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A Prayer for Strong Hands

strong hands

Prayer for Strong Hands

She Prays on Friday with Cheri Strange

Several of my daughters are “grown and flown,” off other places, doing what God has called them to do in this season of their lives. Within the last week, each of them has called to mention how tired they are. There is still much work to do, but little to no drive or energy to do it. Today I want to focus on a Scripture to pray that provides for this need of strong hands to finish what we have been called to do.

These interactions with my girls reminded me of the first time I ran a marathon. I’m not an athlete, but I can put one foot in front of the other for a long time. The training program required long runs each weekend leading up to the race, up to twenty miles. One race day, I put one foot in front of the other for my twenty miles, and realized, there were 6.2 more to go. For slowpokes like me, that left another hour of running, and I was out of steam. In those final miles, my energy was so depleted, I didn’t know if I needed to cry, use the restroom, or spit. My inner drive was gone, my body spent—just like you might feel today.

What can we do when we are exhausted or emotionally empty, and there is still more responsibility before us?

Scripture for Strong Hands

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? Hebrews 12:3-5

 Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:11-12

The writer of Hebrews is familiar with our pain.

He has spent the greater part of the letter lovingly warning his readers not to drift away from a fervent relationship with the Lord. The first verses speak of Jesus, “Consider him who…” This passage is coming on the heels of a series of testimonies about those who demonstrated tremendous faith. He knows we need their example to help us stay on course in our own spiritual races, enduring to the end. And it’s about mile 19.

Those entrusted to him are getting tired. He knows it. They are wanting to quit. So, he points them to Jesus to make sure they are clear on the standard, rather than some lesser measurement.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself

The writer makes a point. “I know you are tired. I know it’s been hard. You don’t think you can take much more, but don’t throw in the towel! Don’t go sit the bench! Do not quit! Don’t walk away thinking this is never going to work just because you haven’t seen it work yet!” Instead, look to someone who has made it across the finish line and now cheers you on to keep going.

Consider Jesus

Jesus did not quit. He did not sit out on the hard plays. Jesus didn’t fake an injury or tell anyone where they could shove their nails. He put one foot in front of the other (so to speak) until He crossed the finish line.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

strong handsA couple of years ago, (before the world shut down), my daughter, Sophia, and I met up with a group in Kenya to go on safari. But it was quite a drive from Nairobi out to the reserve. We were closed inside a  vehicle driving down the center of what looked like solid pavement when suddenly and often, the driver veered off the path to the right or the left to what was NOT a road. Constantly we would bounce around that dirt path until the driver crossed OVER the nice paved road onto the opposite side to do the same thing. We did this back and forth up and down weaving in and around on dirt, through mud and rocks for five or six hours.

There was a straight path available, we just didn’t take it.

Sometimes life can feel like my trek into the savannah. We need this Word to be living in us. Today, let us begin asking for it.

she praysA Prayer for Strong Hands

Lord, I come before you today on behalf of my friend who is reading. I ask that You remind her of the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, and what He endured for her. The jeering, the torture, the scorn, the brutality, the reprehensible treatment He willingly received without so much as a jerk. Give her a picture of what He has done for her so that she will gain strength from His perfect love and obedience. Do not let her quit because she’s tired and spent.

Lord, invigorate her with Your strength. Enable her to lift her hands once again, and bring power to her knees. She cannot do it on her own. She needs You. And even though she might see the straight path and cross over it a few times, make her feet to stay on it, so that the rocky places that have hurt her and caused her pain in the past will be healed.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen

For His Glory,

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

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

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

 when to quit

Teach Me, Lord

teach me, lord

Teach Me, Lord

She Prays Friday

Welcome to the She Prays Friday edition of the blog, which seeks to be some of the most encouraging FIVE minutes of your Fridays, straight from the Word of God. I’m so glad you are here, and extremely hope-filled that these moments will serve to be a blessing in your life; and that they will encourage you to look toward using the Word of God as a tool in your own devotional life as you pray.

Psalm 86:11-13

Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.


I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

I really want to focus on verse 11.

Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;

There is much for us in the first two lines. It brings to light, at least three contemporary issues.

Issue #1

Sure. You and I can read the Bible, attend Bible study, participate in some spiritual group online, go to church, or even attend Sunday School. We can do all these things and learn more about God—yet never take on His ways or actually walk in His truth. In order to walk these out, day by day, He must illuminate His ways and His truth to us. Otherwise, it’s just ordinary knowledge.

Issue #2

Maybe you’ve got questions–things in your life, like me, that are hanging “out there” that the world is shoving in our faces, and we need to know what the Bible teaches. What should a follower of Jesus believe? How are you and I supposed to discern the matter?

Relying on the Internet is out. Even though my pastor is on target with Scripture, our spiritual leaders do not dictate truth. The Psalmist makes no bones about it. The Lord is to be our teacher.

This is our daily dilemma because whatever is making its way into the headlines, or dominating social media outlets, finding a place in the news and printed articles, is likely not lining up with Scripture. Most of the time, popular opinion runs contrary to the very fabric of Christianity. Holding the questions out and asking them is not the problem, but allowing other sources to influence what you and I in turn, believe–that’s where the rub occurs.

I get it. The temptation is real. I like the societal solutions often better than the Word of God. I find myself in less controversy socially. Frankly, their answers are more palatable than the Bible. What we learn here — is that MY truth will not due. YOUR truth should be rejected. This is what the Psalmist is conveying. In the culture in which we live, you and I desperately need God to teach us.

Issue #3

Too often, I am at a loss for knowing what to do. There are big situations brewing in my life, as they are likely brewing in yours. I haven’t the foggiest how to proceed. I’m in a holding pattern, with nothing to do but wait and trust that these words will be true for me in what is coming for the future. Because I simply don’t know what to do —  I need God to teach me His ways and His truth.

unite my heart to fear your name.

I must say, the Psalmist nails this one. This is a prayer AGAINST his distracted self. He’s all Helter-Skelter in his heart and mind–just like me, and just like you. This line resonates. How I need to bring my thoughts and all that I seek under one focus. To remind me of what is most important — with all my faculties falling under this one banner. Do I need help with this? You bet!

Maybe you do, too.

teach me, Lord pin

The following verses are a response to the Psalmist’s request, thanking God with an acknowledgment of Who He is and what He has done in their life. What an instrumental and timely model for us.

Today, I pray for the one who is like me. The one who recognizes her need for bigger answers than she holds — and who wants fervently to stay on the path of biblical truth.

 

 

 

A “Teach Me, Lord” Prayer

Lord,

I come before You, asking for help. There is so much we do not know how to face or which direction to go. And we need You to teach us. Would You use whatever means necessary to teach my friend what to do in the situations she is facing? Whatever that looks like for her, I ask You to make the way known? Make it plain so that she can see it and tell the difference between what You want and everything else. And when ideas or campaigns or promotions come across the landscape of her life, would you give her discernment, leading her to exactly what You say about the issues? Give her courage to stand against her own understanding and that of the majority to follow You, walking in your truth.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen.

Be sure to stop by FB or Instagram and say hello!

Thanks for stopping by. I pray we meet again soon.

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

If you like the Journey you will like Finding Light

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

   

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

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

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit

Do Not Waste These Gray Hairs

Don't Waste These Gray Hairs Blog

Don’t Waste These Gray Hairs

The She Prays Friday edition of the blog seeks to be some of the most encouraging FIVE minutes of your Fridays, straight from the Word of God. Welcome. I’m so glad you are here because today is extra special. It’s my birthday (and I’m not 29–not even close). I have a few gray hairs. And with these and the passing of time, there is the fear of becoming irrelevant. Today’s Scripture screams my sentiments about my age at this stage in life, and maybe your own: Lord, don’t waste these gray hairs! 

Psalm 71:17-18

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.

So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come. 

I am experiencing another turning of the clock, becoming a much older version of myself. This birthday is not a Big One, just another one. Sort of like our Psalmist, I have been reflecting on the reality of life and the passing of time. Here the author ponders his reality, that God has been with him teaching him, growing him in his character, and allowing him to experience the wonders of who God is and what He does—which enables him to tell other people just how great God is.

And this has been fulfilling.

So much so, this is what he does not want to stop. The Psalmist fears, much like you and I might fear, in the quietness of our own hearts–that we will get passed over. Replaced. Not picked anymore, because we are too old. No one wants to listen. What could we possibly have to offer?

While this may be true when it comes to fashion (as I refuse the high wasted movement from the ’80s), keeping up with the latest technology trends, or advising people about what entity sells the best kale and chi tea.

Like the Psalmist…

Don't Waste These Gray Hairs StoryMy heart’s cry is not about all that. I don’t need to be so cool, and you likely feel the same way. More than anything, I want God to keep me relevant enough to proclaim His glory, His goodness, His mercy, His compassion, and His overall Ableness–to the next generation AND BEYOND. “You can take a lot of things, but please don’t take that!” This is the essence of the Psalmist’s prayer.

I don’t know if you have ever felt this way, holding a passion to continue passing on what God has done beyond your own experience–but it is a gift worth asking God to continue to give.

Today, I pray for the one who is a believer who is filled with the desires articulated in the verses in Psalm 71. I am going to pray the Scripture over you much like I have prayed it over myself for the last few years.

A “Don’t Waste These Gray Hairs” Prayer

Lord,

Today I pray over my friend reading as one who knows You. She is one of Your own children. I thank you that You have been with her to teach her, showing Yourself to her, so that she knows of Your wonders and mercy and greatness. I thank you for her willingness to share You with others so much so that THIS IS HER HEART.

As time keeps marching onward, the years are passing. Entropy is setting in. Age is much more apparent, and the fears of getting passed by in so many areas creep in. Let this not be so with YOU. Do not forsake Your own, Lord. Not until she has proclaimed Your greatness to another generation, and your power to ALL those to come.

This is a hefty request because ALL MEANS ALL. But You, alone, are able to make this a reality in her life. I ask that you be gracious to her and give her this blessing.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen. So be it.

Be sure to stop by FB or Instagram to wish me a happy gray-headed Birthday (LOL), and remind me to keep my eyes right here–focused on God’s willingness to give what we have asked.

Thanks for stopping by. I pray we meet again soon.

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

If you like the Journey you will like Finding Light

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

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

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

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit

 

 

 

Questioning God

Questioning God

Happy Friday here. Welcome to She Prays on Friday. I’m sitting here with an oversized bandage taped to my chin, due to a medical procedure, protecting what my doctor expects to turn black and blue by morning. I sort of feel like I was knocked silly by the neighborhood bully. Tomorrow I will look like it, which is fabulous because I am speaking at 9:00 a.m. No. This is unequivocally NOT how I anticipated spending my weekend, but as you know, the stuff of life doesn’t always work out seamlessly. At times it leaves us in a quandary, and often worse.

Maybe you have a situation in your life that is not turning out the way you planned? You have been diligent. Faithful. Certain of what your heard God speak over your life. But reality proves differently. You didn’t make the needed scores, or the business arrangement fell through. Your loved one did not recover. They did not select you for the position. Or, the relationship you have agonized and prayed over has gone belly up. These are the perfect environments to cultivate doubt and discouragement, leaving you questioning God. You might think, “WHAT IN THE WORLD are YOU doing, Lord? This is not the way it was supposed to play out.

I can relate 100%. One thing I find to be effective when I’m puzzled, frustrated, or even a little spiritually black and blue is to approach my situation in the same manner we find Habakkuk advancing. This man posed questions before God such as ours.

Habakkuk’s Example

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry, “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Habakkuk 1:2-3

Habakkuk wrote these down and then waited expectantly for God to respond.

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. Habakkuk 2:1

If I take my cues from Habakkuk, I will write my questions down, likely in a journal. Journaling helps me focus my quandary AND prepares me to wait for an actual response. It could be as pointed as, “What about X? And how about Y? You know, my situation is not working out as I expected. Did I hear you correctly? Am I on the right track?

Often you and I don’t even know how to invite other people into the difficulty. But God, in His kindness, His tenderness, His perfect understanding of who we are, and what we will need, meets us with His Word.

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” says your God. Isaiah 66:9

Only God knows what you are going through. I cannot imagine the uncertainties, the bewilderments, injuries, and disappointments you are encountering. Likely, you possess a limited understanding of God’s Hand on your present situation and what the future may hold. Sweet friend, you are not alone. Many of us can relate, even if we cannot articulate our puzzled state to another.

What Can We Do When Questioning God?

What we CAN do is take our quandary to the Lord. God’s response to Isaiah is encouraging beyond words. If He ordains it (whatever “it” is in your particular situation), if what we are trusting Him for aligns with His heart and purpose for our lives, then we can take it to the spiritual bank. Your God will be faithful to see all the details through to completion, even if life doesn’t turn out as you and I envision.

Right now, your situation may look impossible. Don’t stop believing in God’s omnipotence. Do not lose heart. Remember with Whom you are dealing. He does not bring us to the edge in order to push us over plunging toward our demise. God’s dealings with us do not need to make sense or work out like a fairy tale. Still. He loves you and will be faithful forevermore.

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”

No.

My Prayer for You Today

Lord,

Some days, in particular situations, questions arise. And when that happens it gives room for all sorts of negative emotions and doubts. We wonder what in the world You are doing. Did we hear You correctly when we thought You told us to move in a certain direction or follow a particular path? All roads forward seem to close in on us and there is not a Plan B illuminated. We desperately want to know if we can hear you? Are you speaking in these areas? Are we on the right course? What should we do now?

So, for my friend, reading, I primarily ask that You grant her the ability to see You at work in her life. Help her recognize the difference between what SHE wants and what YOU desire. Bring these differences into harmony for Your glory. Move her to seek Your face. And when she does –enable her to believe that she can trust what You tell her. Help her know, that in the midst of her predicament not going as planned, You are in it to the finish.

I ask that you answer her questions. But even if you choose not to, show her Your way forward. What is the path that demonstrates a belief and trust in You? Give her confidence in Your Divine power to reveal Yourself and Your purposes to her as you so desire.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thanks for stopping by. I pray we meet again soon.

For His Glory,

 

 

Yes, I'd love to receive encouraging e-mails from Cheri
When you sign up, you will receive 4, 5x5 Waiting Well digital printables. I look forward to meeting you inside the community! 

Cheri
We respect your privacy.

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

If you like the Journey you will like Finding Light

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

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

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

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit

 

 

 

She Prays on Friday

She Prays on Friday

She Prays on Friday

Hey it’s Friday! Not only is it Friday, it’s the last Friday in the first month of 2022. That means, (among other things) there has been time for five of the ten in my family to contract Covid and just about be over it. It also means I am almost caught up from the jolt the holidays brings and the turn of the new year. I’m over here ringing in February like it’s New Year’s Eve. So, of course, today is the first day we are ushering in something new: She Prays on Friday.

Why She Prays on Friday?

For years we have made prayer a focus and decidedly marked Friday as a day when we invite people to join together to pray for each other specifically for the needs of those associated with the She Years community. I’ve tried to throw out a graphic on social media which you may or may not see depending on the algorithyms of Facebook and Instagram. But in the last two years I became dissatisfied with those efforts. Most people have needs. Real needs. Yet we are not made aware of them. I became increasingly burdened to pray over you, personally. I mean, what if you don’t have people in your life praying for you?

Unable to move away from the sense that I could do something about that, I opened up a Private Facebook group solely for prayer. People can offer their requests and literally pray for each other. AND THEY DO. Time and time again, these women respond to each other so sweetly and appropriately, often I just get to stand back and watch them minister to one another. (I will post the link to the page for you to join at the bottom of this post.)

What is She Prays on Friday?

The other action I took was developing a short five minute podcast to look at a few verses from the Bible and pray these over the listener. The most powerful way you and I can pray is to utilize the very Word of God. Honestly, it was my second podcast to develop each week and it was too much. I could not justify the time against my other responsibilities, but my desire and burden never decreased. After a long, long time of much personal prayer and deliberation with the Lord, I believe you will best be served here on the blog.

Each Friday for 2022, I will be here with a verse or a set of verses. We will spend a few minutes unpacking these and how they can meet us where we are, and then I will pray for you, the reader. I’m not sure exactly how that will always play out yet. Sometimes it might be written below. Other times it might be an audio file or even a short video. But you need to be prayed over. And it is my joy and privilege to do so.

Everything we do here will be connected to some degree with our friends over in the She Prays FB group. But it should not be repetative.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

She Prays on Friday So stick with me on Fridays, because if this girl doesn’t get anything else done for the day–She Prays for you on Friday. The first Friday is called “Seeing in the Dark.” I hope you will be here. Until then, be sure to check out the newest YouVersion plan, The Journey Toward Waiting Well. We are planning to start a group and go through it together next week. Click on the link below to join.  I pray we meet again soon.

 

 

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

The Journey Toward Waiting Well

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

Truths Jesus Taught How to Pray

 

 

 

 

 

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

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit

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