Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mary's Song

We are all thankful; we have so many blessings in our lives. Even when times are hard, financially, relationally or personally, we all have things to be thankful for. We have gratitude in our heart to God. But sometimes expressing it can be difficult. Let's look at Mary and see and hear her great gratitude and praise that she expressed to God for what she was experiencing and for His plan that was becoming evident in her life.

The following scripture from Luke 1 is a passage that is often overlooked or at least downplayed in many churches. When I was young and in Sunday School, I don't remember this ever really being discussed in our story of Christmas. Nor did I hear this from the pulpit.
Mary was only 13 or 14 years old. How on earth did she come up with this amazing outburst of joy and gratitude? Well, that's the key. Mary herself did not come up with this response. This was a spontaneous outpouring of joy and praise that was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit Himself. God just took little Mary and gave her words that she probably had never thought of before, let alone spoken. And when little Mary opened her mouth to praise God, to thank Him, and show her gratitude, what came out in all it's beauty was a wonderful expression... the "Magnificat", or Mary's Song.

Luke 1:46-55

46. And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord, 47. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48. "For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. 49. "For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. 50. "And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him. 51. "He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered [those who were] proud in the thoughts of their heart. 52. "He has brought down rulers from [their] thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. 53. "He has filled the hungry with good things; And sent away the rich empty-handed. 54. "He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, 55. As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his offspring forever."

I want to talk a little about prayer and praise...and "thanksgiving".

Ephesians 6:18 (New International Version)
18. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Romans 8:26 (New International Version)
26. 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 with groans that words cannot express.

1 Corinthians 14:15 (New International Version)
15.So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.

Philippians 4:4-7 NAS
4. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5. Let your forbearing [spirit] be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Each of these scriptures indicates that there is the element of Holy Spirit inspired prayer.

Quite some time ago,when God was first calling me to a deeper more intimate spiritual walk, I was involved in a prayer ministry at our church. We had a prayer group that met on Wednesday evenings to pray for church matters and people in our congregation. I really enjoyed that time of seeking the Lord for a deeper prayer life. We had a volunteer prayer group for our church that had a goal of 24 hour prayer coverage. This was not just our small group, but church wide. My time schedule for prayer was at 10:00-11:00 on Wednesday evenings. We called it "the wall". (When you have time you might want to read the book of Nehemiah, especially chapter 1, where he prays for his people and then God leads him back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall.)

I had a weekly update on things to pray for, but at that time my being able to stay focused in prayer for an hour was a real struggle. (still hard, who am I kidding?) I would find that I would cover all the list in the first 15 minutes, then be left feeling inadequate and spiritually immature. I had a knowledge that prayer was key in expanding my relationship with My Heavenly Father, I just couldn't get there by myself. I will never forget the night it all changed.

Here I was, once again, trying to do justice in prayer for all the people that were ill, church financial needs and requests, and even going the extra mile to pray for individual ministries at our church. That night I promised God that I would stay there until my time was up. That I would not be a slacker and that I would make every minute count. I glanced at my watch every few minutes, golly, I thought, I CAN do this! Whew, time was almost up. "I'll just finish up by reading a little scripture" I said to my self.

I opened my Bible to Ephesians  and began to read.

Time's almost up, Yeah, I've made it. I've sat still and concentrated on God for a whole 55 minutes. OK only a minute or two to go... down to the finish line... Gee, I have a lot to do for tomorrow, clothes to iron, a kitchen to clean, cats to feed....lots to do God, but hey, I'm still here, see, I'll give you those few extra minutes!

Then, in the last minute...home stretch... I hit Ephesians 4, Okey dokey, times up!!!

But at that very moment I heard a voice in my spirit, just like I had a phone to my spiritual ear. Very clearly The Voice said, "If you will stay with Me one more hour, I will make it worth your while. I will give you your "call".

Well, I stayed for an extra two, and believe me, my life changed. Not only did He speak to me about what He wanted me to do in my life, but He put something in me that energized and made my prayer life new. He instilled His Holy Spirit into my prayer life, and it's never been the same. Now I depend on Him for direction in prayer. I invited the Holy Spirit to take over my prayer time, and with that came new focus, and new depth of understanding and purpose.

Mary became infilled with the Holy Spirit. He directed her prayer. She uttered words and thoughts that were not from her "conscious" mind, but from her spiritual mind. Her heart and mind submitted to God.

Prayer has many components. We'll talk about those at some later time, but just know if you feel unable to articulate your needs; if you are at a loss as how to communicate in prayer to God, just call upon the Holy Spirit to inspire your prayer time and life. He will gladly do that. He will enrich and renew your prayers with His own mind and heart...and you will connect with God in a whole new way. You will be like Mary, you will open your mouth (yes, praise and worship and give thanks verbally, out loud. God just loves that!) and you will sing...sing your own song of joy, worship, praise, and thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful week in preparation for Thanksgiving.
Let God inspire and refresh you.


Healing Scripture:

Deuteronomy 7:13-14

13. "And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you. 14. "You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle. 15. "And the LORD will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you.


  1. Debra,
    I loved this teaching. Just wanted to let you know I am still coming by and reading each new post. I am not very confident when I comment. I went to a book signing tonight. Debbie Macomber was in Grand Rapids, MI and under her signature in both books I had signed she listed 2 Timothy 1:7. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power......If nothing else I will let you know I'm here.

  2. Praying is such a simple thing and yet so hard. I believe God knows our needs even before we do and has already laid a plan to fulfill them, we only have to ask, but there's the hard part. I always feel inadequate when praying like I'm not saying it right. It was just this past year with Bella's birth that I came to understand that even though I feel like I'm just jibbering, He understands and listens. What a peace to know that.

  3. Very beautiful teaching on 'anointed' prayer. I'm thoroughly enjoying these teachings. Thank you.

  4. Debra,
    This was dripping with the "anointing" only HE can give. I think you have been in a Holy place my dear.
    I love Brenda's comment, and it should bring delightful encouragement as there are many others who are possibly not commenting for the same or various reasons. However, they are listening.
    Lord, bring who ever has ears to hear and then cause these seeds to sprout in all of our hearts.
    Bless Debra for sharing!

  5. I had a hard night last night emotionaly wiped & I didn't know why ...then I realized-5 out of the last 6 Sundays I have been serving in our children's ministries during our services-I have to miss adult Sunday School because my hubby & I lead a college group during that time. Wednesday nights I teach the 1 & 2nd grade boys & miss the House of Prayer. I do attend a great weekly Bible study but I am also raising 3 little ones & all of a sudden I felt drained! I needed to be filled up! So this morning I made it a point to get over here & fill up! Thanks for making it so easy! Kids screaming :) Gotta run!

  6. First of all, and I have said this before, I would do this even if no one read it, because this Bible Study is something God has asked me to do. It is what I need to hear. God teaches and speaks to me through this time of sitting at His feet (even though it is at a computer).
    But when I hear from you all, when you leave a comment or even just to say, I'm here, it is such a tremendous blessing. Your comments and insights motivate me and cause me to spend more time in the Word. You all encourage me to be listening and studying harder. These posts that God writes through my hands and heart are not always what I think they will be. God is a master at opening a new door of thought or direction. He blesses me each time I sit down here to write.
    So I will say again. Do not be afraid to comment. Do not hold back. Jump in with both feet! Each of you is important and has a contribution to make.
    Libbie, what a busy life you lead!. Just having your children is a full time job, but then you do so much for others. I know when we were younger we were in charge of the children's Sunday School. I loved teaching the little ones and it was such a joy to see their sweet little faces, but because of that we could not attend regular worship. Soon I found myself worn out with it. I needed that weekly fill up and I wasn't receiving it. Thank you Libbie, for finding a spot here with us. We are so glad you are here!
    Debbie, Bella has made such an impact on so many of us! You have blessed us with your journey with her little, precious, life. You were a continual witness for God on his miracles and hand in all of it. I love you and look up to you. I want to meet you some day and just grab you and not let go!
    Brenda, soon I will tell what happened to me once, that caused me to be the most "timid" person in the world. You will be surprised! I love hearing from you. (God has a plan for you that is coming. He needs you for a specific purpose.)
    Lee, you are one of the most godly, sincere and anointed women I "know". Your LIFE is an anointing! I need your input.
    AND Deb, another sister in the name, I am so enjoying reading your blog and getting to know you. Thank you for coming over here and participating. We can all "glean" from each other!
    Big hugs and blessings to all of you. I feel like we are a sisterhood, thank you!

  7. Beautiful post. And so sorely needed. Coming into agreement with each of you, pray that everyone that reads this post would sense the stirring and leading of the Holy Spirit to prayer. Such a sweet fragrance of Christ on this blog. I know already I will be visiting as often as I can.
    Blessings, GG

  8. Oh Miss Debra- I just read this study this morning. I was out of town yesterday.

    My prayers sometimes fee like they only 'hit the ceiling' at times- not because God isn't listening, but because of all of the distrations I have brought with me.

    This description of prayer would be such a blessing.

    Thank you Debra,

  9. Sister, you honor me. Please, please, please don't ever let go of me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and being.

  10. I really enjoyed reading this post...Something I needed to read and learn.
    I am soon off to read more,I first will sign into follow, and commit to this bible study.
    I think the Lord has been trying to impress upon me the importance of words,I have known this to a certain degree...but I feel He's drawing me closer to Him...perhaps in prayer as you have posted about. I feel greatly impressed to continue with this one line study...good idea!

  11. Good Morning Debra
    I am sitting in the shop this Sunday morning feeling a little overwhelmed with Christmas or should I say merchandising...Such a busy time with events and having so much to do with so little time to do it - my prayer time has been the half hour ride to the shop each morning but quite distracted with inconsiderate drivers, some days it is just praying about my driving! You have challenged me to set an appointment with the Lord like I would with anything important in my life... I too taught Sunday school when the kids were younger and met with prayer groups and at that time my calling was to be a prayer warrior but times have changed and I am not in fellowship with anyone at the moment...this time with you is heaven sent, thank you for listening to what the Lord is saying.
    Blessings this beautiful Sunday morning...

  12. Hi Rebecca, The thing that struck me about what you spoke about is that God calls us, sometimes with a specific "call". I like you, was called to prayer, and still find it the most precious thing I can do, to pray for others. But it's so strange, how you will be immersed in the "call" and then circumstances for some unknown reason will change. Then we find ourselves doing something different. I know at times I really questioned God about where I have "been" in the last few years. I sought Him for direction and felt like somehow I had gotten off track. I knew when He removed me from the last church and Bible Study and told me to go do the "antiques thing" that my prayer life and study time would dwindle, yet He pushed me in that direction. Sometimes I felt like He was "pushing me away" from His work. Yet we found people that I would never have met and we witnessed for the Lord in a whole new arena. I have learned that "being in church" is not the only way God works and accomplishes His will. There are seasons in our life, and I held on kicking and screaming to that season, but it changed. And now He is moving me into another season of ministry, through this particular Bible Study Blog.
    Thank you for being a part of this. I know God has a plan here. Tomorrow, I'm going to share a few things that I'm feeling that are on the horizon. Have a wonderful Sunday, Rebecca.

  13. GG, Laura, and Gracie, Hi Girls, I'm sorry I didn't get back to comment until now. Please know that you ALL are so important to me, and to God. The days that I do not post, I spend time with God finding my place with Him. Studying and in prayer. I'm hoping to post more frequently, that's my goal. Just knowing that you are out there is so important. As I said to Rebecca, I think(?)I'm going to share a few things tomorrow that God has been showing me. Stay tuned, some "lights are coming on"!

  14. Deb, *sigh*...what a blessing. I can't even type what is running through my head right now...but suffice to say, your post, the comments have tugged at my heart. For now, I will just say thank you, and I will be back.

  15. I can relate to running out of things to say in my prayer time. Nowadays, my quiet time with the Lord far outlasts my time of speaking. How I love the intimacy with Him!


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