All posts by mrslevite

Praying for Your Church

A few weeks ago, I posted the February Prayer Challenge. How is that going for you? It may not be as easy for you as it sounds. Focusing your prayers for one full day on a person you may or may not even like can be a challenge. There have been some days that my prayer has been to ask for help to love the person better.

Over the past couple of years, our church has had some schedule changes for some of our programs – but not Sunday School or the Sunday Morning Worship Service. Those have stayed the same. And then last year, there were some major changes in our ministry personnel resulting in the church being without a Pastor for the past 7 months or so. And this has resulted in our Wednesday Night Prayer service becoming non-existent.

In an effort to change this, last Sunday, one of our members requested that the church be open for prayer from 6 to 7 pm. This request was approved and announced. For this service, quiet background music was played while we prayed individually for about 45 minutes. At about 45 minutes into the individual silent prayer, we all prayed aloud together, one at a time. The evening finished in the kitchen and meeting room with decaf coffee and homemade cookies.

For our silent prayer time, some simply prayed silently with no ‘prayer aids’. I had a printed prayer list with church members’ and friends’ and families’ prayer needs, the elders and deacons, and the Pulpit Search Committee members. The back of the sheet was blank for me to add more. And I did. I also had the Bible app on my phone ready for quickly looking up scripture as I needed. Neither way was right and neither was wrong. They were both prayer.

Today, I want to share some of my prayers from that evening. You can pray these prayers with me – for our church. Or you can pray these prayers for your own church and its unique needs at this time. When I got home that night and was talking to my friend in Arkansas about the prayer service, I learned that her home church is going through similar changes as ours. All churches need our prayers.

Jesus said in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, Verse 20:
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

I know Jesus was with us Wednesday night as we prayed together. I know that He is with us this now, too.

On Wednesday night,
• I prayed for the families of the two recently deceased members of our church.
• I prayed for those on our list who are ill or have other needs, even if I didn’t know what they were.
• I prayed for the loved ones of our members who are in the military. I prayed for our Youth Minister and his wife and for the elders and deacons and their wives.
• I prayed for the Pulpit Committee and their families.
• I prayed for the interim minister who will be preaching for the next couple of months and his wife.
• I prayed for the future minister and his family who God is preparing to come and serve at our church, to be a shepherd to this flock.
• I prayed for those us at the prayer service.

I know there are some who do not believe in Spiritual Warfare. I do. And it’s scriptural. Why else would be instructed to put on the full armor of God in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 11 & 12?
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

When do you think you the enemy is most likely to attack? There are 2 key times:
• When you are weak.
• When you are about to make progress in the war and threaten to conquer the enemy.

In most churches, you are going to find both of these at pretty much the same time.

We have some who are weak. Due to the changes and lack of a Senior Minister at the moment, our church is weak. Evil forces will try to take advantage of this and attack.

And we have some who are steadfast and continuing to fight the battle before them, aware that God has promised us that the war has been fought in His Kingdom is Victorious. They are making progress in this Spiritual War and are threatening to conquer the enemy. And the Evil forces do not like this. Evil will look for ways to attack the individual and the family and loved ones of the individuals. The Evil Forces will attack the church as a whole, placing stumbling blocks in front of us.

Because of this Spiritual Warfare, it is of the utmost importance that we pray for protection for
• our church members,
• our church leaders,
• those in a position to make forward moving decisions and change in our church,
• and for all of their families.

For our church, I prayed that God will banish
• Hate
• Bitterness
• Anger
• Jealousy
• Gossip
• Pettiness
• And the keeping accounts of grievances.

I prayed that God would rain down on us
• Love
• Peace
• Patience
• Gentleness
• Forbearance
• And Trust.

I prayed that God would give us a bright, shining fresh faces and hearts, scrubbed and clean when we stand before Him.

I prayed that God would fill each room of our church building with laughter and joy and praise and encouragement and support.

I know that not all churches have the same needs at the same time.

But all churches need prayers.

Even if you are not active in a local congregation, you can pray these prayers for the churches in your community or even the church back home that you attended as a child.

These prayers shouldn’t be limited to your church family or local congregations, though. You can pray these prayers for YOUR family!
• You can pray for your family members who are ill or in harm’s way or hurting emotionally.
• You can pray for the spiritual leaders in your family.
• You can pray for each family member in their various roles in the family.
• You can pray for your family to be protected in whatever Spiritual Wars and attacks the family and individual members are battling.
• You can pray for laughter, joy, praise, encouragement, and support to fill every room of your home.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that God said of His word in Chapter 55 of Isaiah, “It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God is not just our Creator, our Father in Heaven, our Provider, and the other roles that quickly come to mind. God is a model for us of how we are to live AND how we are to pray. And just as God’s word will not return to Him empty, OUR words will not return to US empty. Our words in prayer will return with answers and results. As you pray this week, expect results. Look for the answers to your prayers. And then celebrate the results and answers!

February Prayer Challenge

What does your prayer life look like? Are you consistent or random? Do you have a system? Do you write out your prayers in a journal? Do you keep an updated ‘prayer list’? Do you pray for people specifically? Or are your prayers more general? Do you pray for your church? Do you pray expecting results?

Today, I want to issue a prayer challenge for you. For the Month of February, I challenge you to pray for 7 people each week. This is 7 people in addition to your regular prayer list. You can pray for each 7 every day each week. Or you can pray for one person per day. This prayer should be intentional and specific – not just something thrown out casually or as an afterthought. I suggest using a prayer journal for this challenge. I would use one page per person. Write their name across the top of the page and then start listing ways you can pray for that person.

If you’re not sure how to pray for those you choose, remember Paul’s words to the Romans in Chapter 8, Verse 26 & 27:

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

And as you’re praying, even if you don’t know how to pray for this person, keep your pen and journal handy so you can write down what comes to you through the Holy Spirit. Here are some things to remember while praying:

  • Nothing is too trivial to pray for. What may sound like a frivolous prayer to us, may be just prayer the person we are praying for needs.
  • We don’t have to use fancy or formal words or phrases. It doesn’t have to be grandiose. It just has to come from your heart.
  • Our prayers don’t have to be directly for the other person. Our prayers may be just as much for ourselves with regard to the person. I may pray for my relationship with the person to become stronger. I may pray for God to help me love this person that I’m struggling to love. I may pray for God to show me ways to show His love to the person.

Now I want to talk to you about who you’re going to pray for.

  • I want you to choose 7 people who you wouldn’t typically pray for specifically.
  • I want you to choose the person you don’t have a great relationship with.
  • I want you to choose the person who isn’t a daily part of your life.
  • I want you to choose someone who tends to irritate you.
  • I want you to choose someone who is ‘different’ from you.
  • I want you to choose someone you’ve had a conflict with in the past. Or in the present.
  • I want you to choose someone who you just don’t know very well.

Anytime there is a challenge there needs to be accountability. This will be accountability to yourself. This is between you and God. But at the end of each week and at the end of the month, take some time to evaluate what has happened as a result of this prayer challenge and write it down in your journal. What effects have you seen on the people you are praying for and on you? It’s possible that you won’t see any effects now. Maybe you won’t see the effects ever. But that’s ok.

In Isaiah 55:8-11, the Lord said:

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Just as the Lord’s words will not return to Him empty, neither will ours. There will be results, whether we see them or not.


Thank you and God bless you.

Teresa Levite

Print Ready: February Prayer Challenge PDF

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!


I have been listening to the audio book “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. The first part of the book focuses on the history of the author and the financial industry. But the second part, the principles, is applicable to everyone. You may not agree with all of the author’s principles, but it gives the reader – or listener – a good starting off point for figuring out their own principles.

A popular quote attributed to comedian Groucho Marx is “These are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.”

This was intended as joke, I’m sure, and is often associated with politicians. But this also points out that as we go through life our principles very likely evolve. They may never actually change, but as we mature and have more knowledge and experiences to base these principles on, they become more refined and relevant to where we are in our lives.

Anyway. I was listening to the book on the way to work the other day and then realized that I hadn’t been paying attention and that he was talking about decisions. I’m honestly not sure what his point of that particular section was. What I got out of it, though, is that it’s unlikely that whatever decision you make – and we all have to make decisions – is going to be your last. You will more than likely have the opportunity to make that decision or choice again and again.

So what happens if you make the ‘wrong’ decision? You could sink into a deep depression, beating yourself up, letting the wound be ripped open again every time someone mentions that situation, and be permanently scarred by it. Or . . . you could grieve for moment and then analyze the decision and the consequences to find out what went wrong and how you can make a better decision the next time around – because it’s very likely there will be ‘a next time around’.

Do you know how many people stress about what they’re going to have supper or where they’re going to go for their next meal? Way too much energy is wasted on it. Over and over again. Because you know, in most cases, if you make a wrong decision, you won’t enjoy the meal is the worst that will happen. And tomorrow night you’ll have the opportunity to make a better decision. So don’t stress about it!

There are other decisions that have more serious consequences. You may not want to make those decisions quite as lightly. But if it turns out that you made a wrong decision, what do you think you should do? How about analyzing the decision and the consequences to find out what went wrong and how you can make a better decision next time.

This may be with regard to a purchase. If it’s a small purchase like a pack of pens, you may toss it off, say live and learn, and keep going. And then buy the same wrong pack of pens the next time. Or it could be a major purchase like car. You will probably be living with the consequences of that decision for a long time. If it turns out to be a wrong decision, it would really be in your best interest to analyze the decision and the consequences to find out what went wrong and how you can make a better decision next time.

You make decisions every day. Most of them are minor. Some of them are major. Practice that technique of analyzing the decisions and consequences with the minor decisions, whether the outcome is good or bad, so that when the major decisions come along, you’ll be ready.

What does this have to do with your spiritual life? Everything! We make decisions about our walk with God daily, even moment by moment. Are we analyzing those decisions? Are we looking at the consequences – both when they are pleasing AND when they are painful? Are we trying to figure out what we can do better when we make those decisions or choices in the future?

Whatever our experiences, if we are the same person after the experiences as before, then we have learned nothing. Some of us go through life just trying to avoid the pains of life. But that’s not really living a full life. Wouldn’t it be more fulfilling to make the decisions and choices and risk experiencing the pain of the consequences of those decisions? Sometimes you will have to experience that pain. But if we use that as an opportunity to learn and to make better decisions, think about the life of glorifying and honoring God you could lead. Many of the heroes of the Bible made mistakes – bad decisions. But God loved them anyway. But He didn’t leave them in their misery. And if you let Him, God won’t leave you there, either.

Recent Videos

I’m going to start adding my videos to my blog – now that I know what I’m doing. But here are a couple of my recent Facebook Live videos I wanted to share with you.

Living Within the System & Partnerships


Wonder Woman & Videos


You’ve Got to Plant Before You Harvest

Well, usually. Sometimes you reap the harvest planted by someone else. A perfect example is the benefits we are enjoying now due to the work done by the ‘women’s libbers’ of the 1960s.

And because so many of us have taken these benefits for granted, we are now losing them and it’s time for us to pick up the work again.

This also applies to the work we are doing with our Young Living business. Others have done a lot of work and made the resources they have developed available to all of us. The resources available for building a business is AMAZING!

Now, not taking this work by others for granted, we are able to begin reaping a harvest. And it’s terribly exciting!

This post is brought to you today

by the essential oil blend Thieves:


I Am A Maker

I’m also a teacher, a learner, and a doer. But right now I’m in a “maker” season of my life. I have revived my Etsy shop and I’m constantly either making something or I’m planning for my next something to make. Here are a few of the things I’ve made recently:

Pony Tail Holder
Kid Sized Pony Tail Holder
Key Ring
Key Ring
Back Pack Style “Quarter for Your Grocery Cart” Key Ring
Key Ring
Key Ring


I’ve been working on much more, but just can’t find the photos on my computer at the moment. I’ll share those when I find them. And then I’ll organize my photos. Again.

Talk to you later. Love ya!


Tatting, My Newest Obsession

Yes, I do this periodically. I find something new and shiny and obsess. Unlike other people’s obsessions, though, mine are almost always craft or art related. I have to learn and I have to do until I have somewhat mastered it.

Sometimes, not always, but often, it’s about the learning. Learning facts and processes are nice, but learning to do – that’s what floats my boat!

My finished first completed tatting project! Yes, I have a long way to go. But completing it is a big accomplishment
My finished first completed tatting project! Yes, I have a long way to go. But completing it is a big accomplishment

I have added a tatting page and will be adding resources there periodically. I’m not planning to turn this into a tatting website. We’ll have to see how far my obsession goes before I start considering that.

Take care and God bless you!


Memorial Day 2016, Danville, IL

Yesterday we attended the Memorial Day service at the Danville National Cemetery. It is the first time I’ve attended a Memorial Day service. It was a very respectful and moving ceremony. I’m glad we were able to go with my father-in-law, a Korean War veteran.


One of the things that really sunk in yesterday was how so many men and women have given their lives for their country. Not all entered the service willingly. Even more, I’m sure, didn’t necessarily believe in the reason for the wars they died in. But they went and fought and died.


What they did believe in, what they died for, was their country. Their country was bigger than the cause, bigger than the conflict, bigger than the risks. They believed in our country – one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.


I can hear many readers now. “But where’s the liberty and justice for all?” Where has it gone? Did we ever really have it? If you’re honest, no, probably not. And it’s probably not going to happen soon. But you don’t give up striving for it. You don’t quit. You stand up for it and for the country that yearns for this for its people. We may never completely achieve liberty and justice for all. But we are (or should be) closer than in the past.


Thank you to all who have given their lives in service of our nation. Thank you to the families who have sacrificed so much. Thank You, dear Father in Heaven, for the hope you give us each day to carry on and continue, for picking us up when we stumble, and for blessing us with so many who were and are and will be willing to serve our nation.    TLS-124