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Bringing Purpose and Power to Your Prayer Life

Bringing Purpose and Power to Your Prayer Life

Kathi Lipp speaks honestly about her struggles to have an effective prayer life. She discusses the scriptural reasons why we should pray and shared how using the Word of God in her prayers has helped improve her marriage, parenting and general life situations.
Original Air Date: April 21, 2014

Teaser:

Woman 1: I pray in every circumstance almost for everyone I see. Because prayer should be continuous and without ceasing.

Woman 2: I pray for Focus on the Family, and I pray for the country.

Man 1: I pray for my family. I pray for their health. I pray for their faith.

Woman 3: I pray mostly for my family and also for my job.

Woman 4: I pray for my family and just the safety and well-being of them, and for my friends that have prayer requests and stuff like that! (laughs)

End of Teaser

John Fuller: … well some important things to pray for, and you may even echo some of those same prayers in your own life. And prayer is our topic today, on this edition of Focus on the Family, as we’re celebrating the National Day of Prayer. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I am so grateful when people remember to pray for Focus, because we really do need your prayers. And, uh, I would also encourage you to pray for the nation, that was mentioned. Uh, that’s what the National Day of Prayer is all about. And we need to pray for our leaders, and for God’s truth, uh, that it will prevail in this modern age where everything seems to be running as hard as it can be in the opposite direction.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But we still have hope, because we know God is in control. Uh, the scripture’s clear about that. If you want to learn more about the National Day of Prayer and how you can participate, we’ll have a link for that at our website. Uh, today we’re going to explore how prayer is an act of worship, and how it can help connect our hearts to the Lord.

John: Mm-hmm. And our guest is Kathi Lipp, she has a passion for this. And a lot of encouragement for you today. Um, you know, about the importance of prayer.

Jim: It’s true. And I love Kathi’s energy and insights. She’s always practical and a lot of fun. Uh, she’s certainly one of our favorite guests.

John: And here’s how the conversation with Kathi Lipp began on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Jim: Kathi, uh, let me ask you, you’re talking primarily in your book, Praying God’s Word for Your Life, to women. But, I mean, these concepts apply to both men and women, don’t they?

Kathi Lipp: Yeah, you know, my husband… This is a, a constant topic of conversation between my husband and I too, and also, in our small group. You’re talking about, you know, how much time do we spend praying? How, what do we pray about? Are there ways that we can be more intentional about our prayers? And, you know, for women, I think, because we’re going in a million different directions, sometimes it’s just the whole settling down and doing that. But with guys too, uh, you know, with their busy schedules and families, we’re all feeling this.

Jim: How do you make time? I mean, what’s your routine and your practice? How did you get a handle on this to say, “I need to commune with the Lord each and every day, several times a day?”

Kathi: You know, I would love to be able to say I came from this space of, you know, I wake up in the morning and I just wanna spring into the arms of God. And, um, that would be a complete lie, because this is… that’s my desire, but it’s not always where my feet are taking me, does that make sense?

John: Yeah.

Jim: Sure.

Kathi: Yeah. And so, um, you know, and there were many days, I was getting to the end of the day and I was like, “I haven’t spent any time praying.” And I know how much that affects my day. I know that being in prayer, uh, d- changes how I respond to my kids-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: … changes how I respond to my husband, and changes how I listen to God. And so, I’ve had to be very intentional, because I’m not a very methodical, analytical person.

Jim: Now your husband is, right?

Kathi: My husband… Oh, yes. There-

Jim: He’s an engineer.

Kathi: Yes. We have a plethora of charts around our house-

Jim: (laughs). I love that.

Kathi: … uh, we know when we’re supposed to be doing dishes, we know when we’re going on vacation, we know how much money is going into the vacation fund. We’ve got charts. But I am not a chart person, you know? I had a job one time where my job was putting little numbers in little boxes, and I thought, “This is torture. Somebody has set me up for torture.”

Jim: (laughs).

Kathi: And so, methodical is not my middle name. But I also knew that I was missing something by not having that regular time with God, by not clearing out my schedule. And I’m also not a morning person. It pain, it-

Jim: (laughs). I was gonna ask this.

Kathi: Uh, yeah. I just read a report that it is literally more painful for women to wake up than it is for men, and that explains so much in my life.

John: (laughs).

Kathi: It really does.

Jim: So you’re not, uh, you and, uh, your husband, Roger, are very much like, uh, Jean and me. How ’bout you John, and, and Dena?

John: There are some similarities here. Yeah. (laughs).

Kathi: (laughs).

Jim: (laughs). I tend to be more-

John: I’m trackin’ with you here.

Jim: I tend to be more of a morning person. And oftentimes, I mean, I’ll wake up… I go to bed, probably about 10:00.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: People are going, “You go to bed at 10:00?”

Kathi: (laughs).

Jim: Yeah, I hit that age. (laughs).

Kathi: (laughs).

John: Yeah, I’m ready to go to bed at 9:00 with some frequency.

Kathi: (laughs).

Jim: But for me, but I’ll wake up in bed about 4:30, 5 o’clock and it…it’s the time that I really enjoy spending time with the Lord and I’ll raise those things before Him, even though Jean is asleep next to me. Jean doesn’t speak before 10 o’clock! (laughs)

Kathi: Yeah. And you know what? We’re probably all grateful, depending on how we wake up. I know that, you know, I’ve had to train myself to be a morning person. And people say, “You can’t do that.” And I’m living proof that you absolutely can.

Jim: Well, and Jean has done that as well.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

John: Uh, Dena, uh, was not a morning person or an evening person-

Kathi: (laughs).

Jim: (laughs).

John: … for many, many years.

Jim: She was a lunchtime person.

John: She, she kind of had a four hour, uh, day with-

Kathi: (laughs).

Jim: (laughs).

John: … part of her day where that was really good, but-

Jim: I like that.

John: … the Lord has woken her up-

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

John: … consistently, now, for the past few years, at 4:30 or 5:00.

Kathi: Wow.

John: And she’s fought that, but, uh, she has learned to embrace that time as quiet prayer time.

Jim: It does beg the question though, Kathi, how does a person, and you’re speaking specifically to, to women here, moms who are really busy-

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … they got a lot on-

Kathi: Right.

Jim: … um, how do you gain that discipline if that’s not your natural bed.

John: Mm-hmm..

Kathi: Well, I think, one, understanding the importance of it. I think that that is absolutely critical. Because if you’re going more than a day… And we all know that there are days when crises come up. But if every day is a crisis, then there’s something else going on. And so, I think understanding the importance, and then also accepting accountability.

Jim: I’ve gotta stop you-

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: … there for a quick second.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: Because we, you said that so fast. But if every day is a crisis there’s a problem.

Kathi: Right.

Jim: Just tell me, because I’m sure a lot of women heard that and they went, “Oh, that’s me.”

Kathi: Yep. W- W-

Jim: What does that mean? What do I need to look into in my life-

Kathi: Well-

Jim: … if every day is, there’s no time for God?

Kathi: You know, I think that one of the biggest things is, as women, we are trying so hard to meet every single need.

Jim: Mm-hmm. That’s so true.

Kathi: Whether it’s valid or not. And just because somebody has asked us to do something doesn’t mean that we are the ones who are supposed to do it.

Jim: Is Jean your sister? (laughs).

Kathi: Yeah, you know what?

John: (laughs).

Kathi: Jean and I talk, um, when we’re off the air.

Jim: This is amazing.

Kathi: Yeah. Uh, I, it’s, it’s-

Jim: But it’s true, it’s a woman’s nature, usually-

Kathi: Right.

Jim: I- It- It’s always the 80/20 rule.

Kathi: Absolutely.

Jim: But Jean, if there is a disagreement with us, it’s because she’ll often say yes to something. I know she’s already maxed out.

Kathi: Ex- uh-

Jim: How come you’re saying yes to that? You can only fix so many booboos.

Kathi: Well, and then thing is, our husbands can sometimes see it, but how do they tell us that, you know?

Jim: Well y- you gotta be careful. (laughs).

Kathi: It’s dangerous, isn’t it? Because when these things come up it feels great to be needed, doesn’t it? It feels great that people are looking at you and saying, “You’re the one who can make this happen.” Or, “You’re the one who can fix this.” But the honest truth is, probably there are about 10 people who could make that happen, you just happen to be the first person they saw.

Jim: Okay. So, you have all this coming at you.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: All these people a- around you, your husband-

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: … your kids that have needs, and you’re trying to meet all their needs and being that supermom.

Kathi: Right.

Jim: You have that pressure, you derive a certain personal, um, you know, benefit from that.

Kathi: Uh-huh.

Jim: You feel good about yourself.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: But y- if you’re doing all that you’re squeezing out God. Do you have it upside down?

Kathi: Ugh, it, it, you know, and I’ve lived like that, I had lived like that for many, many years. And when you don’t have God involved in your life, you’re saying yes without any input, you know?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And so, I have really learned, and this I learned from my husband, when there would be an opportunity he would, that would come up, he said, “You know what? Let me take some time and pray about it and talk to my wife.” And where I was like, “Well, if somebody asked me, it must be God’s will. So yes, of course I’ll do that. That would be so much fun.”

Jim: (laughs).

Kathi: And I had to learn that I need to pull back.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And have a discussion with Roger, and he can say, “You know what? I’m excited for you. But is there something you can remove from your schedule to make that happen? Or is it not valuable enough to remove something else from your schedule?” It’s good to have that counterbalance.

Jim: And it, it, yeah, actually, Jean and I have done that for several years.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Where we made an agreement, now it’s not perfect-

Kathi: Right.

Jim: … but we ask of each other that before we make a commitment to do something, go out to dinner with friends-

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … whatever it might be, that we n- don’t say yes.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: (laughs). And I think, I think that the, uh, the greatest abuser of that in the early days was me. (laughs).

John: I was just gonna ask.

Kathi: (laughs).

Jim: Yeah. (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Jim: And so i- that’s worked really well. That’s good, a good fundamental marriage, uh, agreement there d- uh, don’t commit me without talking to me.

Kathi: Because it’s so important, when we’re talking about how stressed out and how busy we are, and we’re not only committing our time but our spouse’s time? That can get us into real trouble.

Jim: Kathi, I’m really intrigued, in your book, uh, Praying God’s Word for Your Life, you talk about five reasons to pray. And I think we always have to give kind of that scriptural undergirding-

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … for what we’re talking about.

Kathi: Right.

Jim: And I love that. Let’s talk about those quickly and then move, uh, forward. Uh, one was, uh, God asked us to pray, uh, Romans 12:12. Talk about that scripture.

Kathi: Well, uh, you know, when we look at the bible as a whole we’re looking… I, there are so many instances where God is asking us to pray. He’s saying, “This is important to me. This is important to, uh, our relationship.” And so, we can’t gloss over that. We can’t say, you know, “Well, just because it’s there and it’s…” We need to make sure that we’re taking God at His word-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: … and realizing that this is super important.

Jim: In fact, that scripture says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Uh, that’s a reason right there. The Lord said, “Here’s what you need to do.”

Kathi: And it’s, uh, wh- when it’s saying being constant in prayer, you know, I heard one of the people earlier saying that she’s in prayer throughout the day, and I think that that is something to aspire to, but I don’t think we all start there.

Jim: Well, I can imagine people hear that and go, “How did you do that?”

Kathi: Yeah, yeah. And I think that what it is, is training our first response to not go and say, “How would I fix this?” But asking God. “God, what, what do you want me to do in this situation?” And s- trying to train our first response to be prayer. So it may not be praying all throughout the day. But when those circumstances come up, how do we retrain ourselves instead of saying, “I have to fix this,” saying, “God, what, what do you want me to do in this situation?”

Jim: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. The other one, uh, God wants to know you. I love this. So often we, um, I’m not sure how to say this, but we create a barrier between us and the Lord because we don’t see it as a relationship like me and my friends.

Kathi: Well-

Jim: But the Lord is very much wanting to live there. And in that Proverbs 8:17 passage he says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.”

Kathi: Isn’t that beautiful?

Jim: It’s a beautiful statement.

