Prayer Tip

I am sad to report that when I was a teenager, I was wilder than a buck.  I did everything I thought I was big enough to do.  Some of you may have sowed your wild oats discreetly and got away with it, but not me.  My mama caught me every time.  I don’t know if it was because I was really bad at being really bad, or if my mother was just that good – maybe a little of both.

Regardless of how or why I got caught, I always received an appropriate punishment, and rightly so.  I understood what I had done and why I was receiving discipline.  So, why did my parents punish me when I did something wrong?

But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Hebrews 12:8

Simply put, my parents chastised me because I was their child, and they wanted the best for me.  I disciplined my girls when they deserved it for the same reason.  God chastises those He loves and those who belong to Him because He, too, wants what is best for us.

for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you are asking What does chastisement have to do with prayer?  Good question.

Because we often only associate prayer requests with the discipline of prayer, we forget that prayer actually encompasses everything about our relationship with God, including His discipline.  While God may most often speak to us through His Word or that still small voice; He can also send a message to us through chastisement.


I know we don’t like to characterize God as a God who punishes because many believe that that side of God has been overexposed, but it is still worth talking about as it relates to our faith walk.

How do you know when you are being chastised by the Lord?

I once had a brother in Christ ask me if I knew when God was chastising me.  I answered with a resounding Yes.  God has chastised me three times, and each time I specifically knew what it was for – my disobedience.

Now, I have sadly disobeyed God more than three times in my life, but these instances occurred when I totally disregarded God telling me to stop doing something and not to do something.  Instead of complying with what I believed God’s Spirit was speaking to me, I continued doing what I wanted to do, ignoring God altogether.

Each time I was chastised, it correlated perfectly to the thing I had been disobedient in.  As soon as I was negatively impacted by the discipline, the Holy Spirit would bring that situation to the forefront of my mind.  And I knew immediately, that my sins had found me out and found me wanton.

Just like when my parents disciplined me and I knew the what for, so does God discipline His Children with the same enlightenment; otherwise, why go to the trouble, right?  What good would it do you to discipline your children without them understanding why?  First, it would be cruel  and secondly, it would not benefit your child long-term.

My chastisements have taught me some important truths about myself, and about trusting God.  Most importantly, it taught me about obedience to God.

Have you ever felt chastisement or discipline from God?  Did you recognize it was Him?

Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty Job 5:17

Pray on!


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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.

Check out my video for Organizing Your Prayer Closet!

For those of you who like to see me Prayer Closet Organizer worksheet, here is the one I created for this week.

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  1. Gina,
    Awesome reminder! My youth pastor use to you can’t hide anything from your youth pastor or your mom, especially your mom. Thanks for sharing such a great post on #RaRaLinkUp God’s timing is such a blessing.

  2. It’s so easy to feel bad when things aren’t going our way or when God reproves us. When humans, emotional and irrational.

    But God’s ways are different from our ways. He knows better. I think these thoughts are good enough to make us surrender. 🙂

    Great inspiration. Have a wonderful weekend!

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