In this Issue
Feature Article: Persevering in Prayer to Lead a Victorious Life
Inspirational Women's Garden Club
- Persevering in Prayer to Lead a Victorious Life, Wed, Dec 19, 7 pm EST
Persevering Prayer that Leads to Hope and a Victorious Life
We live in a world filled with needs. Regularly, I speak with those who are longing in various areas of their lives - some are struggling with a need for employment and trusting God's provision in their lives...others are longing for a mate or for children...some have health concerns and are trusting God for healing, while others are struggling emotionally or spiritually, perhaps dealing with great disappointment that God has allowed into their lives the circumstances that He has.
I have experienced many of these same needs personally over the years and understand the waiting and disappointment that comes while we pray and pray, awaiting God's answers to our concerns.
Yet through all of these uncertainties, God calls us to pray - to reach out to Him with our deepest needs and trust Him that He will meet them in the best way possible, not only for us, but also for others as well. However, God's timing is often not ours, and His delays can feel unbearable to us as the months or years drag on with our prayers seemingly unanswered. Proverbs13:12 tells us that "hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Let's look at some principles regarding persevering prayers that enable us to bear up and maintain hope while we await God's answers. Later in the article, we'll look at "Keys to Victory" - secrets to developing persevering prayer that leads to a victorious life.
We ought always to pray and never give up!
I love the biblical illustration of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. In the story, the widow has suffered an injustice and continues day and night to seek help from an unjust judge. It would almost be a humorous story, if it were not for the great need the widow is experiencing. Because she refuses to leave the judge alone about her case, he finally gives her justice just to get rid of her! Jesus goes on to summarize the passage, asking the question, "How much more would God do for his children than an unjust judge who just doesn't want to be bothered?" (paraphrased) This wonderful story reminds us that we ought always to pray and never give up.
Jesus showed us how to pray with a model to follow and also by His personal example.
The disciples, like us, wondered how it would be best to pray, and Jesus gave them simple and easy guidelines for how to pray in Matthew 6: 5-14. He reminds them not to pray with hypocrisy or for show like the religious leaders of the day, but rather to pray for God's will, His provision, for forgiveness, for protection against temptation, and for cleansing.
Jesus also set the example for us, often slipping away to pray and spend time with His Father. He did this before important decisions, such as before He chose his disciples, (his leadership team. At that point, he spent all night in prayer. And regularly, when he was exhausted and spent, he restored and filled himself back up by spending time with the Father. We can do the same....
- We may not be aware that often spiritual warfare is accompanying the accomplishment of our prayers.
Interestingly, Daniel 9 and 10 give us insight into the fact that often spiritual warfare is accompaning the accomplishment of our prayers. While Daniel was praying on behalf of his nation, and God was revealing insights to him, the angel, Gabriel, came to tell him that his prayers were answered from the beginning.
In chapter 10, another messenger was sent to Daniel, described as "a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. He said to Daniel, 'Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.' " (Dan. 10:12-14). We learn here that the answer to Daniel's prayer was delayed three weeks due to the spiritual warfare that was ongoing.
This passage opens a tiny window for us into the battles going on in the spiritual world surrounding our prayers and our world's events. As we continue to recognize this, we realize the power of our persistent and persevering prayer in bringing about change in our lives and in our world. This encourages us to continue in hope that God is at work in our situation and will answer in His perfect timing.
- It takes great faith, especially when we have to wait. But it is only sincere faith that pleases God.
Heb. 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without our faith! The angels sent by God in Genesis to Abraham and Sarah to announce the long-awaited birth of their son chided Sarah because she laughed, demonstrating her lack of trust in God's promise or ability to do what He said. Yet God had His plan in place and moved ahead despite Sarah's lack of trust, and He can and will do the same in our lives, despite our lack of trust. Yet we will find that as God deepens our trust in Him through smaller difficulties, it becomes easier to trust Him with greater areas.
I mentioned last month that Psalm 84:11 was one of my favorite passages during my single years and a wonderful reminder during marriage and ministry that God's will is always best and will unfold in time.
It applies this month, too.
"For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor, no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless."
Perhaps you've felt as you read this article that your prayer life couldn't be better, and that this issue doesn't apply to you. But for those of us who have struggled at times in these areas, here are some principles from God's Word to help us live victoriously, maintain hope, and find the secrets of persevering prayer to lead a victorious life.
Keys to Victory along the Journey
Never give up on your prayer life. It is the lifeline of your relationship to Jesus, and as you speak to and listen to Him, your relationship will grow deeper and sweeter over the years. I have found keeping a prayer journal to be particularly helpful over the years. As God answers prayers and changes me, I can rejoice in His work in my life and in the lives of others. Over time, our prayer journals can become quite precious to us as we see the unfolding of our relationship wtih Christ.
Joy and Strength has a wonderful devotional (from March 3) that reminds us of God's tender heart toward our prayers. I pray this passage and these authors' thoughts encourage you as they have for me over the years.
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses (Ps. 107:5,6).
If God had not said, Blessed are those that hunger, I know not what could keep weak Christians from sinking in despair; many times all I can do is to find and complain that I want Him, and wish to recover Him; now this is my stay, that He in mercy esteems us not only by having, but by desiring also; and, after a sort, accounts us to have that which we want and desire to have.
Honest sighing is faith breathing and whispering in the ear; the life is not out of faith, where there is sighing, looking up with the eyes, and breathing toward God.
He never yet rejected the feeble soul which clung to Him in love.
(H.L Sidney Lear)
If you would like to hear more topics like these, please join us for the December "Inspirational Women's Garden Club" event this Wednesday, December 19, at 7 p.m. EST. For more information, contact Suzanne at email@example.com. We'd love to have you join us and bring a friend, too!
December Coaching Special
With enrollment this month in the Inspirational Women's Garden Club, you’ll receive a complimentary 30-minute personal or church coaching consult. Just contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to help you.
Please let me know what issues you would like to hear about in the next newsletter. I'll do my best to address your concerns! I look forward to speaking with you all next month.
Many prayers and blessings to you all,
Leadership Tips and Relationship Tips are monthly e-zines written and published by Suzanne Martinez, founder of SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC. Our purpose is to help leaders develop healthy leadership cultures and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.
You may copy, forward or distribute this e-zine if this copyright notice and contact information for Suzanne Martinez is included.
Would you forward this e-zine to others who would benefit from it? For a complimentary subscription, they can sign up at www.suzannemartinez.com. Please help us get the word out by forwarding this issue to others. Thank you!
Leadership & Relationship Tips
Vol. I, Issue 13
Leadership & Relationship Tips is published once monthly. You're on our recipients' listing because you indicated an interest in this ministry and e-zine.
To manage your subscription, see the link at the end of this email.
Please add my email address - email@example.com to your whitelist of address book in your email program, so you won't miss future issues!
Upcoming Garden Club Teleseminars
Interested in joining the Inspirational Women's Garden Club?
It's a monthly get-together via telephone of women to network, build relationships with one another, and to discuss the Relationship Tips monthly topic.
Our next Inspirational Women's Garden Club event is:
Wed, December 19, 7 pm EST.
Our topic will be Persevering Prayer that Leads to Hope and a Victorious Life.
If you'd like more information about the Garden Club or to enroll, please go to Inspirational Women's Garden Club. You may hear a sample audio class at FREE Gift and FREE Handout. Hope you'll join us!
Becoming a Woman of Godly Character
Our words reflect our hearts and character. In the CD, "Becoming a Woman of Godly Character," Suzanne provides answers to common questions women ask and encourages you in your walk with Christ.
She'll also teach you qualities of a godly woman and the process whereby God changes you throughout your life to make you more like Christ.
Click here to order your copy...
Reversing the Curse: Rediscovering Joy and Fulfillment in Relationships
In this four-week study guide, Suzanne leads you to simple, but powerful, tools to reverse the effects of the curse and transform your relationships in amazing ways.
As you learn and incorporate these three simple "power tools" into your relationships, you'll find you rediscover joy and fulfillment in your relationships in a new and fresh way.
Click here to order your copy!
Would you Like to Hear Recent Garden Club Messages?
Developing Patience through Your Difficulties (April 2007)
Celebrating the Goodness of God in your Life (May 2007)
Dealing with Stress and Anxiety (June 2007)
Finding Rest for Your Soul (July 2007)
Conquering Bitterness through the Power of Forgiveness (August 2007)
Resolving Conflict and Healing Patterns from the Past (September 2007)
Pink and Blue: Secrets to Translating Male/Female Communication to Achieve Meaningful Love and Work (October 2007)
If you'd like to hear recent messages on audio CD or to give copies as gifts to friends, contact Suzanne at (703) 282-2325 to order your copies. Copies will also be available in the shop very soon!
Has your relationship with Christ lost its fervor? Have you gotten caught up in the stresses of life? Is your time with the Lord placed on the back burner?
These two devotionals will help renew your focus on Christ, gain strength for the trials you face, and enable you to give praise to God amidst whatever difficulties you encounter.
For a sample of Joy and Strength, see the final paragraphs of "Finding the Secrets to Contentment in Every Season of Life" at the left.
Shop here to obtain your own copy.
Men need respect!
In so many ways, society has focused on your need for love, while ignoring your husband's tremendous need for respect. Most women don't understand how men view certain things they say and do as disrespectful.
Dr. Emerson Eggerich's groundbreaking book, Love and Respect, helps you crack that code, enabling you to communicate with your husband in ways he will hear and understand. These make great gifts, too. Order yours today at www.suzannemartinez.com/shop
Suzanne France Martinez
Founder & Principal
During the last 20 years as Suzanne served in the marketplace and in ministry, she learned to excel amidst the pressing demands and challenges of leadership in each setting.
Suzanne's passion is to help leaders develop healthy leadership and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.
Suzanne desires to help leaders renew and refresh their vision, attain new levels of leadership excellence, and build healthy and strong leadership organizations.
Copyright © 2006-2007 SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC.