The Prayers That He Answers

“He hears every word we say, when we pray.”

I have lots of thoughts about prayers swirling around out there and showing up here and there in my journal.  Remember my post about praying continually?  Recently, I went back through the list that I made back then and added some more prayers we are told to pray.  This list helps me many times when I don’t know how to pray or what to say.
1.       That the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified (II Th 3:1)
2.       That the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into his field (Matt 9:38)
3.       That my faith fail not (Luke 22:32)
4.       For one another (James 5:16)
5.       That we be one as God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one (John 17:11)
6.       That I may have my joy fulfilled (John 17:13)
7.       That he keep us from evil (Matthew 6:13)
8.       That he help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)
9.       Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34)
10.   Thy will be done (Luke 11:2, Matthew 26:42)
11.   That my love abound more and more in knowledge and wisdom (Philippians 1:9)
12.   To be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9)
13.   For them that despitefully use you (Matthew 5:44)
I am challenged to make prayer a bigger part of my life.  I have actually had this blog post sitting around for quite a while unfinished.  I'm glad now that I haven't posted it yet, because I knew so little about prayer.  I have learned a little more through experience, but mostly, I have learned how much I don't know.  In a way, however, it is simple.  I sometimes try to over-think it.  Prayer is just communion with God--a holy God who wants to hear us pray.  
Many things should cause us to lift our hearts and voice in prayer to God.  Reading God's word should inspire prayer.  A trial, a need, a desire, a care, a worry, a burden, a thanksgiving, a question--all should be taken to God in prayer.  I think He especially delights in answering our prayers when we pray for a spiritual need.  Pray for a trial to teach you something, and just see how quickly God works.  If you are in a trial, pray that he will not take you out of it until you learn what he wants to teach you.  Try it.  It is harder than it sounds.  I tried it this summer with two circumstances.  It took me a while to get to the place that I could pray that way, but as soon as God showed me what I could learn through staying in the trial, I could say from the heart, "Don't take this trial away until I have learned your way."  It was amazing how quickly the trial began to disappear after I prayed that way. I even had to pray again that he would let me stay in it a little longer because I didn't feel like I had fully learned my lesson yet.  Those are the prayers he answers.
Then there are also the little prayers.  Are you at work and things get a little stressful?  Is there someone at school who is making life hard?  Do you ever get in a bad mood at home and know you need to "snap out of it"?  Say a prayer, and don't forget to thank Him later when he calms the waves.  He cares about our day.
The scariest thing, however, is always the unknown--our future.  Have you prayed about your future?  Do you know that God has a plan?  It pleases Him when we look to Him as we make plans and dreams.  Sometimes, it is harder to see him answer these prayers, but be assured that he has heard them.  Look back on your life and see how God has guided you in the past.  It is amazing, isn't it?  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He will continue to guide you.  It is you that must continue to follow.
Do you see how important prayer is and how much it should be a part of our daily life?  I will close with a quote that always challenges me (especially when talking about prayer):

"Let us remember that talking and writing about prayer is not praying. The devil does not care how much we discuss and applaud the subject, so long as we do not pray. A book on how to pray is good, but the best and only way to learn to pray is to do it." --How to Resist the Devil


Through Seasons' Change

I love the seasons and the beauty that each one brings.
The changing seasons bring new hues,
but our Heavenly Father, always the same,
brings hope.

This is one of my first attempts using the mixer brush in Photoshop.  Kind of cool, I guess. :)



For the Love of Back Light

As mentioned in Wednesday's post, I'm in love with back lighting in photography.  My photography instructor said that it was her favorite, and when we had to do a lighting assignment (back light, side light, and front light), I discovered back light was also my favorite.  One morning, I went outside about 30 minutes after sunrise to get the lighting I wanted.  It was so much easier to get good light at that time of day, even if it was a little chilly.

I guess I like back light so much because you are literally taking a picture of the light.  I am in love with sunshine.  
And moonlight.  
And candlelight.  
And light.  
So taking pictures of it just makes sense.

(these last two aren't necessarily back light, but I thought I'd throw them in just because.



Won Over

back light by Alyssa Renæ
back light, a photo by Alyssa Renæ on Flickr.

I generally don't like mums--I suppose because they are over-used as fall decorations. Maybe it's because a nice healthy pot of mums provide little variation or contrast. This morning, however, I was taking pictures during the morning light for a backlighting and frontlighting assignment. I love how the backlight really made this picture work! I think I have fallen in love with backlighting. :) So maybe I like mums afterall.


What's Right?

"He shall judge the world with righteousness."
Who's righteousness?  His righteousness.

Folks, we are going to be judged by His righteousness.

Anything less than His holiness and righteousness in us will be as wickedness.  Our ideas of right and wrong, if not aligned with the Word of God and His Spirit, will not save us when we are judged by the One who is pure and holy altogether.  I am so thankful for the sacrifice Jesus gave and the gift of the Holy spirit that we might obtain His righteousness.  When such a wonderful gift is ours, why settle for less?


(note: I have decided it is more interesting to post shorter, more frequent post rather than a weekly Photography Friday.  Therefore, I have said goodbye to Photography Friday, unless, of course, I ever want to bring it back.  Have a wonderful weekend!)


Photography Fitness

So, I discovered this new exercise.  It's called photography.  It's kind of like yoga, but with a camera in your hands.  You do all these weird balancing poses on rocks in the creek, and then you hold the pose until you get the desired picture.  Thirty minutes of such photography got me sore--I know, that's bad.  (*coughwhoisoutofshapecough*)



Meet Duke

Hello everyone,
This is Duke.  (Say "Hi.")

Duke lived in an antique store until today.  Now his new home will be my camera bag.  He is going to be my camera buddy.  :)

Today, Duke went on an adventure.  He climbed a mountain...

...and then splashed into the creek.



Fix Your Eyes

Time moves on.
Do you have a goal?
At the end of life,
You will arrive where you have fixed your eyes.
Let your affections be centered on the things above,
Not on the things of earth.
Where your treasure is,
There you will find your heart.
Seek those things which are above,
The graces of the Heavenly kingdom.
And you will find.



Moon Love

I was inspired again by the night sky.  (remember my illustration of the Milky Way?)  These are both Photoshop illustrations of the moon.

The amber ring:

The white rainbow:
Have you noticed these in the sky before?  Did I illustrate them acurately?  By the way, these are not technical terms.  I don't know what they are actually called.  I would love to know more about why or how these appear in the sky.