Jeremiah 29:11

“For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son that whoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

-John 3:16

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This is the first bible verse I learned.  My granddaddy taught it to me.  As a Christian, it is the very core of what we believe.  It’s where we place our hope.  Hope that God loves us and had a plan for us from the very beginning. God gave His one and ONLY son so that while I am yet in sin, I will live.  Flesh death is NOT the final death.  It has no power over us.

For this reason, this verse has never left me.  It is always there in the back of my mind.  When I am down and discouraged or have a foggy mind and can’t articulate a word to God, I just thank Him for giving His son for a sinner like me.  And yet, despite it’s power, John 3:16 is not my favorite verse.  No, that honor is reserved for Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

-Jeremiah 29:11

I don’t remember when, where, or how I first came to meet this scripture, but it gives me hope when I’m hopeless and confidence when I am without.  God is telling me that he does have a plan for my life.  Despite where I think I should be or what I think I should have, God has a plan.  I can be confident when my plans are not coming together because God has a plan!!

I want to be married.  God has a plan. I want to have children. God has a plan.  I want to prosper in my career.  God has a plan.  I want to pay off my student loans. God has a plan. God’s plan is for good (Genesis 50:20).  God has given me hope and a future.

This verse comforts me when I am lost, discouraged, or feeling helpless. This verse helps me when I am in despair.  This verse makes me thankful. This verse makes me grateful.  This verse helps me to be reflective. Because I know that God’s plan is better than anything that I could plan for myself, this verse gives me hope, faith, and a more expectant prayer life.

What’s your favorite verse and what does it mean to you?

Hope + Faith + Prayer

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
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Two years ago I was in a dark place. I wanted to find a hole and crawl in it until all the pain that I felt went away. In my despair, I knew God was a present help. That’s what they taught me in church. I felt like the woman with the issue of blood; I need to press my way through so I could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. I would be made whole again.

I cried a bucket of tears daily. God said he has my tears in a bottle. How many know it’s not easy trying to hide your pain from your family? I didn’t want to be around anybody. My mom was dying; my husband was leaving, and I wanted to go with my mom.

Oh, but God. God was tugging at my heart, and I was tugging at His. I was looking for the bush that was on fire, so I could hear from my God. I needed God. Oh! How I needed God. I wanted to be just like Moses. It sounds funny, but it’s real. I searched the Word. I read other people’s inspirational books. I played praise and worship music. I needed to have an encounter with God. This went on for months. Then one day during my praise and worship, He said “Here I am.” God said He would never leave us nor forsake us. The darkness from my world went away. I stopped crying, and I no longer felt pain.

What’s amazing is one day I realized, “Hey, I’m not crying.” I had to tell myself that. That’s when I experience God as my comforter. I lost my mom to cancer. Actually, I didn’t lose her; I know exactly where she is. I did pray throughout her illness. When God called her home, it’s because God loves her more than I could ever love her. However, God is a healer. I prayed for healing for my mom, and my mom is healed. My mom is in heaven where cancer is not welcome.

I’ve learned a lot about prayer since then. I will share what I’ve learned in other posts. I know what it means to depend on God. Prayer is our time with God. Do I believe that prayer works? Absolutely! The bible has countless stories of people who prayed and God heard their cry. I have seen God move in my own family as well.

Hope, Faith, and a lot of Prayer

Hope faith prayer

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

Prayer is a petition before God for the things that we hope for which activates our faith. Or so it should.

I had the idea to start this blog during a period of prayer with my mom and sister. I understand how important prayer is. Theoretically I believe in the power of prayer. I have to be honest though. I’ve had my doubts. There have been times in my life where I’ve had the faith of a mustard seed, better yet the whole mustard jar, and the mountain never moved. At least not from what I can tell.

I didn’t get the job. My grandmother did not beat cancer. Relationships were not restored. Opportunities were not granted.

Yet, I still believe in the power of prayer. I believe prayer can save a life, heal a broken soul, improve a relationship, and transform a generation. Sometimes I do want to give up on prayer. I just want to throw my hands up and say, “God, just give me whatever it is you want me to have. I don’t have any more petitions.”

In fact, I’ve done just that. For a time my nightly prayers were limited to the Matthew 6:9-13 prayer. The “Our Father who art in heaven…” prayer. Nothing specific. Nothing that required any faith or hope on my part. Just “Your will be done.”

Although I’ve tried to give up on hopeful prayers that have at times led to heartbreak, I can’t. Something deep inside of me just won’t let me give up. It’s too important. There are too many people who need my prayers. My brother needs my prayers. My family needs my prayers. My friends need my prayers. To be honest, I think the whole world needs my prayers. I may get weary, but I will not faint.

This blog was started to help my own unbelief. To build my faith muscles and to reignite my hope in the future. I pray it does the same for you.

Hope, Faith, and Prayer, Indeed

We had been on a spiritual journey of trying to find deeper connection with God through prayer initially incited by the movie The War Room.  Then my sister, Charlene Dior, suggested we start blessing jars (more on blessing jars later).  On January 1, 2016, we committed to placing every blessing in the jar so that we would be more cognizant of how God was indeed blessing us despite still waiting on some very specific prayers to be answered and having experienced a traumatic 2014.

My sister, the creative brain of our little family, suggested after reading an article that we commit 30 days to praying for three people other than ourselves, so we began that journey on March 19th.  Then on April 8th, we received a group text: “This is a crazy idea.  I thought we could start a blog about prayer.”  Little did she know, my mother and I didn’t think it was a crazy idea at all!! There was no convincing needed!

So here we are 😀.

For me, I feel I am desperately yearning for something more that I quite honestly can’t  necessarily articulate at this moment, but I have the sense that I cannot obtain “it” without a deeper commitment to God through prayer.

I hope to share my journey as we embark individually and collectively to more faithful prayer lives.  I pray that this endeavor brings hope, faith, and prayer to our readers.