Your friend is hurting, and you feel helpless. If you’ve passed your eighth birthday, you likely know what that feels like. And it seems that I daily find myself looking for ways to best serve a hurting friend.
One friend recently returned to the ring fighting cancer in a third round of chemo. Another friend navigates a new normal after burying her husband last year. Yet another writes her son in prison. One friend battles betrayal. Another takes it one day at a time in a rehab center. Yet another wrestles with crippling anxiety. And the list goes on.
We can’t fix their hurting or erase their heartache. But that doesn’t excuse us from doing what we can to ease the pain. Some. Even if it’s only for a fleeting moment.
In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about a variety of things we can do to reach out to the broken, but today let’s zoom in on prayer.
Oswald Chambers says, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” (more…)
On the last day of 2017, my twenty-something girlfriend leaned toward me. “Do you have your one word for 2018?”
I gulped. “Not yet.”
“Well,”–Kara’s brown eyes still glimmered with anticipation–“when you do, I want to hear about it.”
“Uh. Sure,” I sputtered. “We’ll get together.”
In the freshness of 2017, Kara and I had huddled at the island in my kitchen eating chicken salad. Our conversation centered around the concept of prayerfully considering one word or phrase that sums up a spiritual practice or posture for intentional focus.
I’d shared my 2017 word and related Bible verses, and talked about the applications stirring in my heart. Next, Kara asked about a focus word for her. When one word raced into her mind, the excitement nearly toppled the kitchen stool supporting her.
That was then.
Not yet, my answer for 2018, stood out as a stark understatement. The idea of one year ending and a new one starting the next day hadn’t sunk in. Until Kara posed her question.
December 31st marked the absence of any real reflection on 2017 or goal setting for 2018. (more…)
Lord Jesus, with “O Come All Ye Faithful” playing in the background, I pause to be still. Reset my spirit to remember that you are God. The Beginning and the End. The life-giving Light who came to earth all those years ago.
Father, may the lavish love that compelled Christ to come as a babe swaddled in a feed trough, then to walk the way of the cross for my transgressions stir me, move me to lay my life at Your feet anew–a sacrifice of praise and an offering much too small.
Holy Spirit, guide me to breathe in and live out the grace Jesus came to give.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Happy Jesus Day, friends! May the peace He came to give us starting with that first Christmas pour over you afresh as you remember and celebrate His unfailing, enduring love.
Let me introduce you to my friend, Sarah.
Motivated by her own serious and chronic health struggles, Sarah Forgrave became a wellness coach who loves encouraging others in their health and faith journeys. Then she wrote a book, Prayers for Hope and Healing: Seeking God’s Strength as You Face Health Challenges. When Sarah isn’t writing or teaching, she loves to shop at Trader Joe’s or spend time with her husband and two children in their Midwest home. You can connect with Sarah on Facebook and Pinterest.
by Sarah Forgrave
If you’re anything like me, sometimes when you attempt to pray the next thing you know your mind is wandering to the grocery list, the kids’ schedule for the day, or what you’re going to make for breakfast.
I’m not saying I have this thing mastered by any means, but I recently realized my prayer life has been much more focused lately.
Taking a closer look, I discovered some patterns that have helped me stay connected during prayer. So I thought I’d share them today, along with a couple other suggestions that friends have found helpful. (more…)
*The baby cries.
A dream startles us.
The dog jumps onto the bed.
Hubby snorts in his sleep.
The alarm sounds off.
Something wakes us up.
We listen for the baby.
Scold the dog.
Nudge the hubby.
Hit the snooze button.
Whatever we do in our not-sure-I’m-ready-to-be-awake moments, we can pack more power into our waking routine. (more…)