Thursday, September 04, 2008

Week 6 of "Believing God" & Giveaway

Believing GOD

Diane from Meyers on the Hood and I welcome you to week 6 of Beth Moore’s Believing God series.

This was my week for Believing God. That is, this week’s videos and lessons spoke to my heart most pointedly and poignantly so far.

At the end of video segments 4 and 5, I was so deeply moved that I planned to view those again. If these were the only concepts during this series that touched me as they did, they were worth the registration fee and the time invested.

Some of the lessons this week were inspiring, and some were convicting, but as Beth Moore said in day one’s homework, “Whenever we are confronted by a hard truth, God’s purposes are always redemptive.”

Here are some points that I want to remember from this week:

*God’s words are omnipotent, and while ours are not omnipotent, they are potent. (Makes sense, since we’re made in His image.)

*By example and exhortation in scripture, we are encouraged to speak what we believe. God desires not only that His children believe truth but also that we speak it: "I believed; therefore I have spoken” (2 Cor. 4:13).

*Because of past abuses of “Name It and Claim It” ministries, the contemporary church downplays the truth about the power of our words and prayers to build up, tear down, move “mountains” and move the heart of God.

*[God] can intervene in the split second it takes for a word to travel from our brains to our tongues and stop it before it leaves our mouths. God can also sanctify our minds—our unparalleled battlefield—where every word originates.

*As we read scripture (hopefully, memorize) it’s like we are inhaling God’s word. When we speak that word, it’s like we’re exhaling God’s word. [More about that at the conclusion.]

About praying out loud: Most of my adult life, I have preferred silent prayer to audible prayer. When I pray aloud, I become conscious of the words I’m saying and all that that implies. Maybe I can’t come up with the right word, but my spirit knows the word. It’s not a problem when I’m silent, but when I’m trying to articulate my thoughts, my halting speech becomes a problem for me.

Or maybe I suddenly lose the moment and wonder what somebody else thinks about my choice of words. Or maybe I’ve forgotten a prayer request among several which have been named. Aside from technical difficulties, audible prayer has felt more like a corporate ministry to me than a private one. After all, what is more intimate than someone hearing/knowing my very thoughts? I felt that silent praying was special between God and me, and in a way, it still feels more significant to me.

So I’ve always been curious about those who pray aloud as much or more than they do silently. Do you prefer to speak your prayers? Why or why not?

Interestingly, Beth said that “some of our most explosively powerful praying will be aloud.”

She pointed out that “while one earth, Christ possessed the power to do anything He wanted. He could have thought people to wholeness, and they would have been healed, but he didn’t. He used his mouth and spoke healing.” And of course, God says he spoke the creation into being.

When I pondered why God/Jesus used audible language to do their “work,” I could only think that their words served as a testimony or witness to the event.

But what about us when we are alone—there is no one to bear witness—except ourselves and perhaps … our Enemy. Ahhh. This perspective makes me realize that praying scripture out loud is a powerful force in our own faith and in spiritual battle. So I think I’m going to be begin praying out loud more often in private.

There was so much good this week in learning to bless others through praying scripture and in renouncing negative, even evil, words that have been spoken to/about us, and she referenced The Prayer of Jabez as a possible example of this kind of redemptive prayer.

Finally, I want to return to 2 Cor 4:13, where the word spirit can also be translated as “breath” or “wind.”

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

I want to live, as Beth said, on the “CPR of God;” I want to breathe in his energizing, life-giving word to quicken my spirit, and I want to exhale life-giving words of blessing to the world. I cannot do that without His help, I know.

This segment called to mind MW Smith’s “Breathe.” May God’s word be the air I breathe, my daily bread. May I always be desperate for Him.

What did you enjoy about “God’s Word is Alive and Active in Me?” Remember, you don’t have to be registered or doing the entire study to comment.

The Winner Of Mustard Seeds by Lynn Coulter is #5, Barbie, of Just Barbie. I hope this book is as much of a blessing to you as it was to me, Barbie!


sara said...

I loved this study so much. I am not sure if it was this week, but not only was I challenged to speak scripture aloud, but to pray scripture over the people I am praying find scripture that applies to their needs and pray that over them...very powerful!

I am starting her study on the patriarchs next week...can't wait!

Susanne said...

I'm really enjoying your recaps of this study Linda! I've always been very self concious about praying out loud in public although I must say I do pray out loud and not silently when I'm by myself. So I'm not sure what's up with that. But praying scripture is so powerful especially out loud!

Chan said...

I have been a blog stalker of my daughter’s former Sunday School teacher for several months. From that blog, I discovered many others, some from the town in which I live and many from different parts of the state and even other states. I have enjoyed reading the blogs, even if I didn’t know the author. It was interesting to read of remodeled homes, to relive the experiences of mother’s of young children and, in some cases, to share the pain of loss or illnesses of loved ones. Such are the joys of the internet. Another joy of the internet has been reconnecting with old friends from my original hometown, Amarillo Texas and my graduating class (Tascosa HS 1970).
Today, I come out of the background to request your prayers for the son of someone who I have known since elementary school. Marshi’s 24 year old son, Brian Lair was diagnosed with a brain tumor on July 23. He had his first surgery in Dallas on August 7 and although the doctors were unable to completely remove the tumor, the prognosis was optimistic. On August 25, he had to return to the Dallas hospital because his incision had become infested. A second surgery was completed on August 28. On September 2, I received an email from his mom, explaining that Brian was still fighting the infection, with high temperatures, etc. The diagnosis, treatment, and his relationship with God are all detailed on his blog:
He really needs all the prayers anyone can muster. Please keep Brian in your thoughts and prayers and spread the word.
Thank you,
Chan Roark, Dothan AL

DidiLyn said...

Beth Moore always goes in a different direction than I expect when I read the title of the week's homework. This week was awesome and NEW to me.
The praying outloud idea, with all the scripture made such sense. I have always prayed silently or written it down when I'm alone.
Lid, this was excellent and totally made me think of all the reasons I loved this week. Thanks, (really thanks) for doing this with me (us).

Anonymous said...

About your question, I always heard that you should pray silently so that the Devil doesn't hear your worries. I am not sure that I believe that, but I do catch myself while praying aloud wondering if the Devil is listening. Melissa

Laurie Ann said...

I've enjoyed reading your responses to the study. I loved what you wrote, "I want to live, as Beth said, on the “CPR of God;” I want to breathe in his energizing, life-giving word to quicken my spirit, and I want to exhale life-giving words of blessing to the world. I cannot do that without His help, I know." AMEN!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Chan, I did indeed go visit Brian's site, and I'm praying for him. May God do a mighty miracle or two in his life!

skoots1mom said...

Liddie...thank you for our message.
Oh, there is definitely POWER IN HIS WORD, especially when you pray HIS SCRIPTURE out loud. The more you do it with Him, He shows you "great and unsearchable things". Jer. 33:3

When you go into prayer with heartfelt concern and bare your words and lift them up to Him, He guides you...the more you do it out loud the more comfortable you become and it becomes YOU sharing your heart with Him. Matt. 10:19-20 "At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

When you pray in privacy, He meet you there, too. Sometimes he give revelations that need to be shared with someone. 10:27-28 "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs."

I know this sounds crazy, but when I was doing FIRST PLACE, a christian lifestyle change for losing weight and having a closer walk, I had moments when the pull of the refrigerator was greater than my will power...well, I knew who that was from...God wants the best for us, but YOUKNOWWHO wants us to get discouraged and fail. So, I would pray the scriptures in Jesus Name to the refrigerator and the evil one would flee 'cause he cannot remain when we are praising Jesus...and the urges would melt away, truly. Luke 10:17 "the seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

I know Jesus' name cast out demons in every situation!!

Merrie said...

Oh what great reminders of the power we have... I sure needed it. Thank you for your faithfulness!

thouartloosed said...

When I did this study, this same lesson significantly changed my prayer life. I find that as I pray aloud I feel the power of the Spirit moving in me. I feel much as you do about praying aloud and still do not volunteer to do public praying but my one on one with God has deepened greatly because of speaking aloud to Him.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Hey Lidna! Better late than

You DO remember me, right?

So I didn't feel right about commenting on last week until I finished it. I still haven't.

Really, the whole idea of trying to "catch up" during the week prior to our first official day of homeschool was not the most astute thing I've ever done.

But I want you to know that, even though I should have my own "Believing God" button made that says "Thursdays 7/31/08-Christmas" I am still going. And I still will be posting, because I just can't stop. :-)

And as far as your post, you hit it dead on. I will be writing my post on week 6 very soon.

Missed you while I was in the black hole!