Preparing for Challenges in Advance – with Jesus

Lord, I have a lot going on today; many things on my plate. You said You’ll be with us always, which includes TODAY! So would You help me prepare for these things ahead instead of being a sitting duck and waiting until I’m in the middle of them – sinking down, getting overwhelmed, confused, or discouraged? 

Christina (Motley) often talks about asking God, at the beginning of the day, to help her process things she knows will be coming up that day. This is the first I had ever heard of doing this, and I love the concept!

I invite you to join me as I walk through asking the Lord to help me process five things I deal with on a regular basis.

You’ll recognize many of the truths herein as being things we have heard from Heidi and Christina in the Thin Within groups and materials!


Okay, Lord, let’s DO this!







My past failures tend to creep up on me and suck me down into the miry pit of discouragement. I easily start feeling I’LL NEVER CHANGE! Why even try? I’ll just fail again! 

TRUTH: Yesterday’s failures do not define or confine me. God has forgiven me, (assuming I have asked), so despite what I couldn’t do yesterday (or simply chose not to do), the truth for this moment is that I can begin afresh right now because today is a brand new day!

PLAN: When failures come at me like a fastball, and the enemy tries to use them to strike me down, hit him back with these verses:

SCRIPTURE: “Remember not the former things, [the things of the past] nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)   |   “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning (and it’s always morning somewhere on the planet!); great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–24)   |   “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

PRAY: Lord, I’m so grateful that You don’t hold my past against me, and that You don’t want me to keep regurgitating my failures and sins. Thank You that You are doing a new thing in me! Help me be aware of it springing forth in me rather than continually focusing on my sins, failures and weaknesses. I want to walk with You as You make a way in the wilderness of my undisciplined thought life and rivers in the dry desert of my gluttonous nature..






I have many things to do today and am feeling overwhelmed trying to decide what to do and not do, and how to get everything done that I need to get done.

TRUTH: The Lord knows what He wants me to do today and He is able to show me this and to UNoverwhelm me.

PLAN: Make a list of all the things that need to be done so that they aren’t just floating around and hitting me in the head all day. Pray, wait, and allow God to show me what to do next, and then next… and what to let go of, at least for today. And even though I don’t think I know how to hear the Lord, see John 10:27 below.

SCRIPTURE“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)   |   “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)   |   “Let all things [that the Lord wants me to do] be done decently [kindly, dutifully, suitably, and generously; not minimally or begrudgingly] and in order.” (I Cor. 14:40)

PRAY: Lord, You know everything before me today, and what all You want me to do. So show me what I do and don’t need to do today, and how to accomplish all that You want me to!






Lord, there’s a task that I don’t want to do today, something I’ve been procrastinating doing  just because it’s distasteful and I simply do NOT want to do it! 

TRUTH: Whether or not I want to do this is not my bottom line, but whether or not God wants me to do it. I’m thankful that I’m physically capable of doing it.

PLAN: Pray the prayer below, and then get in and JUST DO IT!

SCRIPTURE“For the moment, all discipline [hard work that I don’t particularly want to do] seems painful [distasteful] rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [including having something done that I didn’t want to do] for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

PRAY: Lord, would You help me not only do this, but also make me extra aware of Your presence while I do it? I’d love it if you put something on my mind and heart to think about and process with You while I (we) do it.






Lord, there are all sorts of yummy foods in the fridge and my pantry, and they’re calling my name!! I just SO want to eat them ALL – or at least as much as I can cram in!

TRUTH: Yes, there are lots of good things to eat, but that doesn’t mean I need to eat them all today, or ever! The truth is that it’s more wasteful to eat it all than to toss what we don’t eat; the excess fuel in my body will weigh me down, rob me of energy, and steal my joy and my “food-peace.” The truth is that “one more bite” will not bless me or help me; it will take me in the opposite direction from where God wants to take me, which is into freedom, peace, and joy.

PLAN: Each time I get down to zero, I can eat a small amount of whatever I want – up to “satisfied.” Focus more on abiding in Jesus today so that “there I’ll be” when troubles come.

SCRIPTURE“For God has not given me a spirit of fear [of the yummy leftovers in the fridge], but of power [to not eat everything in one sitting], of love [of myself, enough to tend to my actual needs and not lusts], and a sound mind” [which, as God renews it, is capable of regarding food as merely “tasty, enjoyable fuel” and not as entertainment!]  (2 Timothy 1:7)

PRAY: Lord, thank you so much for Your provision, which is so abundant that I have enough food to actually have this problem! Help me to enjoy food as tasty fuel, and not as something to scarf down until I’m stuffed! You know which foods my body actually needs and what will be “whole body pleasers,” so would You give me a desire for those foods, and help me eat “just enough” to satisfy my hunger. And remind me if I get preoccupied and forget to come to You as often as I need/want to!






Lord, I know I’m going to hear more bad news today, and each time I do, I get anxious and/or angry. All the yuckiness going on in the news and politics: the twisted perceptions, perverse ungodliness, defiance and mockery of God, injustices, despising and hatred of Christians – it all just grieves me so much, Lord, and I don’t know what to do with it.

TRUTH: These things are happening because people have rejected God and set themselves up as their own authority. They call what’s good evil, and what’s evil good. I need to expect to see these things; not be surprised.
       SCRIPTURE: “For, although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools … [T]hey did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.   … [And] they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them.” (excerpts from Romans 1: 21–31)
TRUTH: I can’t fix these situations or the people involved. It’s not even my job; these people and situations are the Holy Spirit’s work; mine only to the extent that He brings me into His work. But it is my job to pray for them and to love the people.
       SCRIPTURE: “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.” (John 14:17)
TRUTH: In the midst of all the sad, horrible, and depressing things going on in the world, God still wants me to be loving, gracious, patient, and kind. There may be a time to speak the truth in love, but I need to let God lead me into those situations, and not strive to change/fix everyone as “the way it is” was prophesied. And, in the meantime, get His heart for others, even those with whom I disagree (vehemently).
      SCRIPTURE: “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Psalms 145:8)   |   “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
TRUTH: God doesn’t want me to live in a state of continually being troubled, weighed down, vexed, and dominated by all the evil going on in the world.
      SCRIPTURE: “Cast all your anxiety (cares, burdens) on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)   |   “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6-7)   |   “Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (II Corinthians 10: 5)
A) Make it a practice to “take every thought captive.”
B) Print out four copies of the above truths + verses and put them: in my Bible, on the inside of a kitchen cupboard, in my bathroom cupboard, and by my bed. Also copy and paste it into the Notes on my phone. So that…
C) Whenever one of these thoughts hits, process it with Jesus. Ultimately leave the matter – and its heaviness – with Him.
PRAY: Lord, there is soooo much happening today that is just so sad and depressing. It can easily suck the wind right out from my sails. Please give me Your heart and mind on all this! Help me carry Your hope-giving light to those who walk in darkness!




I’d love to hear what’s been weighing on your heart/mind and how you are processing it with the Lord!


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2 Responses to Preparing for Challenges in Advance – with Jesus

  1. Michelle Reeves September 5, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    Yay Barb and God! I’m trying to get into a coaching group cause I love them SO MUCH.

  2. Kelly Tull January 10, 2019 at 7:54 am #

    This was so timely today. Especially with the political landscape. I’ve been regularly reminded, by the Lord, to not spend too much time, if any, listening to news or alternative news. He assured me today, that He will show me what I need too know and it will be WHEN I need to know it. So much out there is very upsetting and peoples responses ungodly. The Holy Spirit keeps reminding me that “Whatever is true, honorable, or lovely, think on such things”. That’s hard to do with the messy internet.

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