Happy New Month – February 

In this month, Turn your Worries into Prayers. Then watch your Prayer Requests turn into Praise Reports. Prayer is that bridge from your mess to God’s Rest. Have a Fabulous February. xx
P.S – if you do have any prayer requests please free to send them to me via this form here  🙏🏾

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Where is the music? 

It’s been a while since I wrote a post related to the Bible prayers, Fear not! I haven’t forgotten. By God’s grace I hope to continue. And without further ado, I present to you another bible prayer analysis.

A french astronomer once said:I have swept the universe with my telescope, and I find no God.”

Another man replied saying:“That is as unreasonable as for me to say I have taken my violin apart, have examined each piece, and I find no music.”♫

In our lives we have to notice the subtle causes and effects in order to see God because He doesn’t always make His presence known in a dramatic way. Just because He is silent does not mean that He is sleeping, he is working behind the scenes in your favour.

The next prayer that will be analysed is the one by Elijah in 1 Kings 18:20-39. Just to give a summary of the events surrounding this prayer; Elijah was a prophet who had spent majority of his life trying to convince a nation that had strayed away to come back to the TRUE and ONLY God. So everyone gathered on Mount Carmel, in an attempt to know who the True God was. Baal’s prophets cried & shouted out onto their god, they cut themselves, as was their custom, despite all their efforts there was no response from Baal. Their chanting was to no avail, so they stepped aside for Elijah to call on His God.

36 When it was time for the evening offering, Elijah the prophet approached the altar and prayed: “O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are the true God and that you are winning back their allegiance.” 38 Then fire from the Lord fell from the sky. It consumed the offering, the wood, the stones, and the dirt, and licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground and said, “The Lord is the true God! The Lord is the true God!”

In that passage, we see Elijah call on God to show Himself as the true God  and God does so and consequently a revival broke out. God became important again to all the people. God is still displaying His power in our 21st century world. The times in which we live in are times of revival, we see dramatic miracles in the lives of people. Let us pray that God will continue to move in such a way that more people will come to know Him. May it be known that He is the one, true God.

In the same way, God flashed fire from heaven for Elijah in order to show that He was the true God, God will help us accomplish what He commands us to do. The proof may not be as dramatic as it was in the time of Elijah, but God will make resources available to us in creative ways to accomplish his purposes.

He will give us the courage to stand for truth.

He will give us the means  to provide help for someone in need.

Like Elijah if we have faith that, whatever God commands  us to do, he will provide the means in order to carry it through.

The prophets of Baal, cried out and called onto their god all afternoon but no one answered them. This is because their god was silent, he was not real.

The gods we may be tempted to follow are not idols of wood or stone,but they are just as false and dangerous because they cause us to depend on something other than God. Power, status, appearance or material possessions can become our gods, if we devote our lives to them. However,  when we reach times of crisis and desperately call out to these gods, there will only be silence. (Even their g is lowercase- shows how insiginificant they are!!) They offer no true answers, no guidance and no wisdom.

So I urge you today to make a promise to yourself that you will only trust in the one true God. The one who was not silent to Elijah’s prayer on mount Carmel. The one who is and shall be forever more. The one who fights our battles for us. The one who makes a way where there seems to be no other way. The one who never sleeps on the job, and makes His presence known in subtle ways.

Stay blessed ,

Dara x

P.S- If you haven’t done so already have a read of the previous prayers of the old testament on here and share with loved ones and friends.

Prayer Practice

In the dark streams of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, you will find fishes that are still alive but have lost their sight. These fishes have lived for many centuries in the darkened waters of the cave, as a result their optic nerves have become atrophied.

