My Dad is on the Way

My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2 (NKJV)

January and February were mixed up in Montana this year.  After a mild January with little precipitation, we all thought we’d escaped the worst of winter.  Then like a visit from the North Pole, a polar vortex descended upon our state, burying both the brave and the not-so-brave in snow.

On one of the milder days, we drove up the mountain valley for work.  I let my 18-year-old son drive since I do not like driving in snow (yes, I live in the wrong state!).  Coming around the bend in the road, our old minivan with two-wheel drive tires refused to turn and continued straight into the grove of trees.  I was thankful to come to such a safe resting spot, not on the edge of a cliff, or worse, down in a ravine.  Most comforting was knowing my husband was just 15 minutes behind us in another vehicle, as we had so many supplies to bring that day.

Being the caring country place where we live, every passerby stopped to ask if they could help.  Each time, my son hopped out of the car and thanked them with the reply, “My Dad is on the way.”  Those with horse-trailers or two-wheel drive must have been quite relieved not to pull us out.  When my husband arrived in his four-wheel drive pick-up, he quickly hooked up the tow rope and pulled us back onto the road in less than a minute, and we were on our way again.

But my son’s message stuck with me:  “My Dad is on the way.”

We can all say this each day, “My Dad is on the way.”  No matter what trial we are facing, whether we are stuck in a snow drift, family troubles, bad choices, illness, mourning, despair…we have the promise from God the Father that He is on the way.  He is on the way to rescue us.  He is on the way to guide us.  He is on the way to forgive us.  He is on the way to heal us.  He is on the way to comfort us.  He is on the way to bring us hope.  And He is just a prayer away.

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:1-2 (NKJV)

God might come in the form of a Good Samaritan who tows us out of the snow drift.  He might come in the form of a friend who prays for us.  He comes in His Word, the Bible, where He guides and comforts us.  He comes as the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Most importantly, He comes as Jesus, who rescues, forgives and saves us.   And finally, He gives us hope that He is coming again!

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God…
1 Thessalonians 4:16

Today’s TEA CUPP: My friend, Jesus is on the way!  He is coming back again. He promises us of His return in the Bible.  Revelations tells us exactly what will happen, echoing the prophets from Isaiah to Daniel to Joel.  He is coming on the clouds and every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7) and every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10).  Until that day comes, keep praying, and God the Father will be right on the way to help you. 

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Revelation 22:20 (NKJV)

…when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
Mark 8:38 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

TEA with Colossians

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2 (NKJV)

It’s our final week with the popcorn girls!  This month we’ve been exploring  “Girls Eat Pop Corn,” a mnemonic device for the order of four short books in the New Testament.  “Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians” are our Girls Eat Pop Corn books.

This week we visit Colossians. Pop a batch of popcorn as you study these verses this week…

T for Thanksgiving:

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you…
Colossians 1:3 (NKJV)

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Colossians 1:12 (NKJV)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Colossians 1:16-17 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV)

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:5 (NKJV)

 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.
Colossians 3:9-10 (NKJV)

 C for Calling:

That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:10 (NKJV)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3:12-13 (NKJV)

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
Colossians 4:5 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Colossians 3:3-4 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Colossians 2:10 (NKJV)

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

…always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Colossians 4:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the book of Colossians in your Bible this week.  Underline your favorite verses or the ones listed above.  Use these verses as conversation starters as you pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer for THANKSGIVING, EXALTING, ADMITTING, talking to God about your CALLING, UNDERSTANDING your story, claiming God’s PROMISES, and PETITIONING.  May you always remember these four books when you see girls eating pop corn!

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.
Colossians 2:6 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

TEA with Philippians

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

For our third week of “Girls Eat Pop Corn,” we are having TEA with Philippians.  If you missed the last two weeks, we had TEA with Galatians and TEA with Ephesians.  We are exploring the four books of the New Testament that come right after First and Second Corinthians.  These four short letters, Paul wrote to his dear friends and new believers.  To help us remember what order they come in our Bibles, we can say “Girls Eat Pop Corn” for “Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians.”  Another trick is to say, “General Electric Power Company.” Use these verses as conversation starters in your prayers this week…

T for Thanksgiving:

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
Philippians 1:3 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 4:20 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Philippians 2:12 (NKJV)

Do all things without complaining and disputing,that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which https://www.ncmh.info/ativan-lorazepam/ Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Philippians 3:12 (NKJV)

forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 (NKJV)

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Philippians 4:23 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the book of Philippians in your Bible this week.  Underline your favorite verses or the ones listed above. You will find many more than these! Each day of the week, pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer for THANKSGIVING, EXALTING, ADMITTING, talking to God about your CALLING, UNDERSTANDING your story, claiming God’s PROMISES, and PETITIONING.

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

TEA with Ephesians

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13 (NKJV)

For our second week of “Girls Eat Pop Corn,” we are having TEA with Ephesians.  If you missed last week, we had TEA with Galatians.  We are exploring the four books of the New Testament that come right after First and Second Corinthians.  These four short letters, Paul wrote to his dear friends and new believers.  To help us remember what order they come in our Bibles, we can say “Girls Eat Pop Corn” for “Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians.”  Another trick is to say, “General Electric Power Company.”

I love the verse above from Ephesians 2:13, how we are brought near by the blood of Christ.  It’s because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for our sins that we are brought near to God when we believe in Him.  I pray that all these verses from Ephesians bring you near to Him today!

T for Thanksgiving:

Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
Ephesians 1:16 (NKJV)

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:10-11 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:4-6 (NKJV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13 (NKJV)

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:2-3 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19 (NKJV)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the book of Ephesians in your Bible this week.  Underline your favorite verses or the ones listed above.  Use these verses as conversation starters as you pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer for THANKSGIVING, EXALTING, ADMITTING, talking to God about your CALLING, UNDERSTANDING your story, claiming God’s PROMISES, and PETITIONING. My prayer for all you dear ladies and God’s prayer for us comes from Ephesians 1:17-19…

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.
Ephesians 1:17-19 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

TEA with Galatians

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 (NKJV)

I love these popcorn girls!  They point us to the saying,  “Girls Eat Pop Corn,” a mnemonic device for the order of four short books in the New Testament.  Coming right after First and Second Corinthians, these four letters Paul wrote to his dear friends and new believers.  To help us remember their sequence, we can say “Girls Eat Pop Corn” for “Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians.”  Another trick is to say, “General Electric Power Company.”

This week we explore Galatians. May you remember these verses every time you pop a batch of popcorn!

T for Thanksgiving:

What then was the blessing you enjoyed?
Galatians 4:15 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Galatians 2:4-5 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
Galatians 5:7 (NKJV)

 C for Calling:

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:10 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1:3 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the book of Galatians in your Bible this week.  Underline your favorite verses or the ones listed above.  Today’s devotion lists only one verse per category, but I’m sure you will find others. Use these verses as conversation starters as you pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer for THANKSGIVING, EXALTING, ADMITTING, talking to God about your CALLING, UNDERSTANDING your story, claiming God’s PROMISES, and PETITIONING.  

(Ladies), the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Galatians 6:18 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

More than Resolutions

 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 9:6 (NKJV)

In perhaps the greatest calling and transformation recorded in the New Testament, we read the story of the horrific torturer of Christians, Saul of Tarsus, being blinded and called by God on the road to Damascus.  Saul turned his life around in an instant, going from persecutor of God’s people to preacher of the Gospel, regaining his sight and changing his name to Paul. The very question Saul asked God, is the one we should all ask ourselves everyday, especially as we embark on a new year.

“Lord, what do you want me to do?”  Let’s all pray this during our TEA time with Jesus today. Rather than making resolutions that don’t last, let’s ask the Lord for His plan and stick to it with His strength (Philippians 4:13). Instead of setting our own goals, let’s ask Jesus what He wants us to do with our new year.   We can ask…

  • Lord, what do you want me to do for my health?
  • Lord, what do you want me to do for my children?
  • Lord, what do you want me to do for my husband?
  • Lord, what do you want me to do for my calling?
  • Lord, what do you want me to do for my neighbors?
  • Lord, what do you want me to do for my church?
  • Lord, what do you want me to do for YOU?

Interestingly, Jesus asks the same question of another blind man in Luke 18:41.  The man was waiting by the side of a road for Jesus to come by.  When Jesus finally walked by, the blind man cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Jesus, though He knew exactly what the blind man wanted and needed, asked the fellow, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  The man replied, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Jesus replied, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 18:39-42)

Oh, Jesus, open my eyes to see exactly what you want me to do this new year!

