Grandma was a Prayer Warrior

I generally average some 6 to 8 articles a year. Right now, I am apparently on a roll, for this is the second article in as many days. I am currently fasting. For the past three days I have eaten either one small meal per day or I have had only a few cashews. I ate some 12 or 15 cashews today, which is all I have eaten today.

I am drinking liquids. Tomorrow, God willing, I intend to go on a full fast, eating nothing until God wants me to stop. I asked God some years ago to make it impossible for me to fast unless He wanted me too, and He has been faithful to do that. There are several specific things that I am fasting and praying about. I learned as a little boy in the Methodist Church we attended that birds of a feather flock together and like attracts like. I mean by that that Christians seek churches where people believe like they do, and also seek churches or congregations where they are encouraged to grow and become as close to God as they desire. I also came to realize that even when members are encouraged to seek a close relationship with God, how close to God each one gets is in the long run totally up to them.

I had a family member who literally wore out the carpet at the foot of her bed, praying for hours at a time for the salvation of those she loved and for other things as well.

I had another family member tell me of spending hours in prayer, day after day, week after week, for the better part of a year, for a friend who was lost and who had a very real problem with alcohol to be saved. He told me how one day, as he was praying for his friend, after about 30 brief minutes in prayer, God assured him that his prayer had been answered. He told me he therefore got to his knees, brushed off his pants and proceeded on his way to work, rejoicing that his prayer had been answered. He said he heard later that that very afternoon his friend ran up to a preacher he saw on the street and begged him to pray with him. His friend told the preacher that he could not rest until he knew he was saved. I learned from him that we are not to stop praying about any specific thing until we have heard from God and know that that specific thing we are asking God for has been granted. When that moment comes, we are to cease praying about that specific thing and go our way rejoicing and thanking God for granting our request.

Both my grandmothers were real pray warriors.

My maternal grandmother told me, among other things, that I would never smoke. How did she know that, I asked her. Because she was praying that I would not, she replied and that she would pray until it was a done deal with God. She also told me that I would never be able to start smoking, for she had asked God to cause me to dislike tobacco so much that I would never be able to smoke a single cigarette. Years later, wishing to prove her wrong, I put a cigarette in my mouth, lit it, took one draw, started coughing and spitting. I hated the taste of the tobacco. I tried on a few more occasions to smoke but never got more than one draw before I was coughing and spitting. I finally gave smoking up as a bad idea and never put another cigarette in my mouth.

At the time, I did not understand how it happened like she said it would, but that was the end of my smoking.

When I say that I grew up in a Methodist Church, I should not forget to add that until I was 9 or 10, I went to the Methodist Church one Sunday and the Baptist Church the next. My grandmother attended both and I went with her. This was possible because at that time neither church in our little town had a full time preacher, so they had church on alternating Sundays. This enabled everyone who wished to go to services every Sunday. I did not even think it strange that my grandmother and one of her sisters sang in the choir at both churches. That was just the way it was. It was a good way to grow up.

The Writings of Jim Brooks

Praying for Someone Like Me

Recorded by Vern Gosdin
Written by Hazel Houser
[3/4 time]

C G7
They were pray—ing
Praying for someone like me

Not long ago I was thinking of home
G7 C
And I wondered if momma was there all alone
I thought I’d drop by as I had before
G7 C
But the sound from within made me stop at the door

She was pray-ing a sound that the world seldom hears
Pray-ing her words were pleading and clear
The sound of her voice as she spoke my name
F C G7
Brought tears to my eyes my heart filled with shame
She was pray—ing praying for someone like me

Walking one night I felt so alone
G7 C
My heart was so heavy from the trouble I’ve known
I hadn’t noticed a church that was near
G7 C
Till the sound from within seem to fill the air

They were pray-ing a sound that the world seldom hears
Pray-ing the children that God loves so dear
Outside in the darkness I could not see
F C G7
But I could picture them down on their knees
Pray—ing praying for someone like me

Treasures with Mom

When I first saw this video, it had already gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, people were beginning to share the videos on websites, and the news stations hadn’t yet caught it… But they have now.

Kelly Ridings posted the videos on Facebook.

A man in a UPS uniform singing with his mother who accompanied them on the guitar. So much love… The two watched each other as they sang, love filled eyes and smiling. You couldn’t help but fall in love with the relationship they shared.

For those of us who miss our mother this Mother’s Day, these videos bring tears of joy – oh the memories.

Every mother prays for her child. And the joy a child experiences hearing his mother pray is palpable in the music. The words of this song, remind us of those who spent hours on their knees wearing holes in the floor beneath them as they prayed for their children.

Blessings come from this song each time I hear it again, and I’ve probably added a good number to the counts of visitors who listen to it daily.

Dreaming of a Little Cabin, originally shared by Porter Wagoner, has been repeated by many.

This rendition is now my favorite.

In dreams of yesterday, I wondered…

If you haven’t heard these songs, please take a moment and listen.

Better, take a moment and share them with family and friends.

Alzheimer’s is such a horrifying disease. I can tell you, the joy of hearing a mother with alzheimer’s lift her voice to words she remembers is one of the greatest joys you can ever experience. That moment of having them back is only to be treasured.

Thank you my dear sweet friends for sharing these videos. I hope you do make more, and I’m fortunate enough to hear them, and watch them.

God bless you both this Mother’s Day.

Down on Your Knees – Praying

Scanning through Facebook a day or so back, I came across a couple of videos. A young man in an UPS uniform had stopped in to visit his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer, had taken time to record their visit. I couldn’t help but notice the love shared between the two of them as they sang these songs together, his mother playing the guitar.

I felt more than encouraged by their voices. The words of the songs reminded me of my own mother and the days before she passed when we sang beautiful songs together.

Don’t let this feeling end. Sing with your loved ones… Sing!

Thank you Kelly Ridings for sharing these videos. I hope they bless you as they have so many of us! God bless your sweet mother!

And then another…

Wolves at the door…

Wolves at the door

The struggle is real…

An American election can be controversial, and generally there’s some logic on both sides of the argument. This was a different year, and not one I care to repeat. However, as the continuum flows and our New President prepares to take office, the wolves are barking at the door.

One of my favorite passages speaks of a time when the wolves are knocking at the door, and the shepherd warns his flock. He talks about taking heed over yourselves and your flock, whom the Holy Ghost has made you overseers. In this particular section of the Bible, Acts 20: 28 – 34, the author is speaking to pastors, leaders in the church. But in this present day, in the days where the wolves threaten to cause grief among the people, among the flock, the author says men shall arise and speak perverse things, drawing away the disciples for a period of three years.

Three years…

Have we not experienced the pull of evil men separating God’s chosen leaders of his flock from the truth, from the people?

I believe it’s time to claim God’s promise of Grace which will build us up…

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.

34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

Verse 32 says, ” I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

God’s promise is just as true now as it was then. He promises his word, the Bible, which is filled with Grace, to build you up and give you an inheritance among all men which are sanctified.

We must pray for God’s grace to fill us, build us up, and provide for our inheritance – Heaven.

And yet still… As a part of our inheritance, we are invited to pray for our nation, for our souls, for health, and we are granted answers to our prayers.

Jonas 3

God sees your heart. God sees your soul, and how you choose to live. God knows whether you’ve asked forgiveness and repented of your sin.

You don’t have to be perfect, come to God where you are and ask him to forgive you for your sin, and renew your heart for Him.

Be a man after God’s own heart.



Plans To Prosper You

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Abundant Fruits

In these days of political unrest, accusations, and frustrations, you’d think there would be more who look for the fruits… But I’m finding few look for the fruits of the spirit, and even fewer of the fruits can be found. Even in so-called Christians.

At first I thought I was missing something, and then I realized it isn’t just me, there are many who aren’t finding the fruits they’re looking for in others… Oh, there’s plenty of judgment to go around, several times… I’ve been judged repeatedly, and often misjudged, but still… Those who are most intent on judging me for my political choices, rail against my ‘moral ineptitude’ all while wasting their own moral choices on non-sequiturs who can’t possibly achieve the goal.

The goal being to turn our nation around without a brutal war…

“Vengeance is mine,” sayeth the Lord, and yet so many believe ‘we’ need to ignite the war ourselves. I’m not buying it…

Blessed are those who mournAs I mourn for the nation that I was born into, I hear many cry out for war against the ills that are befalling us, and yet, there is that promise of being comforted by God. We cry out for God’s blessing, God’s comfort over our land, and even more for His protection. The trouble with those prayers for comfort, blessing, and protection is that we forget what must come first. For those of you who don’t know that there’s work to be done before God will bless our nation, and before he will lift a finger to protect our nation, I’m going to share the reality here —-

Turn from Your Wicked Ways

We are called to humble ourselves before God, seek His face, and pray, turning from our wicked ways, so that he can hear us from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land… folks, I think He means it.

We have to seek His face and pray.

We have to humble ourselves before God.

We have to turn from our wicked ways.

That doesn’t mean we have to have been perfect for a lifetime or that only those who have been Christians for a long time can come before God. It means that all who have sinned must turn away from the wickedness and seek God’s face. It means everyone should be praying.

It means that those who are not praying, are not seeking Him, and are not living for God are going to be set as examples. All may be persecuted, but there will be many who will turn against God, and they will be shown for who they are.

Lord, I pray for those who turn against you, for they once knew better. They once knew you! Lord, I lift them up for they know what they’ve done. I pray they turn their lives back to you and seek your face. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen.

Seek God First


bulldog prayersDennis Bradley shares:

In the first part of Luke chapter 11, Jesus gives us the “model prayer” the Lord’s Prayer as it’s called, in response to the disciple’s request “teach us to pray. “

And then in a powerful parable he proceeds to teach us how to implement our prayers ….. i.e. how to get them answered. What’s the use of praying if we don’t get an answer? Remember, this is God telling us how things work in his kingdom.

Luke 11:5-13 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’ 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Bold, persistent, never give up, are some of the ways we can describe the way Jesus is recommending for us to pray. I personally conclude that Jesus is looking for forceful partners in getting things done. Wimpy little prayers thrown up in passing just won’t cut it.

We must conclude that God is looking for people whose prayer lives are like that- daring, bold, and persistent! What is needed is Bulldog prayers.

So what is it about Bulldogs? Bulldogs were originally bred for baiting bulls – that ‘s how they got the name. Bull baiting was a common blood sport back in the early 13th century. Bulldogs were sent in to grab bulls by the nose and once they grabbed on they wouldn’t turn loose no matter what. The bulldog was sent in and would grasp the fleshy nose of the bull and pin it to the ground. The short muzzle and undershot jaw were necessary to enable a viselike grip. The nose is placed far back on the face to allow the dog to breathe while holding a bull by the fleshy nose. Once they grabbed on they would not turn loose. Their owners had to pry their jaws loose to get them off the bull.

It’s the same thing that happens to football teams that encounter the University of Georgia Bulldogs. They won’t turn loose till they win.

Jesus says…Pray like that!

(Previously shared on Facebook.)


Dennis Bradley is a semi-retired pastor, banjo player, and aspiring chef. Stay tuned for more…

Seek God First

Prayer Garden

Finding flowers in the prayer garden was a nice surprise. I’d been seeking solutions, a way to deal with current issues, and a place to find that needed peace. But I wasn’t expecting the flowers in the garden to bring this kind of peace and rest to my heart.

I needed rest for my heart.

I felt bruised, damaged, and injured by recent events, but I knew the answer would come from prayer.

New in the community, new in the house, and I felt so totally alone. I felt as if I couldn’t deal with one more thing, and every day had been one more disaster.

Until this night.

I sat in the garden, on a small bench left by previous owners, appreciating the flowers sprinkled through overgrown evergreens. I hadn’t even had time to stroll through the garden. I hadn’t known they were there.

But now… I sat quietly appreciating the aroma of pretty flowers, delightful pine scents, and slowly dripping rain.

I felt the rain.

The thought of my mother wiping God’s blessings from her face, as she rested near the window, where she passed a few days later, came to mind. Blessings. God’s blessings came as rain, dripping from scattered clouds in the sky.

I closed my eyes to consider…

missingyouI thought about those moments, remembered the blessings that had been ours during that time, and knew… I would survive these days of struggle, and once again the sun would shine. The sun would shine.

Meanwhile, in these days of learning, I needed to experience the rain.

2 Chronicles 10:6-7
Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

I knew how to lead, and I had a tender heart, but how could I continue to lead, if they did not listen. I leaned back against the tree that grew in the garden, a tree dying from lack of care over the years, but a tree that still offered comfort, and a few leaves sparsely scattered amid the branches. I looked up and realized it also housed a squirrel, and provided perches for birds.

Psalm 16:11
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

There, my path was known, his presence in fullness of joy, and I knew God would provide his pleasures forever to my life. All I had to do was seek Him, and He would provide.

There in the garden, where flowers grew, a tree withered, and shrubs outlined the paths, I learned the secret of life. Seek God.

Seek God First

Patience… Lord?

praying for patienceDid you ever wonder why your patience are tested?

I live in an area where there are small children, and small children scream. A lot. In fact, they scream even when there’s no reason to scream.

That usually isn’t a big deal, unless I’m on the phone, or tired from a long day of working… Then, my patience wear thin rather fast.

I’m not a mom who tolerated screaming a lot. My kids knew when I said, “Shhhh…” it meant they needed to quiet down.

So, recently when I mentioned that I really wasn’t doing well with all the screaming tantrums, my son reminded me, “Don’t pray for patience.”

His mischievous grin deserved to be noted, if not wiped off his face with sandpaper… lol

bible and coffeeYou’d think he’d been listening to my prayers as I prayed for God to expand my territory, bless me with patience, and grace to remember that I was once a young mother too…

You’d think…

God, about that patience… I don’t remember praying for patience, Lord?

But if I was, it was because I already had reason to need them, and needed more patience to get through those moments. Please Lord, I need help with these moments. And Grace to remember that this too will pass.

God bless.

Thank you Veterans!


Enlarge my territory…

Prayer of Jabez

I’m a firm believer in prayer. I know that God answers prayer, and for many years, I prayed the prayer of Jabez, intending that God would expand my territory. And he did. He has consistently enlarged my territory, be it my family, my circle of friends, or the space where I live, I feel the growth and expanse in everything I do.

But there’s more in this prayer that has kept me safe from harm, and free from pain over the same many years.

We all crave God’s blessing on our lives, and often times, we ask him for the blessing, but we forget the rest of that process. If we ASK for his blessing on our lives, we then must SEEK that blessing.

The waiting period between the request and the receipt of the blessing can be a short period of time, or a long time, depending on our perception of time. Or more, dependent on whether we begin immediately to expect and seek that blessing.

Be remarkableMy son arrived in a new community with enough money saved to last for three months, plus his emergency fund. I asked if he’d been looking for a job.  He said, “I’ve sent out a few resumes, but I wasn’t here, so I hadn’t specifically decided what I wanted. Now that I’m here and looking around, I know that what I was looking for before I got here isn’t the kind of job I really want.”

We worked through several days, with him passively posting resumes and details about the kind of job he wanted, while he continued to review different companies, worked a few one-time-shifts, and did several volunteer, or fill-in positions, until he decided which company and how he wanted to go back to work. Finally, he showed up in his dress clothes, ready to seek out the job he had decided he wanted, and said, “I’m going to go get that job this morning. I have my resume printed and in a folder, my lead letter is in there, and I’m ready to go, is there anything I should do?”

I said, “You’ve prayed about it. We’ve all been praying for the right job, and you’ve done your research, if this is it, go Be Amazing.”

He stood up, straightened his shoulders and walked out the door. I expected him back in a few hours, had no doubts he’d have the job when he returned, and didn’t worry about him. I did say a prayer, and sent him off with the knowledge that he could do anything he chose to do with God’s blessing.

He returned several hours later with his girlfriend, and they’d gone to dinner to celebrate his new job. He got the position he wanted at more than the salary he’d asked for, and would be working primarily from his home office, because that’s what he asked for. He prepared for that position, and already had the new computer and required equipment to do the job from home.

I was again reminded, ask, and then seek.

“Let your hand be on me, O Lord, that I be protected from harm, and do not cause you pain…”


Jan Verhoeff – Online marketer, social media guru, and writer.