Kathi: Yep.

Jim: He’s saying, “I wanna be there for you.”

Kathi: Uh, but, there also is something there that’s, you know, it says, “Those who seek me.” So there’s a responsibility on our part too. And I want to know the nature of God. I want to know Him. And so that comes through Bible reading, but it also comes through prayer. And saying, you know, “As I talk to God, I get to know His nature better.”

Jim: Well, again, it’s so simple. It’s like a friend.

Kathi: Yes.

Jim: How would you get to know a friend? By seeking that friend, right?

Kathi: Right.

Jim: Let’s go to dinner Friday night.

Kathi: Yes.

Jim: Let’s, let’s talk. How do you do that in a marital relationship? You spend time together. Uh, the Lord-

Kathi: And-

Jim: … is saying, “I’m the same. You’re made in my image.”

Kathi: And I think that, for so many of us, at least for me, I know that when I have been negligent in my relationship with God, it’s almost easier for me to put it off. Because I feel so guilty. And I don’t w-

Jim: Explain that. Th- The-

Kathi: (laughs).

Jim: … more guilt you feel, the more distance you justify putting between you and God? Is that what you’re saying?

Kathi: Yeah, which, which doesn’t sound… You know, when you haven’t called a friend for a while, it’s harder to call that friend.

Jim: Yeah, and it gets progressively more difficult.

Kathi: And more awkward. And I think, for me, I can feel that way with God. Even though I know God’s nature and I know that, you know, God delights in me, and He loves me, and He adores me, and He wants to spend time with me. But I don’t think I’m the only woman who feels that way.

Jim: Uh, let me just mention one more of the five, that we’re only talking about three of them-

Kathi: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jim: … and certainly, people can get the book to look further. But the one, also, that caught my attention, and is so important to all of us who seek the Lord. That God answers your prayer, John 16:24. Which states, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you’ll receive it, that your joy may be made full.”

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That’s a beautiful one as well.

Kathi: Absolutely. And I think, as we get to know God’s nature it becomes easier to pray, you know? And it’s not just, uh, God answers our prayers in the way that we would want, but we can kind of submit our hearts and say, “God, you know, I want this so desperately.” And I think God can understand the desires of our hearts, but He can also change the desires of our hearts.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: You know, we’ve had our hearts set on something that we thought, “This is gonna change my life, this is gonna make my family whole, this is gonna…” And then so often, 10 years down the road, we see God answered that prayer, but not at all in the way that we expected.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And so, to be able to trust in God that He answers our prayers even when it doesn’t look like it.

John: That’s some really good encouragement from Kathi Lipp today, on Focus on the Family. And we always appreciate her insights and her energy. And, uh, as Kathi is talking about her book, Praying God’s Word for Your Life, it may be that you’re interested and would like to get a copy, stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call 800-A-FAMILY. And now more from Kathi Lipp on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

John: Uh, Kathi, you’ve, um, you’ve been pretty transparent. And we touched on one of the things that is kind of a hurdle to prayer, time, and, uh, what are some of the other reasons that we don’t pray?

Kathi: I think that, you know, we talked about guilt. And I think that for a lot of women, taking time away from family, and relationships, and the things that we have to get done, uh, makes us feel guilty. Like, we should, you know, we’ve got this checklist that we need to go through in our day, and let’s be honest, prayer is the one that you can kind of squeeze by on and “nobody notices.”

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And, but what we’re doing is we’re, you know, we’re putting, dropping God to the bottom of our priority list.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And I think that we’re robbing ourselves of really getting to know who God is, and get, understanding his acceptance of who we are. And I think that that’s a big hurdle for a lot of women, not feeling accepted and loved by God, perhaps because of maybe the family they grew up in, or maybe the view of religion they’ve had in their lives. But they feel that God may be a judge instead of what we were talking about earlier-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: … that friend, or that person, who, you know, that-

Jim: Companion.

Kathi: Exactly, exactly.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And so, I think that there’s an element of guilt for a lot of women. And I think that, also, we don’t know where to start sometimes. There’s, I, I think it feels overwhelming. I know that I when I would start to pray I would think, “Okay. So I’ve seen these Bible teachers talk about the hour they have with God in the morning and what they’re doing. And they have this regimen that you go through.” And I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by that.

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: So I got to the point where I said, “Okay. I’m just gonna set some time aside, and I’m gonna start with 15 minutes.” And then 15 minutes felt overwhelming. And I know now your listeners are thinking, “W- She’s talking about prayer to us?” I get it, I get it. But I had to start with one-minute prayers.

Jim: Well let me ask this, uh-

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: … y- y- because so many husbands can add weight.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: The guilt, to this.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: And, uh, you know, y- w- speak to us, as husbands, how we help lift that burden. And I would think, the formula would be, that if your wife is praying and has a robust prayer life, you’re gonna be a happier husband.

Kathi: Amen.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: An- And sometimes I can just-

John: Yeah.

Jim: … hear husbands who are saying, “Honey, we need to do this, we need to do that.”

Kathi: Right.

Jim: Or “What happened to the house today?” You know, not a wise question a husband coming home should ask.

Kathi: (laughs).

John: You have a friend who asked that. Yeah.

Jim: But, but-

Kathi: That’s the best advice, yes.

Jim: … but we can, we inadvertently, I think, husbands, we don’t even understand the weight that we’re putting on our spouses-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … so that they feel they don’t have time.

Kathi: I think that if your wife comes to you and says, “You know what? I need these 15 minutes, or I need this half hour. Is there a way that you could take the kids for that amount of time?” And…or could you get up 15 minutes earlier? Or is there a way to create space for your wife so that she has that time?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And maybe it’s just about me getting up earlier. And I’ve found that that was the solution for me. But just because I got up earlier didn’t mean everybody’s day started earlier.

Jim: Well, and that’s a good question, I was gonna ask the, th- th- the, the other side of that. When should couples be praying together? That should be every day as well.

Kathi: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that for couples, it’s really good to have a good book or a good, you know, something that you can just-

Jim: A tool.

Kathi: A tool, somehow. And I know Focus has a ton of these kinds of resources. A- Uh, something that you can go to every day and pray about. And the nice thing for Roger and I, while we may spend just a couple of minutes in prayer, it often sets off a discussion for us that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And I think, for couples, one of the things, the best questions you can ask is, “How can I pray for you today?”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: We think we know what’s going on in our spouse’s life, but then, you know, maybe the wife has a situation going on at work. Or maybe the d- um, husband isn’t feeling like the kind of dad he wants to be.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: I mean, how does that change your day when you know that you’ve got somebody who loves you, who loves God, and is invested in you, who is sending you out-

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: … into the world prayed up? I think that there is just something about that that would change the whole dynamic of, uh, s- if you’re struggling in your marriage, change the whole dynamic.

Jim: Uh, you, Kathi, have been on the program and talked in the past about your struggles.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Um, Roger, you’re in a second marriage situation.

Kathi: Yeah. Yes.

Jim: When you reflect on that, as a woman-

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and, uh, marrying young-

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and the struggles that existed there, um, would prayer have changed that?

Kathi: Uh, you know, it’s a tough question. I know that I prayed a lot in that first marriage. I prayed a lot. And, uh, uh, you know, my husband had some struggles that were beyond what I could do or repair. But I do know this, um, in that struggling marriage, if both of us had been praying-

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: … if both of us had been committed to the change that I know is possible when God is intimately involved in a marriage and working with both people, I, there could’ve been hope, for sure. Absolutely. Um, in a struggling marriage I think that even if your spouse isn’t praying, you need to be praying.

John: Mm-hmm. Right.

Kathi: And you need to get people around you who are praying. I think that there is always hope when God is involved in the midst of marriage.

Jim: Uh, for you and Roger, today, I mean, is that, uh, the impetus for you? I mean, you desperately wanna make sure-

Kathi: Oh, yes.

Jim: … that you honor the Lord in everything you do. Uh, w- how did you come to that realization? What was the circumstances when you said, “Roger, we need to be prayin’ often together.”

Kathi: Um, blending a family, children, uh, f- thinking that we made the biggest mistake in our lives. Because, I will say, the first six months of that marriage were the hardest of my life.

Jim: Just because it was all coming down on you.

Kathi: W- I had, uh, kids in that house who w- you know, wanted me gone. I mean, my stepson, Jeremy, was a protestor at our wedding.

John: Oh, (laughs).

Kathi: It was a tough time-

John: A protestor.

Kathi: … in our marriage. It was really, really tough.

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And I look back at those first, you know, f- especially first two years, and think, “If not for God. If not for God.”

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Right.

Kathi: And now I have an amazing relationship with my stepson, Jeremy. We are great friends. If he calls his dad and his dad’s not available, he and I are talking on the phone. It is only through prayer that we have that relationship. And it’s because Roger and I were praying together. I would love to say that we just wanted to start off our marriage in the best way possible, and I encourage other couples to do that, but we were praying out of desperation, and God answers desperate prayers.

Jim: (laughs). He does.

Kathi: He does.

Jim: He’s close to the brokenhearted.

Kathi: Oh.

Jim: And saves those crushed in spirit. I love that scripture.

Kathi: He mended us.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathi: He mended us.

Jim: That’s awesome. Uh, when you come down to it, um, uh, what would be a practical way for a mom, a wife hearing this, it’s been the bottom thing on the list-

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: … to do. And most days she hasn’t gotten to that item to have time with the Lord, to pray. Um, what can she do tomorrow that will be different?

Kathi: I think there are two important things. Understand that not everybody around you is a prayer warrior. Other women struggle with this. You may be in a Bible study where everybody’s talking about how much they’re praying. That’s okay. Start where you’re at. And I’m a big believer in minivan prayers.

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi: If you are waiting for your kids to get out of school, you’re waiting for them to get out of soccer practice, sit there. Have, have a resource with you. Have something that you can be praying out of. But start with one minute. And what’s going to happen in that one minute is, you are going to start falling in love with spending time with God. And that’s where I’m at now. It took me a while to get to that place. But now I am the person who looks forward to that time with, with my God, every single day.

Jim: You try to move it to the top of the list.

Kathi: It’s at the top of the list, because I see how, not only does it affect me, it affects the people in my life. And when I can honestly tell somebody, “I’ve been praying for you. And I’m so glad I got to be a part of that miracle because of the prayers.” That’s an exciting way to live.

John: Yeah.

Kathi: You wanna wake up every day and say, “What else could I be praying for?”

Jim: Uh, you know, another reality check. I, when, and I think it’s great, out of your book, Praying God’s Word for Your Life. You talk about your kids.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: You’re modeling, for your children-

Kathi: Right.

Jim: … something here too. They’re seeing you pray.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, “Where’s mommy?” “Well, she’s praying right now.”

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: And it’s a good thing. In fact, one of your teenage daughters became the family prayer warrior.

Kathi: Yeah. Absolutely. Uh, we had a cat, Zorro-

Jim: (laughs).

Kathi: … who decided to go on a walkabout and was gone. Uh, and we were at a week of this cat being gone, and we lived in a place where they had coyotes-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: … and all sorts of wildlife. And I knew what happened to Zorro. And so, but my daughter, Kimberly said, “Mom, we need to be praying. We need to pray that Zorro will come home.” And I sa- you know, so I’m thinking, “Oh, isn’t that cute. She still wants to pray.” And so, we prayed, and she made posters in faith, and put ’em up-

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: … all over the place. And I kept having discussions with her that I’d say, “You know, God answers prayer in a variety of way…” And this is a very hard conversation-

Jim: Yeah.

Kathi: … to have. A week later, Zorro was on our front doorstep.

John: Oh.

Kathi: And you-

John: Alive and well.

Kathi: Alive and well. Yes.

John: (laughs).

Kathi: (laughs). That’s im- that’s important to put out.

Jim: So the Lord was saying, “Oh Kathi, I have something to share with you.” (laughs).

John: Oh my-

Kathi: Yeah, ab- exactly. Exactly. And, you know, Kim, to this day, whereas I- I’ll be honest with you, my kids are in different varying degrees of where their walk is with God. But each of my kids will call me when there’s a situation and say, “Will you pray?” And I say, “I’ll pray as long as you’re praying.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And, you know, that, I think, is an opportunity, when they have these b- lives that, you know, maybe we’re not as day-to-day involved with anymore. But when they’re asking you to pray, let me pray with you.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: And let’s pray about this together. And my kids believe in the power of prayer.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Um, Kathi, as we wrap up today, um, those tough things-

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … maybe it’s finances-

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: … maybe it’s, you know, there’s something going on in the relationship, and the woman is broken over it.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: How does she approach her husband to say, “Would you work with me to put this before the Lord?” How does a woman go about approaching her husband when there’s tension over an issue?

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: Right, right. Uh, you know, even when there’s tension, I think everybody in that family wants peace. And, you know, it’s, we may look at it in different ways, at how it should come about, but, uh, I have never had anybody say, “I don’t want you to pray for me.” Even my non-Christian family, my non-Christian friends, everybody is willing to receive prayer. So going to your husband and saying, “You know what? I have not been praying on your behalf like I should. What could I be praying for you about today? What is there?” And maybe you don’t start with the relationship stuff. Maybe you start with the work stuff. And say, “Is there something I could be praying for you at work today?” And just try to gently dip your toe in and say… And then ask, “I prayed for you today, how are things going?” Or, “Are there different things I could be praying about?” Praying for your husband’s family, I think, is a wonderful way to just open up your heart and say, “This is important to me too.” So humbling ourselves. Saying, “Let me pray for you.” And then getting to a place where, eventually, you can be praying together.

Jim: Well, and that’s it. It sounds like that spirit of humility.

Kathi: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That we all need, not just wives.

Kathi: Yeah.

Jim: Husbands too.

Kathi: Absolutely.

Jim: And that’s how we, uh, go about doing that. Kathi Lipp, author of the book, Praying God’s Word for Your Life. It is so good to have you here. Thank you for your, just your vivacious spirit and, uh, the God we see in you.

John: Mm-hmm.

Kathi: Oh, thank you, I love being here. And I love you guys.

John: What a great conversation today with Kathi Lipp about the power and the purpose of prayer on this episode of Focus on the Family. And we’ve got details about Kathi and her great book at her website, along with a link to the National Day of Prayer, um, stop by. It’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call us. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY.

Jim: John, a critical part of what we do every day here at Focus on the Family is helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s c- central to who we are. And we want to introduce you to God’s love and forgiveness and support your daily walk with the Lord. And we’ve got lots of resources dedicated to your spiritual, uh, discipleship. Like Kathi’s book, and programs like this one, our websites, and so much more. And it’s been our privilege, with God’s help, to impact families in profound ways. Uh, one listener responded this way. “You guys fuel me and make deposits in me so I can go out there and do the same for others. You fuel me as a wife, mother, and believer in this culture. Thank you SO MUCH.” (laughs). “I believe my husband would echo these sentiments as we listen to your podcast while we do our chores, take lunchtime walks, or whenever we have the opportunity. You’re such an incredible blessing.” And we’ll just bounce that right back to the Lord, right John?

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

Jim: Uh, bottom line, that’s why Focus on the Family exists, to bring real hope to real families, just like this woman’s and yours. And I hope you’ll contact us about getting Kathi’s book, Praying God’s Word for Your Life. Uh, we can put a copy of that into your hands when you send a gift of any amount to Focus today. And that’s our way of saying thanks for partnering with us, to share God’s good news with families, literally, around the world. So please, get in touch, send a gift if you can, and keep praying for this family outreach.

John: We always appreciate hearing from you. And, uh, your support, prayer, and financial really do make a difference. So please, contact us today. Our number’s 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459. Or you can donate, and get Kathi’s book, and find the other resources Jim mentioned at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And coming up next time, some wonderful encouragement for moms.

Preview:

Heidi St. John: God said, “I’m gonna help you. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.” And He said that my weakness is what He loves. His strength is made perfect in weakness. And I love telling moms, “Do you feel weak today? That’s exactly where God wants you.”

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Today's Guests

Praying God's Word for Your Life

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As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!