A Writer’s Heart: Precepts, Prompts, & Prayers

The Writer’s Heart: Precepts, Prompts, & Prayersbloglove-699480_960_720

“I will meditate in thy precepts,

and have respect unto thy ways.”

Psalm 119:15, KJV

What do we consider morally right? If we want to end with confusion, we can ask politicians—or any random persons on the street. The first question leads to a second. What gives us the right to set moral standards? There is only One who has the authority to set the rules for right and wrong. What does this have to do with writing well?

Our readers want to know our words, whether fiction or nonfiction, carry a weight of truth and will lead them in right ways—even to that “happily ever after” ending.

“The statutes of the LORD are right,

rejoicing the heart:

the commandment of the LORD is pure,

enlightening the eyes.”

Psalm 19:8, KJV

The scriptures show us good and evil. They, also, provide a great resource for purpose, themes, and story prompts. We would like to think people have become smarter and wiser as the ages rolled by. But when we look around our world, we can see we haven’t changed much from those of the Bible. In the Old Testament book of Judges we find—

“In those days there was no king in Israel:

every man did

that which was right in his own eyes.”

(21:25, KJV)

If we understand the context of biblical precepts, can answer the Lord’s purpose in giving them, and recording them to span the ages, then our readers can trust our source. They can find help whether we write fiction or nonfiction. Both will speak truth and lead our readers on a journey of discovery. As we write, we may discover treasures of growth for ourselves. In truth if we don’t grow from the writing process, is it fair to expect our readers to grow from what we write?

What’s the next step?

  • Pray for direction.
  • Start writing.
  • Don’t know what to write? Remember for what purpose and for whom you are writing.
  • Start writing.
  • Begin with a question to answer, a statement of fact, an emotional thought, a description, a scene. This may not remain your opening, but it will free your blocked mind to keep writing.

A Writing Exercise:

Choose one of the following scriptures as a writing prompt. Keep it in the biblical setting, change it to a contemporary setting, or whatever comes to mind. Just have some fun with it, and share it with us in the comments, if you so desire. The key is to—start writing.

  1. “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.” Luke 2:25, KJV
  2. “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;” Luke 2:36, KJV

A Prayer to help you on your way:

Heavenly Father, Open our eyes to see with awe the wonderful things you have done and want us to tell others. Give us understanding of your precepts, the life you have declared right and good. Guide our thoughts, inspire our writing, and help us write in truth of you, your majesty, your marvelous work. May our words always point to you in truth and love. May we trust you with the results as we give our best to the work you’ve given us. Thank you. And we ask all in Jesus’s name and for your glory, honor, and praise. Amen.

***

Using God’s word correctly will lead us and our readers to what is right and good—and to the “happily ever after” we all seek. What writing goal do you seek?

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A Writer’s Prayer for 2023

A Writer’s Prayer: 2023

white ceramic mug on white paper
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“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”

Isaiah 55:8, KJV

Have you made goals for 2023? Maybe you make resolutions? I’m not a fan of resolutions when I can’t see what is ahead for the next minute and much less for the coming year.

Naz for saleGoals, hopes, and dreams fill my list of things to pursue (i.e. finishing the sequel to my novel, The Nazarene’s Price, spending more real time writing, hoping to attend a couple of writing conferences, dreaming of The Nazarene’s Price winning an award or two, and finishing at least one of my nonfiction WIP, while I wait for my two children’s books to be published.)

I’m excited about how the Lord will choose to use my writing to the increase of his kingdom, for his glory. The planning, hoping, and dreaming are good but will not get me closer to my goals. For goals to be realized, a writer needs—

  • to practice discipline in the mechanics,
  • be dedicated to the task,
  • devoted to the message.
  • bath the work in prayer.

For the Lord is the one who prospers his word. My goals need to line up with the Lord’s desires and plans. The realization may look different than I imagine, but the end will be God’s best.

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:

it shall not return unto me void,

but it shall accomplish that which  I please,

and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11, KJV

A Writer’s Prayer for 2023

Heavenly Father, the living Word,

you have called us to speak of you in all we do, say, and are. You have given us the venue of the written word to make you known to others, encourage one another, and be your witnesses. As we put a pen to paper or tap out words on our computers, give us the words to write that will point others to you in truth and love.

