Tag Archives: perseverance

Using “But” in Our Prayers

“God, _____ , BUT _____ .” Do you find yourself using the word “but” in your prayers? At least I do. And if you do as well, you’re in good company. 😉

This morning, while praying, I asked for grace, but for a specific type of grace. Immediately after, I felt a nudge in my heart, and I stood corrected. I changed it to, “Forgive me, God, instead of BUT I ask You for Your will to be done.”

My prayer was, “God, give me grace, BUT …”

Who am I to ask God to give me something, but in a way that would please or benefit me and not Him? Who am I? A servant of God who asks Him to do His will in my life and allow me to use the spiritual gifts He gave me to advance His Kingdom. But then I ask Him to do it my way instead of His’? Unbelievable, Dee. 😕

Nevertheless, in situations like those and in moments of poor prayers like the one I prayed for, the extraordinary Holy Spirit activates in us and reminds us what we should pray for. Are we listening so we can stand corrected immediately after? I was. I hope you are too.

I love what Jesus said in John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

Let me go into nerd mode for a moment. 🤓 I love how some translations use the word advocate. Do you know what it means? I am glad you asked. The Greek word is paraklētos, and per the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, it means, in the broadest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, or assistant. 

This is what the Holy Spirit did for me in that prayer and continuously does for us, the believers:

  • He brought to my attention the portion of the Lord’s prayer—the model prayer He taught to His disciples—that reads, “Your will be done.” I must always pray for His will to be done. Not mine. 
  • As our advocate, He leads us to a more profound knowledge of the gospel truth and gives us the divine strength to do the work He has called us to do on behalf of His Kingdom.

If He opened a door, He will provide the divine strength. The only thing I need to do is to deeper my relationship with Him and remain in communion with Him. Then, He will do as He pleases. For His glory and His glory only. I am His hands and feet on the earth.

The same applies to you. Let us remember, we have been DEPLOYED!

Remain steadfast in the faith my friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. The work may be frustrating, tiring, and sometimes disappointing, but OH, the rewards are ETERNAL! Good needs us! Let’s get our armor straight and keep moving! God goes before US!!!

Who says “yes”?

Living His Dreams For Your Life

Perseverance? I got it. I knock on the next one when one door closes, like an obnoxious child. But sometimes, God knows that in order to take you away from a personal dream, He has to close every door relating to that dream. Yes, that is precisely what happened with my dream of becoming a Special Agent for the FBI.

“God, I can make an impact in the secular world. You want Your children in positions of influence.” That was part of my conversation with God about this particular dream of mine. However, deep down, I wanted prestige, status, and “beaucoup money.” Yes, I am not afraid to say it. God has His ways to make me humble, and I take them. What happened next?

On May 4th, 2015, I failed a polygraph test at the FBI building in Mobile, Alabama—sweet home, Alabama—. The force was not with me that day, for sure—Star Wars fans understand—. One day I will post a blog about the experience of being escorted out of a federal building and feeling like a loser, liar, and criminal. If you identify with an enneagram ONE, you understand how I felt. Add to that a crushed dream. CRUSHED! In a second, mmmm… a nanosecond. You know I despise—hate, detest and condemn— lies if you know me. I did not lie. I will tell you which question I failed. It makes me laugh. 😂🤦‍♀️

One single “Failed” closed the door to the possibility of getting a job in one of the following agencies: Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Secret Service. Why? Because when you fail a polygraph at one of those agencies—FBI in my case— you cannot apply to any other. At least it was like that back in 2015. I do not have the desire to even look into that today. One FAILED test. ONE!

But guess what? It opened the door for HIS DREAMS! His dreams are God’s dreams for our lives. Those dreams—works—He prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10, John 9:4, 1 Corinthians 15:58). Not to earn or keep our salvation because His salvation is free, and there is NOTHING we can do to earn it—thank you for teaching me that, theology professor—. But to fulfill His good purpose—our mission on earth— (Philippians 2:13).

Again, to shape our character, He allows afflictions. Like Romans 5:3-5 reads, “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.” (NIV)

To conclude, Romans 8:28 is at work in my life! Do you like a good challenge? If you do, find out His dreams for your life and live them! I promise you, you will understand what joy unspeakable means.