8 tips for spiritual growth

Spiritual growth for the Christian is the process by which they become more and more like Jesus
Christ. The fundamentals that foster growth is regular church attendance, bible reading, discipleship, prayer, and serving the Lord. Those are things that should be non-negotiable in your life because they are essential to intimacy with Christ, as well as growth in Christ-likeness. Along with those basic spiritual disciplines, I have 8 tips for spiritual growth.

But first, how do we know if we have grown in godliness?

This blog post was written by Annie McGuire. Annie is the writer behind the blog Daily His Disciple, where she encourages women to walk in the wisdom of God’s word daily. As a Bible teacher, ministry leader, and writer, Annie equips women to know, live, and invest in the word of God. You can connect with Annie on her website, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Marks of Spiritual Maturity

There are several ways to identify a mature Christian. If you are a new believer, these are the qualities you want to possess. They are attributes of a godly woman that you should also look for in a spiritual mentor.

No one is perfect, of course, but a woman who teaches other women needs character and conduct that proves her devotion to Christ.

This means she:

 

How to measure your own spiritual maturity

“spiritual maturity is not reached by the passing of years, but by obedience to the will of God.”  

Oswald Chambers

In other words, it doesn’t matter how long you have been saved, if you don’t obey God’s will, then you are not going to grow into a spiritually mature Christian.

The will of God is found in scripture as salvation, sanctification, sharing the gospel, and service.

It’s tempting to measure our level of spiritual maturity by comparing ourselves with other believers. Or to look at all of our good works, ministry involvement, the title we have, or the position we hold. But a proper gauge for spiritual growth is to look inwardly at your heart and mind.

You can also tell if you have grown in godliness by examining your relationships and responses
to the issues of life.

Check your levels of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Have you made progress in those areas?

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More questions for some self-examination


 Have you grown in godliness?

 Is there evidence of the Spirit leading your life?
 Are you more discerning and wise than you were a year or two ago?
 Do you pray more than you worry?
 Are you a sober-minded woman, or still ruled by your emotions?
 Do you seek reconciliation in fractured relationships, or let them crumble?
 Is repentance your go-to when confronted about your sin? Or do you blame others, or
sweep it under the rug, and cover and justify it?

Basically, see if you are more like Jesus now than you were before.

8 tips for spiritual growth

1. Abide in Christ

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5


These verses encourage us to abide in Christ. Stay close to Jesus, connected through prayer, and bible reading, with a clean heart. Flee sin and follow Jesus.

2. Renew your mind with the word of God

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

You can be at church every time the doors are open, serve in all the events, teach all the Sunday School classes, be a prayer warrior, and share the gospel every day. But, you also need to read The Bible for yourself on a regular basis.

The word of God is foundational to your life as a Christian. Without it, your carnal mind and heart won’t be changed, so you won’t have victory over habitual sin.

Your relationship with Jesus will be distant and you’ll be more likely to struggle with doubt, discouragement, and depression because you will be an easy target for the enemy to knock down.
 

3. Put away childish things

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

1 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV –

Put away childish things like pride, self-focus, harboring hurts, withholding forgiveness, refusing to repent, stubbornness and rebellion. Ask the Lord for help with letting go of the old ways and the grace to learn His ways.
 

4. Speak the truth in love

but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

Ephesians 4:15 NKJV –

Speak the truth in love, and listen to those who do the same for you.

The context of this verse is the structure of the local church, and the need for the body of Christ to work together for spiritual growth. God gave all believers spiritual gifts to edify, encourage, educate, and equip each other to do the work of the ministry of reconciliation that we have been entrusted with.
 

5. Obey God’s word

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV –


Obey God’s word. It is inspired by a loving God and it is good for you. Allow the scriptures to sink into your heart and convict, cleanse, correct, and change you.

6. Look to the word as your sustenance

as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

1Peter 2:2 NKJV –  

Look at the Bible as your sustenance, instead of feasting on social media or other entertainment. Crave the word more than what this world offers.

If you don’t have a desire to read the bible, then pray for it. But read it anyway, because it is the living, breathing word of the God of all creation, and it is what transforms you.

7. Be diligent to tend to your spiritual growth

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control [a]perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

2 Peter 1:5-7 NKJV –


Be diligent to tend to your spiritual growth, and intentional about investing in it. Do bible studies, get disciplined, and listen to sermons online in addition to your church service.

Spiritual growth takes effort. Put the word in and then work it out in your life. Be a doer of the word and not just a hearer only!
 

8. Seek the Lord

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:18 KJV –

Seek the Lord. Learn from Him, lean on Him, and love Him.

The more time you spend with Jesus, the more you will be like Him. Focus on living a life that glorifies God, because He is worth it!

Prayer for spiritual growth

As with anything in life, if you want spiritual growth, then you need to pray for it! That prayer
could go something like this:

Father in Heaven, thank you for providing me with all I need for life and godliness. You are so good. I pray, Lord, that you would increase my faith, grow my character, and mature me in ministry. Mold me into the image of Christ. Sand down my rough edges. Give me more love for the lost and boldness to proclaim your truth. Grow my knowledge of you, Lord. Reveal yourself to me and help me to rest in you and not resist you. Remove any rebellion in my heart. Multiply my wisdom and willingness to live for you and your glory. I love you, Lord, and I ask these things in the precious and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Share these tips for spiritual growth

Some say that we only keep about 10% of what we read, but keep nearly 90% of what we learn by teaching others. So if you want to remember what you’ve learned from this article, share these tips for spiritual growth with someone else.  

It is the work of the Spirit of God in combination with the believer’s obedience to the word of
God brings about spiritual growth. God shows the way to mature in Christ. We just have to choose to take His hand in ours and walk with Him.

Do you need more help?

Do you want a closer relationship with God but aren’t sure where to start? Join me at this FREE webinar as I walk you through 4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord. 

I’ll tell you:

The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

✅How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God

✅ How to discern the best way for you to connect with God

And more!

This webinar is focused on YOU, and how you can apply these experiences and ideas towards your walk with God today, in real-time, in order to revive it and strengthen it.

Join me, Anne Markey of One Determined life for this webinar called 4 Simple Steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord. 

There is just one webinar, but multiple times/dates to choose from so that you can find a time that works for you. 

And don’t worry, if you can’t find a time that works, sign up anyway and catch the replay. 

The best part? It’s totally free! 

Stop feeling stuck in your faith and take the first step to a thriving relationship with the Lord.

Click here to register for the webinar today!

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What is spiritual growth, and why it’s so important?

As a mom, one of my jobs is to make sure my children are reaching specific milestones. When they don’t reach them, it’s a sign there might be something wrong, and it’s time to investigate the cause. Just like children, as Christians, we should grow in our faith. Continue to read and discover what is spiritual growth and why it’s so important.

Dr. Ifeoma Sumuel wrote today’s post. She is a Christian speaker and writer. She has a passion to help women get into the Word and have a consistent in your quiet time. She provides women and children with Bible Study resources including books, courses, and study books. You can find her on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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What is spiritual growth, and why it’s important?

Our son tapped on my door and said “mummy I’ve got a testimony”. I prayed my heart out the night before. I felt myself being drawn back to the habit I overcame. God heard and answered that call. I see tangible changes.

You see the crux of the matter is, unlike other times I was leading and praying for and along with him. Now, he has taken the lead in praying over his life and challenges.

A while ago he was a babe, now he is the child who knows how to dial heaven and talk to our heavenly Father. That is growth!

My mom heart leaped for joy. That’s my earnest desire that my children have a consistent and growing relationship with God.

We often think growth is when we take large, giant steps. In reality, growth happens in the buds and spurts. In fact, deep growth is slow and many times we don’t notice we are growing until life tests our strength.

What is spiritual growth? Growing spiritually is walking consistently and sincerely with the Lord, growing in our knowledge of Him.

Are you taking notes of places you have grown?

My son’s experience forced me to remember prayers answered that I didn’t realize. We are not called to a stagnant faith.

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God wants us to grow in our faith

Life is going to test us. Flip through the chapters of the Bible we see men and women of faith some thrown into the lion’s den, some in the furnace of fire, into a strange land, others into barrenness, painful losses etc. in all these faithful came out with their testimonies.

It takes men and women who know their God to achieve such a feat, hence the need for spiritual growth.

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 

1 Peter 2: 1-3 NIV

I underlined the keywords in these verses. Take a minute to ponder on the meaning of these words. Can you connect them to your own life?

5 things spiritual growth entails

We all know what it takes to grow physically. If we want to build muscle, we must eat more protein and lift some weights. I’m sure there is more to it, but that’s the basis of every muscle-building program.

Just like there are certain things we can do to grow our physical muscles, there are 5 things that spiritual growth entails.

1. Pruning out the “weeds”

I grow a small garden behind our house. I pull out weeds that are overgrown. This process is necessary for the crops to grow well. 

Just like growing plants need pruning, so do we. Growing spiritually requires we do some pruning.

Pruning involves looking at every aspect of our lives: relationships, habits, choices, lifestyle, thoughts, and more. It requires us to take out the things that are causing us to stumble, or things The Lord isn’t calling us to do.

Pruning starts with our hearts. Notice, malice, guile, hypocrisies, envy, and speaking evil are all products of our thought life.

It is difficult to let go of old habits. As the Word works in our hearts, it transforms us. When people look for the old you, it gave way to the new creature.

You are not the same anymore. That is the power of the Word.

As we grow, through prayers and word, the Holy Spirit works to rid our hearts of beliefs and obstacles contrary to the Gospel.

Ponder
  • What is God stirring your heart to root out?
  • What is the heaviest weight of sin you carry?

Examine your heart today. There are attitudes and lifestyles that hinder us from enjoying growth. Until we rid and purge ourselves of these, spiritual life may remain stagnated.

2. The desire for milk ­

Have you ever longed for something so hard that when you got it, it was really worth the wait?

Growing spiritually requires that we desire the pure milk of the Word.

What our heart desires is what we attract to our lives.

When our heart treasures the Word, we grow in leaps.

Like a suckling babe, who depends on the mother’s milk for survival, our life depends on God’s Word – not half-cooked or pre-chewed Word as we have today. It takes us working out our salvation with fear of God in our hearts (Philippians 2:12).

3. Humility

It takes humility to take in God’s Word. As the word convicts our hearts, it exposes our weaknesses, sin, and troubled areas.

More beautifully, the Word gives us the help we need. God can only work through the humbleness of our hearts (James 4:10).

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

James 4:10

The Word is pure, undiluted, and untainted (Proverbs 30:5). It will find us in the hard places of our lives. It will cause us to go on our knees and pray. The transforming power of God humbles us.

Ponder
  • Do you long for growth?

4. Spiritual growth is a consistent walk 

Growth requires diligence and a consistent walk with God.

When we commit to growing we move up the ladder of faith (2 Peter 1:4-10). It is building one brick of virtue over another. Every walk draws us deeper and closer into communion with our Heavenly Father.

by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

2 Peter 1:4-10

Growth happens when we invest our time in His presence. 2 Peter 3:18

5. The goodness of God

Growth is about the goodness of God.

As we partake of His goodness, we crave for more of Him, we long for more of His presence.

God’s love draws us closer. It keeps us coming back. We know we can’t wander away from His presence (Psalm 34:8).

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Psalm 34:8

What happens when we fail to grow spiritually?

Imagine going up the rungs of the ladder. Every virtue listed in 1 Peter 1:5-7 is evidence we should move up in the faith. Like a baby, in a few months, we learn to crawl, and then stand, we walk, and soon begin to run.

Prayer Prompt
  • Pray for a heart that longs for Him
  • Pray for God’s grace as you move up the rungs of the ladder of faith
  • Pray for God to help you have a consistent fellowship with Him

Do you want to learn more?

Do you want a closer relationship with God but aren’t sure where to start? Join me as I walk you through 4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord. Register for the webinar today!

What you will learn:

✓ The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

✓ How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God

✓ How to discern the best way for you to connect with God

✓ And more! Register now!

This webinar is focused on YOU, and how you can apply these experiences and ideas towards your walk with God today, in real-time, in order to revive it, and strengthen it.

Join me, Anne Markey of One Determined life for this webinar called 4 Simple Steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord. 

There is just one webinar, but multiple times/dates to choose from so that you can find a time that works for you. 

And don’t worry, if you can’t find a time that works, sign up anyway and catch the replay. 

The best part? It’s totally free! 

Stop feeling stuck in your faith and take the first step to a thriving relationship with the Lord.

Click here to register for the webinar today!

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8 prayers for back to school

Summer is quickly winding down, and school starts again in just a few short weeks. This is the time of year I purchase all the materials they need to go back to school. But our kids need more than just material goods, they also need our prayers. If you have children, I encourage you to pray for them in all areas of their life, including prayers for back to school. If you are like me and aren’t sure where to start, or you need encouragement as your kids go back to school, continue to read as I share 8 prayers for back to school.

a picture of a mom and daughter hugging. Next to the picture are the wors 8 prayers for back to school

Asking The Lord to show us the way

As soon as my oldest child was born, I was worried about school. Where would she go? Would we homeschool? Would we pick the public school board, the Catholic board, or a private school?

I spent many hours worrying about how it would all look.

When my daughter was first born, I really wanted to homeschool her, but my husband didn’t agree. So, instead of fighting over it, I knew there was time for him to change His mind, so I brought it all to The Lord in prayer.

I was convinced my answer would be what God wanted.

But, after years of worrying and praying, The Lord made it clear to me and my husband that He wanted us to place our children in public school. We also decided that we would make school choices for each child and each year they faced. That way, if we needed to change things later, we could.

The Lord has given me such peace about our decision. I still worry about the things the kids are exposed to at school, but the number one reason I feel The Lord called me to send my kids to school is that I would have no other choice but to give The Lord my children and depend on Him to look after them.

For me, if the kids were home, I would be less likely to pray for them and over them. But sending them out of the house into a secular environment drives me to my knees.

Over the years, I have prayed many prayers over my children as they leave the house and go to school.

How to add a prayer for back to school

If you are a Christian and have kids, chances are you already praying for them regularly. So, when kids go back to school, it’s easy to add a prayer for back to school.

My younger sister has 5 kids, and for many years she would walk them to school, and at one specific spot on their walk, she would stop and pray over her kids about what they faced at school- a test, friends, focus, and other things. It was a quick prayer, but it was intentional.

I give you this example because as moms you are already busy. The thought of adding one more ritual or one more thing to add to your prayer list may feel overwhelming.

Praying for your kids as they go back to school doesn’t have to be like that. It can be simple and quick or longer. The best thing is you can do this how you want.

Ask yourself: When does it make sense to pray for my kids about school?

Whatever you answer, start there. Add a note in your calendar, set an alarm as a cue to pray, and pick a spot on a walk to pray.

If you are not sure where to start or what to pray for, I want to share 8 prayers for back to school.

For each prayer, I’ve added verses you can use as prayers, but I’ve also added a prayer that is a modification of the verse. You can use either, both, or your own from the verses I share.

8 prayers for back to school

As I was writing this post, this song came on the radio and it was the perfect song for this post. So play this song and read the prayers as you pray for your children.

1. Pray for your child to be saved

One of my biggest desires for my kids is that they choose to recognize their sins and turn to God for forgiveness. If I could do anything I could to save my kids, I would. It turns out, that the best thing we can do is lead a life as an example to them, and pray for them.

So, even though salvation has nothing to do with school, sending my kids into the world reminds me how much my kids need The Lord and reminds me to pray for their salvation.

  • John 10:28-29  “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.”
  • 1 Peter 3:18 ESV For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

Lord, thank you for (child’s name). Thank you for loving them and dying for them. I pray they would recognize their need for a savior and that they would ask you for forgiveness. Help me witness to them through my love for them, my actions, and my words.

2. Pray that your child knows God is with them

As a mom who has 3 kids in school, it would be easy for me to worry about my kids all day. Instead, I remember that they are not alone and that God is with them. Not only is this comfort for me, but it’s also a comfort for my kids.

When they come home and tell me they had a bad day, or they made a mistake and didn’t know what to do. They often will then say they wanted me there with them. As much as it hurts me to see them in pain, I take the opportunity to remind them that mom can’t always be with them, but God is with them everywhere they go. We then pray together and talk about strategies they can use the next time they feel this way.

  • Genesis 28:15  “And, behold, I am with you, and will keep you in all places where you go, and will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken to you about.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes I will help you; yes I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.”
  • Hebrews 13:5-6   “For He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my Helper,” and I will not fear what man shall do to me.”

Lord, I pray for (child’s name). Sending them into the world scares me. Thank you that you are with them, even when I can’t be. I pray they feel your presence and remember you are there to comfort them, give them peace and wisdom.

3. Pray for your child to turn to God for safety 

My worst nightmare is getting a call from the school telling me my child is hurt.

My oldest daughter has anxiety, and one day I was visiting a friend who lived 45 minutes away from the school. During that visit, I got a call from the school. It was my daughter’s teacher. She told me that Meredith was having a hard time and was asking if I wanted to get her now.

She explained the situation to me, and it didn’t sound urgent, so I told her we could wait it out and see if she could settle down on her own.

I’m not sure how much time passed, but my phone soon ran again.

This time, it was my daughter. I could hear her and I knew she was having a panic attack and whatever the teachers were trying wasn’t working.

I hung up the phone and RACED HOME!! I called my husband to tell him what was going on. He worked close to school and got an Uber ride to school to be there with her.

The whole ride to school, I prayed she would be ok. I prayed over the guilt I was feeling for not leaving right away. I covered her in prayer for the entire 45-minute drive.

By the time I got to school, she was still having a panic attack, and I calmed her down within a few minutes of getting there.

Talk about WORRY!

I can’t always be there for my kids. I can’t protect them from everything they face. BUT, I know someone who is there with them and has the power to protect them and keep them. So I regularly pray for my kid’s physical safety.

  • Psalms 18:2-3  “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.”
  • Psalms 32:7  “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall compass me about with songs of deliverance.”

Psalms 46:1-2  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea.”

Lord, keep (child’s name) safe. Protect them from physical danger, and emotional danger.

4. Pray for your child to put their confidence in God

My oldest daughter is now 13. She’s going through the stage where she knows she’s right all the time. She’s pretty confident in her knowledge and thinks mom and dad have no clue. LOL ! I can relate. I’m sure I was the same at her age.

We all have times in our lives when we are sure of something. We trust in what we know. Then, one day something happens, and that confidence gets shattered.

It’s an easy thing to trust in jobs, ability, money, and other things that don’t last forever.

If it’s easy for me to fall into that way of thinking, how much easier is it for my kids to put their confidence in the wrong things. That is why I pray that my kids put their faith in The Lord and what He calls them to.

  • Proverbs 3:26  “For the Lord shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken.”
  • Philippians 1:6  “Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Lord, I pray that (child’s name) not be tempted to chase popularity, money, status or anything else that may look good. I pray they KNOW you are the only constant. You never change. Not only that, but that they would know they can count on you. You are the only thing that doesn’t change. I pray they understand that and put all their confidence in you.

5. Pray for protection over evil

As a teenager at camp one summer, I felt an evil spirit over the camp. It came to divide and instill fear. I remember huddling with a few other girls. We all felt this dark spirit and knew it wasn’t from God.

It’s hard to explain, but it was my first experience with feeling evil around me. The word of God tells us we are fighting against something that isn’t flesh and blood. We can’t see it. So, how do we fight against something like that? The only way is to take on the armor of God and depend on Him to fight those demons.

The devil is cunning and the father of lies. It’s important we pray our children are protected from his influence.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 ESV For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
  • Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand
  • Psalm 118:9-11 ESV It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

Lord, thank you for being bigger and more powerful than anything else in this universe. I pray you protect (child’s name) from the lies of this world and any influence that isn’t you. Give them wisdom to know the difference between truth and a lie. Help them depend on you for strength and protection.

6. Pray for power over temptation

Every single one of us knows the power of temptation. As a kid, I was regularly tempted to lie, and steal. Some days, I overcame those temptations, but most of the time I gave in.

Every day our kids are tempted to watch things they shouldn’t, be part of conversations they shouldn’t be in, fit in with the crown, and much more.

As parents, we can intervene on their behalf and ask God to give them power over temptations.

  • James 4:7 ESV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Lord, I know that (child’s name) is tempted by something every day. As they are tempted, I pray you would show them a way of escape. That they would know they can set boundaries, say no and walk away. Give them the courage to say no. Give them power over temptation.

7. Pray for your child’s relationship with The Lord

When I was a teenager, I remember being in my parent’s kitchen talking to a guest we were hosting. She asked me what I was looking for in a husband and I said: I just want someone who is saved.

She looked at me and told me I should want more. I should want a man who loves God and who lives his life for The Glory of God.

Anyone can say they are saved, but it’s much better proof to see spiritual fruit in someone’s life.

I am thrilled when my kids make professions of faith, but it’s not enough. I want more for them. I want them to grow in their faith. I want them to seek the Lord in everything they do and that they would want to honor The Lord in everything they do.

That’s why it’s important for us to pray for our kids and their relationship with The Lord.

  • James 4:8 ESV Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
  • Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
  • Isaiah 55:6 ESV “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

Lord, thank you that (child’s name) has made a profession of faith. I pray that they want to grow in their faith and take steps to do that. Help them seek you in everything they do and want to honor you in everything they do.

8. Pray for your child’s character 

One of the sweetest things about being a mom is watching your children’s relationship with The Lord grow. I almost cried the first time I saw my daughter raise her hands in worship. It was a beautiful moment.

As our children grow in their faith, we can continue to pray for them as they know more about The Lord, life, and how to live to glorify Him.

There are many verses we can pray through, but instead of going through each one and creating prayers for each, I made a list of Godly characters I want my children to grow in and added a verse for each and added a general prayer at the end.

  • That they would be sober-minded and vigilant 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
  • That they would know the truth and tell it John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
  • That they would want to obey you and your spouse Ephesians 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:
  • That they would cast their anxieties on God 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you
  • That they would think about true and good things Philippians 4:8 ESV Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
  • That they would feel the peace of God John 16:33 ESV I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
  • That they would be watchful and stand firm in their faith 1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

Lord, thank you for (child’s name). I thank you that they have made a profession of faith. I pray that they would want to know you more, that they would grow in their faith and become more and more like you everywhere.

Praying for our kids is the number 1 thing we can do to help our children grow in their faith and knowledge of God.

I shared many verses and prayers, but don’t feel you need to pray each one every day. I suggest you pick one verse or prayer and use that to pray one day or one week. Then the next day or week, pick another one.

Do you need more help?

Do you want a closer relationship with God but aren’t sure where to start? Join me as I walk you through 4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord. Register for the webinar today!

What you will learn:

✓ The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

✓ How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God

✓ How to discern the best way for you to connect with God

✓ And more!

Click here to register for FREE today.

How to confess sin, without feeling guilty

Looking at a Bible feels intimidating. We know the truth is in there, but we don’t know how to find it or where to start. That’s why for the next 6 weeks, I’m going to focus on 6 steps to spiritual growth. Today, we are going to learn the first step in spiritual growth: How to confess sin, without feeling guilty, even if you feel like the worst sinner out there!

a picture of a woman facing the camera pointing to something besides her. Beside her at words that say how to confess sin without feeling guilty.

How to confess sin without feeling guilty, even if you feel like the worst sinner out there!

One thing I love about the Bible is how it uses everyday things we know about to teach us something about God. 

Throughout scripture, there is a parallel between the world’s justice system and God’s justice system. 

I don’t know much about the Canadian justice system. The only contact I’ve had with it is signing our wedding certificate and then signing the mountain of paperwork when we bought our home.

I know there are laws for just about everything.

 

4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord

The reason we have laws

We create laws so that everyone in society has the same idea of what is ok and what isn’t and those who break the law have to pay the consequences. 

I’ve had a few pricey speed tickets to pay- a consequence of driving too quickly. 

If you’ve ever had to pay for any type of ticket, I want you to say ticket in the comments below. I want to know I’m not alone! 

Just like earth, The Bible lays out God’s law and the consequences for breaking those laws. 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,

In other words, the consequence of sin (breaking the law) is death.

The Bible also tells us in Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 

We have all sinned, and we all deserve to pay for our sins. The payment for sin is death. 

This sounds like bad news, but thankfully, it doesn’t end there. I actually left a part of

Romans 6:23 out, the FULL verse is: 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

This verse gives us some hope in telling us that there is a gift we can receive from God that would give us eternal life. 

John 3:16-18 makes it more clear for us 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:16-18

The gift God sent us is Jesus Christ. He came to die in our place. The only thing we have to do is believe we are sinners and ask God for forgiveness. When we do that, we are automatically pardoned for our sin. 

It’s not that the consequence was lifted, but the payment was already paid in full– Jesus Christ died on the cross for us. 

Have any of you read/or seen The Hunger Games?

I’m a huge fan of the Book The Hunger Games. If you haven’t read it, or watched the movie, I don’t want to ruin it too much, but at the start of the movie, this town is holding a lottery. Picking one girl and one boy to play in the hunger games. The girl who is picked is named Pen. No sooner is her name called- than her sister speaks up and volunteers to take her place in the hunger games. 

The one slot had to be filled with one girl, and Katniss takes the place of her sister. 

What Jesus did for us is so much better than the Hunger Games. But, He also took our place. 

We deserve to die. We read why earlier- because we sin and death is the consequence for sin.

But, God loved us so much, He sent His son to take our place. Jesus came to die in my place and in yours. 

Now, you might be sitting there and thinking, Anne, I thought you were going to talk about how to confess your sin without shame or guilt. 

I’m getting there. But before I go into that, it’s important that everyone understands 2 things: 

Jesus WILL forgive our sins

The bible tells us in 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When we confess our sins, we are no longer guilty. How awesome is that? 

So, if you are sitting there feeling shame or guilt, it’s for 1 of 2 reasons. 

1. You haven’t confessed your sin yet– it’s either you never asked God to forgive your sins, or you have, but there is something you’ve done that you know God is against God’s will and you haven’t confessed it yet. Is there an unconfessed sin in your life? If there is, confess that right now. 

2. You don’t actually believe God has forgiven you and so you still feel guilty even when you have been freed. 

I’m going to repeat that: If you have confessed your sin and still feel shame and guilt, then it’s probably because you don’t actually believe God has forgiven you and so you still feel guilty even when you have been declared sinless. 

You know it in your brain, but not in your heart. 

Don’t worry, the second is very common, and that’s what I’ll focus on for the rest of this session. 

So, if you have confessed your sin and still feel guilty, what should you do??  I’m going to share with you 3 things: Are you Ready? 

3 things you can do if you still feel guilty of sin after you have repented

1. Ask God to examine your heart:

Maybe there is a sin you committed you don’t know about and the Lord is allowing you to feel guilt so you can root it out and repent. 

If you are not sure how to do that, the Bible has some great verses that tell us exactly what to say.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:23–24

I know these types of prayers can be scary, but The Lord isn’t about playing games. If you feel guilty, then there might be some unknown sin and you can ask God what that is. 

2. Go back to scripture and read about who God is:

One of the ways you can stop feeling guilty is to go back to scripture and read the truth about who God is and what He has done. This helps us remember who God is and what He has promised us.

There are many verses you can go to for this and I’ll share with you 2. 

  • Romans 10:9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Jeremiah 33:8 ‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.

I love that these verses use the word ALL: doesn’t leave any wiggle room for our brains to say: but what about the time……… (I’m sure you can finish the sentence)

A picture of Anne Markey from One Determined life with the words FREE Webinar. $ simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord.

3. Test your feelings:

The Bible tells us we can’t trust our feelings.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9

Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you haven’t been forgiven. So, assure yourself of the truth. Focus on what you know of God and let that guide you. 

We also know the Devil is the father of lies. He would love nothing better than to have us sitting in guilt doing nothing. So it’s important to test what you hear, and who you hear it from. 

 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

1 John 4:1

Recapping: 3 things you can do if you still feel guilty of sin after you have repented

  1. Ask God to examine your heart
  2. Go back to scripture and read about who God is, and what He has done for you
  3. Test your feelings: 

Can you see how these 3 steps can free you from guilt? 

The Bible is clear, we are sinful and we deserve to die. But Jesus came to take our place- He paid for our punishment. 

Once we are saved, we are cleansed and declared righteous. Any voice you hear that continues to make you feel guilty after you have repented of your sin isn’t from God. 

So replace the lies with the truth. Focus on God instead of your sin.

Do you have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord? 

If you said no, or want to grow in your faith, I have something really special for you. 

I’ve put together a webinar for you called: 4 Simple Steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord, 

In this webinar I’ll tell you:

✅ The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

✅How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God

✅ How to discern the best way for you to connect with God

✅ And more!

If you want a closer relationship with God and aren’t sure where to start, register for this FREE Webinar

Click here to get all the details and get your FREE ticket.

a picture of two women facing eachother talking. One is older and the other in younger. Beside her at words that say how to confess sin without feeling guilty.

Best Bibles for Children

As a Christian parent, I want to teach my children about the bible. One of the best ways to do that is to get Bibles for my children and read it to them. There are many Bibles out there and it’s hard to narrow down the best ones to use. To help you in this process, I share 4 of the best bibles for children, what I look for in a bible and how I use them in my home.

A picture of 3 children laying down on the floor, stomach down. They are flipping through a book and are all smiling. Next to the picture are the words The Best Bibles for children. www.onedeterminedlife.com

One of my deepest desire is for my kids to know God. One way they can do that is by reading the bible.

I try to read the bible to my kids once a day. It doesn’t always happen, and it’s not always in the bible. Sometimes it’s bible stories and other days we send our kids straight to bed.

When I do read to my kids from the bible, I like to use a children’s bible.

2 things I look for in a bible

In my search for a bible, I can read to my kids I have read many. What I have discovered is that not all Bibles are created equal.

Some children’s “bibles” only have a few words per page while others skip major stories in the bible.

To qualify for this list, each Bible has to meet a certain standard. These are the x things I look for in a bible

1. Easy to read

I grew up in an age where to be a “good Christian” you had to read the new King James Version of the Bible. Thankfully, I have evolved from that belief and think that there are many Godly versions of the bible.

When I search for a bible for the kids I look for versions that are easier for them to understand. They are too young to understand certain words and I want them to be able to relate to the Bible and enjoy reading it. The best way to do that is by choosing a bible that they can understand.

2. Includes the crucifixion

While I was hunting for a good bible I was surprised by how many of the kid’s versions excluded the crucifixion. I know that it’s a graphic story, but without the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the rest of the bible is useless.

There are ways to tell the crucifixion story in a way that kids can understand. I want my kids to know from an early age what God has done for them.

I don’t have a long list of requirements for a good bible for kids. Even having those 2 things, it’s not always easy to find a good bible for kids. With these 2 things in mind, here is my list of the best bibles for kids.

4 of the Best bibles for Children

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1. The Jesus storybook bible

5 hand drawn pictures that depict different stories in the bible. They are all in a strip and above are the words: The Jesus Storybook Bible

The Jesus Storybook Bible is one of my favourite bibles for children. It’s easy to read, has beautiful art, and includes the crucifixion.

This bible is more than that. The author has made the Bible into a story and tells each part in connection with each other and in anticipation of Jesus. She makes sure to link every story to Christ.

Even as an adult I appreciate this because it’s sometimes hard t read an Old Testament story and know why it matters or how it relates to everything. This book does just that. From the creation story to the end of the book, the author links events to Christ and gives the big picture. It’s not just a kid’s bible, it’s good for everyone.

2. The Action Bible

5 different comic stripes that depict bible stories. One is of Samson pushing the walls down. There are words that say: The Action Bible

Not every child likes to sit down and read words. The idea of reading can be intimidating and hard. That’s what I love about The Action Bible. You can be a non-reader to enjoy this one.

The pictures are awesome and it’s easy to understand what is going on by looking at the pictures.

The bible covers all major stories and is very engaging for all readers. I read something similar as a child and still remember some images I saw.

3. NIRV Bible

A green book with an outline of a lizard and leaves. At the side of the lizard are words that say: Adventure Bible

This NIRV Bible is the one I get for each of my kids when they turn 5. At 5 years old, they start the AWANA program at church and need a bible.

This is a great first bible. It’s the entire book in a format that is easy to read and very engaging. Inside, there are pictures, highlight verses, maps, and key passages highlighted. The NIRV bible also defines words and so much more.

Not only that but there are a variety of covers you can pick from. There are pink ones and blue ones and so on. I just picked green because of the cover. If you are looking for a complete Bible for your children, I highly encourage you to pick this one.

4. The Children’s Daily Devotional Bible

A drawing of Jesus accepting a basket full of loaves and fish from a small boy. Above the drawing are words that say: The Children's Daily Devotional Bible

The Children’s Daily Devotional Bible was the first bible I found for the kids and I fell in love with it right away. It is one of the best bibles for children that I have found.

The authors have chosen most of the bible stories and split the Bible into daily chunks. This bible is perfect if you want to read a portion of the Bible every day but don’t know how to split it up.

Not only that, but the bible also includes pray started and memory verses.

How I use these Bibles for Children:

Every night before bed I get one of these bibles for children and read it to the kids. I start at the start of the bible. We read the portion of the day and then we talk about the story. We then use the prayer started to pray together and then read the memory verse.

You can do this as a family or teach your children to do this on their own.

The version used is the Contemporary English Version. It’s easy to understand and a great start for kids to get into.

I have used each of these Bibles at different times. I sometimes read from one for a week and move on to the other. God’s word is living and reading the bible to our children is a great way to teach our children about it.

Need Help

One way to help our children have a close relationship with God is to show them a good example. If you need help with bible study, click here and get a free Bible Study Workbook.

In the comments below, share with me what bible you use to read to your kids.

The Best Bibles for Children: It can be hard to get kids interested in reading God's word but there are many bibles you can get that will help your child to love God. #bibleforkids #bible #christianparenting ,
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