Keeping Our Focus When Feeling Weary

Imagine having this conversation between yourself and a coworker:

Coworker: “I have been thinking about becoming a Christian. I already believe in God and know that Jesus died so we can be saved from our sins. But I heard that it’s tough being a Christian and that you have to suffer. My life is already hard. I really don’t think that I could take any more problems on top of the ones I have.”

You:_______________________________________

What would you say? Would you give an opinion, or would you be able to provide scriptures from the Bible and a real-life explanation about the help that we have from our spiritual team, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Many scriptures contain God’s promises to help us through our daily challenges. I will share a few of my favorite ones that are easy for a new believer to understand:

    1. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart (have courage), because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
    2. Never stop praying! 1 Thessalonians 5:17
    3. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
    4. And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
    5. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33

I admit that my biggest problem is spiritual attention deficit. I know God’s promises, but when those severe trials and sorrows come and stay for a while, I begin to lose focus on God and start to stare at my challenges. It takes much prayer, opening my Bible, and continually reminding myself that I am not faithful to God by focusing on the trials that He is allowing me to go through.

Still, I am a work-in-progress. It’s not that I don’t turn to God, my timing is off. When I recognize the first sign of discouragment, that is when I should start praying. Today, I did good. When I felt myself hit that low point, I began an immediate prayer, “God, I need your help. Please send the Holy Spirit to help me now. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.” Did our Heavenly Father answer my prayer? 

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:24. By the time, I said, “Amen,” I felt like someone had given me a big hug. The Holy Spirit, prompted me to read my evening devotional right then. It was on feeling weary. As soon as I saw the title, I thanked and praised God. Our God is awesome!

Human Effort + Divine Intervention = Victory!

Bible Study: Galatians 6

God, you are aware that we quickly become weak when we need to persevere through our trials. Please help us to keep our focus on you by increasing the time that we spend worshipping you. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission. 

Pass or Fail

When I entered the RN program, we had to accept a different set of rules to pass each course successfully. The requirements for eligibility to take the NCLEX and get a license/registration are determined by the nursing regulatory body (NRB). The school did not have any leeway in the program’s structure, except for setting the minimum passing grade, which was 83%. 

One of the first things we learned is that all of our exam questions would resemble the NCLEX licensure exam questions. Twenty-one of the twenty-five multiple-choice, pass or fail questions required correct answers to pass the exam. Achieving 83% even with the opportunity to take one repeat exam was an impossible goal for many student nurses. At the beginning of the second semester, failure to achieve the passing grade reduced the number of nursing students by 50%.

We had a discussion to develop an action plan to form study teams and study partners at the beginning of the third semester to save our students. But the pass or fail criteria proved to be too much, and at the onset of the fourth semester, the remaining nursing students totaled 7.

Although our hearts were heavy, we persevered and the remaining seven graduated from the strenuous pass or fail nursing program that shaped us to serve those who suffered from physical, mental, and emotional illnesses. Our spiritual journey with God also shapes us to receive the heavenly reward of eternal life.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus told us we would suffer! Still, He says that we should have inner joy because He suffered and has overcome every trial and tribulation above and beyond what we could possibly experience. Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Romans 5:3. If we believe in God, our Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, why are we burdened down when troubles come our way?

We embrace the “feel good” sermons, which have trended for a long time. Because we want to hear the spoken Word and not study the Bible, we listen to pastors and ministers who tell us, “just keep a positive attitude, and everything will work out.” When the trials and sorrows last longer than we expected, we experience anxiety, depression, worries, and thoughts of suicide. 

Serving God is Pass or Fail

Using the Bible, the Word of God, we are going to identify the mindset that Believers in the Most-High God should possess:

      1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

versus

Positive thinking, or an optimistic attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation.

2. In his kindness, God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11

versus

“When things fall into place, they happen in a satisfactory way, without problems: If you plan the project well, then everything should fall into place.”

Pass or Fail

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6 NIV 

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6 NLT

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

When we surrender and commit to serving God, we must diligently study the Bible. The scriptures were given under the inspiration of God. Without spiritual knowledge, we cannot possibly know who God is, nor can we experience His miraculous power. God was aware that we would be drawn to hear sermons but not to read His Holy Word.  But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22

When I was a nursing student, we received the course outline one week before the beginning of each semester. The expectation was that we would study the chapter assignment before the lecture. Many misunderstood the purpose of the professor’s role in our learning experience. It was for review and clarification of knowledge that you possessed because you studied before the class.

Love, faith, trust, obedience, and patiently waiting for God to bring us through our trials enable us to experience spiritual growth. We must put our confidence in God! There is no room for self-reliance and unbelief in our spiritual journey. When we suffer from anxiety, depression, and worries, we know that we are not striving to reach our heavenly reward of eternal life. 

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. Philippians 3:13-16

Our determination to serve God faithfully includes asking the Holy Spirit to reveal who God is as we study the Bible. Every decision determines whether we will pass or fail. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Bible Study: James 1

God, we are tired of failing. We ask forgiveness for not studying your Word and then expecting to have spiritual growth. Please fill us with your Holy Spirit and reveal the meaning of every scripture that we study so we will strive to win the race and receive our heavenly reward. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission. 

Perception, Purpose, Power, and Peace

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14

The year 2020 deflated the motivation and zeal that many individuals have always possessed. But they let themselves get distracted by the civil unrest, political strife, and deadly disease that has caused the death of human beings at an unprecedented rate. Now that humanity faces a variant of the original COVID-19, we face a pathogen that our rapid response vaccine may be powerless over. Even so, we must come to our senses and recognize the power of God. He still extends grace and mercy, or else we would not be alive. Yet, many feel even more discouraged because they desire that God destroys the COVID-19 organisms to resume their everyday lifestyles.

This is the message that God conveys to us in 2021:

6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
7 Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
9 “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9 NLT

Thankfully, God knows the future. We are instructed to present our requests to Him through prayer. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6. And most of us are obedient as we excitedly tell God our lists of desires. But, deep down inside, we are praying, “God, please give me what I am asking you for.” Our desires often stand in the way of accepting God’s answers to our requests, which are: “yes, no, or wait, I have a better plan.”

For this prayer, I received a response of “yes” in December 2020.

I want to share my miracle of healing that happened when I was in the hospital on December 7th-8th. On Sunday, 12/7, I was admitted to the Short Stay Cardiac unit for chest pain. I had a team of three Cardiologists come in to see me on Monday morning. Based on my diagnostic test results in May of 2019, which diagnosed a blockage in the lower left side, they wanted to perform a surgical procedure on Tuesday, 12/9. I refused and told them that I wanted a current non-surgical diagnostic test first, and based on the results, if I had to have the surgical procedure, I would agree to it.

The Doctors told me that it was a waste of time because there was no way that the blockage that showed in my heart in 2019 would not have progressed and worsened. Since 2019, I prayed for control over my appetite, and to lose the desire for junk food. Additional changes included eating a plant-based diet and incorporating exercise into my lifestyle. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. 1 Peter 1:14

Before the test and during the test, I prayed and asked God for healing, and to show His miraculous power to this team of unbelieving Philistines.

Two hours later, three Cardiologists were shocked and surprised that the test results showed no blockage, and I was discharged immediately from the hospital on Monday evening.

I am still praising God. Even before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24. God is still working miracles for His honor and His glory. Amen. Sonya RN

Currently, I have presented another petition to God, and have been told “no” twice. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5. Now, I must obey and: Wait patiently for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait patiently for the LORD! Psalm 27:14

God, we place our lives in your hands. You have promised to take care of us, and we ask forgiveness for our disobedience, and unbelief. Help us to realize that your plans are above and beyond what we can do for ourselves. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Happy Sabbath! The God of Peace–Jehovah Shalom

And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness, and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Isaiah 32:17-18 ESV

Because of our sinful nature, we easily gravitate toward and exist in chaos and confusion. Our lives are full of anxieties and worries, which leave us stressed out and overwhelmed. The peace that God promises to all believers escapes us because we tolerate the source of disorder–we are the reason for the chaos in our lives.

Disorder and dissension among believers have always existed. Hence, one of the reasons that the Apostle Paul addressed his letter to the Christian Church in Philippi.

2 Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life. Philippians 4:2-3 NLT.

Chaos defeats God’s purpose for our lives, which is to enjoy His peace. Without peace, we are unable to witness and spread the message of salvation to others. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Serving God guarantees us that we will have peace. The challenge: If you lack peace, then you must acknowledge that you are the root of the problem. You may say, “No way, am I the problem. It’s my circumstances, my job, family members, etc.” Even so, God says that you are the reason that you do not have peace.  

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13

Now we will explore the reason that we are the source of not having God’s peace. The third person of the Trinity Godhead, the Holy Spirit, is not a part of our existence. Because many do not understand the purpose and power of the Holy Spirit, they never pray and ask to be filled, guided, or comforted by the Holy Spirit. There are some concepts that God expects us to accept and believe without further explanation. We believe because He says so. After all, He is God.

Again the apostle Paul tells us that we receive the Fruit of the Spirit when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

Long-suffering: having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.

If we, pray daily for the Holy Spirit to be an active part of our lives, then we will possess the Fruit of the Spirit, which includes the fruit of long-suffering. Let’s recall our denial: You may say, “No way, am I the problem. It’s my circumstances, my job, family members, etc.” 

So when we become annoyed, upset, unsettled, disturbed, troubled, anxious, and angry, God tells us: No Holy Spirit=No Fruit of the Spirit! Now we must humble ourselves, acknowledge, confess, and repent to God that we are the root of the problem.

God, we confess, repent, and ask forgiveness for the strife that we have caused in our lives. We ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can truly enjoy the peace that comes from serving you, the Lord of Peace. Please provide us with the strength to overcome all distractions and challenge chaos and confusion with prayer, praise, and long-suffering. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen!

Happy Sabbath! Live as victorious overcomers every day through the power of the Holy Spirit!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission. 

Making Tough Decisions

At the age of 40, I was one of two applicants accepted for the RN nursing program in Upstate New York. I knew that God intervened because I had applied to several nursing programs in New Jersey that replied with provisional acceptance based on a one-two year waiting list. I received my acceptance letter from the Upstate program within two weeks of sending my application. While reading the terms, I was surprised that the starting date only gave me ten weeks to relocate. How would I accomplish this impossible task? The questions of doubt and disbelief flooded my mind. Was this really a blessing from God?

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:6

Knowing that I had a significant decision to make, I was wavering between excitement and fear. The problem was: At the time, I was involved in a beautiful relationship full of love, nurturing, and happiness. Please believe that my significant other did not share my joy when I explained that I was moving four hours away to pursue my educational goal. He extended the offer to move in with him without the pressure of having any financial responsibilities. Then I could attend a program in New York City as a full-time student. My mind was confused. I had a decision to make, which path would I take?

The Spiritual Dilemma

During this romantic involvement, I was not obedient to the will of God, but I had boundaries, “I did not believe in living together.” Since the age of 15, I worked and provided for myself. During our relationship, I never asked for money. Although we were deeply in love, I always knew that we were unequally yoked. Not because of the lack of respect, love, or his generous spirit, he did not believe in marriage or worshiping God.

According to the world’s standards, he was a good man who worked hard and was financially savvy. He owned a beautiful condo and possessed financial wealth, but God was never as much as an after-thought. I was only told his story from the rise from rags-to-riches one time. Because he gave himself full credit for his accumulation of wealth due to his rational and logical financial strategies, I was unable to mention God to maintain a peaceful existence. 

Yes, I was living the life that many have only dreamed of, but I was caught in the web of compromise. Would I be willing to give up the lifestyle of the rich but not famous? Perplexed by this dilemma, like the prodigal son, “I came to my senses.” Even in my fallen, prodigal stage, there was still a God in heaven that I believed in, and that belief brought me to my knees.

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,” says the LORD, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 AMP

God revealed his answer by allowing a smooth transition from being gainfully employed in New Jersey to relocating to Upstate New York and living in my apartment as an unemployed student nurse. God provided scholarships and grants to provide for me financially. Upon graduation, I was hired as one of the first graduate nurses in a pilot program to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I obeyed and followed God’s plan, completed the nursing program, and worked as a Registered Nurse for many years.

Twenty-two years have passed since I was faced with the choice of obeying God’s plan or following selfish desires. When we commit to serve God, we also commit to total obedience. Without love, faith, and trust in God, we fall back to our previous habits of self-reliance. Have you noticed that trials and tribulations regularly test us? God is not trying to destroy us. He desires that we stop making mistakes by trusting in our abilities. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:14

Facing dilemmas may never end. Even so, life with God provides the blessings of peace despite our circumstances. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5. Ask yourself, “how do you view God?” Can you put aside your doubt and fears, pray, and wait for God’s divine intervention to resolve your circumstances? Reflect on the impossible situations that you have faced. You did all that you could do, yet, nothing worked out. When you least expected it, God rained down blessings, unleashed His mighty power, and you received a miracle. 

The Amplified Bible: Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

I share this testimony because someone is facing a dilemma. You believe in God, but your mind is wavering between conflicting thoughts and actions. Pray and believe: Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

Pray and confess:

I need God’s peace to transform the way I view my current situation.

I need God’s peace to remind me that God is always in control.

I need God’s peace to guard my mind against anxious thoughts. 

God, we thank you for being our Jehovah-Jireh (provider). We ask for your Divine Intervention in our lives and the peace that only you can provide. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is the task of identifying what is no longer needed or desired. Many of us are committed to get rid of the old things in anticipation of replacing them with something new. Yes, we are meticulous with discarding unwanted tangible items, but what about our undesirable character traits?

One of my favorite quotes is by Lao Tzu: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

Because of the negative impact that sin brings to humanity, there are a couple of things that we are involved in a battle with: Self-governance and Self-control. No one wants to admit that they have these ongoing issues, including me. In case you think that is simply not true, have you ever driven over the speed-limit or wished the pedestrian caught in the middle of the walkway when the light changed would hurry up? What about your emotions? Did you ever take out your frustrations on an innocent victim? What about the bitter fruits spoken in anger against those that you love? Did you change the story so that you appeared to be the victim instead of the instigator?

God was fully aware that we would be drawn to lawlessness and lack of self-control. Historically, we may have learned in academic settings how and when the various governments were established. Still, the scripture tells us that God established laws before the creation of humanity. Romans 13:1-2 says: “Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.”

The exception of obeying our government’s laws is when they conflict with God’s law, precepts, and commands. As believers, we can agree that God, our Creator made human beings and that He has given us the ability to reproduce children. He also commands us that since He created human life that we do not have the right to take another person’s life or our own life. The fifth commandment: Thou shalt not kill (You must not murder, NLT). Exodus 20:13. Just because the current law allows us to have abortions, the government’s law is in direct conflict with God’s law.

We are unable to rationalize or justify obedience vs. disobedience according to our thought processes. Jesus Christ tells us, “If you love me, obey my commandments. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” John 14:15, 21

The fruit of self-control requires that we apply structure and discipline to every area of our lives. So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Did you notice that God specifically addressed appetite as one of the most significant areas where we lack self-control? We are so out of control with our desires that the FDA has approved genetically reproduced animals to meet supply and demand. Without self-control of what and when we eat and drink, it is impossible to obey God.

God never said that it would be easy to obey Him. First and foremost, we must love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind to possess the desire to be obedient.

Spring Cleaning

Human Effort: Now, the easy part: We commit, confess, repent, and pray to have the Holy Spirit in our lives every day. Studying the Bible provides us with God’s standards and expectations. But, here’s the challenge: And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6. God has provided us with a seed of faith. Even so, believing, trusting, and seeking Him through diligent studying, and consistent praying is the only way for our faith to develop and grow, and for us to get rid of the old life.

Divine Intervention: Instruction and Guidance

    1. “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? 37, Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:36-39
    2. 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:16, 22-23
    3. “Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to the things of old.” Isaiah 43:18

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17. Accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior initiated the spiritual transformation, and then it is our responsibility to obey by performing a spiritual spring cleaning every day. 

How can we spring clean every day? We use the Bible as our spiritual mirror and humbly admit through the prayer of confession and repentance that we have kept some words, thoughts, and behaviors from our old life. Next, we make a conscious effort to stop, pray for strength, and hold back the bitter words and ungodly behaviors. Yes, we will struggle to change as God cleans us through tests and trials. But remember that we are not alone: I can (and will) do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13. Hallelujah! We will have the Victory!

God, give us a clean heart that we may serve you with all of our heart, soul, and mind. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

How Well Do You Know Him?

From 1966-1974, there was a game show called The Newlywed Game that featured four couples who had been married less than a year, competing against each other. The husbands guessed how the wives would answer, then the wives came back and answered the same questions, and couples got points for matches. Then the husbands got sent out and the process repeated. The couple with the most points won some sort of domestic “newlywed” prize, like a dishwasher. https://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/newlywed-game

How well do you know God? As long as we are willing to stay connected to God, and do our part (Human Effort) spiritual growth never stops. Divine InterventionBecause of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

Currently, I am participating in an online “10-days of Prayer” spiritual revival. Today’s message is entitled “Praying God’s Promises,” and states that we have to know God’s promises for us to build our faith and relationship with him. After the completion of reading the message, I asked myself three questions:

    1. What is your purpose for serving God?.
    2. How well do you know God?.
    3. Can I name five of God’s promises, and how am I applying these promises to my life?

Immediately, I realized that I would not be able to accomplish this spiritual undertaking on my own. I begin to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal an action plan for my life. The first step was to identify the promises that I would incorporate into my life through prayer every day. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is an up-close and personal one, so the promises that each of us choose to hold on to and include in our lives will differ. Even so, there is one exception, all who desire to learn who God is, and live a faith-based life must pray for the Holy Spirit to be a part of their spiritual journey.

Since last Friday, I have been praying to be filled, guided, and comforted by the Holy Spirit throughout the day and night. Have there been any changes? Yes, my outlook has changed. I have the reassurance that God has heard my prayers of thanksgiving and the desire to grow closer to Him. Doubt and defeat have been replaced with an increase in faith. I am confident that God is working out every situation in my life.

I am sharing my list of promises:

  1. Praying for the Holy Spirit

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever–He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him because he lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:16-17

2. Recognizing that God has no limitations

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

3. Acknowledging that only God can provide emotional healing

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

4. Refusing to let circumstances steal my inner joy and peace

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

5. Faithfully and patiently depending on my Heavenly Father to provide help 

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3

6. Trading selfish desires for God’s plans by seeking Him before making decisions

For I know the thoughts (plans) that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

7. Staying aware of the reward of Eternal life for the righteous

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12-13

Because of the natural tendency to get distracted by this journey’s cares and burdens, I made a hard copy of God’s promises. Whenever I need a reminder that my faith is wavering, I read and include His promises in my prayers any time of the day or night. I want to have a relationship with God as never before and pray to have love, unwavering faith, trust, and obedience. God loves us so much. I extend the invitation to make the necessary changes in your routine and get to know God as never before.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving us the greatest gift that we will ever receive, and thank you for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen!

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Prayer for Protection

King David was surrounded by enemies throughout his reign. The book of Psalms is filled with prayers of protection. It is time for the Believers of the Most-High God to pray as David did for the protection of our country, for the protection of our families, and for ourselves.

6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies.
8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.[a]
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity.
Listen to their boasting!
11 They track me down and surround me,
watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
like young lions hiding in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord!
Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
destroy those who look to this world for their reward. Psalm 17:6-14 NLT

God, we pray for your Divine Intervention against our greatest enemy, Satan who has planted evil in the minds of men and women to have armed rallies from January 16-20th at every Capital building in the United States. You promised to be a shield for all who look to you for protection. This is your world that you created for us to live in. Therefore, it is in faith that we pray this prayer, and we claim the victory in your Holy Name. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.