Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 30 The Christian Woman

              Christian, we have made it to day thirty with the women of the bible.  After twenty-nine days of prayer, alone time with the Lord, and meditating on his Word, I believe you are stronger.  I believe your heart has been awakened to understand you have a plan and purpose.  I believe you have been strengthen in your walk and I believe his breathe of life has permeated your spirit, for these were God’s words and not mine. 
            I encourage you to finish your race strong.  I encourage you to not quit or give up when faced with testing and trials head on, for the Lord disciplines those he loves.  Continue to meditate on his Word for there is life in his Bible.  I pray you remain steadfast in soaking in Christ’s Gospels, for in his words you will find knowledge and wisdom (Colossians 2:3).
            My own prayer for you, sweet sister, is not only to be encouraged, to not only strengthen your spirit and for you to be encouraged to study, but that your own testimony for how Christ changed and challenged you will embolden you to go and tell.  Tell how you anoint Christ with your prayers, tell how you wait for him first thing in the morning at the tomb, and tell how he healed your bruises and afflictions.  Go and tell how God uses anyone for his kingdom, go and tell how God changed you into a noble wife and a woman after his own heart.  Go and tell how you open your house to those in need, go and tell how Christ has equipped you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.  Go and make disciplines of women around you.  They need your voice and your testimony; the world needs Christ to heal those who hurt, those who are in bondage and those who need to know they are loved. 
            This last chapter is for you.  You are the Christian woman.  You represent the church, are an epistle of Christ and his hands and feet.  You are to embody the Gospel, an exact replicate of the invisible God with your love, forgiveness, giving, kindness, hospitality and gentleness.  You are the church, the bride of the Living God, his precious daughter, and then one he needs to spread his precious seed.  This chapter is to encourage you, sister, to come boldly before the throne; it is a new day, you are a new creature, the old as past and you have been cleaned by the Blood of the Lamb! Go and tell!
            I pray each of these women the past twenty nine days has inspired you. I pray you have been able to relate to several or maybe, you can relate to my own testimony or another sister in Christ.  You are not alone, for spirit speaks to spirit and just as the Apostle prayed to be with those in the church, my heart prays to be with each of you as you read.  I pray as the Apostle Paul to the hands that are holding this book, Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!  May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:25-26).
            Pray this last prayer with me my friend, pray this last prayer if you desire to start over, then start over back in the closet anointing Christ as Mary of Bethany.  Read until his Word opens your heart, meditate on his words until you lay it ALL at the cross; seek until you believe in the plan and purpose he has for you and study until you know him and the POWER of his resurrection! Praise God, the Father of Jesus of Nazareth!

Let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God:

            The bible declares you will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 20). I desire to follow you.  I desire to be a living epistle, an ambassador in chains, a prisoner of hope and a servant of the Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:20, Zechariah 9:12).  I desire to pick up my cross and carry it (Matthew16:24). I pray you use all the gifts and talents hand picked for me by the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel (1 Corinthians 12:7, Romans 12:6-8). 
            My heart’s desire is to be a sweet aroma to you, anointing Christ with my prayers, hopes, fears, dreams and joy.  I pray to be first at the tomb, I pray to give all my children over to you, I pray I am unafraid and boldly fighting the spiritual battle in the Heavens.  I pray I am a servant of Christ in the workplace, at home behind closed doors and in public unashamed of Jesus.  May I be a representative of Christ wherever I walk, travel or whomever I come in contact with.
            I pray to give more, to love more, to forgive more and with holding no good things from fellow believers.  I desire to be steadfast in prayer, rising to the occasion for which I am called, studying ever more diligently, ready to comfort, love and feed your sheep.  I desire strength while in the wilderness, I desire to plant my feet, fast for those lost in my family, and determined to follow you where ever you lead me.
            My heart desires to be a doer of the word (James 1:22), opening my house for bible study, prayer and worship.  I desire to water the seed you have planted in my heart, mediating on your word day and night, prayerfully keeping my faith and hope alive in Jesus Christ.  I know I can go deeper in prayer, in study and worship.  Lead me each and everyday through your Word, through this daily life with unbelievers and loving those who do not know you for I know you came to those who need a Savior.
            May I diminish even more, receiving with joy the plan and purpose you have for me.  I know I was created, molded and shaped for such a time and season as this.  I do not want to waste my life with frivolous things in which are destroyed by rust and moths, but store my treasures in heaven where a reward is waiting.   My heart’s desire is to do something great for your kingdom each and every day.  Take me into a season of preparation, of learning and listening for you voice.  Deepen my faith, hope and love in the Savior, the Messiah, Jesus Christ; it in the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen

Day 29 The Proverbs 31 Woman

A simple question is asked, “A wife of noble character who can find?” Let us ask the question again, this time OUT loud and slower, “A wife of noble character who can find?” What if we ask two questions of our own? Can my husband call me a wife of noble character?  Could I call myself a wife of noble character?
We are going to look at Proverbs 31 and see how we measure up today to this biblical wife of noble character.  If we look at the twenty-two verses which encompass this woman, could we honestly compare ourselves to this noble wife?  Let’s see.        
Webster’s Dictionary defines noble to describe the character of a person who is “having, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc.)” ( “Character is defined as the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves. ( I think we should put those two words together: noble character or a person who thinks, feels and behaves with such honesty, generosity, and courage that other persons admire them.  This Proverb’s woman was admired by her husband, children, community and God.       
Far more precious than rubies or any other gem stone, a husband would rather adorn himself with this woman than any lavish, brilliant colored stone.  This woman far outshines any diamond in the rough, for her husband lacks nothing and has full confidence in her bringing him good and not harm all the day of his life. When Tommy walks out our front door, I want him to be full of confidence in my ability to manage the children, the house, my work, my relationship with Christ and any other task I need to accomplish that day. Confident I can teach our children, manage the house including laundry, bills, dishes, pantry stocked and chores done, I desire for my husband to lack no good thing, but sadly, it wasn’t always like that.           
I did have a life before Christ.  I lived twenty-eight years in the world of selfishness, covetness, slothfulness and lacked confidence in my own self.  I had someone watch my children for three hours everyday to get the well deserved “break” I needed. I had someone clean my house for my once a week, we went out to dinner several times a week and I just really wanted to do what I wanted to do.  Tommy graciously supplied all of those things because I was having some problems.  After Maddie I went through a post partum depression, but had no idea that was what was wrong with me.  I thought I just couldn’t handle children and family life.  On the outside, I could fool anyone, but at home behind closed doors, I was truly a mess. A wife of noble character I was not.
When Christ called me back to Him in 2005, I surrendered all.  I had a vision of the Lord in January of 2005 while in the midst of a depression.  I had cut my hair off to about an inch all over,  was 30 lbs over weight from pregnancies, my emotions were OUT of control from laughing to crying hysterically or throwing things in a selfish rage.  But, for the next decade, I was determined to learn the Christian life.  I fell madly in love with Yeshua and His love for me.  I purposely desired to be this Proverbs 31 woman who had the confidence of her husband, but more importantly the confidence of Jesus who gave me my family to cherish and treasure.  Once I was able to serve instead of self serve, becoming this woman became easier.                                                                         
For the last ten years, I have spent time in prayer, reading the Word of the living God, gleaning from other women teachers and seeking to change.  Determined to bring Tommy good and not harm, praying he lack no good thing, God began to change and mold me into this wife of noble character.  There were days I wanted to quit when I saw and felt no change, but the overwhelming pull of Christ’s strength pushed me forward.  It was small steps that brought lasting changes to my goal.  The prophet Zechariah penned it the best, “Do not despise the days of small beginnings” Zechariah 4:10.                          A wife of noble character works with eager hands to select wool and flax, bringing food from afar, providing for her family and portions to her servant girls.  She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchant sashes. A noble wife plans her meals, giving to those in her household, working hard for her family, searching for the best prices and making the most of her time and money.  She uses the family’s finances wisely, reinvesting her earnings and making more.  Her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night for she considers what she buys, planning her schedule to best fit the family.  Today we may say she coupons, shops sale items, searches the internet for the best price before purchasing and considers the value of the purchased product.  A noble wife considers whether she can afford an item instead of purchasing on credit cards, considers the importance of use, and the value all the family can have with an item.                                                                                                                                 This wife works hard and her arms are not only strong for the task, but gentle enough to open them to the poor. A noble woman finds time to exercise and give to those who are in need.  Some time during her day, week or month, she gives to the poor and blesses those less fortunate. As we progress with this woman of noble character, we see there is little time for television, computer, ipad, twitter, face booking and the like. This woman did not have those distractions, and they are distractions, to keep her from the things of God.  It is a choice you will have to make.  It is a choice to get of the couch, turn the television off and decide to be this wife of noble character.  Will you make that choice?                                                                                                                   Continuing, when it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  She makes covering for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. This wife is prepared.  She has enough self-control to prepare for the upcoming change of season or we could say today, I’m financially prepared for six month if I loose my job.  My kids would be fed, clothed, the house would run properly, trusting God to provide work and looking as if have no problems in the world.  Several scriptures come to mind as I write this.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches from the mount, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27).
I believe the Proverbs 31 woman does not worry about what will come.  She is prepared and she knows God will provide all the time.  This wife doesn’t need to go around head hanging low, depressed and sad about a sudden misfortune, but she straightens up, head held high saying, “I am a daughter of the Most High! He knows exactly what I need.” She has faith in being sure of what she hopes for and certain of what she can not see (Hebrews 11:1).
Her husband is respected at the city gate where he takes his seat among the elders of the land and she speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. This family appreciates the Word of God, has His favor and blessings.  How do I know? This noble wife’s husband was an elder, respected for his opinion and wisdom.  She too was sought after for godly advice and counsel.  She always had something good and profitable to say, encouraging others and training those in the way they should go.  I pray people seek you out for your reputation of a godly Christian woman, who always has something nice, encouraging, and wise to say.  Yes….a noble wife who can find??
I’ve met many women, most in the church who I would no more confide in than a man and the moon.  Isn’t that sad? Isn’t that an oxymoron? We are to confide, pray, teach, admonish, encourage, and seek wise counsel, but at times we find jealousy, backstabbing, gossiping and lies.  I knew who I could trust when I needed counsel and advice.  I knew who would not divulge my secret for “prayer purposes”.  How does your reputation precede you? Are you praised for being a godly Christian woman?
I like verses 29-31, “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Jesus said it perfectly, “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.” (Luke 6:43-44).
This woman is a Christian woman who has her life in order, together and revered for her character qualities. Nicole, you may say, I have no idea where to start becoming this wife of noble character.  Well, I would start in baby steps. You start by asking God for the strength in Jesus Christ, you start by prayer, you start by learning from other women and you start by reading the Word of God.  Over the years, I have learned from other women, the Bible and the Lord showing me what makes my house run efficiently.  I have listed a couple of pages of insights in to my own house and how I managed.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but ideas to help you in which have saved me time and energy:

v           Get up early.  I was the first up every morning.  I knew how long it took for everyone to move about comfortably before it was time to go with no rushing.  One hour before we left for school, everyone was up with breakfast, teeth, hygiene, backpacks, lunches, soccer clothes, etc.  Those extra minutes started our days off right
v           Memorize a scripture a day. By the end of the year, you could have 365 scripture verses memorized to pray with and bless someone who needs to hear God’s word!
v           Look for someone to bless.  If you have toll booths, by the person behind you their toll.  Leave cookies in your mail for your mail carrier. Take some desserts to your military recruiter offices and bless those in service to the country, take the same to your police and fire stations! Visit your local nursing home once a week.  These were all things I did with my children for years.
v           Lay out food for dinner to thaw first thing in the morning.
v           Deep clean a room a day, while whipping down bathrooms and counters.
v           One load of laundry, dishes out of dishwasher started in the morning.
v           Mondays, I do my grocery shopping for the week, which means I have planned out what we are having on the weekend. 
v           If you work, get up a few minutes early, put a load of laundry in and when you get home, put in the dryer.  You can have one load of laundry done a day.
v           If you work, get up a few minutes early, clean one room.  If you deep clean, 15 minutes is all you need.
v           Clean kitchen sink the night before.  It’s not pleasant looking at smelly dishes and hard food first thing in the morning.
v           If you have older children, get them doing chores and follow thru with them helping and working around the house. 
v           More work can get done if the television is OFF, phones are down and house is quiet. Take this time to focus on memorizing scriptures and praying to God.
v           There are great websites for planning menus, organizing your house or cleaning schedules.  Print them, place them where they are visible and follow through with them!
v           Cut coupons and plan how much you are going to spend at the grocery store, and get your children involved.  Kids will appreciate dinner time, preparation, shopping and cooking if you let them use their hands. Not only will they like to cook, but they will KNOW HOW!
v           Search a few minutes on the internet for your grocery stores sales items.  Our store here has a website and lists their buy one get ones each week.  Plan your dinner meals around those items.  If barbeque sauce is on sale for BOGO, then grab two, four or how ever many and find a good BBQ dinner recipe. 
v           I have learned the best time to shop, for me, is the morning before the crowds.  Get up and go! If you have babies and small children, schedule shopping and outings before nap time with plenty of snacks and small toys to play with.  Your life WILL be easier!
v           Print chore charts for kids Monday –Saturday. Have them mark each chore when finished.  Yes, they should get some reward.
v           Find ways to bless your husband – make his favorite meal, have his clothes ironed or pressed ready to wear. Send him a text telling him something nice, encourage him when he’s home, spend time watching a ball game with him. Pray over him if he allows you to, wear something he likes to see you out in.  Cut or color your hair the way he likes it, he’s the one who has to look at it! Show him affection every time that you can and let him see his wife in all your nakedness.  If Tommy is full of seeing me when ever he wants, he doesn’t have that need to look else where or is able turn his head when unclothed women are around.
v           Teach your children the ways of the Lord. Saturate their life with God; you will saturate their life with something, either God or this world.  My children went to church twice a week, a Christian school, prayed and had Christian music on all night long.  They were not able to go to sleep if the “Jesus music” wasn’t on.  These are the beginnings of molding and shaping young lives to desire the things of God.  Have prayer time and make yourself available to them to talk.
v           Eat dinner together and pray at the table whether you are out to dinner or at home. The children will see your faithfulness in public and behind closed doors.
v           Follow through with discipline.
v           Stay of internet and television as much as you can. 
v           Get involved in your church.
v           Pay off credit cards.
v           Do as much as you can the night before school, work or events.  You will be so thankful the next day.  Lay out clothes, pack lunches, backpacks ready, suitcases packed, etc.  There will be no rushing and frustration in the morning.
v           .Do not eat too much junk!  Clouds the mind.
v           Take a walk with fresh air, thank God you can see, hear and have the ability to move around.
v           Thank the Lord for everything!
v           If you do not have anything nice to stay, DO NOT SAY IT! I have said things that were unkind and backfired on me.  People’s feelings were hurt and I felt terrible.  Stop gossiping and read the book of James.  Mediate on that for a month.
v           Read the Bible every day. 
v           Rest, get sleep!
v           Wear clothes that cover you.

Christian, these are just a few things that I implemented during those years I prayed and asked God to mold me.  These are small things you can start now to begin becoming this wife of noble character.  I pray you give this area of your life to Christ. You will never regret a one day of it.
My sister in Christ, let’s lay our hearts at the cross.  Let us kneel before Christ as Mary of Bethany, anointing our Savior with a sweet prayer, offering ourselves as noble wives.  Let us ask Yeshua to strengthen us to be these women of faith, giving us the grace to accomplish all tasks through Him and the power of His resurrection.

Pray OUT loud and CONFESS the Word of God

I give you thanks this day that I can come before you as your daughter asking to become better.  I want to break the alabaster jar over any area of my life that is hindering me from becoming a Proverbs 31 woman (Mark 14:3, John 12:3).  Quicken my spirit as to any area where the scales have blinded me from seeing the truth (Acts 9:18).  Father, if I need to forgive my husband, show me how to love him again (Matthew 5:14).  If I am holding bitterness, show me how to let go (Ephesians 4:31).  If I have become lazy and demand my own way, strength me to diligently work hard and be self controlled enough, to love my family enough, and to love you enough making it a priority (Galatians 5:22-25) . 
If I have never been taught how to be this noble wife, I pray for godly women counselors and elders I can learn from.  I pray I can observe my sisters in Christ and learn the ways of the Lord.  Help me to read and memorize scripture daily, putting you first in every area of my life.  Help me to put off my old self and cloth myself with Jesus Christ, knowing I can accomplish all things through him who gives me strength (Luke 5:36-38). 
May I be a woman who thinks ahead, prepares for the future and my children (Colossians 3:23-24).  My I leave them not only a financial inheritance, but a spiritual one as well.  I pray to teach them the ways of the Lord and when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).  May I be a wise woman, able to give a word when needed for counsel and encouragement (Ephesians 5:19-20).  I pray my reputation be full of grace, and not worldly gossip, slander or selfishness (Ephesians 4:29).
I pray that I am able to give of myself to your service and those who are in need.  Help me to teach my children to love those who can not take care of themselves.  I pray they watch as I lead by example in all biblical wisdom, hard work, and generosity (Colossians 1:10-12).  May my children respect and love their mother, who especially my daughter, can learn from and my boys seek another noble wife of excellent character (Ephesians 5:1).
Lord, I pray my marriage is glorifying to you.  May my husband be able to call me a noble wife, one who he loves and cherishes; one who he is proud of and has full confidence in.  I praise you Lord and the glory to your name.  I ask this prayer in the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen.

Day 28 Noah's Wife

“We live by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” (Hebrews 11:1). I wonder if we could consider Mrs. Noah to be one of the “ancients commended”.  “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear build an ark to save his family.  By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7). This ark, built by faith, took one hundred and twenty years to build.
The Lord expects us to live by faith.  Hebrews chapter 11 expresses the faith we are to have regarding the foundations of the earth, our sacrificial offerings, our belief in the existence of Jesus Christ which pleases God, our daily provisions, mission trips, our spiritual heritage left behind, our trust in God to protect and our faith believing the biblical accounts are true.  Many things we can not see, many things we can not touch, but we know through our spirit, these things are true.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness according to 2 Peter 2:5 and Ezekiel proclaimed when God declared to send a famine, only these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job if alive, could save themselves by their righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14).  Noah preached righteousness during a time when, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.’” (Genesis 6:5-7). But, there was one man the Lord found favor with; Noah.
Noah was considered blameless among the people of his time and he walked with God.  The bible declares the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of brutality, for the Lord told Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them.  I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” (Genesis 6:11-13). This blameless, righteous man who walked with the Lord also had a family.  The bible does not say Noah’s family was righteous, for we see the character of Ham when mocking his father while drunk; curses where set upon him and his son Canaan. The bible is silent about Noah’s wife, but I am sure she had to have some sort of faith to be married to Noah. 
Noah and his family spent years in ridicule, subject to jokes, lewd comments, harassment and mockery.  This culture in which Noah lived was so heart harded, so spiritual depraved, degraded with evil for when a miraculous procession of God’s animals walk in to the ark, not one soul was saved.  Let us ponder this for a moment if you will.  How could anyone witness such an astonishing, extraordinary, inexplicable phenomenon as this convoy of mild animals, two by two, proceeds into the ark and not be totally transformed? The same way God calls ALL of his children, but some sadly turn a deaf ear to his beckons.  My heart grieves to think God is lament and mourning those lost.
 Noah’s wife and family watched as their patriarch preached God’s commands, observed and listened as Noah pleaded with those to believe in The Maker of Heaven and Earth.  The violent, lustful, corrupt individuals, I am sure, were having a time making fun of this family.  Maybe the laughs continued for all those years building, maybe the laughs grew tiresome after a few years, seeing Noah would not waiver in his faith and maybe the harassment stopped once all realized, this family is different.
 I am sure Mrs. Noah had blistered hands, a habitual sore back, aching muscles and weary spirit.  I am sure at times she may have felt exhausted, spiritual worn down or maybe even days where hands were thrown in the air, “I am tired of this.”  What year could it have been when doubt creeps in saying, “Is this going to happen?”  “What are we doing?”  Is it year fifty, sixty? The faith Noah had must have kept her going through difficult times.  Besides preparing food, managing the children, loving her husband and cleaning her residence, Mrs. Noah had the challenging job of believing, walking by faith and not by sight. 
 We all know the end of the story, but do you know the end of yours?  Has God planted a seed or vision for you, no one can see it, people have not been as encouraging as you may have wished and you wonder if this seed will ever flourish?  I had the seed, the vision, the faith and the testing in which all God’s children experience.  The Lord’s season of planting is not the same for all vegetation.  There are some trees, fruits, veggies and plants that spring forth quickly. There is a feeling of such accomplishment when you see the fruits of your labor.  But what happens when the seed planted takes time to grow, thrive and develop? Do you continue watering it?  Do you continue nourishing it and pulling the thorns, weeds and thistles that choke the life out of it? Can you picture the end result, even if the end is not for another decade?
 That seed God has planted in you is precious.  A vision for your life where you need to remain faithful through testing and trials is part of God’s plan for you.  In the book of James, he considers it pure joy whenever faced with trials, because the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  This perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4).  I love that scripture declaring “perseverance must finish its work”. The vision you may have received is set for a specific time, but you have to be prepared and ready for the challenge.  Your motives need to be pure, your heart has to glorify God in all things, your delicate sensibilities may need to be refined for the harsh treatment of our culture to Christians and your knowledge of God’s Word has to deepen. 
 The bible does not say Noah was discouraged for he knew God and walked with him.  I pray as a wife, if your husband has a vision and walks with the Lord, then you encourage and stand beside him. I think it is fair to say we all know what to stand next to and what to rebuke.  For example, Tommy has been given dreams of helping the homeless, building a church up north, and providing for people who are in the storms of life.  We are able to help few now and be a blessing, but these dreams are powerful with many people.  These are not normal dreams for him, nor is it something we discuss regarding moving north, but we leave it all in God’s hands.  If it is from the Lord, then his will be done! 
 If and when the time comes for us to be moved by the hand of God, I pray the Lord instruct, guide and lead our family to whom or whenever that is.  I desire to live by faith and not by sight.  Noah walked with the Lord; he did not stand with the sinners or sit with the mockers or walk with the wicked.  He desired the law of the Lord and meditated on him day and night.  Noah and his family were planted by streams of living water, bearing their fruit in due season and their leave never withered (Psalm 1).

            I am not sure how I would have responded to Noah if I was his wife.  If Tommy had told me we where going to build and ark, I probably would have said, “A what?” That is what I love about the Lord, he can imagine things we can not; the Lord’s creativity has no bounds, and his vision for you life is unique, special and just for you. My sister, I pray your faith abound every passing day, never wasting a moment doubting, complaining or growing complacent.  Read and meditate on James 1, praying for God to enlarge your faith as these families of old, enhance your wisdom and knowledge of his Word and increase your willingness to follow him.

Let us pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God:

            I know faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).  I know you have planted a seed in my heart.  I understand it takes time to grow which increases my faith.  I pray as I sit in your waiting room, in the wilderness, my faith abounds each passing day.  My heart overflows with joy believing I could be used for you, be your hands and feet and spread the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.
            May I be an encouraging wife if my husband has been given a vision for our family.  May be grow and study, listen and glean, humbling ourselves before you and in due time you will lift us up and honor our family (James 4:10). As we build our own ark, I believe you are the cornerstone, the rock, the foundation on which we are laying our hopes and dreams.  You are the foundations in which no storm, test or trial will dissipate our desires (Matthew 7:24-26). As we hammer every nail, secure each board, may we mediate on your Word and be preachers of righteousness. 
            I pray our hearts never are so hardened, we can not hear your voice.  As we live in this word, as it becomes colder and lukewarm, and as we continue building our foundation of faith, may be succumb to the ever changing philosophies of the world, may we never reject the truth for a lie and may we continue to train our children in the way they should go and they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I pray we bold come to the throne of grace, boasting only in the name of Jesus Christ, unashamed of the Gospel and running our race.
            I pray we continue to water this dream, this vision, our hope, this abounding faith with your Word.  May we never cease to study and meditate on your wonders.  I believe in your perfect will and timing is when we will move forward.  How ever long that is Lord, I am in this for the long haul.  I will not give up when I do not get my own way, I will never demand my own timing and I will submit before you, you will be done and not mine. 
            I pray for godly friends to encourage and support one another.  Another family to pray and stand in the gap with us, believing all things are possible for those who trust in the Lord.  Thank you for giving me a dream.  Thank you for encouraging me in my faith, not allowing me to forget just how big my God is!  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray.

Day 27 Anna

Prayer is communion with God.  A beautiful expression of our love for Yeshua, our daily manna from Heaven, our hearts seeking closeness with the Maker of Heaven and Earth, prayer is communicating with our Father.  I desire to walk with the Lord and imagine my life as Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” How else are we to get close to the Lord without talking, worshiping, praising, reading and listening? I believe we are called to pray, seek after the Lord, keep asking, knocking and looking for the door to be open (Matthew 7:7-8).
 In the Gospel of Luke, a prophetess is mentioned.  “There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.  She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38).
 Vulnerable after the death of her husband with no where to turn, heart broken and torn Anna may have sought refuge in the House of God where she was accepted.  In 1 Timothy 5:3-16, the Apostle Paul writes a passage of scripture regarding widows.  “Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.  But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.  The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.”  I think this may give us a little insight to the situation Anna may have been faced with, but also her character. 
 Anna may have not had any family to take her in; no one to lean upon during a crisis in her life.  She was alone, in need and sought God for help.  Anna’s reputation of ‘…..being faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds’ may have encouraged those in the church to accept her with open arms (1 Timothy 5:9-10).  She obviously was not one who “lived for pleasure”, self centered and love less.  I believed Anna’s life reflected her character by her actions in the Temple.  While married, I am sure she was devoted to prayer, fasting and seeking the Lord.  Our Father made a way for her to live in the Temple, her reputation preceding her and was not only accepted, but I am sure appreciated by the Elders.
 Because of her devotion to the Lord; motives pure, selfless, humble and devoted to God’s Temple, he allowed her to prophesy of Jesus of Nazareth.  Anna, in her moment of trial, pain, mourning and loss ran to the House of God for comfort, safety and healing. Her heart pure, motives holy and gentle breaking of her alabaster jar daily in thanksgiving for God’s covering and grace, he mercifully protected with open arms and healing hands into her broken heart.  Anna was allowed to look upon God’s son, for a brief moment in time married once again for the bridegroom had come.  Heart overwhelmed with praise, Adonai allowed a woman to prophetically speak over his son.

