God's love poured out into our hearts.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hopedoes not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whohas been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

In a Small Place

by Annie Johnson Flint

Fret not because thy place is small,
Thy service need not be,
For thou canst make it all there is
Of joy and ministry.

The dewdrop, as the boundless sea,
In God’s great place has part;
And this is all He asks of thee;
Be faithful where thou art.

In thee His mighty hand can show
The wonders of His grace,
And He can make the humblest room
A high and holy place.

Thy life can know the blessedness
Of resting in His will;
His fullness flows unceasingly
Thy cup of need to fill.

His strength upon thy weakness waits,
His power for thy task.
What more, O child of all His care,
Could any great one ask?

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

 

As I pondered the words of Annie Johnson Flint’s poetry, I realized that the suffering of my chronic illness has often caused me to view my place here as so small. And yet, if I read this Scripture along with the poem, I can see that God views our suffering and our place much differently than we do. He is always at work, bringing His fruit–His abundant fruit from these very places.

 

What if we chose to look through His eyes, to ask Him to show us where He has been pouring out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit? What if we asked Him to show us how His great strength is being formed right here in our weaknesses? What if we looked upon our small places and let Him transform them into the very places of greatest hope?

 

Oh, what a change to see that He is bringing His glory into these very places of suffering.

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Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

PRAYER PROMPT GUIDE

Sometimes we all need a little encouragement and a boost in our prayer lives. While talking with God should be easy, a guide can be a helpful resource to lean into, spurring us on to deeper, more intimate conversations with Him.

Helpful Tips

  • Set aside a special time and place to meet with God. For each one of us this may look different. Some might find that being outside draws them closer to God. Others might release their thoughts and prayers best when moving, like when taking a walk or on an elliptical. For others, a special chair or room might open their hears to connect with God. No matter where you meet Him, it’s important to designate a time to sit at the feet of Jesus. It may be a specific time or something more general, like in the morning, but making that time a priority will bless your entire day.
  • Quiet your heart and mind. Breathe deeply. Life may move at a hectic pace or we may have trouble letting go of anxiety or our “to-do” list, but for most of us, it can be challenging to slow down and quiet our minds. Breathing deeply is a great cue for our bodies to release tension and relax.
  • Slowly read the Scripture and the prompt, perhaps several times. Reading slowly and deliberately is another way to reinforce the solace we seek. Reading the Scripture several times then “preaching” those words to ourselves helps us to really “hear” God speaking to us. Scripture transforms us from the inside out.
  • Write the verse in your journal, noting any words that catch your attention. Writing in a journal is another way to slow down and it creates a memory of the time we spend in prayer. Scripture on the page – underlined, highlighted, or circled – invites curiosity about what God may want to talk with us about.
  • Talk with God, taking time to listen, then journal your thoughts. The previous steps begin to soften us, preparing us for a two-way conversation with our loving Father, who wants to hear what’s on our hearts and minds. Scripture guides us to a path where the Good Shepherd is waiting to lead us, to remind us of His deep love for us, and to draw us to Himself. While we may not realize that transformation is in process, journaling helps us to see, over time, where we are being lead to love, serve, and care for those in our sphere of influence.

VISIT THE PRAYER POND

You’re invited to the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond. Toss your prayer requests, updates, and shouts of praise into the pond, then watch them ripple with radical hope and compassionate change throughout our community and beyond. Then be sure #PrayItForward by clicking the “I PRAYED FOR THIS” button to let the requester know you prayed for them.

We are all blessed to have a place to pray and people to pray with and for us. Who do you know needs to toss a prayer or praise into the pond, and who might link arms with us in prayer?

Bettie Gilbert

Bettie Gilbert

Volunteer Prayer Coordinator

You can find Bettie blogging from her home in a small town in southeast Wisconsin - at bettiegraseasons.com, walking forward with Jesus, in the middle of her own pain and weaknesses from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature is a joy that calls to Bettie, as do her family and seven young grandchildren. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great joy in their weekend coffee breaks together. In addition, Bettie is the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond coordinator.

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