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Thursday, May 10

Sweating in church

Welcome Encouragement for Today Friends. I’m glad you popped over for a visit. We are casual here. Kick off your shoes…you’ll find the book giveaway at the end of this article…

Recently, I was studying what causes people to feel spiritually frustrated. The two top reasons? Bible study and prayer.

I get it.

I can clearly remember being a young girl sitting in church sweating because everyone else knew instantly how to get to every passage in the Bible the preacher man referenced. But not me. I was more interested in counting the preacher man’s spit droplets that came flying out with his punctuated words.

I respected that man. But boy could he get fired up and entertain this lost girl.

Others seemed all wrapped up and excited in what this preacher man had to say. They’d shout loud, “Uh-huh’s” and “Amens!” What was I missing?

And then there was my prayer life. Or the lack there-of. It’s not that I didn’t want to pray, but the whole concept of talking to God felt weird. I tried to copy the prayers of those who seemed like they knew they were doing more than talking to the air.

But then my quirky self would sneak in and leave me feeling foolish for what I’d just said to the God of the Universe. “Dear Lord, take this food to the nourishment of my body. (Good so far.) And if you could change the molecular structure of these cheesy fries to be like carrot sticks that sure would be bomb-diggity.” (Huh?)

Like the saying goes, “We’ve come a long way baby.” Except that I’m pretty sure you could still trip me up in finding certain passages in the Bible. And I’m pretty sure you might still hear me say bomb-diggity in my prayers. But according to what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:7, I think He’s okay with that.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

For me, there are two keys to unlocking spiritual frustration with both my Bible study and my prayers:

* Sincerity — coming to God without an agenda honestly wanting Him to teach me.

* Simplicity — talking to God as the loving Father He is.

Why do we make it all so complicated?

I think a few honest moments spent with God reading His Word, sharing our heart, and listening for His instruction are quite perfect. Jesus might even say they are bomb-diggity.

What do you think? Have you struggled with spiritual frustration?

I talk quite a bit about practical ways to grow in your walk with the Lord in my book, Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl.

Today, I’m giving away 5 copies! Just leave a comment below telling me of a friend you’d like to bless with this book. I’ll announce all winners on Monday.

Discussion

  1. 508
    Heather says:

    Man, I could really use this book right now. My prayers are hitting the ceiling. I’d like to read it for myself and see if it might be a good book to pass around to my bible study girls.

  2. 509
    Stacey Conly Posey says:

    I would love to bless Nici Nugent with this book. She’s a dear friend who has developed some health problems and cries because she can’t seem to lose weight. She still has an 11 year old at home as well as a recently married 21 year old daughter and a 16 or 17 year old son. Nici is only 40, has a heart of gold, is always there for her friends, and is faithful to no only her friends but to God and her church. She’s a beautiful person inside and out and she just can’t see it anymore. I’ve bought and read both your “Made to Crave” book and devotional (well I’m a bit over midways through the devotional) and have promised Nici I will give her both books to use and she’s looking forward to them. She needs support and help all of the way around.

  3. 510
    Dottie Moon says:

    Lysa, to be honest, I would probably keep the book for myself. I need direction and guidance in my bible study and prayer time. My intentions are always the best but I fall everytime. I want a closer relationship with my Lord. I want to be knowledgeable of the word so that I may help others when the opportunity arises.

    There is one lady that I would either share the book with or buy one for and she is a dear friend of mine. We are both widows with no human children. She also has expressed the desire to know the word better. She set up a private Facebook page for just us. It’s purpose is for us to share inspirational messages and meaningful scriptures. We will survive this journey of widowhood with the help of each other.

    A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. ~~Ecc 4:12

    Thanks and I hope you chose me to win.

  4. 511
    Darlene says:

    I would love to share this book with my daughters…God has placed a burden on my heart to attempt a weekly date with my oldest daughter who is not walking very close to God right now..this seems like just the book i have been praying for. Thank u for blessing us so much in birmingham in april..

  5. 512

    I have a friend who emailed me this week and is really struggling, looking for advice on how I cope with things. I replied back to her that seeking the Lord is what keeps me going and explained the ways I have been doing that through the trials we have had with one of our children which has included Bible study and prayer journaling. I would love to bless her with your book.

  6. 513

    “And then there was my prayer life. Or the lack there-of.” That totally describes me. Maybe this is the next book for me to read. However, I can think of a few friends I would want to give the book to. Friends who are newer in their walk and could use a good starting place. :-)

    • 514

      Thanks Lysa for your great insight. I had the pleasure of meeting you at our church CFC in Evansville, Indiana and i have enjoyed your blogs so much. we studied your book, Bible study girl at the other church i attend too St. John’s East and it was amazing. You really opened our eyes. I will pray for you for the ringing to go away. The LORD has used your suffering i think the last blog to press out wisdom from your soul like olive oil! thanks so much, in Christ’s precious name, kitsy james

  7. 515
    Sarah Walcz says:

    Sounds like a great read! I’m newish to really putting myself out there to God. I’m definitely looking for practical ways to grow in God!

  8. 516

    A friend and I.were just talking about our bible study. The other ladies seem so much more knowledgable,.and when we get asked to close in prayer sometimes we are searching for.the ‘right’ words to say. So.I would share.this with my friend from bible study. Thanks

  9. 517
    Frances Arrol says:

    That book intrigues me. A lot of us Jesus girls think a Bible study or two a week and we are on the right road…it is like another thing we do and I never thought of it in that way before. Not that we are not sincere but, God wants way more doesn’t He. So much more. That is why I would like to read your book. To find that place or more of Him and less of me.

  10. 518

    My friend would be my mom. Since becoming a mom myself my walk w/ God has grown so much. I know my mom has noticed the change in me and I would enjoy seeing her grow closer to God too.

  11. 519
    Elizabeth says:

    I just finished your book what happens when I say Yes to God and it changed a major part of who I am- I feel lighter that I now can turn to Him and He will show me what to do- I am practicing forgivness like never before and it has freed up so much I stand amazed at God’s grace and look forward to a closer walk with Him Amen-

  12. 520

    I have a young gal who I am encouraging. She knows her Scripture but has difficulty living out what she learns. I would like your book for Lana.
    Jeanyne

  13. 521

    Honestly, I would love to read this book for myself. I have a lot to learn. And I believe we are never done learning about God’s magnificence. I would love to do a book study with my best friend to grow together.

  14. 522
    Jeanette says:

    I would share this book with my friend Allison, who is preparing to take a new job in another city. It hasn’t been easy for her to leave her old job and she is struggling to keep her thoughts positive. When I read today’s story, I thought of her.

  15. 523
    Chantell says:

    I’d love to win! I’ve read the book, but would definitely share it with a friend!

  16. 524
    Billi Clem says:

    Dear Lysa,
    You have been such an inspiration to us. Just a quick story to let you know how much you have helped to change my life. I started this journey out at 269 lbs and I am at 226lbs. and still dropping as well as battling a serious neck injury from a fall. I didn’t think I was ready to start another weight loss program, but I live in Alaska and on a very dark January night, I was searching for something to help me with the pain of my neck on the internet and your Made to Crave program popped up. At first, I was perplexed but when I looked at my search engine, it said pain, obese, and help from God. Well, after the serious jab in the ribs from God, I thought I should at least check out the book, so I ordered it. I was very apprehensive about starting another wieght loss program, I have been on so many. I didnt want to make it public knowledge that I was going to try another program so I begged my minister’s wife to be my accountability partner. She thankfully said yes and also started the Bible study with me. We together, have managed to make it through half of the Bible study since Feburary. It has been an amazing journey. I have learned so much and better yet, made an amazing friendship. I beleve that God has blessed both of us with this study. We really have been working at getting through the Bible Study but constantly have to pause because of my health or medical appointments or her responsibilities as the ministers wife. Our weight loss is wonderful but your ability to bring us closer to the Lord has been incrediable. I would really like to be part of your game to win a free book for my amazing accountablity partner. She really deserves it, first of all for dealing with me and second of all because she has shown me and reminded me to check your blogs and tips on line. Your inspirational words and thoughts as well as your love for God has taught me what it looks like to really love God. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my “short” letter. I have never really responded to a blog but I thought this was very important. Sincerely, Billi Jo from Skagway, Alaska

  17. 525

    As a single mom of a two yr old, I am thrilled to have recently made friends at church with a mom with 2 boys near my son’s age. Just discovered your writing this morning on the (in)courage site & love your post this morning; know the book is a no-brainer for a gift and a great read ~ Rule of thumb in our family: if you want it for yourself, chances are so would your friend!

  18. 526
    Darleen Morisset says:

    I have read this book and can so relate to it. My heart always goes out to newer Christians in their walk feeling not good enough, like some people that would glance over to see if they got to the passage faster than you in church, or if you were singing the praise. Sometimes it’s not them, it’s our own self consciousness as women. But we have to remember it’s about the Lord ladies! I got past that “Am I being graded on this” stage thank you Jesus! Later at a testimony we all got a laugh because out of pure honesty I said how I never thought I was good enough and they all appeared perfect. I told them the best thing I did was get to know them better because I learned that they “all” were not as perfect as they appeared. Remember to compliment another women once a day and you generally will get a big smile back. I found it to be an ice breaker.

  19. 527
    Ingrid H. says:

    I would share this with a friend who took me in when I needed help and we also go to bible study together. She always puts everything and everyone ahead of herself sometimes to the detriment of her own health. I pray for her to find healthy balance in her life.

  20. 528

    My favorite book!! I’e even “Pinned it”!! Love what you said about prayer! Whyd o we all make it so complicated? Thank you Lysa for all you do. Proverbs 31 Ministry is always in my prayers, simply without agenda.

  21. 529

    I would like this book for my beloved sister Casandra Newman, who is my friend, as well as my sister. I know she will share with me what she learns from the book, as we spend hours talking on the telephone about God.
    She is a mighty women of God who has faced many battles since emigrating from the UK to the USA.. She has been voted teacher of the Year and is on the worship team of a wonderful church in Florida.
    Thank you for this wonderful post Lysa, it certainly resonates with me today!.

  22. 530

    Would LOVE to read this book & then pass it along to a special friend… thinking she would enjoy reading it, too! Know that God hears all our prayers, but just talking with a sincere heart is important. Our words don’t have to be big or technical, sometimes the simplier-the better! We worry too much over how it is said. God hears our heart. God bless your ministry, Lysa.

  23. 531

    I think that we all go through the valleys at certain times in our lives. My group of girl-friends and I have had this on our hearts lately. I would love to read this book and pass it on through my group of girl-friends.

  24. 532

    I love this.
    Today I aim to get ‘bomb diggity’ into a conversation.
    Over here in the UK that might raise an eyebrow, but I am inspired!
    You speak a lot of sense, Lysa. Thankyou.
    Helenx

  25. 533

    I just loved reading this post today! It is certainly something I can relate to, that’s for sure. I remember feeling so very self-conscious about praying in front of my bible study group until one day when my leader brought up to the group of beautiful strong praying people how much he loved hearing me pray because I talked to God in a way that he thought was heartfelt. I worried about not sounding spiritual and little did I know, that was the very reason at least one other person saw that my relationship with the Father was real. It is amazing how God talks to us through those around us. Thanks for being one of those people (although from afar).

    I would love to get this book and share it with my friend, Cheryl. She recently told me how she feels intimidated in bible study for the same reason so we are going to do a study this summer, just us two awkward feeling girls and our wonderful LORD.

  26. 534

    I would love to share w/my sister. Thank you once again for the eye opener!

  27. 535
    Heather Gable says:

    Have you already given all your books away? I see that this post is old……….I have a dear friend whom I’ve been friends with for over 20 years, well she’s actually my sister in law. I love her dearly………BUT………Over the past year I’ve changed. I’ve started attending church, I’ve been saved, I’ve nurtured my spirituality. I’m not like the people I had in my life before. :-( It makes me sad. I’ve been forwarding devotionals and talking a lot about God and it seems those people I thought were my friends have vanished. I’m the “bible thumper” now………I guess. Have you ever felt “lonely” being a Christian? It hurts me very much because I always cared deeply for all these people, I guess I was more ‘used’ than anything and I see clearly now. Anyway, if you have an extra book, I want to send it to my sister in law. :-( I won’t stop “trying”. And as much as it hurts to have these ‘old’ friends not ‘get it’……….I can’t give up on them! It is very painful though. Do you get what I’m getting at?