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How do you put God First?
April 27, 2005
1:06 pm
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on my way
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Wow. HAve been a believer/Christian for 32 years. I have recently noticed that I am always "petitioning" God, always looking to what will make my life easier, what I need, what I want....etc.

I know we are to ask God for anything, and talk to him about anything, but because I pray this way? I feel like I 'use' God and that it is all about me. Yees I pray for others, my family, etc...but the crux of my relationship with Him is mostly about ME...ugh. I am not here for me, but for Him. I am very uncomfortable wiwth my life at this time, my job, my boss...I have outgrown, need to seek elsewhere, my boss is extremely abusive...funny how when we grow we are more in tune to abuse and know to get out.

I also seek this in relationships...I try to be there for the other person, but again I have realized that bottom line, it is all about me...again, UGH!

I do not know how to put God first. I thought I did but I don't. I knwo if I cn figure this out then I will be more effective and be able to invite more positive circumstances into my life.

Any thoughts, please share...I am at a standstill and really need to get to the bottom of this. I hve heard that my reltionship with my parents reflect my relationship with God, as well as the men in my life....ok...heda knowledge, which I am very GOOD at. However getting all of this into my heart, is another story.

Suggestions, please on how you do this?

April 27, 2005
1:26 pm
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Desert Moon
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I have the opposite dilemma, which is I dont pray for anything because I have heard over and over, let go and let God, but havn't been able to figure it out, so I figure, 'why should I pray if it's for selfish things and not for the right thing?' That would make me a hypocrite, so I put God aside because otherwise I feel I would be just going throught he motions of pretending to do what's right but not being right in my heart, if any of that makes sense to you.

I think all the time: "I need to start going to church again." Then I think, I would feel pretentious worshiping and praising if it isn't really in my heart to do that, so I dont go because God hates it if you just do it because you feel obligated.

So I am waiting until the spirit moves me to go, when I can go and really feel at peace and give myself entirely to Him without the other stuff messing up my thoughts which keep me away from Him.

So I dont really pray - I talk to him, i guess, but not the same thing. And I don't go to church because I am never in the right spirit to go.

I guess I wait for some bolt of lightning to come out of the sky or some miraculous revolation to come to me and suddenly I will 'see the light' and be forever changed and will see my destiny clearly laid before me like a beacon in the night, which is a kind of pathetic fantasy. I think you have to make your own destiny but I'm sitting here waiting for someone or something to do it for me.

I'm rambling now, sorry.

Anyways, guess I am looking for answers too.

April 27, 2005
1:34 pm
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Hi Desert Moon,
I understand completely how you feel!

But if this helps, remember this:
God does not say to us, "Get your act together and THEN come to me". HE says, "Come to me and I will get your act together."

Too many times we try to be God, and think we have to have it all together...that is a lie, and so call it a lie. If we waited before we had everything perfect, we never would go to God or talk to God..and this is not the kind of relationship He wants us to have with him.
So go to church if you want too, pray, and allow Him to do the rest for you. He will let you know waht's up...you don't have to try to figure it out...it is a relationship, not a ball and chain.

Hope this helps.

April 27, 2005
1:38 pm
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Randomwomen2
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I feel like God doesnt care anymore

April 27, 2005
1:41 pm
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kathygy
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For me its more important to put my inner child first not God. To take care of her. I pray for God's help particularly when things are too overwhelming. I pray for guidiance but I don't believe in worshipping God or organized religion.

April 27, 2005
1:45 pm
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Desert Moon
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Randomwomen,

He does care, but you are not letting him care about you because you are so down on yourself you will not let anyone, not even God, through.

Listen to me! That is where I am too I guess! I hear but cant even take my own advice!

On my way, yes I understand that I must let God in my life despite of and because of the strife in my life. Whats hard is that I have this mind-set that I am going through pretense, and that God hates pretense. How can I go to God and think I am going to him because I am 'supposed' to? Do you see where I am leading? I feel my heart has to be ready to receive him and if it isnt no amount of praying or going to church or pretending to let go is going to do anything! And I dont know how to get from point A to point B.

April 27, 2005
1:50 pm
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2bstrong
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Hi

I have peaks and valleys in my prayer life--with God.

I journal all of the time, and when I do, I usually write at the top some sort of God salutation...

Then I proceed to write about what ever it is that is on my mind. It isn't always religious, and a lot of times I complain, or ask questions, etc. But I do feel that it's at least pointed to something greater than my "control".

In the same vein as desert moon...I don't know what letting go is. It seems scary, but isn't the unknown always scary, or exciting.

