Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 6:12-16 ESV

12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray,
and all night he continued in prayer to God.  
13 And when day came, he called his disciples  
and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 
14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother,  
and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew,  
15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus,  
and Simon who was called the Zealot,
16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot,  
who became a traitor.

Jesus, the Son of God,
fully God and fully man,
continued all night in prayer before
He called his disciples and chose the twelve.
He is our shepherd…we are to follow Him.

Why don’t people pray?

Orson Wells said:
“I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.”

Someone else said:
“I don’t pray because it doesn’t work.”

Another said:
“I don’t pray because I don’t have enough faith.”


“I don’t want to take the time.”
“I don’t want to make the effort.”
“It feels like my prayers are just going to the ceiling.”
“I would rather watch something on TV.”
“I’m tired and need more sleep.”
“I don’t feel like it.”
“I’m busy…too little time, too much to do.”
“I am hurting and it hurts to pray.”
“It hurts to think about God.”
“I’m angry at God.”
“I’ve given up.”

Let me ask you,
why don’t you pray?
What keeps you from praying as much,
or as diligently as the Lord might desire
or as much as you would really want to be praying?

Make an honest list.

Now think.
How would you pray and how often would you pray
if you really believed that every time you spoke a prayer,
talked to God, whispered a request,
or cried out in the dark of the night,
that the Lord heard you?

Bring the list before the Lord and how
you would pray if you really believed.
Confess to the Lord
and confess to someone else.


The Lord God does hear our prayers.
Prayerfully read the following psalm.
Then think about how much you would want to be praying.
Ask the Lord for help.

Psalm 40:1-4
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

4 Blessed is the man who makes
the LORD his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!


Write out the following verse from Luke 6 and recite it 3 times.
Take it with you throughout the day.

12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray,
and all night he continued in prayer to God.


Father, please cut through the excuses that we make
to not pray. Draw us into your presence.
And hear our cry.

In His hands for His glory,


by Dottie Ryan

 “O God, you are my God; earnestly I see you” (Psalm 63:1).

Again I was confronted with my own obstacles (sometimes self-inflicted) and weaknesses: the lies I have believed, the sin I continue to walk in, ignore, or discount, my idols I have not either identified or decided to lay down, my excuses, my demands, my — my — my.  And my spirit cries out for someone — anyone — to speak truth into my soul at this very moment. Because truth is the only thing that promises to penetrate the deception of the lies.  My soul screams from a very dry and weary place for the Spirit of God through a sister in Christ to please remind me what the Lord showed me last week, ask me if I’ve followed through, and hold me accountable.  I need that!

So after first going to the Lord to confess that I don’t really earnestly seek Him (not like I did my lost flash drive this past week) — that maybe I don’t know how or am just too caught up in laziness, unbelief, succumbing to confusion, or [you fill in your own blank] — I know I can pick up the phone and call my Abigail, my prayer-sister, someone in my small group, and they would know what I’m talking about because the dynamics of a small group allow us to get to know each other very personally.  There is a sweetness in that.  There can be pain in being face-to-face transparent.  Yes there is indeed a sweetness to having that kind of access to someone who is walking the journey with you and knows where you are.  And to speak truth in love into each others’ lives (leading me back to the truth of the Word) because we have committed to be accountable to each other.

We need to journey together.  We want to want these things concerning falling in love with our Lord.  And if we don’t desire these things or they seem so far out of our reach, we can’t withdrawal.  We lock arms and join forces to fight the good fight of faith — together.

The following is an excerpt by A. W. Pink the battle that a walk of faith can be:

There is that in each of us which wants to play the coward, run away from the battlefield, our “circumstances.” This is what Abraham did (Genesis 12:10), but he gained nothing by it. This is what Elijah did (1 Kings 19:3), and the Lord rebuked him for it.* And these instances are recorded “for our learning” (Romans 15:4), as warnings for us to take to heart. They tell us that we must steadfastly resist this evil inclination, and call to mind that exhortation, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (act) like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). . . . There is a very real twofoldness to the Christian life and every aspect of Divine truth is balanced by its counterpart. Practical godliness is a mysterious paradox, which is incomprehensible to the natural man. The Christian is strongest when he is weakest, wealthiest when he is poorest, happiest when most wretched. Though unknown (1 John 3:1); yet he is well known (Gal. 4:9). Though dying daily (1 Cor. 15:31), yea, dead; yet, behold, he lives (Col. 3:3-4). Though having nothing, yet he possesses all things (2 Cor. 6:10). Though persecuted, he is not forsaken; cast down, he is not destroyed. He is called upon to “rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11) and is assured: “Happy are ye that weep now” (Luke 6:21). Though the Lord makes him to lie down in green pastures and leads him beside still waters, he is yet in the wilderness, and “in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is ” (Psalm 63:1). Though followers of the Prince of Peace, Christians are to endure “hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3); and though “more than conquerors,” they are often defeated. (A. W. Pink, The Fight of Faith, available at

The Lord Jesus sent out his disciples two-by-two (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1).  You and I were not meant to go this journey alone.



*It is probably better to see gentle encouragement of Elijah from the Lord in this passage than rebuke.


by Scott Kaczorowski

I thought it would be helpful to provide for you the text of the resolution of Jonathan Edwards that Kevin Aker shared at the Falling in Love Again with Your Lord for Men study.  At 19 years old, Edwards wrote:

“On January 12, 1723. I made a solemn dedication of myself to God, and wrote it down; giving up myself, and all that I had to God; to be for the future, in no respect, my own; to act as one that had no right to himself, in any respect. And solemnly vowed, to take God for my whole portion and felicity; looking on nothing else, as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were; and his law for the constant rule of my obedience: engaging to fight, with all my might, against the world, the flesh, and the devil, to the end of my life” (From Personal Narrative, An Electronic Edition, Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758. Original Source: Jonathan Edwards: Representative selections. Ed. Clarence H. Faust and Thomas H. Johnson. New York: American book company, 1935. Copyright 2002. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.)

These are challenging words.  These were challenging words even for Edwards.  The very next sentence that he wrote in his Personal Narrative was this: “But I have reason to be infinitely humbled, when I consider, how much I have failed, of answering my obligation.”

Maybe you feel like Edwards today reflecting on your best intentions.  If so, be encouraged.  This was not only Edwards’ experience.  The psalmist experienced something similar. I am struck by how Psalm 119 ends, given the passion and zeal for obedience to God’s Word that is expressed over the course of the previous 175 (!) verses.  Psalm 119:176 ends by saying, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.”  We are to seek the Lord earnestly.  But as we do that, we must remember and set our whole hope on the fact that God is earnestly seeking us.

If you would like to read more of Edwards’ Personal Narrative, you can access an online version here:

If you would like to read more of Edwards’ Resolutions you can find them posted on the Desiring God website here:

May the Lord Jesus Christ deeply and personally meet with you this week as you seek after Him!