compiled into one that was written by a Civil War era preacher. I have learned more about Biblical prayer, what it looks like, what it doesn’t look like, the importance of prayer, etc. from this book than other human book ever.

If you are a serious student of wanting to grow your prayer life, please do yourself the service of reading The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer.

That being said, if you are a beginner to prayer as a new believer or such, I might suggest you start with some other books first. This is a book that will definitely deepen your walk with God through prayer but it was not one that I would recommend for you to start with!

Check out the other resources I mentioned first before proceeding to this one! 🙂

That being said, it is worth the months of tedious reading of small print, to glean a great wealth for the power and beauty of prayer!

Biographies of great Christian Prayer Warriors such as George Muller, Corrie ten Boom, and Amy Carmichael

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that a huge catalyst to my faith and prayer life has been the biographies of great Christian prayer warriors. The most notable of these biographies is for the man George Muller. Over the course of his lifetime, he recorded over 10,000 answered prayers. Prayer infused his daily life of keeping his orphanages open and the children fed.

Other notable Christians who had strong prayer lives include Amy Carmichael, Corrie ten Boom, Gladys Aylward, and Oswald Chambers.

Your Turn

Drawing close to God in prayer is simply an amazing privilege that we have as Christian women! I don’t know about you but I want to continue to grow in that area of my spiritual life each and every day!

Please leave a comment and share what resources have helped guide your prayer life the most!

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

 

The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

Bible Verses To Help Us Refocus On Jesus During The Christmas Season

Bible Verses To Help Us Refocus On Jesus During the Christmas Season

The Christmas season is known for its hectic pace.

There is shopping for gifts, eating gifts that you receive, wrapping gifts to give, decorating your house for Christmas, baking cookies to eat, caroling with friends, visiting family, attending work parties, eating food at parties, cooking for family and parties, cleaning up, practicing for Christmas programs, performing Christmas programs, and did I mention eating??

Whew, it is no wonder that as Christian women, we lose our focus on the true meaning of the season in amongst all those crazy moments of busyness.

Verses For The Christmas Season

So, let’s take a few moments, grab a cup of hot chocolate, wrap up in a blanket, and use these verses to help refocus our minds and hearts back on our precious Savior this Christmas season!

Luke 1:38

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ “

In this sentence, Mary pretty much was signing her own death certificate. Becoming pregnant out of wedlock meant she was to be stoned to death. Yet, she trusted God so much that she said, “Let it be to me according to Your word.” Wow!

During the Christmas season, we can feel the need to control events and activities with a clutched fist. Take time to release all things back over to God. Let Him be in control over your life as you move through this holiday.

If Mary could trust Him with her life, we most certainly can trust Him to help us through challenging times of stress, grief, and exhaustion.

Luke 1:37

 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

These are the words the angel spoke to Mary to reassure her as she stepped out in faith to accept God’s call on her life.

To be honest, I have no idea what you are facing this Christmas season. However, no matter what you are facing, with God’s strength, you will be able to make it through this Christmas time.

That doesn’t mean everything will be perfect but it does mean you can experience the perfect peace and love that God provides when you seek out a relationship with Him!

Luke 1:46-47

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant.”

Personally, I love this passage where Mary is singing praises to God while she visits her cousin Elizabeth.

When I am stretched thin during the Christmas season, I feel like I am definitely humbled by how little I can get done or how much I let affect me that shouldn’t affect me!

During these times, it helps me to stop and just praise God and rejoice that He is my Heavenly Father. If presents don’t get wrapped to perfection, or lines in the Christmas program get forgotten (or the lead character comes down with the flu!), or the weather doesn’t cooperate with our plans, I can still praise God!

Luke 2:10-11

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “

Does fear play a factor in your Christmas season? Are you worried about how to help your children deal with the loss of a loved one? Does the mounting bills threaten to steal your joy and ability to celebrate any sort of Christmas as a family? Perhaps you are dreading time spent with family when you know it will end in arguments and hurt feelings-just like it does every year?

Honestly, fear is a big reason I find myself losing focus on Christ’s birth. And this verse that the angel speaks to the shepherds speaks volumes to me as well!

When fear threatens to overpower me at Christmas time, I repeat these words, “Fear not.” Not surprisingly, when I focus my mind on the great joy that is my Savior come to earth in human form to save me from my sins, I find my fears melting away to their proper size.

Fears are NOT bigger than my God at this or any time of year!

Luke 2:19

Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

To be honest, I can’t begin to imagine how crazy that first Christmas really was. Here was a young teen girl who just had to give birth in a cave that was used to house dirty animals in a place far from her family. Then these scraggly old shepherds come rushing in saying that angels told them to find her child!

Having experienced child birth twice now, I can safely say that I would have felt a tad bit overwhelmed in the moment if I were Mary! 🙂

However, Mary guarded these memories and took the many quieter, less seen days of her life to ponder what God had done in her life that precious, crazy night.

Let’s face it, there will be crazy moments during the holidays. Embrace some of that crazy and enjoy the memories that develop from those times. Most of all, enjoy mulling over and thanking God for them when you are in quieter days later.

Resources To Continue To Help You Focus On Christ This Christmas Season

Want some other ideas to help you stay focused this Christmas?

Check out some of these great resources:
In The Manger Advent Devotional– This is a collection of some of the best Christmas devotionals written by Max Lucado. If you are looking for heart-warming and Christ-focused at the same time, check this one out!

Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional– While I haven’t had a chance to complete this one personally, I understand that Paul David Tripp takes his readers through an extensive look at the Christmas story that will help you grow in your walk with God greatly!

The Nativity Story DVD– There is much to be said for just sitting down as a family and watching the beloved story unfold once more. No human recreation of it will ever be perfect but this movie can definitely be a tool to refocus your mind and heart on Christ this Christmas!

The Animals’ Christmas Eve (Little Golden Book)– Finally, this is a great book to read with your children. Our daughter loves hearing about Jesus being born from the animals point of view and I love the creative cadence that the story has while still holding true to the Biblical account!

Your Turn

What Bible verses has the Holy Spirit really made alive to you this Christmas season?

Is there a devotional or resource that helps you to stay focused on Christ during the hustle and bustle?

Share below in comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

Bible Verses To Help Us Refocus On Jesus During the Christmas Season

The ABCs of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

The ABC's of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

Ever since I can remember I have rejoiced over the time of year leading up to Thanksgiving.

Cozy evenings with my family in front of the fireplace reading and playing games in the firelight.

Piles of leaves that I would stomp through for hours on end!

(This one has lost some of the enchantment now that I am an adult in charge of the raking rather than just a cute little “helper.” :)) Although now I delight in watching my kids and dog carry on the tradition!

And most of all, the change of pace. We would slow down from the busy planting and harvesting seasons on the farm/ranch operation where I grew up. It was also several months away from the busy season with cattle so we finally had long evenings and slower days together as a family.

Even now that I am married, I can sense the shift coming. The weeks of November leading up to and surrounding Thanksgiving take on a slower pace. November is the birthday month for both my hubby and myself too (and our not-so-little-anymore puppy! 🙂 )

Since my husband has days off built up at work that he needs to use or lose at the end of the year, (December is too busy for him to use them then) November becomes our default month to just slow down and I LOVE it!

The best part about this time of year is the focus on thankfulness! Throughout the rest of the year, it feels like I struggle to keep a grateful attitude but the month of November create a warm environment of thankfulness.

So in keeping with my excitement over this season of thankfulness, I decided to share my own personal list of things I am thankful for!

And since I am in the middle of teaching the alphabet to our daughter, I decided to use the alphabet to aid my thankful musings! 🙂

Plus stay tuned because at the end, I offer you the opportunity to sign up for my freebie Thankfulness printable for you! Did I mention it is FREE?

Okay, here we go!

The ABCs of What I Am Thankful For As A Christian Mom

A- Air Freshners

I live in house with two kids wearing diapers, a long haired dog who adores getting muddy and wet, and stinky laundry just to begin with the list of odor-offending things in my house! Seriously, anything that helps me to not lose my mind over bad smells is AMAZING!

B-My Baby Boy

So this year, I became the mom to the sweetest little baby boy EVER. (Nope, not even attempting to hide the bias here! 🙂 ) Seriously, he has been the dream baby of sweet coos and ease for the most part and he is even stinking cute in how he keeps me awake all night. I love being a little boy’s mama now!

C-Computer

This trusty little laptop that I write my blog on has become a lifeline of sanity for me, especially since having our second child. It is my place to write and be creative in all the best ways. It’s my time when I can turn my brain on and really just have fun.

D-Devotionals

Okay, I should say Bible studies instead of Devotionals but B had a way more important topic! 🙂 This year the group of ladies that I get the joy of being apart of every other Tuesday has been working our way through several Bible studies, my personal favorite being The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. As we work our way through her study, I find my prayer life deepening and my desire to stand up to Satan’s attacks stronger than ever before!

E-Elephant Pictures

Okay, let me explain. The first year of our daughter’s life, every week we would take a picture of her next to her large stuffed elephant. At the end of the first year, I ended the routine but L and her elephant are inseparable. She brushes his hair, kisses him, and reads to him. It really is amazing the blessing of small things! And I already love looking back on those pictures with so much fondness…she was so tiny!

F-Farm

Growing up as a farm kid is seriously the most blessed way to grow. Yeah, it’s hard and grueling work some days but every day is an adventure. You truly have no idea what will happen each day. While our kids are not necessarily getting to grow up in the country, I am thankful for every day that my aging parents get to stay on the family farm and introduce the wonders of farm life to my kids. My heart melts watching L jump for excitement at getting to go gather chicken eggs with Grandpa and help Grandma pick fresh zucchini from the garden!

G-Grace

This is true on so many levels. First, the obvious fact that I am a recipient of God’s grace which is alone a pretty amazing fact! Second, the grace of my husband and my children as they let me fail them and make mistakes and show my short comings and they still love me in spite of all that! Third, the grace I am trying to learn to give myself on the days when nothing goes as I planned.

H-Hope

Honestly, the hope that is in Christ. The hope that this life is not all there is. Prayer-filled hope that I will get to see each of my children come to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Hope in the possibility that I might get to write and be creative during the course of my day. The hope that someday I will get to use the bathroom without the entourage of two small people and a dog. Hope gets me out of bed and moving a LOT of days.

I-Ice Cream

During the long hot days of summer, I love huge scoops of ice cream shared with my hubby and kids. It’s a sticky, cold delightful treat that I can never get enough of! And the more chocolate in it the better! 🙂 Plus, sometimes we even get the fun of eating homemade ice cream which is even better if that is possible!

J-Jesus

Nope, this isn’t a cop-out answer for J. It’s the most truthful answer. Without Jesus and His work on the cross, I would be nothing.

K-Krave cereal

Much like ice cream, this is our other go-to treat. So much easier to pick up off the floor than Cheerios too. 🙂

L-My sweet daughter

L brings a curiosity and love of living life to a whole new level! Her persistence in learning and growing up way too fast for this mommy never stop astounding me. She lights up our lives with her loving, caring ways with her new baby brother. L makes her Daddy laugh like crazy and want to lose his mind like crazy too! God used L to make me a mommy and for that blessing I will forever be grateful.

M-Marriage.

This year marks 5 years of marriage to my sweet hubby. To be honest, I don’t know how it has already been that long. It seriously feels like we just got married a few months ago! The years fly when you are married to your best friend for sure! I love the joy of being his wife. Watching him be an amazing father to our kids fills me with butterflies. (I still get a little teary eyed every night when I get to listen to him and my daughter say bedtime prayers!) No matter how much the man might drive me up a wall some days, I could not be anything but grateful for him! 🙂

N-Nap time

Oh how I miss the days before kids when sleep was just a given part of my daily life! Nap time is now my reprieve to some fashion of silence in my day to regroup and face the second part of my day with some semblance of dignity. This is a little tainted by the fact that my two darling children like to stagger their nap times with a clock-like precision but I try to enjoy the quiet and one on one time with them just the same.

O-Oranges

The best guilt-free snack that my daughter can’t get enough of! Those little easy peel oranges have been a life saver as my daughter can satisfy her sweet tooth and her snack cravings and I don’t feel like I am just giving her sugar all day long! Thank the Lord for the creation of oranges!!

P-Pictures

How did my parents ever make it through my childhood with a bulky old camera that would only take 24 pictures per roll of film? And then wait three weeks or more to find out how the picture turned out?! (Yeah, I just totally showed my age there…I predate digital cameras.) To be perfectly honest, I probably have taken at least 24 pictures in the last two days on my phone. And I get to enjoy the instant gratification of finding out if I took a decent picture before getting it printed! I love capturing the moments in our day to share with grandparents and friends with just a quick touch of a button!

Q-Quilts

First off, Q’s are hard! So, I am going to go back to an old stand by word for Q-Quilt. Why? Because my daughter gets to sleep with a quilt that my Grandma made me when I was a kid. It is a super sweet legacy of my Grandma’s love and prayers that I can tangibly give to my daughter even though she never had a chance to meet her Great-Grandma. I pray my daughter can use her energy to serve God in the same way that my Grandma who made the quilt did. (They seriously could not be more alike in their energetic qualities!)

R-Reading

Books are pretty much at every pivotal moment of my life. From my very first memories with my Grandpa, to my nightly story times with my mother, to the fact that our mutual love of reading led to my relationship with my husband, to the book cake at our wedding, to my husband’s career change from teacher to librarian, God has used reading and books at every juncture. Now I get to read to my kids every single day, sometimes for hours at a time. It is the highlight of my day watching their eyes light up as they listen to stories and re-read stories already!

