How to ALWAYS Pray

How to ALWAYS Pray

Prayer is such a crucial part of our faith journey. As a Christians living in the modern world we have direct access to throne room of God and Jesus our advocate is continuously interceeding on our behalf before the Father. I am currently praying and believing God for some pretty audacious prayers!

My friend Susan Macias is a mighty prayer warrior, and I am excited to invite her to By His Grace this week to her heart on prayer. Please welcome Susan to the blog today.


How To ALWAYS Pray

By Susan Macias

The days were closing in on Jesus’s earthly ministry as He traveled up to Jerusalem with His disciples. Along the way, He explained what was coming—that He’d be betrayed and suffer.

Soon He’d go to the cross for His people’s sins and they’d no longer be able to hear Him teach or receive His touch. What would happen then? Would they persevere?

It was at this moment we come to Luke 18 where Jesus gives two remarkable parables, both about prayer. But the verse that stands out the most to me is the introduction in Luke 18:1, which says, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (ESV, emphasis added) 

Jesus knew His people would soon be tempted to lose heart. To despair. To feel abandoned and alone. His solution was to teach them to ALWAYS pray so that wouldn’t happen. 

I’ve found no better antidote to the struggles and despair the world dishes out than to pray. Having continual conversations with my Heavenly Father keeps my eyes on Him and my heart resting in His work. ”Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.“ (Psalm 55:17, ESV)

But the instruction to ALWAYS pray can also feel overwhelming. What are some ways we can keep praying always without falling into legalism or frustration? One of my favorite methods is to look for triggers that will act as calls to prayer for me. Then, instead of the struggles leading me down a dark path of despair, they lead me to the enveloping arms of my Savior.

Here’s what it looks like:

Let Worry Be a Reminder: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6, ESV) Worry always shows up whenever I struggle. But worry destroys. So, I use that awful feeling of anxiety as a warning signal—I need to pray! Then instead of fruitlessly fretting, I’m fighting for a solution.

Let Someone’s Unkindness Be a Reminder:But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44, ESV). Whether it comes from someone I love or a complete stranger, unkindness hurts. It’s hard to love anyone who works against me. Usually, I’m tempted to give them back what I think they deserve. But, when I use that pain as fuel to pray for that person, not only do I not make things worse, I’m actually building toward God’s solution.

Let Suffering Be a Reminder:Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” (James 5:13a ESV). The bank account is low. The children are sick. The neighbor is difficult. The job is a struggle. The list of sufferings, small to large, stretches endlessly before us. But, when I use each and every one as a trigger to pray, I cut off despair, anger, and loneliness before they develop.

Let Joy Be a Reminder: ”…Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” (James 5:13b ESV). I miss out on wonderful communion with the Lord if I only go to Him with my problems. Joy, happiness, and success should also be launch pads for prayer. The praise kind of prayer helps me see the Lord’s hand in every part of my life, and keeps me from becoming self-reliant or prideful. And, I get to share the joy with the One who loves me most.

Practice Thanksgiving Always: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV). Practicing thankfulness for every little or big thing, whether good or bad, is the best habit for maintaining a constant prayer life. When I give thanks in everything, I never run out of things to pray about.

Prayer initiates me into sweet communion with Jesus. He invited and commanded me to pray, which means He wants that relationship with His people. I would be foolish to miss out on such an amazing gift. When I use the circumstances in my life as reminders, I ALWAYS pray. And I’m also much less likely to lose heart. 

What a privilege. And a precious gift.

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

Susan writes and speaks with the goal to train an army of women to confidently stand their ground and fight offensively in prayer for their kids and families.

Her award-winning book UNCEASING: A Parent’s Guide To Conquer Worry And Pray With Power is available on Amazon, as is her prayer devotional 31 Days Praying For My Daughter. She loves coffee, queso, reading, playing with her grandkids, and hosting ridiculously large dinner parties.

You can find Susan at her blog, susankmacias.com.

 


Thank you for joing us today. I hope you will listen to the podcast Suan and I recorded it is chock full of wisdom.

We would consider it a blessing and honor to pray for you. Drop your prayer request in the comment section below or email your prayer request to info@mistyphillip.com.

Much Love,

Misty Phillip

It Riles People

It Riles People

This week it is my pleasure to welcome Shontell Brewer to this space. Shontell has a radical on fire heart for God. Radical obedience to God may look different than you think and it may shake some people up. My prayer for you is that she challenges you to live this one life with purpose loving and serving an audience of one!

Be sure to check out the podcast we recorded! Shontell Brewer: Teacher and Anti-Trafficking Advocate

Please welcome Shontell Brewer to By His Grace today!


It Riles People 

by Shontell Brewer

Ever been accused of riling things up?

I have.

Try choosing a ministry other people aren’t on board with. Try pointing out heavy truths of slavery and oppression taking place on the streets of your town. Try moving to a state or a city or a neighborhood that people don’t quite understand. Try selling all of your stuff and giving it away. Try walking to a church in your neighborhood and calling those in the pews your “people” whether or not that church has the coolest VBS and worship program. Try leaving your church to spend your Sundays in a different way. It riles people.

Everyone wants an explanation. Suddenly people are huddling in close to you wanting the inside skinny on why you’re really leaving. Simply stating that God is doing something with you isn’t enough. Don’t even try it. Well, try it. And good luck with it. It riles people.

Suddenly, everyone feels they are closer to you than he or she ever truly was. You can’t quite remember becoming close enough with them for this conversation. They don’t say it, but they mean, “I know you aren’t around gossiping, but obviously you will tell ME.” They are riled.

You find yourself at a birthday party and people want to hash it out. They are riled. People pull you out of service and need to know if something happened. And to that we should always be able to say, “Yes.”

Yes. God is at work here. Prepare to be riled if you aren’t in cahoots with his plan. And be ready to be a lone reed if you are. Click To Tweet

Every day and every minute you are trying to stand before God and hone in on his still small voice. You want nothing more than to lock eyes with The One Who Calls You. You find your grasp is a white-knuckled fist upon his robes. And you are low and humble and crying more days than not.

In the end, do you know what you will discover?

You need to know that when people get riled up it is much more their issue and much less your problem. You aren’t riling anyone, actually. What is happening is the Holy Spirit is about you, and rather than meet that with support, their fear jumps up. And then rather than meet their fear with grace, we sometimes find that we are afraid of that very thing they are talking about. And if we aren’t careful we begin to reverse the work God is doing in us.

We are no longer out on the waves, eye to eye with Jesus and his deep grace. We are swimming back to shore, walking up to our chair in the corner, and pulling a towel over our face to block out what we left and what we are now missing. It’s a sham.

That fear? It’s a sham. God says, “Grace abounds in deepest waters. Join me. Look in my eyes and feel my heartbeat in time with yours. This is when your doubt subsides and you are strong in me. This is how you know me. Most importantly, this is how others will know me- when they watch you.”

So rile them up, my friends. Look them all straight in the eye and stand firmly in your calling.

Just watch what God can do with that.

Shontell Brewer is a writer on her blog Nonsense At Its Finest. By day she works as a classroom teacher, and weekends are mostly spent as an advocate for the steadily growing anti-trafficking movement in Nevada. As a licensed pastor, she speaks around the country to youth, mothers, and churches. A wife for over twenty years, she and her husband have spent most of that time raising five kids. Together the family runs a monthly outreach in their home: a come as you are dinner called Taco Tuesday. Keep up with her day to day nonsense, books, and speaking engagements on Instagram. Her book, Missionary Mom, was released fall of 2018.


Hope you enjoyed hearing from this week’s guest and look forward to introducing you to Kate Battistelli!

My last few weeks have been busy attending the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference and with the launch of The Struggle is Real: But So is God. It debuted at number 1 in Adult Christian Education on Amazon, but more importantly, people’s lives and hearts are already being changed!

The Struggle Is Real, But So Is God is a

6-week

journey through the Bible that will:

Equip you with empowering wisdom.

Help you grow spiritually by claiming God’s promises as your own.

Teach you how to declare scripture over yourself to strengthen your inner being.

Show you how to conquer challenges by activating God’s Word in your life.

#thestrugglebiblestudy

It is available for sale on Amazon.

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

Loneliness in Marriage

Loneliness in Marriage

Hey friends, today I have a special treat for you!  I want to introduce you to my friend, author Sarah Geringer. Sarah is this week’s guest on the By His Grace Podcast.  We initially met online through our blogs and social media. Then we finally got a chance to meet up in person last year in July when we both attended the She Speaks Conference!! Sarah is absolutely precious, and I have really enjoyed getting to know her better.  We are both passionate about encouraging women to know and love Jesus more.

What you may not know is that Sarah and I are both on the contributor team at A Wife Like Me! How cool is that?!?

