Tag Archive | motivation

May I Pray for You?

Hello my dear Readers! Here I come back with my own post. The idea of this post came out from my foster sister, Sandra who during these few days, with the different colors she wears a shirt that reads “May I pray for you?” When I asked her who you want to pray for, she earnestly said everyone who need to pray for. Beside pray for ourselves we should pray for others too.

Talk about pray for others; I remembered one bible figure that mentioned in the Colossians, named Epaphras. Who is Epaphras? We might not know very well about this man. It’s reasonable because there isn’t much record about Epaphras in the bible. He wasn’t a famous figure like Paul, Peter, John, and other apostles. But still, for me what Epaphras did was very inspiring me. Paul mentioned him in the letter of Colossians and Philemon. Epaphras was a faithful minister and fellow servant who were serving God together with Paul and the other apostles (Colossians 1:7) and he also together with Paul in prison. (Philemon 1:23) Epaphras was coming from Colossians and was helping to build church in the many places such as in his own city, then Laodicea and Hierapolis. What’s the interesting thing from Epaphras? Let’s together look at this verse:

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:12-13)

My heart deeply touched with one word of those verses. “He is always wrestling in prayer for you,” Where is Epaphras at the time? Was he in the pleasant place? No! Not at all! Together with Paul and others apostles he was in prison and waiting for death row! Can we imagine?! Someone jailed and headed to the death still be able to pray for others? Oh, what an amazing act! Normally, someone who’s in prison and will soon be put to the death will be in the deep misery, sadness, and fear. Even if he prayed, he will definitely pray for himself so that would be released from prison and free from the death! But it didn’t happen to Epaphras. He didn’t pray for his own sake. He wrestled prays for others! Even said that he always pray of others. Always, not only occasionally! What was prayed by Epaphras? He prayed for the congregation that he founded in Colossian. He wrestled in prayer so that the congregation could still stand firm, no longer as children but as mature and faithful people with all the things God wanted to. Although it had grown, he still wanted his congregation keep growing even without his presence and other apostles. He wanted they still have strong spiritual muscles, have a firm faith that remains rooted in Christ no matter of the situation! He wanted them remains steadfast in doing whatever God wants till the end.

My beloved readers, prayer has tremendous power. Throughout my personal life, I have experienced many times how great the power of every prayer I pray. It’s written in James 5:16,

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Yes that’s true! As long as we live in righteousness, pray earnestly with firm faith, without any hesitation our prayers will so powerful. However, sometimes we’re in a situation where we’re experiencing very hard life struggle and when the problems repeatedly hit us, we become difficult to pray or we even forget to bring every of our struggle and problems into the prayer. Well my dear friends that are the time we need someone other to pray for us. When we’re unable to speak in prayer because of the heavy burden of life, we need others who really care about us and willing to pray for us. The more people pray for us are better. It’s written in Matthew 18:19,

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

Besides pray for ourselves, why we should to pray for others? After I am thinking and pondering, there’re four reasons why we should pray for others. Here it is…

First, praying for other is a form of fulfillment of the command that was written in the New Testament,

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1Timothy 2:1-2)

Moreover, when we help to bear others’ burden through prayer, it means we are fulfilling and obeying the law of Christ.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

The second, praying for others is a form of love. There are two kind of love; first, love to fellow human beings. When we pray for our parents, family, or friends it means we love them. Even Jesus commands us not only to love our loved ones, but to love our enemies.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:43)

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (Luke 6:27)

The second form of love is love to God. Praying is a form of our intimacy with God and our intimacy with God is a form of our love to Him. Through prayer we communicate intimately with God and not only love but we also believe in His omnipotence in this world and that He will give the best for His people. By praying for others, we believe To the God’s power.

The third reason is when we pray for others there will be a multiplication of thanksgiving to God. For this statement, I make an illustration like this: One day, my foster sister, Sandra has to face a big problem and then I pray for her. When God answers my prayer and by God’s help Sandra’s problem solved, there will be multiplication of thanksgiving to God. First, I thank you to God for He heard and answered my prayer for Sandra, the second, Sandra will also give thanks to God because God has helped to solve her problem.

The last reason is that the prayer is an act that accompanies our faith. It’s written in James 2:17,

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Prayer is a real action of our faith to God. Pray for ourselves or for others shows that we don’t have dead faith but we have a living faith and will always make live because when pray for others or ourselves we put faith as a foundation of our prayer. By faith we believe that God will hear and no matter what of the answer, God will always answers every of our prayers.

My beloved friends, what about us now? Whether in our prayer list beside a series of prayer for ourselves, is there a list of other names we will pray for? Have we prayed every problems and burdens of our family, friends, or anyone who need to pray for? Have we also prayed for our church, its leaders, its ministry, its future and growth, its congregation, and many other important aspects in the church? Have we prayed for our government and its component? This evening please allow me to encourage all of us to learn from Epaphras. If in unfavorable condition Epaphras still able and willing wrestling in prayer for others, why we who have much better condition don’t do the same thing like Epaphras? It’s very important we need to pray each other. James 5:16 also said that we have to pray for each other.

Let’s strengthen each other through prayer. Let’s begin to widen our prayer scope not just pray for our own interest and needs but let’s start to pray for others. We might couldn’t help someone problems in the real way, we might couldn’t be present to accompany and reassurance a burdened person, please don’t be discouraged! We could still be there through our prayer. Epaphras couldn’t longer with his congregation but he keep wrestling through prayer so that the spiritual life of his congregation in the Colossian church could continue to grow and getting mature in the knowledge of Christ. Don’t wait people come to us for prayer but it would be wonderful we first come to them and says, “May I pray for you?”

Allow me to give a short testimony about praying. My husband and I do a habit of praying. We divide the task, every day I make a prayer list for ourselves and family and my husband compiled a list of prayers for others. When we started that habit, I ask why we should pray for others while we don’t even know exactly what their problem is and what they need. Then my husband sweetly replied, “We don’t know or don’t even need to know what their problems and needs are. Every people have its own problem. When we mention their names in our prayer, I believe God hears our prayer and He knows every single of their problem and I do believe with His omniscience He will lend His loving hand to help them. Otherwise, please don’t forget that there are many those who diligently continue pray for us. We might know, maybe we will know, or even we will never know. When you succeed doing something, that’s not just because of your own ability but there are many people loves you pray for your success”

My dear friends, let’s make “pray for others” become our Christianity lifestyle and let’s joyfully start to get used to says “May I pray for you?” There will be no loss at all when we pray for other, even God will bless us like He bless Job after Job was praying for his friends.

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)

Maybe we don’t have special and much time to pray for others. It’s okay. Spending five to ten minutes of our time to pray for others is enough, as long we pray in righteousness and with the firm faith, and diligent our prayer will powerful and effective. May I pray for you? Amen

Karina – Living by Faith

Image source:thoughtco.com

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New Year With The Lord

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New Year with The Lord

Hello, my beloved friends and readers! First of all, on the first day of this New Year, allow me to say Happy New Year 2017 to all of you. May God always protect us; give joy, comfort and abundant blessing to all of us.

Yesterday, my parents held a New Year eve dinner. He invited His business friends in Hong Kong. When my mom gave a speech, she delivered some encouraging and motivation words about New Year.  I called her words “New Year with the Lord” This time I love to share it to all of us.

The success in this past year could be the sweetest thing that we have received in our lives. It becomes a reward of all our hard work over the years. Have fun and celebrate it sufficiently.  Please don’t let ourselves be lulled to the joy of comfort. Let’s start again at work in the following days because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, we don’t even know what the problems have to face. Let’s keep fight in faith to God.

A new year is about to unfold new opportunities to explore.

Doors will open for new experiences, New adventures with the Lord

Remember not the former things, the things of this past year,

The Lord will do new things in us, much more than we are aware

For He will make a way for us as we put our trust in Him

And He will guide our every step by His presence we have within

What God has placed within our hearts, we find we’ll be able to do

If we look for the opportunities, we’ll see the door to go through

We mustn’t let anything hold us back but rise up and take our place

And be all that God wants us to be with a fresh touch of His grace

We can achieve success in the New Year not because we are able but because there is the immense power of God that enables us to does everything well. With the Lord we can do many good things.

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Happy New Year 2017 to all of us

Karina & Rebecca Lam – Living by Faith

Image source: Google Image

WHEN THE SHOW IS OVER (Guest Post)

WHEN THE SHOW IS OVERFor some people, being on the stage show is always become an interesting thing.  Bathed by sparkling light and accompanied by a loud of applause is a special satisfaction for them. Cameras are placed on the different side and angle so the cameras could clearly capture and record every detail of their movement and expression.

Well you know, no matter how small mistakes and flaws they have, it will be revealed when they under the spray of lighting, the cameras panned them, and the eyes of audience focused on them. That’s why the stage seems demanding “A perfection” to those who act on the stage. Require high quality of talent, the beauty of costumes, expression, and so on.

“The must perform perfectly” makes a lot of people willing to do the extra effort. They practiced for months, setting up quite big funds for costumes, a strict diet in order to look more attractive, and all other efforts in order to give the best. Well of course they put the big expectation to get a great response.

No doubt! Anyone who stands on the stage will always be the limelight. If they successfully stunning, they will get a great compliments. But if failed, they will get bad scorn.

All that I wrote above is the stage in the real sense. Now please allow me to use the “Stage” term as an illustration in our everyday life.

 

THE STAGE OF LIFE

In the daily activities every people has their own “Stage”, which is an area or moment where every of their appearance, abilities, and personality can be seen, felt and judged by others. This area or moment could be anything and anywhere such as in the working world, school, college, malls, social organizations, even in the Church services, and others.

God’s word has been telling us that: ”For the Lord does not see as man sees; FOR MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b) The easy thing that could draw people attention is what is emblazoned in the front of their eyes, whether it is good or bad.

As a performer on the stage, many of us today when will, ongoing, or after doing something, thinking about what others think about us.

For example:

If they thought I am a great worker?

Whether according to my friends I am a nice person? If I do this thing, whether they will think I am snob?

Whether the congregation thinks that my ministry is tremendous?

Does anyone see when I was do something wrong?

Whether my today looks is so impressive?

And so on…

Nobody wants to look bad in the other’s eyes. It is be the impetus for us to trying hard to make the best performance. Is it wrong? No! God has conferred us a life. God provides valuable opportunities to work and serve Him. All that things are an entrusted moment that has given by God so that we could reflect His glory and blessing. Certainly we have to give our best and not to be carelessly in order not to be a stumbling block.

The problem is for WHO and for WHAT we do everything? For self-gratification, compliment, be loved by many people, got a promotion, is considered as a good and godly person, respected, or….??

 

FOR THE LORD

And WHATEVER you do, do it heartily, as TO THE LORD and NOT TO MEN. (Collosians 3:23)

There is a big difference between doing to God and to man. If we did everything to God, then we would certainly prefer the favor of God instead of human assessment. If our motivation is to God, then we will be more focused on what is seen by God, namely HEART us, and not just pursue all things that look dazzling in the human’s eyes.

Many people, even Christians, ignore their hearts in order to get a positive assessment from the human. Jesus gave an example someone who did worship with TO BE SEEN BY MEN motivation. And Jesus called them a hypocrite (Matthew 6:5).

Look at how something is good and right in the eyes of man are not necessarily good and right in the Lord’s eyes. Why? Once again, because man see what is in the front of their eyes, But GOD SEES THE HEART. Something right if done with the wrong heart attitude will be wrong in the God’s eyes. So what we should do to not get stuck in it?

 

INTEGRITY AND UPRIGHTNESS

Let INTEGRITY and UPRIGHTNESS preserve me, For I wait for You. (Psalm 25:21)

This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense TOWARD GOD AND MEN. (Acts 24:16)

We must build our lives in integrity and uprightness according to the standard of God’s word. Build a life without pretense and ulterior motives. What appears on the outside should be the same as what is inside. What is not seen should be the same with is seen. Our Actions and attitudes should reflect what is in our hearts and not “act” in order to get the applause and recognition.

Our actual “Value” is not when we are acting on “the stage of life” but when we are in the behind “The closed curtains” and there is no one see us.

 

As a stage show:

When the show is over…

When lighting has been turned off…

When the camera is no longer on..

When attention is no longer focused on us…

Do we still have a heart GIVING THE BEST in all things?

Are we still behave, and do the best just like when we seen?

WHEN THE SHOW IS OVER, DO WE STILL BE THE SAME PERSON AS WHEN WE WERE ON STAGE??

 

All is back to the true heart. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverb 4:23)  A godly heart would bring forth a godly life. The sacred heart will bring forth the holy life, etc.

Let’s give the best in integrity and uprightness. Not in order to get a positive appreciation of other people and not for the benefit of ourselves, but for God and for God alone. As David’s prayers, let us allow the Holy Spirit to examine and evaluate our inner thoughts and motives in our deepest hearts and minds, so that we always walk in God’s truth.

Examine me, O Lord, and test me! Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives! (Psalms 26:2 NET)

For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. (Psalms 26:3 NKJV)

 

Amen.

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Image source: http://wallpapercave.com

Overcoming a loss of Motivation

 

How many times have you started a new activity (such as a personal project or exercise routine) with a burst of enthusiasm, only to see that initial momentum evaporate? This often leads to depression and causes us to give up prematurely. I’ve experienced this letdown dozens of times myself. But fortunately, with a bit of thought and reflection you can turn this negative emotion around.