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the story of Saul/Paul’s calling in Acts 9.  Then ask Jesus, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”  With the Christmas story fresh in our minds, let’s say as Mary did, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to Your Word.” (Luke 1:38)

…Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord…
Zechariah 8:21 (NKJV)

…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 6:9 (NKJV)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Casting All Your Burdens

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

The week after Thanksgiving I was suddenly overwhelmed with prayer needs.  Dear friends and acquaintances were all going through trials at the same time.  First, a young mom’s baby was born with her intestines outside her stomach; mamma and baby were both life-flighted to a hospital far away. Then the husband of one of my best friends was diagnosed with leukemia, then our local pastor had emergency gallbladder surgery, then a dear church friend had a hysterectomy, then another church member had a heart attack, then a 7.2 earthquake hit Alaska where my college roommate lives, then a community member loved by all was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer…the prayer needs were daunting for me, combined with all my usual prayers. I found myself fretting throughout the morning, worrying about each person and praying for them over and over again. In my unfruitful way, I was trying to carry out Galatians 6:2.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

But then I realized I should bear those burdens to the Lord, carrying them from my friends to Jesus.  Once I gave it to Jesus, I was supposed to let go, not take it back. I was carrying burdens I did not need to carry.  I got out my prayer journal and wrote 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”  And I wrote all the people for whom I’d been worrying.  I prayed for each one and gave them to Jesus.  I said, “Jesus, please carry these for me, it’s too much for me and You know just what to do.”  And Jesus took my load. He gave me His peace that He would take care of everyone. I still lift these dear ones up to Jesus each day, but I’m not fretting now.  Jesus has them covered.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Write 1 Peter 5:7 in your prayer journal today.  Below the verse list people you’ve been worrying about, one name per line. Then go back and write a short prayer for each one by their names.  Thank Jesus for carrying these dear ones for you!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Morning Prayer

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You. Psalm 143:8 (NKJV)

Dear Lord,

I am Your servant,

Show me where to walk,

For I have come to You in prayer,

Teach me to do Your will.

May Your gracious Spirit

Lead me forward,

I am Your servant, Lord,

In Jesus Name I pray,

Let Your will be done. Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  So long ago I read Psalm 143 and then wrote this prayer for God’s direction.  You can do it, too. When you need God’s guidance for your next steps, read Psalm 143.  Then pray Psalm 143, asking God to hear your prayer, to answer you speedily, to show you the way to walk, to deliver you from the enemy, to teach https://modafinilsmart.com you, to lead you, to revive you.  And He will answer.  The King of kings and Lord of lords, the Father or our Savior Jesus Christ, will answer you and guide you on His straight and narrow path.

Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
    on a firm footing.  Psalm 143:10 (NLT)

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.  Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

(NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation

(NKJV) Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Prayer Journal How-tos

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

Keeping a prayer journal is a great way to stay focused while you pray, to encourage you that you really did pray, and to look back to see how faithful God has been in carrying you through so many prayer requests.  Just as there are a variety of ways to pray, there are numerous ways to keep a prayer journal.  Today I’d like to show you how I do My TEA CUPP Prayers prayer journal, and soon I hope to give you one along with my book.

For now, start by finding a notebook you know you will use.  I like a spiral notebook that is about the size of my Bible.  The prayer journal and Bible fit nicely together in my book bag.  The spiral binding allows me to open it flat or flip it completely open while I am journaling.  You can find inexpensive notebooks and journals at Walmart or Target or Family Dollar, or you can find a pretty flowery one at an office or gift store.  Whatever inspires you and helps you pray is perfect!

Next, find your pens.  If your favorite color is purple, perhaps you’d like a purple pen!  I use blue Pilot G-2 pens for most of my journaling because of the smooth writing ability.  I always need two or three, because they run out right in the middle of my prayers and I don’t want to have to get up and search the house for another one.  Have extra pens right by your Bible and journal in your quiet time spot.

My quiet time begins with Jesus having the first Word as I read my Bible. I follow the one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotional.  I have also used a One Year Bible in the past, which has the Bible divided into daily readings already. I pray,

Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.”  Psalm 119:18 (NKJV)

I soak up all He has to tell me and underline my favorite verses.  I label the verses with the letters of the TEA CUPP acronym, so I may use them in my prayer journal.  Then I open my journal and get it ready for my prayers.  I write the date, then going down the page I write T-E-A.  On the next page I write C-U-P.  And on the next page I write another P.

Some Bible reading days have so many verses that it is hard to pick which ones to use.  Other days I don’t have enough verses, so I go back and use verses I underlined  in the previous weeks.  I find a THANKSGIVING verse and write it next to the letter T to thank God for His blessings.  I find an EXALTING verse and write it next to the letter E to exalt and praise my Jesus.  I find an ADMITTING verse and write it next to the letter A to admit my sins and ask Jesus’ forgiveness.

On the second page of my journal, I find a CALLING verse for something God is calling me to do today and write that in my journal next to the letter C.  I find an UNDERSTANDING verse and write it next to the letter U as I try to understand my story a little better.  I find a beautiful PROMISE verse and claim that as I write it next to the letter P.

On the third page, I find a  PETITIONING verse to use to pour my heart out to Jesus in prayer.  I pray all the parts of My TEA CUPP, filling in the extra spaces of my journal with more prayers on each letter.  Then I fill the rest of the PETITIONING page and perhaps another page with all my prayer requests for family and friends and loved ones.

If I am traveling or just had a new baby, I sometimes do just one letter a day in my prayer journal.  But I feel most complete when I have time to do all the parts and talk to Jesus about everything that is on my heart that day.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  I hope today’s devotion helps you as you fine tune your own prayer journal and devotion times with Jesus.  If you need ideas for Bible verses I have oodles for you here.  Someday, you will look back on all these prayers and be praising Jesus for His goodness all over again!

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

My Fasting TEA CUPP

 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12 (NKJV)

No tea, no cup, no plate, no food, no beverage, no water, nothing to nourish this earthly body, only God’s Word to feed my soul and His Living Water to quench my thirst.  This is an Esther fast, where we give up eating and drinking for a time, to pray and focus on Jesus and God’s Word.

When I first started a daily prayer time with Jesus, I didn’t know what fasting was all about.  My church didn’t talk about it, and there weren’t too many resources.  I wondered what the “rules” were.  As it turns out, there are no rules, only examples.  In our Bibles we have the example of Esther who fasted with her maidens for three days to save her people. Esther’s fast happened one time during an extreme crisis. They had no water and no food for three days and nights.  We also have the example of Daniel who gave up rich foods, eating only fruits and vegetables. Daniel’s fast was a way of life, along with praying three times a day.  And, of course, there are Moses, Elijah and Jesus who fasted for 40 days and nights during a time of great trial. If you are just getting started with fasting, I would recommend a one-day juice fast, where you only drink juice, a juice and banana fast is good for nursing moms.  You can work your way up to a full fast when the time is just right.

Some might think fasting is a thing of the past from Bible times, but it is still practiced by many Christians today as they seek God’s will in prayer.  If you are looking for a modern example of fasting, I encourage you to read The Heavenly Man.  This book gives testimony after testimony to fasting and prayer, from friends praying for the persecuted pastor to him praying and fasting himself.  I highly recommend The Heavenly Man.  Order a copy for yourself and share one with a friend. 

For today I give you My Fasting TEA CUPP, Bible verses that highlight fasting and trials. You may pray these verses while you are fasting, or any time you sit down with Jesus for prayer and TEA. Here are conversation starters for you as you pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer:

T for Thanksgiving:
(a verse of thanks as we finish our fast and have our first meal)

And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.  John 6:11 (NKJV) 

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:
(our suffering during fasting is nothing to compared to the glory of Jesus!)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

(The prayer King Jehoshaphat prayed to exalt the Lord)

O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?   2 Chronicles 20:6 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:
(we repent and admit our sins as we fast)

 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 1 Peter 2:21 (NKJV)

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34 (NKJV)

But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.  Matthew 9:15 (NKJV)

But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face.  so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  Matthew 6:17-18 (NKJV)

But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love. 2 Corinthians 6:4-6 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:
(I love it when God sends prayer answers right during our fasting!)

So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,  Acts 10:30 (NKJV)

I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  Philippians 4:12 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:
(Promises for when we are thirsty and hungry during fasting, and He will revive us!)

Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.  Isaiah 12:3 (NKJV)

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’   Matthew 4:4 (NKJV)

You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.  Psalm 71:20 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”  Mark 9:29 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Once you get started on fasting and prayer, you might like to plan a regular day to fast, such as the first day of each month, the first Sunday of each month, or every Wednesday. Or when there is a great trial or event in your life. Write it on your calendar and commit to this time of prayer and fasting with Jesus. Read Isaiah 58 in preparation. Another devotion you may enjoy reading is The Empty Plate.

…did you really fast for Me—for Me?
Zechariah 7:5 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson