persistent widowEach year, I select a different theme for my personal Bible study and for my prayers. 2013 was Human AND Holy, which inspired the book by the same title. Transformation characterized my life and the ministry’s in 2014. In 2015, I prayed for God’s provision: financial and workers. Wisdom focused my prayers for 2016 and last year, 2017, we concentrated on listening. This year, the emphasis of our prayers is on growth as we experience some growing pains and reflect on what God says about growth through Scripture.

One of the unique characteristics of growth and blessings of prayer is to look back. We can see answered prayers from the past. We remember how far we have come. We repeat prayers that continue to shape our perspective. And we reflect on God’s faithfulness at every turn.

The prayers throughout my life become the stepping stones for the direction God now carries me. And many of the prayers from my past echo in my current murmurings.

As my humanity threated to overshadow my holy calling, I look to Christ’s example and pray, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
Transformation seems elusive, yet I look to the discontented caterpillar, later struggling to exit the chrysalis for inspiration as a beautiful butterfly. And I thank God for His creation as an example of transformation.
We continue to pray for God’s provision: financial and workers, remembering the promises in Scripture that “His faithfulness continues throughout all generations” (Ps. 100:5, 119:90).  Even the wisest man to walk this earth continued to seek counsel with His Father through prayer. And so, we listen for God’s wisdom as He leads us in this time of growth.

What are your personal prayers for this year? Or what are prayers you have focused on in the past that you are now revisiting?

Thank you for joining us in prayer this month! And don’t forget to sign up for a 15-minute time slot to pray this Saturday!

#IronRoseSister, #prayer

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IRSM needs youToday’s prayer is one of thanksgiving for our generous supporters. You are what makes it possible for God to continue to work  through and in us, equipping women across the Americas. We thank you and we honor you today!

These reminders of God’s past provision fuel my prayers, like those listed on the calendar for this Friday: for His continued financial provision and more workers. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Matt. 9:37).

When fears arise, my doubts threaten to take over. But then, I identify with Sarah, laughing at my own faith in God’s provision (Gen. 18:12), yet even Abram’s faith was counted to him as righteousness before he was even fully revealed the promise of a son (Gen. 15:6). God is faithful. And I trust He has called us to this task, to meet this need, for such a time as this (Esth. 4:13).

The growing pains continue, but we are not alone! And we would love for you to join in this equipping journey.

Want to use your skills and talents in the kingdom? We need people in the following areas to help us equip more women to connect to God and one another more deeply, as Iron Rose Sisters.
• Marketing
• Social media
• Graphic design
• Video production
• Small business/nonprofit experience
• Board of Directors experience
• PR/Communications
• Fundraising

We need your help! I would love to pick your brain, get you involved, partner our passions.
There are many parts of the body, but one head. When we each do what God has uniquely equipped us to do, He gets the glory and the body does its best work.

Thanks for being who you are and doing what you do as supporters and prayer warriors for IRSM!

#IronRoseSister, #prayer, #thanks, #workers, #volunteers

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Ana CubaWe all pray that God will use us in powerful ways. We long to make an impact—in the world, in our families, and in our communities. Looking with longing at those who make a more visible impact, we may get jealous of what we see them doing.

However, the impact made in one life can have a ripple effect to bless, equip, inspire, encourage, and educate another.

Our prayers of longing to make a difference in this world are not unanswered. We just need to adjust our expectations to align with God’s. It is His timing and His purposes that prevail.

IRSM’s mission is to equip women to connect to God and one another more deeply, encourage them in their spiritual walk, and inspire them to equip and encourage others. Paul laid out a similar pattern to Timothy in his second letter (2 Tim. 2:2).

Sometimes, we never see the fruit of our labor. Seeds are planted or watered, but we wait on God to bring the growth in His timing (1 Cor. 3:6).

At other times, this pattern plays out in a beautiful, inspired way, like with our dear sister Ana in Cuba. I met Ana in August 2017 and we had an instant connection. A hard worker in the kingdom, Ana longed to serve and teach more women in her native country, but felt ill-equipped to do so. Inspired by the classes I taught and equipped with many of our materials, she has made it her own and personifies an Iron Rose Sister to many women across rural Cuba, providing them with resources and inspiring them to share those same resources with others.

In some classes, she invites them to recognize the lie, replace it with truth, and to remember that truth from God’s Word (inspired by the Lie/Truth Chart from Who Has the Last Word?). During other gatherings, she simply prays with the women and encourages them to listen to God through His Word, through creation, and through other devotional thoughts and questions shared in Called to Listen: Forty Days of Devotion.

Now, not a week goes by that we don’t have another Cuban sister requesting to receive our blog to their email as an encouragement, equipping them to connect to God and one another more deeply.

Not all examples of answered prayers are as obvious or glorious as Ana’s story. And they don’t have to be. The impact starts with one.

So, as you join us in prayer for my potential visit to Cuba this to see my friend Ana and many other Cuban friends and sisters this year, I encourage you to pray this simple song/prayer in your own life.

LEAD ME TO SOME SOUL TODAY
Lead me to some soul today.
Oh, teach me Lord just what to say.
Friends of mine are lost in sin,
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care
And few there are who pray (who pray).
Melt my heart, and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.
Words by Will H. Houghton, 1936. Music by Wendell P. Loveless

#IronRoseSister, #prayer, #impactothers, #leadmetosomesoultoday

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praying scriptureMy prayers, at times, are one single word. On other occasions, my thoughts escape in a tsunami of words that even a Pharisee would call too much.
Do your words ever feel monotonous? Or sometimes full of passion?
For me, it depends on the day and what I have weighing on my heart.
When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, the words were never as important as the heart.
And my heart is always in a better place for whatever I need to express in prayer, after first having gone to the Father in order to hear His heart.
After spending time in the Word of God, I recognize His thoughts, His wishes, His will. And my word, thoughts, wishes, and will begin to align with His.
But when I am not reading the Bible, my prayers are expressions of desperation and selfishness.
You will notice that, during this prayer month for Iron Rose Sister Ministries, we have not only included a prayer request or thanksgiving as our prayer theme for the day. We have also and more importantly made note of a Bible verse, in order to first listen to the Father’s voice, as a way of guiding our words and will to align with His.
Thank you for joining us in prayer by listening.

#IronRoseSister, #prayer, #listening, #Bible

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2018 prayer a thon IRSMCommands such as “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17) or affirmations that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16) remind us of the importance of prayer. And examples like Jesus gave His disciples when He instructed them how to pray (Matt. 6:5-15) help us know how to direct our prayers.
But if we bring prayer down to its most basic, simplified level, prayer is communication with God—a conversation with our Heavenly Father, the Great Physician, our Comforter, Keeper, and Friend.

During the month of February, we invite you to join us in conversation with God as our Guide, Divine Gardener, and Ever-Present Help, all on behalf of Iron Rose Sister Ministries.

Our Prayer Calendar is available for download here and on our website. Please share this calendar with your friends and other prayer warriors. As we traverse a challenging journey of strategic growth this year, your prayers are vital. God has given us a mission, a vision, and a purpose: to equip more women to connect to God and one another more deeply, across the Americas, in English, Spanish, and bilingual contexts.

Each day, for the next 24 days, there will be a specific topic and Bible verse for the focus of our prayers. These 24 days of prayer will lead up to 24 hours of prayer. Men and women from across the world will be of one heart and mind as we lift these requests and thanksgivings to God.

When we simplify prayer, we remember that it is all about talking with God and listening to Him. Please share with us your specific prayers and what you are hearing from God, especially as we partner together in prayer for Iron Rose Sister Ministries.
Thank you for your prayers. Simply put: your prayers make it possible.

#IronRoseSister, #simplify, #prayer

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