The key to harnessing your emotions understands them. The natural pattern of human emotion is peaks and valleys. When we start a new project we’re filled with tremendous optimism. All we can think about is the expected benefits, and since we haven’t started yet, we aren’t aware of the difficulties involved. This natural high causes a surge of mental and physical activity. The peak is a great thing because the energy boost gets projects off the ground. If you’re a creative type like me, you know that this period is euphoric. You feel like nothing can stop you.

The downside of this surge of energy is that it inevitably ends. Exerting large amounts of energy wears you down, and after the initial optimism wears off we feel extremely tired. However high you started off, you fall down just as low. This causes a loss of confidence. The combination of fatigue, scant results, and an awareness of impending adversity makes us want to give up. From personal experience I’ve learned a few ways to hold strong against negativity.

Be Prepared for a Letdown

Emotions, by nature, lose their power when we understand them. Prove this to yourself. Next time you get angry, take a moment to reflect on the reason behind the emotion. When I step back and reflect, it’s easy to see that my anger is caused by insecurity/selfishness/jealousy etc. After I understand the cause my anger fades away.

The same technique applies to a loss of motivation. Instead of giving into negativity, step back and analyze. Look at the causes. Are you tired, burned out, disappointed by the results? Are these feelings justified, or are they a by product of a low point in the emotional spectrum?

To illustrate these ideas, I’ll use my most recent project as an example, the creation of this site. When I launched Pick the Brain it took an enormous amount of effort. I was completely new to blogging, web design, and traffic building so there was a steep learning curve. Writing new posts, setting up the site, and trying to build traffic took up nearly all my free time. After about three weeks I was completely burned out. I got depressed and started to question if the site was worth the effort. I wasn’t seeing any returns and I started to find enormous faults in my writing and the purpose of the site. There were moments when I was resigned to failure.

One reason I was able to overcome this loss of motivation is that I prepared myself for a letdown. Beforehand, I researched blogging and learned that it generally takes 9-12 months before a site begins to see significant traffic. Knowing that my lack of success was perfectly normal helped me get over it. The same is true for other endeavors. If you know losing 20 pounds in a month is unrealistic, you’ll be able to accept losing only 5 more easily.

I also knew my own emotions and was prepared for the initial emotional peak to pass. When I was first inspired to launch a website, my expectations were through the roof. Dreams of Ad Sense revenue danced in my head and I pictured throngs of loyal readers as if they already existed. But because I understand my emotional pattern, I realized this optimism would give way to depression. In the back of my mind, I foresaw the impending motivational battle, and when it came I was ready.

Reevaluate Your Strategy and Motivation

The passing of the emotional peak is a blessing in disguise because it allows us to reevaluate our plans from a fresh perspective. At first we are blinded by our own optimism. When we lose our motivation we can see gaping holes our in plan. We can either get down on ourselves and give up, or we can use this negative emotion to discover our faults and correct them. After I pulled myself out of the motivational cellar, I went back to all the negatives thoughts I’d had and applied them to improving the site. Having a pessimistic attitude opened my eyes. It made me realistic about my abilities and expectations. Emotional valleys bring us back to reality. Without them we’d be raving lunatics with unlimited self-confidence.

Use a loss of motivation as an opportunity to reconsider what your motivation really is. One reason I lost motivation is that I became too concerned with the financial aspect of blogging and lost sight of the real reason I started: sharing my passion for self improvement and the pursuit of happiness. When I realigned my motivation with my passion, the lack of results didn’t matter. My motivation returned because I realized connecting with people through my writing is an end in itself. Even if this site never makes I dime, sharing my ideas and experiences to help other people is worth the effort.

In truth, sometimes giving up is the right decision. If you started doing something for the wrong reasons you’ll likely lose your motivation. This is a good thing. It allows us to see what really motivates us. In these cases, the best choice is to move on to a new endeavor. Don’t fight self doubt; use it for your benefit.

Conclusion

Dealing with emotional highs and lows is an experience common to all people. We generally accept our emotions as beyond our control. They are powerful and mysterious and appear quite irrational. But if we contemplate our emotions, if we explore the inner workings of our minds, we find that like all things, emotions obey the law of cause and effect. Armed with this knowledge, we can continue to allow our emotions to dominate our lives, or we can use them to our benefit.

Don’t be surprised by a loss of motivation and don’t be disappointed by it. Understand it as natural effect of the human mind, and utilize this knowledge of self to make your emotions work for you.

I have been use this article as a seminar material when I was become a speaker in my company.

Cited form pickthebrain.com