Some battles are far too important, far too consequential, for us to ever attempt to fight them alone.

This has become clearer to me now more than ever. God recently called me to engage in a battle so far beyond me, where the opposition felt so fierce and unconquerable, I knew Christ was my only hope. Therefore, I’m seeking Him and His will like I never have before, and I’m refusing to fight alone. I’ve gathered a group of women, nearly 30 in fact, to engage in the most powerful way possible—on our knees. And we’re experiencing Christ in a way, frankly, I never have before.

woman praying

Something miraculous, completely mind-blowing, occurs when we come together, seek God’s heart, and diligently pray as He leads. He moves in powerful ways. In ways that remind us that He truly is our all-powerful, loving, sovereign faithful God.

And I’m wondering why I don’t pray more. The only conclusion I’ve come up with is that I tend to make far too much of myself—my wisdom and efforts—and far too little of God. Because if I truly believed everything I claimed, that He indeed is the God over all of history, who knows the best course of action for every situation and has the power to bring His hope-filled, life-giving will to pass, then prayer would be my first response. Always.

Prayer isn’t about us convincing God to act in a particular way. Effective prayer is about us surrendering our hearts to Christ and inviting Him to mold us so that like our Savior we’re able to say, “God, not my will but Yours be done.” When we do that, our prayers become strategic, and you and I become empowered warriors in the battle against darkness.

Consider this quote, from the anonymous author of the Kneeling Christian: “When Christ is all in all—when He is Savior and Lord and King of our whole being, then it is really He who prays our prayers.”

Lord, guide us. Move us. Empower us. Use us. We know this battle before us ultimately belongs to You, and we know You have already won. Help us to always walk as victors, with the confidence and assurance of knowing that we belong to the Lord of lords and King of kings. And help us to trust, to hold tight to faith, even if that means disregarding “sight” while we wait for Your victory to unfold. (Hebrews 11:1)

For those following my Thriving With Chronic Illness podcast, make sure to check out my latest episode with Wholly Loved team member Victoria Mejias on knowing when to rest and when to push through. You can listen here:

Episode 13: Knowing When to Push and When to Rest Thriving with Chronic Illness

Balancing our time and energy with chronic illness can feel challenging and confusing. If we never push through when feeling unwell, we’ll likely never accomplish anything. However, we can easily overdo things, stealing our “jelly beans” as Jennifer terms it, and thus leaving us too fatigued for our highest priority tasks or activities. In this episode, Jennifer Slattery speaks with her Wholly Loved Ministry partner Victoria Mejias on how Victoria manages her time, energy, and symptoms as a single mom with progressive multiple sclerosis. Find Victoria online at:https://www.VictoriaElizabeth.comFind Jennifer Slattery at:http://jenniferSlatteryLivesoutLoud her and Victoria’s ministry at:http://whollyloved.comAdditional Resources:Faith Over Fear: Living with a Limp: Over Fear: The Courage to Have Hard Conversations: Discussion Questions:1. How unpredictable are your symptoms?2. What are some ways you can leave margin for unexpected difficult days?3. How accurately does your schedule mirror your priorities?4. What most challenges your ability to “push through” difficult days when necessary?5. What most challenges your ability to rest when necessary?6. In what ways do you struggle with guilt related to your limitations or necessary boundaries?7. What lies are tied to your guilt? 8. What truths regarding Christ, His plans and power, and who you are in Him, can speak to your guilt?9. What other fears are tied to your limitations or necessary boundaries?10. What truths regarding Christ, His power and plans, and your identity in Him, can speak to those fears?11. Is there anything God might be asking you to do in relation to what you take on and what you release?Episode Image Credit: Getty/Biscotto87 Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
  1. Episode 13: Knowing When to Push and When to Rest
  2. Episode 12: How Chronic Illness Can Deepen Our Intimacy with Christ
  3. Episode 11: Thriving with Chronic Illness in Marriage
  4. Episode 10: Growing Intentionally Instead of Giving Up
  5. Episode 9: Pursuing Health in Our Relationships

You can check out my latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode on Finding the Courage to Obey here:

Breaking Body Image Shame With Rachael Gilbert Faith Over Fear

Do all the parties, cookie exchanges, and holiday meals this time of year prick your insecurities and create anxiety? Do you find yourself simultaneously enjoying home-baked treats and calculating how many hours at the gym each bite will cost? More importantly, do you ever long for the day when you don't stress about your body? In our photo-shopped, filtered, social media culture, is that even possible? Faith Over Fear guest Rachael Gilbert, author of Image Restored, says yes and shares her inside out approach to learning to feel comfortable in our skin, whatever shape it encompasses.  (Scroll down for discussion/reflective questions.) Resource Mentioned: Image Restored: Tear Down Shame and Insecurity to Experience a Body Image Renovation.  Connect with Rachael Gilbert: On her website On Instagram On Facebook On her Amazon Author Page Find Jennifer Slattery: On her website Instagram Facebook Amazon Find Wholly Loved: On their website Join the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group  Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Facebook Group Discussion/Reflective Questions: What resonated with you most in this episode? What body image messages have you absorbed from your social circle? What body image messages have you received from generations before you? How often do you put your thoughts "on trial"? How often do you check your negative thinking against the truth of Scripture? In what ways might a negative body image be impacting your relationships How might your life change were you to feel confident in your skin? What is one action step God might be asking you to take, having listened to this episode? Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
  1. Breaking Body Image Shame With Rachael Gilbert
  2. Facing Opposition – Experiencing Jesus
  3. Strength to Thrive Despite Opposition
  4. How God Prepares Us to Face Opposition
  5. When Obedience Leads to Hostility – Standing Strong Amidst Opposition P. 1

And make sure to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram! Find Wholly Loved Ministries HERE.

This has been a long week. Okay, a long year, with a lot of uphill climbs and mental and emotional stretching. As I’ve mentioned before, if left on my own, I’d choose the path of least resistance, but God’s called me to a higher standard. And as I look at my experiences over the past year–which quite honestly has been a total brain-saturation learning experience–I began to realize I’m in training. (This past month I think God’s training program hit overdrive!) I have no idea what God’s training me for, but that’s not my concern, is it? My concern is to continue forward in full-surrendered obedience, trusting His wisdom and His plan.

About a week ago, I received one of those “reply all” emails. The thrust of the email said thus: “Everything is falling into place for you, therefore you must be in God’s will.”

That could very well be true, because I firmly believe if God’s in it, God will do it. But in my experience, God normally puts me through a few high-knee drills to get there. Of course, He always leaves it up to me to stay the course or go running for the sidelines. So far, I’m staying the course, and I’m beginning to learn a lot about myself–and God.

Today I’d like you to join me at two places. First, stop by Friendship, Faith, and Frappes to talk about closed and open doors and what they might or might not mean in our faith walk. To expand on this further, on Words That Keep, I talk about what happens when we get stuck in the interim, halfway between where we were when God first called us and where He wants to take us. If you’re looking for your easy-breazy, red carpet, read and pray about these posts. Then, join me at Living by Grace as we talk about perseverance, struggle, commitment, and what it means to set your face as flint when you follow after God. For those of you with sweat dripping down your face, legs burning, as you continue that steep uphill climb wondering why God hasn’t lowered the ski lift … don’t give up yet. Struggle doesn’t mean you’re not in God’s will. In fact, quite likely, it means the opposite!

Join us at Living by Grace as we evaluate our lives like an athlete focused to win.

My post title appears to be one of the most frequently asked questions in Christianity. It’s an important question and one that should always be on the forefront of our minds every moment of every day, but if we’re not careful, this question can render us ineffective. I think it’s easy to slip into perpetual spin mode. If we spend more time seeking God’s will than doing it, before long, spiders will spin cobwebs in our hair.

And most of the time, when we ask that question, we’re not looking for an answer to the here and now. We want the ten-year plan. We want reassurance that God will use us, or fix us, or fix the problem we’re dealing with. But as I’ve said before, I think God often operates on a “need to know” basis. Meaning, He shows us step B once we’ve completed step A. Why? Because He’s more concerned with the condition of our heart than our location on the journey. He wants us completely dependent on Him and knows if He gives us too much information, we’ll drop His hand and take off running.

So what do we do if we’re in the waiting stage? We draw near, pray, trust and obey.

Draw Near

We make it a habit to spend time with God, and in so doing, learn to distinguish His voice. We grow accustomed to His presence, allowing His Spirit to do whatever is necessary in us to bring about His good, pleasing and perfect will.

We Pray

We make our communication with God our top priority, but we don’t pray just for ourselves. We pray for others and God’s kingdom. As we pray that God’s kingdom be expanded, God aligns our hearts to His kingdom goal.

We trust

Throughout Scripture God has promised to lead, guide, transform, and equip us. The question then is not, will God show us His will, but instead, will we obey it when He does?

Which leads me to my final step–We obey

I believe we know God’s will more than we care to admit. We want the big plan–the plan to lead a county-wide outreach event or a promotion or some other “one day” event, but God wants us to obey now, in the little things. And when we are faithful with the little things–showing respect, love and patience to our spouses; spending time daily in God’s Word; serving in areas we may never receive praise for–God begins to expand our boundaries and our reach. But never so we can become inflated. In fact, whenever our pride begins to grow, we can probably count on a dose of pride-dashing humility because pride gets in the way. Effectiveness comes from full, humble, surrender.

I’m going to leave you with a passage from Psalm. As you read it, lay your angst aside and go forward with your day, knowing God will guide you in His perfect timing. In fact, He is guiding you now. Make sure you don’t get so focused on the what-ifs of tomorrow you lose sight on what God is doing today.

And, as you ask God to show you His will, ask yourself this question: am I ready to obey without question or hesitation, no matter what God asks me to do? Because God doesn’t need more commandos. He needs more Toto’s.

Psalm 25 (NIV–emphasis, shown in parenthesis, mine)

In you, (not our schedule, ten-year plan or bank account) LORD my God,
   I put my trust.

 2 I trust in you; (If we truly trust God to do what He says He’ll do and be who He says He is, then what is there to fear or worry about?)
   do not let me be put to shame,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
   will ever be put to shame, (I believe this may be because as you draw near to God, He removes the “I” from us. When we have died to ourselves, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Because really, it’s not about us and as I’ve said before, dead men don’t bleed. )

but shame will come on those
   who are treacherous without cause.

 4 Show me your ways, LORD,
   teach me your paths.

(Notice David asks God to teach him. Each day of our faith walk is like stepping into a giant classroom. As we move closer to God, He molds us and teaches us to do His will as He prepares us to complete the next step in our faith journey. Remember algebra from school? The teacher didn’t show you geometry until you’d mastered the basic steps of algebra. You want to be used by God? Then master what He’s showing you now by living each day in full surrendered obedience.)

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my Savior,
   and my hope is in you all day long. (Guide me–walk beside me, step by step, moment by moment.)
6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
   for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
   and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
   for you, LORD, are good.

 8 Good and upright is the LORD;
   therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
   and teaches them his way.

(Because we know God is good, loving, faithful, and true, we can relax and enjoy the journey knowing He will guide us and teach us. Our job is to draw near and obey. His job is to teach, guide, and bless His plan.)

10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
   toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, LORD,
   forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

 12 Who, then, are those who fear the LORD?
   He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
   and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; (This is one of the most beautiful passages in Scripture. It speaks of intimacy.) he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD,
   for only he will release my feet from the snare. (This verse makes me think of a blind man trusting in his guide for each step, so in tune to his guide’s footsteps, the man senses the slightest turn. May we be so in tune with God, ever looking to Him, we allow Him to direct each and every step of our journey.)

 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
   and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress 
   and take away all my sins.  (This is the third time David asked God to forgive, forget, or remove his sins. Sin is the greatest barrier to hearing God’s will. If we want to hear God and live in intimate fellowship with Him, we must be diligent about removing all sin from our life.) 
19 See how numerous are my enemies
   and how fiercely they hate me!

 20 Guard my life and rescue me;
   do not let me be put to shame,
   for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
   because my hope, LORD, is in you.

 22 Deliver Israel, O God,
   from all their troubles!