Tag: christian women

What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?

It’s really easy to throw around the word “prayer,” in a Christian culture, isn’t it?

If someone is going through a difficult time, we’ll say, “I’ll pray for you!”

If someone is struggling with making a decision, we’ll ask, “Have you prayed about it?”

If we really want something from God, we’ll tell people, “I’ve been praying about this for months, but I still haven’t seen God show up.”

I think that we have watered down the power of prayer, and the genuinely meaningful impact it can have in our lives and relationships, including our relationship with God.

Prayer isn’t meant to be a sympathetic condolence, a guilt trip, or a granted wish from a magic genie. It is a means of conversation!

Let me explain:

Picture your best friend in the whole world. Are you picturing them? Okay, cool. Now, think about how you got close to this person. Was it through brief and shallow conversations every couple of days? Was it through consistently asking and expecting them to do things for you? Was it through telling them how grateful you were they were in your life, but never actively showing it?

I’m going to guess probably not. And if so, wow, you have a pretty incredible friend! And, the truth is, God loves us even when we are being a “bad friend” to Him. That’s just the depth of His love for us. However…

If you want a dynamic, growing, life-changing relationship with Christ, you’ve GOTTA communicate with Him.

In fact, you can learn to deeply enjoy your conversations with God. In order for this to happen, it is important to keep in mind how to be a “good friend,” just like you have been to your best friend! Tell Jesus your deepest thoughts, desires, hurts, and joys. Go on coffee dates with Him. Ask Him for the things on your heart, but come from a place of gratitude. Never take His presence for granted.

All relationships are a two-way street, including your relationship with Jesus, and all healthy relationships rely on great communication.

But how wonderful that the Bible gives us a model of HOW to communicate with Jesus.. and that is through PRAYER!

The practice of prayer has recently been put on my heart, because I have realized just how important & powerful it is. I also realized how difficult it can be to determine exactly what prayer is.

I think it’s easy to get caught up in the act of prayer rather than the purpose of it.

My next few posts are going to dive into prayer: what it is/isn’t, ideas to experience growth in your prayer life, and different methods to practice prayer! I am going to call the series Powerfully in Prayer, because I think that in order to live fearlessly in faith, we must learn how to be rooted powerfully in prayer!

Today, I am going to begin by laying the foundation of what the Bible has to say about prayer! So, without further ado… here ya go 🙂

#1 Pray Alone

(Matthew 6:6, Luke 5:16)

The Bible places emphasis on praying alone. Not only did Jesus pray alone several times throughout the Gospels, Matt 6:6 says to pray in private, because God sees all!

#2 Pray Together

(see James 5:16, Acts 1:14, Acts 12:12)

Praying with other believers is just as important as praying alone! When the early church was started in Acts, the apostles were mentioned to be praying together on multiple occasions. We are also encouraged to confess our sins & pray with one another… yay for vulnerability!

#3 Pray About Everything

(see Philippians 4:6)

You know the amazing thing about God? He already knows everything you’re thinking, but wants to hear it from YOU! Don’t hesitate to tell Him about your bad shift at work, crazy idea, awkward conversation, or that thing you’re super nervous about. Pray about everything!

#4 Actively Pray… and Never Stop

(see 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18)

Do you ever feel like something happens in your life and you are constantly praying… and then you just stop? The Bible says for us to “pray without ceasing” and to “pray at all times and on all occasions”… and not only that, but to stay persistent in your prayers!

#5 What You Pray For Through Faith Will Be Given to You

(see John 15:7, Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24)

This is a truth that the Bible reiterates time & time again. Those who abide in the Lord will receive what they believe. A prayer from a faithful, sincere heart goes a long way!

#6 Pray With an Alert Mind

(see Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2)

Prayer is not meant to to be a mindless activity. In fact, the Bible calls us to devote ourselves to prayer with an alert mind and to be alert in prayer! Practice alertness while praying, but also maintain alertness while you watch God move & work in the requests you’ve made known to Him! Remaining alert in prayer will give you an understanding of how active God is in your life and it is SO COOL!!

#7 Pray With Intentionality

(see Matthew 6:7)

Have you ever finished praying and realized you just said a bunch of fancy “prayer words” to try to sound a certain way? In Matt 6:7, Jesus says that when we pray, we should not “babble on and on” and that prayers are not answered by “repeating words again and again.” Instead, we should pray with intentionality! You wouldn’t give your best friend a surface level conversation, so don’t give God one either 🙂

#8 Pray With Persistence

(see Matthew 7:7, Ephesians 6:18)

God calls us to pray with persistence! He wants to give good gifts to those who pray persistently and rely on Him to provide. In fact, Matt 7:7 says: Keep on asking, and you will receive. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened for you.

#9 Ask God Graciously, With a Thankful Heart

(see Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2)

It’s okay to ask God for things! In fact, like we just established, He wants us to. However, God calls us to also pray with a thankful heart. Before we start placing our requests at the feet of Jesus, let us first thank Him for ALL the blessings He has showered in our lives.

Also, a really great practice for establishing thankfulness in your prayer life is to remember all God has done. We become easily desensitized to and forgetful of answered prayers. Instead of praying persistently for something, watching God answer your prayer, and then forgetting about it, write it down! Write down your requests and the way that God answers them. You will be AMAZED at the magnitude to which God answers prayers.

Well, there it is… 9 truths that the Bible tells us about prayer!


I hope that these help you establish some focus and direction on prayer.

Stay tuned for the next post in the Powerfully in Prayer series! Hint: It might involve prayer journaling 😉

<3, Britt

5 Qualities Christian Men Look for in a Girlfriend (From a Guy’s Perspective!)

What do guys really want?

This is a question I asked myself for many years. Oftentimes, I ended up looking in the wrong places, leading me to draw the wrong conclusions. Been there before?

Being a girl in this day and age is hard, let alone trying to be a girl following Jesus. Anyone else feel the struggle? As young women, we are constantly being targeted and lied to about our worth, which heavily impacts how we perceive relationships. One of the biggest culprits, you ask?  

It’s way too easy to muddle what culture tells us guys want with what men who are pursuing the Lord actually want.

Culture today tells us that the quality of our relationships is tied to our sex appeal. Being superficial is okay. Dumbing ourselves down is “cute”. Having ambition isn’t necessary. And the depth of our conversations is unimportant.

What culture tells us that guys’ want will ultimately lead us to destruction, heartbreak, and shame.
But God doesn’t want that for you.
He has so, so much more in store for you.
And that “so much more” is a man who is chasing after Jesus, and who wants to chase after you, too.

So… what do those guys… the ones chasing after Jesus today, look for in a woman worth pursuing?

On our flight home from my friend’s wedding, I asked my boyfriend Michael to narrow down the TOP 5 things that Christian guys are looking for in a girl. Here’s what he had to say… with my personal tips on ways to apply this information in order to become a woman worth pursuing!

1.) Loves the Lord

“I can only be fully understood by somebody who shares my beliefs and convictions. Without this, it would be difficult to remain on the same page as you navigate through a relationship.” -M
This may be the most obvious, but is also the most important. If you want to be with a guy who loves the Lord, you should be pursuing the Lord and making Him the #1 priority in your life.
TIP: Instead of spending your time pursuing a guy, spend your time pursuing the Lord. Your relationship with Jesus is, and always will be, the most important relationship you maintain throughout your whole life. Authenticity in your faith will lead to authenticity in your other relationships.

2.) Trustworthy

“A guy has to find someone who he knows has the right intentions, and knows won’t compromise a relationship when the guy has put his heart out there.” -M
Healthy, lasting relationships are built on trust. Because of this, men who are looking for a serious relationship are also looking for someone who is equally as committed as they are.
TIP: Before getting into a relationship, ask yourself this question: How committed are you to the relationships in your life right now? When you make plans with people, do you keep them? Are you a loyal person with lasting friendships? Are you able to keep confidential information private, rather than sharing it with everyone? If the answer to these questions is yes, chances are, maintaining the level of trust that Christian men are looking for in a relationship should come easy to you.

3.) Fun & Adventurous

“Most guys want someone who likes to live life and be out there. Be bold, go do what you want… be yourself.” -M
A guy who is looking for a serious relationship is looking for someone he can build a life with. He is looking for an individual with strong convictions & goals to achieve!
TIP: Pursue your passions. Chase your dreams. Create a life that you love. A guy worth having will see that and say “Wow, she’s passionate & driven. I want to be a part of that.”
DO NOT wait to find a guy to start your life.

4.) Likable by Others

“A guy doesn’t want to bring a girl around who gives a bad impression to his friends… he wants to bring a girl that he is proud of.” -M
Basically, this one boils down to this. A guy who is looking for a serious relationship is looking for someone that he can bring into his life… not isolate him from it. However, being likable doesn’t mean altering your personality or behavior to get people to like you. It just means being yourself and genuinely caring about the lives of others! Radiate the love of Christ.
TIP(S): Instead of trying of trying to make yourself more important in his world by being clingy and isolating him into spending time with you, enter into his life and allow him into yours, and you will naturally become more important to Him.

5.) Accepts Me For Who I Am

I think Michael said this one best, so I’ll just quote him 😉
“As guys, we have been conditioned to have it all together, to be the leader, and to not let a girl down. Those are the pressures we have to live with. We are supposed to have it all together before even considering asking a girl out. This is unrealistic. We don’t have it all together, and it produces anxiety when we fall short in our relationships.
Plus, when you grow together, instead of entering into a relationship with a guy who already has it together, you get to experience the joy & accomplishment of growth and learning, instead of just being with the ‘final product’. The former is much deeper and much more meaningful. That’s why it is essential that the woman we fall in love with is someone who loves us for who we are, and not our merits or accomplishments.” -M
TIP: Just learn to love people for who they are… not what they do, where they are going in life, or who they could be. Also, be an encourager in the lives of others!

 

Okay, so… let’s be honest here.

The reason you clicked on this post is because you were curious about what Christian guys want in a relationship, and you wanted an answer about what you need to do in order to win one over.

So here’s the answer you are looking for: just be yourself. Remember all those tips you just read? Focus on those things right there.

Pursue the Lord and create an authentic relationship with Him.

Commit to and make time for the people in your life right now.

Create a life you love by pursuing your dreams & passions.

Love people for who they are, not who they could be.

Then, when the right guy comes along, he is going to walk into the life of a beautiful woman who radiates the love of the Lord. She loves people authentically and selflessly, and she chases the dreams & passions that God has placed on her heart. And he’s going to say:

“Wow. This is the woman who is worth pursuing for the rest of my life.”

That, my friend, is God’s “so much more” for you.

<3, Britt

To the Girl Who Feels Inadequate

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt inadequate.

I think if every girl reading this were all sitting in a room together, we would be sitting in a sea of raised hands.

I mean really, haven’t we all:

Felt inadequate in our relationships.

Felt inadequate at our job.

Felt inadequate in school.

Felt inadequate in ministry.

Felt inadequate as a person.

It’s crazy how the slightest hitch in our lives: a word that feeds into insecurities, an unplanned event, or an “off” day can drastically impact our feelings of inadequacy.

Even a thing as small as burning a batch of brownies.

I work at a coffee shop, and part of my weekly responsibilities include baking the brownies we sell in the store. A few weeks ago, I put a batch of brownies in the oven, set a timer, and walked to the front of the store to continue serving customers. About half an hour later, my manager walked up to me and asked, “Brittany, does the oven usually start smoking when you bake brownies?”

After running to the kitchen and turning off the oven that was, in fact, smoking, I removed the batch of brownies, realizing I had set the oven to 400 degrees instead of 300 degrees.

The brownies weren’t just burnt, they were scorched. Yikes.

Burning the brownies was not a big deal. All I had to do was whip up another batch, throw them in the oven, and take the extra two seconds to verify that the oven was set to 300 degrees. However, it was the way burning the brownies made me feel that was the issue. Feelings of:

“I am a terrible employee.”

“I can’t do anything right.”

“I’m just not good at what I do.”

All those ugly thoughts…. from one batch of brownies.

I think our problem is this: Our feelings of inadequacy come from hyper-focusing on situational things. We come to the conclusion that because we’ve done one thing wrong, we suddenly have become inadequate in that general area of life.

I am inadequate in my relationship BECAUSE I said something hurtful that I can’t take back.

I must be a failure at relationships and undeserving of love.

I am inadequate in my job BECAUSE I didn’t hit my sales quota this month

I must be awful at my job and the weak link of the team.

I am inadequate in school BECAUSE I failed this exam I studied really hard for.

I must be stupid and incapable of pursuing this degree.

I am inadequate in ministry BECAUSE nothing impactful happened in the small group I was leading this week.

I must be incapable of pouring into the lives of those around me and leading people to Christ.

Therefore, I must be inadequate.

See the common theme?

When we tie our circumstances to our character, we will continue to feel inadequate every time we make a mistake.

The truth is, we will always feel inadequate in something if we equate our worth to what we do instead of who we are.

There will always be someone prettier, smarter, more energetic, more caring, and more enthusiastic than us.

But they can never be you.

The reason we feel inadequate is because we focus on WHAT makes us adequate instead of WHO makes us adequate.

Instead, we should say:

I am adequate in my relationships BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am deserving of love.

I am adequate in my job BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am not the weak link.

I am adequate in school BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am smart and capable.

I am adequate in ministry BECAUSE I am a child of God.

I am capable of loving others and leading them to Christ.

Therefore, I am adequate.

You are adequate. Today, start believing it.. then start living it.

Why Codependency is Destroying Your Relationship (& The Healthy Solution!)

I remember when I got my first cell phone. At age thirteen, it was everything I ever wanted… it had a sliding keypad, built-in camera, a bedazzled phone case, and was brand new. After I received it, I wouldn’t let it out of my sight. I would even lay it on the bathroom counter when I showered so I could check my messages the second I got out. I would say I was possessive, obsessive, and borderline dependent on my cell phone.

I think sometimes when we get something that is exactly what we want, it is hard to not become possessive and obsessive over it, even to the point of dependency.

& I think the place where I see this most frequently is in relationships.

My boyfriend and I have had multiple discussions about dependence: being independent, being codependent, having a healthy dependence, and everything in-between.

Dependency in relationships, especially dating relationships, is a tricky topic. There should be some level of dependency in a relationship… after all, the purpose of dating is to determine if you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, which involves meshing various aspects of your life together. But how much is too much?

I think a safe place to draw the line is codependence.

Codependence, in essence, is present in a relationship in which there is a psychological reliance of one person on another. This is manifested in a way that makes it so that the codependent person does not allow the other person to have a life outside of the relationship.

Need to be with your boyfriend 24/7? Codependence.

Does your boyfriend feel the need to constantly check up on you when you’re not together? Codependence.

Are you not allowed to hang out with your friends unless your BF says you can (or vice-versa)? Codependence.

I think the problem people have with codependence is this: they have difficulty recognizing it. Just like the new cell phone I got when I was thirteen, we often become enamored by our significant other in a relationship, because ideally, they are exactly what we want. We think that needing to be together is sweet, after all, who doesn’t want to feel needed? However, what we don’t realize is that this enamor can soon lead to possessive and obsessive feelings, which can lead to dependency.

Once codependency is rooted in a relationship, it can cause individuals to lose their sense of self, and create a severe sense of mistrust within the relationship, ultimately leading to destruction.

So if codependence kills relationships, and complete independence is impossible due to the nature of relationships, what is the solution?

Healthy dependence– & here are 4 ways to identify and develop healthy dependence in a relationship!

  1. Wanting to be together (& not needing to be).

    Should you want to be with the person you’re in a relationship with? YES! Should you need to be? No. There’s a difference. Wanting to be together is looking forward to when you get to see each other, spend time together, and tell each other about your day, versus needing to be together, which is a consuming mindset.

  2. Letting the other person have friends.

    This might seem obvious, but it’s important. Letting your boyfriend have their own friends and allowing them to spend time with someone other than you, and having the same freedom, is very important. You should look forward to the time you get to spend with each other, rather than feel obligated. Not allowing your BF (or not being allowed) to have friends outside the relationships is a sign of both mistrust and codependency.

  3. Maintaining your own hobbies, interest, personality, and beliefs.

    When getting into a relationship, don’t sacrifice who you are for a guy. Chances are, the reason they liked you in the first place are for all the things that make you YOU. In addition, don’t get into a relationship with the intention of changing someone. If your partner tries to change who you are, chances are, the relationship is not going to last, or will lead to codependence. 

  4. Trust.

    The foundation to every healthy relationship is trust.  Trusting a person whether you are with or without them allows for a relationship to thrive and grow… 24/7 companionship does not.

“Not needing to need, but choosing to need.”

Overall, the key to having healthy dependence versus codependence in a relationship is wanting to need versus needing to need. Wanting to need is far more powerful than needing to need, because it is dependent on a choice rather than an impulse. 

If you want to need someone, you make a choice every single day to love them and make them a priority in your life. You know they will be there for you, and you will be there for them, but you don’t have to rely on them for fulfillment. Jesus is the only one who can satisfy that need.

If you are living in a codependent relationship today, be brave,  make the choice to have a choice.