How is your prayer time going for Week Two? Is it feeling more natural? Do you sense some continuity from one day to the next? Do you find that you’re beginning to look forward to the time? What insights, A-HA moments, or revelation have you gained? Has any verse in particular stuck with you all week? Please share with all of us. Your progress becomes encouragement for another.
One Pray-er shared this video clip. I promise as you watch it, you’ll feel a sense of JOY.
If you missed any days this week… here they are below.
DAY 5 Corrected
OOOPS. It was brought to my attention that the 40 days in Lent exclude Sundays. (I wondered why our forty days of prayer emails ended on Palm Sunday.) I’ve decided to course correct. That explains why you’ve received 2 day 5s! Bonus! On Sundays I’ll continue to use as Check In days, but no prayer email will go out on Sunday. Thanks for understanding my mistake.
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Reflect on your “circle”. Has it caused some weariness? Take encouragement from this promise in Isaiah. For perspective, imagine being an Israelite and wandering in the wilderness for FORTY years.
Often I find it helpful to read a scripture in different translations. Notice the slight differences — HOPE,TRUST, WAIT. Write down the version that you prefer in light of your circle. Also pay attention to your assignment and God’s promise that will follow. If I do this… God promises this.
Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 (AMP)”But those who wait for theLord[who expect, look for, and hope in Him]Will gain new strength and renew their power;They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.
Isaiah 40:31 (MSG) “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.”
Dear God, I praise you for your provision in light of my weariness. Forgive me for whining and complaining without resting on your broad shoulders. Thank you for this promise. I claim it and ask for you to renew my strength.
Mark 9:23-25 New International Version (NIV)22 … But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (For the entire story review Mark 9:14-29)
I LOVE this passage of scripture. Perhaps because I relate to this desperate father. Picture it, a dad has one child, a son, who has severe epilepsy. He desperately wants his son to be healed. The child is thought to be demon possessed. The scripture is quite graphic. (The boy is knocked to the ground and is thrown into a violent convulsion and keeps rolling on the ground, foaming at the mouth.)Can you imagine? And this has been happening since his birth.
I picture the exhausted father, deep bags under his eyes, aged beyond his years and barely able to function not knowing what to do. The story climaxes with the father’s plea…I do believe; help my unbelief.
Have you pleaded with God for something for a long time? Have you prayed and prayed and prayed and not received the answer you’ve wanted? And then… doubts creep in. Is it possible to be filled with faith and doubt at the same time? I believe the answer is most certainly yes. You can have faith that God can do something and still be scared to death that He won’t. The desperate father brings God what he has. Which is not very much faith. In the same breath, this loving father professed his faith; he also confessed his doubt. Haven’t we all been there? We believe in Jesus’ power, yet we struggle to believe He can come through in our particular situation.
Dear Jesus, We praise you for loving us when we doubt. When answers don’t happen on our timeline, we lose our way. Thank you for using what little faith we offer. Please help our unbelief.
#GodsGotThis Debbie Hucke
Jeremiah 29:11-1411 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
This is a favorite verse for just about everyone. We see it on graduation cards, tee-shirts and coffee mugs. It’s a “go to” scripture of hope. It’s a promise we claim when hurting and desperate. We like to remember our favorite part and ignore the rest. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but it’s important to understand the context. In Jeremiah 29:11 the YOU is plural and was written to the Jews exiled in Babylon. God had promised to bring Israel back. The exiles could be assured that they had a future and a hope. This promise was not made to all nations at the time, but only to Israel. Israel was set apart.
Sooooo does that mean Jeremiah 29:11 has no application for us? NO. The way I understand it, the promise applies to those of us in Christ, not to the entire human race. Those of us in Christ are set apart. In other words, if you are in Christ, you are like Israel and God promises you a hope and a future. The caution for applying this verse is to trust the Lord with His timing. Our time here on earth is like a millisecond as compared to eternity. Our hope and future IS secure. But our deliverance may not happen til eternity. In fact, Jeremiah 29:10 says …This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. Seventy years. Can you imagine? Generations. Carefully read the rest of this passage and consider your responsibility even in your despair. Here’s the thing that I am certain of…IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT. It was worth it for the Israelites that waited seventy years. And it will be worth it for you too. To dig deeper I’ve expanded on this passage in my blog article, I Want some of That.
Matthew 17:20 (NIV)20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Reinforcing yesterday’s scripture in Mark, this passage suggests the power of even a little faith. Do you ever feel inadequate with your little faith? Does it stall your forward progress? The way I see it and according to this scripture, moaning about a little faith is like placing a single mustard seed on your counter. You stare at it; You worry about losing it; You may even wonder what it could become. Jesus is saying…PLANT it for petes sake. See what I can do with what little you have.
A mustard seed looks totally insignificant, just one or two millimeters in diameter. But when planted in fertile soil can grow into something significant. I recall the seven weeks of hell we endured while Ian was in a coma. My mustard seed sized faith faltered. But I relentlessly showed up in prayer. And because He is faithful, He moved mountains. Your prayers are seeds of faith. Consider this…Even when you die, your faith does not. After you are long gone, your seeds of faith could impact generations. I am not overstating this. I think we underestimate the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. For further study…This scripture comes from one of Jesus’ many parables. The entire account can be found in three of the gospels. Matthew 13:31–32, Mark 4:30–32, andLuke13:18–19.
Dear Jesus, I praise you that NOTHING is impossible for you. Forgive me for whining about my wimpy faith. Thank you for taking whatever I have to offer and multiplying it exponentially. Please help me to realize the importance of investing my faith in You. Please use my faith to work powerfully in my circle. For your Glory, God. Amen.
Philippians 4:8 NIV 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8,9 MSG 8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Philippians 4:8,9 (NLT) 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
To understand the richness of this passage I’ve included several translations.
If the enemy can control your mind, he’s got you.
Especially if you’re a worrier, this is a helpful scripture to commit to memory. Even if you don’t recall it completely, the first phase provides a helpful RE-DIRECT. To see how I used it, check out my blog article Grace from the Chairlift
Dear Jesus, I praise you for your involvement in my life even when I’m not aware of it. Forgive me, for entertaining those tapes that play in my head. They start as a small ember and before I know it, they sometimes become a raging fire. Thank you for the Peace you promise. Please help me to drench those thoughts with your truth.
For further application of this scripture, here is another article. His Perfect Peace Refresher Course
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
As we have been praying through this lenten season perhaps your circle has evolved. If it has, maybe it’s because you’re listening to Him and He is conforming your thoughts to His will. God’s will can be such an intimidating thought. What in the heck is God’s will? How do we know what it is?
The Apostle Paul makes it quite clear in today’s scripture passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks . . . for this is God’s will”. This is an explicit description of what God’s will is. To be in the center of God’s will is to be a person who is joyful, prayerful, and thankful. Ask yourself, am I joyful, prayerful and thankful?
We cannot control our circumstances, but we can control our reaction to them. Notice that this scripture doesn’t say we’re to be thankful FOR our circumstances. PHEW! But we can look for things to be thankful for. For a better understanding of how this can work, read my blog article It was Just a Question
Here is an idea… for one day try this, I plan to. What is something you do often? I’m guilty of playing candy crush on my phone. Don’t ask me what level I’m on. It’s mindless and I usually do it when I’m waiting. For one day instead of candy crush, I plan to pray. If you try this exercise, I’d love to hear how it worked for you.
For me, when I’m in the thick of challenging circumstances, prayer is a practical first step. When I’m in continual prayer, I find my joy and my thankfulness both impacted. To understand more of the benefits of continual prayer, read this article A Trickling Faucet
I want to worship with her! This week brought encouragement when needed and in very unexpected ways. What has stuck with me most is the reminder, “Be still.” I am not good at that. I want plans, lists, timelines and definition. I have been working very hard this week on holding my thoughts and heart up to God, even when I really want control back.
Right beside you Jessica. I- I- I is my common perspective. May He be gracious to your efforts.
Kerry Harmon says
I do look forward to this message and have read every single day thus far. I am amazed at the content and the similar issues that seem to plague my life that you highlight in your own. We are not alone obviously. I hope that little girl has the same energy as a grown up.
Kerry, Thanks for sharing. And one of the HUGE benefits of a corporate experience. And one of the reasons this CHeck In is so useful. We are not alone! We are all children, aren’t we?! The issue is how teachable we are.
Steve Sobolik says
i am a big fan of ’50-60s era sci-fi movies, from the true classics to the B-movies. One of my favorites is Phantom Planet. It has a dopey story about astronauts looking for a renegade planet, and when one of them finds it and lands there he shrinks to a few inches tall. Among all this dopiness, one of the astronauts utters this incredibly classic line. He says it with such sincerity that it stands out from the rest of the movie. He says:
“You know, captain, every year of my life, I grow more and more convinced that the wisest and best is to fix our attention on the good and the beautiful, if you just take the time to look at it.”
To me, this line is a paraphrase of Phil 4:8! A few minutes later, they have an accident, and this same astronaut drifts away from the spaceship with his air hose broken. As he is dying, he says the Lord’s Prayer. Now, far be it from me to get theological inspiration from a dopey 50s sci-fi movie, but I think this character is an example of that sort of praising, joyful spirit we are to live with. I love reciting that quote, and I love the verse it reminds me of.
Your comment made me smile. Thanks for the dopey sci fi spin Steve. I would add… that the Holy inspired word of God is useful to EVERYONE. Including those who don’t even realize it.
God has blessed us with your gift of sharing and perfectly describing our struggles. What relief to learn I’m not alone in feeling like a totally inadequate Christian. Whew! This prayer challenge has shown me that prayer and stillness are essential in order to stay focused on and tuned in to the fact that the Holy Spirit is with me and working in me all day long. The result is, yes, joy and gratitude and praise. There’s been no room for grumpy negativity or pessimism, which is too often my fall-back comfort zone learned by habit. Yuck! Yeah, I want to dance to His music, too.
SMILE. SMILE. SMILE. Seriously Dorma. Your comment makes me SMILE.
Ladena Schuler says
If the enemy controls your mind he controls you. Another reason we need to stay in the Word, listen to praise music, etc. Where we let our mind drift is so often when we get in trouble. Thank you for reminding us daily to be in prayer.
So So So true. Thank you Ladena.
Terri Roseth says
Be still is something I have said to myself over and over this week I, too, am not very good at it. I am trying very hard to listen more for God’s plan for me and my husband, rather than continue to insist on my plans. Paco has happily gone with me to visit a number of churches here in Pagosa, we have gone every week now for almost 8 weeks other than one really snowy one. In Albuquerque usually would go to church with me once every four to six weeks. I continue to believe that God’s plan is perfect both for me and Paco, and this prayer Focus, different than what I have been doing for many years, is helping to restructure me in a new and positive direction. I feel less anxious and am incredibly grateful simply that Paco is tagging along more regularly. There is no outward sign that he is any closer to God, but I know God has a plan unlikely is working inwardly. I have to believe God’s plan is perfect, his timing is perfect, and he wants good for both me and Paco.
Thx Terri. I can relate. It is so hard to not muscle someone we love into a relationship with God. Prayer is the perfect antidote. Although still not easy!
Kathy Day says
I am praising God for His presence, His love, He is sovereign, and His will for my life. Love and blessings, Kathy
Glenda Demmie says
I have been so blessed by the challenges you have shared this week. They were truly God’s message for each day. The “Trickling Faucet” article is a wonderful illustration of the privilege of continual prayer and why it is a command. Phil. 4:8 & 9 remind me how to be in God’s Will, as I try to Be Still.
Thank you for your encouraging words of truth.
Thanks Glenda. It is amazing how the “old familiar” truths of the scripture can be so relevant and current. Have a blessed week!
Ellen Tole says
I look forward to each morning as I open my computer for the day’s devotional. I am on MST so your words are always there for me. My circle is around my aging cousin. I have prayed for him every day; and just yesterday, I heard some encouraging words from him about his situation! Praise the Lord!
YAY! We celebrate with you. I wonder how your cousin would react to know how faithful you have been. Now multiple that by infinity and that is how faithful the Lord has been with us.
Karen Aylor says
My circle is full of what I expect will be unanswered prayers. Yet I still pray. But. Yesterday’s scripture and the Trickling Faucet in the background blessed me and reminded me of the truth that prayer is not about results it about a relationship with Him.
Keep on keeping on. Tomorrow may be the day! But in the meantime… Enjoy Him. Thanks Karen.
Sharon Powell says
Hope, trust, and wait found in Isaiah 40:31 is a huge help to me! God is giving me some very interesting things to do, learn, and enjoy while I wait, trust, and hope in Him. Thank you Debbie and everyone for doing this prayer challenge all together.
God doesn’t waste anything does He?! So pleased you’re on this journey with us.
This is totally awesome. God is the reason we are all here. The more I read the more I want to learn more from him. This is a great season to learn more from him. God Bless You for doing this.
Amen Wyatt. It has been a blessing to me too! I love how God works. 🙂
Amen Wyatt…totally agree!
Jane Meginnes says
Obedience has been my word for this week. It keeps coming to mind while reading what you wrote, at times of prayer and in activities I have volunteered for or attended this week. The Holy Spirit is trying to get through to me for sure. Instead of “giving up” something for lent I am “taking on” better self control of all my thoughts, trying to recognize when I need to exercise self control and take my thoughts in another more God honoring direction. I feel like the little girl in the video this week. Thank you Jesus!
Jane what a encouraging update. I love how He’s directing your observations in prayer to show up in life. AWESOME.
Mary Ann Cox says
For several years God has wakened me at 3am to pray. This has been the experience of your suggesting a scripture for meditation all day and my going into the 3am session prepared with those thoughts, a rich experience indeed. Often I spend the day singing scripture.
The center of my most urgent circle is arriving this Thursday morning so that we may spend the weekend working on arrangements for her wedding next October, and also because it is her daddy’s birthday. Prayer nexus this week.
So thankful for the intensity of these last two weeks.
Great. Prayer Nexus… love that He knew what was needed all along.
Loved and appreciated each day.And yes…look forward to it…how each is exactly what I need for that day. Thank you Debbie! My husband is doing it with me since we have big decisions to make and many transitions. We were separated for the first five days. He shared each day with me…blown away at what God was doing with him and the similarities with me. He was driving around and praying circles over the city and home and each child. He is reading Mark Batterson’s book for the first time and journals on that with a daily scripture. I am with you Deb and journaling on the amazing scriptures and words you are sharing. SO, SO cool how God is working on both of us in many similar ways with different Scripture/writing and great confirmation, conviction, blessings, answers, and uniting. Thank you!!
WOW! Just wow. How cool is it that GOd is bringing you together, independently. I love the idea of praying circles. Ian moved this past week. I have taken pictures all around his new apartment and I use them to visualize his new home his new neighbors, his interactions etc. What changes have I noticed… I’m not worrying.
This has been a special time for me. Sitting and trying to not be distracted is a task in and of itself but I have been challenged by the scriptures and the thoughtful words written. I have had a tough winter dealing with morning depression and often anxiety. God has used many of these verses in my life over the years and I am glad to meditate on them again these past couple weeks. A few years back I did Battersons book and it was so good to be reminded of that also with your devotionals. I am seeing some answers to prayer and look forward to another week of quiet time with the Lord.
Wonderful update Sandy. I love that He is reinforcing study you have done in the past. And you look forward to the discipline He is building for you. Have a great week!
So I have been described as a “realist” which is sometimes a nice way of saying “pessimist”. In my job, I’m known as the person that can identify, predict and help resolve or avoid problems. It is something I take pride in! With that said, it can bog you down. The promise in Isaiah 40 of hope in the Lord renewing our strength coupled with the message in Phillipians 4:8 to focus on the good (my words) reminds me to not let myself get so caught up in identifying and solving problems that I lose my sense of wonder and amazement in all that is good. Spending time with my son, receiving unsolicited hugs from him, experiencing the beauty and majesty of the earth this past week while skiing provided the perfect backdrop for focusing on the positive!
Donna… powerful testimony. Wonderful shift. And identifying your quick to resolve problems as pride… yikes. Every strength we have God can use for good. Including that. So pleased He’s getting His message for you through.
Peggy Channell says
« Create in me a new heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit »
Life is so « daily »..help me to drench the clutter and pride…replace it with your truth. Remind me this day how much God loves me…NO MATTER WHAT ..then believe what i pray will happen.
Thoughts from your text and penciled in my journal…Thank you, Debbie, Thank you, Jesus.
He hears you. thanks for the update Peggy.
Diane Newswander says
I have really enjoyed this prayer challenge! It has increased my time in prayer and thinking of prayer during my break time and lunch time at work. It also reminds me that prayer is constant and never ceasing. There are a few days that life has tried to keep me too busy but I always go to your blog and prayer challenge to keep the focus! Thank you Deb! I also completed it every morning during Great Banquet! What a wonderful start to the day!
Amen. Busy is a tool satan uses. So pleased you are holding fast. Debbie
Susan Zimmerman says
I, too, look forward to the post every day. We are both going through some health issues so these reminders that Christ is always with us and working for good on our behalf are very helpful.
Thank you for the report Susan. I pray the habit is becoming solid.
Sry to be late on check in…Look forward to and doing daily, this is the extra bump I realized I needed! My circle has evolved, I believe he has reassured me what was initially my circle will take care of itself with the Trickle of the Faucet! He laid on my heart a person doe(I will call) to put in my circle and to focus on this individual whom Idk or their name, just how this person feels about themselves. For how long idk 😐. Scripture all week was moving to me but Day 7 my heart raced and had butterflies! HOPE indeed! What especially stuck with me is, to be in the center of God’s will is to be a person who is joyful, prayerful, thankful and trickling……☺️
Merna, I am proud of you. It sounds as if you are persevering. Keep trickling. YOu should know about those frozen Illinois pipes!
It is truly amazing how appropriate each set of verses is to what is happening in my life that day. It’s very helpful to have the backbone of the scriptures to keep me strong. Thank you.
Carolyn all credit goes to Him! The Holy Spirit is translating them perfectly. I am delighted to hear this!
Every day I look forward to the daily prayer, and discussion!I love the further study scriptures that you add and the related blogs that you direct us to read. This week I learned a lot from Matthew 17:20 Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you if you have faith a s small as a mustard seed, you can say this to a mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you. So when a small mustard seed is planted in the right soil , and with the right conditions, it will grow into something really big and significant. I love when you state, our prayers are seeds of faith, which could impact generations! This is amazing and so good to hear. Thank you so much for hosting this awesome platform for helping others to make a daily habit of praying and seeking the Lord. It has helped me tremendously and I learn and grow in his word.
Thank you for your response. Such a blessing to me, to know it is helping!
Berta Pitzer says
I find God getting me more focused on my circle of prayer as he leads me into a deeper understanding of him being in me, on me and all around me. As I read each day, for me, it all fit into what he’s working in me. Being still so I can focus on him being in me, on me, and all around me. For him renewing my strength as I focus on him. Knowing his plans for me are good and walking in trusting him for that very thing. Thanks for the prayer focus!! It’s good!!
Berta… I’ve had a similar experience. He is impressing on Me that He is more concerned with Me than all the stuff that troubles Me. It seems minor but it has caused comfort that I’ve never known.
Judy Tull says
Deb, are you writing a book? I really encourage you to. You’re reaching I don’t know how many through this beautiful Lenten challenge. Many, I am sure. But you might just be what the big world out there needs. As you move us through your thoughts, agonies, victories, I see your wisdom and relatability grow and mature. You have much to share and it’s of great value and of great glory to our Lord. Surely there’s a book in this.
SMILE! I’m listening for sure. For now He seems to be saying keep your head down, and I will direct your steps. The biggest help to me is for you to share my writing with others. The more readership, the better. This lenten challenge was a “last minute” whim because I needed some gentle accountability. And He blessed it beyond what I could have expected. So please SHARE SHARE SHARE. And thank you for your kind encouragement.
Glenda Demmie says
I totally agree with Judy! A book would be wonderful, but don’t stop the weekly blogs on the internet! They reach a different audience.
My dream someday is a book. But the story I want to write is in the “messy middle”. I’m listening. When He says it’s time… I’m ready. For now I’m definitely collecting and recording content.