Trusting God in prayer

Good morning!  If you’re a born-again believer, we have the advantage. We have God on our team. And with God on our team, we cannot fail. Seriously. If God is for us, who can stand against us? We just need to talk to Him and trust Him, rather than trying to play the game of life on our own. We will learn to trust as we practice trusting the Lord through prayer. 

 “I reflect at night on who you are, O, Lord; therefore, I obey your instructions. This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments. Lord you are mine! I promise to obey your words.” Psalm 119:55-57

How would you rate your prayer life on a scale from 1-10? Where would you like your prayer life to rank on that same scale? Are you willing to do anything about it? If so, what? If not, why? Our relationship with God will grow as we continually turn to Him in prayer. Similarly, our trust in God grows as our relationship with Him grows. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you,” (John 15:15). Jesus counts us as His “friends”. How many of us would talk to our close friends as infrequently as we talk to Jesus, our Creator and Redeemer?     

Of course, it’s not like we can ignore the world around us and pray 24/7. Right? We are still going to go to work, have playtime, time with friends and family, but in the midst of it all, Scripture instructs us to: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Our practice of this continual praying life will increase our progress in faith and in trusting God. This can translate into prayers of thankfulness and petition. We can redeem these times to thank God for and pray for our children, our careers, our futures, our marriages, our trials and our challenges. When we “do life” with God – when we exercise this spiritual discipline of continuous prayer – our faith grows. It helps us to trust Him more.

Jesus was the only perfect man and He turned to our Father continually. Jesus also modeled how we should pray (Luke 11:1-13), and taught about prayer (Matthew 6:5-15). If Jesus, the God of the Universe, saw prayer as such an important part of the Christian life, why do we sometimes overlook the importance of it? We need to make time to turn to Him and trust Him with our daily concerns, big and small.

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FRAN HOPE JOHNSON Article written by my friend about my artwork and ministry!

THE WOMAN WITH A MISSION: HOPE AND LIGHT FOR ALL

“Remember, if God promised it, he is going to bring it to pass.”

Fran Hope Johnson

She is in the best ages her beauty is timeless. She is a woman but she stands up for the whole world. She is a hope and she colors the lives of all of us, with love, good vibrations and optimism. Fran Hope  Johnson is a devoted wife and mother, active member of the Church, soul inspirer and artist with a great potential. Her work is not just a work but also a mission that has brought Fran to the studies of Psychology in Christian Counseling and to the cofounding of Lost Sheep Ministries.

It is amazing to follow her spiritual genesis, through the highlights of belief, family love and brilliant emotional intelligence. There are not so many people gifted to share their deepest thoughts and experiences the way that Fran does. Her talent to rule the right words in the right moments and to comfort the broken is something that we cannot learn in expensive courses. She was born to heal people’s wounded souls with her own rainbow. This noble and humble woman gives all praise to the Glorious Father that has directed her to the destined places and people. However, when we see her paintings and the marvelous design of her spirit that has kissed the canvas and fascinated the visitors of gallery Art&Soul of Aiken in South Carolina, we desire to find out more about this Fran Hope Johnson.

Fran, could you tell us how everything started in your creative life? Did you first attach yourself to religion or to the art?

I started drawing when I was a young child copying Tony the Tiger off the cereal box. My mother and father were generous enough to allow me to take private art lessons in our small town. As I Grew Older and started to go to college I decided to major in art and go to the Atlanta Institute of Art. Unfortunately, I did not have enough confidence in myself to believe that I could be successful in this area so I reluctantly gave up. It was not until I met my husband who encouraged me to pursue my gift that God has given me and that was to paint. As far as the question about that I first attach myself to religion or to the art I don’t really know how to answer that question because my gift of artistic ability was given to me by God and I’ve always known that.

What is exactly the project of The Lost Sheep Ministries?

Kurt and I began this ministry because there are so many people that don’t attend church and will probably never set foot in a church but yet need the love of the Lord and the Forgiveness of the Lord and the salvation of the Lord thus while we join with other Ministries and other churches to make God famous and to let people know that Jesus loves them. The Parable of the Lost Sheep is one of the parables of Jesus. It appears in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 18:12–14) and Luke (Luke 15:3–7). It is about a shepherd who leaves his flock of ninety- nine sheep in order to find the one which is lost. This is our mission!

Do Americans start being more religious after the conservative policy is back in the White House?

That is another strange question I do not know how to answer. I do not really care about politics that is not my bag but if I had to say anything about it, I would say that I am extremely glad that evangelist and Christians got out and voted. I believe that Trump will help America more than any president has since Reagan. I believe Americans need to return to Our Roots we need to turn away from the World Views and get back to God’s view we were founded in God and in the Bible and we must return back to it! We must trust in God!

