Prayer

Some of us attempt to make prayer very difficult when it is just a conversation with the Lord. God doesn’t listen for words of eloquence but the voices of need. Prayer isn’t some religious exercise where you have to jump through hoops to get your prayer heard and answered. We don’t have to always get on our knees and close our eyes to pray. Prayer is an ongoing conversation between our hearts and the Heart of God. Prayer should be natural like breathing and never a last resort.

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

The Empty Chair

A man’s daughter had asked the local pastor to come and pray with her father. When the pastor arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows and an empty chair beside his bed. The priest assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit.

“I guess you were expecting me,” he said.

“No, who are you?”

“I’m the new associate at your local church,” the pastor replied.

“When I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up.”

“Oh yeah, the chair,” said the bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?”

Puzzled, the pastor shut the door.

“I’ve never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said the man.

“But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it always went right over my head..”

“I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, ‘Joe, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here’s what I suggest. Sit down on a chair, place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky because he promised, ‘I’ll be with you always.’ Then just speak to him and listen in the same way you’re doing with me right now.”

“So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful, though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”

The pastor was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old guy to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the pastor that her daddy had died that afternoon.

“Did he seem to die in peace?” he asked.

“Yes, when I left the house around two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me one of his corny jokes, and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange, in fact, beyond strange-kinda weird.

Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on a chair beside the bed.”

-Original Author Unknown
-Shared by Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Keeping Your Joy

Do you struggle keeping your joy? Some of us do. In times like these, let’s recall how many times God came through for us unexpectedly and how He made a way when no other way was possible. Lets recall how He still makes a way for us and how He truly loves us. Let’s do something that brings us joy like reading, taking a relaxing drive, going for a walk in a park or doing something special for someone else. And know that there is no joy in measuring your life against others. Joy is in the Lord. In order to get it, seek Him. In order to keep it, keep seeking Him. Do the things that are of Him. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Spread the News About Jesus!

If you are reading this devotion right now that means you are alive and hopefully, well. It means that God has given you another chance to get it right. You are not alive so that you can obtain a lot of money, live in the nicest house, drive the most luxurious vehicle, or wear the most stylish attire. You are alive because the Lord wants the whole world to hear about Jesus. This is why God kept Paul alive. Paul was rescued from the the mouth of lions (2 Tim 4:17). Why? Because God wanted him to proclaim Jesus to the world! We may not be like Paul but we are all a part of the same mission. Parent. Student. Housewife. Church leader. Grandparent. Housekeeper. Construction worker. Pastor. It doesn’t matter what position you have – if you are alive today, God wants to use you. The world needs to hear about Jesus. Tell what He has done in your life. Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Speak words of kindness. Somebody, somewhere is watching and listening. “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that threw me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the Lions mouth”. (2 Tim 4:17).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Stacy Lynn’s Devotion for 1/28/2020:

Aren’t you glad that we have a FRIEND in Jesus? A FRIEND who truly loves us. A FRIEND who we can confide in. A FRIEND who comforts us. A FRIEND who heals us. A FRIEND who never leaves our side. Our families love us but nobody loves us like the Lord! I can’t help but think of the following song:

What a friend we have in Jesus

All our sins and griefs to bear

And what a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer

Oh, what peace we often forfeit

Oh, what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged

Take it to the Lord in prayer

Can we find a friend so faithful

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Here I Am

Stacy Lynn’s Devotion for 1/23/2020:

God does test us; but He doesn’t tempt us. He tests us in hopes that we will make the right decisions in life – the decisions that reflect Him. God wants us to honor Him and He wants to strengthen us in obedience. Tempting someone is setting them up for failure. God doesn’t do that. The devil does. The story of Abraham being tested by God comes to mind. God commanded Him to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering in Genesis 22. Abraham obeyed. Can you imagine being commanded to do the same?? Abraham knew the character of God. He trusted God. He obeyed God. And God came through! In verse 1, God calls out to Abraham and in verse 11, the angel of the God calls out to Abraham. Each time, he says, “Here I am!” He didn’t run and hide nor did He question God. We may not understand the tests God allows in our lives but if we can learn to trust and obey, God will come through for us, too! When God calls you to be tested, will you say, “Here I am!”? “But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.”

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Do Your Part

Those who know me know that I love to watch westerns. My chosen western actor is, of course, John “The Duke” Wayne. I have had several to make me aware that The Duke was prejudiced and didn’t like black people. In order words, I believe they were trying to let me know that as a black, I shouldn’t be make a white man who was prejudiced, my chosen actor. I was also approached by several in regards to recently taking my children to witness the arrival of the President – Donald Trump. Not knowing that I was taking my children to witness a historical moment, several wanted to make me aware that Trump is not for “blacks.” This is what I want to make people aware of – God called me to love, not hate. I don’t have a heaven or hell to put The Duke, Trump or whoever else that is labeled as racist, in but God does. Right now, there are many blacks that can’t stand the ground I walk on and would probably do a lot to make my existence here on earth disappear. Are they racist, too? Yet, God called me to love them, too. We are all called to view all people in the image of God, of equal status, show no favoritism, love others as you love yourself and to remember that Jesus Christ died for all people. This is what I stand on and because Christ is the foundation of it, I will not shakened by feelings and thoughts that doesn’t line up with the Word of God. If racism is found in the hearts of man, God will take care of that. Loving is my part and when I do my part, God does the rest. Are you doing your part? Or are you giving more lip service and less love accompanied with action? “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 ESV).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Being Faithful With Your Gifts

Well, I have to be honest – I did not feel like writing today. Even though writing is my ministry, I still did not feel like writing. God blessed me with giftedness in writing and He wants me to use it to lead others. Leading others requires faithfulness. I had to choose faithfulness over my feelings today. God gives us gifts so that we may bless others. We all have God-given gifts. What is yours? Are you using your gifts to bless others? What about when you don’t feel like it – will you choose faithfulness over your feelings? God does not give us gifts to flaunt around for our own glory; He gives them so that we can exercise them for His glory. Should you grow weary from doing the Lord’s work, allow the grace and peace of God to restore you so that you don’t lose your faithfulness. I had to do that today! Our gifts are important ingredients in the recipe of God’s Plan. When we choose to be unfaithful with our gifts, the entire recipe is affected and the body of Christ suffers. I love what the Good News Translation says – “So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ” (Colossians 1:28).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

What’s That Stinky Smell?

Stacy Lynn’s Devotion for 11/12/2019:

Skunks can spray for a distance up to ten feet and their odor can be smelled up to almost three miles! Skunks have a stench that just can’t be overlooked. What is that stinky smell in your life? Is it that sin that you allow to hold you in bondage? Our sin creates a stinky smell that is very difficult to be overlooked by the Lord. God basically told Israel that they stunk in Jeremiah 5. He told them, “Your wrongdoings have kept these (blessings) away; your sins have deprived you of good” (Jeremiah 5:25). In other words, their sin blocked them from the blessings of God. God hates sin because it corrupts, damages and destroys us. He has no intention on rewarding us for our sin when we know better. God wants to give us blessings but many of us choose the evil path that looks easy and fun, rather than doing good. This is why God allows us to reap the unpleasant consequences of our choices and actions when we do so. If He didn’t, many of us would continue to do what is hateful and indecent. If we continue to do what is not pleasing in the eyes of God, He will allow us to have what we want; however, none of us will enjoy what we will get! Sin smells bad to God and it smells bad to us as well. You can’t get over this stinky smell by covering it up; you have to wash it away by coming to Jesus. Make Him the Lord and Master of your life. Commit to practicing righteousness rather than sin. So take a sniff at your life right now. Does it stink?

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Focus on How God Sees You

Stacy Lynn’s Devotion for 11/07/2019:

What others see in you may make you feel unloved, rejected and worthless. I know this because I, myself, have felt like dog poo on the bottom of someone’s shoe all because I was too focused on what others saw in me. Often times, what others see in you is what lies within them, but it’s easier for them to cast that sight on you rather than admit that it lies within themselves. I indulged in God’s Word and gained the knowledge and wisdom of knowing who I am and how God sees me! God sees the BEST in you even when you feel or have done the WORST. In the Bible, many saw Sarah as a woman who was barren but God saw Sarah as the mother of all nations. Many saw David as a young shepherd who was very poor but God saw David as Israel’s mighty king. Many saw Joseph as a poor prisoner but God saw Joseph as a powerful Minister of Egypt. God sees much value in you! “Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds” (Luke 12:24).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery