We often expect God to work in real-time like our smartphones, don’t we? While He can (and sometimes does) grant answers immediately, He often doesn’t. Rather than blame Him, we can take a step back to realize it took us longer than “immediate” to get into our current mess, and will take longer than a spiritual hot second to bring it into order. Herein lies the “discipline” of prayer. Mama Bear, let’s get wise about how we approach the throne so we can actually know we come in confidence, rather than coming in desperation and confusion.
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Luke 4: 1-7
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Hey everybody this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast. Today is Wednesday, October 30th. This is episode number 838. This is also the day that we talk about the study that’s happening at MomStrong International. We’re going to finish up the month of October talking about prayer and focusing today on the fact that God calls Himself and He is our deliverer.
Stick around. I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So thanks for tuning in today, everybody. We’ve got so much to talk about. Couple of things that are on my heart that relate to the Bible study and the way that we see God as our deliverer, and we need to be able to see Him that way. I think so often in the culture we get confused and discouraged and the Lord is right there saying, “Look up. Keep your eyes focused on me.”
Before I get into it, I want to let you know that our podcast today was sponsored by our friends at Evangelical Christian Credit Union. ECCU wants to give families the tools they need to successfully teach their children sound financial practices. You guys know this. I’ve talked about this a lot. It’s important that we prepare our children for adulthood, right? My husband and I are always telling people, “We are not raising kids, we are raising, with the Lord’s help, adults.” And so with ECCU kids have access to online banking, the mobile app, a debit card that they can use in person or online and no monthly or overdraft fees, which is awesome because they’re going to make mistakes, right? So did you guys hear that? No overdraft fees. We have all made money mistakes, right? And helping our children learn sound financial skills is an invaluable gift that parents should be giving their children. So one more time, no overdraft fees. I’m just going to leave that one right there. You guys can learn more at eccu.org/heidi.
I also want to remind you guys if you are Bible study members at MSI, we have a brand new Facebook group and we’re going to add a link to the show notes, or you can search MomStrong International Bible Study Members Official. This is the place where I am interacting with the members of the MomStrong International, those of you who are going through the Bible study with me, I like to hop on there and do Facebook lives. I like to hear how you’re doing, come up with challenges for you, send you fun things and some encouragement. So check it out, MomStrong International Bible Study members, official. And I’m pretty sure… I’ll link to that in the show notes today, but if you just search that on Facebook you can find it and we want you to join us.
Also I really want you to join us for the brand new study. So we’re wrapping up this study that we’ve done for the month of October on the topic of prayer. I’m going to end today by going through the week four study that talks about God as He calls Himself, Our Deliver, and why that’s such good news for His people and how we can be encouraged to walk rightly with Him and see Him the way he wants us to see Him.
Next month we’re going to study contentment. So if ever there was a good time to study contentment, now’s the time. We’re coming into the holidays. I just said the H word so just let that sink in. But we need to be people who are content. I heard someone say that “gratitude and contentment makes what we have enough.” And I think sometimes we struggle with contentment. We struggle with it in the culture. Frankly, this is a huge reason why transgenderism has taken a foothold in the culture, because we’re not content with how God made us.
And so in that lack of contentment, we find ourselves following after our passions instead of saying, “Father, make my heart to be more like yours. Help me to be content with my money, help me to be content with my job, with my family, and be content in the middle of hardship and weakness.” And so, “Content with the season of life that we’re in, content in the church that God has put us into.”
And so these are things that we struggle with and you guys know that if you can’t be content, your children are also going to struggle with contentment, and we cannot pass on what we don’t possess.
So this is a great time for you to join us at MomStrong International to study contentment, and that study will begin on the first Monday in November. So the studies always begin on the first Monday. And so the Scripture writing challenge will obviously began on November 1st, the new one, but then the new study will start on the first Monday in November. This is a great time to join us. It’s a little more than $8 a month and we have worked very hard to bring a Bible study that will get you into the Word.
You can also become a leader with MomStrong International. We’d love to see you guys do that. I have really worked hard to create a Bible study that you can do individually. And at MomStrong International at the members’ group online, walking you through that Bible study and encouraging you and doing online teaching and those things. But what I love to see you do is take what you’re learning and begin online studying with me and then take it into real life, and to really start inviting women into your home. And even if you just did it once every three months, find the women around you who are doing the Bible study and maybe once a month you get together and you say, “What are you learning? How can we pray for each other?” You guys, the internet has robbed us in many ways of learning how to interact with people in our neighborhoods, people that we’re doing life with. I mean it’s really easy to hide behind a screen, but it’s not where God calls us. He calls us out into the culture and into community.
So consider that and you can apply to be a leader at MomStrong International. We’re working on a leader’s retreat for next year which I’m really excited about. It’s my heart to come alongside you and just mentor and encourage you and teach you what it means to walk with Jesus in your everyday life.
You guys, there’s freedom in it. God wants you to be free. We have had a lot of people on the show lately, I’ve got a new guest coming on and she’s actually going to be here, let me look it up. Chris is going to be in here on Friday. We’re going to talk about medical freedom. I’m going to have Charissa Hatten on here with me and she is the Executive Director of Oregonians for Medical Freedom, which means, yes, I’m going to jump into the topic of vaccines. And part of the reason why I talk about the culture and I talk about politics and I post and write a Bible study for you, is because it should be a part of our everyday lives.
There’s no reason to separate your faith from issues that you care about. What we want to do is be able to look at everything through the lens of God’s word and say, “How would God have me respond to this particular issue?” Now there’s going to be areas of freedom. Certainly vaccines is one of them, right? And there are areas where we need to be loving each other but we should always be able to have open discussion, and we should always be able to love each other in the process. God calls us to love each other. All right? But you don’t want to swap out your discernment hat and replace it with a love hat that has no discernment, right? You got to be able to wear all the hats and how do we learn how to do that? We learn that by studying and applying the Word of God.
The apostle Paul said to Timothy, “Study God’s word so that you can learn to become a workman who does not need to be ashamed, who can rightly divide, rightly handle God’s word,” and we need to be able to do that. And so that’s the heartbeat behind MomStrong International and we are growing over there, excited about that and I want to invite you to join us in it.
All right, let’s jump into the study this week because this is the last week on the study on prayer that we’ve been doing. We’re focusing really on God as our deliverer. Now, listen, I want you guys to be encouraged because the Bible teaches us about prayer. The Bible teaches us that prayer isn’t something that we need to be in the dark about. So just like we’ve got best practices in business, right? There are best practices for this podcast. I want to learn how can I get the podcast out to people? How can I be an encouragement? What are the best practices? Well just like there’s best practices in business there are best practices for prayer. And that’s part of what we’ve been teaching you all month at MomStrong International and this month we have been examining what prayer is, why we pray, who we’re praying to, what we can rightfully hope to accomplish as we pray. And Jesus, our Lord Jesus was gracious. He modeled prayer for us in this way and it helps us to direct our steps as we walk with the Lord.
So people whose hearts were connected to The Bahamas, right? We waited for days for word about the safety and situation that they were facing during hurricane Dorian. So in a smartphone world of instant connectivity, this was hard because we’re used to the instant answer, right? And I think we often expect God to work in real time like our smartphones do with his responses. And while He can do that, and certainly sometimes He does do that, sometimes He grants us answers immediately, He often doesn’t. And so I want to encourage you, rather than blame Him, take a step back and realize that it took us longer than immediate to get into the current mess we’re in, and it’s going to take longer than a spiritual hot second to bring our chaos back into order.
So mama listen to me, dad listen to me. We need to be wise about how we approach the throne of God so that we can actually know we come in confidence rather than coming in desperation and confusion. So there’s been some that’s been going on here at the homeschool resource center. We’re working through a pretty big challenge. And I’ve told you guys, this is something that we’re praying about with our staff. We’re like, “Lord, show us what you want us to do.” And we come before the throne of grace with confidence because we’ve seen the Lord work. We know that He can and so our prayer is always to say, “Father, not my will but yours.” He already knows what’s going on. He already knows the struggle that you’re facing right now. He already knows the fear that’s in your heart and the fear that controls your decisions.
And I think as parents, one of the hardest places we see in our children to mature in their prayers is recognizing that when they ask God for something, He expects them to be a part of the process. So when a toddler says, “Pick me up,” but then hangs like a limp noodle when you lift him up, what are you going to do? You’re going to put them right back down, right? Why? Because it’s obnoxious.
When a 10-year-old says, “Can I skip school today? I don’t feel well,” and you know that they snuck half of a chocolate cake in the middle of the night, you’re going to feed them a protein for breakfast and then scoot them out to the bus stop, right?
When your teenager says, “Can I have money this weekend?” and you know that their choices right now involve habitual sin, you’re going to close your wallets and empty their own bank account, why? For their safety. We model God in this way. We really do.
And so when we pray, “Deliver us from evil,” as we walk ourselves into a situation that’s full of emotional danger, we make it so much harder to find God’s rescue. And we can vex God if we ask Him to be kept from temptation while we’ve got a whole cart full of clothing that we can’t afford, and then we justify our spending while we load the bags into the car. You guys, we have to engage in the battle rather than expecting God to protect and defend us while we walk into it unarmed and willingly. So we need to do our part. Prayer, you guys, is a lifetime discipline. I’m going to let that sit. It’s a discipline. I think in the culture right now we don’t want the discipline. We want the blessing without the discipline. We want the blessing and we want God’s provision, but we struggle to get into His Word.
And certainly this is something I have found to be true in the community of women that I have been endeavoring to disciple and love for the last 15 years of my life. Sometimes I’ll say to them… In fact I had a conversation with a mom not too long ago at a conference I was speaking in and she said, “Man, Heidi, I see that you guys are doing a Bible study but I just really don’t have time.” You guys, I just, I almost came out of my seat. Because we do have time. What we don’t have is a passion to make the study of God’s Word a priority, to make it a discipline.
We are prioritizing, right? We’re prioritizing Starbucks, we’re prioritizing Netflix. In the United States we love leisure, and that life of leisure that we love so much has made us so that we’re uninformed. This is something I’ll be talking about on Friday. When Charissa was here we were talking about how we have stuck our heads in the sand for so long and then we pull our heads out of the sand for a minute and oh my word, the house is on fire. Why? Because we weren’t engaging, we weren’t being disciplined to keep abreast of what was happening around us. And we’ve got to engage with the Lord in prayer and we’ve got to engage with His word.
So if you look at prayer like discipline instead of just something that we do at bedtime, then you can also see how this lifetime discipline folds into every aspect of His life. So prayer is a lifetime discipline of studying God to learn all that we can about Him, to learn to adore Him, to learn how to glorify Him. Prayer is a lifetime discipline of coming to Him smartly, right? With education, using the resources of His word and His spirit. One of the things that I teach in Prayers For the Battlefield, which is a book I wrote about a year and a half ago, is teaching moms how to engage with the Word of God in prayer. How to pray scripture. There’s power in it, right? Prayer is a discipline of learning to spend time alone in a secret place to develop an intimate relationship with your creator. It’s learning the lifetime discipline of listening, being quiet. “Father, give me your direction through the spirit, through trustworthy believers.” Observing what’s happening in our circumstances to see where God might be at work.
Prayer is a discipline of learning to truly confess our sin in a daily practice so our heart can become clear and free of roadblocks, anything that keeps us from walking in a right relationship with God. And then finally, prayer is a discipline of thanking Him by being authentic in a call and response way of life. In short, it’s walking closely and openly with God.
So as we close this month, our prayer here at MomStrong International is that you have been both fed and challenged, fed by the wonderful truth that God is your father and he knows best what you need. And by the sheer magnitude of His wisdom, God’s going to bring what you are asking for to pass as it is His well. We hope you’ve been challenged by learning that prayer is not like Jenga where we pull one block out here and we hold our breath to see what falls and what holds. But rather it’s approaching the throne with complete confidence that He is good and right and merciful and wise, and just.
So for this last week at MomStrong International, and I’ll be teaching more about this over at the Facebook page. So if you guys are there, if you’re a member at MomStrong International, head on over to that Facebook page. I’ll link back to it in the show notes today. This is kind of a new development. So we were at the forums, we realized the forums are too 1990 so we’re moving away from them and back to my nemesis, Facebook. I just want to encourage you guys to go over there and find me there for more teaching because we’re going to talk a little bit more about how Jesus is our deliverer, and how He delivers us of our sin and how He delivers us of our selfishness. All of these things are markers as we walk with the Lord that we put our pride away and we say, “Lord, we’re here to get real and honest with you. And Lord, we are expecting you to deliver us from evil because Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
We know as believers that we can put our faith and our confidence in God because He says in His word that He is listening. He is listening. So we’re going to study how we can keep our heart soft before the Lord. What happens when we confess our sin. So we say, “Lord, deliver us from evil,” while we’re engaging in things that we know are going to be hard for us. Maybe some of you guys are having trouble with the things that you watch on Netflix. Hello? This has been something I have struggled with, right? But we know that if we don’t fill our hearts with good things that bad things are going to fill the vacuum.
And so when we say, “Lord, deliver me from evil, but Hey, I’m going to watch this show or I’m going to do this…” I was disappointed the other day to hear about some of the things that are in the movie Downton Abbey.
I know some of you guys are like, “What? Don’t even talk about that.” I am going to talk about it because we’re glorifying what God says is wrong and we’re putting up with what God says is sin. And then we make it into a movie and it’s a cool story and I totally agree. And I was a much bigger fan of Downton Abbey when it started than I was when it finished. Because this normalization of what God says is sin—you guys, it’s hurting us. It’s hurting us and how can we ask the Lord to bless us if we’re not willing, if we’re filling our minds with things that we know, God says “don’t do that.”
We say, “Lead is not into temptation but I’m going to go there myself anyway,” right? Temptation is an incitement to evil. And so when we engage, when we accept things into our life, even though God says, “Oh, Hey, that’s wrong,” and then we ask the Lord to deliver us, well, we got to look at our own part in this, right?
So this month at MSI for this last week, we’re going to come to this last part of the Lord’s Prayer and we’re going to talk about what it means to have the Lord deliver us and how He does that. Also, you guys this week at KidStrong, we’re going to also come to the end of the Lord’s prayer. Read it together with your kids. We gave you instructions just like teach your child to read in a hundred easy lessons. So we’re giving you instructions on how to read the Lord’s Prayer with your children and I think it’s going to be a huge blessing to you.
You guys, we are so thankful that you’re listening to the show, so thankful that you’re sharing it with your friends. We love it when you share the show. We love it when you leave reviews for the podcast over at iTunes. Please follow along with us, jump into the next study. We’re going to be studying the topic of contentment. Like I said, I think you guys are going to love it. If you are already a member of MomStrong International, make sure that you find us on Facebook at that private Facebook group for more video teaching and interaction with me and I will see you there.
Thanks for listening everybody and I will see you here on Friday with my friend Charissa Hatten who is the Executive Director of Oregonians for Medical Freedom. That’s going to be a hot topic, you’re not going to want to miss it and I’ll see you then. Stay faithful everybody.
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Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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