What is your “big ask?” A big ask is the dream your heart most desires. Your deepest longing. Sometimes, the only One who knows your big ask is God. But now and then, God asks us to wait for our big ask to come true. And sometimes He changes our heart’s desire altogether, or gives us a new dream. The Bible reminds us that God’s ways are higher than our ways….and often a whole lot messier!
We can help each other stand strong during our times of waiting. A friend recently referred to me as her prayer coach—but the truth is, we help each other. We encourage each other during times of weakness. Holding onto hope, especially when what we see with our natural eyes looks discouraging, can be a hard fight. It’s my prayer that something you read during our 30 Days of Hopeful will help you stand strong in your battle to believe.
Here are some practical tips I’ve discovered that help me hold onto hope, while waiting for my dream:
1. I meditate on my “watchwords.” A watchword is simply a verse or two of Scripture that speaks directly to my heart. It’s my practice to read a chapter of the Bible each day. I’ve discovered that the Holy Spirit has a way of illuminating a special watchword that gives the strength I need to keep my faith strong and my hope alive. I like to write the watchword in what I call my Chubby Book, a wire-bound booklet of 3×5 cards.
2. I keep my prayer list beside me while I fold the laundry. I list the items on the page next to my watchword. I then pray for each item on my list, sometimes pausing to reflect on the watchword. This practice has made laundry, a chore I used to loathe, into something I actually like. A miracle in itself!
3. I take my Chubby Book on my jog and pray for those on my list. My neighborhood has some steep hills. While going uphill, I pray for our friends suffering in difficult places. In some small way, this allows me to feel a solidarity with their suffering. Why not pray during your own exercise time? Or turn your daily walk into a “prayer walk.”
It doesn’t matter if we walk, run, or fold clothes. Our minutes matter to God. And minute-by-minute, as we hold onto our hope, our battle may be leading us to an eventual breakthrough in our big ask. To God be the Glory!
Leave a comment | tags: big ask, faith, hope, prayer, watchwords | posted in Agree with Others in Prayer, Arm Yourself with Spiritual Strength, Be Specific when You Ask, hopes and dreams, wait training
Have you ever been reading the Bible, when suddenly, a verse seems to leap off the page and into your heart? It’s as though God is sending you a personal word of encouragement to help you right where you are. I like to call this my “watchword.” God’s Word can actually ignite our faith. Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. And if faith is the antidote to fear, it makes sense to strengthen ourselves daily with God’s Word.
I’m hoping the 21 Day Watch builds my faith. That’s why I am on the lookout for ways to become more alert to God’s work all around me. “Watchwords” from the Bible remind me of God’s strength and power. It doesn’t happen the same way every morning. Some days God gives a more dramatic watchword than others. But I never walk away empty from my time reading God’s Word.
During my years of struggling with infertility, I would often find a personal watchword of encouragement that would give me hope. Verses from my Bible study would inspire my faith, just when I was losing hope that we would ever have a baby. I remember one watchword which gave me an anchor for my soul: He settles the barren woman in her home, the happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9). I sensed God encouraging me through that verse to stand firm in my belief that He would eventually give us children, which He did.
If you long to see signs of God at work in your life, I’d suggest you start by seeking His message to you from the pages of Scripture. The way I see it, God spent over 1600 pages (in my Bible) telling me of His will, His plans, His instructions, and His love for me. That’s why I go to His Word first thing each morning. I take the problems and needs that are heaviest on my heart and I ask God to speak through His Word. I also take my hopes and dreams, and my concern for people and places, and ask God for wisdom from His Word about how to pray.
Let’s ask God to open our eyes to His WORD. Before I read the Bible, I ask Him to reveal promises that relate to my concerns. My simple prayer is from Psalm 119:18: Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
Dare to go to God’s Word with an honest and thirsty heart. Ask the Lord to speak to you through the pages of Scripture. I believe the Holy Spirit will inspire you with a special watchword which will strengthen your faith today, and give you hope.
Leave a comment | tags: 21 Day Watch, faith, God's promises, prayer, watchwords | posted in Arm Yourself with Spiritual Strength, Be Specific when You Ask, Pray with Authority, Wake Up and Pray! Be Alert