May our writing never be in vain but prosper according to your pleasure, for your glory, honor, and praise. Send it into the hearts of those who will receive it. Thank you, for using us and our writing for your glory in 2023. Amen.


What are your goals for 2023? Have they been bathed in prayer and put in the capable hands of our Lord?

May you all be blessed with God’s best throughout this coming year—but let’s start with today, after all, that is all we really have.

A Writer’s Prayer: Light

A Writer’s Prayer: Lightchristmas-1913650__340

Nine months passed before a silent Zacharias. His silence testified to the truth of the angel’s message—he made known to Elisabeth through writing or signing. The Lord confirmed the message as her womb grew with child. When Elisabeth’s time was complete, Zacharias’s time of silence ended with the naming of the child, John.

“And his mouth was opened immediately,

and his tongue loosed,

and he spake, and praised God …

and prophesied …”

Luke 1:64, 67b; KJV

Zacharias spoke to the hope of Israel first. Then he spoke concerning his son and the prophet coming to usher in Israel’s hope, as well as, the hope of all the world—all who sat in darkness.

“And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest:

for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

To give knowledge of salvation unto his people

by the remission of their sins,

To give light to them that sit in darkness

and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

(1:76-79)

When grown, John followed his calling from God.

“The same came for a witness,

to bear witness of the Light,

that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light,

but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”

John 1:7-8, KJV

When the Light came into the world light accompanied his appearing. A star shone in the night sky showing the wisemen the way to travel. Angels came to the shepherds wrapped in the light of the glory of the Lord. In his days of ministry—

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,

I am the light of the world:

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12, KJV

The followers of Christ have this light of life dwelling in us, and he has commissioned us to—

“Let your light so shine before men,

that they may see your good works,

and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16, KJV

We as Christian authors have been given a like work as John. Don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing us to John the Baptizer, except to say we have a calling on our lives, as do all believers. We have the privilege—

  • to impart knowledge of salvation by the true Light;
  • to offer the hope of forgiveness of sin;
  • to bring light to those who sit in darkness;
  • to lead others in the way of peace;
  • to bear witness to the Light through our writing.

A Writer’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

our Father of lights, you have given us an awesome privilege and responsibility. May our witness, through writing, guide others to the true Light that gives life and hope to those still in darkness. May our words and our lives speak of you in truth and love, showing the path to salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord and Light. May you be glorified in all we write, bearing fruit to your kingdom. Thank you, for bringing your Light to us. In Jesus’s name we pray and give thanksgiving. Amen.


As Christmas approaches I enjoy the many light displays blinking their message of life, hope, and peace. What other symbol or activity of Christmas brings light to your life?

The Writer’s Heart: Good Gifts

macbook pro on brown wooden table
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A Writer’s Heart: Good Gifts

“Every good and every perfect gift is from above,

and cometh down from the Father of lights,

with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

James 1:17, KJV

The Lord gives only one kind of gift—that which is good and perfect. All people everywhere enjoy access to a great many of his gifts. Some don’t acknowledge our Father of lights as the giver—even though without his gifts they would not have the breath of life. Others receive his gifts with thanksgiving.

The best gifts the Father makes available only to those who will receive the offering of his Son, Jesus Christ. These gifts are given to share with others. Through this season of giving, one of the Lord’s gifts I want to share with my writing and reading family is the gift of prayer—using Isaiah 55:11 as my base.

 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:

it shall not return unto me void,

but it shall accomplish that which I please,

and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

A Prayer For You:

Heavenly Father, bless each author with the words flowing from your heart to the writer’s pen, pencil, or keypad. May each message bring a return of much fruit to your glory by accomplishing your pleasure in the readers’ lives. Send the message to those who will receive it. Give increase to your kingdom through strengthening and encouraging author and reader.

Guide us in all we write to bring you glory, honor, and praise by pointing others to your truth in love. Thank you, for this gift of writing. May we guard it and share it as you send it out. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

 

A Writer’s Heart: Prayer

The Writer’s Heart: Prayerblogreligious-2598299__340

“Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and,

What thou seest, write in a book …

Write the things which thou hast seen,

and the things which are,

and the things which shall be hereafter;”

Revelation 1:11a, 19, KJV

The beloved, old, apostle John received writing instruction directly from the mouth of the Lord. The Lord’s story needed finished, and he gave the task to John. Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels, and visions guided John’s pen to finish God’s love letter to those who would read it and receive it.

As Christian writers of today, our instructions remain the same as John’s. We write in a book—

  • What we have seen: the love of God displayed on a cross to forgive our sins.
  • What things are: The world is full of trouble, but Christ has overcome the world.
  • What is to come: Christ in us our hope of glory.

We do not have Christ before us as John did nor a bevy of angels and visions to speak the stories we’re to write. We do have the Holy Spirit to teach us as Jesus taught his early disciples. We need only to ask and the Holy Spirit will give us what we need to write to the glory of God.

A Writer’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

All praise, glory, and honor belong to you.

You give your people work to do—tell the story of your love and show it in the lives we live. Thank you, for giving us all we need to spread the story of you and your kingdom.

As we write, direct our thoughts, our imagination, our stories and our words of encouragement. May all we write, whether fiction or nonfiction, reflect a true image of Jesus Christ. May our printed words be used of you to bring increase to your kingdom.

For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Pursuing Love of Jesus

Pursuing Love of Jesus

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice …

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,

my soul shall be joyful in my God;

for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,

he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness …”

Philippians 4:4; Isaiah 61:10a, KJV

craft fair

My daughter and I sat at our decorated tables filled with books, a few free gifts, and smiles, as the craft fair shoppers passed by or stopped to talk and select their books. Children and adults serenaded us with Christmas songs adding to the festive atmosphere. The several sales gave us one reason to rejoice, but the great rejoicing came with one grandmother’s visit.

She—I will call her Ella—picked up my novel, The Nazarene’s Price, read the back, and thumbed through the book. “Is there scripture included in this story?”

I nodded. “Yes, quite a lot but not written in King James’ language. I paraphrase most of it.”

“What about Jesus?” She asked. “Is the story more about the rich young ruler or the story of Jesus?”

“It’s about Matthias’s pursuit of truth and everlasting life and Jesus’s pursuing love of the young man.” I paused and flipped my novel to the back. “The book includes discussion questions and more scripture to aid in applying the story to our lives.”

Ella grew quiet and examined a few questions. “You see, I’m considering this for my older teen granddaughter.” She laid the book down. “She needs the Lord, but … I just don’t know if she would appreciate it right now.” Ella picked up the book and reread the back. Then laid it down. “I just don’t know.” She started to walk away then turned and asked, “Would you pray for her? She just needs the Lord. She’s a good girl, but …”

I reached for a book with a slightly damaged cover. “Of course, I’ll pray for her and here. Take this. Who knows how the Lord may use it.”

Ella hesitated.

“Please take it. And if you want, we can pray right here and right now.”

“Thank you, so much. And yes, let’s pray.”

We did. God was with us in the middle of the crowded hall. Ella left with The Nazarene’s Price in hand and thanksgiving in her heart. Me? I greatly rejoiced in the Lord. For there is no greater reward this side of heaven for a writer—than to know what has been written is being used of the Lord for His glory.

Won’t you join us in praying for Ella’s granddaughter? We may not hear while on earth how the Lord answered our prayers but—

“This is the confidence that we have in him,

that, if we ask any thing according to his will,

he heareth us:

And if we know that he hear us,

whatsoever we ask,

we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

1 John 5:14-15, KJV

In the end, the pursuing love of Jesus, that led him to the cross, will pursue this one until her—

“soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness …”

Thank you, Jesus!

Where Is God?

Where is God?blog fathers-day-822550_960_720

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him … in truth.”

Psalm 145:18

Except for the kissy rhythm of my baby sucking on her pacifier, silence filled the house with uneasiness. Most mothers would have thanked God for a few minutes of quiet, and so would I have if my two young boys played quietly—but that was unheard of.