Just in time for Valentine’s day, we are doing something really special for wives at A Wife Like Me. Join us for  the 14-day challenge and you’ll receive a daily challenge in your inbox that will spark love in your heart and in your marriage. A Wife Like Me is searching for wives JUST LIKE YOU to join us in the mission to spread LOVE to create thriving marriages. Join us the 14 days of love challenge.

14 Days of LOVE Challenge

Starting on 2/1/19, you’ll receive 14 days of practical and simple love challenges that fit into your busy lifestyle yet spice up your routine. I along with several other AWLM Contributors will join our fearless leader Amanda Davison to go Live in the A Wife Like Me Gathering Facebook page to encourage you along the way!

I hope you are enjoying the By His Grace Podcast! People are listening in from all across the United States. This week on the podcast my guest Sarah openly shares about her lifelong struggle with loneliness, and how she found hope through faith and fellowship. Loneliness can strike at any time and for a variety of different reasons, from physical isolation, moving to a new location, divorce, loss of a loved one. However, some people can be surrounded by people, yet feel so very alone. Please welcome Sarah Geringer.


How to Deal With Loneliness in Marriage by Sarah Geringer

Do you deal with loneliness in marriage? I’ve dealt with it frequently in the past 18 years. But I’ve learned how to handle it with God’s help.I’m blessed to write monthly for A Wife Like Me, a beautiful and encouraging site for wives of all backgrounds. Visit the site and join the Facebook group for loads of inspiration and blessings.

Do you deal with loneliness in marriage? I’ve dealt with it frequently in the past 18 years. But I’ve learned how to handle it with God’s help. Click To Tweet

Here’s a snippet from Sarah’s recent post at A Wife Like Me:

Loneliness has long been my unwanted companion. My parents divorced when I was 4, and that’s when loneliness started knocking on my door. It sat at my bedside during childhood, walked beside me in high school, and didn’t leave my side in college.

Loneliness carved a hole in my heart that only God could fill. Yet when I met my husband-to-be, I thought his love would be enough to fill up that hole.

Only two weeks after our wedding, loneliness took up residence in our little-rented room. Its presence shocked me! I thought getting married would banish loneliness forever, but in some ways, I felt its presence more keenly after marriage.

Loneliness can threaten to undermine your marriage. Through our many trials in the past 18 years, I’ve learned ways to set loneliness outside on the porch instead of letting it in.

Please head over to A Wife Like Me to read my three suggestions for overcoming feelings of loneliness in marriage.


If you are on social media I encourage you to follow me there. You can find me on all of the social media channels as Misty Phillip. There are links at the bottom of the page,  and to get the latest from Misty Phillip. Also, I have started a By His Grace Podcast Facebook community, and would love to have you join me there!

No matter what you are going through, or what you struggle with today, I want you to know that YOU ARE LOVED and HIGHLY VALUED by your dear friend Jesus! He wants you to cast your cares on HIM because HE cares for you! Please let me know how I can pray for you!

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This month I am praying for women everywhere struggling to cope with the loss of a pregnancy, infant or child.

You may be struggling to make sense of life after losing a baby. I want you to know that you are not alone. One in four women suffers from this loss.

But I also want you to know that there is comfort in God’s word that can be a salve to your weary soul. There are two free resources on this site that may help guide you through your struggle.

The first is scriptures to pray when you struggle. MistyPhillip.com/verses

The second is a one week in-depth Bible Study on Overcoming entitled, The Struggle Is Real, but so is God. MistyPhillip.com/struggle

I hope you find these resources helpful, and that you will share with those who are grieving the loss of a pregnancy or an infant loss.

Much Love,

Welcome to By His Grace!

Welcome to By His Grace!

Hey friend,

I am so glad you are here. I am a woman who is passionate about encouraging women to live authentically for Jesus! On this blog, you will find encouragement and pearls of wisdom to help you navigate the twists and turns of life.

I named this blog By His Grace because I am a woman in desperate need of the grace, that can only come from Jesus.  The tagline I chose for my blog is: seek Jesus, study the word, and grow in grace. When we seek Jesus, we find Him, and as we study His word, and grow in grace, we become more like Him. Spending time with Jesus studying His word has been the one thing that has brought about the most change in my life.

Jesus Christ has profoundly impacted my life and brought me through many difficult seasons of life, and along with those deep wounds, Jesus has shown me deep grace. My desire is for you to find something here to encourage you on your journey and that you will know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what you are going through Jesus sees you right where you are and His love is great for you, friend!

Much Love, Misty

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