Cheri's Blog

Pray for Focus

Pray for Focus

Welcome to a new year. I pray your season of celebration has been a good one. By now, I suspect you have moved past the Christmas decor and empty fudge tins to concentrating on what the next twelve months might bring. How does one prepare for what we hope will be better than the past? Pray. Pray for God to lead you and me toward who He wants us to become and what He has planned for us to do. In essence, we pray for focus.

It’s not just a good idea, it’s a perceptive pursuit. Solomon, the man known to us as the wisest in human history, made this suggestion:

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25

What does Solomon mean by calling us to look straight ahead?

According to biblical scholars, Solomon is referring to that which is straight in front of us, the right things, possessing a simplicity of aim, or singleness of motive. In other words, the king writes of the importance of setting God and His ways directly before us as our solitary focus. Fixing your gaze directly before you directs us to make seeking Him, knowing Him, and following Him our sole aim and primary ambition.

In everyday life, meeting this goal begins with prayer.

Maybe you feel like this is never going to work for you. Suppose you have tried but your thoughts run wild before the clock has moved forward ten minutes. How can you and I work toward placing God before us and looking straight ahead to right things? We start by praying for the focus we need.

Pray for what to focus upon. Often that is found in Scripture.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Psalm 1:1-5

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

I encourage you to pray these elements over your own life. Spurgeon once wrote, No one meanders into the kingdom of God. Neither does a person make God her aim without being intentional.

Once what you are to focus upon becomes more clear, pray for the ability to stay the course, with your eyes, heart, and mind gazing straight ahead. Friend, allow me to pray for focus in your life today.

A Prayer for Focus

Lord Jesus,pray for focus

I pray for my friend to make You her sole aim this year. I thank You for Your word which makes the right way to take clear. Today, I ask that You give my friend insights into Who You are and what You want her to be about. Help her to make time. Make Yourself clear. Give her insights she could not know whithout spending time with You, Also, make her aware of that which tugs at her thoughts and desires to move her off course. Give her Your strength and Your courage to keep steady her gaze on You. Make her aware of Your presence and activity in her very life. Help her know You love her and desire to be the delight of her life. 

In the Name of Jesus,

 Amen

 

XOXOXO

Before you Go

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion!

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You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

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Knowing God’s Will

Knowing Gods Will

Knowing God’s will for your life can seem elusive. At times it feels as if there is some magical formula or secret code hidden from the woman who wants to know what to do or how to do it. But it’s not really like that in reality. The Word of God is instructive, guiding the reader to understand and make spiritual progress in the will of God for her life.

Sometimes Knowing God’s Will is a Straight-Up Answer

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

 

For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40

 

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 1 Thessalonians 4:3

 

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 2 Peter 2:15

 

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4

This is just a sampling of what the Bible says using the words will of God. There are many other passages that assume it by giving a directive or using other similar language. The point is that God’s will for our lives is not as distant or cagey as it seems.

Problems Discerning and Knowing God’s will

One problem is that we, as a population, are not familiar enough with the Word of God to know this reality. The latest statistics (from the Barna Group) tell us about one out of every six adults reads the Bible most days. That leaves a lot of people who read a few times per year. One certainly can’t expect to know God’s will without being in God’s Word. Unless you and I are deep in the Old Testament, and thoroughly in the New, will miss what He clearly intends us to know and embrace for our lives.

Another issue often rises to the surface. There exists a duel between our desires for what we want God’s will to be in our lives and God’s actual will. It’s as if we approach Him as someone we can manipulate into doing what we want. Maybe it’s a good thing. It may even be a godly endeavor. But neither of these qualifiers enables us to bend the will of God to our own. He remains sovereign even over the details of our lives.

Thank goodness.

The Gift for Knowing God’s will from Paul

One approach you and I can take in knowing God’s will for our lives comes from Paul. In his letter to the church at Colossi, he wrote to them about what he was praying over them and why.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:9-12

When I read that the Apostle Paul was praying for those with whom he ministered, I believe it is there for a reason. And thatknowing gods will reason is you and me and every other reader before us and hereafter. God saw fit to place these specific prayers in the Bible so that we might benefit. I am not wise enough or Christlike enough to know how to pray for myself or others. What a gift to preserve these specific needs for us as well as the purpose in relying on God to meet them.

No matter what the specifics are in your quandaries about the purpose and direction for your life, we share this same desired end: to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. Therefore, we, too, should ask to be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Today, this is the very thing I aim to do, my friend, over you.

A Prayer for Knowing God’s Will

Lord,

Thank you for Your Word. I pray that my friend reads it, desires it, and learns from it more tomorrow than she did today. Open her mind and heart to what You might say to her. And tender her to Your desires for her life, over her own. Fill her with the knowledge of Your will for her in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Show her how much You care for her. Then draw her to Yourself more and more as You reveal who You are to her and what Your purposes are for her life.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Did You Know?

For the one who feels invisible, largely passed over, and insignificant – Cheri has created a resource for you. Grab your copy of Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than and join the Strange Readers Café. We will be going through the book together beginning Oct. 3 until December 16 – just in time for Christmas.

Buy the Book 

Join the Group

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion!

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

DOWNLOAD NOW

WAIT! THERE’S MORE.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Did you know Cheri has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from? Just click on the images below to check them out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

The Purpose of Prayer

purpose of prayer

What is the purpose of prayer? Whether we realize it or not, the truth is that prayer isn’t a tool to make God do what we want. Rather, it’s an aligning of our hearts to His will instead of our own. It is through this use and purpose of prayer we ought to grow, firmly believing and embracing His plans for our lives.

Jesus left nothing to chance when it comes to prayer, leaving us a model.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10, KJV).

More than a model, he left us his personal example. Even just before his crucifixion, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane pleading,

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39, ESV).

Remembering the Purpose of Prayer

One of the most trying times that caused me to embrace the real purpose of prayer was weeks after finding out my husband and I were truly pregnant. It all happened earlier this year. And I say truly, because late last year, after having faint positive pregnancy tests, the blood tests turned out negative, and the ultrasounds were empty. The doctor explained, “You weren’t really pregnant.” But come March 2022, my new set of positive pregnancy tests was confirmed by the doctor during our first ultrasound. She then explained that we had to recheck the baby’s heartbeat after two weeks because it was below the average that is expected of its gestational age.

It was time to wait.

That period of waiting was in stark contrast with how I initially reacted in our previous challenging circumstances. Why? This time, I realized that my heart was indeed prepared and pruned by the Lord to remember the true purpose of prayer.

Before, though I knew that I had to submit to God’s will, deep in my heart as I prayed, I longed for God to miraculously give me a positive blood serum test or let an embryo show up in my ultrasound. Honestly, I was desperately hoping I could “manipulate” God into granting me my heart’s desire. But our two-week wait became a period of humbling ourselves before God, interceding that our hearts will embrace His perfect will for us.

Practicing the Purpose of Prayer

My husband and I soaked ourselves in the truth of His Word and recited them in our prayers. These verses ultimately pointed us to who God is. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, God is the One who has done wondrous works and bestowspurpose of prayer good gifts (Psa. 65:5-7; 71:5-6; 83:18; and 84:11). But we didn’t demand that His might and goodness meant that our child’s heartbeat and very life will be sustained.

Instead, we prayed for God to teach us to believe that He is good if our child’s heartbeat will normalize, and the baby will continue growing healthily in my womb. And even if we lose this chance of successfully conceiving again, He remains good, wise, and sovereign (Job 1:21). God was abundantly gracious to make our hearts aim not for a change in our circumstances, but a transformation of our hearts – one that has solidified trust and reliance on His unchanging goodness and steadfast love, for this is the purpose of prayer.

When it was finally my turn for the ultrasound, the doctor happily told me that our baby was healthy and had a good fetal heart rate.

A Lasting Testimony of Practicing the Purpose of Prayer

Today I am near giving birth to our firstborn. This journey in experiencing the right purpose of prayer in my own life is a testimony that keeps us in awe.  No. it’s not because of the favorable answer to our prayers, but how He, by His grace and doing, has transformed and grown us through the humble surrender of our will (Phil 2:13).

How about you? What have you been praying for lately? Take a moment today to let God search your heart and mind. Ask Him to humble you so that you will embrace His will.  In prayer, behold and declare who He is. Know that whatever He has ordained to grant you is always rooted in His perfect love and goodness.

In Christ,
Abbie Hilario

Welcome Abbie!

Abbie is a teacher by profession and a writer at heart. By grace alone, she seeks to draw her students and readers closer to Jesus. She is a Filipina and a blessed wife, pursued by and in pursuit of her Greatest Love.

God has graciously led her to start a blog that encourages people to know the truth of the Gospel and treasure Christ above all. Here is her Instagram account, and you can also connect with the Back to the Cross community here.

Did You Know?

For the one who feels invisible, largely passed over, and insignificant – Cheri has created a resource for you. Grab your copy of Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than and join the Strange Readers Café. We will be going through the book together beginning Oct. 3 until December 16 – just in time for Christmas.

Buy the Book 

Join the Group

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion!

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

DOWNLOAD NOW

WAIT! THERE’S MORE.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Did you know Cheri has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from? Just click on the images below to check them out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

3 Powerful Ways Your Life Changes When You Know Your Purpose

know your purpose

People tell you many things you should know to change your life, but one thing you need to know is that if you know your purpose, it can have the most powerful impact.

Have you done all the things that were supposed to make you happy, but you still feel like something’s missing?

Maybe you’ve climbed the career ladder just to realize there’s no true meaning at the top.

Maybe you gave all of yourself to raise your kids, and now that your nest is empty, you feel empty too.

Or you might have climbed the career ladder just to realize there’s nothing of real meaning at the top.

You can of course find satisfaction and purpose in all you do as a wife or as a mom, at home or at work.

But if you find your identity only in these accomplishments, and don’t also know your purpose that God specifically designed you for, there will always be a void in your spirit and soul to be filled.

What does it mean to know your purpose? It means living out who God designed you to be and what God called you to do. And when you do this, you impact the lives of those around you and honor God.

What is the Importance of Knowing Your Purpose?

You may be wondering, “Why is it important to find your purpose in life?” The answer is that knowing your purpose in God empowers you to fully embody and express who you are and what you were made to do.

You were made for Knowing Your Purpose

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Remember, your true identity lies in who you are in Christ and who you are by the unique design of Your Creator. Your individual personality, strengths, gifts, passions, and all that you are was specially and specifically knit together with purpose.

Your soul yearns for Knowing Your Purpose

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. ~Proverbs 13:12 NIV

Whether you realize it or not, everything inside of you longs to fulfill what you were designed to do. Your spirit and soul have an inherent hope tied to the bigger picture of God’s purposes, which you’re a specific part of on this earth.

If your path doesn’t align with God’s direction for you, true fulfillment and maximum life impact will always remain just out of reach.

3 Ways Your Life Changes When You Know Your Purpose

You may want to know what happens when you find your purpose that is so powerful. There are 3 ways that you’re impacted by knowing your purpose that in turn change how you live your life.

1 – Your Know Who You Are (Psalm 139:14)

As you become more aware of your God-given design, you…

  • Embrace your uniqueness
  • Stop comparing yourself to others so you gain more confidence
  • Start living out your true identity and potential in Christ

2 – You Know Why Youre Here (Ephesians 2:10)

As God’s calling on your life is revealed, you…

  • Understand your significance
  • Stop thinking you’re not enough so you gain more courage
  • Start stepping out into new possibilities to make an impact

3 – You Know Where Youre Going (Proverbs 16:9)

As you partner with God to know your purpose and walk in it, you…

  • Understand God’s vision for your life
  • Stop wandering without direction so you gain more clarity
  • Start being productive in what really matters in God’s plan

As you grow more into the person God’s calling you to be and step farther out into the things God’s calling youknow your purpose to do, it changes everything as you move toward God’s best for you from the inside out.

Arris Charles

She Yearns Ministries would like to thank our guest, Arris Charles today, for her perspective on how your life changes when you know your purpose.

know your purposeArris Charles is a Life Purpose Coach and founder of Live Inspired by Purpose. She helps Christian women in midlife pursue their God-given purpose in their daily life and as their unique calling so they can live with more passion, confidence and impact. Knowing what it’s like to lose yourself in a career that doesn’t fit who you are and what it’s like to have your kids and family be the focus of your whole world, Arris brings both experience and empathy to her life’s work. Both detailed and creative, she blends detailed analysis and inspired vision to help her clients dive deep, dream big, and take bold action toward a new vision for their life.

Connect with Arris:

Before you go, make sure you received Cheri’s FREE gift to you. Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Did you catch the Book Cover Reveal?

Book cover reveal

Remember, you can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

Praying for Work

Praying for Work Banner

Praying for Work

In case you are just finding us here, my name is Cheri Strange. Stick around and check out the rest of the site (Be sure to grab hold of the FREE Book Bundle before you leave). I’m so glad you are with me today. The purpose of the blog on Fridays is to take Scripture and pray it over you. Each week I select a short passage or verse from the Bible that is naturally as written, or that can be turned into a prayer. After a short discourse on the page of how the particular passage might relate to you and me today, I offer a prayer over whoever is reading. Today we are praying for work.

The reality is that you may not have people in your life praying for you. As a believer in Christ, I want you to experience the power of God’s Word spoken over your life at least one time per week. I am praying this is five minutes of encouragement just for you.

She Prays

That’s all there is to it. Every Friday you will now find us right here.

Today, I want to look at two verses I have been praying in my own devotional time for a long time.

Scripture for Praying for Work

Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:16-17

Moses is the author of these words, and he is praying over the people. The first thing we can take from his prayer is that it is well and good to ask God to show us what work He wants us to be about. I’m not talking about employment with pay, but rather any work, vocational or otherwise.

I recognize my own deficiency in this area. Frankly, I’m not smart enough to know what work is the most beneficial for the limited days He has granted me on this planet. I am not serious-minded enough to select the eternal over the superficial ON MY OWN. This prayer beckons me to bring my blank agenda before Him as I am praying for the day, and beyond, allowing Him to make my plan. Right here the Bible offers a precedent to ask, letting His work be shown to us, His people. But this unveiling is not simply for you and me. It’s also for our children.

When God does something incredible in my life, the event doesn’t happen in a vacuum. For sure, it can be a private matter. But I can ask that God be demonstrative with it, like Moses. I can ask that it be so flamboyant, in your face, apparent that God is working through me and my surroundings that my children can’t help but see His glorious power through it all.

When God moves in your life and those in the next generation witness the change, the experience builds their belief and trust in a God who is worthy of it. And if these two elements were not enough, Moses offers more we can utilize in our own lives.

Oh, Yes! There’s More

We can ask that He show us favor in these endeavors and that we not fail. Moses calls on God to establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! In other words, grow it down deep. Keep us from giving up. Give us what we need to do what He calls us to do.

Who doesn’t need a powerful and effective prayer that asks for God to establish your work, to make His power and presence in it to be recognizable, to grant favor in the working, and the strength to keep going until it is finished? What a gift we have in this Psalm.

Write these verses down. Get them into a place you can use them in your prayer time regularly. See what God will do when you begin to pray His Word back to Him. And do let us hear about it!

Praying for Work

Praying for WorkLord,

Today we bring to you our efforts, our agenda, and our life endeavors. I specifically life up my friend reading. Illuminate the work you have specifically hewed out for her using her skill set, background, deficiencies, along with her faith to rely on you for what she cannot do. Let it be known to her. Make your presence be so apparent that her spiritual and physical children cannot miss or deny your power through it all.

I ask for favor on behalf of this one. Whatever is standing in the way, clear it. If there are problems work them out. If she has fears, calm them. Doubts, reassure her. Give her the favor of the Lord our God and establish this work you are entrusting her to do. Establish it long and deep. Help her know it is from You, bringing with it a confident hope and a longing for Your eternal purposes for her life.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

DOWNLOAD NOW

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

hey there girlfriend

Did you know Cheri has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from? Just click on the images below to check them out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing