A F.I.T. Prayer Life

Prayer

 

F.I.T (Frequency, Intensity and Time)

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 (NIV)

Several years ago I hired a personal trainer. One of the first things he told me was, “I believe in F.I.T., which stands for frequency, intensity and time. If you really want to better your health and fitness you need to work out frequently, be intense in your workout and give ample time to complete the workout.”

The philosophy of F.I.T has stuck with me through the years. I found it to be true in every facet of life. If I want to save money, I have to monitor my spending frequently, be intense about self-control and make routine assessments (time) about where I am with my financial goal. The same thing is true for my spiritual life.

In the King James Version of the I Thessalonians scripture mentioned above says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing”. In this scripture the Bible sums up our F.I.T for prayer. It speaks to how often we should pray, how intense our prayers should be and how much time we should spend in prayer.

Daniel is a wonderful example of praying continually. He prayed three times a day whether he was under attack or not. David and Paul are also good examples of F.I.T. prayer. But the best example is Jesus. When he was about to be delivered into the hands of the Roman soldiers he prayed until he cried blood. But when he prayed to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead, the prayer wasn’t nearly as intense as the one he prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

F.I.T is the key is to key to a rich prayer life:

 

Frequency: You set aside time that is specifically dedicated to having a dialog, not a monologue, with God on a routine basis. Dialog means everyone in the conversation gets to talk and everyone gets to listen. Unless you are a late night talk show host, none of your conversations should be monologues.  Your prayer life is not hit or miss if you are practicing frequency.

Intensity: Intensity means the correct amount of effort to achieve your desired results.  Some people think that intensity means flat out all the time. That’s not the case. Every day I work out I’m not a sweaty mess. Some days I’m lifting weights, which don’t require as much intensity from me as floor exercises or cardio. What I am trying to achieve determines the amount of intensity I use.

Sometimes you may be praying, crying and lying prostrate on the floor. Other times, you may be praying while you’re driving, while you’re working or during an event. Your intensity will be different because your amount of effort is different.

Time: How much time are you willing to carve out of your daily routine to devout to communicating with God? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? An hour? How much time you devout to your communication with God will determine your relationship with God! The more time you spend with Him, the better you get to know Him.

So, how F.I.T. is your prayer life?

 

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Prayer for Today

 

C S Lewis Quote

June 30, 2015

Father, at the beginning of the year, we made plans, set time lines and set goals for what we wanted to achieve this year. As we look at our plans we see some plans are behind the schedule we had set or some things we wanted to do have not been done at all. These realizations can cause us to feel like failures or to feel like we’ve not obtained everything we’ve been pursuing and, if we’re not careful; these feelings will cause us to give up. Remind us that our plans must take a backseat to the plans You have for us. Nothing we’ve planned is better than what You have already ordained.

Everything is not going to go the way we’ve planned, but we’re sure that everything will go the way You’ve ordained. Help us mature to a point that, when what You’ve ordained overrides our plans; we do not fret, complain or grumble. Instead, we rejoice knowing that You have our best interest at heart.

You planned our perfect path long ago and You know what’s best for us. You will perfect us until we fit into Your perfect plan. Thank You Lord for caring so much about us that You planned for our greatness. Therefore; we press towards the higher calling, which is in Christ Jesus!

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Scripture References:

Proverbs 19:21

Psalms 65:9

Isaiah 25:1

Philippians 3:14

 

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They’re Baaack!!!

 

Ephesians 6 12

Romans 6:6 – 7

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”

It’s easy for me to get discouraged when I’m doing something new and old problems, issues and even some old people seem to pop up in the midst of my new stuff. It’s just like weeds popping up in my yard in the same places that I’ve evicted them no too long ago. The truth is I evicted them but I couldn’t eradicate them.

I worked hard to get rid of the weeds and grass from my new rose bed. I dug, pulled and trenched around the new bed so I could remove the unwanted stuff and keep it out. Unfortunately, after a heavy rain, the weeds are back and the grass is trying to return to where it used to live.

I looked out the window of my home office and saw weeds and grass growing and all I could think was, “they’re baaack!!!”

I was feeling sad, frustrated, let down and discouraged. All my heard work down the drain, then, I resigned myself to the truth; this is going to be an ongoing battle, not a one time effort. So, I went out, grabbed my garden tools and headed to the yard. This means war!!!

The same scenario is true when we start obeying God and begin to live our lives according to His will. We dig up doubt, fear, concerns about money, unforgiveness, past pains and disappointments. We dig up the pain of hurt feelings, envy and jealousy, guilt and shame. We pull them out, remove and evict them from the soil of our hearts with fasting, prayer, reading and studying God’s Word. We think we’re good, and then one day something or someone sends rain on our lives. Before we know it, we are battling the same weeds we removed from our lives because we evicted them but did not eradicate them.

