Friday, February 5, 2016

Prepare to Stop

“Where is that boy?” I said aloud walking through the house looking for my husband.  He was nowhere to be found and I was ready to go.  We were about to make a follow-up visit to a lady who had been in an accident and I didn’t want to get blamed for holding up the works. 

In a panic, friends of ours called about 7:30 pm on Friday asking if we could go check on a member of their congregation who was in the hospital. They lived about an hour away so naturally we agreed to go see the person.  

Well, I was ready to leave, but somehow my husband wasn’t within calling distance.  Then I noticed the back door was unlocked. Okay, he’s taking out the compost I thought.  Great!   

Not so great … looking to my right I noticed containers on the back patio that needed to be emptied in the compost pile that had been collecting for three days!  I guess he figured I wouldn’t look there?  Who knows what he thought, but he was about to know what I was thinking. 

When I stepped outside I thought if he wasn’t already, he surely will be in the dog house for this. Now where did he go? 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBStockton, NSW, Australia; Cranbrook, BC, Canada; Kochi, Kerala, India; Nazareth, Northern District, Israel; Malawi; Kikinda, Serbia; Celje, Savinja Statistical Region, Slovenia; Málaga, Andalucía, Spain; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. 

USA Tucson, AZ; Warner Robins & Marietta, GA; Bonita Springs & Sunland Gardens, Ormond-by-the-Sea & Johnson, FL; Leonardtown & Middle Earth, MD; Dora & Whiteman Air Force Base, MO; Hoyt Lakes, MN; Kannapolis, Albemarle, Archdale, Rocky Mount, Cabarrus, Asheboro, Concord, Greensboro, Lexington & Salisbury, NC; Monroe Township, Gloucester County, NJ; Canby, OR; New Kingstown & Upland, PA; Sumter, SC; Round Rock, Nederland & San Leanna, TX; Bon Air, VA. 

I am so happy for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  God has been faithful and we expect His favor to abound in the lives of those who chose to Journey with Jesus on Daily Favor Blog.
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Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections.

What’s Happening? 

I’m really not a brute, but seeing banana peels that fell out of the containers on the concrete was a calling card for bugs or pests, and that really got me going. Sure there had been a few cold days, but seriously, why didn’t he throw them away? 

I was set to blast my husband with “pearls of wisdom” from a fuming tongue as I set foot in the yard.  Rounding the corner of the shed there he was, “chatting” with the neighbor with what seemed to be a regular conversation.  Not wanting to interrupt the male bonding, politely I did the “Hey, how ya’ doing” distance wave and went over to open the garden fence for the compost heap. 

Walking back to the patio to collect the containers with the “I’ll do it myself” attitude, I looked over to see if hubby was wrapping up his talk. It doesn’t take long for the Holy Spirit to put a halt on poor behavior or attitude.   

Thankfully the Lord stopped me from barking myself into the dog house with my husband.  My “Come on we’re going to be late.” thinking quickly turned to what we’ve been focusing on these past weeks – “Look, what’s happening in front of you?” 

Watch & Pray 

On my way back to the house, I watched as my husband reached over the fence to put his arm around our neighbor and began to pray.  Although it was important we make our visit to the hospital, along the way the Lord had my husband stop and pray for someone who needed guidance at that moment.

Apparently someone was listening to the voice of the Lord! 

“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.” (Mark 13:33 NKJV) 

Jesus spoke to His disciples about always being prepared for His return through prayer and watching!  That command still holds for us.  Being the hands and feet of Christ means being in tune with the Holy Spirit, by having an awareness of our surroundings so He can work through us. 

“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the Master of the house (Jesus) is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, He find you sleeping. 

What I (Jesus) say to you all (which includes us): Watch!”  (Mark 13:35-37 NKJV) 

The Lord wasn’t telling the disciples they could never sleep, but used the word sleep as a double reference in the context of “dead, lazy, non-active” followers of the gospel. 

My husband didn’t go over to the fence to pray, but had other intentions when he approached it.  Somewhere between our back door and the fence God changed my husband’s mindset.  He was headed toward a destination and God said, “Wait … let’s pray.” 

Prepare to Stop 

When I have an agenda it’s difficult for me to stop in the middle and change direction. I don’t know why, but that’s the way it is. Somewhere in my brain I’m probably thinking I’ll get behind and off schedule, but if it is God stopping the plan then I’m exactly where I should be.  That’s what happened Sunday and most of the week – I needed to prepare to stop what I was doing at any time. 

It made me think about all the times Jesus was en route to somewhere when He suddenly said, “We’re going to stop here for prayer.”   

I can picture the disciples on their way to minister somewhere when Jesus decided to stop and pray.  What did they say or do?  With a southern drawl I picture the disciples using a shaky “Jerry Jordan” type voice explaining their way out of this‘un … 

“Well Lord, I’d like to stop here and pray, but I have to get home to make a boat payment, and you know how the wife gets if I’m longer than expected…  Oh, You reckon I won’t need the boat if I don’t stop and pray?  Alright then, as soon as I get home I’ll do that just as You said.”  

“What’s that Jesus, stop here? Don’t You remember last time we stopped outside this city? They weren’t that thrilled with us being here Lord, and I ‘spect we have all the stones we’ll be a needin’…  Can’t we pray later?” 

“Master, the food markets are about to close and we haven’t had supper yet.  What, wait ‘til the last supper? How ‘bout we just pray when we get something to eat?  I’m sure all the prayers go to the same place anyway?” 

“Pray, why do we have to pray?  Aren’t we following You? I thought God was giving You the instructions. OK Lord, we’ll pray, but You might wanna go on ahead, so’ens ours will make it through the door too.” 

There are tons of excuses not to stop to pray … none of which the Lord finds humor in, nor are acceptable. 

We read in the gospels that there were times the disciples fell asleep and missed prayer meeting.  No doubt we can be placed on that list as well. Jesus wasn’t happy about those times, but that didn’t stop Him from asking them over and over again to pray. 

Prayer Stops 

Throughout the Bible we learn why, when, where and how people pray.  All are important so we must be prepared for stopping at any point in the day when the Lord says, “Stop – watch and pray.” 

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplications for all the Saints.” (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV) 

“… always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the Will of God.” (Colossians 4:12 NKJV) 

We pray while on watch so that we will be in the Will of God. 

“Brethren, pray for us.” (1 Thessalonians 5:25 NKJV)

“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power… “ (2 Thessalonians 1:11 NKJV) 

We pray for others so that God will fulfill the good work He began in us with power (from the Holy Spirit). 

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1 NKJV) 

We pray that God will quickly grant favor on a situation so that He is glorified and it draws people to salvation. 

Obey & Pray 

We view life as a moving forward, keep going adventure.  When we’re given a slow-down signal to stop along the road, it throws us a curve.  No one ever prepares to stop; we prepare to keep going. 

However, there will be times when the Lord moves on our spirit to pray over someone. It might be a fellow believer, friend, family member or someone we don’t even know.  Our job is to obey and pray. 

If we want God to show favor in our own lives, we need to pray favor in the lives of others.  The Lord is waiting for the Righteous to pray. His ears are wide open and He is ready to respond so that evil doesn’t come upon them. 

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the Righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)

In Front of Me Prayers 

The pieces had been gathering since my husband returned from the hospital that Friday night; I knew this is what God wanted me to share on Daily Favor. 
For the next few nights I hadn’t slept much and kept asking the Lord to confirm what He wanted me to share this week.
God is faithful and did so through a conversation I had with my friend Margaret and through her blog post “A Flip of the Coin."

For about a week or so we had been conversing about where the Lord is leading, and praying that we remain focused so we don’t miss what God is revealing to us. 

Every morning between 4-6 a.m., I looked out my kitchen window remembering what the Lord had reminded me of during that impatient time on Sunday.  “Focus, front and center young lady!” 

There wasn’t very much activity of course, but I did see a few cars and businesses that were preparing to open for the day.  Leaning over the counter I watched as one vehicle passed every few minutes.   

As the car traveled down the road I prayed over the person(s) and the vehicle.  There were six accidents and three fatalities last week on that very road.  One was with the woman who was in the hospital.

I asked God to keep them safe, bring salvation to their household and bless them with favor so they know it was from Him. 

“In front of me” prayers then changed gears toward all the businesses, their owners, clients and finances for each establishment.  Turning around my eyes focused on my husband, pets and the plans God had for me that day. 

When I sat at the computer my prayers targeted on those I would come in contact with concerning writing and social media.  In doing so my week was blessed with favor from God and people.

This Week’s Challenge:
Prepare to Stop 

With sincerity we’ve probably all said the phrase, “I’ll pray for you.” Time goes by and oops, we’ve forgotten to do what we promised.  

If we would have stopped and prayed at that moment we would have kept our word and fulfilled scripture.  Our problem is that we never prepared to stop and pray the instant the situation arose. 

Last week our challenge focused on the “in front” aspect regarding being prepared to act in doing something of a physical nature for Christ.   

This week our Challenge keeps within the spiritual task of what’s “in front” of us, but the focus is to keep watch in preparing to stop and pray.   

Before you start your day prepare in prayer for your “prepare to stop” day. Throughout the entire week be aware of who is directly in front of you, whether it is at home or out in public and get ready to pray.  The prayer doesn’t have to be long; it might only be a few sentences. 

If you have already asked God to guide you in prayer, you will know what to pray when the Lord puts an individual in front of your eyes. 
For example, there were several people I noticed with limps so I prayed over their legs for healing. I automatically knew what to pray when the Holy Spirit put them in front of my eyes, because I was prepared. 

If you’re in traffic waiting for the light to change, pray for the person directly in front of you.  I noticed a few had car troubles and I prayed over the vehicle to get them to where they needed to be. 

When someone passes your office, pray for them.  Pray over your neighbor when you see them leave for work.  You get the point. The main thing is to pray for people you SEE, but don’t let that stop you from your regular prayer time on behalf of those you know. 

“In all your ways give ear to Him, and He will make straight your footsteps.” (Proverbs 3:6) 

Time is short and who knows, you might be the last one to pray over the person “in front” of you.  Wouldn’t that be cool if your prayer was the last one that needed to be spoken before Jesus returned!  Talk about favor !!! 

“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers (serving for God’s glory). (1 Peter 4:7 NKJV) 

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Until next time, pray for favor in others! 

“Pray favor for others and receive favor.”
Jesus Christ


*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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by Stormie Omartian

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