Ash Wednesday marks the start of the season of Lent on the Christian calendar. Lent is the time when believers prepare our hearts for the coming of Easter; it’s the time for reflecting on the sacrifice that Jesus made for each one of us when He went to the cross. We can do this in several ways:[Read more…]
16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:16-17
I love studying and learning.
I could be a professional student. My heart beats a little faster when I hear terms such as Rhodes Scholar, Oxford, Cambridge, Colson Fellows Program … the stuff dreams are made of. God is all about studying and learning. He required the Kings of Israel to write a copy of His word and keep it with them and study it every day of their life. What’s good for the Kings of Israel is good for us.
Studying is a discipline and requires determination and perseverance, but the pay-outs are huge. Wisdom, knowledge, blessings, being smarter than our enemies are just a few of the benefits of studying God’s holy word. In this digital age we have instant access to the word of God — it’s only a click away.
Make some extra time this week and get your study on, you will be blessed! To get you started, please dig in to the Sway below.
Don’t forget to leave a comment in the Comment Section about what you have learned!
At its simplest, prayer is communicating with God.
Prayer is the language of our hopes, dreams, and ambitions. The Bible teaches that we should pray without ceasing, in good times and bad, when we are tempted, and when we are under attack. While God can do whatever He wants without the help of man, in His wisdom He has decreed that some things will not be accomplished apart from the prayers of man.
The effective fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much!
We all know we should pray. We all know prayer is important … so why don’t we? Why do we struggle so with prayer instead of in prayer? Because prayer is hard work. Prayer is where our battles are won or lost. Some parts of the Christian life are enjoyable: praise and worship, fellowship, hospitality. Prayer is literally going to war with the enemy. No one likes to go to war. It’s hard. It’s bloody. It’s critical. It’s necessary. It’s our privilege and the payouts are huge.
Our nation is at stake. Our families are at stake. Our children are at stake. Suit up and get your armor on and drop to your knees because the battle must be won.
Please scroll through the Sway below to access the many embedded prayer resources. Remember to leave a comment below and on our Facebook page.
Have a blessed Lent.
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Welcome to week 2 of Lent: a season of empty to full.
This week our focus is examen and self-denial—two of our favorite subjects! I know there’s nothing we like better than taking a deep look at ourselves (warts and all) and saying no to our flesh. While these spiritual disciplines may be uncomfortable, they will bring a harvest of good if we allow God to do His necessary work.
Below are the five traditional steps for the discipline of Examen:
- Gratitude: Recall the blessings of the day and thank God.
- Review: Recall the events of the day and notice where you felt God’s presence and where you resisted opportunities to grow in love.
- Sorrow: Recall anything for which you are sorry.
- Forgiveness: Ask for God’s forgiveness and/or healing if needed.
- Grace: Ask God for the grace you need for the next day or for your life in general.
In the Sway, we will provide the information you need to go through the process of examen.
Let’s also stretch our definition of denial beyond the traditional Lenten ideas of sugar and sweets. Consider denying yourself the right to get angry or to get even. What about denying yourself the right to be bitter or unforgiving?
Get ready for the Spirit to dig in to your life while you dig into the many resources included in this week’s Sway. Remember to pray for each other and post your comments on our Facebook page and in the comment section below.
From empty to full.
Have a blessed Lent.
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Would you like to approach Easter this year with a heart that is prepared for the Resurrection?
Too often it seems, Lent flies by and before we know it, Holy Week is upon us and we’re rushing to prepare home and heart for Easter. At Only By Prayer, we’re ready to help you more mindfully prepare with our 7-Week Guide, Lent: A Season of Empty to Full and accompanying Facebook page.
Ready to sign up now?
What Is Empty to Full?
Each week of Lent we will identify a theme for that week and email you a multi-media bundle of posts, videos, podcasts, illustrations, and Bible studies that you can use to help prepare your heart. We’ll include a simple guide, just in case you want one, but feel free to do them in any order you choose and at your leisure. If the Spirit leads you to slow down and spend the entire week diving deep into one resource, by all means do that. We will also set up a private Facebook page for just this group to share insights, ask questions, and pray for each other. There is no cost. We simply ask that you sign up in the opt-in form below so that we may email you the resources each week.
- Week 1: Simplicity
- Week 2: Examen
- Week 3: Prayer
- Week 4: Fasting
- Week 5: Study
- Week 6: Service
- Week 7: Celebration
Ready to get started? Simply sign up below. Be sure to reply to the email you should immediately receive (check your spam or trash if you don’t see it within a few minutes) so that you are added to our list. Your first bundle will arrive on Ash Wednesday, February 10, the first day of Lent. Thereafter, you’ll receive a bundle every Monday. We will also add you to our private Empty to Full Facebook page so that you can participate in the forum with us if you would like to.
We look forward to the next seven weeks! Thank you for journeying with us.
Sign up here: