Wednesday, November 19

Watch the Webcast Replay!

If you missed last night’s webcast on prayer with Max Lucado, the replay is now available to watch. And trust me, this is one you’ll want to take notes on:

(If you’re reading this in an email, click here to watch the video.)

Thank you, Max, for giving us such rich, Biblical teaching on prayer!

One of my favorite takeaways was that the power of prayer is not in the one who says the prayer, but in the One who hears it. I love that.

What parts of the webcast spoke to you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

And here are the links to some of the things we talked about last night:

- Sign up for the Proverbs 31 Ministries online Bible study of Before Amen
- Purchase your copy of Max Lucado’s book, Before Amen
- Purchase your copy of my children’s book, It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change
- Get your “From Bullets to Blessings” jewelry piece made from repurposed bullets found in Ethiopian rubble

Monday, November 17

5 Ways to Pray Boldly For Your Marriage

I was cleaning my kitchen counter the other day and brushed past a framed snapshot taken on my wedding day. Someone caught that moment we were driving away waving to all our wedding guests.

I stared at the photo taken 22 years ago. I laughed at how big my hair was. I sighed at how much smaller my waist was. And I wished I could pull that young bride aside and give her some advice and perspective that would certainly have benefitted me.

I would have whispered…

“Sweetheart, there is only one day where marriage naturally looks like the storybooks. It’s this day. This day, your wedding day, is where every hour has been arranged and planned to be beautiful and special. And as you wave goodbye to this one day, realize what happens from here is all about choices.

Choose to understand that love isn’t always a feeling. Many days love will be a choice. It’s a choice to press through and learn to enjoy the fragile blend of both the bliss and disappointments of two people learning to become a family.

Being married is amazing. Being married is incredibly difficult. Being married can seem impossibly hard. Being married can seem incredibly beautiful. There is no other person who can frustrate me the way my husband can. There is no other person who can make me feel as loved as my husband can.

Yes, marriage is a fragile blend of all this and more.

Remember to keep little things little through the power of prayer, humility, and the discernment to know how and when to address them. Watch these kinds of disillusioning thoughts and capture them before they take root:

He didn’t load the dishwasher even after I asked him to. He doesn’t listen to me.

He just handed me a brochure about the new gym opening down the street. I’m never good enough for him.

He took a phone call while we’re on date night. He doesn’t love me enough to give me his full attention.

Yes, the unraveling places of relationships often occur in these kinds of spots with these kinds of thoughts where little discouragements grow into big wedges of discontentment.

And most of all, remember to pray your marriage through. Don’t fall into the trap of just thinking about your differences, discussing your issues, complaining about your challenges, and attempting to fix these things on your own.

Thinking, talking, complaining and working on those things is not at all the same as praying for them.”

And then I would end this sermonette to my young bride self with the best advice of all, “Remember, the more you do battle for your marriage on your knees, the less you will fight in the flesh.”

And as I finished imagining this conversation I would have so loved to have, I felt challenged that even 22 years later, I needed a fresh dose of applying my own advice.

That’s why I put together this free, 5-day marriage challenge. We need to set aside time to pray boldly over our marriages and proclaim God’s Truth over our spouses.

Whether you’ve been married 3 minutes or over 3 decades, I’d love for you to join me as we determine to not just pray “about” our marriages but to truly pray our marriages to a new place.

I can’t wait to walk through these next 5 days with you.

Sign up for Praying Boldly for Your Marriage: a 5-Day Challenge here.

Wednesday, November 12

When Prayers Seem to Fail

Disillusionment. Have you ever felt it? Have you ever lived it? You carry a significant request to God and beg Him to do something. And He does.

But it wasn’t what you asked Him to do.

Or maybe God seems silent. And you don’t know what to do next.

On the one hand you try to be all positive and sing the Garth Brooks song, “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers.”

But something deep within feels disappointed. And afraid. And a little off.

Maybe a lot off. With God.

What do you do with that?

Sweet friend, I understand. I’ve felt that hurt and confusion. I’ve wondered if my prayers even mattered. But let me speak these truths straight into your heart: God sees. God knows. God cares. Rest assured.

Psalm 34:15 confirms this, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;” (NIV)

Today, let’s not just pray about our situation. Let’s pray through it with confidence that God is working.

And if you need some of God’s girls to come alongside you in prayer, please leave a comment below. My team and I would be honored to pray you through whatever you’re facing today.

{For more encouragement, click here to read my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion, “3 Ways to Press Through Unanswered Prayer.”}

We’ll also be talking through overcoming disappointment from unanswered prayers on our webcast with Max Lucado next Tuesday, November 18. You don’t want to miss it! Click here to sign up.