Tag Archives: The Valley Of Vision

What We Need to Spend More Time Doing In 2021

You, me, and We The People need to dig deeper into God’s word this year. I’m not talking about just reading but meditating on what you read and praying more passionately and more often.

It is not just me that believes this but my friend and fellow blogger Sherline from Sherline’s Watchu Thinking Blog is also thinking this way.

I’ve been praying more often and with more passion than before and planned to continue doing so this year. When I saw Sherline’s post a few days ago it served as affirmation that prayer combined with a deeper dive into God’s word is most important for getting through 2021 for We The People.

Pray is the most powerful weapon on earth. We all have access to it, no password, thumbprint, or retinal scan needed to access it. Just pick up the Bible and start reading. Pray back to God the words or the sentiment of the passage you read.

If you feel intimidated, there are plenty of resources out there to help you along the way.

Here are a few from my bookshelf.

Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation, Find True Peace in Jesus – by Robert J. Morgan.

Biblical meditation is the powerful practice of pondering, personalizing, and practicing Scripture.

Robert J. Morgan – Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation, Find True Peace in Jesus – Introduction pg. X

Morgan states that even though we practice Biblical meditation, we will still “struggle with the shadows.” I can testify to the truth behind that statement. While I’ve upped my prayer practice, I still have anxious moments thinking about whether or not I am prepared for all this year will bring. When anxiety sets in, I immediately ask God to calm my fears and take deep breaths. Eventually I become calm again.

The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions edited by Arthur Bennet.

I have LOVED this book ever since I got it years ago. In fact, the copy you see in my picture is my second copy as the first one fell apart from so much use. Here are a few lines from my two favorite prayers:

The Valley of Vision – LORD, HIGH AND HOLY, MEEK AND LOWLY, Thou has brought me to the valley of vision, where I live the depth but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

pg xv

AND

REGENERATION – O GOD OF THE HIGHEST HEAVEN, Occupy the throne of my heart, take full possession and reign supreme, lay low every rebel lust, let no vile passion resist thy holy war; manifest they mighty power, and make me thing for ever.

Pg 47

I know you too will find prayers and devotions that resonate with you as well. These two prayers are to be read at my funeral, providing we are allowed to have funerals when I die.

English Standard Version Study Bible – Crossway. I have several versions of the Bible other ta the ESV. I also have a New International Version (NIV) and a Living Bible (TLB). I like how different translations word verses. However, if I have to suddenly pack up and bug out in a hurry, it will be the NIV Study Bible that goes with me as it is smaller than my ESV.

So I encourage you to get one of these books or any other book you find that appeals to you start digging in God’s word and praying more this year.

I will be publishing other resources to help you get through whatever fecal matter is going to hit the oscillating unit this year.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

Pray To Live A Joyful Life

I grew up in a Christian house and went to church with numerous relatives because I am related to 5 founding members.

John 3:16 was drilled into my head from a very, very young age.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16
King James Version
(KJV)

And so was prayer.

When I Learned What Prayer Could Do

I did not understand what prayer could do until I was six years old. My parents woke me up early, early one morning (about 2 a.m.) and told me my paternal grandmother had a stroke and they were going to the hospital. My maternal grandfather was sleeping downstairs if my sister and I needed anything. They asked me to pray for grandma.

I did.

God, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die. God please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die, please don’t let my grandma die.

Me, when I was 6

I prayed that prayer over and over and over again until God sent the sandman to put me to sleep. The next morning I raced down the stairs and was informed that grandma had not died but she had a long recovery ahead.

Wow! God answered my prayer! The simple prayer of an innocent six-year-old.

That is when I realized what prayer could do.

However, once I moved away from home, I got lazy. Lazy about going to church and lazy in my prayer life.

Oh, I would occasionally say prayers throughout my life, but it was after Joe’s passing that my prayer life and relationship with God got stronger. It did not get stronger all at once but slowly over the years while dealing with grief, unemployment, and building a new life.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

Psalm 27: 7-8

Prayer is not for God. Prayer is for you. It is your way to communicate with our heavenly Father, to develop and cement a relationship with Him. He wants to talk with every one of us.

You don’t know what to pray?

Well, if you followed the previous step and read your Bible after exercising, then you have the best prayer book in your hands.

Pray God’s word back to Him.

If you are grieving try the second part of Psalm 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5
New Living Testament
(NLT)

For example: Lord you say weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Would you please let that morning arrive soon? Preferably tomorrow morning? In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

That’s it. Just a simple little prayer. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated.

Just remember God will answer that prayer – in His time, not yours. I know it is tough to wait for His time but His time will arrive.

So for the next 40+ days, including Sundays, pray about one thing in your life or a loved one’s life. Write it down on a piece of notebook paper or in a journal, draw a circle around it and pray about it daily.

Not sure yet what thing or area in my life I will be drawing a circle around in my notebook. I do know it will either be this blog or my job that will be the recipient of intense pray this Lent.

Pray as if God was your best friend because He is. He will never get tired of hearing your prayer request.

I encourage you to join me in making prayer an area of intense focus this Lenten season to jump start living a joyful life.

Resources: Draw The Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson – The perfect prayer guide for Lent or any 40 day period. Inspiring stories about answers to prayer. Also includes scripture and prayer prompts for your journey.

The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears – Mark Batterson

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions by Arthur G. Bennett

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Weekend Wisdom: Longing & Spiritual Growth

May I never be satisfied with my present spiritual progress,

but to faith add virtue, knowledge, temperance, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity.

From the “Spiritual Growth ” prayer

“The Valley of Vision,  a collection of   Puritan Prayers  & Devotions” by Arthur Bennett

Lord, give me more of thy likeness;

Enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness;

Engage me to live more for thee.

From the  “Longings After God” prayer

“The Valley of Vision,  a collection of   Puritan Prayers  & Devotions” by Arthur Bennett

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