S-Sleep

I know I said Nap time earlier but you have no idea how much I value sleep or how little sleep I get to experience right now! Sleep is a golden magical experience that is looked upon fondly from the distance right now. So every time I get any amount of sleep, I am truly thankful!

T-Time

Time is a precious commodity and it is does go by much faster than I ever expected it would! While I don’t know who originally said, I have heard the quote many times, “Parenting a child makes for long days and short years.” There is so much truth in that. I am pretty sure that today with a teething, cranky child that each hour lasted about 10 weeks. However, when I realize that we are about to celebrate his half-birthday and her second birthday, I am shocked with how quickly time is speeding by and what a short amount of time I really get to spend influencing my kid’s lives. (Yep, I am not going to think about it long or else I will cry!)

U-Ugly Cries

Speaking of crying, some days a mom just needs to have a good ugly cry. It really is therapeutic I think. Let’s be honest, living on this broken earth of ours brings so much heart-break and sadness. There are so many moments where I feel overwhelmed with worry for my kids, my husband, myself, the future, etc. Then there are some days where I am just bone-weary and need a break but no break presents itself. These are the days when I relish a good, old-fashioned ugly cry. Preferably in the shower so I can not look to horrible after the ugly cry! 🙂

V-Violet

Yep, it’s my favorite color to this day. And yes, I love the fact that my bathroom is even painted this color! My husband claims it looks like the Easter Bunny’s Batcave but I don’t care! (He was the one who let me choose the paint colors so…)

W-Water

Water keeps us alive so that makes it pretty awesome. However, I love water even more due to the fact that it will entertain my daughter for hours on end. Whether it is splashing in her water table outside or the bathroom sink or her nightly bath, L transforms into an angelic creature of fun giggles when water is around and I love that!

X-eXperiences

Yeah, I am stuck cause currently I am not overtly thankful for x-rays, xylophones, or Xerses…so I am doing a cop-out answer here. I am thankful for experiences. Each day presents itself with new wonders from God for me to experience and learn. I am have so much to learn in my faith with God, in my marriage to Nick, in my mothering of my children, and in my blogging. These experiences make up the fabric of life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Y-Yard Sales

Since we live in rural community with little options for weekend entertainment, we have become fascinated with the activity of going to all the local yard sales every Saturday. Surprisingly, it can be super fun to look through other people’s stuff and find little “treasures.” Some weeks, we return with huge finds-like three almost brand new bookshelves for under 30 bucks!-other weeks we find nothing. But we get to go around town as a family and spend hours together so it is the best weekend fun ever!

Z-Zoos

My husband’s family loves visiting zoos. It is kind of their “thing.” Having a small daughter who loves ALL things animal related just proves that God knows what He is doing when He placed her in our family unit. L will have many opportunities growing up to nurture her love for God’s creatures while visiting zoos (and Grandpa’s farm too! 🙂 )

Whew, I know I have so much to be thankful for! So much more than will ever fit on a single list but I love taking the break to focus on just a few areas that I am thankful for in my life!

Your Turn

Leave a comment of something that you are thankful for this year!

Also, it you want to participate in your own version of the ABC’s of Thankfulness, please sign up here to receive a FREE printable PDF! Not only will you gain access to the free printable but you will receive my weekly emails to encourage you in your walk with God!

Don’t wait another minute, sign up here to get your Free Printable!

Thanks for stopping by!

The ABCs of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

The ABCs of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

A Christian Woman’s Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

A Christian Woman's Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

My Personal Background With Alcohol

Okay, let’s get this on the table. I lived a sheltered childhood.

Growing up in the middle of nowhere on my family’s farm/ranch operation, we didn’t have hired hands so we never really got away for trips or vacations like most people do. (Trips were all based on traveling to a bull sale or to purchase a new piece of equipment-no Disneyland excursions here!)

On top of all this, I was home schooled, attended a small conservative country church, and was not involved in sports due to the fact that I have zero hand-eye coordination.

I was a nerd. There, I said it. 🙂

And I don’t regret a moment of it!!

Looking back on my childhood, I really have no recollection of any reference to alcoholic beverages of any kind. My parents and grandparents didn’t drink and we rarely attended gatherings where alcohol was served. At most, I might have seen it at some wedding receptions but I really don’t recall alcoholic beverages of any sort being in my presence until I was almost a teenager.

Around that time, I became far more aware of the alcohol being served at family gatherings on my dad’s side. And I started to see it show up more as my family made wider circles to local dances, charity events, county fairs, etc as I grew older.

My First Drink

The first time I ever actually drank wine was totally by accident!

We were having communion at the Lutheran church down the road from our church. They had both wine and grape juice to choose from when you took Communion there. Being the daydreaming teenager that I was, I failed to listen closely to which tray contained which so I grabbed a glass of wine.

My mom still laughs uncontrollably about the look on my face when I tasted the wine. I seriously starting choking on it in front of the entire congregation. My dad still says that I sounded like a cat with a fur ball that it couldn’t get up. That stuff was disgusting!!

Definitely one of my more embarrassing moments growing up! (And one that few people have let me live down either!)

Other Encounters With Alcohol

My dad actually made me drink a hot toddy one time when I was sick for a long time with a cold. Considering I was almost 16 or 17, he probably figured I could handle it. I could not.

It made me so sick that I was thankful to just have a head cold after the effects of it wore off! That was pretty much the worse tasting stuff I could imagine.

As I got older, I tried wine several times as my mom stated how much she enjoyed a nice glass of wine when she was in college. After several attempts to make myself enjoy the stuff, I gave up. I did not care for wine.

Around this same time, I tried champagne at several weddings. Let’s just say, I toast the bride and groom at weddings with my punch glass now. Seriously, champagne was disgusting!!! *green vomit face*

There, now you have my history with alcohol. To be honest, a lot of people are surprised to find that I have even tried alcohol of any sort. And I will be the first to admit that I am pretty naive towards the stuff having never developed the taste for it.

Figuring Out My Relationship With Alcohol As A Christian

As a Christian who lives in a world where alcohol plays a prominent role in the lives of those around me, I knew I needed to take the time to work through what my own thoughts and reactions to alcohol were going to be.

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul commands, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Therefore, I have been on a journey to look at what all the Bible does and does NOT say about alcohol.

At the end, I do a round up of the reasons (both Biblical and personal) that play into my stance on alcohol.

What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

First let’s clarify some specific things the Bible does state about alcoholic drinks.

Drunkenness Is Sin

There are several specific verses that highlight the fact that being drunk is an actual sin against God. As Christians, we should be seeking to avoid letting sin into our lives as that creates a rift in the beauty of our relationship with God. Therefore, since God considers drunkenness a sin, we also need to take God’s view on the matter.

To check out the exact passages where these verses are located you can click on the links below:

Ephesians 5:15-21

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Galatians 5:16-24

Alcohol Does Not Make One Wise

Drinking alcohol rarely leads to stories of people making the best decisions of their lives. In light of that fact, the next two passages highlight some specific Proverbs that state the fact that alcohol does not lead to wise living. You can read the verses here:

Proverbs 20:1

Proverbs 31:4-5

Alcohol Can Be A Stumbling Block To Others

No Christian wants to cause another Christian to fall into temptation. Seriously, we can find temptations easy enough all on our own-we don’t need help! 🙂

And, we definitely do not want to taint unbelievers view of God by partaking of habits that make the unbeliever question God’s Truth!

Thus, Paul commands  Christians, “Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.” (Romans 14:20-21)

Another passage you can check out is 1 Corinthians 8.

Alcohol Does Not Encourage Good Leadership

Leadership can be greatly affected by the influence of alcohol.

Considering the fact that leaders of the church should be setting an example for their flock, Paul even mentions their drinking habits in his list of qualifications for leaders of the church here in Titus 1:5-9.

Remember, if  God thinks the leader of a church should (or shouldn’t) be doing it, you probably should be considering that example as well!

Within the Proverbs, it even goes so far as to mention leaders of the country, not just leader of church too! Check it out here in Proverbs 31:4-5.

Alcohol Does Not Have Pleasant Side Effects

Honestly, in the moment of drinking alcohol, it can be pleasant, just like in the moment of eating a lot of junk food can taste good.

However, the effects it has on our bodies are not pleasant ones. Check out these less than delightful descriptions from Proverbs 23:29-35.

What The Bible Does Not Say About Alcohol

Okay, here are some misconceptions about what the Bible says about alcohol.

The Bible Does Not Condemn All Consumption of Alcohol

As Christians, we should be extremely careful to neither add nor take away from the Truth that is in God’s Word. Therefore, we must acknowledge the fact that while drunkenness is a sin, the basic act of consuming an alcoholic beverage is not forbidden.

Check out these places where drinking of alcohol was not condemned.

Deuteronomy 14:27-27

John 2:1-11

Here is the challenging spot. There is no set number of how much is too much for everyone. Some people can consume a fair amount of alcohol and remain remarkably sober. Others, can barely handle a few swallows before they become tipsy!

This is where we must bring our drinking before God as a personal matter. Ask Him to guide you in the decisions you make with alcohol just as you need His guidance in every other area of life! 

Remember the goal is to bring honor and glory to God with all the decisions we make. Don’t let your decision to drink or not to drink be a matter of pride to flaunt in front of other Christians. Let it be a private matter between you and the Lord.

The Bible Does Not Deny Some Positive Benefits of Alcohol

Now this is taken in light of moderation, but certain types of alcohol have been shown to provide certain health benefits. This is even backed up by the concept in the first letter of Paul to Timothy where he encourages the young man, “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23)

Another instance of wine in a positive manner can be found here in Ecclesiastes 9:7.

My Response To Alcohol As A Christian Woman

Love Not Legalism.

First, I do not want my response to alcohol to be some legalistically list of do’s and don’t’s that leaves me filled with pride (or frustration depending on the scenario.)

With everything in me, I want to show my love for God. He is my Heavenly Father and I seek to give Him the best of my life. One of the best ways I know to show my love and devotion to Him is by seeking to obey Him, not out of fear but out of joyful abandon!

Therefore, any decisions I make regarding alcohol in my life, I seek to decide in light of living in His great love.

That love fills me up in ways that no chocolate, no alcohol, no relationship with another human being ever could. God’s love fills up the God-sized void in my life!

Wise Not Foolish

Surprisingly enough, I have not stumbled across any stories of people who said, “Man, I have made my best life’s decisions while drinking.”

God calls us as Christians to live wisely among the foolishness of this world. Alcohol tends to lead to lots of foolishness and not much wisdom.

Therefore, I have decided to not partake of alcohol as a matter of seeking to be wise in the wisdom that comes from knowing God and living in His commands.

Sober Not Drunk

Since there is a clear cut command from God to avoid drunkenness, I can safely say that I seek to avoid alcohol for this reason.

I know my weaknesses. I am an obsessive person.

You will never see me eat just once piece of candy or one handful of chips. I can guarantee you will never observe me watching just one episode of my latest favorite show. On top of that you will never see me cleaning my house in small, organized increments over several days.

Everything is all or nothing with me. I know this about myself.

And knowing this about myself has made me realize that if I were to allow alcohol in my life, I would most likely treat it in such a manner as well. Which would in no doubt lead to drunkenness.

Therefore, I avoid alcohol as a matter of personal responsibility to caring for my body in a way that glorifies God.

Stepping Block Not A Stumbling Block

Paul calls Christians to build each other up. Yes, drinking alcohol is not a sin. But causing another Christian to stumble is!

Therefore, I choose not to drink as I do not want to set myself up as a stumbling block to another Christian who might have issues with alcohol. For me, it simply is not worth the chance of causing a fellow believer in Christ the heartache or temptation.

Alien Ambassador Not Camouflaged Christian

As I go through my life as a Christian on this earth, I am called to be an ambassador for Christ.

I am an alien on this planet because I have a Heavenly citizenship.

Therefore, I do not want anything to mess up my ability to be a good representative and ambassador to the spiritually lost. And if that means that I look and act differently by not partaking of alcohol, that is okay.

My hope and prayer is that it will continue to open doors to discuss with others why I choose not to drink. (Cause trust me when I say that I have answered that question way more than just once!!)

Your Turn

Alcohol is such a hard topic for Christians to discuss! My prayer is that this post will help guide you to a thoughtful, wise approach to the topic as you journey along in your Christian faith.

Please take time to prayerfully read through Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to make wise decisions in this delicate area. 

If you feel comfortable, leave a comment below sharing your experiences with alcohol and how your faith has affected your use of the substance. And please remember to be kind to others who may comment as well!

A Christian Woman's Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

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A Christian Woman's Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

Three Ways To Share Your Christian Faith At Halloween

Three Ways To Share Your Christian Faith At Halloween

Halloween is tricky time of year for Christians.

We know we are supposed to share our Christian faith at Halloween just like any other time of the year. However, as Christians, we also know we are not to condone things that are not honoring to God.

Honestly, the tension and frustration can cause Christians to swing to either extreme.

Some Christians swing to full involvement and endorsement of the holiday to the point where they are not any different than anyone else in the culture in how they celebrate Halloween. Their houses are lit up with the creepiest, most violent displays. A skimpy suggestive costume to the local crazy Halloween costume party? Yes, please! In fact, some Christians can be crazier about the holiday than their unsaved neighbors!

At the other end of the spectrum, you have Christians who simply disappear come Halloween time. Their houses are dark and quiet. They barely whisper the name Halloween for fear of contamination of their souls. At most, they will celebrate the historical beginning of the Reformation. (If you get this reference, you might fall into this category at least a little bit! ) 🙂 You will most likely find them gloating about their lack of involvement with Halloween to their friends during the church’s social hour.

As a Christian, we want to avoid dangerous extremes that are not based in Scripture. (Don’t hear me incorrectly, there are times when God calls to obey Him in ways that are extremely crazy to those outside of the faith.) Yes, we are to avoid all forms of evilness. Let’s realize to most everyone, this is a day to dress their kids up cute so they can get free candy. Other than a serious cause of cavities, Halloween from this angle takes on a more harmless slant.

I am not here to address the deeper roots of Halloween and the Satanic activities that DO take place on this day. (There are others far more qualified and able to address the big issues than I am!)

What I am here to address are some strategies to share your Christian faith at Halloween when you have cute little kids dressed at pirates, ghosts, and princesses showing up at your door. Let’s avoid swinging to the extremes and seek to find ways to reach the young families who will literally be knocking on your door this year!

Be The Great House

If you have ever gone trick or treating, you know that there are some houses every kid wants to go to. Why? They are a GREAT house! Why? They have the best candy!

Seriously, who wants to get a single piece of blah candy? Or worse, no candy at all! Maybe you give out raisin boxes and floss in which case you are begging to get your house TPed. No joke.

Think about it, as a kid dressed in a cute costume, all you want is good candy. You are willing to walk a few extra blocks to go back to the same house every year because they are a GREAT house!

To be honest, I had no idea how true this was until last year when we went trick or treating with our oldest child for the first time. We visited several houses, most of them belonging to members of our church and let me tell you, they were GREAT houses!

One dear lady had full sized milk-chocolate Hersey’s bars to hand out. You should have seen the look on our daughter’s face. The candy bar looked bigger than life to her and definitely left a positive impression!

Another GREAT house we visited handed out children’s books along with the candy. Throughout the year, the family buys good quality books from local garage sales and the library book sale, then come Halloween night they let kids pick from huge baskets of books. Best of all, most all the books they hand out tell Bible stories! (And they gave out great candy too which made them a favorite house for several blocks around!)

Other outreach items to hand out could include:

Get creative and think of ways that you can be the great house in your neighborhood! Bonus points for not being the target of getting TPed! 🙂

Create A Safe Environment

As a parent, Halloween is a scary for another reason besides all the creepy decor. We are reminded to try to walk before dark and wear reflective clothes so drivers can see all the small children running around. In addition to watching for traffic, we have to be careful and aware of our surroundings at each door, especially of homes we don’t know. Finally, when we get home, we have to check all our kid’s candy for tampering to make sure that no one did something bad to their candy or slipped them something besides candy.

It really is quite terrifying. Which is why creating a safe environment for kids and their families can be an outreach in and of itself!

At your home, be sure to have the walkways well lit. Make sure that you are only handing out individually wrapped store bought candy that parents can see has not be tampered with! Don’t wear costumes that require masks when answering your door. Parents will appreciate being able to see the face of the person giving their child candy!

On a larger scale, see if local churches are hosting Trunk or Treat events or Hallelujah Nights or some other Halloween alternative that is safe for kids while still letting them dress up for candy.

As a parent, it can be so much easier to take your child to one single place, let them play fun games, win candy and other small prizes, and avoid the craziness of door-to-door trick-or-treating.

If there is such an event in your area, seek to find ways to be involved whether by volunteering to help or by providing supplies to make it happen. If there is not such an event in your area, prayerfully consider if God would like you to be the one to coordinate such an opportunity to reach out to local young families looking for a safe, fun Halloween!

Offer Bite-Sized Truth For Kids

Finally, the most important part of Halloween that will set us apart from how others celebrate is the fact that we will infuse our actions with intentional sharing of God’s love and truth.

You will have to find what works best for you but some suggestions I would like to leave with you include sharing a Gospel tract with each of your Halloween treats. Here are some great options available from Amazon!

Another option I have seen is to include a Bible verse sticker on each candy bar you hand out.

Also, consider including a flyer promoting a local church’s Awana or Sunday School times. Let them know that there is a community of believers who would love to have them join. In the moment of receiving the candy, the flyer will probably be ignored but a day or two later when a kid is bored and done with Halloween, you might be surprised how many of them will check out the flyer!

Your Turn

Navigating the tricky waters of Halloween can be challenging but it can also be rewarding! Don’t let this particular season scare you away from reaching out to the lost in your community!

-How are about you? Do you find yourself leaning to extremes of embracing or shunning the Halloween celebrations?

-Have you ever considered letting God use you to share His love to others during this time of year?

If you have some ideas that you and your family have implemented to share your faith, would you please leave a comment sharing about it?

I would love to hear your ideas too! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

Share your Christian Faith At halloween
Share Your Christian Faith at Halloween

Six Books That Will Train You How To Defend Your Christian Faith

Six Books that Will Train You How to Defend Your Christian Faith

*This post contains affiliate links. You may see my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting the ministry of Ambitions for Christ.*

My mom loves to call me with computer-related questions. She assumes that because I am under 30 I will automatically know all things computer related.

Little does she realize that I have a very small grasp on technology, nor do I know how to diagnose any computer issues via a quick description on the phone.

Most of the time when she does call me, I end up googling her exact words in hopes that something will magically pop up and help me. So far, that method has not worked.

After calling me, my mom’s next step is calling the local tech wizard repair man. The guy can fix computers (and all tech related stuff) with a magical few clicks. Believe it or not, he usually can walk my mom through a few simple steps and fix her problem over the phone almost every time.

What is the difference between me and the local tech wizard?

Knowledge.

He knows computers. He thrills to understand technology.

Me? I get a nervous rash just turning on our computer. (Yes, I realize that it is very ironic that God called me to write a blog on a computer. He is stretching me daily through the means of technology!)

Now, think about the smartest Christian you have ever met. Perhaps it is your pastor or a older grandparent. Perhaps it was a Christian speaker you heard at a conference. Think about their confidence in God. The boldness of their faith.

Did it feel a tad daunting to be around such a person? Kind of like you wanted to hide your Bible from them so they couldn’t see you stumbling around to find the Old Testament reference they just mentioned?

What is the difference between you and this confident Christian?

Knowledge.

These mature Christians have had Biblical training from Scripture, countless Christian mentors, and hours of study from great books.

You Must Know Before You Can Share

I cannot share the proper steps for my mom to fix her computer problems because I do not have the knowledge to begin with. Neither can I share a reasonable defense for my Christian faith if I first do not know the truth myself.

The books I am going to bring before you will serve as guides and training manuals. The knowledge found in these books is not meant to serve as a replacement for your Bible. However, they will train you with what to do with a love for God and passion for His Word.

Books to Help you Defend your Christian Faith

Without further ado, here are books by some incredibly well-studied and gifted Christian leaders. I hope you check out the resources they provide to help build your ability to defend your Christian faith.

1. Love Your God With All Your Mind by J. P. Moreland


Jesus called believers to love God with their heart, soul, mind and strength. Today, there is very little emphasis being placed on loving God with our mind.

From his experience as a teaching professor at Biola University, J. P. Moreland does an excellent job of walking Christians through the process of reengaging their mind into their faith in God. I recommend this book first simply because it will light a fire under you to want to read the rest of the books on this list!

2. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

Perhaps the biggest reasons Christians shrink from defending their faith is because they just don’t feel they have evidence to back up their faith. Well, this book will change all that!

Lee Strobel was an award-winning journalist and staunch atheist. After his wife’s conversion to Christianity, he set out to disprove her faith. Along the way, he interviews the top Christian minds of our time. What he found was substantial evidence that helped him become a passionate believer in Christ.

This book is great because it breaks down the hard questions about the authenticity of the Bible, the reliability of the Biblical eyewitnesses, and the veracity of the resurrection.

*Bonus points on this one, because there are also editions geared towards teens and young children which means you can work through it as a family if you want!

3. More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell
Much like Lee Strobel’s story, Josh McDowell was a skeptic who set out to prove Christianity wrong and instead found Christianity to be the Truth. My first experience with this book was reading a first edition copy of it that my Grandpa owned. The best part about this book is how easy and quick of read it is!

Many believers I know keep extra copies of this on hand just to hand out to seekers. It is a great overview book to help a person approach the questions about Christianity in a kind and sensitive manner without compromising the truth!

This latest edition has been updated to include Josh’s son’s guidelines to approaching the younger generation. I haven’t had a chance to read this but I have heard Sean speak personally and know that Sean’s teaching is sound, practical and applicable!

4. Tactics by Gregory Koukl
If you are an introvert like myself and find that you get tongue tied talking to people about the weather, yet alone something important like your faith in God, this book is for you!

This book builds on the foundation of knowing why you believe what you believe as a Christian and helps you then share it with others who do not necessarily see life from a Christian worldview.

More than once I have used the suggestions and advice from this book to wade my way through challenging conversations about faith in God. My favorite part of this book is that Mr. Koukl focuses on the importance of winning the person NOT just the argument!

5. I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
Alright, I will be honest. This is the only book on this list that I have NOT personally read. Why am I still recommending it? Well, simply because the information from this book is core to the messages that the authors cover in their speaking engagements and I have heard them personally speak several times.

Plus, several of my friends, including a few seminary graduates, highly recommend this book and I trust their recommendations.

Also, it is on my to read list as soon as possible. (Since I have two kids under two, that could be anytime from now to 18 years from now! 🙂 )

If you have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments below too!


6. Understanding the Times by David Noebel and Jeff Myers
This last recommendation is nearest and dearest to my heart. As a former Summit student and staff worker, I have had the privilege of seeing the authors of Understanding the Times live out their Christian faith boldly and brilliantly.

Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews is a concise overview of all the major worldviews that are vying for the world’s attention and belief. If you can buy only one book on this list, this is the book I recommend. Written so you can open it up to any section and study that particular topic, I find it the most overarching resource available to Christians who are learning how to defend their Christian faith.

You can use it as a Bible study aid, a family conversation starter, a Sunday School curriculum, etc. By far, the best bang for your buck in my honest opinion!

Once you Know you must share

In 2 Timothy 4:1-2 Paul encourages Timothy (and us as believers in the following generations), “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

It is imperative that we are training ourselves to spiritually be ready to defend our Christian faith. We will never be ready for every conversation or challenge that comes our way. (Kids especially have a way of throwing hard curve ball questions when we least expect the questions!)

God promises that the Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to say in the moment we need to say them. However, I believe that God does give us the right words in the hard moments is by training us leading up to those moments.

And how can He train us if we are ignoring the tools placed before us?

Final Thoughts

As Christians, it is only a matter of time before we will face questions about our faith. Rather than let that scare us into silence, let this truth fuel us to study and grow in our knowledge and passion for our faith. 

The enemy of our souls likes to test us through doubting thoughts. With our minds and thought life planted firmly in the truth, we will be able  refute other’s false claims and reassure ourselves against doubt.

Finally, we will be able to train our children and other believers so that they too can know how to defend their Christian faith. What a beautiful legacy!

Your Turn

Take a moment and leave a comment below letting me know if you have read any of these books!

Also, please feel free to leave book recommendations of your own! I love to hear what others are reading!

Finally, please take a moment and share this post with other Christians who might be struggling with the practical side of defending their Christian faith!

Thanks for stopping by!

Six Books That Will Train You How To Defend Your Christian Faith

Why Prayer Needs To Be A Christian’s Knee Jerk Reaction

prayer, spiritual warfare,pray

Do you ever wonder why Christians are supposed to pray? Why do we need to tell God our needs even if He already knows what we need before we ask? Does God even hear and answer our prayers? Should I really talk to God about the seemingly small “stuff” in my life?

During the course of the writing of that first paragraph, my daughter approached me to ask if she could “swish” a dog hair in the trash can, brought me a book that so we could read together, and is currently sitting in my lap “helping” me type this post. As her mom, I am thrilled that I am one of the most important people in her life. It delights me that she wants to be in constant communication!

Constantly Connected with God

God is our Heavenly Father. Psalms 116:2 states that, “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”

Wow! I don’t know about you but the idea that I can be in constant communication with the God and Creator of the universe overwhelms me with peace and hope!

Growing up, my dad modeled this principle to me beautifully (a blessing I am beyond grateful for!) Whenever I had a question, a random funny story, or a heartache, he was always there with a listening ear. Over the years that has translated into my prayer life as well. If my human father could be so willing to hear me, how much more true that must be of my Heavenly Father!

Along these same lines, God does want us to pray even though He already knows everything. As a mom, I already know when my daughter accomplishes something new but I LOVE when she comes to share it with me anyway. We are created in God’s image therefore we can rest assured that He also thrills and as the verse says, “bends lows” to hear what we have to say.

Our Heavenly Father is excited when we share our hearts with Him! As His daughters, we should enjoy the privilege of being in constant communication with Him.

Commanded To Communicate

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul commands believers to, “Pray without ceasing.”

As we move throughout our busy days, it’s easy to be distracted and let our prayer lives take a back burner on the priority list. Some look as being commanded to pray as a hindrance to loving communication. Shouldn’t we only communicate when we want to?

I propose that it is exactly the opposite. God loves us and knows we need to be grounded in Him, especially when we don’t “feel” like it. His command to keep the communication lines open with Him is actually His way of trying to ensure that we always lean on Him, no matter what we are facing.

Commissioned to Fight Spiritual Battles through Prayer

James 4:7 exhorts, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Spiritual battles against Satan and his evil realm must be fought first and foremost on our knees! We cannot successfully overcome Satan and his schemes unless we are rooted in God’s Word and praying for God’s power.

It is easy to forget there is a battle for our souls and the souls of our husband and children. During the hustle of the day, do not skip praying for yourself, your family, and your friends as they face the obstacles that Satan puts before them!

It may feel weird at first to make your first reaction prayer but it will be well worth it. The rest of your reactions can then be based in God’s power and led by His Holy Spirit. (Which means your reactions will be glorifying to God and devoid of our flesh’s desires.)

Examples of Prayer

Luke 11:1 records, “Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ “

If you are like me and often feel like prayer is some mystical “thing” to be decoded, delight in this fact! Jesus’s disciples were recorded to watch Him pray and they asked Him to teach them how to pray like He did! Even more wonderful, He answered their request! There are several place in Scripture that record examples of what our prayers should resemble.

In addition to great examples is an encouraging verse in Romans 8:26-27, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

The Apostle Paul even confirms that we won’t know what to pray for but in those cases the Holy Spirit will be there to help turn our weak mumbling into petitions worthy to go before God. Personally, I find that extremely comforting because there are a lot of days when my weary heart doesn’t know what to say.

Final Thoughts

In closing, let us remember that no matter where we are, God wants to hear from us. He bends low to listen to His daughters as we struggle through our days on this earth. Let’s look to the examples of Jesus in prayer and seek our Heavenly Father in prayer. Let us find our joy in walking in God’s commands to communicate with Him!

Your Turn!

What are some ways that you seek to spend time in communication with God throughout your day?

Has God been prompting you lately to pray for something in particular?

How has the relationship with your parents possibly affected your view of talking to God?

How can your relationship to your kids be used to positively impact their prayer life?

What has God been teaching you about prayer lately?

Does it excite you to think that God really does want to hear from you about anything and everything?

Take a few minutes and give thought to the questions above. If you want, feel free share your thoughts in the comments!

Also, sharing is caring. If this post encouraged you, I would be honored if you would pass it along to others by hitting one of the share buttons below!

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Why Prayer Needs To Be A Christian's Knee Jerk Reaction

Thought of the Week-July 7, 2017

“Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.” ― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

Yesterday, my 18 month old lost a button off the back of her shirt. I didn’t notice it missing until after lunch time. That left a whole six hour time frame of when she could have lost it! My Mommy alert kicked into high gear. This was a tiny, shiny red button. It was total choking hazard 101!

After several deep breaths to keep myself from panicking, I started a thorough search of our house. As I searched it occurred to me that I had seen the button as I rubbed her back before nap time on the couch. Sure enough, underneath the couch cushions was a bright shiny red button. Whew! (Let’s not talk about all the other stuff I found under that cushion! 🙂 )

However, it made me start thinking. When I view something that could cause harm or death to one of my children, I react immediately. It is my job as their mother to protect and keep them safe from dangers, especially dangers they cannot see for themselves!

It is amazing how often I remove dangers from her life that she will never know or notice. But what about sin? The consequences of sin is death! Am I treating sin in my own life (and the lives of my children) with just as serious of concern as I did when I knew that button posed a potential choking hazard? The simple answer to that is No.

Therefore, as God has been prompting me, I have been praying that He will reveal sin in my own heart and life. And He has definitely shown me areas that I need to surrender back to Him. Thankfully, He walks beside me and lovingly guides me through the painful process. God’s love is indeed amazing and rich!!

This next week, let us seek after God and ask Him to pinpoint sin in our lives that needs addressing.

God desires us to live fully for Him and that is impossible if we continue to cling to sinful ways. Let’s seek to weed out sins through the Holy Spirit’s help.

Feel free to comment below or send me an email at amber@ambitionsforchrist.com if you would like prayer.

Thanks for stopping by!

How To Obtain Spiritual Guidance In Your Christian Walk

Several years ago, I was involved in a local Christian Teen Retreat. One of the games that we created taught me the importance of accepting spiritual guidance in my Christian walk.

Local farmers donated the use of their large round bales to create a giant maze. (It was pretty epic!) The day of the lesson, we blind folded the students and had them work their way through the maze. To add to the challenge, there were two people on top of the hay bales shouting instructions to the kids. Some of the instructions they shouted were correct, other instructions were not. The kids had to decide which voice to listen to-if they would listen to a voice at all. Being the ambitious, young, and well-rested individual that I was at the time, I decided to join my group of kids in the maze blind folded. You know, just to get the full affect of it myself.

Whoa! Pretty soon I was disorientated. I couldn’t distinguish who to listen to. If I tried to feel my way around on my own, I only became more hopelessly lost (and claustrophobic!) Towards the end of the maze we had leaders who were guides. They would take our hands and guide us out. Truthfully, it was the most relieving feeling ever when I finally didn’t have to figure things out on my own in that maze!

Philip Guides a Ethiopian Eunuch

A few days ago, my Bible reading for the day was from Act 8:26-31. This passage jumped off the page at me!

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and join this chariot.’ So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”

I love reading and studying my Bible. However there are definitely times in my spiritual walk where I feel more like I am lost in the disorientating hay bale maze waiting for someone to come guide me out of the confusion!

Thankfully, God does provide us spiritual guidance! Let’s explore the main places we can find this guidance!

The Holy Spirit

Okay, I know this seems head-smacking “duh” obvious. However, it is amazing how easy it is to overlook this key relationship in our Christian life!

When Jesus left this earth after the Resurrection, He left us with a Helper-the Holy Spirit. Every time you open the Scriptures, stop and pray for the Holy Spirit to show you new insights. As I pray this prayer and truly meditate on what I have read, the Holy Spirit does not fail to show me truths that I need.

The Bible

There are many ways the Holy Spirit can speak to us. The main way He chooses to speak to our souls is directly through the Truth found in the Bible. Again, I know this sounds so elementary. Still, this is such a vital key that I can not stress enough the importance of studying God’s Word for yourself!

The Church of Believers

Philip was the one God had chosen to lead the Ethiopian eunuch to an understanding of the Scripture. We too should be willing to turn to other Christians. Look around your church or Bible study group. Search for a Christian woman who lives for God faithfully. Approach her and ask if she would be available to meet with you on a regular basis to study Scripture. If you don’t see such a woman in your life right now, pray and ask God to bring such a person into your life.

Also, be warned, it is hard to ask for instruction from others. Pride can really rear its ugly head. Prepare your heart to accept teaching from a strong believer who will encourage and challenge you.

One other quick side note, be on guard against false teachers! Pray that God will give you discernment as to who you should approach.

The Knowledge of Others

Seek books to read, sermons or podcasts to listen to, or blogs (like this one! hehe 🙂 ) that will help you gain understanding in specific areas of your spiritual walk. Ask for recommendations from your mentor or pastor. Check Goodreads for suggested reading. There are tons of resources out there-don’t be shy in using them!

(This is at the bottom of the list for a reason. It is not as personal as the others. That does not mean it is not important but the others should be given priority!)

 

Let Me Hear From You!

In the comments below, tell me about a time spiritual guidance made all the difference for you! Also, feel free to leave some of your favorite recommendations of books, sermons, blogs, etc!

Speaking of receiving spiritual guidance, I send out a weekly email that offers devotional thoughts. If you would like a little bit of encouragement sent to your inbox, feel free to sign up for my email newsletter below!

