Conversations Part 3: On Prayer

Welcome to Week 3 of the “Conversations” series! July is flying by fast. If you’re just joining us, click the links below to catch up!

Part 1

Part 2

Any glance through my old journals reveals that I was very calm, but persistent in praying to God about the man I would marry. I prayed about meeting him. I prayed about the qualities I desired in him. I prayed about my desires to be in a relationship and get married. I prayed for his future family. And I prayed for “him,” though I didn’t have a face or a name yet.

Years and years of prayer went into our relationship before it even began. In “Change the Conversation,” I also talk about a specific quiet time when I truly laid my request before the Lord about meeting a husband. I talk more about it in this post here, which coincidentally happened five years ago today!

We also prayed during our dating relationship that we would glorify God. We prayed to make good decisions, set boundaries, and meet needs.

I hope you are catching a pattern here. Prayer, when activated, reaps much fruit in every area of our lives. Paraphrasing a quote from “Streams in the Desert,” a Christian can hardly accomplish more than when immersed in prayer.

I don’t know what you’re walking through in your own life right now. Maybe you are praying for job opportunities to open up. Maybe you are praying about funding for a mission trip. Maybe you are praying about the person you will marry. Maybe you are praying for a child. Maybe you are praying that God would heal deep hurts in your heart.

Whatever it is, pray.

Pray quietly, pray out loud, write your prayers out in a journal, share them with a friend, whatever you need to do, lift your requests before the Lord. Pray through scriptures. Pray with songs. Whatever you do, pray. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.

As my husband and I are walking through fertility treatments, we’ve prayed a lot. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Some of have been angry prayers. Some have been tired prayers. A lot have been tearful prayers. But the point is, pray. We don’t see the full fruit of those prayers yet, but I can look back on a long history of answered prayer, and that informs and shapes my future.

Are all my questions answered? No. Is every “what if” satisfied? Definitely not. Do I come before the Lord with perfect faith and patience every time? Ha, NOPE.

But I do come, and I can rest assured today that by faith, my prayers are accounted for and the Lord does hear me. And he hears you, too. Don’t discount the power of prayer.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b

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Conversations Part 2: On Purity

The Purity chapter in “Change the Conversation” was one of the easier chapters to write, because the topic is so near and dear to my heart, and I want the next generation to catch God’s vision for purity, not become further tripped up in the trappings of the purity culture.

CTC Pull Quote 1

If I had a kid right now, I would begin painting a vision of purity; a vision of pursuing God’s best in every area of our lives, including dating relationships. A compelling vision motivates people to get behind it. A compelling vision moves people from point A to point B. A compelling vision does in fact inspire change. A compelling vision motivates people to do the work necessary in order to reach the desired goal. I love this quote from French author Antoine Exupery:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sailors longing for the open sea will be more than motivated to swab the decks and  hoist the sails because they love their goal and believe in their purpose. They are willing to put in the work to get there. The concept of purity, in my opinion, can work in the same way.  On one hand, it can feel like endless tasks, a long to-do list and an even longer to-DON’T list. Or it can be framed in such a way that because we love God so much, because we desire his will, because we love his word, we  hold ourselves to a standard for the greater purpose, not for the standard’s sake.

This vision naturally extends to the rest of a believer’s life, not just during dating and engagement. That’s what began to bother me so much with the traditional “purity culture” espoused in Christian circles. Christians are called to pursue purity in every area of their lives, for their whole life, whether in elementary school, or in the assisted living community. But you don’t hear much about it past youth group. It’s not framed in light of marriage (as much as it should be), or in parenting, or in the workplace. Why? Why is that?

Let’s pursue purity as we do schoolwork, as we complete work projects, as we interact with our spouses, our family members, and yes boyfriends/girlfriends as well. Let’s regain the vision for purity that I believe resides in God heart.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

Conversations Part 1: The Power of Pause

First of all, thank you so much for your support of “Change the Conversation” through your reviews and purchases. I couldn’t do it without you!

I’m excited to have some time to share more about the book with you on the blog over the next month. Even though this was the second book I’ve written, (“Bloom” the devotional is currently in the works!) it is a topic near and dear to my heart because of the potential impact dating choices have in the lives of teens and young adults.

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“Change the Conversation” Available TODAY

TODAY IS THE DAY.

“Change the Conversation” is available for purchase today from the Kindle store.

I can hardly believe it!

Change the Conversation

Download and start reading on your Kindle device or Kindle app today!

Don’t have a Kindle device? You can get the Kindle app and read on your smartphone or other tablet. That’s what I use to read any e-books- my Kindle app on my iPad.

And I would especially appreciate like love forever be grateful if you posted an honest review upon finishing the book!

Click here for a chance to win a copy of “Change the Conversation.”