 Prayer is beautiful.  I bring my own prayers to the Lord in thanksgiving, praise, worship and song, tearfully in pain, and desiring the best for my family.  I pray for those in ministry, those who spread the Gospel of Christ and those who tirelessly work for God.  I sing a worship song, hands lifted and thankful I have been saved by the Blood of the Lamb, a song of prayer.  I repeat my favorite Psalms throughout the day, giving praise to the King, a hymn of prayer.  I fall on my knees in devotion and reverential fear to the Lord, seeking his will and wisdom; a heartfelt prayer of servant hood.  I cry out to the Lord in desperate need of healing for my heart, the actions of someone who cut me deep and seeking the forgiveness needed whelms in my heart as tears stream down my face; a prayer of healing, love and the Christian walk.  I lift my hands, praising the Lord, dancing as David, laughing joyfully in excitement and breathtaking awe; a prayer of joy, adoration, and answered prayer.  Prayer is communication with God.
 The Lord Jesus of Nazareth said we should not be as the hypocrites, praying in the churches and out in public to be seen by men for their impure motives and showman, lackluster prayers.  Christ encourages us to go in to our rooms, close the door and pray to our Father who sees what is done in secret and already knows our needs. We are not to babble like the pagans, for in their minds, many words and repetitious prayers have little meaning and comfort their own hearts, not God’s (Matthew 6: 5-15).  We are to pray to the Lord, in reverential awe seeking his will and not our own.  We are to give thanks for what God has given us, already knowing our physical and spiritual needs.  We are to pray ask Christ to cleanse us from the inside out, healing our hearts, forgiving those who have scarred a part of us as we are forgiven by the Lord in a sacrificial prayer of thanksgiving.  We are to pray, armoring our bodies with the weapons of our warfare and scripture, Christ as our example, to fight the ‘ruler of the kingdom of the air” and the temptations the devil attempts to dismantle our minds with.  We are to pray, ‘your will be done’, not mine as our Christian walk is tested, purified and washed clean by the blood of Christ (Matthew 6:9-15).
 My heart’s desire is your church is alive with prayer.  Christ demanded his “Father’s House be a House of Prayer” as it should be (Isaiah, 56:7, Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46).  Praying for the Gospel to spread, praying for God’s will of the church’s direction, the salvation for unbelievers, to help those in need, the servant hood of the congregation and overcoming obstacles should be on the lips of all Christians in your church (John 17).  I believe as written in the letter of James, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16).  James encourages those to seek prayer and praise to those in the faith as he pens, “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.  Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.  If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:13-15).
 I am inspired by those very words of prayer.  Christ said if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, it can move mountains; how much more if use that faith filled prayer for unbelievers (Matthew 17:20).  Prayer is power.  Praying with a faithful prayer warrior is amazing, for there is a spiritual connection that can not be broken.  My prayer warrior is Cathie.  I can call her anytime, day or night, requesting faithful mustard seed prayer and she is on it.  I feel comfortable, for God has given me her, to confess my thoughts and “sins” in confidence, prayerfully seeking another to help stand with me.  Just a note of caution, please beware of whom you speak in confidence and ask prayer from.  A trusted elder, pastor, deaconess, or friend (not many friends, but one close friend) you can share your heart with, are ones God can or will give you.  If you feel led to fast, then give God a breakfast, lunch or dinner with prayer and petitions.  I have had friends in prayer and fasting for months.  A friend of mine was in prayer and fasting for six months regarding her marriage.  After walking out on his family, this friend set out for God’s will.  She fasted her breakfast and lunch for six months; today, her husband is a preacher spreading the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.
 I have prayed and fasted for Tommy throughout these nine years.  When I felt the desire for change, the desire to be this noble wife, the desire for our marriage to grow and the desire for us to walk as the disciples in pairs, I prayed and fasted.  My fasting could have lasted a meal, a day or a week, not matter the length, the point was to give this prayer, this situation to the Lord.  Jesus spoke about prayer and fasting in the Gospel of Mark when confronted with disciples who could not heal a boy of an evil spirit, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29).  I believe there will be situation where seeking the will of God, desiring release from stronghold, renewing your mind and fast along side a friend or family member in need will arise some time during you walk with the Lord.  The fast is to remind us of our spiritual need; for when my belly would growl, I would pray all the more. 
 Throughout the Gospels, Jesus of Nazareth went alone to pray.  He would pray in lonely and desolate places, at times through the night when making decisions as with choosing the twelve disciples.  As beginning with this book, I pray you find yourself alone, listening for the Lord and giving him a heartfelt prayer.  If Christ is our example, how much more should we be in prayer.  Whether talking to the Lord about your day, whether a memory of someone springs forth and you pray for that person, whether singing a Psalm and giving thanks, or whether on your knees seeking healing, forgiveness or God’s will, prayer is essential for a close, deep relationship with the Lord.
 I have taught my children to pray.  I myself pray and ask the Lord to guide my prayers.  If a scripture comes to mind while in pray, I repeat, “It is written….” I have taught my children to do the same.  I strive to reflect Christ.  My goal is to memorize scripture so when confronted with a situation or someone asks me to pray for ___________, I am prepared with the Word of God.  I remember Isaiah 55:11, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God’s words are POWERFUL! His words hold the keys to wisdom and knowledge, my words are empty.  His words created the earth and its foundations; my words have created sin and destruction. His words are life, bringing health and nourishment to the bones; my words have cause death to friendships, scars to family and erroneous memories.
 I encourage you in Day 29 the Proverbs 31 Woman to memorize a scripture a day.  By the end of the year, you would have 365 scriptures etched in your mind, ready to pray and confess the word of God.  Sing a Psalm, worship with hands and heart ready; lay your life down at the cross in prayer, be as Anna praying, fasting and worship continuously.  What do you think we will be doing in Heaven? Worshiping the Lamb!

Let us Pray and Confess the Word of God;

Abba Father,
I know the prayer of the upright you will hear, so Father bend your ear low and listen to my prayers (Proverbs 15:8).  My heart’s desire is to communicate with you (Psalm 20:4). Yeshua, I want to break my alabaster jar.  In prayer, I can bring all my requests to you, not with repetitious prayers, but with heart felt words.  I want to pray as you, alone in green pastures, by living waters and you restoring my soul.  You are my shepherd and I have all that I want (Psalm 23).  Give me your desires, your will as I continue to ask, seek and knock.   I desire to know you better, know your Word and have a relationship with you.  Increase my faith, my walk and my prayer life.  Help me to memorize scripture as I can reflect my Savior’s words with “It is written…”  I pray to confess the Word, for I know your Word has power, will never return void and will accomplish what you’ve set out to fulfill (Isaiah 55:11). I pray to diminish and you increase (John 3) for the more I abide in you, the less I will trust in myself.
 As it is written, I desire my own house to be a House of Prayer (Matthew, Isaiah).  Help me to set aside each day to pray, talk, worship, sing, rejoice, or cry out to the Comforter.  Whether through a Psalm, scripture, a song, everyday communication or fasting, I want to be close to you.  Help me to pray for my family, stand in the gap when a trusted friend asks and if I have gossiped and abused this confidence with others, forgive me Lord.  I choose to be a servant of Christ, a prayer warrior, prepared for the temptations, trials and triumphs that are sure to come my way.  May I pray for your church and the Gospel to continue its work. 
 As it is written, may I devote myself to prayer, being watchful and thankful; praying for our pastors to proclaim the message of Christ as clearly as they should (Colossians 4:1).  It is written to pray over the sick, to bless those who persecute and forgive those who have hurt (James 5:13-16, Matthew 5:38-48). Help me to come quickly to you when my heart is broken, to pray for those who deceived me and those who intentionally cause harm (Luke 6:28). By prayer and petition I will give thanks to you for the power to forgive trespasses as you have forgiven mine, for my daily provisions spiritually and physically and your kingdom be done on this earth, in my life from this day forth (Matthew 6) Help me to be continually in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) for those who need of the Gospel and Christ as their Savior. My heart’s desire is my prayer life to not only focus on me, but your church, your Word and the spreading of the Gospel. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen

Day 26 Brides of Christ

 I pray over my daughter continuously.  I have given her over to the Lord as Hannah gave Samuel, with my heart’s desire “your will be done” and not mine.  I know she was formed and created for a purpose.  Formed to be an epistle for Christ in such a dark world; formed to be a light at such a young age to those around her, I know God’s plan and purpose for Madelyn is to pure and holy unto him while she wants for the man created just for her. 
 Eve was created just for Adam.  Each of their bodies formed and molded to fit perfectly together, each of their personalities meshing together as one, complimenting each other as God intended.  I pray for Maddie and her mate.  I pray for my son-in-law to be a Christian man with a heart toward God and friend of his as Moses.  I do not know when Maddie will meet this man, but I am determined to prepare her for that special time for it is my job as a parent to “train her in the way she should go, as to when she is older, she will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
 I was not a bride of Christ.  I succumbed to the desires of the world while in my teens and early twenties, suffering mental for it.  Never thinking I was good enough, pretty enough, always comparing myself to other “worldly” women and their “beauty”, my self-esteem was so low, so skewed in thinking, the devil had truly deceived me.  I pray Maddie never experience what I experience, never think what I thought of myself and never fall into the entrapment of the enemy as I did. She is a strong prayer warrior, even at such a tender age.  My family will attest to her prayers and how powerful she prays for those around her and in full faith in belief in Christ.  But, I know there is preparation, there are trials and triumphs ahead and I am not a naive mother.  For I have lived the “worldly life” and will tell my daughter my own experience along with God’s plan. 
 Training a child up in the ways of the Lord is different than living in your twenties and thirties as a Bride of Christ.  I have Christian friends who are living as Brides of Christ.  All are women in the thirties and forties who have been divorced due to marital affairs and desire to wait for the one God has for them.  All of the women are in the Church, serving in some area, praying for their groomsman and determined to not fail.  Some have fallen in to sexual exploits, but have repented quickly without the judgment from “us” as girlfriends.  I have friends who have waited years with no physical contact from men.  Is that possible you ask?  Yes, but extremely challenging.  Living as a Bride of Christ where men, lust, sex, pleasure and self gratification are EVERYWHERE, these women have etched and grafted into their spirits not to sin against God.  Jesus of Nazareth is more important to these women than any fleshly desired fulfilled, self gratifying night.
 To be a Bride of Christ is to be committed.  Committed to your Bridegroom, Jesus, for the season specified by the Lord is an amazing, challenging, and holy experience.  Each of my friends, through prayer, bible study or nights of fellowship, have agreed this knowledge and remaining pure to the Lord has brought them different revelations of themselves. If able to do over, these women have confessed to not living as the noble wife in their previous marriages.  Some were in church ministry with their spouses, living the Christian life, but were not praying or seeking the Lord as they should have been.  These Brides have a deeper relationship with Christ, the struggles and worldly views God has delivered them from, their own self motives and ambitions changed to God’s plan and purpose is becoming more clear. These women know what a godly man is, seek that “covering” in their marriages and desire to wait for the man God has chosen for them. 
 The world looks at these women as weak; I look at them as having strength that only comes from the Lord.  The world looks on and asks, “Enjoy your life, go out to clubs, find yourself a man and settle down when ready.”  These women pray as Peter wrote, “Since Christ suffered in his body, I will arm myself with the same attitude, because he suffered in his body.  Christ did not live the rest of his earthly life for worldly desires, but the will of God.  I have spent enough time in the past doing what the world chooses to do, living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.  I know the world think it strange I do not plunge with them in to the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on me for that.  But I know they and myself will give an account to Christ who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:3). These are the prayers and heart’s desire of my friends.  The Brides of Christ I know have lived that former life, and like myself, have no desire to fall back into the entrapment. 2 Timothy 2:21-22, “If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
 My friends would have wanted the knowledge they have now, as they are encouraging to the younger generations of women to wait and pray for the man God has for them.  If you are a young Bride who has never been married, never fallen into the entrapment, and continues to ask, seek and knock, then I would encourage you to persist in your pressing on.  Pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for truth, wisdom and service.  If you have been waiting for a time, pray to the Lord for guidance and seek his counsel regarding the man whom he has prepared for you, your motives, which should be pure and not demanding; God will reveal to you the plan, what you need to know at this time in your life and what you need to do.  If you are serving in the church, but are not growing spiritually, then I would pray for a different service where you can glean from godly women.  If you are in bible study, I would be in prayer about starting a bible study for Brides of Christ, so you all can mutually encourage one another (Romans 1:12). During this time, many Brides are learning to cloth themselves with compassions, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. They are bearing with each other, forgiving those who may have heart them and learning to put on love, which binds everything together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12-14). This is a learning process and fellowship, friends, female accountability partners, parents or women in the church are here for support.
My friends and I encourage you to have a prayer warrior to lay your requests at the cross. We exhort you to prepare for the temptations with the armor of the Lord, never go alone to a club or party without an accountability partner and glean from an elder in the church whom you trust and recognizes your heart’s desire.  The temptations are there, they are ready to pounce as our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion to devour.  Just as my friends and I pray, please do not allow yourself to be used, abused, deceived, manipulated or by anyone.  You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

Let us Pray and CONFESS the Word of the Living God:

Abba Father,
 I desire to be a Bride of Christ.  I desire to follow you and not the world.  I know the decision I am making is challenging, but you will give me the strength I need in all things (Philippians 4:13) I pray to not live my former way of life for the old has passed and I am new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians  5:17) I am renewed by the transforming of my mind (Romans 12:2) I believe you have a life, purpose and plan for me.  I believe I was knitted together in my mother’s womb not for death, but for life.  I pray to cast of the ways of the world, following the ruler of the kingdom of the air with all its desires and cravings, but follow my shepherd who leads me down green pastures and quiet waters (Ephesians 2, Psalm 23)
 Help me to think on things that are pure, noble, of good report, truthful, noteworthy, praise worthy (Philippians 4:8).  I pray to take this time and be a servant, a doer of the word with the gifts and talents you have given me (James 2:18, Romans 12:6-8) I desire to diminish and you increase for I can only except was has been given to me from above (John 3:27-30) I pray my faith grow stronger each passing day and during this season to listen, heed and follow the voice of the Lord.  I pray you continue to teach, guide and instruct me on this holy life, preparing me to be this wife of noble character (Psalm 25, Proverbs 31). I pray if I have bitterness from my past, you will help me to forgive quickly.  I pray if I have ungodly attitudes towards marriage, I pray for godly married woman to glean from, to watch and learn how to be this wife of noble character.  May I submit before you, and I know only then will you life me up and give me honor (James 4:10)
 Father I pray for the strength and peace which surpasses understanding, to stand against the world’s desires when they spring forth, and help me to memorize scripture to defeat the enemy with ungodly attacks.  When my heart begins to break while in your waiting room, I pray you comfort me with Psalms and hymns of praise to heal and repair my spirit while I wait.  I know your gentle hand will love me and mend the recesses of my heart that are broken or scarred. Show where I may have strongholds to tear down, negative vain imaginations of myself or others, and lies I have believed by the devil.  I desire the truth which I know will set me free (John 8:32)! 
 I pray to encourage those around me, inspire those who are waiting as I, and continue to be a light in a dark world.  I pray to follow my shepherd when I hear his voice.  Whether it be missions trips, bible studies, prayer groups, moving, teaching or worshiping, help me sit at your feet and love you.  I believe you will never leave me nor forsake me (Job 1:5). In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, Amen.