One new word to learn: atrophy. This is the wasting away of muscles through disuse or neglect. Atrophy (degeneration of cells) is a common condition among living t
hings. So where am I going with this? It is possible for mankind to suffer from spiritual atrophy. Charles Darwin admitted that he lost his love for poetry and music because he failed to develop them. Likewise, we can lose our vital prayer power through disuse. We have got to keep praying at all times, in order to avoid spiritual atrophy. We are even reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

when life is great pray

The next major bible prayer was by Solomon as he dedicated the temple, and his main point was about staying “prayed up”. I understand being “prayed up” as being spiritually prepared and having a continual prayer pattern. This is a pretty long prayer (1 Kings 8:22-53) , I’ve taken out some verses but the most important sections are in the bold print.

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said:Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today. 

27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven,cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. …

33 “When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.

37 “When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, 38 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— 39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart), 40 so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.

41 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— 42 for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, 43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.

44 “When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.

46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.

52 May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you.53 For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign Lord, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

To summarize this account, Solomon stood before the congregation and pleaded with God to always hear the people whenever and wherever they pray. This prayer benefited God’s people more than it would have benefited God. Of course Solomon knew that God will hear His people, but he wanted to remind Israel that they should pray in bad times as they do in good times.  Jesus even said in Luke 18:1: men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

To persist in prayer until the answer comes does not necessarily mean endless repetition or painfully long prayer sessions, which seem very daunting. Always praying means keeping our requests constantly before God as we live for him day after day, always believing that he will answer. Thus, when we live by faith we should not give up. God may delay answering, but his “delays” always have good reasons. In fact they aren’t even delays because God is never late, he is always on time. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith and hope.

In order to prevent spiritual atrophy, we must maintain a strong prayer life. There are times when I forget to pray and could go without praying for a long while, now I realize that such a lifestyle is steering me towards spiritual atrophy. Spiritual atrophy ultimately leads to us losing the power in our prayers, thus it is important for us to set aside a daily time to commune with God. Prayer practice keeps our muscles toned up for any crisis.

Stay blessed,

Dara x
P.S- Please share with friends, family and those on your social media. If you have any prayer requests, no matter how big or small the seem send them through this form (click here for the form) 🙂

Nail Holes

A father was trying to explain the consequences of careless living to his son. So the father told his son to drive a nail into the post each time he did something wrong. Whenever the boy did a kind act he was allowed to pull out the nail. The son followed his fathers instructions but he found out that although he could pull out the nail he could do absolutely nothing about the nail hole. Thus, one might change his ways, but the scars remain

Nail Hole

David disobeyed God when he numbered Israel. The real issue was not that David took the census it was that he disobeyed God by carrying it out. David insisted on things being carried out in his way, even when God had said “No”. An iron law of life is that evil will not go unpunished, and  the sin David committed was no exception. Judgement did come for David, but fortunately for him he was given the opportunity to make a choice out of the punishments.  Here is an account of this major Bible prayer;

2 Samuel 24:10-14

10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands” (Verse 14) Out of the 3 choices David was given he chose to take his chances with God than rather than man. David wisely chose the form of punishment that came most directly from God. He knew how brutal and harsh men in war could be, and he also knew God’s great mercy. From this we can learn that whenever we sin greatly, we should turn back to God. To be punished by him is greater than to take your chances without him.

There are 2 important lessons that can be derived from this major Bible prayer.

  1. We can never get away with evil. We are always going to suffer with the scars of sin
  2. We can always rely on their mercies of God to restore us, if and only if we come before God in full confession and sincerely seek His help. Wouldn’t it have been better to just obey him in the first place?

Now remember, just like the son in the story one can change his ways, but the scars of sin remain. 

Stay blessed,

Dara Dare

P.S- Please share with friends, family and your social media. The next blog post is about Spiritual Atrophy and will be entitled Prayer Practice, Be sure to check back for that post, on Monday. If you have any prayer requests, no matter how big or small they are send them through this form (click here for the form) 🙂

I can See You 

The next prayer is also from the book of Exodus and was uttered by Moses. 

There is a story told of a nurse named Clara Barton. She nursed those who were dying on the battlefield of Antietam. One night while she was walking through the barn where those who had been wounded were kept, she came across an injured boy. She heard him gasp “Shall I die alone… here…in the dark?” Clara brought in thirty lanterns and placed them around the boy. The youngster took the nurse’s hand and said, “Oh, I won’t die alone now. I can see you.” 

Did you know that there is POWER in presence? The presence of Clara Barton brought hope to the striken men of the Civil War. Moses also knew about the power of presence. As a man, Moses sought after the Presence of one who would spell the difference between life and death. He knew that if God was not with Israel, all was hopeless. Therefore Moses said, If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 

Moses prayer in Exodus 33:12-23 is very appropriate for us today. 

Exodus 33:12-23

One day Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” The LORD replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The LORD continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” 

As we are led through our own personal wilderness toward the Promised Land, we need the guiding Presence of our eternal Lord. He is not hiding from us but is there–an “ever-present help in the time of trouble.” God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (‭Psalms‬ ‭46‬:‭1‬ NLT) David, the psalmists says that even if the world ends, we need not to fear. In the face of utter destruction, David expressed a quiet confidence in God’s ability to save him. God is not merely a temporary retreat; he is our eternal refuge and can provide strength in any circumstance. 

This would be a good moment to point out something special about Moses’ interactions with God. Exodus 33:11 reads “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” God and Moses talked back and forth with each other, just as friends do. How cool is that? Why did Moses find such favour with God? It certainly was not because he was a perfect, gifted or powerful man. Rather, it was because God chose Moses, and Moses in turn relied wholeheartedly on God’s wisdom and direction. Friendship with God was a true privilege for Moses, out of reach for the other Hebrews. But it is not out of reach for us today, Jesus called his disciples and all his followers his friends. John 15:15 ( I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.) He has called you to be his friends. Will you trust him as Moses did? #foodforthought 

So to conclude from this prayer, we should all learn to pray for the Lord’s guiding presence. There is power in presence. God’s presence gives us hope to face tomorrow without fear. 

Stay Blessed,

Dara  x

P.S- the next post in this Walkthrough the Major Prayers in the bible will be posted on Wednesday.  Stay tuned and feel free to send in your prayer requests on this link. All requests are kept confidential. 🙊

Kick the Trap

Once upon a time there was a little girl, who was distressed because her brother set up a trap to catch sparrows. She prayed that the bird trap will fall apart. On one particular day she was looking very happy and began to pray really hard for 3 days. Her faith was without fault that her mother asked her ” why are you so sure that your prayer will be answered?” The girl smiled and said “I went out there 3 days ago and kicked the trap into pieces!”

The second prayer in the bible which was also by Abraham is in Genesis 17:15-22.

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child? ” And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (‭Genesis‬ ‭17‬:‭15-22‬ NKJV)

N.B- A prayer is a conversation between a person and God. In the past, people such a Abraham could hear and speak to God clearly and directly such as the conversation in the account above.

Abraham put legs to his own prayer, by sleeping with Hagar in order to have a heir. Abraham wanted to “help” God establish the covenant he Had made about being the Father of many nations. Abraham thought it was impossible for a man who was 100 years old to raise a family. He even suggested that God should let Ishmael be the chosen heir instead. Of course, God refused the request from this prayer because he had a higher and more beautiful plan for his servant. Abraham was willing to settle for second best, but God insisted on the very best for Abraham. Are you settling for seconds best, when God has destined you for the very best?

We hear a lot about putting legs on prayer. In many cases, the admonition, in which the girl kicked the trap, is justified. However, we must remember that God refused Abraham’s “help” in working out His perfect will. God said “No!” to Abraham; and in hindsight, we can see the wisdom of that refusal. God was able to perfom a miracle, Sarah gave birth to Issac whom God established his covenant with. Think about your life at the moment, are you putting legs to your prayers? There are times when it is essential to wait and see the goodness of God, try not to be like the little girl who kicked the trap. Today, let us wait for God’s very best for us. When you pray to God regarding something in your life have faith in the way He has planned to answer that pray. Remember God’s plan is far greater than the ones we have for ourselves. 

Don’t kick the Trap!

Stay blessed,

Dara x

P.S- the next post in this Walkthrough the Major Prayers in the bible will be posted on Friday. The posts in this series will be released on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned 🙂

Walk through Major Bible prayers: Prayer Pump & Umbrella

I want to use this moment to apologise for my absence, I’ve been very occupied with my final exams. But Thanks be to God they are all over now. I have many exciting projects and plans for the summer and the rest of the year, which I can’t wait to share with you all. Firstly, I would start with a series which are centered around prayers in the bible. I just completed a bible plan which went through fifty major prayers in the bible.  And I have decided to share my favourite ones with you.

WATER PUMP

So, it has been said that Prayer can be compared to an old and worn out water pump. Now why is that?  The water level in a pump that is used frequently is very high, therefore the water pours out instantly. However if the pump has not been used regularly, the water level gets low and a person must pump for a long time before the water finally trickles out. So how do we relate this to our prayers? If we neglect and don’t cultivate a strong prayer  pattern, it would be difficult to recapture the sense of God’s presence. However if we maintain a good habit of daily devotions, there will be an increase in the awareness of God’s presence in our lives. Remember the words of the song we must have sang during our childhood; “Read your bible, pray everyday, pray everyday, pray everyday, read your bible pray everyday, you will grow, grow, grow”. We may not have understood the great message behind this song then, but now I hope you can  tell that digging into God’s word daily and being in constant communication, through prayer, is the key to having a good and Christ-centered life.

Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:8, “in every place of worship, I want men (& women) to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy”. From this we can tell that Paul believed that prayer should be important for a believer. He was aware that from the platform of prayer come the godly actions of witnessing and living right, because he knew that the power of prayer can change people. Therefore Paul said: I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks be made for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1) 

UMBRELLA

Genesis 15:1-6 holds the account of the very first prayer, recorded in the bible. As readers we catch a glimpse of Abraham’s faith from this prayer.

Genesis 15:1-6
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. ” But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (‭Genesis‬ ‭15‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)

In the bible plan a story was used to illustrate the involvement of faith in prayer. During a very hot summer, some farmers went to church to pray to God for rain. The dry weather threatened their livelihood. After the service, a little girl asked her father if the farmers really expected it to rain, the father replied saying “Of Course, otherwise we wouldn’t be here”. Then the little girl protested, “But Daddy, how come no one came with an umbrella?”

The sort of faith Abraham had is one that goes beyond human understanding. Abraham was a very old man and he complained to God about not having a heir. Therefore God promised Abraham that he will be blessed with a son, despite his old age Abraham believed. From then on, Abraham was very expectant of the son that God will give him. In essence this is Abraham carrying the umbrella of faith in this first prayer.

Of course there were sometimes when Abraham doubted, nevertheless he lived a life full of faith. What seemed impossible to Abraham became a reality because he believed God. What is that impossible thing that you are praying about? If you want it to become a reality and be possible, you have got to believe in God and pick up your umbrella of faith. One thing we can all take from the life of Abraham is that God ALWAYS honours the faith of his followers. James reminds us: let him ask in faith, with no doubting ( James 1:6) . When we marry our pleas and petitions with faith we will surely give birth to answered prayers. 

The scriptures tell us that:  “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” (‭Romans‬ ‭4‬:‭3‬ NLT) Will God count you as righteous because of your faith? When you pray, you have to believe as well.

As I share with you what I learned from the bible plan I completed, we will discover which prayers God answered and why and hopefully we will discover ways to improve our own prayers and develop a habit of constant prayer. As Christians it is not always easy to pray, reasons range from being occupied with other things to not feeling worthy to talk to God, however prayer is a necessary component in the life of every believer. So I pray that you will be able to gain something valuable from this series. ( A Walk-through the Major Prayers of the bible). Be sure to check my blog regularly so that you don’t miss the posts. Subscribe via email as well so that you can receive an email whenever there is addition to the series.

Stay Blessed,

Dara x

P.S- feel free to send me your prayer requests through this link, No matter how small or big they may seem. 😊