The Power of Prayer

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” – – James 5:16-18

The Bible doesn’t make light of the power of prayer, and if the Word says it, I am going to take it on faith.

Beyond that, I have seen the power of prayer evidenced in my own life in more ways that I can count. So for me, it isn’t so much of taking it on a blind leap of faith, as knowing and having experienced God’s matchless power.

God answered prayers that I was nervous even to pray. In times when I felt like my prayers were too little, too insignificant, to selfish to bring before and Almighty Creator — He proved to me that He loves me and really does care about even the smallest details of my life.

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” — Corrie ten Boom

I prayed prayers that were answered to the T years later, and I can truly feel God smiling on my life when I see those prayers come to fruition years later. It has brought me to tears this week. The detailed prayers I prayed that were answered so clearly and completely.

So why am I saying all this?

Pray for big things, y’all.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with praying for health, with praying for forgiveness, with praying and thanking God for things. God commands that kind of prayer. And God also asks for the kind of faith that asks big, specific, bold prayers in Jesus name knowing that He loves to answer His children.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” — 2 Corinthians 1:20

Pray for unrealistic things. Pray prayers that put you out on a limb with God. Pray for bigger faith, and know that He is going to answer full well.

Pray that God would take anger and bitterness from Your heart in every situation. Pray that you wouldn’t fight or be angry with those closest to you. Pray that no anger would reside in your heart.

It sounds crazy, right? It sounds unrealistic. But it isn’t. It lines up with God’s will, He asks us to turn away from anger and do good. So ask boldly in Jesus name.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” — 1 John 5:14

God is sovereign. His will always prevails and He is going to do what is right and just and good. But God loves to love His children. God delights in making Himself known to us, and when we pray according to His will, He answers, I promise you He does.

My youth minister once told me that God’s will isn’t one precise dot, one specific situation down to the most minute detail. If that were the case, we would have screwed up God’s will thousands of years ago and never gotten back on the right track.

On the contrary, God can work things for good and according to His will and for His glory in every situation. Even in situations when and where we have messed up. Even in situations that are less than perfect. When we pray and ask for the Spirit’s power in our lives, He shows up.

I’m not trying to say that the only good things that ever happen in this world are because of prayer and that those that don’t pray fervently can not have a good life.

But I would be lying to say that God hasn’t blessed me specifically, directly, and abundantly through answered prayers.

What do you have to lose? Pray big, pray bold, pray often… and expect God to work. I can promise you that He will.

— Taryn

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What I did Right and Wrong my First Year of College

Hi Everyone!

I know I missed posting something last week, finishing up the loose ends of the college semester has kept me more than a little busy, but I’ve had this post in my mind all day so I wanted to get it written (and am maybeee procrastinating on my Economics project, but that is beside the point…)

I have loved my first year of college. Some things about it have been absolutely brutal, but so many of the new experiences and opportunities have been amazing and have taught me so much about myself and the world around me. Even just one year into this crazy experience, I can look back and see so many things that I’m glad I did, and so many things that I wish I had done differently or sooner. Today I just wanted to write about some of those things to give you a glimpse into my own life and to maybe help out some of my younger friends who are about to start this journey themselves!

Right: Taking Classes just because I want to

Both of the semesters that I have been in college, I took one class that wasn’t required for my degree plan but that I just wanted to take!! With taking so many classes, it was so nice to have a breath of fresh air in the middle of it all. This semester especially, I took an elective with my favorite professor that I had from first semester and it is hands down my favorite class and something that motivates me to get up in the morning

Wrong: Not Making Friends

Especially first semester, I really didn’t make friends… at all. I don’t have the phone numbers of anyone I met first semester and there’s only one person that I even smile and wave at if I see now. This semester, I got slightly better, but it was honestly only because a really outgoing girl sat next to me on the first day of Calculus and has been a great friend and helped me in so many ways! Make friends! They can help you with homework, go with you to office hours, and beyond that, just make your life better and make you actually want to go to school when you really don’t want to.

Right: Asking Questions

I’m that girl that always sits on the front row even in the massive lecture halls, and after classes, I like to go up and ask my professors questions. Not even just “I didn’t understand {such and such}”, but things like “What is your opinion on…” or asking for more detail on something that especially intrigued me about their lectures. This not only helped me to learn things that I truly was interested in, but also helped me to make great connections with my professors. They are people with an amazing wealth of information and several of them I have gone back and visited and talked to about a myriad of topics since then.

Wrong: Not Taking Advantage of my Resources

My large university campus has so many resources set up to help students succeed! From the math tutoring lab to the Career Center that will help you perfect your resume and choose what to wear to interviews, to the study sessions for every subject imaginable. I wrote all of these things off as things I didn’t need or didn’t have time for and that was a grave mistake. College is hard in a really different way than high school is. I can’t emphasize studying and asking questions enough. I never felt the need to study for exams in high school and did totally fine, but that doesn’t exactly fly in college and I so wish that I had taken advantage of all the help around me much sooner.

Right: Learning to Let Go

I learned the hard way that I can’t do everything. But something I feel like I was good at realizing is that sometimes certain things are more important than what people try to tell you is important. For example, I felt a huge emphasis from people in academia that I should be getting straight As in college. And you know what? That just didn’t happen. And that is totally okay. Other things were much more important this year, and I don’t think that is wrong. I still tried really hard and learned a lot of things, but I didn’t kill myself to get perfect grades, and I still spent time working and doing other things that are important to me beyond just school.

Wrong: Not Getting Involved

There aren’t many times in my life when I’m going to have the opportunity to get involved in anything I could possibly want to within a tenth of a mile of where I already am. I’ve scrolled endlessly through the lists of events and organizations on campus and so many of them pique my interest! I wish I had set aside time sooner to check some of them out and get more involved.

Right: Found a Church Family

But one very important thing that I really know I did right is that I found a church to call home. I spent some awkward Sunday mornings walking into brand new churches where I knew no one, but I am so glad that I did. It was on one of those Sunday mornings that I didn’t even drag a friend with me and walked into a classroom all alone that I found my new church family. They invited me to lunch that first week and even though I don’t know all of the people yet, it really truly feels like family. I feel God’s presence and love talking about the Bible with these people and it builds me up and encourages me so much.

 

All in all, it’s been a fantastic freshman year of college, and I can’t wait to see what the next several years are gonna hold as I keep going on this crazy journey!!

— Taryn

 

Telling a Better Story

What story will be told about you after you’re gone? Will it be a story worth retelling?
Is it a story worth living?
I read a book this week called “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller and he broke apart what it means to tell a better story with your life. 
God is the author of all of our stories, and He had such a beautiful story in store for each and every one of us. In giving us free will, however, God gave us, the characters in the story, the power to resist His beautiful story and try to write our own. 
Why do we think we know better than the “author and perfecter of our faith”?
Because we let fear write out stories. We let apathy write our stories. We let comfort write our stories. 
I let anxiety write my story. 
I let perfectionism write my story. 
I write my story in a way that seems safe and comfortable and easy. 
But when does easy and safe turn into mundane… boring… worthless…
I want to do something bigger than my life. I want to be brave and take chances and live fearlessly. 
I don’t mean that I’m about to go bungee jumping or skydiving, I don’t ever expect to be that brave
But I do want to take risks for my Savior. And are they really risks if the One who holds the ends of time and knows when every sparrow falls is on my side?
I want to be a part of the story that He has been writing since the beginning of time, and not just a cameo character, but a character fulfilling the purposes that the Author has designed. 

I don’t know what that story looks like yet, but I’m content to know that He does. And for as long as the LORD leaves me on the Earth, I want to consciously chase after the storyline He has written. 

Taryn