How do you understand obstacles in life? Do we need to have more trust in God?

Absolutely! That look at obstacles like this when an eagle knows that I storm is about to approach they prop themselves at the top of a tree or mountain or some high position and wait for the Winds of the storm to come then when the storm arrives they spread their wings and rise above the storm that’s exactly how I feel about obstacles I know that God has a plan and it is good and that he will work all things together for good.

When you think of your own mission, what is it exactly?

My mission as far as my artwork goes is to touch a part of someone’s soul and their heart and hopefully open it up to receive the love of Jesus that’s my mission in life as well as in my artwork. I pray I bring a ray of hope.

Your paintings are exposed in one local gallery. That is a work of maestro. What is the dominant topic in your art?

I don’t know if I have a dominant topic but I will say that I love to do seascapes because when I’m at the beach that is when I feel the closest to God. I love to paint other things as well such as feelings that I had when the love of the Lord was given to me thus some of my artwork reveals and reflects the love that God has given me. I am inspired by Him.

The people’s reactions are good. Do you consider international sale of your paintings?

‘Yes’ is the answer. Everyone needs hope and to know who they are in Christ Jesus.

Please advise us about the methods of ordering and getting some of your creations.

You may reach me on Facebook at Fran hope Johnson Community page and I will be glad to help you with anything that you would like to buy or commission me to paint.

https://1safeharborisjesus.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/artistfortheLord/

What is your next step?

To continue to paint for the Lord and to hopefully begin speaking at Women’s conferences and churches as well as any other events where I can speak about the love of the Lord the hope that he has placed in my heart. I would like to share my testimony with anyone and everyone that is willing to let me speak hoping that it will touch someone’s heart and that they will know just like me that it is possible to have joy and peace in your life while still living on this earth with all the evil here.

Fran, what is your message of support for the broken souls around the globe?

There is Hope! No matter what is going on in their life and no matter what has happened to them in their life there is always hope a redeeming hope in Jesus Christ that will deliver you from anything in this evil world. Along to share the hope that Jesus has placed in me so that other people can have the joy and happiness that I have because it only comes from Jesus and Jesus alone people will disappoint you and feel you but Jesus never will.I believe sharing our testimony of how God has worked in our lives is so very valuable to others. It helps me and I pray that sharing my testimony will help another! So here it is….

My testimony:

I was adopted at 6 months old by two wonderful parents and raised in a Christian home. I began to make poor decisions in my teenage years by having premarital sex and drinking and smoking pot; I guess to fit in with society. I moved from a small town in SC to the big city of Atlanta, Ga. when I was 19 years old. I continued to have sex with my boyfriends and partying which led to cocaine which really began in high school. I always said that I was just a social user. I went to college back in SC at age 22 and still continued to party. At age 29, in 1993 I got married and I had two awesome and wonderful children, a boy and then a girl. This relationship did not make it long. In 2001 we divorced and I had two small children to rear on my own. My ex cheated on me and six months later married to his third wife. We never committed ourselves to God, to put Him first in all thing and I believe this was where we went wrong in the first place.

During the ten years or more of raising my children, I acquired my own home and car and career and was doing well, but always struggling to make ends meet. My ex did not help and did not even see his children much at all. I dated and lived with a man for seven years after my divorce hoping to fill that void in my kid’s life. I was wrong. He was not a good example for them to follow and for that matter neither was I. We partied and continued to progress in that partying until about 7 years later, we broke up and I was devastated yet again by a man. I made the worse decisions ever after he left. I began to experiment with cocaine and tried it in every way possible and got hooked. Within six months, my life was over. I lost my home, my kids, my career, my car, and my freedom! I was in a county jail and was headed hopefully I prayed to rehab and not to prison. But in the lowest point of my life is where I not only found God, but got to know Him and truly was saved.

I have had many trials and much turmoil and so much to deal with since leaving rehab and jail; from a disturbed young man stalking me constantly, trying to get visitation with me kids and then fighting for custody, walking away from friends as well hurting and disappointing my family from the poor choices I had made prior. I was homeless a few times and jobless for months. I lost my mother after the divorce in 2002 and my father in 2009. I have had more than my fair share of bad luck and yet somehow I always seemed to survive and get through those times. I know without my faith and trusting God I would not be where I am now. I am now happily married and I am painting for the Lord. I am an overcomer! I am grateful and faithful because I know my God is always working even when we can’t see it! We don’t see the other side of the mountain we are climbing, but God does! I trust Him to provide and find a way where there seems to be no way. Seven years ago I filed all the necessary paperwork to regain custody of my children and now my daughter is living with me again and my son is 22 now and visits pretty regularly. Never give in, give out or give up~ For with God all things are possible! I am a recovering addict and a very grateful one at that…almost ten years now. God is still working in my life each and every day. He puts people in my life that I help and ones that help me. I am never surprised by his love and blessings. God has placed a confidence (Godfidence) and love in myself that I have never had before so “Thank you God” for the many ‘True Blue Christians’ you have put in my life and for all the blessings you bestow on me daily. I have not come this far without lots of prayers and the help and love of my true friends and family and I thank you Father for those special people in my life and the strength you.

Romans 8:28 Amplified Bible (AMP):”And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose”.

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ARTIST WITH RAINBOW IN THE SOUL: FRAN HOPE JOHNSON

https://wp.me/p5DyMW-5uM

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Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love!

Affirming this statement alone will not bring change, but it is a start. God is able to help us be this way. Today, ask God to help you and then stop and visualize Him doing that very thing. See yourself being strong, courageous, firm in your faith and full of love. Sense what might be stopping you and give it to Jesus. Then visualize it again. Let’s wrestle with it in our mind, so we can begin to live it in our life.

 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:1314

 

Wow what an awesome “to do” list? Do you need something to do today? Try today’s passage. What a goal, and such an important one for our spiritual vitality. What I am encouraged about is that God would not ask us to do something that He will not help us with. This is within our grasp. All we need to do is focus, ask God for His help and then be as diligent as possible. He will guide us. He will give us the strength and power to do what He has asked of us.

 

Today, be on guard against spiritual apathy, attacks and adversaries. While you are on guard, stand firm on His word and your faith in what He has said and who He is. When trouble comes remember who God is and what He as asked us to do and be courageous in your attempt to be strong. Finally, if all else fails allow Him to work through you and do everything today with love! God is good and He will help you do what He has asked you to do. Simply trust and obey.

 

Picture yourself in a severe situation. Everything you have and are is in jeopardy. It seems that nothing is going right. You are being attacked and attacked again. Your head is spinning and do not know if you can take it. At that moment you cry out to God. He hears you and tells you to be strong and stand firm in your faith. You sense His Holy Spirit fill you with power and your mind is renewed. Faith wells up inside you and you rise and stand firm. One by one your enemies are defeated. God has given you all you need to be victorious and you affirm, “I am standing firm in my faith!

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“We should always pray and never give up.”

I love this parable of the persistent widow how she never gave up praying. Have you ever had your back against the wall ? Where you thought you would never get out of a horrible situation you were in. Emotionally, you were a mess. Maybe that is where you find yourself at this moment, then this passage should speak to you to pray and never give up. Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence always praying and never giving up.

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” Luke 18:1 

Maybe you are praying and waiting. And you are crying, then pray again. Where you continue to pray and fight the feeling to give up over and over again. Remember what Jesus said to do, “Knock and keep knocking, ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking.”

So let me encourage to surrender everything to the Lord and seek Him with all your heart continue to pray some more and know that God has not forsaken you. His love is sufficient even in the worst of the times.God never promised you or I perfect pain free life, but He did promise He would never leave us. 

Keep thinking about Jesus’s life, walking from town to town, no where to lay His head, all the way to the cross. And He did it so we could pray to Him. I know many who are reading this are going through horrible struggles, perplexed and hurting. Today know this. Jesus was very specific in the stories He told. He was purposeful because He wanted us to know this one thing, pray and never give up.

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Take 3 minutes n read

(everyone of you i pray will read this and share with someone! I know each of us need a reminder. Please, take three minutes of your 24 hours and read!)

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 

– 1 Peter 5:6-7

It is important that we learn to humble ourselves and cast our care on the Lord. We shouldn’t struggle to believe that God wants us to lay all of our concerns at the foot of the cross, when He so clearly has told us in His Word to do exactly that.

The word casting refers to throwing, hurling, arising, sending, striking, thrusting, driving out, or expelling—all rather forceful terms. It seems to be difficult for some of us to believe that God considers worry or care a sin. So we may actually have to become spiritually violent about casting our care upon the Lord and abiding in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.

It literally took me years to be set totally free from the ¬burden of guilt and condemnation. I knew mentally and ¬spiritually that I had been made the righteousness of God in Christ because of what He had done for me on Calvary, but I still had a hard time accepting it and living in it emotionally. The devil kept attacking my feelings, making me feel guilty and condemned. I worried about my past—how could I ever overcome it? I fought against those thoughts for years until finally I got fed up. I told the devil, “No! I am not going to believe your lies! Jesus has made me the righteousness of God, and I have made up my mind that I am going to have what He died to give me!”

I knew from the Bible that I had been made right with God through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. I was doing my best to keep my mind set on all that Jesus had sacrificed for me. I confessed scriptures, but the enemy still attacked my mind and my feelings until there arose in me a holy anger that finally set me free.

I became angry enough to rise up against the principalities, powers, and wickedness in high places that tried to keep me from enjoying all the blessings God intended for me. Too often, we get mad at other people when our anger should be directed to the source of the problem—the devil and his demons.

Just as anger at Satan can be a form of righteous violence, so can casting our care on the Lord. We can resist Satan, worry and anxiety, and guilt and condemnation, until we get so fed up that we react with a holy anger. When he tries to force us to carry a burden of care, we can stop him in his tracks and say, “No! I will not carry that care. I am casting it upon the Lord!”

Every one of us has certain spiritual issues that must be settled once and for all. We need to cast on the Lord whatever issues we may have that hinder us from walking in the fullness of joy, peace, and rest the Lord intends for us.

Peter says to cast your cares on God. The Greek word translated care in 1 Peter 5:7 means “to draw in different directions; to distract.” Why does the devil give us care? His whole purpose is to distract us from our fellowship with God. When the enemy tries to lay problems on us, we have the privilege of taking those problems and casting them on God. If you throw them, God catches them and takes them away. God knows how to wipe away the cares that Satan lays on you.
God has provided two wonderful weapons you can use to overcome the devil’s plan. First, you humble yourself, turning yourself totally over to God. Then when the devil tries to burden you with worry or some other heavy load, you cast it on God—who is happy to take it away because He cares for you.

As I’ve thought about worry, I’ve also figured out that it’s an act of pride on our part. Those who worry still think they can solve their own problems. Isn’t that pride? Aren’t we saying, “I can work this out by myself”? Those who are proud or full of themselves still think they are strong and can defeat their problems themselves. The truly humble are those who know their weaknesses, but in their weaknesses, they know their strength is in Jesus Christ.

Paul understood that and wrote to the Corinthians: But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We fail God when we insist on shouldering our burdens instead of giving them to the Lord. Only God can deliver us, and He wants us to know that. In every situation, He wants us to first humble ourselves and then throw off the cares and worries the devil tries to lay on us. It is possible—in fact, it’s an order. I want to encourage you to place yourself totally into God’s hands and allow Him to be the Manager of your life.

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You. Even before the problems come, You have told me how to defeat the enemy of my mind. You have also given me Your own example of defeating him. In Your name, Lord Jesus, teach me to humble myself and to cast all my cares and concerns on You. Amen.

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Let God Carry the Load!

We have all experienced situations that seemed impossible to handle at the time. It may have been a financial challenge or a bad report from the doctor. When things seem hopeless, and you feel you are at your worst, that is the time to turn to God and seek Him with everything you have. You may feel that you are alone in your circumstances, but God is a very present help in times of trouble. 

Although it would be great if the Lord would perform some sort of magical transformation of the tough circumstances you and I face, that just isn’t reality. However, the Word of God is your way out of any situation. Because God’s Word is infallible and contains burden-removing, yoke-destroying power, when you can meditate on it, and speak it, you will see changes in your life. While the facts about your situation may look bleak, the truth found in God’s Word brings light, hope, and deliverance. 

What I want you to grasp is the fact that Satan wants to influence how you feel. When you allow the pressures of life to influence your emotions in a negative way, you will most likely make decisions and take actions that will keep you stuck in your present situation. Because of this, it is important that you give more attention to the Word than you do to what is going on around you. Get in the Bible and meditate on the Scriptures that speak to your situation. Allow your feelings to be governed and controlled by the Word so your decisions and actions can lead you in the right direction. In life, you will experience good and bad moments. 

That reality is never going to change. Christians, and non-Christians alike, will experience both. But God will be there for you through it all. Joshua 1:9 declares, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Perhaps you are facing a situation in life and are wondering if God is going to show up. You may not understand every detail of God’s plan for you, but when you believe in your heart that God loves you, feeling like you are fighting your battles alone will soon fade. When you have confidence in God, you will trust in what His Word says about your situation. He is not some impersonal “being” in the sky who is disconnected from the day-to-day realities in your life. He knows just when to step in and assist you when you need it most. Cast your cares upon the Lord, and don’t try to carry the load yourself. He wants to help.

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