Jesus calling by Sarah Young

The Three Best Words for the Brokenhearted

“I can invite You into those broken places and collaborate with Youin putting the fragments back together in new ways.” – Jesus Listens, July 3 In fresh grief, well-meant words can sometimes wound. Even now, I shake my head at the unhelpful comments I made as a young mom handing over a hot casserole and the painful comments said to me a few years later after my husband died. So when a radio host recently asked me for the three best words to tell someone in grief, I perked up. Maybe it’s “I love you,” I thought as I waited for his answer. Those words sure comforted me as a new widow. Or maybe it’s “let me help.” Practical love is so needed when life falls apart. But neither guess was correct. The three best words to say to someone in grief? You’re not alone. The deepest comfort comes w...

5 Ways Fasting and Prayer Can Boost Your Faith

“My soul thirsts for You—the living God. The deepest yearnings of my heart are for intimacy with You, Lord.” – Jesus Listens, June 30 You have the choice to change your life with a simple decision. If faithfully done, choosing to fast and pray will alter your existence, rock your spiritual world, and bring your life on this earth into God’s perspective. I was drawn to fasting when I read in Matthew 6:16 that Jesus didn’t say “if” you fast, but “when” you fast. I knew I needed to follow what I believed was a call to fasting, but where to start? Most think a fast only pertains to food, yet in scripture we read that Daniel fasted from specific things: “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over” (Daniel 10:3 NIV). E...

The Life-Changing Power of Speaking a Blessing

I am speaking to you continually: words of Life . . . Peace . . . Love. Tune your heart to receive these messages of abundant blessing. Jesus Calling, September 21 Other than praying, what should we do when someone we love isn’t living up to their potential? We can bless them. God blessed Adam and Eve and then released them to be fruitful, multiply, and rule. For most of my life, I believed the opposite. I assumed that if I performed well, then I would be blessed. But Genesis 1:28 radically upends the order of events. With God, the blessing is not the reward for productivity—it’s the power for it. Blessing is a positive, faith-filled vision spoken in accord with God’s Word over someone’s life. It’s stronger than encouragement and altogether different than prayer. Though often unfamiliar to...

The Art of Substitution

Make Me central in your consciousness by praying continually: simple, short prayers flowing out of the present moment. Jesus Calling, February 22 What had started as a pleasant evening ritual for my friend Meg—a glass of wine or two while watching the evening news—had quietly turned into a controlling habit. Over Thanksgiving, Meg’s daughter told her that alcohol dependency was causing “wreckage” in the family, and she had to do something. Shocked, humiliated, defenseless, Meg checked herself into a rehab facility. During Meg’s stint at rehab, she learned a valuable strategy: the art of substitution. Sheer will power wasn’t sustainable. Self-denial would only get her so far. Instead of focusing on denying herself a pleasure, Meg learned to replace that desire with something positive. A gla...

Faith Strengthening Our Biggest Spiritual Muscle

On some days, your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance: The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives—giving up or relying on Me. Jesus Calling, September 8 My young son was in a drugged sleep on a potent drip of antibiotics. He needed two more surgeries in his tender brain, which would bring the total to five since the massive hemorrhage in his brain tumor three months earlier. There had been glimmers of light. He’d laughed, and I’d even heard his voice at the neurological rehab where he was learning how to walk, talk, and eat all over again. He was coming back, then he’d had a setback. More surgeries were scheduled. I called my friend Joan and explained the situation. “You don’t think you can do ...

The Consistent Practice of Prayer

Rest in Me, My child. Give your mind a break from planningand trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking My Spirit to take charge of the details of this day.Jesus Calling, June 10 I don’t know about you, but I’m a do-er. I like to make a plan, create action steps, and then create boxes for those action steps that I can check off. Yes, I’m that girl. I want to look and feel productive. If there’s a problem, I want to solve it. I want there to be a tangible way to grasp the solution. And that’s exactly why prayer was so hard for me to prioritize. Prioritizing prayer I was too busy hitting the ground running as soon as I woke up, working and taking care of everyone else throughout my day, and then falling into bed exhausted. After realizing that prayer should be a huge pa...