We must resign ourselves to this truth: This is a never-ending battle! We will continue to contend with fear, doubt, guilt, shame, etc. as long as we live in these bodies. The good news is we have already won the war through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

So grab your spiritual gardening tools; your Bible, your favorite Christian authors’ books and Bible studies. Turn down your plate or, turn off the television or your computer and get to work clearing out those weeds. This means war!!!

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

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No Longer Needed

 

Uprooted Grass

Isaiah 43:18 – 19

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

 

Three more days of digging in my backyard! My back, legs and arms are all sore and I’m not done yet! The weeds are out, for now, and the roses are in place but, I have to battle the grass that I have removed and displaced.

When I decided to put the roses in the back yard not only did I have to remove the weeds, but I had to remove the grass that had been growing there for years. Unlike the weeds, the grass had been needed and wanted in that area of the backyard but now, its services are no longer needed. The grasses usefulness has run its course and it’s time for it to go.

The grass, unlike the weeds, was not a bad thing; it’s just no longer useful in the area where I planted my roses. Grass is useful in other places, just not with my roses.

This is how it is with our lives. There comes a time when things and people who were needed in our lives are no longer needed AND, sometimes, we are no longer needed in someone else’s life.

When God starts doing new things in our lives, He replaces the old stuff with new things and sometimes, He replaces old people with new people who can help us get where God is taking us or can help us mature so we can move forward to the next place God has for us. The old stuff can only keep us where we are, it cannot help us grow into the people God has for us to become.

Some people take an exception to the concept of letting go of things and people that/who are no longer useful fixtures in our lives. But, let me put it this way, if you have a friend who is still doing all the things you are trying to get away from or trying to leave behind as you press to be more like Christ, can you still hang out with them AND achieve your goal? If you have someone in your life who is happy and content with just enough to get by but you want God’s promise of abundance, can you still hold on to them AND receive your abundance?

To move out of the old and into the new takes work! To leave behind that which we have grown accustom to in order to become something more than we are today takes diligence, dedication and determination. Can we take the old with us as we change and progress in our lives and walk with Christ? The Bible states, “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” Mark 2:21 – 22.

What do you say?

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Coming Out of Someone Else’s Normal, Into My Destiny – II

failure success decision

 

Romans 8:29 – 30

For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified he also glorified.”

No one wants to get to the end of their live and consider themselves a failure. In fact, most people don’t want to fail at anything they endeavor to do. But, do we feel the same way about fulfilling our God-given purpose? Are we willing to fail at what God has predestined us to do in order to fit into someone else’s box? Are we willing to forego our calling so we can be liked? Are we willing to neglect our predestination in order to get along with others? Are we willing to fail God so others can feel good about us?

In every family everyone has a role. Some of us are the “go to” person. You know, the one everyone calls when things are falling apart. The one everyone expects to have all the answers and take care of everything even when it’s not their responsibility. Then you have the “baby” of the family. Not that they are a baby or the youngest in the family, they just act like a helpless, hapless baby. They expect to be taken care of by everyone else because that’s their role. And of course, you have the irresponsible one. We all have them in our families, they are the ones that no one can count on for anything, and usually, they are the lazy one that does nothing but expects a share of, or a free ride to, everything that goes on in the family.

But what if your family role was not the role God has appointed for you? Are you willing to give up the role your family expects you to play in order to fulfill your God given appointment?

Sometimes, we are called out of our current situation and into our destiny like David, but other times, we’ve got to walk into our destiny in spite of what others may think or say.  We’ve got to know that if God called us to our destiny, He’s made the way for us to fulfill our call and, our gifts will make room for us.

Are you struggling with knowing you’re more than others give you credit for?  Or, are you fighting within yourself to move past your fears and reach for the unknown because you know that God has ordained greater for you?

If you answered to either of these questions is “yes” then you have a bigger question to answer; Are you willing to be a failure in God’s plan for you, rather than being the success He’s already ordained you to be?

The biblical meaning of success is summed up in Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

Not succeeding at our God-given task means hundreds, possibility thousands or event millions of lives will not affected by the eternity plan that is in you.

To fail or to succeed, the decision is yours.

 

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Prayer for Today

February 6, 2015

Father God, I know your word says that you have plans for me. Plans to do me good and give me hope and a future. But, if I’m being honest, some days I don’t like how your plans are working.

I look around and see people losing everything. I see murder and mayhem all over the land. I see heartache and hardship and wonder, “Is this really God’s plan?”

I see good people losing homes, money, jobs, etc. while the unrighteous still prosper and look for additional ways to oppress the less fortunate. Forgive me, but is this really a plan for my good? I feel like David when he said ‘“Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in the time of trouble?”’

In spite of all these things, I will trust in your unfailing love. I know that in the right season, if I don’t give up, you will bless your children with everything that is rightfully ours. Therefore, I will not weaver in my trust in you but I will stand firm and see your deliverance.

Thank you for being the kind of God I can be honest with in the times of my uncertainty, weakness or momentary despair. I will wait for you. I will be of good courage and I will allow your word to strengthen my heart. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Scripture references:

Jeremiah 29:11

Psalm 10:1 – 2

Psalm 13:5

Psalm 27:14

 

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Prayer for Today

January 23, 2015

Father God, today I refuse to walk in fear or doubt. I will not lean to my own understanding but I will trust in you. Father, you created me in your image and in your likeness. I am perfected in you. I am able to accomplish everything you’ve planned for me.

I have been made righteous in you. My former ways have passed away and in you I have become a new creation. You have made me an ambassador to the lost, the least and the less than; to bring them to reconciliation to you through Jesus Christ your son.

Lord, sometimes I think I’m not good enough to fulfill your plan for me, so as I embark on my tasks as your ambassador, remind me that I am a part of your royal priest hood.  A part of your holy nation and you are the only one greater than me.

Thank you God for thinking enough of me to call me your child and to make me more than a conquer through your son Jesus Christ. Help me be an obedient and mature child of the Most High God. Help me to walk out the path you’ve carved out for me. In Jesus name. Amen

Scripture references:

Proverbs 3:5 – 6

Genesis 1:26 – 27

Hebrews 10:13 – 14

II Corinthians 5:17 – 20

Ephesians 4:23 – 24

I Peter 2:9

Romans 8:37

I Peter 1:13 – 16Ambassador

 

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Prayer for Today

January 15, 2015

Father, sometimes I feel like I can’t go on. I can’t get through this round of difficulties. I can’t press through this trial. My flesh is crying for everything to end; all the heartache, hardships and difficulties, so I can live what I call a “peaceful life”.

But the three Hebrew men had to be delivered from the furnace in order for the king to recognize you as the King of kings. The king had to see the King of kings do the miraculous before he was willing to acknowledge there was a God greater than his gods and a King greater than him.

In this world system there are a lot of kings and gods; our government system, the rich and powerful and corporations to name a few. Sometimes you have to put your children in the furnace in order to prove to the kings and gods of this world that you are the only true God and sovereign Lord and King.

Thank you for trusting me to go into the furnace. Thank you for giving me enough faith to know you will deliver me unharmed. Thank you for instilling in me enough faith in you to know that you have my best interest at heart and you will never leave me nor forsake me.

Thank you for trust me with suffering for your glory! In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Scripture references:

Daniel 3:19 – 27

Hebrews 13:5

Job 42:2

 

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Maturing into You

Story is excerpt from my book: It’s Still Relative, The Word of God for Today’s World

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. We’ll call her Maggie. She was saying that her grown daughter sometimes act less mature than her six-year-old. It seems that no matter how much Maggie or her husband request their older daughter ACT like an adult, she just isn’t willing to take on the responsibilities of being a grown up.

My friend lamented, “‘I don’t think she will ever grow up. I don’t thing she will ever be a responsible adult. I don’t know what we did wrong, but obviously we didn’t raise her right or something. So, we’re just going to have to cut her off and see how she does. At some point, she’s going to have to stand on her own.”‘

As Maggie and I were talking a though struck me deep in my spirit. How many times has God said, “I wonder if she or he will ever spiritually grow up? I wonder when they will learn their lessons and start acting like the Christians I have raised them to be? I wonder if they will ever stop through temper tantrums when they don’t get their way or things don’t seem to be working out they way they want them to. I wonder if they will ever learn to trust me.”

Maturing is Christ as Christians is about trusting God; His word and the finished work of Christ Jesus. Without that trust, we can’t mature into the people God has called, anointed and appointed us to be for and in the Kingdom of God.

Maturing in our Christian walk is not easy but it is necessary and there’s no way around it. (Deut. 6:17 – 18). This blog is a part of my maturity. The daily prayers I send out are a part of my maturity. Starting a non-profit is a part of my maturity. These are things I never wanted to do, never thought anyone would read and under normal circumstances I would NEVER have the courage to do them but, God is maturing me.

So, over the next several days I’m going to use this blog to explore our spiritual maturity. You are welcome to join me!