After laying my sleeping baby in the playpen, I walked to the basement door and stepped onto the landing. Waited. Nothing.

“Boys? Where are you?” I started down the steps. Silence. My sons had come down earlier but no sound of them greeted me.

The patio doors. They probably went outside to play.

The doors were shut. “Brian, Clint?” No sign or sound.

The old broken refrigerator.

I froze.

No, Lord.

I pulled the patio door shut, walked to the other side of the basement, silently praying at I went. After another quick prayer and deep breath, I tugged on the old time door handle. My five-year-old fell into my lap crying.

“Mommy, I called and I called but you wouldn’t come. Clint went to sleep. I was scared. Why wouldn’t you come?”

My four-year-old blinked up at me. Never much for words, he said nothing and didn’t even cry. I scooted him into my free arm trying not to cry and hugged my boys. Silently, tears of relief and rejoicing filled my heart as I thanked the Lord for hearing Brian’s plea and sending me to their rescue.
Like Job, Brian believed no one heard his cry for help. When my ears failed, and Job’s understanding failed, God came near. Job didn’t understand because he knew what Elihu said was so.

“Surely God will not listen to an empty cry,

Nor will the Almighty regard it.”

Job 35:13, NASB.

But Job’s cry was not without merit. He knew his relationship with God was true. Where was God in the midst of his confusion and pain? Had he known the words of the psalmist, his strength may have been renewed.

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;

He will also hear their cry and will save them.”

Psalm 145:18-19, NASB

Pain, sorrow, and confusion held Job in a tug of war with what he knew and what he felt. When we get caught by instantaneous tumultuous circumstances of life our thoughts and emotions, our pain crash into our faith like a thunderous wave against a cliff. Our help may not come from well meaning friends nor the strength we thought we had. There is only one place to go.

Job called on God but felt he did not listen. He learned later God did hear, answer, and was watching over the whole situation. We can learn from Job and know—

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him … in truth.”

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all …

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need …

Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus … let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Psalm 34:18-19; Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:19,22, NASB

Elihu did give Job one piece of good advice.

“The case is before Him, and you must wait for Him!”

Job 35:14b, NASB

Even as the Lord heard my cry and rescued my boys, at the end of Job’s story the Lord proves himself faithful to hear Job’s cries and rescue the righteous. Don’t lose hope in the waiting. Keep your eyes on Jesus not on circumstances and feelings—

“For you have need of endurance,

so that when you have done the will of God,

you may receive what was promised.

FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,

HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.”

Hebrews 10:36-37, NASB

When have you felt God ran late with an answer to your cry? Did faith or feelings win the tug of war?

An Uncommon Common Trial

An Uncommon Common Temptationblogsunset-585334__340

In our last post, we left Job sitting in ashes with his three friends who came to comfort him in his mourning—in his time of temptation. We know through God’s word, Satan was the source of Job’s temptation(by God’s permission), Job’s wife, delivered the gut punch.

“Curse God and die.”

In her weakness, her pain, her own temptation, Mara(as we named her) wanted this trial to end—not tomorrow or the next day, but today. God could end it but didn’t. Satan couldn’t take his life, but Job could. He wouldn’t.

We don’t know how long Job’s trial lasted. We understand it had to last longer than a couple of weeks. My guess— twenty-one days. We do know his trial became his wife’s trial. We know—

“No temptation has overtaken you

but such as is common to man:

and God is faithful,

who will not allow you to be tempted

beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation

will provide the way of escape also,

that you may be able to endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13, NASB

We know Job’s temptation included a temptation that comes to all—suffering of one kind or another—suffering beyond our strength to bear alone. We find Job facing the same temptations Christ and each of us suffer.

“Do not love the world,

nor the things in the world.

If anyone loves the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world,

  • the lust of the flesh
  • and the lust of the eyes
  • and the boastful pride of life,

is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

1 John 2:15,16, NASB

Job did not amass his riches through—

  • desiring more and more to satisfy his flesh.
  • He didn’t see what his friends had and go after their possessions.
  • He didn’t claim to gain his status through his own righteousness, strength, or wisdom.

