Weekly Blessings: Week 7 with Shannon Mitchell

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Image credit: loveroad.org



Hello, and welcome to week 7 of "Weekly Blessings!" I'm proud to announce that we have a guest post this week! This post is coming from my good friend Shannon Mitchell, over at Walking Shoes. She is a Florida State University alumni who actively works with organizations that help support our military. You can find her on Twitter and InstagramShannon is such a sweet, God-fearing young woman and she has a very powerful message to share with us today! 

How Prayer Connects You to God


1 Corinthians 12:4, 7-12:
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them…Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Just as a body, though one has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”
How many of you have taken the Spiritual Gifts test? The one that appears on the handout in Sunday school, having you rank your qualities and then add up all the points to see where you are most gifted? As we see in 1 Corinthians 12, there are many different spiritual gifts. I believe that one gift is not the only gift you are given, either. However, sometimes there are people who are much more gifted than you or I in certain areas. One area I always felt that I lacked in was prayer. Everyone knows someone who has a profound gift in prayer. They can stay on their knees for hours, speaking eloquently to God. My last roommate was like that, and I loved that about her! She was such an encouragement. Sometimes, though, I felt very discouraged and lost, not knowing what to say or how to say it when it came to prayer. Though there is no right or wrong way to pray and talk to God, we are given some encouragement and guidance in Matthew 6:9:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
When reading this you may think, “What the heck does that mean?” or “How is that a model for prayer?” Though the Bible was written way before our time, its content will never be dated, and can be applied even to this crazy modern world we live in. Let’s take a look:
The prayer starts off addressing God as our Father in heaven. Think of this as writing a letter or talking to your parents. You use a proper noun, or name. God fathered us into existence because He is our creator (Genesis 1). He is also a heavenly and holy being. Hallowed is a synonym of the word holy, so when saying, “Hallowed be your name,” we are stating how holy our God is.
The Lord’s Prayer continues by saying, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” I think that this is the trickiest verse from The Lord’s Prayer to digest, and understand; a verse that I have done some research on. According to one commentary, “Your kingdom comes” refers to the personal relationship you have with God. This can be considered “THE” prayer, if you will, meaning that you ask God to dwell within you as the Holy Spirit (referring to the Holy Trinity). This means that you repent of your sins, acknowledging that aside from Jesus Christ you are doomed to eternal hell. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, reconciling us with our heavenly Father. Prior to the coming of Jesus via the Virgin Mary, God had to be a part from all sinners because of his holiness. This holiness has not changed nor will it, but Jesus, who was without sin, being of God, died in place of us so that we can live in heaven with God eternally, clean and pure because God forgives us. By acknowledging this, we are able to have His kingdom come upon us, and have the Holy Spirit be a part of our lives.
We can also look at this verse as, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This can be utilized as praying for trust, which I think, as human beings we struggle with no matter your personality type. I also think that praying for a trusting heart is one of the hardest, but most important things to do. Why; Because God uses different life experiences to teach us to rely on Him wholeheartedly. Take Job from the book of Job in the Old Testament. Job was considered one of the most faithful and godly men on earth, and God allowed him to be tested by giving Satan the “OK” to put Job through some amazingly hard trails, such as contracting Leprosy, which, in those days, resulted in being cast out from society. However, Job still trusted in God and God saved him. What we go through in life will not always be comfortable, but God will always deliver and we need to trust in that fact. God already knows what tomorrow will bring, so by asking for his will to be done on earth and in heaven is just solidifying our trust in his guidance.
Similar to God always delivering, he will always provide for us. “Give us this day our daily bread” is a prayer of asking. It’s okay to ask God questions; in fact, it is encouraged! Matthew 6:33 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Asking is part of conversing and that is essentially what praying is; it is a means to speak to God.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” goes back to acknowledging Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We ask for forgiveness for sinning, and should also seek to be examples of God’s love to others. That is something we should always pray for; to become more Christ-like.
The next statement, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” also relates to becoming more Christ-like. Jesus was without sin, and though it is impossible for a human (remember, Jesus was God in the flesh, so he was a manifestation, meaning he was not truly human, and therefore did not sin) to be perfect, we can ask for guidance and protection to help keep from sinning.
The Lord’s Prayer finishes by stating, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” This last part is often overlooked and recited nonchalantly, without being noted for its significance. However, it should never be overlooked because it is a prime example of why we were created. As believers, we believe that the only reason we were created is to bring praise and glory to God, and marvel in his majesty. That is why it is so important to note the last phrase in The Lord’s Prayer. It acts as a reminder as to why we were made and how we should always praise god, despite our earthly circumstances because God is aware. He knows our plans for us, and he desires a relationship with us. The structure of prayer is a prime example of that showing his love, desire, care, and want to converse with us, and be a part of our lives.
Regardless of where you are, what you are doing, who you are, your busy schedule, God is always there, listening, wanting you and loving you.

Thanks again Shannon for your wonderful post! If you'd like to share something(Bible verse, a song, or a message) that God has put on your heart, please do so! If you'd like to contribute to "Weekly Blessings," reach me via Facebook,  TwitterEmail, or just comment below and I'll make sure you to get in touch!

39 comments :

  1. The Lord's Prayer -- my everyday prayer. No matter where I am in life, this is the prayer that always seems to guide me through. It is true, that no matter what we are doing, how we are feeling or where we are in life, God is always there with an open heart. Thanks for sharing.

    Thrifting Diva
    www.thriftingdiva.com

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    1. The Lord's Prayer is definitely a powerful tool. Thanks for reading!

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  2. I am not a very religious person, but I do believe in God. I don't know how to pray or if I do it right at all, but I just think what's on my mind and direct it to God and hope he hears, haha.

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    1. i think that's the best way to do it.. no fancy phrases.. just being honest.

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    2. Haha I hear ya. Prayer isn't my strong suit either, but God is awesome that way: He will meet you where you are. As long as you are trying to talk to Him, He will listen.

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  3. Sometimes we think we are too busy to remember God. But that is never really true, we should always remember that God wants the best for us.

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    1. Thank you so much! Sharon is a wonderful writer and passionate about God!

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  5. I'm not necessarily religious, but also not necessarily not religious. (that's a mouthful) I am always amazed at how much the lord's prayer varies between each branch of Christianity. I feel like every wedding I go to I'm learning a new way. The nuances are all slightly different, but it's really all the same thing, which I think is really cool.

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    1. Interesting. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  6. I love prayer. It's such a great way to communicate with God.

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    1. I know right! It's the most intimate way to bond with Him.

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  7. I'm completely not religious in the sense that I don't pray every night, but I've always gone to church from a young age and it's important to me to get married in a church. Not so much to have God's blessing, but because I believe church means different things to different people.

    To me, it's a place to collect my thoughts and be peaceful. I'll always say the Lord's prayer though!

    Katie <3

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  8. Prayer very important in everyday life, love this list. Bookmarking for later reference

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    1. I agree. I'm glad you will be using this as a reference; each time I read it I get something new from it.

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  9. Prayer is such a beautiful gift. We can pray to Heavenly Father and receive guidance and answers and help and comfort from Him. I like that you can pray at any moment and in any way and He hears you. I remember saying the Lord's prayer at my high school right before we'd go out and perform or before any sport. It was awesome. I don't think they do that any more :(

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    1. My school used to do that too! I love you described prayer; couldn't have explained it better!

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  10. I wouldn't considered myself religious and although I don't pray often, I like to think that when I do, he hears, and that is all that matters. I am not big on the bible or anything, but everyone has their own beliefs which I think is amazing.

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    1. I understand. That's what's awesome about God though; He meets us where we are.

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  11. I do believe in God and really should explore my faith more.

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    1. That's great! Don't hesitate to join me every week for a new "Weekly Blessing!"

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  12. I am not particularly religious, but I do talk to a higher power. Never know if I am doing it "right", but it does feel comforting.

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  13. Great post, it's cool that you are so connected to your faith!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! Sharon really is strong in the Lord, and I love that about her. She is the true definition of a sister in Christ.

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  14. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing :)

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  15. What a great post! God really is great!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! And yes, He really is :)

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  16. i def do not feel like i have the gift of prayer. i know tons of first generation koreans including my parents can go for days.. i absolutely have no idea how they do it.. i probably fall asleep in the first 30 minutes. haha if i even last that long.

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    1. Haha I feel you. Prayer isn't my gift either. I just thank God that He isn't about quantity, but quality :)

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  17. Great post! Love prayer. Can't do a day or even a minute without prayer. It helps create my day!

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  18. What a lovely post! Thanks for sharing.

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  19. It is wonderful that you break your faith down for readers!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! Sharon is a wonderful writer and an awesome teacher; I'm glad she shared this with us.

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