Praying the Scriptures

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Brothers and Sisters! GOD IS REAL!
Can I get an AMEN?!

I’m so excited to share how God has been speaking to me lately!

As I set out to read through the Bible with a 1 year thematic plan, prayer was something that was really on my heart and mind. Before I became born again, growing up as a “christian” I had a pretty sucky, minimalist, and sometimes non-existent prayer life.

When God opened my eyes to just how important prayer is, I wanted to know what to pray about/for beyond the basics (family, friends, etc.). Also, I knew that I needed to pray biblically about godly things, not simply what my flesh desired. That’s when God’s Word comes in very handy (isn’t it always). There is SO MUCH stuff to pray about in the Bible! Especially when you read the apostle’s letters to different churches (it’s a goldmine for prayer ideas to copy).

There is something really powerful about praying the scriptures.

When I began to read the book of Ephesians with this great idea in mind (inspired by Holy Spirit no doubt), in the first chapter I came across a prayer Paul prayed for believers in that city.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:17-19)

When I read that I thought to myself, If Paul prayed that for those believers then it must be important and I should pray this for myself. Plus it’s about knowing God more and I definitely want to!

The funny thing is I can even remember telling Jesus that I had no idea how this prayer would come into effect or when but only that I truly desired what it implied. I could not even begin to imagine how He would “enlighten my heart” and after praying that prayer a few times several weeks ago, I didn’t give it much thought after that.

As I continued to study the Word chapter by chapter, one thing led to another and I found myself dwelling on a certain topic and really waiting on the Holy Spirit to make it more clear to me. Usually I know He wants me to focus on a certain topic when it makes me feel particularly uncomfortable, mind-blown, frustrated, you get the idea. I’m beginning to learn that if something challenges my little ideas of who God is or what His will is, if it troubles me spiritually… then I shouldn’t ignore it. It’s important to continue to pursue His revelation and peace concerning whatever that thing is. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

At one point I decided to do a sleep fast in order to focus more on that topic and seek clarity. Towards the end of the night pieces started coming together. I started to understand. (Though I’m still currently just processing everything because God is so mind-blowing.)

As I was turning through my notes I randomly came across a list of the prayers I copied from Ephesians. I was overwhelmed with a realization that God was very obviously answering the first prayer I had prayed, word for word. The Holy Spirit was speaking to me. I could clearly see Him directing my study of His word.

This isn’t the first time this happened, but every time it does I get extremely excited! It’s kinda a million times better than getting a text reply from your crush.

HE JUST SPOKE TO ME! THIS IS SO COOL!

Seriously nothing can compare to the joy of being heard by the King of Kings and getting a reply. Nothing can compare to the joy of getting a chance to see into His heart and learn something new about Him. Nothing.

My desire is that you would know this joy, if you don’t already.

Be blessed!

-Sister Yuliya

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

When You’re Discouraged and Feel Alone

Image*This is an awesome secluded little park that my sister and I like to visit. One of my favorite places to welcome a sunrise and write. So serene and peaceful.

Yesterday I had to make the choice to either dwell on the feelings of hopelessness, self-hatred, and shame for my past mistakes, OR to turn to the One who loves me and created me in order to find the strength and hope I need in order to live my life as a new creation.  Even though I still have to deal with the consequences of my mistakes and sin, it’s bearable and survivable with God by my side holding my hand.  For strength I turned to God’s word and read chapters 43 and 44 in Isaiah. As I read, God spoke to my fears and His word brought peace to my overwhelmed and aching heart.

Me: I’m scared that I’ll just fail and go back to being stuck in the pit like before.

God: Fear not, for I have redeemed you.

Me: I don’t feel like I belong anywhere, I feel lost and alone.

God: I have called you by name; you are Mine.

Me: Sometimes I get so stressed out by daily life situations.

God: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.

Me: At times I feel so overwhelmed, like I just can’t take it anymore.

God: When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

Me: How do I get through this? I feel like I won’t survive.

God: When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.

Me: Is change possible in my life? Can this battle with addicting and suffocating sin really be won?

God: For I am the Lord Your God, Your Savior.

Me: I feel like a worthless ugly failure. I’m boring, awkward, insecure, weird, and easily forgotten.

God: You are precious and honored in my sight.

Me: I hate myself so much right now.

God: I love you.

Me: I’m scared that I will fail… again.

God: Do not be afraid for I am with you.

Me: I feel so useless, it feels like no one really needs me… or wants me.

God: My servant whom I have chosen.

Me: But I’ve failed too many times already, and I’m so ashamed of all my mistakes.

God: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

Me: Some of the things I did were really bad and shameful… Sometimes I feel discouraged because of it.

God: I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Right now I’m vulnerable and weak, but more than anything I want to grow spiritually and get stronger in faith and become the person that God created me to be.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31