Monday’s Blog: Pray In the Spirit (Audiobook Giveaway)

The audio version for my devotional “Armor of Light: A 7 – Week Devotional on Ephesians 6:10-18” released recently. The production company gave me 5 copies to give away. If you would like a copy, leave a comment below or email me at authoramandabeth@gmail.com. The first 5 people to respond will receive an email with a free download code.

Today I want to share an excerpt from week seven about prayer. Do you sometimes feel like your prayers are not heard? Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” I pray this message lifts your spirit and gives you confidence that God does hear and answer your prayers according to His Word.

Excerpt from Week seven: Pray In the Spirit

Revelation 12:17 says that Satan wages war against those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Satan will come against us, but he can’t ambush us when we are in continual communion with God. Staying connected to God in prayer keeps us armed and alert.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:2

Just as God sent His angels to minister to Jesus after He stood against Satan’s temptation (Matthew 4:10-11), God also sends His angels in response to our prayers. In Daniel 9:20-23, an angel was sent to Daniel in response to his prayer:

While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision.

Daniel’s prayer was answered the moment he prayed. And he received that answer while he was still in prayer. Why do we receive answers to some prayers right away, but others take longer? Daniel didn’t receive his answer to prayer in the next chapter (Daniel 10) as quickly as he had in the verse above. In Daniel 10:12-14, the angel explained why there was a delay in response:

“Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

God hears and answers our prayers the moment we request them. But as these verses reveal, the devil can try and hinder us from receiving them. The Bible shares other things that can hinder us from receiving answers to our prayers.

First Peter 3:7 tells us disobedience can hinder our prayers:

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

James 4:3 tells us the motives of our hearts can hinder us from receiving answers to our prayers:

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

When our hearts are divided and not fully devoted to God, we will naturally request things that our flesh desires. God loves us too much. He will not give us anything that will hurt us and draw our hearts further away from Him.

James 1:6-8 tells us that doubt and unbelief can also hinder our prayers:

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, which means to be perseverant in our prayers (1 Thessalonians 5:17). God doesn’t tell us to be unceasing in our prayers to beg Him to answer us. He tells us to be unceasing so we don’t allow Satan to steal, through doubt and unbelief, what God already promised us in His Word. We stand against Satan when we keep a continuous (unceasing) belief that God is faithful to answer our prayers.

Once I felt like the world suddenly came crashing down on me. I was hit by something that was beyond what I thought I could bear. As I was in tears wondering what was happening to me, I found the strength to praise God and tell Him I trusted Him to see me through it. That same evening, my situation miraculously turned around right before my eyes. God heard my prayer, sent His answer, and came rushing to my defense.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.

Psalm 34:17, 19

Romans 8:31 tells us, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  We have God on our side. We also have His Holy Spirit and Jesus interceding for us. What can possibly come against us that God, His Holy Spirit, and Jesus cannot handle?

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Romans 8:26-27

If God did not spare His own son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:33-39

Heavenly Father,

We praise You that You are faithful to Your Word. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers according to the promises in Your Word. Purify our hearts and minds, and change our desires to line up with Your desires. We humble ourselves before You. We stand firm against Satan with an unceasing belief that You are faithful to answer our prayers.

In Jesus’ name we believe and pray, Amen!

*Remember to post a comment below or email me (authoramandabeth@gmail.com) if you would like an audio copy of the “Armor of Light.”  The first 5 to respond will receive a download code via email.


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Monday’s Blog: Sword of the Spirit (“Armor of Light” book release)

I released my second devotional book today on the Armor of God, titled “Armor of Light: A 7 – Week Devotional on Ephesians 6:10-18” (*see discount coupon code below). I wanted to share this excerpt with you from week six about taking up the sword of the spirit, God’s Word.

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WEEK SIX

 Sword of the Spirit

  … and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

~Ephesians 6:17

We can often get so caught up fighting with the devil that we neglect doing God’s will. We don’t have to continually fight the devil. That’s why all of the other armor is for defense, and only one piece is needed for offense—the sword of the Spirit (God’s Word).

When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t constantly fight with Satan. Jesus came to do God’s will. When Satan tried to distract and tempt Him, Jesus didn’t ignore him. He used His authority, and the Word of God, to send Satan fleeing (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus drove Satan away by believing and speaking God’s Word.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.

—2 Corinthians 4:13

When God first called me to follow Him and start writing, my family was attacked unmercifully. We were hit by one trial after another. The attacks were like nothing we had ever experienced before. They were so apparent that even others noticed we were being attacked. I thought for a moment that God was punishing us. I thought I misunderstood His calling and He was trying to stop me from writing.

But as the attacks continued, God opened my eyes and showed me that Satan was trying to distract me from doing God’s will. I was exhausting so much of my time and energy dealing with the messes that I didn’t have time to work on my writing. Once I realized what was happening, I stopped trying to fix the messes, and started focusing on God’s will. As I focused on God, and stood firm on His Word, Satan fled and the problems resolved.

God didn’t give us His Word just to send Satan fleeing. He gave us His Word to sanctify us and equip us to do His will.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

—John 17:17

The Bible tells us that: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I’ve heard people say they don’t need to read the Bible daily because they’ve read it before. They say they already know right from wrong.

The Bible isn’t like a book that you read once and don’t need  anymore. There is power in God’s Word. When we feed our minds and hearts with His Word, it gives us power in our spirits.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

—2 Corinthians 10:4

God’s Word tears down strongholds that we don’t know exist until we are in His Word. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

God’s Word reveals the dark places in us. His Word opens our eyes to what’s truly in our hearts. God’s Word is life to our bodies, souls, and spirits. We need God’s Word more than we need food and water.

Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

—Matthew 4:4

There is power in believing and speaking the Word of God over our lives. “Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23).

Jesus didn’t say if anyone “thinks” about moving the mountain. He said to “speak” to the mountain. Remember, Satan can’t read our minds. We can’t make him flee by just thinking the Word. We need to speak the Word!

Psalm 103:20 says, “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word” (KJV). It says angels hearken to the “voice” of His Word. When we speak God’s Word, His angels take heed and minister to us, as they did to Jesus after He drove Satan away with God’s Word.

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

—Matthew 4:10-11

*The “Armor of Light” is available in Paperback and Ebook  at Amazon. It will be released on audio format in May. As a special for all my blog readers, enter coupon code GQ5M59M5 at this link at Createspace and receive $3.00 off the paperback version!

 

Here’s a review on the book from one of my editors, Steve Sawyer:

This is the second book I have edited for Amanda Beth. I am especially enamored with two things Amanda Beth does as an author that distinguish her writing from some other Christian authors I’ve read.

First, Amanda Beth immerses herself in her writing. She doesn’t preach, She shares her heart. When you read one of Amanda Beth’s books, you are getting a glimpse of her personal life, her joys, her struggles, her strongholds, and her victories. Her personal life and her experience with God as He teaches her and grows her are what you get in the pages of her books. And everyone can relate. She is a thirty-something, stay-at-home mother of four young kids. But her message is universal. In Armor of Light anyone can relate to her experiences and her relationship with Jesus.

The other thing I like about Amanda Beth’s writing is the way she weaves God’s word throughout her writing. I have read books by other Christian authors whose references to Holy Scripture are not much more than token verses, sprinkled haphazardly throughout the book. Not Amanda Beth. Her writing is based on Scripture. Amanda Beth uses her personal life experiences to justify God’s word for us, rather than using God’s word to justify her writing or her opinions or her interpretation or application of Scripture, which is often the case with other Christian authors I’ve read.

Amanda doesn’t just decide to pick a topic and write a book about it. Amanda takes her direction directly from God. I can guarantee Amanda Beth spent months in prayer and Bible study before she sat down at her keyboard to write the first word of Armor Of Light.

In this second book, Amanda Beth shares how and why the armor of light is a necessary robe we need to wear. “When we don’t stand for the truths in God’s Word,” Amanda Beth said, “we open the door to deception. Too many Christians today are not standing for God’s Word as complete truth. As a result, Satan has sown many lies within the body of Christ. The Bible warns us that it’s only going to get worse. We need to be on guard so we don’t fall into this deception.” In her book Amanda Beth shares how God can keep us on guard so we won’t fall into deception from the enemy.

I can recommend Armor of Light without reservation. It is an easy read with questions and scripture for meditating and deepening your enjoyment and application of God’s truths.

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