Not much help from me, but appreciate the respones and the thread.

April 27, 2005
1:58 pm
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on my way
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Point A:
God please help me understand about my feeling about pretense. I would not like to see this continually stand in my way. I don't understand what I am supposed to do."

Point B:
God will answer your prayer.

This is how it has been in my life, and I am forever not understanding something. I have cried my heart out on my knees, which for me, I don't know why, is how I am able to get in touch with more, if I pray on my knees. But that is just me. I also pray sitting up, on my way to work...when my boss is driving me up a wall!!!! To God it does not matter when or how, but that we just do...not under pretense, or feeling like we have too, although He accepts us any way we are, at any time.

When we talk on these threads, or have a conversation with a friend, we just talk, it is easy...God just desires the same, again it is a relationship, but it is totally up to us if we want that with Him or not.

Again, speaking from my own experience.

April 27, 2005
2:04 pm
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Desert Moon
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Thanks OMW, I will try that. : )

Random, you are harder on yourself than anyone else. You were taught that you were not worth it. You wont even let yourself eat! Dont punish yourself because of what others did to you! I know how hard it is to change one's belief system; they hear what others are saying but it cant get through. I am often the same way. The best way is to tell yourself, (next time you deny yourself) is, I AM worth it! and I am worthy of Gods love!

2bstong, that thing about letting go, thats so exactly how I feel! I get so scared, afraid God will make it too hard for me, it will be more than I can deal with.

April 27, 2005
2:16 pm
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on my way
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I can relate to all of you too. Sometimes I am afraid to ask for something, because I am afraid of the outcome, or what I will have to go through to get there...it happens to me frequently. But then I also kep in mind that I AM WORTH IT...not always easy to remember. And too, I have found that that old saying" If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it."
Desert Moon:
I don't mean to force my way of doing things on you or how I believe, so if that is what I did, I apologize. I understnad that we are all at different stages in our lives...which is why these threads are so helpful.

April 27, 2005
2:32 pm
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Desert Moon
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People give helpful advice all the time and its up to me whether to take it to heart. So dont ever think you are forcing your issues on me (something we codependents are always aware of!).

I have struggled for many years as to what my role is concerning God. I have never felt he wasn't there for me, rather that I am unable to reciprocate and let me serve him the way he has served me. the letting go is something we all struggle with as humans. We don't want to give up control because it may mean having to give up something that you are not ready to give up.

But I see Christians every day in bad marraiges, struggling over every day stuff. (Someone told me he was suprised that so many Christian men struggle with - of all things - porn on the internet, but that is another subject altogether!)

Anyway, I need to get offline now - going to work - this is such a good place, its one place I think God has directed me to. But I should probably change my name to Finding my Way!

Thanks for your help OMW.

April 27, 2005
2:55 pm
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enoch
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you just do... He knows who you are, every hair on your head... He knows what is in your heart, before you do.
Ask... and it will be given ...

http://www.purposedrivenlife.c.....;zoneid=22

Four Secrets to Answered Prayer

April 19, 2005 - by Rick Warren

You can learn a lot about a person by the kind of prayer he prays. For instance, a selfish prayer indicates a selfish spirit. Have you ever heard a prayer that sounds like a Christmas list - I want this, and I want that? Some people try to impress you with their prayers, yet they come off as arrogant and prideful.

There's a model prayer in the book of Nehemiah. Remember Nehemiah? When he first heard about the downfall of Jerusalem, he prayed for four months.

This was not just a casual prayer. Instead, it gives us a pattern for successful praying. If you want to know how to pray, study the book of Nehemiah - particularly this prayer.

Here are four secrets to answered prayer from the life of Nehemiah:

1. Base your request on God's character

Pray like you know God will answer you: "I'm expecting you to answer this prayer because of who you are. You are a faithful God. You are a great God. You are a loving God. You are a wonderful God. You can handle this problem, God!"

Nehemiah approaches God and says, "God, I want you to do something back in Jerusalem."

"O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands." (Nehemiah 1:5, NIV)

Nehemiah said three things about God:

You're great - that's God's position.
You're awesome - that shows God's power.
You keep your promises - that's God's covenant.

The first thing Nehemiah does is acknowledge who God is; that's what praise is. Acknowledge who God is and his greatness. Nehemiah starts off by getting the right perspective. As you pray, say, "God, I want you to answer this prayer because of who you are. You've given us all of these things, these promises. You are a faithful God, a loving God, a merciful God." You base your request on God's character.

2. Confess the sin in your life

After Nehemiah based his prayer on God's character, he confessed his sins. He says, "We've sinned." Look at how many times he uses the word "I" and "we." He says, "I confess ... myself ... my father's house ... we have acted wickedly ... we have not obeyed." It wasn't Nehemiah's fault that the Israelites went into captivity; that was 70 years earlier, before Nehemiah had even been born. In fact, he was most likely born in captivity. Yet, he includes himself in the national sins. He says, "I've been a part of the problem."

When was the last time you confessed the sins of the nation? Or the sins of your family? Or your church? Or your friends? We don't think that way. We're very individualistic. Our society has taught us we're only responsible for ourselves. And that's just not true! You are your brother's keeper. We are all in this together.

Leaders accept the blame, but losers pass the buck. If you want to be a leader, you accept the blame and share the credit. Losers are always accusers and excusers. They're always making excuses why things didn't or couldn't happen; it's always somebody else's fault. Leaders accept the blame.

3. Claim the promises of God

Nehemiah prays to the Lord and says, "I want you to remember what you told your servant Moses." Can you imagine saying REMEMBER to God? He's reminding God what he'd said in the past. All through the Bible you'll find God's people reminding God about what he said he wants to do. David did it. Abraham did it. Moses did it. All the prophets did it: "God, I want to remind you of one of your promises. ..."

Questions: Does God have to be reminded?

No.

Does he forget what he's promised?

No.

Then why do we do this?

Because it helps us remember what God has promised. Nothing pleases God more that when you remind God of one of his promises.

Do kids ever forget a promise?

Never.

So you have to be very careful about making them. The Bible says we're imperfect fathers, and if we imperfect fathers know that we need to fulfill our promises to our kids, how much more does a perfect Father, a Heavenly Father, intend to keep the promises he's made in his Word?

4. Be very specific in what you ask for

If you want specific answers to prayer, you need to make specific requests. If your prayers are general, how will you know if they're answered?

Nehemiah is not hesitant to pray for success. He's very bold in his praying. Have you ever prayed, "Lord, make me successful"? If you haven't, why haven't you? What is the alternative? A failure? There is nothing wrong with praying for success if what you're doing is ultimately for the glory of God.

Pray boldly. Pray that God will make you successful in life for the glory of God. That's what Nehemiah did. This is a valid prayer: Give me success!

If I can't ask God to bless what I'm doing, then I'd better start doing something else. If you can't ask God to make you a success at what you're doing, you should be doing something else. God doesn't want you to waste your life.

April 27, 2005
3:00 pm
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sewunique
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OMW,

Without reading any of this post, in all fairness to your question, which I believe you have mentioned this before, I just put in my thoughts.

Putting God first in one's life is that He leads you as a guide, to our choices and to remain as humble and open to His word and messege, whether it be reading, praying or listening and sharing.

As parents, we say we put our children first. We do, but we also put oursellves first, meaning we need to properly take care of ourseslf or we cannot care for our children. But, we may spend that money for that new pair of summer sandals we want, instead, for our children to not to go without. Makes sense?

If we do not feed or care for ourselves and get sick, how can we be ready for serving our Lord?

If God is truly a part of us, if He is within us, which comes first? Him or us? They are both the same yet different. They both come first, yet are different.

So, when you say you feel selfish for not putting God first, why are you denying of yourself; that is YOU, what is worthy, just and good? Made by His hands, in His likeness?

I cannot separate the two, He is a part of me and who I am.

I can't explain it any better than that, but that is my take on it.

Now to read your thread...............

Sew

April 27, 2005
3:05 pm
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ntheprocess
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Thank you on my way for this post. I admire your honesty and the mere fact that you are "seeking" a closer relationship with God will be rewarded.

I know exactly where you are at and how you feel according to your post. I remember asking God to "teach me how to worship Him". He has answered that prayer. When I worship God, it is not about asking for anything, although there is nothing wrong with that. It is simply a matter of me acknowledging Him for who He is, His awesomeness, and wonder. When I think of the earth, the heavens the moon, all of His creations, I bow in reverence. I thank Him for all things both large and small. My mind can hardly conceive a God, who as my pastor would say, "causes a black cow to eat green grass and gives white milk." A God who spoke the earth into existence, that at His word, "Peace, be still", calms the raging sea. I am talking about a God who has made ways out of no way in my life, who has proven Himself to be a healer, a heart fixer and a mind regulator! This God, who restored my soul. The God who makes even the misery of our lives turn out for the good. These are some of the things that I worship Him for. If He does not do another thing for me, He has done enough that I would praise Him for the rest of my life! When I think on the goodness of God....
________Through worship, praise, and prayer, I am finally coming to know what it means to have a personal relationship with Him. I trust Him, I talk to Him throughout the day. God is not intimidated by our request, but He is also a God that is worthy of praise.

