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Praying With Honest Abandon

Praying With Honest Abandon

Elisa Morgan describes how we can model Jesus' Garden of Gethsemane prayer in our own lives by finding the proper balance between praying for our desires and submitting to God's will.
Original Air Date: August 17, 2020

Excerpt:

Mrs. Elisa Morgan: In the garden of Gethsemane, pressed between what He wanted and what His Father wanted, Jesus prays, “If you’re willing, God, take this cup from Me, yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well, many of us are familiar with that prayer Jesus spoke on the night before His crucifixion, but what does it mean for us today? You’ll find out from our guest, Elisa Morgan. This is John Fuller and thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family with Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, Elisa Morgan visited our campus last summer with a message on prayer for our staff and now seems like a great time to share it with our listeners. Elisa was named by Christianity Today as one of the Top 50 Women Influencing the Culture, and she was the CEO of MOPS International for 20 years. Elisa is a blogger and podcaster and she’s authored more than 25 books, including When We Pray Like Jesus. 

John: And we do have copies of that book here at Focus on the Family and if you’d like a copy call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Here now Elisa Morgan on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Elisa: Hey. It’s so good to be here. So, one Thursday afternoon, I was heading out for a two-week ministry trip in Australia, and I had to go through LA and landed and had a long, like, five-hour layover. And so, I bided the time chatting it up with my husband, Evan. And he was to have accompanied me, but an unexpected surgery on his ankle meant that he needed to stay home ’cause that long flight wasn’t good for things like blood clots and stuff, you know? So, I’m chatting with him, and then I board the plane, and I take off for Melbourne. And I land, like – I don’t know – 4,000 million hours later? And I carefully take my phone, and I turn on all of those little things that he had turned off for me so I wouldn’t incur data roaming charges. And my phone blows up with these texts and voicemails from my husband. He goes, “Give me a little call, and I’m gonna give you an update on my leg.” So I pull my giant roller board that has two weeks’ worth of clothes over to the side of the arrivals hall in the airport, and I speed dial my husband. And he goes, “Hey, how was your flight?” I’m like, “Fine. What’s going on?” He goes, “Had a little bump here. I’m – I’m in ICU.” What? I had just left the man healthy and whole and joyful and doing just fine. “I’m in ICU.” He tells me he’s got 103 fever and his leg has blown up with this crazy, life-threatening blood infection in a matter of hours. My heart hits the floor at this linoleum hall. And I just reach up for God.

Now, I gotta confess that I’m not exactly prayer warrior material. I mean, I’m not, like, the poster child on the National Day of Prayer. They don’t have Elisa right there. I want to say I didn’t grow up in a house of prayer – you know, a house where prayers are uttered over meals or before you go to school in the morning or before you go to bed or at all, anywhere, out loud, ever. That was my house. Now, I did go to church as a child. My single mom dropped off my sister and I at church. She was so super smart because she would get to have two hours of uninterrupted mommy time alone. Oh, she was brilliant. So, I knew about God, and I loved God. But I wouldn’t call myself a prayer warrior. Yeah, I’ve been to seminary. Yeah, you know, I have done lots of studies on prayer. But I’ve gotta say, I’ve got a lot of prayer problems. I’ve wondered if there isn’t maybe a deeper issue going on in my heart about prayer because, you see, on the one hand, I long to pray absolutely honest before God – “this is what’s going on in me” – and tell Him every single one of my thoughts and needs. I long to lean honest with Him. But on the other hand, I think to myself, “Can I really be that honest with God, or am I gonna get zapped here?” You know, if I really am that honest, shouldn’t I instead be more godly and lean all the way towards, “What do you want, God?” So, I find myself kind of tug-of-warred between, “This is what I want, God” – an honest kind of a prayer – and, “But what do you want, God?” – a more yielded, abandoned kind of prayer.  I think you probably relate.

What kind of prayer problems do you have? Likely, you’ve got a child you’re struggling about or a spouse situation. Maybe it’s a co-worker. Maybe it’s – maybe it’s something that’s – that’s to do with your pay, or maybe it’s something to do with our country, and you’re just burdened by it. What kind of prayer problems do you have today, right now, right this very second? I want to invite you to identify it and bring it forward in your heart right now, and consider this prayer problem as we’re considering what it might be like to pray like Jesus. Keep it front of mind.

When I reached out to God in Australia, I found myself glomming onto a certain Scripture that I had been reading in my regular time. That’s what happens often when we hit a crisis, isn’t it? Something we’ve been studying comes full to life in application time for us, right? And I had been reading the prayer that Jesus had prayed in the deepest hours of His life on this planet. It’s – in that moment, kind of a two-sided prayer coin was forged, and I’m gonna read it.

This is from Luke 22. And I’m gonna pick it up in verse 39, Luke chapter 22. It’s really familiar. But listen to this. “Jesus went out, as usual, to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him. On reaching the place, He said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ And He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me, yet not My will, but Yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly. And his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Deep sincere prayer. It is the wee hours of the morning, probably around 1 o’clock, after a long day of Passover celebration and summary teachings that were offered over a meal.

Judas, the betrayer, has already slinked out to do his deed. And now the remaining 11 trudged with Jesus from the upper room through the city of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley east to finally where they end up in Gethsemane, their destination. And Jesus asked these followers to follow, to watch and pray against what is coming next – repeatedly invites them. First, He starts with the 11, and then He singles out Peter, James and John to be with Him while He prays. And He gives these specific words. These words swirl in a kind of a brew with the thoughts of all the religious leaders and the Roman authorities that the disciples have been taking in. And with their stomachs full and their heads tired, they dip and they doze.

And Jesus is left alone. And in this crucible, in the garden of Gethsemane, pressed between what He wanted and what His Father wanted, Jesus prays, “If you’re willing, God, take this cup from Me, yet not my will, but Yours be done.” Do you know this prayer is recorded in three of the four Gospels? Matthew, Mark and Luke all share this prayer, and John alludes to it. In all four of the Gospels, there’s these two sides of Jesus, two sides of prayer – a prayer coin, a prayer coin.

We think to ourselves, “Wait.” You know, Jesus invited His disciples then in the first century, but we have these words here in our Bible for us in the 21st century. As He invited those disciples, is He not also inviting us disciples, you and me, our 21st century disciples to join Him in this prayer?

What might happen if we pray like Jesus? What might be changed inside of us? And so, I want to look at both sides of these – the prayer coin – both sides. The first side is take this cup, yet not my will, but Yours be done. These three raw words punctuated by bloody sweat, and Jesus offers them up in a garden. Is there ever been a more honest prayer? “Take this cup.” If you translate it, it means, what I want, God. I like to call this the honest side of prayer. Take this cup – what I want – the honest side of a prayer coin.

It’s actually kind of startling to see this side of Jesus – isn’t it? – this kind of splayed out, vulnerable, broken side of Jesus. We picture Him all Godly all the time, don’t we? And he is all Godly all the time, but He’s also human. And He shares – He rips open His heart to say to God exactly what He wants. How could He say such a thing to the Father? How could He? How could He apparently choose for Himself and apparently against His father with such a prayer? “Take this cup.” It makes us uncomfortable. We kind of, like, squint and wince and turn away from this vulnerable Jesus.

The cup that He references is super complex. Included in the cup is the Father allowing Jesus to be hurt with the punishment that sin or waywardness requires – your sin, mine, our waywardness, our pushing away from God. In the garden, bent under the weight of the unjust punishment that’s ahead of Him, Jesus hurls an honest request, an all-out plea before His Father.

Mark 14 translates it that He was deeply distressed and troubled. Matthew says that He was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of grief and death. And then Luke tells us that He was so, so concerned that His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Take this cup. As Eugene Peterson translates it in The Message, He says, “My Father, if there’s any way, get Me out of this.” Yeah. Take this cup. It can mean, “Take away from my life that thing I don’t want – this cancer, this loneliness, this abuse, this ridicule, this bullying.” It could also mean, “Give me that thing that I lack. I need finances. God, I need a safe place to live. Lord, I long for a mate. God, please give me” – honest prayer, this take-this-cup prayer unapologetically recognizes our human limitations and boldly requests help for them from the Divine.

What if we prayed that honestly before our God the way Jesus prayed? What if we prayed like Jesus – take this cup, this grief, this rejection, this misunderstanding, this wound, this addiction, this debt, this loneliness?

John: What if you took everything to Jesus? That is Elisa Morgan on today’s episode of Focus on the Family. And you can get her book, When We Pray Like Jesus, when you make a donation of any amount to Focus on the Family today. You can contribute when you call 800-A-FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead return now to more from Elisa Morgan talking to the Focus on the Family staff.

Elisa: There’s a second side of this prayer coin that Jesus prayed. He also prays, “But not My will, but Yours be done,” in the same breath. In the same sentence, Jesus prays a seemingly opposite prayer – take this cup, but not My will – a prayer of abandon – not My will. What do You want, God? Abandon. What do You want, God? What do You want to do in this given situation?

I like that word abandon because there’s a kind of a dual meaning to it. It means a kind of a giving up, but there’s also this wholeheartedly tumbling into another person’s desire, like when we’re abandoned in love. Jesus abandons Himself to what the Father might want.

But let’s pause there and realize Jesus is not offering a lobotomized kind of submission. In the garden, Jesus turns to the second side of prayer with a remembering of what He knows is true about His Father. “Take this cup. I don’t want to go through this, God. No, no, no” – into an abandon of, “oh, but I trust You. We’ve been together since the beginning of time, which isn’t even beginning. We’ve never been apart. I trust You.” And I begin to see this kind of cumulative work of prayer that Jesus is expressing as He prays.

What if we prayed this way? What if we prayed this abandonly, this – “what do You want, God? What do You want to do there? And not my will that my teenager follow God, not my will that my husband adore me and cherish me, not my will that my boss decides to keep me on the payroll, not my will that my friend apologizes for what she’s done – not my will.”

So, when my heart hit the floor in Melbourne in the airport, I was wrestling between this ping-pong of this two-sided prayer. “God, take this cup, yet not my will” – what would it mean for me to pray that right here, God? “Take this cup. I do not want my husband to be in an ICU in Denver, Colorado, while I am thousands of miles away. Take this cup. I don’t want anything else to happen to Him bad. Take this cup. I don’t want to do ministry when I want to be home. I feel completely unplugged from the service of giving. Take this cup. But what do You want to do here, God?” My will rose up strong. I’m just being honest here.

And I began to wait for my Australian rep to come pick me up, just praying and praying. And I felt this kind of nudge to flip over to the other side of the prayer. “But, God, what do You want to do here?” And I sensed, in this moment, as a hush fell into me, “Elisa, maybe this is about the kids. Maybe I can use this in your kids’ lives.” And I began to think about our precious kids. They were in their real late 20s, early 30s at that time, both of them married, one with two kids, making their way out of a bunch of challenging years into some somewhat more stable years.

But I realized they had never been the ones in charge for us. We’d always been there for them. And I felt God’s nudge. “Watch what I can do in your absence, Elisa. Watch.” And I pulled myself together for three seconds – that’s about as long as I could last – and I decided, “Okay, I’ll wait.”

“Take this cup, not My will” – Jesus prayed both of these sides of prayer. And I began to wonder, how did He pray so honest? And how did He pray so abandoned in the same sentence? And I followed after Him. And I realized there’s a space between these two opposite prayers of “take this cup and not my will” – a tiny, three-letter word that’s almost easy to miss of “yet,”, a conjunction that links opposites, a necessary word that pulls them together and yet holds them apart.

While Jesus’ prayer tarried through the night, likely, He repeatedly prayed this prayer over and over. In fact, we’re told in Luke that He came back three times. There is this space between take ‘this cup and not My will’ – a pivot of sorts.

I – I picture a gymnast. Or I think about a basketball player dribbling, stopping, pivoting, turning, aiming, shooting, a pivot, a rotation, a turn, a take this cup, yet not my will. And I begin to think that in that little space between these two opposite sentiments, something is happening in Jesus’ heart that motivates Him, that clarifies Him, that aligns Him in a different way in this pivot. There is the space.

I read in John. I read John recording Jesus’ upper room prayer for His disciples then and His disciples going forward. In John 17:21, He prays most specifically, “May they be one, as You and I are one.”

And He can model that for us. He can pray that because He is one with the Father, intimately so. And He prays it for us because Jesus actually died to provide that kind of intimacy that we, too, could have it with our God.

In Australia, my 48-, 72-hour crisis of being away from my husband taught me so much as I applied this prayer. I would pull out my iPad and FaceTime Evan in ICU every hour. We found out, “Oh, my goodness, it is the flesh-eating MRSA bacteria that’s in his bloodstream.” He was minutes away from being absolutely helpless. He caught it as it began to spread. The nurses attended to them.

We would chat every single hour. And the beautiful people at Our Daily Bread Ministries where I was serving figured out a way to tape my messages so that I could return after that first initial conference and get home as quickly as possible. But in my absence, my daughter brought her dad blankets in the ICU because, at 103, he was shivering, and she thought he needed to be warmer – precious, precious offering. And my son thought he didn’t probably want to eat the hospital food, so he wanted to cook for him and bring him food. But, of course, he wasn’t eating very much. But what they were doing was speaking out of their language of love, stepping forward.

The best news of all is I was able to get home. And you know what I didn’t even notice is that because I was flying in the opposite direction, I gained a day, which made my distance from him even shorter. Best news of all – cherry on top – is Evan lived, (giggle) and he’s here, and he’s fine, and his leg is intact. The one they thought they were going to have to amputate is there, and he plays golf on it, and he walks on it, and he rides his bike on it, and he continues to live on it.

So, what might happen if we all prayed like Jesus? What if we dared to enter into this sacred place in Scripture, again, into a prayer that is included in three of our four Gospels and mentioned in the fourth? What if we entered it? What if we accepted the invitation that our God gives to join Him in this prayer?

Think about trying to practice it. And it’s a kind of – of almost like a pattern you look at. Take this cup, yet not my will. Take this cup, yet not my will. Take this cup, God, that – that my (groaning) teenage child not make horrible decisions today, God. Please keep them out of the ditches, yet not my will. And as I pray “not my will,” I’m going, “God, what do You want to do?” And sense God going, “Well, Elisa, why are you trying to protect your children from the very things I used to bring you to Me? Can you let Me be their God the way you’ve let Me be your God?” Oh, what happens? I’m stunned with it. But the more I pray repeatedly, do you see the depth that’s forged?

Take this cup, not my will – day after day, issue building on issue, struggle building on struggle, back and forth between honest and abandon until we’re finally freed in a different way.

I asked you to think about a prayer problem you have today. And it’s probably still front of mind, although it might have slipped to the back. But those prayer problems usually don’t go quiet for very long, do they?

If you have a quarter, grab a quarter and stick it in your right hand. And maybe George’s head is – is the (laughter) – the take-this-cup side. “God, this is what I want.” And you pray that prayer problem. This is for – “I’m lonely, and I really would – wanna find a mate, God. Please take away my loneliness. Please provide a spouse.” And then you put that coin to the tail side, and it’s gonna have a different state on every quarter, okay? And you’re gonna say, “But God, not my will, but Yours be done.” Well, will I choose to be single the rest of my life? I don’t want that, God. Back to the take-my-cup side (laughter), back to the right hand, to the left hand, back and forth. You can physically live out this way Jesus prayed of, “This is what I want, but what do you want, God?”

The prayer coin practice is not a formula. It’s not a magic potion, you know, that you pour it out and then, ding, ding, now you get exactly what you want. You know, it’s not a genie in the bottle. What it is is a – a way to express, in real-life, everyday practice what Jesus did in the garden as He wrestled, fully God and fully Man, with what He knew was ahead of Him, and He was absolutely terrified to face. And yet what He trusted God to pull Him through. What better illustration of our way to walk with God?

Would you pray with me? Lord, thank You. Thank You for this illustration of your Son spent and splayed in desperation before You. And thank You because He did allow Himself to be spent and splayed and then pivoted into obedience and abandon, even to the point of death on the cross. We can now enjoy a relationship of intimacy and hope and ongoing relationship with You. Would You give us the courage, dear God, to spend the prayer coin, the coin that You lavishly, lavishly forged for our benefit? In Your Name, Amen.

John: Author and teacher Elisa Morgan, speaking to our staff, on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Jim: I really appreciated Elisa’s message. It seems like these days, we don’t get a lot of instruction on exactly how to pray. And it’s such an important part of our Christian faith. That regular conversation with God is such a critical element of a believer’s toolbox. And our mission here at Focus on the Family is to either lead you into a relationship with Jesus Christ or help you strengthen that relationship. And there’s nothing more important to us than that. Our heart for evangelism is seen, I hope, throughout this ministry – on the daily broadcast, the podcast, through our magazines for adults and for children, and through our free streaming service called [email protected] And if you haven’t signed up for that, I hope you will. Here’s one comment we received recently: “The videos for children on [email protected] have made a big difference in my 6-year-old daughter’s life. She actually told me, ‘Mom, I don’t have to be scared anymore – I can just pray instead.’  I was amazed! Thank you, Focus, for sharing such an incredible video library with us. God bless you all.” Isn’t that awesome?

John: Oh, that is a terrific comment. Just think of the impact in that one child’s life and it’s an impact throughout, uh, that free service that we’ve started to provide, thanks to our donors who fund these efforts.

Jim: Well, that’s true. And think of that being multiplied tens of thousands of times with other kids and adults. And we want to thank our donors for blessing the efforts here at Focus. That’s how it gets done. And if you can make a donation today, we’d like to send you a copy of Elisa’s book When We Pray Like Jesus. And remember, when you get it from us here at Focus on the Family, you are helping do ministry. We use the proceeds from that to help keep marriages together, help save a baby’s life. So, order through Focus on the Family today.

John: Yeah. And unlike most booksellers, we’re going to be happy to send Elisa’s book to you when you contribute a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family. That’s going to be our way of saying thanks for joining us in helping families around the world thrive in Christ. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or you can donate online and get that book, When We Pray Like Jesus, at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And by the way, we’ve enhanced our daily broadcast app, so you can now take Focus on the Family with you wherever you go and have access not just to this broadcast, but all of our podcasts, other radio programs as well, and all of the great content that you expect from Focus on the Family. Check it out when you’re online with us. Now next time, you’re going to hear some key skills for parenting your children well.

Teaser:

Mr. Danny Huerta: This is steadfast, unwavering love that reaches into the dark moments and goes through seasons with our kids where they need somebody to bring some light, to bring prayer, to bring a listening ear, to bring guidance in places that are very confusing.

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Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

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!

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Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

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!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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 2

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 2

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.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

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.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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!