by Susan Sampson

How can we be committed and consistent in prayer?
How can we be humbly dependent upon prayer?
How can we pray with boldness and confidence?
How can we labor in prayer for ourselves and others?


Christ is our only Hope and our only Help.  And yet we are constantly defaulting to our flesh.  This lecture hit home with me.  When Laurie described how we come before the throne of God in our quiet time and then get up and leave being in the Spirit to walk in our flesh, in my own strength, trying to control, trying to fix everyone and everything, trying to keep it all together, trying to get order and get things taken care of, trying harder — I saw myself.  Does anyone else see themselves in this description?!

I must confess my unbelief.  We must confess our unbelief and ask for God’s mercy.  It is God alone who holds the power and authority to enable us in Christ to overcome ourselves and our sin!  We must cry out to Him in prayer.

We must put our flesh to death.  Again I confess, I try to fix my flesh and “do better.”  But the truth is the flesh is not redeemable.  “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).  I am struck by the radical words of Christ Himself in addressing sin: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:43-44).

So, again the purpose of our study is to move from having a sin filled heart to a Spirit filled heart.  To do this we must turn from our sins and turn in faith to Christ.

We are wholly dependent upon the mercy of God.  This is why prayer is vital.  I write this to you all as though I am speaking to my own soul.  I fall so far short in this area (among others).  I humbly cry out to the Lord to give us all grace “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” as Paul writes in Titus 2:12 and to commit ourselves to prayer.  This week, may we make a plan to pray — schedule it on our smart phones and calendars and then follow through.  Put those thoughts to death that say, “There’s not enough time in the day”; “This is just legalism”; “It won’t work”; “I don’t want to”; “I don’t know how” — whatever it is that is keeping us from being committed and consistent in prayer — confess to the Lord and ask for His grace.  Then stand firm in grace.

May we stop giving into the distractions of the world and our flesh and walk forward by faith asking the Father in the name of Jesus and trusting God that He will do the work in our hearts that only He can do.  May we believe that Jesus loves us and is a friend to sinners.

So what will we do differently this week?

by Angie Thomas

Our lecture notes said, “You are blessed! Be blessed! Be a blessing! Delight yourself in the Law of the Lord and meditate upon it day and night! Walk, stand and sit in the way of the Lord!” Such powerful truths from Psalm 1!

The Lord has really convicted my heart that I do not delight in His Word as I walk through my day. I have learned to delight in it and find joy and encouragement from His Word and truth when I am sitting in my quiet time and the world is well…quiet. The distractions are few, there are no screaming children, dinner that is burning, bills to pay, people to call or text back, deadlines to meet, relationships to manage, people to encourage and serve. But how in the world do we learn to delight in His Word during the mess of our days?

The first thing the Lord is showing me is that I have to confess my unbelief and doubt. In the middle of the busyness and messiness of my days, in my mind, the Word of God seems just that…words.  I doubt its power to transform my mind and heart when things in my day start to unravel.  But the Bible is clear, the Word of God is a powerful weapon at our disposal, to wield against the lies the enemy is whispering to us all day about the circumstances going on around us. Ephesians 6 describes the Word of God as a sword and Hebrews 4:12 affirms this, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

The second thing I have to do is simple, but difficult in the busyness of life. Stop. We have to stop even if for a minute or two and ask Him to renew our minds with His Word and truth.  For me, that is going to mean setting a reminder on my phone and then putting Scriptures in my Notes app and literally stopping and reading His truth several times a day. I am so weak and feeble, girls.  I need a constant reminder of how to walk in His ways and not my own. But, as we do this and humble ourselves and confess we don’t know how to walk this out and ask Him to show us, step by step, He will do it.

This is God’s promise to us for victory and blessing as we delight in His Word: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ(2 Cor. 10:3-5).

Praying we would learn, by His grace, to delight ourselves in His Word in the mess of our our daily lives.  What a glorious mess it will become.


by Susan Sampson

I was so thankful when Laurie reminded us of the goal of our study.  What are we doing?  The goal is for our hearts to be one with God.  We want our hearts to be changed from sinful to Spirit-filled!

How is this possible?  Is it even possible?  Yes“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).  Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief!

To have this communion and oneness with the Lord we must put our flesh to death.  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all” (John 6:63).  We have been given all we need, Christ Himself.  The Spirit of the Almighty God lives in every believer.  We must choose by FAITH to believe this truth and not give in to the lies of the Deceiver.  The enemy is doing everything he can to distract us and keep us from believing in Christ and to get us to remain in the prison cell from which Jesus has set us free.

This is why we absolutely must be in God’s Word every day and be in prayer continually.  Because of our great need.  Because of our abject poverty.  We are living in the dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63).  Apart from Jesus, the Living Water, our souls become dry and crusty.  We must come to the Wellspring of Life and drink deeply every day.  The world cannot meet this need.  Our flesh cannot meet this need.  Our husbands and children cannot meet this need.  Our neat and tidy homes cannot meet this need.  Our to-do lists cannot meet this need.  Only Christ alone.

“Our duty is to put to death our flesh by grace.  Our faith is to be in the blood of the lamb and the power of the Holy Spirit to give life and to overcome!”  Listen to what Paul tells us about grace: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).

May the Lord grant us much grace to be able to put our flesh to death, and come to Him in His Word and in prayer and have sweet communion walking in the cool of the day (or heat of the summer) with Him.