It all came from God.

As much as Job did not understand the whys of all this, I believe, Mara understood less. If she was like any good mother, she wanted her children back, her servants, and riches. She wanted out of this mess and the shame that went with it in their culture.

Could it be, not only did God allow this as a refining process for Job but for his wife, too?

Like all of us, Job had fears harbored in his heart and worried about the dreadful things that could happen to him—and we see what he feared did come to him(chapter 3, verses 25).

By God’s grace, Job had a right standing with God, because he had faith in God. Yet, his flesh still needed some refining. And by her own mouth, we know his wife needed the same.

Our heavenly Father never tempts us with evil, to practice evil. His trials are always to prove and improve the spirit within us. His trials make us stronger in the end.

  • Satan means to rob, kill, and destroy the testimony of God in us.
  • God means to give to us abundantly, build up the image of Christ in us, and fill us with his life.

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy;

I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”

John 10:10, NASB

When we fall, the Lord is near to forgive and restore. That is why James could write, for us to—

“Consider it all joy, my brethren,

when you encounter various trials,

  • knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
  • And let endurance have its perfect result,
  • that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4, NASB

Job and his wife did endure their temptation. God, as always, remained faithful to—”provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”

“And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job

more than his beginning,

  • and he had 14,000 sheep, and 6,000 camels,
  • and 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.
  • And he had seven sons and three daughters.” Job 42:10,12,13, NASB

None of us seek the trials this life brings with it, no matter the source. But we can know,

  • the Lord is with us in the trials.
  • He is faithful.
  • He will bring us through.
  • He will use them for our good and his glory.

Ours is to look to him each day, and when tears flow on the outside, hold to the joy of the Lord on the inside—for here we find strength to endure until our escape is revealed.

Live one day at a time when in the uncommon common trials, for—

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial;

for once he has been approved,

he will receive the crown of life,

which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

James 1:12, NASB


If you are enduring a trial and desire prayer, let us know. You don’t have to be specific the Lord knows the need.

The Writer’s Heart: Retreat

The Writer’s Heart: Retreat516

People, people everywhere and all wanting one thing—the touch of Jesus. A full day of ministering to the needs of over five thousand hungry souls followed the news of the previous day. John the Baptist had been killed. Jesus longed to be alone but the people came.

I can only imagine how long the day must have felt. But finally, Jesus  was able to send his disciples out to sea and the people back to their homes. Now, he could retreat.

“And when he had sent the multitudes away,

he went up into a mountain apart to pray:

and when the evening was come,

he was there alone.”

Matthew 14:23, KJV

Jesus came to earth with a specific ministry, seek and save the lost—a monumental task. Often, we find him making time to be alone to pray. Jesus needed to retreat from the busyness of the day and the barrage of troubles. He needed to draw near to his Father for strength to keep his eyes, his heart, his mind set on the reason he came. Jesus is our example, calling us, at times, to a retreat from all that steals our focus from the task he has given us.

If our heavenly Father has put it into our hearts to write, it’s imperative we find time to come away from the crowds, the noise, the troubles, and the to do lists, and come into a quiet place with him.

“But it is good for me to draw near to God:

I have put my trust in the Lord God,

that I may declare all thy works.”

Psalm 73:28, KJV

In writing, we set our goal on declaring the works of our Father in unique and creative ways. What better source to go for help, than the Source.

As Jesus set apart time to be with the Father, we can follow his example. It doesn’t have to be an organized weekend full of activity—although, those can be good when our focus is on encouraging one another.

But it does need to be a time when we—

  • Turn off our phones
  • Find a place alone, preferably secluded from interruptions
  • Have our bibles, an old-fashioned writing tablet, and ink pens
  • Start with sitting in silence before the Lord, inviting him to be our only company
  • Praise him for who he is, his faithfulness in the past, that is our hope now and in the future
  • Remember his works and take a moment to write them down and give him thanks

Pray for him

  • to order your day, and direct your steps,
  • his guidance in writing for his glory,
  • him to inspire your words, and use those words to accomplish his purpose.
  • Thank him for hearing your prayer.

And now, unless the Lord directs otherwise, START WRITING. Give him this time and he will give you time. Retreat to advance.

Where is your favorite place to retreat?

Effectual Prayer, Part 2

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“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,

that ye may be healed.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man

availeth much.”

James 5:16

Purpose, persistence, and patience—the work of the Lord in the one praying as He hears and answers the request.

Prayer is not trying to get God to do what we want but is learning to be watchful as we wait for the answer to be revealed.

  • The purpose of prayer keeps our hearts bound together with God’s heart, desiring what the Lord desires.
  • Persistence in prayer shows the depth of our desire.
  • Patience grows our faith and keeps us watching for the answer.

“Do you really think Dad is going to be saved?” My husband wasn’t alone in his question. His dad didn’t believe God would save him.

“If I didn’t believe it, I would quit praying for him.” My faith in God, to do the impossible according to man, didn’t waiver until the Lord laid on my heart to stop praying for my father-in-law.

In pride, I thought I was the only one praying for him—remember Elijah in my last post? He thought he was the only prophet left, but four hundred prophets remained. There may not have been four hundred praying for my FIL, but there were definitely more than I.

During the fifteen or so years of praying for my FIL, the Lord did work in me. Prayer opens the petitioner to the work of the Lord in that person’s heart before the final answer comes.

The first work in me began in the beginning of my prayers for my FIL. I wanted him saved because of the way he treated others, especially my husband. I didn’t want to deal with his insults. Through praying and studying God’s word, the Lord taught me to love my FIL—which was the lacking purpose behind my prayers for him. Then came persistence, where the Lord revealed my pride and then came patience.

Believing God heard my prayers and my prayers being consistent with his will, my confidence in the Lord’s answer remained firm—until another obstacle appeared. My FIL developed Alzhiemer’s. The diagnosis tested my faith—Could the Lord save him in this state? As the angel told Mary in Luke 1:37—so He told me.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

To make a long story short, the Lord worked the impossible into the possible when other family members led my FIL to the Lord. In the Lord’s grace, He allowed me, in my skepticism, to hear my FIL’s one word testimony.

I approached him. “They told me you received Jesus as your Savior, asked him to come into your heart. Did He?”

With eyes mirroring his soul, he answered, “Yes.” And as the infant John leaped in Elisabeth’s womb when Mary spoke, the Holy Spirit witnessed the truth of my FIL’s confession to my spirit. One day I will see him in heaven.

In the book of James, the Lord inspired James to write down four words concerning prayer—effectual, fervent, righteous, availeth.

Effectual—begins with an altar, a place of sacrificing our will to the will of the Father.

  • Here we listen more than we speak as the Lord conforms our minds and our hearts to his.
  • Here we learn to set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
  • We unite with our Father in purpose and praise as He prepares us for the battle ensued in prayer.
  • This is where the righteous person finds cleansing and strength to walk in the righteousness of God rather than self.

Fervent—comes with the work of the Holy Spirit’s power in us.

  • He gives us a passion, a zeal for the purpose of God after we have spent time at the altar of God.
  • We know what to pray, and if we don’t the Holy Spirit prays for us.
  • We know the One we pray to is faithful and is the God of the impossible.
  • Persistence is learned here. It’s like water coming to a boil. The water sits quietly until there is a stirring. Then comes the full out popping of the bubbles.

Fervency is not based on emotion but on the power of the Holy Spirit uniting the word of God with the power of God in the heart of the one praying. Faith is strengthened while we wait for the answer to be revealed. These prayers availeth much, allowing us to witness the power of God. We have learned confidence in our Father’s word.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him,

that, if we ask any thing according to his will,

he heareth us:

And if we know that he hear us,

whatsoever we ask,

we know

that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

1John 5:14,15

The Lord has heard us. He has answered us. And, yes, He answers us immediately, but often the answer is revealed a little at a time. Ours is to patiently wait for Him to finish the work. He is never late.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding

abundantly above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus

through all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20,21,KJV


What does prayer mean to you?