The bible teaches us how to pray. It is found in the Lords Prayer.

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive our trepasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever amen.

Some scriptures that speak about prayer:

"Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened."

Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."----this verse of scripture lets us know that it is expected that we will petition God and not only that, we will receive according to our faith.

Romans 8:26 "Likewise the spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered".

April 27, 2005
3:06 pm
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sewunique
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BTW, very good thread, as usual. You get us thinking with your own questions! Thanks

April 27, 2005
3:17 pm
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jastypes
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Putting God first in my life means thinking of Him when I make important decisions, praying to Him before I even get out of bed, weighing my leisure activities against what God wants me to do.

Putting God first in prayer I do by using ACTS as a format.
A - Adoration
C - Confession
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplication

So my first prayers are praises and adorations. Sometimes I will take a characteristic of God (love, joy, hope, trustworthiness, discipline) and thank Him and pray to Him about that quality.

April 27, 2005
3:19 pm
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2bstrong
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OMW--This is a powerful thread. Thanks ntheprocess and enoch for posting what you did.

This is what we need. Hope.

April 27, 2005
3:34 pm
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sewunique
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Rarely, if ever, do I save anything from here. I just read. But this is a keeper, especially with the scripture verses for guideance.

April 27, 2005
5:27 pm
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on my way
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I am in awe at the responses to this thread and the information and sharing...thank all of you so much...

enoch, will read Nehemiah. Thanks for reminding me how to pray, I get so caught up in saying If it is your will...and then ask for what I want, which may be out of God's character. A fine line there.

ntheprocess, appreciate your references as well..thank you.

Sew, good to hear from you, been awhile...as usual your comments are real and helpful.

jas, thanks for sharing...

Now I have a base to wrok from and understand more than before. Appreciate all coming to my aid!!
And I agree this is a keeper, will print this out to remind me daily.

April 27, 2005
6:01 pm
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white dove
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on my way.
i know its already been mentioned on here, but i really think everyone should read the purpose driven life by rick warren,
im reading it now and its changed my life, and am only on chapter 4 in the book. it makes you really think about yourself and God.
this book will change you, i have learnt a lot about myself lately, God is showing me my strengths and weaknesses. my purpose to living, we all have a purpose, a plan which God will reveal in his time.
the great thing is God takes us as we are. he wants us right now.
RW please get this book and read it. i was feeling how you are not that long ago, i know and feel your pain, it hurts, i really wanted to end my life. it was like whats the point in living, and i was like this for a while, thankfully a good friend talked me out of it, and we started reading this book together. it took a while but God has put joy back in my heart, i have a lot of issues to sort out, but im not on my own God will guide me every step of the way.
i thank God for this chance to turn my life around with him in the center of my life, theres no other way. im learning to hand over every part of my life.
hang in there,

April 27, 2005
6:26 pm
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on my way
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white dove, thank you. I have read that book but need to re-read it again. I feel fortunate that I am a attending a conference in August, and RW is one of the speakers...I cna't wait.
So much you have to tell...thanks for sharing.

April 27, 2005
6:51 pm
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Randomwomen2
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who is rw?

April 27, 2005
7:08 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Looks like RW is Randonwomen2 and also is Rick Warren. Have to read closely. 🙂

April 27, 2005
7:32 pm
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Randomwomen2
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oh ok thank you very much

April 27, 2005
7:35 pm
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sewunique
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Now that I have read all this thread I feel like I got a C-.

Am I really so different? Maybe just a mixed bag?

Just my observation, but straight from the heart. I still believe in oneness with God, that he lives within us when we ask Him to be there, not to view Him somewhere 'out there".

If we try to be closer to God and take care of ourselves in the process, this is how I see it. Of course, there is the view that God will take care of everything for you. Like the Lilies of the field, they will not sufffer. It takes more than that. We were given brains and the process of thought and to make choices. I think this is also important.

I agreee, many people pray selfish prayers and just pray to help themselves out of a bind and go their merry way ti the next time of problems.

I particulariy like the mention Of Nehemiah and how to pray. Yet, there are many forms of prayer, just talking to Him during the day and being mindful of His way and word is helpful.There have been so many times these past two years of miracles that I have not even sought for, so I wonder if just prayer is the key, or does it encompass many other things as Christians, as believers? I think it is many and not so simple an answer. But I am searching and seeking now more than ever, so perhaps my questions and answers here are a bit off track? Seems to be.

Sew

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