How To Obtain Spiritual Guidance In Your Christian Walk

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How To Obtain Spiritual Guidance In Your Christian Walk

 

Prayers to Pray in Every Room of Your Home

Do you hear stories of mothers who are prayer warriors for their children, their husband, their friends, and their church families? Ever feel like you fall short in that area? I know this is true for me!

It is really hard to sit down for a time of focused prayer when two little kids want my attention. If the kids are sleeping, I must admit that my prayer times often turn to nap times if I sit still for 30 seconds or so. Plus, my mind wanders to things I should be doing and I get distracted from actually praying.

Honestly, my biggest problem, I just simply forget to pray! I think of it in the morning and then all the sudden it is 7:30 at night and I realize that I haven’t prayed all day. Grr…

I want to be a prayer warrior.

I thrill at the idea of modeling a solid prayer life to my kids. My desire is to pray a protective spiritual wall around my home and family.

But more often than not, my prayer life is a little lacking.

Desire alone just isn’t enough.

So what is a Mom to do?

Currently, to counter this area of weakness, I am finding ways to remind myself to pray in each room of my house. So, as I move through my day, my prayer life can be a natural part of my routine.

How does this look in practice?

Well, let me show you the examples for what I do in each room of my house. For every area there is a designated prayer topic. When I enter a specific room, I try to take a moment to prayer either out loud or in my head for that room’s designated topic.

Keep in mind, I don’t do this every single time I change rooms! Just at certain times throughout the day as God prompts me.

I keep the topics pretty basic and let the Holy Spirit lead me as how to pray at that specific time for the current topic. For this season of life, this method helps me to not let prayer be forgotten in the busy, exhausting days of mothering.

Let’s go over the areas I have and I will show you what prayers I pray. These serve as examples that you can totally switch up as you see fit for your home, routine, and family.

Kitchen

Give thanks for:

-The provision of food to eat.
-The time shared with family preparing meals together.
-The ability to feed your family and guests.

Request:

-Discernment in what to eat and drink-let it be foods that help your body function well for God’s glory.
-Constructive time spent in the kitchen as a family building relationships.
-Healthy view points on food and drink. (Protect your family from issues of overeating, anorexia, gluttony, etc)

Dining Room

Thank God for:

-Fellowship time spent around the table with your family.
-Fellowship time spent at the table with guests.

Ask God to:

-Bless your conversations with peace, grace, truth and love.
-Let your time together grow your relationships stronger.
-Guide you all in selfless conversations that allow you to hear about each other’s concerns and joys.

Living Room

Praise God for:

-Friendships that can flourish during time spent together.
-Ability to show hospitality to those who come to your home.
-Comfortable places to host games and conversations.

Request of God:

-Friends that will draw your family closer to God.
-Opportunities to reach out to those who need to hear about God’s love while they are visiting your home.
-Protection over your friends and acquaintances-this is a great time to lift up specific requests that friends have mentioned to you.
-Evil be kept from your home in the form of ungodly influences and people.

Office

Praise God for:

-Ability to work at your current job.
-An occupation that provides for the financial needs of your family.
-An area to coordinate and manage all the resources God has given your family.

Ask God for:

-The ability to perform all your duties at home and at work to the best of your ability.
-Opportunities to share Christ’s love with those who you interact with at work-both customers and co-workers.
-Wisdom to handle all activities and interactions in a way that glorifies God.
-Good relationships with your coworkers and bosses.
-Attitudes that willingly work for the Lord and not for men.

Kid’s Bedrooms

Thank God for:

-Your child! 🙂
-That you get to parent this child.
-Their safety.
-Their health.
-Their talents and abilities.
-Their friendships.
-Their relationship with God (if they are walking with God in faith already.)

Ask God to:

-Reveal Himself to your child through the Holy Spirit working in their lives.
-Bring them to faith in Jesus’s work on the cross (if they have not already accepted Jesus.)
-Grow their faith (if they have already accepted Jesus.)
-Strengthen them in their current stresses and concerns.
-Bless their continued health and safety.
-Give you wisdom on how to encourage and grow their abilities and talents.
-Prepare their future spouse for a life of Godly marriage together.

Master Bedroom

Praise God for:

-Your marriage-the fact that you are married and defying a 50% rate of divorce is a God-give blessing to begin with!
-The love your spouse does show you everyday.
-The ability to share your love with your spouse on a daily basis too.
-Special moments together with your husband that confirm your love and commitment to each other.

Request God to:

-Protect your marriage from all of the worldly influences that are trying to break it up.
-Provide your husband and you with supernatural ability to serve each other’s needs in the best ways possible.
-Grant you the perspective to see your spouse’s point of view.
-Help properly support your husband through his current joys and concerns.

Family Room

Praise God for:

-Placing you in this family-both within your home and within your extended family.
-Opportunities to love and serve your family on a daily basis.

Ask God for:

-Unity and Godly peace to be experienced between all your family members.
-Wisdom as how your family should interact with each other during times of disagreements.
-Spiritual growth as a whole family unit.

Storage Room

Thank God for:

-Material goods that provide for your family throughout the year.
-Memorials and mementos that can be saved to serve as reminders of God’s faithfulness and love to your family over the years.

Ask God for:

-Reminders that all earthly treasures are just fleeting and to not place undue importance on things.
-Reminders to build up heavenly treasures that will last for eternity.

Laundry Room

Thank God for:

-Clothes to wear.
-Ability to create a clean environment for your family.

Ask God for:

-Joyful heart attitudes while doing the repetitive tasks of homemaking.
-Reminders to clothe yourself first and foremost in righteous acts and deeds that glorify God before your family and others.
-Ability to make a clean, welcoming home for every member of your family.

Bathroom

Praise God for:

-Access to clean, running water.
-Access to sanitary conditions that keep you and your family healthy.
-Christ’s work on the cross to cleanse you of all your sins!

Request God to:

-Show you areas in your life that are in need of His cleansing.
-Give you the humility to repent of sins in your heart and life.
-Create humble and repentant hearts in all of your family so that they may be right with God.

Garage/Car

Thank God for:

-Ability and health to leave home.
-Vehicles that make travel safer and easier than ever before in history.
-Good roads over which to travel.

Ask God for:

-Safety in your travels.
-Guidance to the places He wants you to go and avoidance of  places that are not honoring to Him.

 

In closing, remember that prayer is an on-going conversation with God. Don’t make it a part of the check list on your to-do sheet. Find ways that will work for you to remember to stop and enjoy communicating with the Lover of your soul.

It is my prayer that you take this list of suggested prayers and use it to spur you on to a closer walk with God throughout your days.

In the comments below, I would love to hear how other mothers find time to spend in prayer.

Do you prefer one quiet time or talks throughout your day? How do you remind yourself to walk with God daily?

I love to hear what you have to say!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Prayers to Pray in Every Room of Your Home