Clean It Up!


Early one Saturday morning before having his breakfast, little Bobby snuck in the kitchen grabbed three chocolate chip cookies and ate them in his bed leaving chocolate stains and crumbs all over his sheets.

Later that day, he taunted his little sister and shoved her, making her cry.

A little later on, he grabbed an egg from the refrigerator and threw it at the neighbor’s window.

When his parents found out all these things he had done, they were so disappointed in Bobby. Unapologetic, Bobby rolled his eyes and sneered not feeling any remorse or guilt for what he had done.

Later that evening, Bobby, his little sister and parents went to the store to pick up dinner. Not having yet dealt with Bobby, his parents allowed him to tag along.

Bobby sees a toy race car that he really wants.

“Mom!” Bobby screams.

“I want this! I REALLY want this! Please, please, please!!”

Bobby’s Mother glanced at Bobby knowing that she wasn't buying him anything because of his recent behavior.

“Please Mom! Pleeeeeaaase!”

Bobby got louder and louder and began to make a scene. Bobby’s Dad grabbed him and started walking him toward the exit. Bobby was consistent in asking for the toy car until they walked out of the store. He pouted all the way home because he didn't get what he wanted.
This is exactly what we do to God. ALL the time.

We, a lot of times, are oblivious to our sin, not realizing that God wants to deal with the sin in our hearts before he grants us our desires. Yet we beg and plead, fuss and complain because we are not getting the things we want, not even realizing that there is a bigger issue at hand. Our hearts.

Can you imagine God shaking His head at us as we beg for what we want when He can clearly see what’s truly in our hearts? Can you imagine how much more God wants to clean our hearts than merely giving us with the things we are begging for?

We forget that just like Bobby’s parents, God sees our hearts. He knows our motive. Not only does He hear us when we ask Him, but He knows WHY we are asking Him. And just like a loving parent, He knows that correcting and shaping our character is much more important than giving us everything we want.

God is not in the business of making sure we have pleasurable lives, He is in the business of our hearts. He is in the business of shaping and molding our hearts to be a reflection of His. He is in the business of breaking us until we realize our dire need for Him. And because He loves us, He works endlessly on transforming our desires into His desires for us.

This past month, God showed this to me clearly. And once I realized that I was acting just like Bobby, begging and pleading with God for my selfish desires without acknowledging the sin in my heart, I felt so convicted. I realized what I was doing was wrong, and I began to notice that God wanted so much more for me than what I was asking Him for.

This realization pierced my heart so much that I actually prayed and asked God not to grant me my desires until my heart is clean and clear of any mess that will get in the way of the joy I will have when He lovingly grants me what He has in store for me.

Now that is definitely a risky and scary prayer to pray, but I want God to know how serious I am. I no longer want to walk in oblivion to my sinful actions. I no longer want to hurt people in the process. My heart is a construction zone and only God alone can help me clean it up.

So when the time comes and God begins to pour out blessings on me, I want my heart to be free and clear, open and ready to receive all that He has in store for me. Until then, “clean up on aisle 9!”




Reference Scriptures:

"Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me -- now let me rejoice. Don't keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me." - Psalm 51:7-10 (NLT)

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." - Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

"I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!"Malachi 3:10 (NLT)

How to Pray When Facing a Crisis

We know that God is available 24/7, every hour of every day to hear from us when we are in need. What a wonderful privilege it is to have that kind of access to our Creator! But sometimes situations happen in our lives or in the lives of someone we know where we feel a sense of urgency. A crisis has appeared out of nowhere and you don’t know what to do. The emotions you may be experiencing are overwhelming and you know that this time is different. You REALLY need God’s attention. You want to make sure that God hears you and will answer.

In urgent moments like these we often look to God because we know that there isn't any one person that can explain or understand the fullness of what is happening but God. We also tend to feel guilty or embarrassed to bring it to God because we are extremely angry or frustrated because we know the situation is out of our control. Don’t. God knows our frustrations and He knows that we get angry. After all, He is the one who gave us those emotions! When you feel this way, don’t feel guilty or apologetic for feeling that way. Pour it ALL out to God...all of it. Cry, snot, scream - whatever you have to do, just release it all to Him.

I used to feel bad when I “let God have it.” All of my frustration, hurt and anger I would express to Him and afterward I would feel SO much better. Like a huge weight was just lifted off of my shoulders. But then I would feel terrible because I had basically just yelled at God lol! I would feel so sorry.

Just this past week I read something that really helped me.

“If you are smack-dab in the middle of a crisis today, cry out to God. Tell Him exactly how you feel. He can handle it. Someone once told me that God is not embarrassed by the honesty of our prayers. Get gut-level honest with God and tell Him how badly you hurt, how angry you are, and that you need His help to get through this crisis. Don’t worry about God – He can deal with this. When you cast (which means “to throw”) your cares on Him, throw your best stuff at Him. He wants you to. It’s a great first step toward praying appropriately in the face of a crisis.”John Hull, Pivotal Praying

“God is not embarrassed by the honesty of our prayers.” – Whoa. I can’t explain to you how much that sentence alone helped me. I no longer needed to feel bad, because God actually wants us to dump everything we are feeling on Him! God wants us to be 100% honest with Him. He wants us to show Him our REAL emotions. THIS is how we connect with God. This vulnerable, open state is where God can do His best work. But He needs one thing from us. HONESTY.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” – 1Peter 5:7(NIV)

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Related Post: "Suffocating Fear"

Be My Calm

No matter how strong I am spiritually, I always have weak moments. There are times when Satan attacks me when I'm most vulnerable and unaware and he has a field day with my emotions and my thoughts. As much as I don't like admitting that I have these moments, I do. I know many of you do too. Sometimes I close my door to my room, go into my bathroom and cry my eyes out to God and release all of my frustrations to Him. I have learned that it is in these moments where I welcome God to be my peace and my comfort. Even though it sometimes feel as if no one is listening or that I am alone, deep in my heart, I know God is right there with me. He sees me.

I often write my personal prayers like poetry. In my writing, it just flows that way. It reminds me of the many Psalms that David wrote when He was feeling at his lowest. It reminds me that I am not the only one who feels this way and that God knows the frustrations we face here on earth. He longs to be our comfort. I debated as to whether I wanted to share this prayer because it is real and it really displays my raw emotions, but I remembered that there could be someone who can relate and may need help with calling on God in moments like these. I know God has heard my prayer and I know that He knows even the unspoken prayers of my heart. I pray that anyone else feeling the same is comforted by this. 


I need Your peace and comfort to rule in my heart. 
I know You are near and that You see me. I know You hear my cries and know of my pain. 
Lord, be my calm.  
My spirit is disrupted and my sight of You is blurred, I know You are near, but I need to feel You. 
I know of your strength and have experienced Your power, but my body is weak and my soul is bothered.
Lord, be my calm.
I feel alone, no one can hear me, but Lord you know me. You see me. You promised to comfort me.
I need You Lord. I need Your peace. 
Calm my spirit, 
Calm my anxiety,
Calm my fears,
I know You are near.
Build my hope.
Strengthen my confidence.
Lift my head.
Dry my eyes.
Fill my heart.
Calm my spirit.
Lord, be my calm.
I need be my calm.

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you." - 1 Peter 5:7

Prayer: Help Me Help Them

More and more I am saddened that so many people are lost. They live their lives searching for that thing or that person that will make them happy. The sad part is that no one thing or person can do that. My Dad used to say, "Happiness is based on happenings." It's temporary. The things of this earth God blessed us to enjoy, but nothing He gave us here was meant to take His place. Many don't understand that the yearning that they have in their hearts stems from a lack of relationship with our Heavenly Father. He loves us. He wants to care for us. He wants to fill that longing in our hearts with His unlimited everlasting supply of love. All He wants is a willing and open heart. No matter how much wrong you may think you have done, God will ALWAYS accept with open arms anyone who gives their heart to Him. So my prayer on today is that God will continue to use me as a vessel to reach those who may not have ever experienced the gentleness of God's love. Some people may not make it to church, but they may make it to you. Don't let opportunities to share and encourage someone who is seeking help pass. You wouldn't believe the difference you could possibly make in their life.

Dear Lord,

There are so many people who don't know You. My heart aches for those who have never even been introduced to You. They live without hope and they devalue their lives because they don't know that You have a specific purpose for them. Many are depressed and sad. Some are hurt and angry. Others have no peace. God I ask that You would use me and all others who are willing to reach the hearts of those who don't know You. Lord teach me not to look over the hurting, but to help them. Help me not to gossip or judge but to encourage and uplift. Help me to live my life as a Christlike example so that others may be drawn to you. Lord so many need You, but so many can't see You because so many of us aren't willing to show them You. Lord, I want to be that. Help me be that. 
In Jesus' name, 

Blurb: Is this you? Are you wondering how you can give your heart to God and begin a wonderful loving relationship with Him? Start by clicking the tab "God's Perfect Love" on the right side of the screen, click the link provided and read about how you can accept Christ into your heart and start living for Him.


Prayer: Intercession - "Take Care of My Friend"

Did you know that one of the reasons that God gave us each other is so that we can encourage and pray for one another? We often forget that we have the ability to go before the Lord on behalf of our friends, loved ones, family, strangers, and even enemies. It's called Intercession. God hears and honors the prayers of pure hearts that go before Him honestly in efforts to help others. Sometimes we know people who are hurting so bad that they have trouble praying for themselves. It is our responsibility as their Christian brother/sister to step in and intercede on their behalf. So the next time someone you know is struggling with sin or are hurting, or even just having a hard day, before you open your mouth to judge them, pray for them. Love them. Let God handle the rest.
Dear God,

Today I want to pray for ___________. 
They are hurting and they need your peace. I know that I can't heal their hurt no matter how much I may want to, but I know that You can. Please cover them, comfort them and ease the pain so that they will feel Your love. Let them know that this trial will not last forever and that You can use it to make them stronger! Although they may not feel it now, remind them that they are valuable in your eyes! Lord, shield them from the hurt of negativity and judgments from people who do not care, but surround them with people who will love them, support them and build them up so they can push through this stronger than they were before. Show them that You really love them and that You are able to restore any brokenness that they have. And as You are working on them, help me never to judge them and to just be a supportive friend. Show me how to love them as You love us, without condition. Lord, I trust you to take care of my friend. 
In Jesus' name,

"Share each other's troubles and problems and in this way obey the Law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody."  Galatians 6:2-3


Prayer: Thank You

How often do we say a prayer just to thank God? No requests, no complaints, no demands...just to say thank you and express your appreciation? God is our Father and He has feelings too. He gets sad, He feels hurt, He smiles and feels joy just like we do. Imagine if your child always begged and complained to you and you never ever heard those sweet words "I love you mommy." or "Thank you Daddy." I don't have children but I can imagine that it is the most heartwarming and wonderful feeling to hear appreciation after you work so hard to provide for them. Now think about God. He deserves to hear those heartfelt words more than anybody. Try praying appreciation and adoration prayers at least once a day, and just imagine our Heavenly Father beaming with joy and pride. He's worth it.

Dear Most Gracious Father,

Thank You for giving me another chance. I make mistakes and You forgive. I slip up and You still love me. Thank You for not giving up on me. It's because of You that I know what true love is. You love me even though I at times I forget to acknowledge you. You still love me even when I get so distracted that I don't even take the time to say thank you. Thank You for showing me the most honest and pure love. Thank You for filling all the voids in my heart so much so that my heart overflows with love and joy so that I may share it with those around me. Lord, Thank you. For Your wisdom and mercies, Your provision and peace. Lord on this day I just want to say I love You. Most of all for just being You, perfect in every way. 

In Jesus' name, 

Prayer: "Transform Me. I want to love like YOU do"

Many days I'm reminded that I just don't have the power to love the way Jesus loved. I mean, He endured the most pain, torture, criticism and He still loved. He shared with people, He forgave, He encouraged and taught without a bit of reservation. When I lash back at people who have hurt or betrayed me, sometimes I think, "Is this what Jesus would have done?" How did Jesus do it? God gave Jesus the power to love in spite of how people treated Him, and He gave us that same power. Even if it seems impossible, God gave us the ability to love those who are unloving toward us. But we can only receive this power if we ask for it and allow God to control our emotions. It's so easy to turn our backs on people who don't love us and I am guilty of doing so. Why would I want to love someone who did me wrong? It just seems so logical right? I honestly didn't truly understand what loving others really meant until my adult years. Loving those who hurt us heals, restores and helps the very person who hurt us. It really is powerful. Read 1John 4:7-20 and it will blow your mind what God has to say about love.

Dear Lord,
Every day I wake up is evidence that you still have a job for me to do. But everywhere I turn there are doubters, fear, betrayal and hurt. How can I continue on when negativity is all around me? How can I continue to love others when others willingly hurt me? Lord, I know that I can only do this with Your help. I need Your strength, I need Your power. Help me to easily forgive. Help me to not harbor pain and hurt and place it in Your hands. Lord I trust You, but I know I can't wholly trust You without giving my all to you. And that includes my past and all of my past painful situations. Lord help me to be free so I won't carry that heavy weight anymore. Please give me the power to love, share, and give freely even if I don't receive it in return. And as a result, those around me will know that You reside in my heart and the light they see in me comes from You. Lord, I thank you for Your transforming power and grace. Thank You for the work You're doing in me.
In Jesus' name,

Prayer: "Teach Me To Wait On You"

How hurtful must it be to God when we constantly complain about what we want or what we don't have? Sometimes when I think about that, I have to instantly ask for forgiveness. It's hard to wait for the things you want and the things you are trusting God for at times. If we can learn to be content with where God has placed us, and learn to use and take advantage of everything God has given us as this time in our lives, by the time God blesses us with what we asked for, we won't even realize that it was missing. God wants our main focus to be on Him. Look to Him and He will provide everything you need.

Dear Lord,
I say that I trust You, I say that I believe You but all I utter out of my mouth are complaints.
I don't have this and I don't have that, Lord, that must really hurt You. Please forgive me for not appreciating what You have blessed me with. Help me to see the beauty and light in all that You have given me. I pray for contentment in my current situation and pray that You would give me the courage to be everything I can be with what I have now until YOU see fit for me to have more. Lord, thank You for being so patient and gracious with me. Teach me how to wait on You. 
In Jesus' name, 

Introducing Weekly Prayer Posts

I sometimes search my journal and read old entries to remind myself how far I've come. There is something very encouraging about reading old prayers knowing that God has answered them or just to see what was on my heart at that particular time in my life. A few days ago, I was talking to God, pouring out to Him what was on my heart. While I was praying, I was reminded of an old written prayer from just a month before. I opened my journal and there it was, in written form, the very same prayer I was speaking to God at that very moment. As I was reading it, my heart was lightened because I felt better knowing that what was in my heart was still current. I still had a heart ready and willing to be transformed. It just confirmed for me that I really meant what I was praying. I decided to share this prayer with you all and am going to share weekly some of my own prayers in hopes of encouraging any of  you who may be going through something similar.

Only YOU can see what's really in my heart. 
Only You know what's really there even if I may 
lie to myself and pretend that everything is perfectly fine. Lord, I need help. 
There are things in my heart and mind that 
shouldn't be there and that I am ashamed of. 
There are old habits, feelings, and patterns that needs to go!
I really need you to search my heart 
'O God and show me what I don't want to see about myself 
so I can clean it up. 
I don't want to pretend anymore.
I have a few problems and I really need to address them
 if I am ever going to be 100% good use to You.
 I open my mind and heart to receive anything you have to tell me. Lord, help me. 
In Jesus' name,