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About Renee

When You Need Prayer But Feel Hesitant to Ask { & a prayer journal giveaway}

Today, I’m talking with my friend Kathi Lipp on her podcast about the topic of prayer and I wanted to invite you to join us! As one of my regular readers, you may notice today’s post is familiar – half of it was shared here in April. Today I’m sharing the whole thing, in case you didn’t get to read it last month, and for new friends visiting from Kathi’s podcast. Welcome if you’re visiting from Kathi’s page. I’m so glad you’re here!

I would love to pray for you today, and have us all pray for each other. I’m also giving away my new favorite prayer journal. Keep reading to find out more.

Asking for prayer

It was supposed to be a prayer request, but my email started out more like an apology. I needed friends to pray, yet I was hesitant to ask. I didn’t want my burdens to burden them.

They already had so many problems of their own: illnesses, a job loss, death of a loved one,  relationship strains, overwhelming stress, and overloaded schedules.

I questioned whether my need rated high enough on the urgency “Richter scale.”

Was it really bad enough to ask for prayer, or should I wait to see how things turned out?

The first sentence in my email went something like this: “I hate to add to your list of burdens, but I need prayer for JJ.”

A few years ago, my husband had a routine check-up and blood test results that caused his doctor to be concerned about his liver, which led to a biopsy that week. We didn’t know whether it would be anything serious in the end. I just knew I didn’t want to walk through it alone in fear, denial, or my own strength.

Within fifteen minutes of me hitting “send,” friends who were on their computers started telling me they were praying. And not only did they pray, they thanked me for sharing what was going on and for letting them be there for me.

One friend shared how someone she knew had been through a similar situation. Another asked questions and made some great suggestions. Then another cracked a funny joke that made me laugh, which I really needed to do!

The night before we went to the hospital, my friend Amy sent an email saying, “I’ve been lifting prayers heavenward for your family since your last email. Know that you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Let us know as soon as you hear results. We’re all in this with you, friend.”

As I read her last sentence, I could almost feel the softness of her hands gently squeeze my shoulders and hear her saying, “We’re all in this with you, friend.”

And then it hit me, what if I had not shared our need?

I would’ve missed the comfort of having friends “with me” and peace that came through the power of their prayers.

They would’ve missed out on a chance to be the “body of Christ” by guarding our hearts and minds with God’s promises and the power of prayer. And they would have missed being part of what God was doing, the joy that came when medical tests went well, and the recovery that was quick. And as we waited that week for biopsy results that ended up coming back normal, their prayers and God’s peace were constant companions.

Are you are carrying a burden today? Don’t listen to doubts that make you question the validity of your need. Even if, like me, you hate to impose on others.

Asking for prayer isn’t about putting burdens on our friends.
It’s about letting them walk by our side down a path we were
never intended to walk alone.

Lord, thank You for never seeing my prayers as a burden. Help me remember the power and purpose of prayer in my life and in my friendships. 

Let’s walk together and carry each other’s burdens this week by sharing a prayer request and praying for each other in the comments by clicking “Share Your Thoughts.” I’ll be praying for each of you! And would love if you could leave a short prayer for the person who shares their need in the comment above yours!!!


ComeToMe_CoverEnter to WIN
I’m giving away my favorite prayer journal! Leave a comment or prayer, you’ll be entered to win. 

Come to Me {journal} by Renee Swope
Jesus invites us to come to Him: to receive, rest, be renewed, and remain in His love. Experience the power of God’s presences and rejuvenate your soul with the living water of His word as you are reminded with the truth of who God is and who you are in Him.Filled with inspirational quotes and prayers, this journal will help you position your heart to receive God’s peace, plans, perspective and purpose for you each day. 6×8 Hardcover, 144 Pages

Order a journal for yourself, or a friend, by clicking the image below to order on Amazon

If Amazon runs out of journals when you try to order it, send an email to connect@reneeswope.com with your name and email. We’ll contact you to get your order taken care of!

God’s Not Worried {Friday GiveAway}

Pressing-Pause-CoverJust in time for Mother’s Day weekend, I’ve invited my friend Karen Ehman to share a devotional with us from her new book, Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus. We’re also giving away TWO COPIES of the book and one beautiful bracelet. Keeping reading to find out more.

As a little girl I loved being outdoors. I could often be found playing kickball with the neighborhood kids or riding my bike around the block. I liked to splash in puddles and jump in piles of leaves. There was one aspect, however, about being outside that I didn’t particularly care for: the critters.

Spiders were scary … dogs terrifying. And I couldn’t even bear the thought of snakes.

My intense fear of these creatures often kept me from fully engaging in play.

Unfortunately, even when I didn’t encounter creepy-crawlies outdoors, they occasionally wound up in my dreams at night. I would have the same reoccurring nightmare of snakes slithering toward me while I stood frozen, unable to run away. When I would wake up, I would be in a panic, heart wildly beating, palms sweating. I never thought my fears would go away until the one summer when I had no other choice.

The summer I turned 20, I took a job at a nature center teaching four-year-olds. It didn’t cross my mind that keeping company with critters would be a part of my duties. I had to capture insects to examine and release, scoop tadpoles to study pond life, and even hold the snakes that were kept in glass tanks in the main building.

Although everything in me wanted to run away, there were little eyes on me. So, I whispered a prayer for strength, pushed past my fears, and made those kids think I was a critter-lovin’ instructor whose calm demeanor (and lack of screaming!) showed them there was nothing to fear. If their teacher wasn’t freaking out, why should they?

Even though I worked through my fear that summer, as an adult now, I’m still tempted to “freak out” with fear. My imagination concocts all sorts of scenarios peppered with dread and doom. Sometimes I can’t shake fear as I try to fall asleep.

But I have come to trust this perspective-shifting truth: God is not worried. He’s not in heaven wringing His hands, wondering just how everything will eventually turn out. He is in control. He is loving.

God longs to use the circumstances of our lives to mold our mind, craft our character, and chase away the fears that threaten to slither in, paralyzing us and rendering us ineffective.

Ever the patient and wise teacher, if He isn’t freaking out, why should we?

Proverbs 3:24-26a is a sweet promise to us…

prov3.24

Now that passage doesn’t promise that we won’t ever encounter sudden disasters in life. But it does reassure us that we have no need to fear them. Why? Because the Lord—our gracious and wise teacher—is our security. He will be there to comfort and to guide as He teaches us the lessons we need to learn.

With God as our security, we can have calm in our present.

With God as our security, we can face the future without fear. And we can share this confidence we gain to inspire others, helping to keep them from unnecessary fret and worry.

Why it even helps me deal with little critters that get inside my house without squirming.

Well . . . without squirming too much.

PressingPause-Prayer.

PressingPauseEnter to Win
We are giving away two 
Pressing Pause devotionals and a beautiful bracelet from Fashion & Compassion. Written by my dear friends Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk,  Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus offers us a calm way to start our day, to refresh ourselves in Christ and drink deeply of His presence so we are ready to pour out love, time, and energy into the people who matter most!

These 100 encouraging devotions for moms has helped me start each day with Scripture, drawing on God’s power, soaking up His Word, and learning practical ways to love and PPopenserve my family more like Christ each day. And one of my favorite features is the set of questions and optional journaling or notes area at the end of each day’s devotional.

Just a few minutes each day can help you center your heart and mind on what God has for you as His beloved daughter. So resist the rush. Halt the hustle. Press pause and find some calm in the chaos.

 

TO ENTER TO WIN simply click “Share Your Thoughts” below today’s post and do just that. Your comment will be your entry into the drawing! Two winners will be chosen and contacted on Monday, May 9th.

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